Gita Jayanti Special -108 Quotes on Spreading the importance
of the Original 1972 authorized Bhagavad Gita As It Is
(The authorized edition of Bhagavad-gita will help to stop the terrible cheating of ‘gurus’ and ‘yogis’ who are false and unauthorized.)
Hare Krishna. On the occasion of Gita Jayanti, an article that aims at re-establishing the Original Bhagavad Gita that is written by Srila Prabhupada. This article has many quotes that contain the importance of reading the Gita “AS IT IS”, ways of receiving the transcendental instructions, how the Gita has been taken as a way for unscrupulous men to advertise their dubious philosophies, etc.
ISKCON has started to defame the Macmillan Gita in various ways, some even call it a “Mayavadi edition” and commit the greatest offense. They have forcefully tried to put down those who try to preach through the original Macmillan GIta and have made attempts to even destroy its glory.
Therefore, this article addresses all these issues directly from Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental quotes which should convince the readers about the excellency of the original Bhagavad GIta.
A quote below gives a proper proof where the original Gita is reviewed by Dr. Vajpayee.
“The reviews have very much encouraged me. Especially those of Prof. Bhatt and Prof. Vajpeye. I have personally written a letter of thanks to Dr. Bhatt, that he has so much encouraged me. Dr. Vajpeye’s review we are going to print and widely distribute, especially in Bombay and Madras, where there is so much propaganda from these bogus gurus and yogis. He has got practical experience of how they are cheating the innocent people in foreign countries and he has written; “The authorized edition of Bhagavad-gita will help to stop the terrible cheating of ‘gurus’ and ‘yogis’ who are false and unauthorized. Letter to: Svarupa, Ranadhira, Mayapur-3 February, 1976 Los Angeles”
From this it is easily understood which edition of GIta is original. The one and only 1972 edition of Bhagavad Gita As It Is. It is also evident that when the Gita was manipulated, there was too much cheating of so many self-appointed bogus iskcon gurus who tried to get themselves worshipped. If they hadn’t changed the Gita, how would the cheating continue? Therefore, they introduced their own version of Bhagavad Gita under the name of Srila Prabhupada by offending him in the greatest possible way.
“Srila Prabhupāda: Why do they think? If I have written one book, my words are my meaning. Why you should give meaning? I shall kick on your face. What right you have got? You write another book. Why should you take my book and give your meaning? What is this?” Morning Walk — May 12, 1975, Perth
“Srila Prabhupāda: No. They should be conscious that if you read one book, you must understand what the author says. Why should you bring something else to understand that book? What is this? If you want to say something else, you write your own book or bring that book. Why you should take my book? If you want to smoke ganja, why should you take my hand? You have got your hand. You smoke ganja. What is this? I take your hand and smoke ganja? (laughter)” Morning Walk — May 12, 1975, Perth
These quotes above directly criticize the unauthorized interpretations by various people. This is what has happened in the current day societies. However, this article focuses more on the importance of reading and understanding according to the direction of Guru, and not just a mere criticism of the changed versions.
The glories of the “As It Is” edition will only spread if we all know the practical application in our lives and how purely we practice daily from these books. A widespread pure hearted preaching will only stop all the nonsense happening around and that’s when everyone will get to know the importance of reading an authorized edition.
Now a collection of 108 quotes on these topics is going to be presented below. We request the devotees to take some time and study these as much and as possible.
1. Our only purpose is to present this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is in order to guide the conditioned student to the same purpose for which Kṛṣṇa descends to this planet once in a day of Brahmā, or every 8,600,000,000 years. This purpose is stated in Bhagavad-gītā, and we have to accept it as it is; otherwise there is no point in trying to understand the Bhagavad-gītā and its speaker, Lord Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa first spoke Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god some hundreds of millions of years ago. We have to accept this fact and thus understand the historical significance of Bhagavad-gītā, without misinterpretation, on the authority of Kṛṣṇa. To interpret Bhagavad-gītā without any reference to the will of Kṛṣṇa is the greatest offense. In order to save oneself from this offense, one has to understand the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as He was directly understood by Arjuna, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s first disciple. Such understanding of Bhagavad-gītā is really profitable and authorized for the welfare of human society in fulfilling the mission of life. Preface, Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Original 1972 Edition
2. The Bhagavad-gītā is just like a cow, and Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is a cowherd boy, is milking this cow. The milk is the essence of the Vedas, and Arjuna is just like a calf. The wise men, the great sages and pure devotees, are to drink the nectarean milk of Bhagavad-gītā.In this present day, man is very eager to have one scripture, one God, one religion, and one occupation. So, let there be one common scripture for the whole world – Bhagavad-gītā. And let there be one God only for the whole world – Śrī Kṛṣṇa. And one mantra only – Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. And let there be one work only – the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Introduction to Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Original 1972 Edition
3. “First of all, try to understand what you are.” That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. It is no politics. It is knowledge, pure knowledge. Bhagavad-gītā is pure knowledge. The politicians take advantage of it. The sociologists, the so-called swamis, yogis, they take advantage of it and try to prove their all nonsensical theories. But it is not at all Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā as it is is pure knowledge, beginning with the first knowledge one has to understand, that he is not this body. Because this is the basic principle all ignorance: “I am this body.” “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brāhmaṇa,” “I am this,” “I am that”—this is the basic principle. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu also says the same thing in a different way. He says, “I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya, I am not a śūdra, I am not a brahmacārī, I am not a gṛhastha, I am not a vānaprastha, I am not a sannyāsī.” These are negation. Then what is the positive? He says, gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ: (CC Madhya 13.80) “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the gopī-bhartuḥ, Kṛṣṇa, who maintains the gopīs.” Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.3 — Mayapur, March 27, 1975
4. Because Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, therefore people should…, people may not read all other Vedic literatures. Simply if he attentively and regularly reads and hears Bhagavad-gītā, gītā su-gītā kartavyā… And one should adopt this means by all means. Gītā su-gītā kartavyā kim anyaiḥ śāstra-vistaraiḥ. Because at the present age people are embarrassed with so many things that it is hardly possible to divert his attention in all the Vedic literatures. This one literature will do because it is essence of all Vedic literature, and especially spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lecture on BG Introduction — New York, February 19-20, 1966
5. So, we have got so many nice things, our Vedic literature, and they are all summarized in the Bhagavad-gītā. If we simply hear, by simply hearing Bhagavad-gītā as it is, then if we understand Kṛṣṇa, yasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati, then what happens? Iti māṁ yo ‘bhijānāti karmabhir na sa badhyate (BG 4.14). There is no more entanglement in the karma. Because so long we will be entangled in the karma, we will have to transmigrate from one body to another. And we do not know how long we have to rotate in this way.
Lecture on BG 4.14 — Bombay, April 3, 1974
6. So therefore, inexperienced persons, they should not try to teach Bhagavad-gītā to others because he has no knowledge. This knowledge has to be received by paramparā system. Evam paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). So simply by academic career, by knowledge of ABCD, you cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bhakto ‘si priyo ‘si me (BG 4.3), without becoming bhakta… Therefore, Sanātana Gosvāmī has forbidden that “Don’t hear anything about Kṛṣṇa from a person who is not a Vaiṣṇava.” Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇa-pūta-hari-kathāmṛtaṁ śravanaṁ na karta… This is prohibited. You cannot hear. But this audience or the students, they also do not know that “Here is a rascal, he is not a devotee, he is not a Vaiṣṇava. Why shall we hear from him Bhagavad-gītā?” The first condition is bhakto ‘si. Lecture on BG 1.44 — London, July 31, 1973
7. “Anyone who has taken his birth as human being in India, Bhārata-bhūmi, first of all make your life successful.” Because you have got the standard, how to make life successful. Here is Bhagavad-gītā. Try to understand it, make your life successful, and then broadcast this message all over the world. That is paropakāra. So actually, India and India’s people, they are meant for paropakāra. Cornerstone Laying — Bombay, January 23, 1975
8. It is a system in India that if somebody’s invited to take prasādam, he takes something, some fruits, some sweetmeats, something, and offers to the Deity. Of course, that is distributed amongst the prasādam, but it is the system. When a, when a man goes to see a saintly person, or goes to a temple, he takes some fruit, as far as he, as he can acquire. So giving and taking, eating and feeding. Dadāti pratigṛhṇāti bhuṅkte bhojayate, guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati ca. Guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati. You have to hear Bhagavad-gītā and, if you have got any distress, you have got any confidential thing, you have to submit to Kṛṣṇa, “Kṛṣṇa, I am in suffering this way. I am fallen in this tossing ocean of material illusion. Kindly save me. I can understand now that I have no identification with this material world. I am simply put here.” Just like if I am put into the Atlantic Ocean, I have no identification with the ocean, but I am subjected to the tossing waves of the ocean, similarly, we are spiritual spark, fragmental part of Kṛṣṇa. Some way or other, we put into this material ocean, and there is tossing. So, I am being tossed. Don’t identify. Don’t try to solve the tossing. That is not possible. If you want to make solution of the tossing waves of the Atlantic Ocean when you are fallen there, it is useless foolishness. That is not possible. Don’t be foolish in that way. That will go on. That is Atlantic Ocean’s nature. You cannot stop it. You have to get out of it. Lecture on BG 9.2-5 — New York, November 23, 1966
9. Because, without being bhakta, nobody will understand Bhagavad-gītā. It is not possible. Bhagavad-gītā means to understand Kṛṣṇa. So, although everything is explained there, but it is on the bhakti line, not in any other line. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa says at the end, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. Lecture on SB 3.25.14 — Bombay, November 14, 1974
10. Yes, it will help to read Bhagavad-gita but to have to hear from the realized person. Without the help of guru, if you read independently, you may be misguided.
That is the difference, hearing from devotees, the sound vibration coming from the realized person. Reading the book is the same thing . . . tattva-darsana—hearing from one who has seen the truth.
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated 13 April, 1976, and I have noted the contents with care. Concerning your questions: Yes, it will help to read Bhagavad-gita but to have to hear from the realized person. Without the help of guru, if you read independently, you may be misguided. Therefore, so many politicians, scholars, etc. not being guided by the parampara system, have simply misled the public. The Bhagavad-gita is the standard book of knowledge in India and many eminent persons like Gandhi, Aurobindo, Dr. RadhaKrishnan, etc. they tried to understand the Bhagavad-gita, but could not do it. They were themselves misled and on account of their big position they misled so many followers. Our system, the Vedic system, is to approach the right person and hear from him exactly as Arjuna listened from Krishna. Mental speculation will not help. Hearing is the main point. In the Bhagavad-gita, it is written, dharmaksetre kuruksetre . . . when you hear from a realized soul, a person who knows things, he’ll explain that Kuruksetra is a place where religious ritualistic ceremonies are performed from time immemorial, from the time before the Battle of Kuruksetra. But, if you read the books of some cunning politician, he’ll mislead you and you’ll learn that Kuruksetra means this body which is not actually the fact. That is the difference, hearing from devotees, the sound vibration coming from the realized person. Reading the book is the same thing . . . tattva-darsana—hearing from one who has seen the truth. Reading or hearing from the realized person there is no difference, but hearing the sound vibration from the realized soul is still more effective, better. Letter to Punjabi Premanand — Bombay 16 April, 1976
11. That means “I first of all spoke to the sun-god.” Now if you take that duration, it will be some millions of years before it was spoken. These things are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. So apart from that statement, from historical point of view, since the days of Mahābhārata, yes, Battle of Kurukṣetra… Bhagavad-gītā was spoken in the Battle of Kurukṣetra. From historical point of view, it is five thousand years old. So, this Bhagavad-gītā teaching is coming from, at least, from five thousand, since five thousand years. So, it is older than any other scripture in the world. So, you try to understand as it is, without any unnecessary commentary. You do not… There is no use of commentary. The words are sufficient to give you enlightenment, but unfortunately, people take advantage of the popularity of Bhagavad-gītā, and they try to impress under the shelter of Bhagavad-gītā their own philosophy or own idea. That is useless. You try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is; then you will get this entitlement, enlightenment, that Kṛṣṇa is the center of all activities. And if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then everything will be perfect, all problems will be solved. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpanam (CC Antya 20.12). These things are there, and actually, they are happening. Our students are feeling, they are actually doing that. So, we shall request you to read this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, so your feelings of international spirit will be perfect and you’ll be happy, and wherever you preach this cult, they will be also happy. And that will be very nice thing. Lecture to International Student Society — Boston, December 28, 1969
12. Our determination is to preach the Bhagavad-gita strictly on that parampara system as it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gita In the last portion of the Bhagavad-gita the necessary qualification of understanding the Bhagavad-gita is clearly stated. According to this formula of qualification one who does not accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead—is unable to understand the Bhagavad-gita. Letter to Jugal kishore Birla — Bombay 26 August, 1958
13. We may not have many followers. We don’t care for that. We don’t want these nonsense followers, many thousands. What they will do? But if we can turn one man into Kṛṣṇa consciousness perfectly, he can do tremendous work in the world. That is our principle. We don’t want nonsense. So, this is the principle of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is — Los Angeles, November 23, 1968
14. We are always in problem, puzzle, and when something better is proposed to the materialistic person, that “You take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you’ll be happy,” he sees nimittāni viparītāni, just opposite. “What this Kṛṣṇa consciousness I shall happy? My family is in trouble or I have got so many problems. What this Kṛṣṇa consciousness will help me?” Nimittāni ca viparītāni. This is material condition of life. Therefore, it requires time, little time to understand. That is Bhagavad-gītā. The same Arjuna, he is now finding, nimittāni ca viparītāni. When he will understand Bhagavad-gītā, he will say, “Yes, Kṛṣṇa, what You are saying, it is right. It is right.” Lecture on BG 1.30 — London, July 23, 1973
15. Therefore this Bhagavad-gītā yoga system, which is very old… Forty millions of years before, ago it was spoken. And before that it was also spoken. That is not stated here. Because it is eternal. Avyaya, purātanaḥ, old. So, who is qualified to understand Bhagavad-gītā? You can understand. Those who are not bhaktas, they can also understand superficially. Just like one has got the bottle of honey. If one thinks that “I have got the bottle of honey. Let me lick up the bottle,” so licking the bottle, what taste you will get? The bottle has to be opened and see what is there. (laughter) And if a rascal thinks that “I am licking this bottle, I am eating honey, I am tasting honey,” he’s a rascal number one. Simply. So similarly, if one is not bhakta, if one is not Kṛṣṇa’s devotee, that rascal cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā. Plainly. Plainly it is stated here. First of all, try to become the devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Then try to understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. Not by your scholarship or by your speculation. Then you’ll never understand Bhagavad-gītā. If you have to understand Bhagavad-gītā, then you have to understand by the process as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, not by your own mental speculation. This is the process of understanding. Lecture on BG 4.1 — Montreal, August 24, 1968
16. So don’t try to understand Bhagavad-gītā from persons who are under the influence of kāla—past, present, future. Don’t try to understand Bhagavad-gītā from so-called rascal philosophers, commentators, and… They will write Bhagavad-gītā in a distorted way. Somebody will say, “There was no Kṛṣṇa. There was no Mahābhārata.” Somebody says, “Kṛṣṇa stressed on this point,” “Kṛṣṇa stressed on that point.” Somebody will say, “Kṛṣṇa stressed on karma, karma-kāṇḍa.” Somebody will say on jñāna, and somebody will say yoga. There are so many editions of Bhagavad-gītā. Lecture on BG 4.2 — Bombay, March 22, 1974
17. Anukūla means favorable. If you think of Kṛṣṇa in various ways favorably—how to serve Kṛṣṇa, how to decorate Kṛṣṇa, how to give Kṛṣṇa a nice place for residential quarter, temple, how to preach Kṛṣṇa’s glories—in this way, if you think, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā. That is first-class bhakti, how to serve Kṛṣṇa. Just like Arjuna he changed his all decision. (microphone rattling) (aside:) You can take it that side. Arjuna was thinking not to fight, but when he heard very minutely, listened Kṛṣṇa’s instruction, he changed his decision. “No, Kṛṣṇa wants it. Kṛṣṇa wants this fight, so I shall do this.” This is kṛṣṇānuśīlanam, cultivating Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not his decision. His decision was not to fight. A Vaiṣṇava does not want to kill anybody. That is natural tendency. Suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām: (SB 3.25.21) “A Vaiṣṇava is friend of everyone.” So Arjuna was Vaiṣṇava, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Naturally, he was not inclined to kill and gain the fight. So, he declined, that “I will not fight.” But after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, he decided that “Kṛṣṇa wants to fight. He wants me…” Nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savyasācin. “He says so far that ‘These people who have assembled here, they are already killed. That is My plan. You simply take the credit of becoming victorious over them.’ ” Lecture on SB 3.26.46 — Bombay, January 21, 1975
18. Nārāyaṇa does not speak personally, but Kṛṣṇa, or Vāsudeva, does, as in Bhagavad-gītā for example. Therefore, to follow the direction of Bhagavad-gītā means to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa, and to surrender in this way is the highest perfection of bhakti-yoga. Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.19, Purport
19. Although Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He taught His disciple and devotee Arjuna how to lead a life ending in going back home, back to Godhead (tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna (BG 4.9)). All teachings—political, economic, social, religious, cultural and philosophical—are to be found in Bhagavad-gītā. One only has to follow them strictly. The Supreme Personality of Godhead also comes as Lord Caitanya just to play the part of a pure devotee. Thus, the Lord teaches us in different ways just to make our lives successful, and Svāyambhuva Manu requests us to follow Him. Srimad Bhagvatam 8.1.16, Purport
20. We are opening so many branches. The idea is that people should get chance of hearing about the Supreme Lord, either by chanting this mahā-mantra or… This is also chanting. What I am speaking before you from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhagavad-gītā, that is also chanting. This is also kīrtana. Kīrtana means describing. So, you can describe the glories of the Lord either by musical instruments or by chant, singing, or you can describe the glories of the Lord by reading from authoritative scripture. Both of them are called kīrtana. This, this Bhāgavata reading is also described as kīrtana by Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Lecture SB 01.05.14 – New Vrindaban, USA,18th June 1969
21. So, so Bhagavad-gītā is transcendental subject matter. It does not depend on the qualification of the student. Anyone. Anyone can understand Bhagavad-gītā provided he agrees to understand according to the principles. That’s all. Lecture on BG 10.1 — New York, December 30, 1966
22. This Bhagavad-gītā, they are now reading as it is. Latest report is, in London we are selling fifteen thousand copies per month. So, they are taking interest, because it is presented as it is, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, no rascal interpretation, “This meaning is this, this meaning that.” What authority you have got to make like that? Try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Then you’ll be benefited. Lecture on BG 13.16 — Bombay, October 10, 1973]
23. Suppose you hear something of the Bhagavad-gītā, and it appeals to you, or even does not appeal to you. Just try to think over: “What Bhagavad-gītā says? How Swamiji has discussed this matter?” Apply your arguments. Apply your logic. Don’t take it as a sentiment or as a blind faith. You have got reason; you have got arguments; you have got sense. Apply it and try to understand it. Neither it is bogus. It is scientific. Lecture on BG 4.11-12 — New York, July 28, 1966
24. Actually, Bhagavad-gītā is to be discussed amongst the devotees. So, our hard task is that first of all we have to make one devotee and then let him understand Bhagavad-gītā, our double task. Because nobody wants to become devotee. So, we are canvassing door to door, country to country, village to village, “Sir, please come in our temple. We shall give you nice prasādam. You simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and hear something about Kṛṣṇa.” So still, people will not come. Still, they will not come. We have to canvass. We have to do so many things. That is the influence of māyā. Māyā is so strong that unless one is very much determined, māyā will be very strong for him. Lecture on SB 1.15.27 — New York, March 6, 1975
25.So if you want to understand Bhagavad-gītā, then we must understand in the same wayas the person who directly heard from. This is called paramparā system. Suppose I have heard something from my spiritual master, so I speak to you the same thing. So, this is paramparā system. You cannot imagine what my spiritual master said. Or even if you read some books, you cannot understand unless you understand it from me. This is called paramparā system. You cannot jump over to the superior guru, neglecting the next ācārya, immediate next ācārya. Lecture on SB 1.15.30 — Los Angeles, December 8, 1973
26. So if we understand Bhagavad-gītā, as Kṛṣṇa…, as Arjuna understood. that is perfect. That is Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. And if you try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as some rascal commentator says, then you are reading somebody else; rubbish. There’s no meaning. You’re simply wasting your time. He may be such scholar, such big politician, like this. In our country, big politician, they have commented; big, big yogis, they have commented; big, big scholars they have… They’re all useless. Take it: useless. If you read such commentary of Bhagavad-gītā, it is simply waste of time. If you actually want to study Bhagavad-gītā, then as Arjuna understands. Arjuna directly listened from Kṛṣṇa. Lecture on SB 1.15.30 — Los Angeles, December 8, 1973
27. Prabhupāda: Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-samvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ (SB 3.25.25). Rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ. Unless you discuss Bhāgavata, Bhagavad-gītā, with sat-saṅga, devotees, it does not become relishable. Therefore, he’s not attached. Tad-vāg-visargo janatāgha-viplavaḥ. In another verse…. Na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo pragṛṇīta karhicit (SB 1.5.10). He may read one literature very decoratively written, very interesting, but there is no discussion about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yad vacaḥ citra-padam, very decorative. Na yad vacaś citra-padaṁ harer yaśo pragṛṇīta karhicit: (SB 1.5.10) “But there is no glorification of the Lord.” Tad vāyasaṁ tīrtham: “Such kind of literature is enjoyable by such persons who are like crows.” Morning Walk — January 8, 1977, Bombay
28. So far, we are concerned in the Krishna consciousness movement, we are preaching the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna is the Supreme Person even before all demigods including Lord Visnu even, and of course Lord Siva. Our fundamental principle is the teaching of the Bhagavad-gita. Those persons who cannot understand this on account of particular modes of nature, such persons require further education, and until such time is fulfilled, we are helpless. To an animal in the modes of ignorance, how can we preach? Then we are helpless. Letter to Satsvarupa — Bombay 3 November, 1974
29. Regarding your philosophical question, if the Bhagavad gita is part of Mahabharata which is considered smrti, how can we claim Bhagavad gita to be GITOPANISAD, or one of the Upanisads which are sruti? Actually, because the Gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead it is sruti. But people take it as smrti because it is part of the Mahabharata. We take it as sruti as far as we are concerned. The purport of sruti is to make one advanced in understanding the Absolute Truth. Here the Absolute Truth is explaining personally, therefore the Gita should be taken as sruti. But they take it as smrti because it is part of the Smriti (Mahabharata). In one sense it is both sruti and smrti. Letter to: Acyutananda — Paris,14 June, 1974
30. That is devotee, who can answer any question. Everything is discussed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Everything, complete knowledge. Now in Bhagavad-gītā .Room Conversation — August 11, 1973, Paris
31. I thank you so much for having nicely appreciated the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. This book should be read by all of my students at least one chapter per day, and in kirtana class it should be discussed sloka after sloka. Practically, we have tried to explain in this book all of the basic principles of Krishna Consciousness. If you can simply cram Bhagavad-gita then you will surely become a very good preacher. Letter to Hamsaduta — Los Angeles 3 January, 1969
32. There is Vedic literature that gives proof of Lord Parasurama driving out the ksatriyas. We do not take these mundane histories as authority. Regarding the dating of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Battle of Kuruksetra took place at the beginning of Kali yuga, and Kali yuga has passed more than 5,000 years. The Bhagavad-gita was also spoken at the beginning of the fight, so we take it as 5,000 years ago. From the Bhagavad-gita we learn it was spoken by the sun god millions of years ago. We take this as authority. If you don’t accept my authority, then I don’t accept your authority. That is the way of evidence, to accept the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Vedic literature. The calculation is that the Kali yuga is 432,000 years, out of which we have passed 5,000 years Letter to: Bahu Rupa,—Vrindaban,1 September, 1975
33. The teachings of the Bhagavad-gita are so potential that if it is practiced seriously, it can bring in a new life and civilization. Now you have established a Gita Pratisthan, so do it very seriously. Letter to Rama Krishnaji — Honolulu 14 May, 1976
34. Prabhupāda: …for propagating our mission because the state is inclined to take the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā. They have found that this is the wisest (indistinct). Take advantage of this opportunity and (indistinct) in schools, colleges, for teaching (indistinct). They have already translated Bhagavad-gītā, they have got very good results… Room Conversation — February 28, 1973, Jakarta
35. Prabhupāda: There is no future. It is already gone. (laughter) The future is already there. And what do you want more future? A man was beaten with shoes, and again he said that “He has threatened me, to insult me.” So, if he is beaten with shoes, then what insult remains to be done again? So, Hinduism now finished. Now take to the process of Kṛṣṇa’s order, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Teach this teaching of Bhagavad-gītā to the whole world. Not only Hinduism; Christianism, and Muslimism, everything’s gone. And even it is not gone, Kṛṣṇa says, ” Give up all this nonsense.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). “Give up Hinduism, Muslimism, Christianism. Simply surrender unto Me.” That is to be preached all over the world, and that is being effective. So, if the Hindus are interested in Bhagavad-gītā, which was spoken in the Hindustan, in the land of Hindus, they must seriously take to this instruction of Kṛṣṇa and combine together and preach all over the world and make others benefited and themselves benefited. That is the only way. There is no other second way. Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan’s Journal — June 28, 1976, Vrndavana
36. Prabhupāda: That means you are not intelligent. That is the proof. “Beyond your intelligence”—that means your intelligence is not yet perfect. You’re lacking in brain. (aside:) I see so many workers simply loitering. They are doing nothing. What can be done? So many. Simply they are taking money. Doing nothing. I see. There is nobody to see. They take advantage. Seventy-five percent of the workers, they are doing nothing. But the Gītā explains that within this body there is something. Not body itself is moving, but dehinaḥ asmin dehe. Within this body there is the real power, dehī, who has got this body. That is there. And because he is there, the body is changing. They cannot understand. No brain, exactly like the dogs and cats. The dog cannot understand that “Within my body, I am.” They cannot. Therefore, you are no better than dogs. And actual fact is you are not this body. You are within this body. It is a dress. In so many ways Bhagavad-gītā teaches, but you have no brain. Then where is brainwashing? You have no brain to understand your real position. Room Conversation — February 17, 1977, Mayapura
37. As clearly stated in Bhagavad-gītā, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti: (BG 4.9) such a person, simply by engaging in Kṛṣṇa consciousness or understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, becomes quite fit to return home, back to Godhead. Even those who are obsessed with material desires may also come to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead so steadily that they go back to Godhead. Srimad Bhagavatam 6.16.39, Purpor
38. The instructions of Bhagavad-gītā and the descriptions of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are so pleasing that almost anyone suffering from the threefold miseries of material existence will desire to hear the glories of the Lord from these books and thus benefit on the path of liberation. Two classes of men, however, will never be interested in hearing the message of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—those who are determined to commit suicide and those determined to kill cows and other animals for the satisfaction of their own tongues. Srimad Bhagavatam 10.1.4, Purport
39. Vidhunoti means washing. Washing. As you are hearing the message of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam or Bhagavad-gītā, the process is vidhunoti, washing. Actually, it is brainwashing—but for good. Washing is not bad. (laughter) That these rascals, they do not know. They are thinking, “Oh, you are making me purified? Oh, you are very dangerous.” Lecture on SB 7.9.8 — Mayapur, February 28, 1977
40. There is a Bengali verse, kṛṣṇa ye bhaje se baḍa catura? Yes. Unless one is very wise and intelligent, he cannot become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. The first-class intelligent class of men surrenders to Kṛṣṇa. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna, after understanding Bhagavad-gītā, he replied to Kṛṣṇa, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73), “Yes, I’ll do.”Nectar of Devotion — Vrndavana, October 17, 1972
41. Now so many people are explaining Bhagavad-gītā. If you ask him, “Who is your guru?” he has no guru. He’s himself guru. So, you, what he can understand Bhagavad-gītā? It is not possible. So try to understand Bhagavad-gītā from the bona fide person and follow the principles, rules and regulation, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Your life will be successful. Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture — Bombay, January 3, 1973
42. So this is culture. You may do your business. Just like Arjuna: Arjuna was doing his business. He was a fighter, kṣatriya, but he did not forget his culture, hearing Gītā from the master. That is culture. If you simply do business and do not cultivate your spiritual life, then it is useless waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8), the śāstra says. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. So, our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is being spread up that “Do not forget your cultural life.” We do not say that you stop your business and become a sannyāsī like me and give up everything. We do not say. Neither Kṛṣṇa said that. Kṛṣṇa never said Arjuna that “You give up your business.” “You are kṣatriya. You are declining fighting. Oh, it is very abominable. You should not say like that. You must fight.” That was Kṛṣṇa’s instruction. So similarly, we Kṛṣṇa conscious people, we are also advising everyone that “You do not give up your business.” Caitanya Mahāprabhu said also: sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ. Caitanya Mahāprabhu never said that “You give up your position.” Position, giving up is not very difficult. But to cultivate spiritual knowledge, that is required. Lecture at Bharata Chamber of Commerce ‘Culture and Business’ — Calcutta, January 30, 1973
43. The spirit of Bhagavad-gītā is mentioned in Bhagavad-gītā itself. It is just like this: if we want to take a particular medicine, then we have to follow the directions written on the label. We cannot take the medicine according to our own whim or the direction of a friend. It must be taken according to the directions on the label or the directions given by a physician. Similarly, Bhagavad-gītā should be taken or accepted as it is directed by the speaker himself. Introduction to Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Original 1972 Edition
44. From the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā we learn very clearly that Arjuna in the beginning did not want to fight with his brothers and relatives. But after understanding the Bhagavad-gītā, when he dovetailed his consciousness with the superconsciousness of Kṛṣṇa, it was Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A person in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness acts by the dictation of Kṛṣṇa, and so Arjuna agreed to fight the battle of Kurukṣetra. Lecture — Seattle, October 11, 1968
45. We are trying to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Our, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to preach Bhagavad-gītā. We have not invented something, but we are preaching Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any malinterpretation. Therefore, because we are presenting pure Bhagavad-gītā, people are accepting it very quickly.[Pandal Lecture — Bombay, March 31, 1971
46. I am publishing Bhagavad-gītā As It Is because in the market there were so many Bhagavad-gītā misinterpreted, but that is not the process of presenting Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā should be presented as it is. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is simply said that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But most books which you have seen in English lang…, they are trying to make minus Kṛṣṇa. That is their attempt.Sri Vyasa-puja — Hamburg, September 5, 1969
47. The people are irreligious and do not perform the sacrifices recommended in Bhagavad-gītā. Yajñād bhavati parjanyaḥ: (BG 3.14) by the performance of sacrifice, clouds form and rain falls. Due to sufficient rainfall, there is sufficient production of food. Guided by the brāhmaṇas, society should follow the principles of Bhagavad-gītā. Then people will become very happy. Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.23, Purport
48. So, this Bhagavad-gītā should be read by every individual person to know the science of God. It is a great science. God is not a fiction or an imagination, as people take it. Not always, but in human society, everywhere in civilized human society there is some conception of religion, and the purpose of executing religious faith means to understand God. There is no other purpose of any religion. If in any religion the understanding of God is lacking, that is not first-class religion. Lecture on BG 7.1 — Sydney, February 16, 1973
49. Kṛṣṇa said, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). Kṛṣṇa said to the sun-god Vivasvān. And so, He said, “The sun-god transferred the teaching to his son Manu, and Manu transferred the teaching to Mahārāja Ikṣvāku.” Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2). In this way, the point is that the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā was especially taught to the royal order because they would know. They should know. Because a king is supposed to be representative of God, nara-deva. King is addressed as nara-deva. Lecture on BG 2.2-6 — Ahmedabad, December 11, 1972
50. Bhagavad-gītā never says that “you don’t require to eat. You simply breathe air and practice yoga.” No. But we must eat neither more, nor less. That is recommended. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya. We should not eat more, nor less. And nirāśīḥ. Nirāśīḥ means desireless of extravagance. Now we are desiring for sense gratification more and more. That is not wanted. Lecture on BG 4.21 — Bombay, April 10, 1974
51. So this theory, that separating the material elements by which this material body is formed, if they are broken or they are sent back to their original position, then we are free from all distresses, material… But we, at least those who are following this Bhagavad-gītā, this philosophy does not say that the material body is all in all. Beyond this material body, there is spirit, and the symptom of that spirit is understood by consciousness. Consciousness. That is the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā. Lecture on BG Lecture Excerpts 2.44-45, 2.58 — New York, March 25, 1966
52. My only request is that all of you try to chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and, if possible, read Kṛṣṇa book, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Don’t read Bhagavad-gītā where the attempt is to kill Kṛṣṇa. Lecture on BG 7.1 — Calcutta, January 27, 1973
53. He is none but the same original Kṛṣṇa. He has come to teach us the same philosophy as He did while teaching Arjuna Bhagavad-gītā, but this time He has come as a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, another authority, Rūpa Gosvāmī, understood Him, that “Here is Kṛṣṇa, and He is the most munificent incarnation, because Kṛṣṇa, in order to give Himself to the devotee, demanded full surrender. And here Caitanya Mahāprabhu, without any demand, He is not only giving Kṛṣṇa but the love of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, He is namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya.” So Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is affectionate towards us because we are all sons. We are rotting in this material way of life. So, He comes Himself, as He is. He comes as a devotee. He leaves His instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā. Again, He advises His devotees to preach the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā. So, He is always anxious to enlighten the human being how to go back to home, back to Godhead. Philosophy Discussion on Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
54. Prabhupāda: Niyataḥ. You should read Bhagavad-gītā so thoroughly for everything. That is good lawyer. Good lawyer means in the court, immediately give reference to the judge, “My Lordship, such and such law, under section…this is there.” He’s a good lawyer. Good lawyer means he immediately gives reference to the section on which he’s talking. Immediately judgement is there. If there is previous authority and it is recorded in the lawbook, then he doesn’t require to argue anymore, the evidence is there. Even in other court, if some judgement is there, they’ll be accepted. This is the law. So, a good lawyer means he gives references from different courts, the judgement makes easier. Instead of proceeding for a long time, he gives reference—”Here is the judgement, you see,” and immediately [Room Conversation — June 24, 1976, New Vrindaban
55. Prabhupāda: Yes, duty is already prescribed, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). You have read Bhagavad-gītā? So, this is the duty. “You give up all other duties, you simply take to Me, surrender unto Me.” This is duty. All other duties, they are temporary, and this is real duty, to surrender to God. If you think that “I am giving up all other duties, my family duties, my community duty, my national duty and so many…” Because you may think like that, that “Giving up all duties, I simply become Kṛṣṇa conscious…,” as Arjuna was thinking. But Kṛṣṇa gives you assurance, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ: (BG 18.66) “Don’t worry, I shall give protection. If you think that by giving up all other duties you’ll be sinful, so I give you assurance that I shall give you all protection.” It is clearly stated. So, this is the only duty, how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa and become His perfect devotee. This is the only duty. Evening Darsana — July 8, 1976, Washington, D.C.
56. Kṛṣṇa knows everything, past, present and future. That is also explained in the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, where Kṛṣṇa said that “Long, long ago I spoke this philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god.” Lecture — Bombay, March 19, 1972
57. Prabhupāda: And that will give you guidance. Read Bhagavad-gītā as it is, word for word. But don’t misinterpret and spoil. The rascals misinterpret and spoil the whole Bhagavad-gītā. That is the difficulty(?). You cannot misinterpret Bhagavad-gītā. Then it will be spoiled. If you get Bhagavad-gītā as it is, you are benefited. And if you misinterpret, then you spoil. So generally, they misinterpret. Everyone speaks on Bhagavad-gītā, but he misinterprets.
Guest (1): You’ve made it very clear,
Prabhupāda. I want to thank you for that. I like your purports as much as Kṛṣṇa’s actual words, because now I can understand it.
Prabhupāda: Therefore, we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Otherwise, for the last so many years—I am speaking in Western countries—so many swamis, so many yogis come, they speak on Bhagavad-gītā but misinterpret. So not a single devotee was there. And now Bhagavad-gītā is presented as it is, and so many devotees are coming. Evening Darsana — July 11, 1976, New York
58. Prabhupāda: That is special advantage of this age. People are very much fallen from spiritual standard, and to fall down from the spiritual standard means to spoil the humanity. There is no education on this point. That is Vedic culture. Most of them, they do not believe that there is soul, spirit soul, and human life is meant for understanding it and make progress on that platform. Most of them, they do not know. There is no education, I think so. Everyone reads Bhagavad-gītā, mostly, but they do not understand the first lesson. Dehino ‘smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). Nobody understands. What is your understanding about this transmigration of the soul? Garden Conversation — October 14, 1976, Chandigarh
59. We are speaking the same thing. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. We don’t misinterpret. We don’t spoil the whole Bhagavad-gītā. We don’t do this mischief. Sometimes people, they say, “Swamiji, you have done wonderful.” But what wonderful? I am not a magician. My only credit is I have not spoiled the Bhagavad-gītā. I have presented as it is. Therefore, it is successful. Lecture on BG 2.23 — Hyderabad, November 27, 1972
60. My Spiritual Master, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada, sometimes used to say that if after selling all of my property I can convert one person to Krishna Consciousness factually, then I shall think my mission is successful. Similarly, I am also thinking like that after reading your letter that if I could induce even one person to Krishna Consciousness through my publication, Bhagavad-gita As It Is, then I shall think my labor is successful. So, I am very much encouraged to read your letter, and I have received many such letters from others also, so I am very hopeful. Letter to R. Chalson — New Vrindaban 12 June, 1969
61. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ (BG 18.69): “One who is doing this humble service of preaching work, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, nobody is dearer than him to Me.” So, if you want to become recognized by Kṛṣṇa very quickly, you take up this process of becoming spiritual master, present the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, your life is perfect. [Lecture Festival Appearance Day, Sri Vyasa-puja – London,22nd August,1973]
62. As soon as we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa or chant Bhagavad-gītā or Bhāgavata, so He is present immediately by His vibration. He’s absolute. Therefore, try to remember His words of instruction; you’ll not feel separation. You’ll feel that He is with you. So, we should associate by the vibration, and not by the physical presence. That is real association. Lecture on SB 7.9.12 — Montreal, August 18, 1968
63. One of my Godbrothers went to London, and he was talking with Lord Zetland, Marquis of Zetland. So, Marquis of Zetland inquired, “Well, Swamiji, can you make me a brāhmaṇa?” “Yes, we can make you brāhmaṇa.” “How?” “Now, you just give up illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling.” “Ohhh, it is impossible. This is our life. This is our life, to have boyfriend and girlfriend and drinking and meat-eating and gambling. If we give up all this, then where is our life?”
Therefore, we require tapasya. This is tapasya. Here is only four simple things. And if you ask anybody give up drinking tea, oh, you will find a thunderbolt. Thunderbolt. “Oh, what you are speaking? I shall give up tea-drinking?” “At least, you are a sannyāsī.” “No, I have to drink tea in the morning, at least, so big cup. (laughter) And then smoking gāñjā. And I become God.” This is going on. This is going on. Therefore, it is warned: “Don’t talk this, the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā, to the rascals who has no austerities, who has no devotion, who is not prepared to hear.” But the servant of Kṛṣṇa, they take all risk for Kṛṣṇa’s sake. Lecture on BG 18.67-69 — Ahmedabad, December 9, 1972
64. Now, to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the devotional service, you can understand it, how happily it is done. Now, take for example what we are doing here. We are singing, we are dancing, we are taking nice prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa and chanting and discussing Bhagavad-gītā philosophy. Oh, these are the processes. These are the processes. We are not meant for any stringent rules and regulation or gymnastic or breathing control, so many things, as they are described and they are performed by many different sections. But here it is very easy and happily done. Everyone wants to dance. Everyone wants to sing. Everyone wants to eat. Through this formula—dancing, singing and eating Kṛṣṇa prasāda and hearing philosophical discussion, transcendental topics from Bhagavad-gītā—so don’t you think it is very happy? Susukham. And whatever we acquire, it is permanent. Whatever knowledge you acquire, that is permanent. That is not going to be finished with the finish of your body. It is such a nice thing. So, we are trying to impart this philosophy in your country. Lecture on BG 8.28-9.2 — New York, November 21, 1966]
65. Just like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, they are called kṛṣṇa-kathā. Bhagavad-gītā is the kathā, or words, spoken by the Lord Himself. Therefore, it is kṛṣṇa-kathā—kṛṣṇaḥ sva-kathāḥ (SB 1.2.17), the words spoken by God Himself. Similarly, this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also kṛṣṇa-kathā. 720326 – Lecture SB 01.02.06 – Bombay
66. Whatever knowledge we get from Bhagavad-gītā, we should not think that it is sentimentalism or fanaticism. No. They’re all vijñānam, science. Jñānaṁ vijñāna-sahitaṁ yaj jñātvā: “If you become well versed in this confidential part of knowledge, then the result will be mokṣyase aśubhāt.” Lecture on BG 8.28-9.2 — New York, November 21, 1966