Srila Prabhupada’s 1972 Bhagavad Gita As It Is Lecture notes: Part 1.5
All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Part 1.5: Lecture notes on some verses of Chapter 1 of the Macmillan Bhagavad Gita As It Is 1972 Edition
Everyone is named according to the task performed
Pradyumna: . . . vāsudevāya. Oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. (Prabhupāda and devotees repeat) (leads chanting of verse)
pauṇḍraṁ dadhmau mahā-śaṅkhaṁ
(break)Srila Prabhupāda: All right. Word meaning?
pāñcajanyam—the conchshell named Pāñcajanya; hṛṣīkeśaḥ—Hṛṣīkeśa (Kṛṣṇa, the Lord who directs the senses of the devotees); devadattam—the conchshell named Devadatta; dhanañjayaḥ—Dhanañjaya (Arjuna, the winner of wealth); pauṇḍram—the conch named Pauṇḍram; dadhmau—blew; mahā-śaṅkham—the terrific conchshell; bhīma-karmā—one who performs Herculean tasks; vṛkodaraḥ—the voracious eater (Bhīma).
Translation: “Then Lord Kṛṣṇa blew His conchshell, named Pāñcajanya; Arjuna blew his, the Devadatta; and Bhīma, the voracious eater and performer of Herculean tasks, blew his terrific conchshell named Pauṇḍram.”Srila Prabhupāda: So Vṛkodara, Bhīmasena, is advertised as voracious eater. But he can perform Herculean task also. Just like the elephant, it eats voraciously, but it gives service also. Similarly, if we simply eat voraciously and we cannot give any service, that is not good. We must eat sumptuously and give service also. In Bengali it is said that peṭe keli piṭhe soya, if one is given sufficient food in the belly, he can carry more burden on the back. So bhīma–karma, his activities were very Herculean; very, very difficult tasks he performed.
So everyone is named here with his task. The first name is, Kṛṣṇa, Hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīkeśa. He is the master of the senses. Govinda. Go, go means senses, “Who gives pleasure to the senses.” So Kṛṣṇa has got many names, thousands, out of which the Kṛṣṇa name is chief, mukhya. That is described in Vedic literature. People say God has no name. That is right. He has no particular fixed name. But His names are there according to His different activities. Just like His name is Devakī-nandana.
Because He accepted Devakī as His mother, therefore He is called Devakī-nandana. Similarly, He is called Nanda-nandana, Yaśodā-nandana, Vrajendra-nandana—in relationship with Nanda Mahārāja, Yaśodā, His foster father and mother. Similarly, He is sometimes named Pārtha-sārathi because He acted as the chariot driver of Arjuna. Arjuna’s name is Pārtha. His mother’s name is Pṛthā, Kuntī’s. From Pṛthā, his name is Pārtha. From his father’s name, Pāṇḍu, his name is Pāṇḍava. So in this way, big personalities or anyone, they should tally . . . the name should tally with the activities. This is nomenclature.
In the . . . according to Vedic civilization, after the birth of the child there was name-giving ceremony, what kind of name. So that was calculated astrologically, that what kind of name he should be given, because the name should carry some meaning of the activities of his life. So Kṛṣṇa is named here Hṛṣīkeśa.
Krishna gives direction to all
Hṛṣīkeśa, Kṛṣṇa, in the Fifteenth Chapter is described that He gives direction to everyone. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ (BG 15.15): “I am sitting in everyone’s heart as Paramātmā.” Realization of the Absolute Truth are three features: Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
Explanation of acintya-bhedābheda-tattva
Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, the same object.
So the Brahman realization is impersonal realization. Just like the sun, the sun globe and the sunshine, they are one. But the sunshine, realization of the sunshine, is not realization of the sun globe. Or realization of the sun globe is not realization of the sun god who is within the sun globe. Vivasvān. His name is Vivasvān. The present predominating Deity in the sun planet, his name is Vivasvān. And his son Manu is called Vaivasvata Manu. This is the age of Vaivasvata Manu. So at the . . . this is very nice example, that the sunshine, the sun globe and the sun-god. They are all one, but still, the sun globe is not the person sun-god; neither the sunshine is not the person sun, although they are one. This is called acintya-bhedābheda-tattva, inconceivably one and different simultaneously.
Bhagavan relatization is ultimate realization
So Brahman realization is also God realization, but it is partial. The Supreme Lord is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). He is person, but He is not a person like us. He is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ.
Vigraha means person. So He is person, Bhagavān. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). Three features, realization of the Absolute. The first realization, imperfect realization, is impersonal Brahman. Further advanced realization—Paramātmā realization. And ultimate realization—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. These are the three stages. So when He is Hṛṣīkeśa, it is His Paramātmā feature. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁhṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhatibhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāniyantrārūḍhāni māyayā(BG 18.61)
What is the meaning of Isvara? Difference between minute and supreme Isvara
Īśvara, the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa . . . Īśvara means the Supreme; īśvara means controller. But the supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Controller, every one of us, we are controller. We control our family, our society, our business, our factory. There are different kinds of controller. So in that sense everyone is īśvara, but different types of īśvara. But the supreme īśvara . . . Supreme means nobody controls Him, but He controls everyone. That is Supreme. Here we are controller, but we are also controlled, somebody else, superior than me. Therefore we cannot be called supreme controller. Supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa.
When Kṛṣṇa was present on this planet, nobody could control Kṛṣṇa, but He controlled everyone. Nobody could control Kṛṣṇa. So therefore the great saintly persons, even Brahmā, they have decided that īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1): “The supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa.” He controls even Brahmā, ādi-kavaye. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye (SB 1.1.1). Tene, He instructed Brahmā śabda-brahma, Vedic knowledge, hṛdā, through heart. That is Hṛṣīkeśa.
Krishna gives intelligence to remember or forget him
You can argue that “Brahmā was the first creature within this universe. So how he could be instructed by somebody else?” No. The somebody else is always there within the heart, Hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīkeśa means controller. Sarvasya cāham . . . Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, sarvasya, in the Fifteenth Chapter, sarvasya ca ahaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ: “I am sitting in everyone’s heart.” Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15): “From Me, one remembers and one forgets also.” Forgets also. If you want to forget Kṛṣṇa, so Kṛṣṇa will give you such intelligence that you will forget Him forever. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11).
So the atheist class, demon class, they want to forget Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa gives him such intelligence that he can speak of atheism so many volumes. But he is getting that intelligence from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa gives everyone the chance that, “Whatever you want to do, you can do. I will give you intelligence. So if you want to become atheist, then I will give you intelligence how to become first-class atheist, like Hiraṇyakaśipu, Rāvaṇa, Kaṁsa. And if you want to become devotee, then I will give you intelligence also in that way.”
Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ yena mām upayānti te. Teṣāṁ nitya-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam (BG 10.10). Anyone who is engaged in His service with love and affection, teṣām, not all, not all . . . because not all, not everyone wants to serve Him. Everyone wants to become God, imitator, imitation. Therefore they say: “Why Kṛṣṇa shall be alone God? I am God.” You are god, that’s all right. But you are not the Supreme God. Why you forget that? Above you . . . you may be a god at home of your wife, but when you go to your office, you are not god; your master is god. He directs you to do something, you have to do it.
God cannot be manufactured
So we may claim that, “Every one of us, we are God,” but nobody can claim that “We are Supreme; I am Supreme God.” That is not possible. That can . . . Kṛṣṇa can claim only. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7): “My dear Dhanañjaya, there is no more superior personality than Me.” And He proved it. So God cannot be manufactured. God is God. Kṛṣṇa, when He was three months old on the lap of His mother, still He was God. He could kill the Pūtanā. So God cannot be manufactured by so-called meditation and mystic power. You can get some of the insignificant powers of God, but simply . . . but you do not know how much powerful is God. That you do not know. Therefore when a person gets little power, he thinks that he has become God. He does not know how much powerful God is.
So therefore śāstra says that, “You may be god in your own atmosphere, in your own jurisdiction. You may think that you are God.” Everyone thinks like that, “But the Supreme God is Kṛṣṇa.” Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. In the Upaniṣads it is said that God is also a person like me, you. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). But His personality is different from your personality, from my personality. What is that difference? Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān: “He supplies all the necessities of all other personalities.” That is the difference. God is supplying us food. This conception is there in the Bible, “God, give us our daily bread.” This is nice. Accepting that you are getting all supplies from God, this is sukṛti, this is puṇyavat.
If one, anyone says: “Oh, what God? We are creating our own food”—just like the Communist says—they are duṣkṛtina, rascals. But if anyone even goes to the church and temple for asking something to God, he is pious. At least, he has approached God. So one day, when he will be advanced devotee, he will not ask anymore. He knows that, “Why shall I bother God? He is supplying everyone food, so why shall I ask Him food? My food is also there. Let me serve me (Him).” That is his higher intelligence.
Srila Prabhupada says one must serve Krishna in any condition
(break) . . . that, “Why shall I ask food from God? God is supplying food to the cats, dogs, ants, elephants, and I want little food, He will not supply me? And especially when I engage myself in His service? Ordinary man pays to his servant, and I shall starve if I am engaged in the service of God?” This is intelligence. This is intelligence. “Why shall I bother God? If He likes, I will starve. That doesn’t matter. But I must engage myself in the service of the Lord.” This is intelligence. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). This intelligence comes after many, many births of endeavoring for self-realization. It is not easily comes.
A devotee is not in need of everything.
So there is no question of scarcity for devotee, just like this morning I was discussing with a gentleman. So a devotee is not in need of everything. Why he should be? He cannot be. Even one who is not devotee, if he is getting supplies from God, how is it that the devotee will not get? Just like the government. The government, although there is prison house, the government supplies the food. Not that because they have gone to the prison house, they are starving. Rather, those who are unemployed, they prefer prison house, that without any service they will get free food.
Anyone in the material world is a prisoner
So anyone within this material world, they are prisoners. Bhrāmayan yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). Īśvara, the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa as Hṛṣīkeśa, He is sitting in everyone’s heart as Paramātmā, and He is guiding. This is confirmed in the Vedas, that two birds are sitting on one tree. These two birds, one is Kṛṣṇa, and another the living entity. Paramātmā and jīvātmā. The jīvātmā is eating the fruit, and Paramātmā is simply becoming witness. Anumantā upadraṣṭā (BG 13.23). Paramātmā is seeing. Hṛṣīkeśa is seeing that you are doing this. So we may forget what nuisance we had done in our last life, but Paramātmā is there, witness. You have to get a body according to your work. karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa (SB 3.31.1). You are working; that is being witnessed by the Paramātmā. And He is also giving advice.
We want to act according to our own whims and not accept Krsna’s guidance
Because we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, we have rebelled against Kṛṣṇa. We want to act according to our whims. Just like a child wants to do something according to his whims. Father checks him, “My dear child, do not do this.” But if he likes, if he persists, father says: “All right, you do it.” This is the position. The Hṛṣīkeśa, Paramātmā, He is always guiding us, but we do not accept His guidance. This is our position. Arjuna has accepted Kṛṣṇa that, “I shall be guided by You, although You’ll not fight.” Therefore here it is said hṛṣīkeśa, He’s guiding Arjuna. The hṛṣīka means the senses. Hṛṣīka-īśa. Īśa means Lord, master, īśvara or īśa. So Hṛṣīkeśa.
Actually, He is the master of the senses. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find, in the Eleventh Chapter it is said, sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādas te, “God has His hands and legs all over the universe.” What is that? This, our hand, our legs, this is God’s hands, God’s leg. He is the master. I am claiming, “This is my hand,” but as soon as God withdraws the power of your hand, it is paralyzed—you cannot repair. Therefore the real proprietor is Kṛṣṇa. You are not proprietor. You have been given the facility to use it for . . . use it not for your sense gratification, but for the satisfaction of the Lord. Then your life is perfect.
Self-realization is to understand that everything belongs to God
Because the things belongs to Kṛṣṇa. He is Hṛṣīkeśa. He is the master. Just like we are sitting in this house. Somebody has given us. Similarly, everything belongs to God. This is self-realization. My body belongs to God, my mind belongs to God, my intelligence belongs to God; I am spirit soul, I am part and parcel of God. Therefore everything belongs to . . . Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything belongs to God. So if you don’t use it for God, that is called demonism. And if you use it for God, that is devotion. That’s all.
One must realize that, “Everything belongs to God; nothing belongs to me. Even this body is given to me by God.” Why a different body? The different body is . . . God gives us different body according to our karma. That is explained. karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa jantur dehopapattaye (SB 3.31.1). How we get a different type of body? We have got different types of body. Because according to our past karma, we have created a certain type of body, and now we have entered into that body and working according to past karma.
Definition of Bhakti
The Christian theologicians, they do not believe in the karma. I was student in Christian college, Scottish Churches College. So in our younger days, the Professor, Dr. W. S. Urquhart. So I heard his lecture, that he did not believe in the karmas. He said that, “If I am suffering or enjoying for my last karma, who is the witness? Because some witness must be there that I have done this.” But at that time we were not very expert. But this Hṛṣīkeśa is the witness, anumantā upadraṣṭā. Upadraṣṭā. He is simply seeing. So the Christians, they have no Paramātmā idea. Sometimes they say Holy Ghost. Not a clear idea. But this Hṛṣīkeśa is clear idea. Hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīka-īśa.
So this bhakti, devotional path, is meant for satisfying the master of the senses. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). Hṛṣīkeṇa, by your senses, when you serve the Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, that is called bhakti. This is the definition of bhakti. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate, Nārada Pañcarātra. So that is our business. We should under . . . that is self-realization. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam (ISO 1). Everything belongs to God; nothing belongs to us. This is Bhāgavata communism. As the Communists, they say: “Everything belongs to the state,” we say: “Everything belongs to God.” We never say that anything belongs to anyone. No. This is Bhāgavata communism.
One should not use more than one’s needs
So everything belongs to God. So one can utilize God’s property as much as he requires, not more than that. Then he will be thief; he will be punishable. Just like father’s property. Each and every son has got the right to live at the father’s protection. Mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam (ISO 1). That is spiritual communism. Whatever wealth is there within this universe all belong to God, and we are, as sons of God, we have got right to take advantage of this wealth, but not more than what I require. That’s all. This is spiritual communism. If you take more, then you become punishable. This is the law of nature.
Aim of life
Therefore our aim of life should be to understand that every . . . to know . . . this is self-realization that, “Everything belongs to God. Nothing belongs to us.” This is self-realization. I also belong to God. My this body made of five elements, gross body— bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ (BG 7.4), earth, water, fire, air, sky—this is gross body. And subtle body, khaṁ mano buddhir eva: mind, intelligence, ego. These eight. Kṛṣṇa says, bhinnā me prakṛtir aṣṭadhā: “These eight kinds of prakṛti, they are My energy. They are My energy.” So this whole universe is creation of Kṛṣṇa’s material energy.
Krishna is the enjoyer in both spirirtual and material worlds
We are marginal energy of Kṛṣṇa. So we are now put into this material energy because we wanted to enjoy this material world. In the spiritual world the only enjoyer is Kṛṣṇa, either in spiritual or material world. He is the only enjoyer. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29): “I am the enjoyer.” So this is to be understood, that He is the supreme enjoyer. He is also enjoyer of my energy, because my energy is derived from Kṛṣṇa’s energy. Just like master and servant: the master is paying him food, anything, for comforts. He is getting energy. So how the energy should be utilized? For the master, not for his sense gratification.
This is perfection of life. You produce anything by your energy, but you cannot use it for your sense gratification. Then you become perfect. And if you want to do it, then Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, will give you intelligence how to do it. Just like He is giving Arjuna intelligence, therefore He is mentioned as Hṛṣīkeśa. How to win victory. How to utilize his energy for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa wanted the battle. Arjuna was a military man. He utilized his military strength for Kṛṣṇa’s purposes. That is the perfection of life.
So whatever you have got, if you utilize it for Kṛṣṇa’s sake, hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhakti (CC Madhya 19.170), that is bhakti. Even by fighting, you can be a great devotee, just like Arjuna. He was not chanting on the beads, but he was fighting. But still, bhakto ‘si priyo ‘si me (BG 4.3), Kṛṣṇa says: “Oh, you are My great devotee.”
Now people may say that, “He was not chanting. He was fighting. How he became a great devotee?” But Kṛṣṇa says, bhakto ‘si priyo ‘si me: “You are My dear friend. You are My devotee. Because you are utilizing your energy for Me.” So bhakti means you utilize your energy for Kṛṣṇa. Then your life is perfect.
Thank you very much.Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (cut) (end)1. BG 1.15-LONDON – July 15, 1973