27 Jul Bhagavad-Gita Lecture By His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami Wiesbaden, 21 Juli 2011.
BHAGAVAD GITA CHAPTER 4, VERSE 9
janma karma ca me divyam
evaḿ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaḿ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna
One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
The Lord’s descent from His transcendental abode is already explained in the 6th verse. One who can understand the truth of the appearance of the Personality of Godhead is already liberated from material bondage, and therefore he returns to the kingdom of God immediately after quitting this present material body. Such liberation of the living entity from material bondage is not at all easy. The impersonalists and the yogīs attain liberation only after much trouble and many, many births. Even then, the liberation they achieve — merging into the impersonal brahmajyoti of the Lord — is only partial, and there is the risk of returning to this material world. But the devotee, simply by understanding the transcendental nature of the body and activities of the Lord, attains the abode of the Lord after ending this body and does not run the risk of returning to this material world. In the Brahma-saḿhitā (5.33) it is stated that the Lord has many, many forms and incarnations: advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam. Although there are many transcendental forms of the Lord, they are still one and the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. One has to understand this fact with conviction, although it is incomprehensible to mundane scholars and empiric philosophers. As stated in the Vedas (Puruṣa-bodhinī Upaniṣad):
eko devo nitya-līlānurakto
bhakta-vyāpī hṛdy antar-ātmā
“The one Supreme Personality of Godhead is eternally engaged in many, many transcendental forms in relationships with His unalloyed devotees.” This Vedic version is confirmed in this verse of the Gītā personally by the Lord. He who accepts this truth on the strength of the authority of the Vedas and of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who does not waste time in philosophical speculations attains the highest perfectional stage of liberation. Simply by accepting this truth on faith, one can, without a doubt, attain liberation. The Vedic version tat tvam asi is actually applied in this case. Anyone who understands Lord Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme, or who says unto the Lord “You are the same Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead,” is certainly liberated instantly, and consequently his entrance into the transcendental association of the Lord is guaranteed. In other words, such a faithful devotee of the Lord attains perfection, and this is confirmed by the following Vedic assertion:
tam eva viditvāti mṛtyum eti
nānyaḥ panthā vidyate ‘yanāya
“One can attain the perfect stage of liberation from birth and death simply by knowing the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and there is no other way to achieve this perfection.” (ŚvetāśvataraUpaniṣad 3.8) That there is no alternative means that anyone who does not understand Lord Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is surely in the mode of ignorance and consequently he will not attain salvation simply, so to speak, by licking the outer surface of the bottle of honey, or by interpreting the Bhagavad-gītā according to mundane scholarship. Such empiric philosophers may assume very important roles in the material world, but they are not necessarily eligible for liberation. Such puffed-up mundane scholars have to wait for the causeless mercy of the devotee of the Lord. One should therefore cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness with faith and knowledge, and in this way attain perfection.
Lecture by H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami
“In the 3rd Chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Krsna explained Karma Yoga or the art of right action. As we act accordingly we get the reaction. Now if we act in the wrong way then we receive a negative reaction or suffering. If we act in the right way then the reaction is enjoyment. Does anyone want to suffer? Everyone wants to enjoy, but the real enjoyment comes from acting in the right way. The right action is to act according to Krsna’s arrangement. Going against Krsna’s arrangement is the wrong action. Krsna has given the proper codes for action in the Vedas, and the codes are similar to society’s laws. Just like we can use our common sense, we are in Germany and the government has laws. If you break the law you go to jail and suffer. But if we abide by the law then we will have enjoyment and an easy life. In Germany the law is to drive your car from the right side, but if you say no I want to drive from the left side then a collision will happen. Not only will you cause trouble for yourself but for others as well. This is what happens if one does not follow the law. So what is the intelligent thing to do? We must follow the law. Now in the state of Germany, the government is there but in the universal affair Krsna is the controller. Just like when we are in Germany we are abiding by the laws of the government, but in the universal affair we have to follow the law of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is what Krsna explained in the 3rd Chapter or signs of Karma Yoga, right action.
At the beginning of the 4th Chapter Krsna is telling Arjuna that I first gave this knowledge to the Sun God Vivasvan, and then he gave it to his son Manu, who gave it to his son Iksvaku. So in this way through a disciplic succession of saintly kings this knowledge was flowing. Why saintly kings? Because the kings were the lawmakers. We begin with the Sun God because from here began the Ksatriya dynasty. There were two dynasties one coming from the Sun God and the other coming from the Moon God. So all the Ksatriyas or warrior classes used to either come from sun or moon dynasties. Now in the original context the King was the upholder of Krsna’s law. Krsna’s law has been given in the Vedas and Srila Prabhupada pointed out that most government laws were based on Manu-samhita. This text also describes the punishment for particular crimes and offenses. Due to the influence of time this yoga has been spoiled. But then Krsna said this knowledge of karma yoga had been lost but I am going to reestablish this line of knowledge through you Arjuna because you are my friend and devotee. But Arjuna does not believe Krsna originally because they are cousins. So think if your cousin told you I gave this knowledge to the Sun God millions of years ago, would you believe him? This discussion is very important because through this we can understand the relationship between the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krsna said, “Many times both you and I have taken birth, but I remember everything about those births whereas you remember nothing.” Then Krsna is making the point that I am unborn and I do not need to take birth. I am inexhaustible I am the Supreme Controller of everything and everybody. By taking advantage of my internal potency I appear rather than being born. Although I am the Lord of all sentient beings, I still appear every millennium in my original transcendental form whenever there is a decline in religious practice. So we can return to the original point about law given by Krsna. When so many people start to break the law then the government takes special action, or the lawbreakers are punished and those who abide by the law are protected. So Krsna comes to punish the lawbreakers and He protects His devotees and reestablishes religious principles. An example can be given does the King need to go to the prison? The prison is meant for criminals, but the King out of his compassion may go to the prisoners and say why are you suffering here? If you just abide by the law then you will be free so come with me. Or we can consider another situation, in the prison many prisoners say we don’t believe in the King, we shall make the laws ourselves and we shall run the prison. Then the King goes and kills the lawbreakers in order to put down their mutiny and protect his devotees.
Now if we consider this material nature as a prison house then we are the criminals. We must abide by Krsna’s law or there will be a great disturbance. Just as in today’s society everyone is thinking there is no God, or I am God. Everyone is God except for God. So that is the mentality of the people in this world and as a result of this look at the situation in this world, people are suffering. Now when the situation becomes so critical, then Krsna comes to straighten out the situation. Those who recognize Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who doesn’t take birth like a living entity and his births, are simply his pastimes, then he becomes free from the bondage of this material nature. Now Srila Prabhupada is pointing out in the purport that it is very difficult to get out of this material nature. Now let’s go back to the prison example. When someone is imprisoned is it easy for them to get out? If you want to get out you have to dig a very long tunnel or have friends come with a helicopter that throw rope and he may dive out. You may see some escape stories like that which is very difficult, but once you are out you are never free because you have to hide from the police who if they catch you will put you back in the prison and your punishment will be much more severe. This is exactly what happens when we try to break out of the material bondage. But there is another way of getting out of the prison which has been explained. If you accept the law of the King and make an apology, my Lord I have made a mistake but now I promise that I will never do this again and always abide by your laws. Then the King will forgive the prisoner and grant him his freedom. So when the Supreme Personality of Godhead sees that you are serving so nicely He will invite you to His palace to serve Him personally. This is what happens to the living entity he is freed from the material prison and granted entrance into the spiritual sky as Krsna’s eternal servant. Thank you all very much. Hare Krsna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
In a question and answer session GuruMaharaj cleared up any misconceptions about people of other faith’s interpretation of God by citing an example given from Srila Prabhupada. “If Jesus and Mohammad were here right now we would all have a very nice conversation.” GuruMaharaj also referenced a time when a Catholic priest was chastising Srila Prabhupada for converting young Christians to Hindus. “Srila Prabhupada replied I’m not converting them, I’m just making them better Christians and Jews.