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Bhagavad-gita Chapter 1

Week 1
Read verses 1 - 23
1-13
Summary:
Dhrtarastra questions Sanjaya about the events that took place at Kurukshetra. Sanjaya
describes how Duryodana using diplomacy, solves a dilemma of encouraging Drona
without insulting Bhima and others. Bhima rallies his soldiers with the sound of his
conchshell. Yet the symbolism of the conchshell indicates their defeat.

14 – 23
Summary:
Sanjaya describes various signs of victory for the Pandava army, especially the
transcendental sound of the conchshells of Krishna and Arjuna, which shattered the hearts
of the sons of Dhrtarastra. Krishna appears as the chariot driver of Arjuna, revealing his
quality as bhakta vatsala, not as the Supreme Lord. Arjuna orders Krishna to place his
chariot between the two armies as he wants to see who is present there. Seiing those
assembled for battle, Arjuna becomes apprehensive and hesitant.

Questions to be discussed from the purports :

Verse1

1) How should we read and understand the Bhagavad-gita?

2) Discuss Dhritarashtra's attitude towards the war and the Pandavas

3) Why was Dhrtarashtra fearful due to the battle being fought in Dharmakshetra
Kurukshetra?

Verse 2

1) What is noteworthy about Duryodhana walking up to Dronacharya and addressing him?

Verse3

1) How does Duryodhana diplomatically convey to Dronacharya not to be lenient towards


the Pandavas and how does he provoke him to be hostile towards their side?

2)Explain how we can understand Dronacharya's liberalism as a Brahmana?

Verse 4

1) Why did Duryodhana compare all the warriors with Bhima and Arjuna?

2) Why was he particularly fearful of Bhima's prowess?


hint:
Before the battle, Bhima had taken 3 vows to avenge the insult to Draupadi:
a)He vowed to kill each of Dhritrashtra's one hundred sons
b)He vowed to break Duryodhana's thigh which he had uncovered before Draupadi
c)He vowed to tear open Duhsasana's chest and drink his blood.

Verse 5& 6 (Read)


Note: Duryodhana's intelligence is first of all understanding the enemy's strength to plan
how to counter attack them.

Verse 8
Please note Duryodhana's diplomacy in flattering his brother Vikarna by mentioning him
along with stalwart heroes like Bhishma and Drona.- this was in order to retain him on their
side as he had spoken against
Duryodhana's decision to disrobe Draupadi during the gambling after Duryodhana had
defeated Yudhishtira by cheating and had made him wager his entire family and himself
and lose them to him.

Verse 9
Duryodhana's prophetic words that all who came to fight would actually lay down their lives
for him.

Verse 10

Note: "Aparyaptam" the word in the sanskrit verse has 2 meanings.e is "immeasureable"
as described by Srila Prabhupada. The other is "insufficient" as used by Srila Vishwanatha
Chakravarthy Thakura. By using a word with 2 meanings, Duryodhana satisfied both
Bhishma and Drona. The first meaning would succeed in pleasing Bhishmadeva. The
second meaning would encourage Dronacharya to fight harder as the protection by
Bhishma was "insufficient" due to Bhishma's split loyalty to both sides.

Verse 11

How did Duryodhana show his diplomatic expertise in enthusing all the soldiers of his side
to fight for him?

Verse 12

What was Bhishma trying to convey by by blowing his conchshell?

Verse 13

Read

Verse14
Discuss the signs of victory for the Pandavas.

Verse15
Discuss why Krishna is known as "Hrishikesha"

Verse18
Read purport
Verse19
Why were the sounds produced by Pandavas' conchshells special? Why were the
Pandavas' conchshells special?

Verse 20
Why was Hanuman being on the flag another emblem of victory for the Pandavas?

Verse 21-22

Why is Krishna here addressed here as "Achyuta" or "infallible"? Why did he agree to
Arjuna's order to place the chariot between the 2 armies?

Verse 23
Why did Arjuna want to see his opponents? Why was he sure of victory?

HOME WORK
1) List all the ways in which Duryodhana shows his diplomatic skill in enthusing the heroes
of his army.

2) List all the signs of victory for the Pandavas.

3) Share your personal experiences of how while serving Krishna you could overcome
fearful situations. What gives you confidence in Lord Krishna?

Week 2

BG chapter 1

Read verses 24 – 46

24- 36

Main topics covered : Arjuna's excuses for not wanting to fight the war

Summary:

Arjuna, being a soft hearted devotee, becomes overwhelmed with compassion and forgets
himself when he sees his relatives before him. He has become fearful due to material
conception of life. He argues that he will not be able to enjoy his kingdom if it is won at the
cost of the lives of his family members. He fears sinful reactions for killing his kinsmen.

36- 46
Summary:
Arjuna argues that killing one’s family is sinful and will lead to hell. The higher principle is
that real religion is whatever Krishna says or wants. Arjuna further argues that the
destruction of the dynasty will lead to unchaste women, unwanted children, and the end of
all culture. Arjuna, having decided not to fight, finally casts aside his bow and sits down on
the chariot.

Questions to be discussed from the purports:

Verse 24

1) Why was Arjuna known as Gudakesa? How was he able to be Gudakesa?

Note: another reason why Arjuna is called Gudakesa: When Arjuna was studying under
his Guru , Drona ordered his servant never to allow Arjuna to eat in the dusk. One night
however, the wind blew out his light while he was eating, and arjuna continued to eat in the
dark out of habit. He then realized that if he could eat in the dark, why could'nt he practise
archery in the dark?From that time, he used to practise shooting at night, so he is called
Gudakesa, conqueror of sleep.- Mahabharatha.

Verse 25

1) Discuss the significance of using these names in this verse for Krishna and Arjuna: a)
Hrishikesha and b) Partha

Verse 26

Read verse

Verse 27

Verse 28

1) What good qualities of Arjuna are being discussed here? How was he able to have
these good qualities and not Duryodhana?
Note: Beginning with this verse Arjuna will describe his reasons for desiring not to fight,
and Krishna will reject all of them. Arjuna's reasons can be classified into five categories:

a) Compassion. Arjuna does not want to kill his loved ones.

b) Enjoyment. This is a less noble reason. Arjuna knows that it will be impossible to enjoy
his kingdom if he wins it at the cost of the lives of his family members.

c)Destruction of family. With the death of so many great kshatriyas, women will be left
unprotected and society will be overrun by unwanted progeny who will be unqualified to
perform traditional vedic rituals and so hell will await botht the family and the destroyer of
the family.
d)Fear of sinful reactions. Arjuna thinks the enjoyment of royal happiness is not worth all
the suffering he will have to undergo as sinful reactions for destroying the family and killing
his superiors.

e)Indecision. Arjuna is not convinced that conquering his enemies is better than being
conquered by them. The kingdom is flourishing under Duryodhana's rule, so why should
the Pandavas fight only to take over the kingdom for themselves? He wonders whether
millions of people should die just to enthrone him and his family. SUM

Verse 29
1) Were the symptoms displayed by Arjuna spiritual or material? How can you say that?

Verse 30
1) Why is Arjuna's compassion for his kinsmen faulty? why does Srila Prabhupada praise
Arjuna's "soft heartedness " in verse 28 purport and again condemn this as excessive
attachment in this verse? Hint: (Devotees care about material well- being, but they are
secondary to spiritual.)

Verse 31

1) What was Arjuna's real self interest? Why was his attitude of frustration not in line with
his real self interest?

2) How do we become frustrated in material activities? Please share your experiences.


Verse 32- 35

1) Why did Arjuna address Krishna as "Govinda"?


2) Why is Arjuna's reason to not fight based on selfish sense gratification?
3) Why did Krishna want the war to take place?

Verse 36
Note: In the purport we see that 6 types of aggressors can be killed , and no sin will be
incurred.

1) Arjuna's fear of sinful reactions for fighting against his own kinsmen wa not justified.
Why?

2) Why did Arjuna call Krishna as "Madhava " in this verse? Arjuna was interpreting
Krishna Conscious philosophy ccording to his need for his own sense gratification. Are we
as devotees also guilty of this sometimes?

Verse 37- 38

1) Note the difference in reactions to the war between Arjuna and Duryodhana. Why was
Duryodhana not able to see and consider things like Arjuna?

Verse 39
Discuss the importance of family elders in preserving traditions based on Varnasrama.

Verse 40

Discuss how Vaishnavis are different from materialistic women being discussed here.

Verse 41
1) Discuss the importance of offering "pinda" to the ancestors. Why are these not
important for devotees?

Verse 42 - 43

1) By breaking family traditions, one has to go to hell. How can one try and overcome this
punishment? What is the only "Kula dharma" for devotees? Hint: (To satisfy Krishna)

Verse 44- 45
1) Was the war fought for Arjuna's satisfaction or Krishna's?

Note Arjuna's mistaken understanding. He is considered soft hearted because he did not
want his personal satisfaction but he failed to consider what was Krishna's desire.

Verse 46

Note: Arjuna had vowed to kill anyone who even suggetsed that he put down his Gandiva
bow. Even when Yuddhishtira Maharaja suggested angrily that he should give up his
Gandiva bow as he had not avenged Karna for defeating, injuring and insulting
Yuddhishtira, but had instead come inside like a coward to see him. So Arjuna had to keep
his vow and "kill" Yuddhishtira with insulting words. He called him also a coward for not
protecting Draupadi, their wife when she was being disrobed in the royal court. He then
begged forgiveness from Yuddhishtira for his words.

It is significant that Arjuna himself gave up the Gandiva bow due to lamentation at this
point.

Discuss how we lament when we meet with reverses. Do we compromise on our Krishna
Consciousness due to this?

Home work:

1) Arjuna misuses the philosophy by calling Krishna "Govinda" and "Madhava". He wants
to use Krishna for his own sense gratification. How do we sometimes misuse the
philosophy for our own sense gratification?

2) What have women contributed to the spreading of Krishna consciousness?

Week 3
BG chapter 2
Read verses 1-19
1- 10
Summary:

This chapter teaches self realization by an analytical study of the material body and the
spirit soul. This realization comes when one works without attachment to fruitive results
and is situated in the fixed conception of the real self. Krishna chastises Arjuna for his
stance of non violence, calling him impotent and non- aryan.Arjuna again argues that it is
sinful to kill his superiors, but then realizes he is confused and has been acting in a miserly
way. He thus surrenders to Krishna, accepts Him as his guru, thus changing his
relationship from friend to disciple.
11- 19

Summary:

As guru , Krishna rebukes Arjuna for his misplaced compassion. Krishna begins His
instructions by describing the individual, eternal nature of the soul, compared with the
temporary nature of the body.

Verse 1
1)Describe self- realization. How can we achieve this?

Verse 2
1) a) Why did Krishna call Arjuna's lamentation as being non- Aryan?

b) Describe the 3 features of the Absolute Truth with the analogy of the sun.

c) Learn the 2 verses in the purport which establish Krishna as the Supreme Personality
of Godhead.

Verse 3

Note: Krishna is addresses Arjuna as "chastiser of enemy" indicating His desire


that he should fight. Otherwise it would indicate impotency as a Kshatriya

Verse 4

Note: Arjuna is addressing Krishna as "Madhu Sudhana". He killed demons like Madhu, so
He is known as Madhu Sudhana. But Krishna was asking him to kill respectful superiors
like Drona and Bhishma. So how was that possible? So that was the hint to Krishna.

Verse 5
Once again Arjuna is speaking on the higher level of principles based on the Dharma
Shastra.He preferred to live by begging rather than at the cost of great lives like Bhishma
and Drona.

Verse 6

Verse 7

1) Why does one need a spiritual master?Explain with the analogy of the forest fire.

b) What is the nature and activities of "Krpanas" or misers? Why are they called misers?
Verse 8

1) Why was Arjuna unable to solve his problems by himself?

2) Who can be a bobafide spiritual master? What should be his qualifications?

3)Why does Arjuna feel that even achieving a prosperous kingdom or the heavenly
planets cannot make him happy?

Verse 9

1) Why was Sanjaya sure that Arjuna would definitely fight the war?

Verse 10

1)Discuss the reason for Krishna's smiling when Arjuna so seriously surrendered to Him?
Who is entitled to hear the Bhagavad-gita?

Verse 11

1) Why did Lord Krishna call Arjuna a fool even though he was giving very good
arguements for not fighting the war?

2) In what capacity was Krishna chastising Arjuna so severely? What do we learn from
this?

Verse 12 (Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What does Krishna tell Arjuna about His and others' individuality? What is Krishna's
relationship with all others?

2) How does this condradict the Mayavadi theory?

3)What are all the arguements against Mayavada given here? Discuss at least 3 points.

4) Why is the Mayavadi not able to understand Krishna properly?

5) Why does Lord Chaitanya Mhaprabhu warn us not to listen to Mayavadis?

Verse 13 (Learn Verse and translation by heart.)

1) Explain how Krishna is teaching about the eternality of the soul and its transmigration.
Share your realizations on this verse based on any personal experiences.

2) Why did Krishna tell Arjuna that there was no need to lament for Bhishma and Drona?

3) Discuss the arguement against Mayavadi philosophy being presented here?

4) The Paramatma is compared to the sun and the stars to the living entities. They are
individual in the sky as well as in their reflections. Discuss this analogy.
5) How can we conclude about Krishna's superior position?

Verse 14 (Learn Verse and Translation)

1) How should we look at happiness and distress?

2) What happens when we perform our duties in spite of happiness and distress?

3) How is Krishna inducing Arjuna to fight?

4) Share your experiences of being tolerant in difficult situations while performing your
prescribed duties or devotional services. How can we develop the quality of tolerance?

Verse 15

1) How can we achieve liberation from material bondage?

Verse 16

Note: Both personalists and impersonalists agree on the etrnality of the soul and the
impermanence of the body.

1) Discuss the relationshp of the Lord with the living entities.

Verse 17

1) The soul is spread as consciousness all over the body. How can we prove that the
atomic soul's consciousness is limited to one's own body and not all- pervading like the
Paramatma or Lord Vishnu?
2) What is the description of the size of the soul in the scripturs?
3) Describe the analogy of the medicines' influence spreading all over the body and
consciousness spread all over the body.

4) Why is a dead body not conscious any more in spite of any amount of medical
treatments?
5) How can the soul be perceived?

6) How does Hatha Yoga liberate the soul from material entanglement?

7) How can we materially uncerstand that the Atma and Paramatma must be situated in
the heart?

Verse 18
1) What were the 2 reasons given by Krishna for Arjuna to fight?

Verse 19
1) When is the only time violence is permitted?
2) Why should one not lament at such a time?

Home - work:
1)Compassion is a virtue. Yet Krishna rejects Arjuna's compassion for his relatives. Why?
2) Write your understanding and realization in real life situations of verses 13 and 14.
Week 4
BG chapter 2
Read verses 20-38
20-30
Summary:

Krishna describes the characteristics of the soul in detail. He then introduces other
philosophies to further defeat Arjuna's argument of compassion.

31- 38
Summary:

After defeating Arjuna’s arguments by knowledge of the eternality of the soul, Krishna now
takes a different approach. Even if Arjuna identifies with his body, by fighting as a ksatriya
he will be happy. Krishna thus refers to karma- kanda teachings to primarily defeat
Arjuna’s argument of enjoyment. Krishna explains that if Arjuna fights, he will enjoy, but if
he does not fight he’ll get sinful reactions and infamy. Krishna also touches on Arjuna’s
arguments of compassion and fear and of sinful reactions. Verse 32 speaks of the gains
Arjuna would get by fighting., and verses
33-37 describe the losses he will incur by avoiding his duty.

Verse 20

1) Discuss the differences between the soul and the material body.

2) Describe the analogy of understanding the consciousness of every living entity to


indicate the presence of soul to the light of sunshine.

3) Which 2 souls are present in every living entity's heart? How can one get to understand
this fact?

Verse 21

1) Why is capital punishment justified?

2) How does Manu Samhita also justify this?

3) How is Krishna's instruction of using violence in the war, perfect?

Verse 22 (Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Explain the analogy of the two birds sitting on a tree with the jivatma and Paramatma.

2) Why and how do we get different bodies?

3) Why does Krishna say that Bhishma's and Drona's changing bodies is a happy event?
Verse 23(Learn Verse and translation by heart)
1) Describe briefly how all the material elements were used as weapons in earlier times.
2) What is the special feature of the soul with regard to such weapons.

3) Mention two arguements against Mayavada philosophy that Srila Prabhupada has
mentioned here.

Verse 24
1) Lord Krishna is saying that the soul cannot be destroyed by any material elements. How
does this help us to understand His statement that the soul is present in all the planets of
this universe?

Verse 25

1) Why is the soul called invisible?


2) Why is it called inconceivable?
3)Explain how it is immutable or unchangeable? How does this also prove the fact that the
infinitesmal soul can never become equal to God?

Verse 26
1) From a materialistic view point according to various atheistic philosophies like
Buddhism, which does not accept the existence of the soul, how is Krishna convincing
Arjuna that there was no need to lament for the loss of his kinsmen while doing his duty?

Verse 27
1) How does Krishna try to convice Arjuna to fight based on Karma vada philosophy?

Verse 28

1) The voidists claim that everything is ultimately void and do not accept the existence of
the soul.How does Krishna induce Arjuna to fight?

Verse 29
1) Why do some people find it very amazing to accept the existence of the soul in the heart
of all living entities?

Note: This verse consists of 3 sets of amazing things:


1) a) The soul is looked upon as amazing
b) The soul is described as amaing.
c) The soul is heard of as amazing.

2) a) People who look at the soul are amazing.


b) People who describe the soul are amazing.
c) People who hear about the soul are amazing.

3) a) It is amazing that some people can actually understand and "look" at the soul.
b) The act of describing the soul is amazing.
c) The act of hearing about the soul is also very amazing.

Verse 30
1) When is violence permitted?

Verse 31
1) What are the two kinds of Sva- dharma? What are the activities prescribed in each of
these?

2) How does one decide what one's Sva- dharma is?


3)Discuss practically how we can balance between our material and spiritual duties.
4)Why is violence performed by the Brahmana and Kshatriya in the course of their duties
rewarded?
5) What is the reward they get?

Verse 32
1) Arjuna had given the arguement earlier(BG 1.36) that he will go to hell by fighting and
killing in the war. How did Krishna defeat Arjuna's arguement?

Note: War is permitted when people are not being properly trained by the king of the state,
and another king may attack him.

Verse 33

1) What are the two ways in which Arjuna would suffer by not fighting? Why?

Verse 34

Note: Fame is very important to Kshatriyas. They are ready to give up their lives but not
their fame. The example is Karna who parted with the protective Kundalas or earrings to
Lord Indra who had come disguised as a Brahmana seeking alms from Karna early in the
morning. Since Karna was reputed to be charitable to all who approached, he did not deny
Indra this difficult charity which would certainly cost him his life, because it was worse for
him to lose the fame of being a great charitable person. so Krishna advises arjuna that it
would be better for him to die in the battle than to lose his good name.

Verse 35

Note: When Yasomanta sena , the commander -in- chief of Aurangazeb was defeated and
was returning home, his wife did not allow the guards to open the door for him. She said
that Yasomanta sena either wins the war or lays down dead defeated. The man who has
come must be a pretender! This is the Kshtariya spirit.

Verse 36-37

Note: By the Sva-dharma principle, it is a Kshatriya's duty to fight and kill in the fight. If you
are fighting and become sympathetic, then it is like the damcing girl who, when on stage,
appears to be shy. Why should she be shy? She should dance freely and that will be to her
credit. So on the battlefield you cannot be compassionate. That is not required.

Verse 38
1) How can we perform duties without minding happiness , loss or gain, victory or defeat in
Krishna consciousness?

2) What freedom do we get by acting in this consiousness?

3) Is it allright if we renounce our material duties irresponsibly? Why?


(Hint: Will incur sinful reactions, if we neglect our material duties whimsically, in the plea
of being very "transcendental".. Only if it is totally in the way of executing Krishna
consciousness, one should give priority to the duty in Krishna consciousness after
consulting the Guru. Other wise, normally, we should also execute our material duties in a
mood of satisfyiny Krishna, while executing Krishna consciousness very sincerely.Only the
satisfaction of Krishna should be the criterion. Then this will make us very happyand we
will not be disturbed by loss and gain, victory or defeat.)

Overview:
In texts 11 to 30, Krishna has described jnana as the difference between spirit and matter,
or the soul and body. The actiivties of jnana- yoga is basically the same as Sankhya -yoga,
the analytical study of matter and spiirt. To practise either, one must renounce all activities
and practise meditation. Krishna,however has consistently instructed Arjuna in another
way. He has told him to work in a renounced spirit, not to renounce activity.this will be
further emphasized in the following verses.

Home- work:
1)List all the arguements that Mayavadis give in order to prove that God is impersonal.
How will you counteract their arguements with the veres from this section?

2) What are the differences between the two sva-dharmas. Give practical examples to
illustrate it.

Week 5
BG chapter 2
Read verses 39- 59
Verses 39-49
Summary:
Krishna changes the topic from jnana and Karma to buddhi- yoga, or working in devotional
service with fixed intelligence and detachment from the fruits of action. Karma and Jnana
are combined together to engage the transcendentalist in work with knowledge. One
important theme in the Bhagavad-gita is the question whether to renounce work and use
one's intelligence to discriminate between spirit and mattaer, or to work without attachment
to fruits.
This question will be asked by Arjuna in the beginning of the Third,Fifth and Eighteenth
chapters. Krishna gives a brief explanantion of buddhi-yoga, or working in devotional
service without attachment to fruits. Krishna also shows how attachment to sense
enjoyment and material oppulence, as given in the karma-kanda section of the vedas, is
an obstacle to determination in devotional service. He advises Arjuna to transcend the
Vedas by performing prescribed duties in devotional service without attachment to fruits.
Verses 49 -59
Summary:
By devotional service one becomes indifferent to the Vedic rituals,gains freedom from
sinful reactions,attains liberation from the cycle of birth and death, and goes back to
Godhead. Lord Krishna thus defeats Arjuna's arguement of fear of sinful reactions.
After hearing Krishna's description of devotional service, Arjuna inquires how to recognize
a devotee.Krishna describes how the devotee is transcendental by body,mind and words.
The devotee gives up all material desires,, is equipoised, detached, and fixed on Krishna.
The dveotee experiences these symptoms because he is enjoying a higher taste, and
feeling complete satisfaction in being Krishna's servant.
Verse 39:

1) What is Sankhya yoga? what is the conclusion of Sankhya yoga?

2) Who has propounded this philosophy? Where can we read a synopsis of it?

3)How has Prabhupada described Bhakti- yoga or Buddhi- yoga here?

4) why is Krishna speaking here about the analytical description of body and soul whih is
referred to as Sankhya yoga here by Him?
5)How can we conclude that Sankhya yoga and Bhakti yoga are one and the same?
6)Why is it unnecessary to make a separate attempt to attain knowledge first in Buddhi
yoga or Bhakti yoga?

Verse 40(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the benefit of performing Krishna conscious activities however little they may
be?

Note: Krishna never allows a devotee to leave him even if the devotee tries to leave Him.
The example is of Ajamila, who perfomed devotional service for some time but later fell
down due to bad association with a prostitute. But Krishna delivered him at the end by
making him call his son constantly by His name Narayana.

Bhakti rasa or the mellow enjoyed by the devotee in devotional service is eternal and this
exists always and continues forward even to the next life.

Verse 41(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Describe the strong faith of a devotee has in Krishna consciousness.

2) What is the role of the spiritual master in our services in Krishna consciousness.

Verse 42-43

1) Why are most people attached to the karma-kanda section of the Vedas?

Verse 44(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why are some people not able to fix themselves in Krishna consciousness?
Verse 45(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the purpose of the Vedas and the upanishads?

2) Why is Krishna asking Arjuna to go higher than the rituals recommended in the Vedas?

Note: Previously arjuna had reasoned that the war will put an end to family traditions and
the performance of the Vedic rituals. Krishna is defeating arjuna's arguement in this verse.
Verse 46

1) What is the purpose of the Vedas?

2) What is the highest perfectional stage of Vedic knowledge?

3) What does Srimad Bhagavatam say about one who is chanting the holy names of the
Lord?

4) Why is chanting of the Lord enough to fulfill all the purposes of the Vedas? Explain with
the analogy of the small well and reservoir mentioned in the verse.

Verse 47(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What are considered prescribed duties?

2) What is the benefit of doing one's duty without being attached to the results?

3) What happens if one thinks that one is the cause of one's actions and hence the
proprietor of the results of the work?

4) Why is not doing one's prescribed duty or in other words, inaction, bad?

Note: Many people misuse the first line of verse 47, karmany evadhikaras te, to support
the idea that Krishna says tey must perform their prescribed duty of maintaining their
families. They neglect to quote the second line which states that they should not be
attached to the ruits of their work.

Verse 48

1) What is real yoga? How does it help us to do our duties in Krishna consciousness?

2)When can we observe the principles of Varnasrama dharma properly?

Verse 49

1) What activities are considered abominable? Why should we keep away from them?

2)How can we avoid doing abominable activities?

2)Who are cosidere to be misers?

Verse 50
1) Why do we have so many good and bad reactions from our various lives?
2) What does the Bhagavad-gita advise us to do in order to get out from these reactions
birth after birth?

Verse 51

1) What is the requirement to enter the spiritual kingdom?

2) What understanding is required in order to engage in the service of the Lord?

Verse 52

1) For whom are the vedic rituals prescribed for?

2) When does performing these rituals by the neophytes become a waste of time?

3) when does a person become indifferent to these rituals and knowledge of the Vedas
and Upanishads?

Verse 53

1)What is the highest perfection of self -realization?

2) What is a devotee's only duty?

Verse 54

Note: Srila Vishwanatha Chakravarthy Thakura explains that Arjuna's first quesion
asks,"How is one who is transcendentally situated described? What are his
characteristics?" Krishna answers the first question in the next verse. Although these
questions seem to deal only with such a person's external behavior, Srila Vishwanatha
Chakravarthi Thakura reveals each question's inner meaning.

Verse 55

1) How does a transcendentally situated person receive his happiness?

2) Why do we have to give up all our sense desires?

3)How is this possible?

Verse 56(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) How does the sthita-dhir muni or the


Krishna conscious devotee able to be always steady in his consciousness even through
happiness and distresses of material life?

Verse 57

Note: The verses 56-57 answers the question "How does a transcendentally situated
person speak?" The question means:"How are his intelligence and words affected by
another's affection, anger or neutrality? In other words, how does he respond with his
speech in all circumstances?

Verse 58

1) Explain how the yogi is self controlled using the analogy of the tortoise and the serpent.

2) How is Arjuna advised to use his senses?

Verse 59(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why is it difficult to artificially restrict one's senses for long?

2) How is it easy to restrain one's senses for a Krishna conscious devotee who is
transcendentally situated?

Note: The verses 58 and 59 aanswer th question,"how does a transcendentally situated


person sit?"which means how does he not engage his senses?What is his metality when
his senses are restrained from their objects?

Home work;

1) Do I have full faith that by executing Krishna consciousness I will be elevated to the
highest perfection of life? In what way am I susceptible to being deviated? How does this
relate to verse 44?
2)How is it possible to give up materail enoyment? What does it mean to have a higher
taste? What is the mentality of a devotee who has given up sense enjoyment? What does
it mean to be actually renounced?
3) When have you experienced happiness in Krishna consciousness?

Week 6
BG chapter 2
Read verses 60- 72
Verses 60-72
Summary:
In contrast to the self-controlled devotee, a person who allows his senses to go out
of control by contemplating the sense objects,loses his intelligence and falls down.
Krishna therefore advises Arjuna to control his senses by following the regulative
principles. By so doing he will attain the mercy of the Lord and be happy.

The second chapter is a summaryof the whole Bhagavad-gita. In this chapter,karma-


yoga and jnana-yoga have been clearly discussed, and a glimpse of bhakti-yoga has
also been given.

Verse 60

1) why is it difficult to control the senses without Krishna consciousness? Discuss the
example of Vishwamitra and Yamunacharya.
Verse 61

1) Discuss the incident between Durvasa Muni and Ambarisa Maharaja.


2) How does meditation on Vishnu help in burning down our impure desires.

Verse 62(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


1)Discuss the examples of Lord Siva and Haridasa Thakura.

Verse 63(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1)Discuss the fall-down sequence in texts 62 and 63.


2)Discuss how the devtee experiences real enjoyment in serving Krishna, but the
impersonalist cannot find enjoyment in his artificial renunciation.

Verse 64
1)How do materialists act with relation to their senses? How do dry renouncers deal with
sense enjoyment? How do devotees engage their senses in the service of the Lord?

Verses 65-66
Discuss: With Krishna consciousness, a person does not experience the miseries of
mterial existence;without Krishna consciousness, aperson does not experience happiness
or peace.

Verse 67

1)Discuss the example of the boat on the water.

Verse 68
1)Discuss: Only a person in Krishna consciousness can actually control his senses with
steady intelligence.

Verse 69

1) Note:
"There are two kinds of intelligence. One kind of intelligence is to apply the senses for
unrestricted enjoyment, and the other is to apply the senses in the transcendental loving
service of the Lord. Materialists think that such a person is crazy to have given up all
material enjoyment and be engaged in something nebulous. The materialist sees the
spiritual person as losing out in life's enjoyment. And the spiritual person is sad that the
materialist is destroying himself in material enjoyment, taking no interest in spiritual life."
Srila Prabhupada Lec. BG 2.62-72 Los angeles '68

Verse 70

1) Discuss the example of the ocean.

2) How can a Krishna conscious devotee remain steady ?

Verse 71

1) Discuss: The living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, but he has to change the
quality of his desires. Real desirelessness means not to desire anything for sense
gratification, but to desire everything for the satisfaction of Krishna.

Verse 72

Discuss: There is no difference between the kingdom of God and the devotional service of
the Lord. Since both of them are on the absolute plane, to be engaged in the transcenental
loving service of the Lord is to have attained the spiritual kingdom.
According to the Buddhist philosophy, there is only void after the completion of this
material life. But for persons who are spiritually advanced, real life begins after the
completion of this material life.
Acyutananda: Which is more important, to go back to Godhead or spread Krishna
consciousness?
Srila Prabhupada: Well one who is preaching Krishna consciousness, he's already back to
Godhead...."Preacher" means he has engaged his body, his mind and his speech only to
glorify the Lord. This is the meaning of the preacher. so anyone who's engaged in
preaching is jivan-muktah sa ucyate. He's liberated even in this life. Why should he seek
liberation when he is already liberated? He's already back to Godhead. He's already with
Krishna. Krishna is talking with him. Buddhi-yogam dadami. One who is actually a
preacher, engaged in Krishna's glorificationand service is already in Vaikuntha. That is
stated in the Bhagavata. It is just like Krishna. If He comes within this material world, does
it mean that he's in the material world? Similarly Krishna's pure devotee, he's not in the
materail world. He is in the spiritual world.
Guest 1: He gets the body? Does he get the body?
Prabhupada: Therefore it is said ,jivan -mukta. Although he is within this body,still he is
mukta. for example, if you take a rod and put it into the fire, by the association of fire, it
becomes red hot. Then it is fire and not a rod. similarly, if one is fully Krishna conscious ,
he has no other business than to glorify Krishna, he's already in Vaikuntha. Therefore
Krishna bhakta does not require any mukti. Mukti svayam mukulitanjali sevate
'sman.Mukti's serving him. Just as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, mama janmani janmani ,
birth after birth. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama. You dont return. But
here, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, "Birth after birth." So he's already mukta, he's alreay in
Vaikuntha. Do you understand?Therefore Krishna bhakta is niskama. He has no desire
because he has already fulfilled all his desires. He's in the service of the Lord.
Conv Bombay 73

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 3

Week 7
Read verses 1 - 21
Verses 1-9
Summary:
In Bhagavad- gita 2.49, Krishna said, “Keep all abominable activities far distant by
devotional service.(buddhi yoga)”. This instruction has confused Arjuna.
“Buddhi yoga is bhakti yoga, literally means yoga of buddhi, intelligence. Taking this
meaning, Krishna’s order would mean that Arjuna, by the means of his intelligence, should
avoid all abominable activities. Krishna has even used the word “buddhi” ten times in the
second chapter!
So Arjuna thinks that he should keep far away from the abominable activity of fighting. But
Krishna is still urging him to fight! So in this chapter Arjuna is requesting Krishna to clear
these contradictions.
Verses 10- 21
Summary:
Previously Krishna established that one should not artificially renounce activities but
should perform prescribed duties in a detached way. Now he explains the course of action
for those who are not on the platform of detached work but wish to attain it. By satisfying
their material desires in a religious way, those who are ttached will be purified. The
purpose of sacrices is to satisfy Vishnu. Now Krishna will show how production of grains is
dependent on sacrifice and how the origin of such sacrifice is Vishnu. In verses 17-21
Krishna describes the position of a self realized person in relation to work. Although he
need not perform prescribed duties, he continues working to set the example for common
men to follow.

3.1
1) What misconception to people have about advancing in Krishna consciousness?
2) How was Arjuna trying to misuse Krishna consciousness for his own material comfort?

3.2
Note: Arjuna, misunderstanding that karma 9work and jnana(knowledge that one is not the
body) are not compatible, requests Krishna to please tell him only one thing.

3.3

Note: “There are certain classes of men who simply philosophise and there are certain
classes of men who simple blindly follow religious ritualistic processes. The Bhagavad-gita
is a scientific combination of both. You should be religious, but you should also understand
everything philosophically. Otherwise one becomes a religious fanatic. … We have seen
many such philosophical speculators. They simply talk in the meetings and that’s all. And if
we examine their private character it is less than ordinary. A person may be a nice speaker
but will that help you in your spiritual realization?On the other hand, if you chant Hare
Krishna, it will give you immediate results.” Srila Prabhupada Lec BG 3.1-5 Los Angeles
68

3.4

1) What happens when somebody takes sannyasa without being sufficiently purified?
Note: “Sat nyasa, sannyasa. Thisiis the combination. Sat means the supreme., the ever
existing, and nyasa means renunciation. That means one who has renounced everything
for serving the Supreme is a real sannyasa. How he dresses does’nt matter. Anyone who
has sacrificed his life for service of the Supreme Lord, he’s a sannyasi.” Srila Prabhupada,
Lec BG 3.1-5 Los Angeles ‘68

3.5
1) Why does a person have to be active in Krishna consciousness?

Note: Srila Prabhupada, “You will find in India many saintly persons who observe silence.
Prahlada Maharaja says it is for the ajitendriyanam. This process, mauna, to remain silent,
is meant for persons who cannot control the senses. It is better not to talk than to talk
rubbish. Many people think they will advance by not talking. If you ask a question, they will
reply in writing. What is the difference between talking and writing? It is all sense
gratification and the fact that you cannot syop the tongue working. Engage the tongue in
Krishna consciousness only and do not talk material subject matters.” Lec SB 7.9.46 New
Vrindavana 76

3.6
1) Who is a cheater or a pretender yogi? Why do his teachings not have any spiritual
value?
Note: “Krishna tells Arjuna that if work is renounced withot adhikara(the qualification or
requisite puruty of heart), his mind will dwell on sense objects because his heart is not
pure. He will delude himself, thinking, “Iam a renunciant.” The Sanskrit word for false actor
is mithyacara. Mithya means false and acara means activities. Krishna is saying, “Your
activities will not match your renounced dress, and you will be a pretender.” Such a person
is not qualified to receive the Lord’s mercy.
Not only Arjuna, but all of us should act according to our eligibility. As Arjuna learned of his
eligibility from his spiritual master, we should similsrly understand our own eligibility from
our guru. “ From ‘Surrender unto Me.’

3.7
1) Why is a dutiful householder better than a false sannyasi?

2) How does the Vrnasrama system help us in self realization?

3.8
1) What are the benefits of performing one’s prescribed duty?

3.9(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


1) How is work performed in Krishna conscious the same as performing yagnas or vedic
sacrifices?
2) What are the benefits of doing all work in Krishna consciousness? How will we be able
to do it?

3.10
Note: In the previous verses, Krishna established that we should not artificially renounce
activities but should perform prescribed duties in a detached way. Now he explains the
course of action for those who are not yet on the stage of detached work but wish to attain
it. By satisfying their material desires in a religious way, , those who are attached, will be
purified.

1) What is the purpose of creation?


2) What is the best sacrifise or yagna we can perform in this age? Why is it so?

3.11

1) How do the demigods benefit by our performance of yagnas?

2)What is the benefit of performing yagnas?

3.12
1)For whom is demigod worship recommended?
2) When does a person become a thief? Why is he called a thief?

3.13(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why do devotees offer everything to Krishna first before accepting anything?


2) How does he remain aloof from material contamination?

3.14
1) Why do devotees not worship the demigods separately?

3) How does the performance of sankirtana yajna ensure that we do not have any
scarcity for food supply?

3.15
1) What is vikarma?
2) Why is it important to follow the directions from the Vedas?
3) How did the Lord fill this universe with people and how did He manifest the Vedas ?
4) What is the purpose of the Vedas?
5) What is the higher alternative to the performance of the vedic yagnas?

3.16
1) What is the ultimate goal of performing the Vedic yagnas?
2)Why is it very important for materialists to perform the Vedic sacrifices?

3.17

Note: Srila Prabhupada, “ Here it is plainly said by Lord Krishna, “the self, one who is
taking pleasure in the self. “ How can we take pleasure in the self? As soon as we engage
ourselves with the Supreme self, that is enjoyment. Anandamayo abhyasat. The Supreme
Lord is joyful. If you associate with a joyful society or a joyful person, then automatically
you become joyful. There is no necessity of becoming joyful separately. That association
will make you joyful. If you mix with a society of criminals, automatically you become a
criminal. Theer is no necessaity of learning criminality separately. By association, you’ll do
that. Simil;arly if you associate with the supreme joyful Krishna, automatically you become
joyful. This is Krishna consciousness. Therefore here it is said”One who rejoices in.” That
rejoicing is by association with the Supreme. “And is satisfied with the self only.” With self.
My self, what am I? My identity is that Iam an eternal servant of God. So as soon as I
engage in the service of God, that is my self realization. And if I enjoy in that self
realization, then I have no other duty. I have finished my duty, my sacrifice, and everything
is complete.” Lec BG 11-19 Los Angeles 68

1) Discuss: Are we beyond obligations?

3.18
Note: This and the above verse describes an atma ratih, one who takes pleasure in the
self. Such a person is not concerned with loss or gain while performing his duty. Nor is he
disturbed by obstacles.

3.19
Note: Srila Prabhupada, “A man may consider himself to be a very good man or a very bad
man. If he becomes Krishna conscious, then he is neither good man nor a bad man, but
simply Krishna’s man, and will always be ready to do whatever Krishna wants him to do.”
Lec BG 11-19 Los Angeles 68

3.20

1) Why was Arjuna advised to fight and do his duty just like king Janaka ?

3.21(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Who is an Acharya? How is he very important to society?


2) What is the responsibility of other natural leaders in society?

Home work:

1) What is the parallel between Arjuna wanting to go to the forest and a devotee trying
to avoid material responsiblities by saying that he is acting on a higher level of
Krishna consciousness?

2) How can religion without philosophy make us fanatical? Do you know of such examples
in daily life?

Week 8
Verses 22- 43

Verses 22- 32
Summary:
Krishna uses Himself as an example to show that even God works according to scriptures
in order for others to follow. He describes also how a knowledgeable person should elate
to ignorant men who are attached to fruitive results. A devotee should encourage people
by his words and example to engage the results of their work in devotional service. Arjuna
is then advised to fight with devotion for Krishna and become free from the bondage of
fruitive actions.

Verses 33-43

Krishna conscludes His explanation of Karma yoga by warning Arjuna not to give up his
prescribed duties, though there may be some imperfection.He explains that everyone is
forced to act according to his nature. Arjuna asks what forces us to act sinfully., and
Krishna explains our eternal enemy of lust. One can conquer lust by acting in Krishna
consciousness with steady intelligence fixed on knowledge of one’s pure identity.

3.22

1) Why is it not necessary for the Supreme Lord to perform prescribed duties?

3.23

1) Why did Krishna follow rules and regulations meant for conditioned souls ?

3.24
1) What would have happened if Krishna did not perform prescribed duties?
2) What is the benefit of following the instructions of the Lord and His empowered
servants?

2) What will happen if we imitate their actions or try to occupy their posts without
qualification?

3.25

1) What is the difference in the way a materialist performs his work and the way in which a
devotee performs his?

2) Why should the devotee continue working?

3.26

1) Why should a devotee be careful not to ask a materially attached person to renounce
his work?
2) How should a devotee engage him? Why?
3) What example should the devotee set for him?
4) What is the advantage of being engaged in direct Krishna consciousness as compared
to following the prescribed duties mentioned in the Vedas?
5) What kind of people can be engaged to pursue this?

3.27(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the consciousness of a materialist with regard to his work?


2) To whom does he give credit for his work? Why?

3.28

1) Why does a devotee work in devotion to please Lord Krishna?


2) Why is he not disturbed by any results to his work?
3.29

1) Why do people get attached to materialistic activities and its results?


2) Why are these duties less important than cultivating Krishna Consciousness?
3) What does Krishna advise devotees with regard to such people? Why does he say so?
4) How do the devotees deal with such people? Why?

Note :
Krishna has given us a way to preach to ignorant persons. There are examples in the
SB how great devotees used different preaching strategies to preach to grossly ignorant
people.
1) Narada preaching to the Haryasvas – SB 6.5.30
2) Narayana preaching to Vritrasura – SB Canto 10
3) Narada preaching to Dhruva – SB 4.8.30

Srila Prabhupada has mentioned here how devotees take all risks to enlighten ignorant
men whom even Lord Krishna Himself advises to neglect. This is because Srila
Prabhupada has understood that the inner purpose of Lord Krishna is to attract everyone
to devotional service. Lord Krishna later openly expressed His desires to freely give
Krishna prema when He appeared as Lord Caitanya.

Text 30(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Note :
Krishna orders Arjuna to fight, but He also describes the consciousness in which Arjuna
should perform that duty. “Without desire for profit and with no claims to proprietorship”
freedom from mode of passion “freed from lethargy” hints at freedom from ignorance.
Knowledge of the difference between soul and body is simply born of the mode of
goodness (Sattvat sanjayate jnanam – BG 14.17).
But “full knowledge” is beyond goodness and is transcendental as it indicates
knowledge of the soul’s eternal relationship with Krishna.
When “surrendering all your works unto Me” (mayi sarvam karmami) is added to the
other above mentioned requirements, Arjuna’s niskama karma, fighting in goodness
becomes bhakti-yoga, detached work done in devotion for Krishna’s pleasure. Although
Krishna has often requested Arjuna to act on the platform of detachment and duty, He now
reveals His actual desire that Arjuna fight with devotion.

Text 31

1) What 3 qualities are required to be promoted to the stage of pure KC and become
liberated?
2) How will these qualities help me to make progress in KC?

Text 32

1) What is the fate of the envious person who does not obey or is indifferent to Krishna’s
instructions?
Text 33

1) Why do even learned spiritualists find it difficult to overcome the material modes of
nature?
2) What is the path recommended for people who are not yet transcendental?

Text 34

1) Why is it dangerous to become attached to even regulated sense enjoyment?


2) How is it easy to avoid this in Krishna consciousness?

Text 35

1) Explain why it is important to follow one’s own prescribed material duties than perform
another’s duties with examples.
2) What are our spiritual duties?
3) When do we become eligible to do all kinds of duties under spiritual direction?

Text 36

Text 37(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) How does the living entity develop lust? Why is it the greatest enemy of man?
2) When does lust transform itself to wrath?
3) How can we spiritualize lust and wrath? Give an example.
4) How can we prevent lust from degrading into wrath?

Text 38

1) What are the 3 levels of lust in different living entities? What analogies have been used
to explain them?
2) How can we conquer the enemy lust?

Text 39

1) How is lust the ultimate enemy of the sense enjoyer?


2) What kind of living entities are afflicted by it?

Text 40

1) Which places of our selves has the enemy lust taken a seating place in order to conquer
and defeat us?
Text 41

Note :
Of the senses, mind and intelligence the sense are the grossest. Being gross, they are
the easiest to control. Krishna therefore recommends that we begin to bring lust under
control by regulating the senses. This is automatically done through the vaidhi bhakti
process.

While controlling our senses, however, we should not neglect our intelligence. The
intelligence, like a guard, is the next door neighbor of the soul and its business is to protect
us from maya. If the guard has been corrupted by lust, however, the situation is as
dangerous as when a bodyguard is bribed by the enemy. Thus the materially contaminated
intelligence, which works in the service of our enemy, should be neglected. We should
instead accept the intelligence of the guru, sadhu and shastra.

Text 42

1) How does performing devotional service help in controlling the intelligence, mind and
senses?

Text 43(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Note:
We should use the strength of our trained intelligence, which should be fixed in
transcendental knowledge, to protect us from falling victim to inappropriate actions
compelled by passion (rajo guna).

Srila Prabhupada :
To stop material desires we must take shelter of the lotus feet of Krishna. The waves of
a river are constantly flowing and cannot be stopped but the waves of the river flow
towards the sea. When the tide crosses over the river it overwhelms the flowing of the river
and the river itself becomes over flooded. The waves from the sea become more
prominent than the waves of the river. Similarly, the devotee with intelligence plans so
many things for the service of the Lord in KC that stagnant material desires become
overflooded by the desire to serve Krishna. As confirmed by Yamunacharya since he has
been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord there is always a current of newer
and newer desires flowing to serve Krishna so much so that the stagnant desire of sex life
becomes very insignificant. BG 2.59 also confuses this param drstva nivartate.

1) Describe how a person who starts developing KC can perform his prescribed duties
and be situated in a transcendental position without being influenced by the material
senses and the mind.

Home- work
1) What is the difference between following and imitating drawing from your own
experience?
2) You are the only devotee of Krishna at your work place. How will you help your
associates to change the quality of their work from mundane to transcendental?
3) Why does ISKCON engage in preaching activities and disturb the lives of people who
are simply engage in the persuit of sense gratification, if Krishna says that one should
not disturb such persons?
4) How can we overcome lust which burns like fire and is never satiated?

Week 9
BG Ch 4

Verses 1-24

Verses 1-10
Summary:
In chapter 3 Krishna explained that lust covers knowledge and ignorance binds us. He
asked Arjuna to be attain transcendental knowledge by performing karma yoga. Now He is
describing what that transcendental knowledge is, how it was received. How He spoke this
earlier to Vivaswan the sun God and now to Arjuna, since he is His devotee. And friend.
Krishna is unborn. He appears just to re- establish religion, to protect His dvotees and to
kill the demoniac.
Anyone who undesrstands this knowledge will attain love for Krishna and go back home
back to Godhead.

Verses 11- 24
Krishna is the ultimate goal of all the paths and everyone is dependent on His mercy for
attaining success.He created the varnasrama system whereby men can fulfill their material
desires and make progress toward liberation, but Krishna is above the system.Krishna
then analyses action and describes how to perform activities on the transcendental plane.

Verse 1

1) Why did Krishna speak the BG to Vivasvan?


2) How was this science of BG passed down in the treta yuga and dvapara yugas?
3) How can we get a proper understanding of the BG?

Verse 2(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is special about Srila Prabhupada’s edition of the Gita in English?

Verse 3

1) Why is it important to read the commentaries of only devotees?

Verse 4
1) What was Arjuna’s purpose in asking Krishna for an explanation on how He could
have spoken to Vivasvan millions of years ago?

Verse 5

Srila Prabhupada :
Lord Krishna asks us “Why are you struggling so much in this material world?” sarva
dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja : “Come to Me, depend on Me and I will
protect you”. But we refuse to believe the Lord’s offer. This is our situation - forgetfulness.
A conditioned soul is forgetful. Two forces of nature are acting upon us and we decide, “I
shall make spiritual advancement.” Next moment the illusory energy, maya, says “Do you
really think you can succeed in spiritual life? Just enjoy this life.” So praksepatmitra,
viksepatmitra – this is how we are deceived by forgetting the Lord. That is the difference
between God and man.

1) How is Krishna able to remember all His previous births and not Arjuna?
2) Why are devotees not able to understand Krishna’s position?

Verse 6

1) What are the features of the Lord’s transcendental form?


2) Why does the Lord appear in His original eternal form in this material world?

Verse 7(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why are Vedic principles so important to be followed by all human beings?


2) Why and how does the Lord make His appearance in this world? Illustrate with an
example.
3) Why did Krishna speak the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna?

Verse 8(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the prime reason for the Lord’s appearance? Is it to protect the devotees or
to destroy the demons? Why?
2) What are the different kinds of avataras of the Lord? Why does Lord Krishna
primarily descend to the material world?
3) How does this verse prove that Lord Krishna has appeared as Lord Caitanya
Mahaprabhu? What are the unique features of this incarnation?

Verse 9(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Now here, the word tattvatah is very important. Tattvatah is the science of Krishna and
means ‘in truth’. It is not enough to know the historical facts about Krsna’s place and date
of birth, the family into which he was born and the activities he engaged in. One has to
learn in tattvatah - in truth. Then he becomes free from bodily entanglement. How can one
understand the science of Krishna? It is explained in the Eighteenth chapter that Krsna’s
science can be understood by devotional service.

1) How does the devotee achieve liberation very easily?


2) What kind of liberation do impersonalists and yogis achieve? How do they achieve
it? How can they achieve actual liberation?

Verse 10

Srila Prabhupada :
Vita raga means that when you increase raga for Krsna, you become vita raga. Param
drstva ni – if you get rasagulla, you can give up gur. When a foolish man is informed that
he can have a better life in the spiritual world by becoming a servant of God, he thinks, “I
am a slave to materialism. I have suffered so much. Why should I be a servant of Krsna?
There is no gain in it for me.” They think that all service is slavery. They cannot understand
that service (to Krsna) is simply ananda. So these nirvisavadi, impersonalists, do not
understand. It’s like a sick man being told that on recovery he will be able to eat well and
walk again. He believes that soon he will eat and exercise but at the present he is
accustomed to taking medicine and doing so many gross things like passing stool and
urine on the bed. When he realizes that after being cured he continues his gross activities
continue, he cannot understand.

1) Why do materially attached people not understand the personal nature of spiritual
life?
2) Why do such people fear to be personal in spiritual life and prefer to merge and lose
their identities?
3) Why are some people angry with all forms of spiritual life? What do they generally
take shelter of?
4) Describe the process of devotional service from having a preliminary desire to the
stage of achieving Krishna Prema.

Verse 11

1) How does Krsna reciprocate with karmis, jnanis, yogis and bhaktas by giving them
the results according to their desires?

Verse 12

1) If Krsna fulfils the desires of a person approaching Him for material things as well,
why do people worship the demigods or powerful men?
2) What is the disadvantage of this form of worship? Why should we worship only
Krsna?

Verse 13

1) What is the purpose of division of society into four varnas and asramas?
2) Why are vaisnavas above even the brahmanas following the varnasrama system?

Verse 14

Srila Prabhupada :
So here, Krsna says na me karma phale sprha. He is atmarama. Atmarama means He
is fully satisfied in Himself. He can create so many things. So there is no question of Him
needing anything. Therefore how can Krishna be contaminated?”
Lecture, BG 4.14, New Vrndavana

1) What are the analogies given in the purport to explain how Krsna is not affected by
the activities of this material world even though He has created it?
2) Why are the living entities entangled in the results of their material activities?
3) What is the key to become liberated from the results of one’s activities?

Verse 15

1) How is Krsna consciousness beneficial for both the materially attached as well as
the liberated?
2) Why does Krsna advise Arjuna to fight and not retire from all activities for the sake
of spiritual emancipation like a jnani?

Verse 16

1) How can real religion be understood?


2) Name the twelve mahajanas or great authorities we should follow.

Verse 17

Note :
Karma refers to activities done according to Vedic injunction. Such activities are
generally referred to as karma-kanda. Owing to the performer’s material desires, karma-
kanda yields reactions, albeit good ones.
Vikarma means activities prohibited by the Vedas. Such prohibited actions produce bad
reactions. Srila Prabhupada said, “Vikarma is specifically defined as illicit sex, meat eating,
intoxication (including drinking tea, coffee and smoking). pramattah. pra means sufficiently
or extraordinarily. Prabrsta-rupera mattah. Mattah means mad. Ninam pramattah kurute
vikarma. “All people being mad are committing so many sinful activities”. They do not know
what sinful activity is. They think everything is all right. Nature will take account of
everything and give them another body. For example, they may catch some disease then
suffer it. That is nature’s law.”
Akarma refers to work performed for Krsna’s pleasure. Such work brings no material
reaction, good or bad. In his purport, Srila Prabhupada classified vikarma and karma
together under the category of vikarma.
Verse 18

Note :
“Inaction in action” refers to devotional service or activities performed only for Krsna’s
pleasure. Krsna’s servants receive no material reactions for their service because they act
as Krsna acts – without the contamination of seeking reward for their work.
“Action in inaction” is the opposite. A sannyasi without transcendental knowledge of
Krsna may appear not to be performing work but as a soul he cannot avoid either activity
or the entangling results of that activity. Devoid of transcendental knowledge about Krsna,
he must act, but he cannot act in Krsna’s service, for he has no knowledge of Krishna. He
is thus liable to all reactions.
For example, the sannyasi must breathe. He also must eat. He steps on living entities
as he walks. All these activities have no transcendental basis for him and thus reactions
accrue to him.
Every soul is unavoidably active. Artificial attempts at inactivity lead to further danger of
unengaged senses coupled with an impure mind. Anyone who attempts spiritual practices
while the mind meditates on sense enjoyment will fall down even if such an unfortunate
‘renunciant’ appears to be less involved in the world than a devotee.

Srila Prabhupada :
The example is given of a boy flying a kite. He thinks that making profit will make him
happy.

Verse 19

1) What is the perfect knowledge which burns up all reactions to one’s work?

Verse 20

1) List all the things that a person does as well as his qualities when he performs
activities in akarma.

Verse 21

1) How is the KC person a) able to perfectly control his mind and intelligence b) give
up all sense of proprietorship and c) act only for the bare necessities of life? Explain
his realizations with the help of the analogies given in the purport.

Verse 22

1) What qualities are required for a KC person not to be entangled even while
performing action?

Verse 23
Srila Prabhupada :
Gata sanyasa. We are beings without knowledge. We are in ignorance.

1) How can we come to the transcendental state where we no longer suffer any
material effects?

Verse 24

1) How does everything situated in the brahma jyoti of the Lord become material?
2) How can we make it Brahman once again?
3) How is real yagna performed?

Home work

1) Summarize all the qualities and features of God discussed in this section.
2) Explain varnasrama and how it is beneficial to society and how it is different from
casteism as it exists today.

Week 10
Chapter 4 Verses 25-42

Verses 25-33

Summary:

Krishna describes a variety of sacrifices because they have transcendental knowledge ,


which is the theme of this chapter.

Verses 34-42
Summary:

To attain transcendental knowledge one must control the senses and submissively
approach a spiritual master to faithfully serve him.Thus one will become free from sinful
reactions and understand knowledge of his relationship with the Supreme Lord. Krishna
urges Arjuna to arm himself with transcendental knowledge and fight.

Verse 25

1) What are the two broad categories of sacrifices?


2) What and to whom do people having material desires sacrifice?
3) What and to whom do those wanting impersonal liberation sacrifice?
4) What and to whom does a Krishna Conscious devotee sacrifice?

Verse 26

1) How does the barhmacari control his mind?


2) How does the grhastha perform his sacrifice?

Verse 27

1) How does the life air or prana vayu keep a person attached to sensory enjoyment?
2) How does the pratyagatma engage his life airs in the patanjali system of yoga?

Verse 28

1) Describe what are dravyamaya, tapomaya, yoga and svadyaya yagnas. What are
the results of such yagnas?
2) How is Krishna consciousness different from these yagnas? How does one achieve
it?

Verse 29

1) How does a yogi perform kumbhaka yoga and increase the duration of his life?
What is his purpose in doing so?
2) How does a Krishna conscious person achieve his goals easily?

Verse 30

1) What is the result of performing all such sacrifices (dravya yagna, tapo yagnam
yoga yagna, svadyaya yagna etc)?

Verse 31

1) How does the performance of yagnas or prescribed religious duties ensure material
happiness as well as spiritual emancipation?
2) Which is the best kind of happiness to aspire for in the next life? Which is the best
yagna to perform for both material and spiritual happiness?

Verse 32

1) How are the different types of sacrifices mentioned in the chapter suitable for
different types of people? In other words, what type of people will be attached to the
different types of sacrifices? Which sacrifice is performed with the senses, with the
mind and with the intelligence?
2) Why are these sacrifices recommended by the Lord Himself?

Verse 33

1) What is the result obtained by performing sacrifices without transcendental


knowledge?
2) What is the result of performing sacrifices with faith and in transcendental
knowledge?
3) Which type of sacrifice is better?

Verse 34(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Blind following and absurd enquiries are condemned in this verse. Blind following
means: “Oh, there is a swami and thousands of people are following him. I shall become
his disciple.” You do not know whether he is a swami or a rascal. But because everyone
else is following you want to become his disciple. This is blind following without
knowledge. The swami says “Give me money and I will make you God.”
There are so many stories wherein a person approaches his spiritual master and asks
him, “Can you show me God?” And the spiritual master immediately shows him God. You
see? This deception is going on.
If you go to a professor and say, “Oh, if you are a professor, can you make me an MA
immediately?” and he says, “Yes, why not?” then you are a fool and he also is a fool. The
so-called spiritual master is a rascal and the man who has gone to him is also a rascal.
Dhruva Maharaja went to the forest and practiced many penances and austerities. Then
he saw God. Can I see God immediately without being trained? No. It is not possible.
These are absurd things. If you are not qualified, how can you see such things? If you
have never seen a ten dollar note and you ask someone to give you a ten dollar note, you
will not feel cheated if he gives you a piece of paper. You must know what a ten dollar note
looks like otherwise you will be satisfied with a piece of paper. If you do not know God,
how can you see and recognize Him?
You go to a market to buy, for example, a knife. You know what a knife is. It must be a
sharp instrument. You test it to see how sharp it is. So, suppose you approach someone to
see God, how will you test it if you do not know what God is? Suppose he gives you a dog
and you understand, “This is God.” What is your testing capability? At least you must have
some theoretical knowledge of what God is. These absurd things are going on. You must
know what God is.
Lecture, BG 4.34, Los Angeles, 1969

If you purchase something, you must pay for it. This is called sevaya. You cannot pay
by offering the value of the teachings of the spiritual master. That is not possible, so it is
called sevaya. Dedicate your life for his service. You cannot pay. How can you repay a
spiritual master? Just like King Prthu Maharaja. When the Kumaras preached to him about
transcendental knowledge, he very humbly submitted, “My dear spiritual master, you have
taught me so well. I must give you some daksina.” After initiation, one should pay daksina.
“I should pay dakshina, but what shall I pay? I haven’t got anything of my own. It is only by
the mercy of the brahmanas that I enjoy this kingdom. So it is yours anyway. My kingdom
already belongs to you.” If any saintly person, brahmana, asks from a ksatriya king, he
cannot refuse.
Krsna gave his son to be sacrificed. A brahmana asked “I want you to sacrifice your
son.” He was an incarnation of God. He tested Krsna’s charity. He was very charitable, so
he told him, “I want your son for sacrifice.” Krsna agreed. So there was some test like that.
Actually, in former times the kings possessed their kingdom only to manage. They did not
think, “It is my property because I am the king.” As soon as the kings thought like that, the
monarchy was finished. So Prthu Maharaja said, “Nothing belongs to me and even if I can
pay from my treasury, I cannot actually pay for the benefit I have derived from you.
Therefore, the only way I can pay is by surrendering to you. You can utilize me in any
way.” So, tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. The disciple’s duty is to be always
ready to serve the spiritual master, at any cost.

1) Who is a bona fide spiritual master?


2) How can we obtain transcendental knowledge from him?

Verse 35

1) What is the real knowledge that one obtains by approaching a bonafide spiritual
master?
2) Without approaching such a spiritual master, how do mayavadi scholars speculate
about the absolute truth?
3) How have we forgotten the real knowledge about Krsna and ourselves?
4) How can we get back this knowledge?

Verse 36

1) Why are we suffering in an ocean of miseries in this world?


2) How does transcendental knowledge act as a boat to save us from this ocean?

Verse 37

1) Explain the analogy of fire and wood to explain what transcendental knowledge
does to our karma.

Verse 38

Srila Prabhupada :
We require hundreds and thousands of spiritual masters who have understood this
Krsna science and have preached it all over the world. That is the problem. To this end, we
have formed this society and we invite all sincere souls to join the society, become a
spiritual master and preach this science all over the world. There is a great need for this
knowledge.
Lecture, BG 4.34-4.38, New York, 1966

1) How can we get the spiritual understanding and enjoy peace with ourselves?

Verse 39

Srila Prabhupada :
In the beginning there is no nistha because there are anarthas. All anarthas are
vanquished by performing devotional service with enthusiasm. SB 2.1.10 tivrena bhakti
yogena. The word sraddha is certainly faith but enthusiasm is the life of faith.
Bhaktyaloka p.53

1) What are the three things required to achieve this spiritual perfection quickly?
Verse 40

Srila Prabhupada :
How do we become faithful? Samyata indriya. We have to control our senses. We are
here in material existence because we want to gratify our senses. That is the problem. So,
this faith of spiritual advancement can be enhanced when we agree. At the same time,
samyata indriya. If a physician is treating you, you have faith in him. But if the physician
says, “Don’t do this,” and you do it then what kind of faith have you got? When a physician
treats a patient, he prescribes something, “don’t do this” and “do this”. Some “do-nots” and
some “dos”. Now, If I say, “My dear physician, I have all faith in you but I cannot follow your
instruction. You say, ‘Do not’ but I do it,” how can you? How are you faithful? So
sraddhavan labhate jnanam tat-parah samyatendriyah. You have to follow instructions with
faith.
Lecture, BG 4.37-40, New York, 1966

1) What are the three types of people who fall down and do not achieve Krsna
consciousness?

Verse 41

Note :
When a person applies transcendental knowledge to work, he will both act dutifully and
renounce the fruits of his actions. Such a person is actually not the body. He knows that
work performed for Krsna’s pleasure will not bind him with reactions. His transcendental
knowledge removed his doubts.

Verse 42

1) What are the two divisions of sacrifice of the sanatana yoga?


2) What are the two levels of spiritual knowledge? What perfect knowledge is attained
by following the path of the Bhagavad-gita?
3) What kind of person cannot understand the instructions of the Gita? Why is he
condemned?
4) What different types of sacrifices gradually awaken Krsna consciousness? What is
required to come to this stage of KC through those sacrifices?
5) How can we properly learn this transcendental knowledge mentioned in the
Bhagavad-gita?

Home work :

1)Write what answers (based on the 4th chapter) will you give to such statements from
people :

a) “I am my own guru. I don’t need anyone else. I simply follow sastra, which is the
highest authority because it was spoken by Lord Krishna.”
b) “Unless someone can reply to any question I ask I cannot and should not accept
him as spiritual master. He must have seen the truth”
c) “Iam so lucky I have a guru. Now I don’t have to think.”
d) In the purport of verse 4.3.5 of the Gita, Srila Prabhupada mentiones how
challenging enquiries and blind following are to be avoided. How do we reconcile i)
the need to accept authority and ii) the need to question when it comes to sastric
knowledge?
e) “If someone asks too many questions, it shows they have many doubts. This is
therefore a bad sign for a devotee. For a doubting soul there is no happiness in this
world or the next.”
f) How are the analogies used in the section useful in helping us understand
knowledge?

2)Make a list of all the different sacrifices mentioned in the section with the following
headings:
1)Name of the sacrifice
1) Who performs it
2) The result
3) How it leads to knowledge
Also list which sacrifices are performed with the senses, which are performed with the
mind and which are performed with the intelligence.

Week 11
BG Chapter 5

Verses 1-20

Verses 1-10
Summary:

In the fourth chapter, the Lord tells Arjuna that all kinds of sacrificial work culminates in
knowledge. However, at the end of the Fourth Chapter, the Lord advises Arjuna to wake up
and fight, being situated in perfect knowledge. Therefore, by simultaneously stressing the
importance of both work in devotion and inaction in knowledge, Krsna has perplexed
Arjuna and confused his determination. Therefore, Chapter Five opens with a question by
Arjuna that is similar to the question he asked at the beginning of Chapter Three, “Which is
better – work in devotion or renunciation of work?” Krsna replies that although the results
of renunciation and devotional service are ultimately the same, devotional service is
superior because it frees one from reactions so that the devotee can quickly and easily
achieve Krsna.

Verses 10-20
Summary:
Krishna explains how to work devotionally with detachment.One in knowledge of Krishna
understands that he is different from the material nature and so works simply for
purification, giving the results of his work to Krishna. When the living entity desires to enjoy
material nature, the modes of nature carry out the actions necessary o satisfy this desire
after receiving sanction from the Super soul. One who knows this, takes shelter of the
Super soul, becomes enlightened, and attains liberation.

Verse 1

1) Why did Arjuna think that obtaining transcendental knowledge means that one has
to stop all activities?
2) Why did Krsna ask him to fight with full knowledge? What is the benefit in this?

Verse 2

1) What is wrong in acting for sense gratification?


2) Why is mere renunciation without Krsna consciousness not helpful for liberation?
3) Why is action in Krsna consciousness better than renunciation for work?

Verse 3

Srila Prabhupada :
There is another instance in Bengali poetry - grhe va vanete thake, sada gauranga bole
dake “A man may be a householder or he may be in the renounced order of life. That
doesn’t matter. If he is Krsna conscious, he is the perfect man.” So Arjuna is asking, “What
is the difference between karma-yoga and sannyasa?” There is no difference. It is better if
you become a karma yogi, meaning that you simply work for Krsna. Then you are better
than a sannyasi.” Because a sannyasi is living at the expense of the society, but a man
who is fully convinced that “Whatever I earn and whatever I do, it is all for Krsna,” he is the
practical man.
Lecture, BG 4.39-5.30, New York, 1966

1) How is one in Krsna consciousness always a renouncer?


2) What knowledge of realizations helps him achieve this state of mind?

Verse 4

Note :
Both karma yoga and sankhya yoga involve renunciation. But which is better to
renounce? Should one work with detachment or renounce work altogether?
Krsna’s answer is clear and consistent. These are not two different paths with separate
goals but two aspects of the same path with the same goal. How are work and
renunciation the same? If I am holding a rock in my hand and I want to pick up my axe, I
drop the rock to free my hand. Then I can pick up the axe. Similarly, with material desires
one must first drop his material attachment before acquiring a spiritual taste.
However, these two steps can also be performed as one step. By picking up one object
I will automatically drop the other. karma-yoga done with detachment allows us to become
materially detached and spiritually attached at the same time.

1) What is the goal of both karma and sankhya yogas?


2) What is the difference in approach between the two paths?

Verse 5

Note :
Krsna repeats His point from text four for emphasis. Text four begins sankhya-yoga.
Krsna clearly recommends devotional service (karma-yoga) as the better means to
achieve the goal even though both jnana and karma yoga lead to sthanam-sasvatam, “the
supreme eternal abode”.
It is important to understand that Krsna is not speaking about a variety of paths leading
to a variety of inferior or superior destinations. Rather, He is describing two aspects of a
path – one easy and one difficult – with the same goal. If we renounce activities before our
hearts our clean, we will be forced by our unclean hearts to engage in improper activities.
The senses will demand engagement but the jnana yoga process forbids sense activity.
Unless the senses are engaged in good work, it will be difficult to stop improper work.
Krsna therefore recommends keeping the senses always engaged while simultaneously
purifying the heart by working in detachment. This is the more practical and therefore a
superior path.

Verse 6

Srila Prabhupada :
So, sannyasas tu mahabaho. If I artificially detach myself and renounce this world then,
according to Krsna, dukham aptum ayogatah, “If there is no good engagement then it is a
cause of misery. It becomes very difficult. If a family man renounces his family connections
and does not make a better attachment then he will feel that he was better off in family life
and that he has made a big mistake.”
So, according to Krsna, sannyasas tu maha-baho dukham aptum ayogatah. Ayogatah
means if we have no link with Krsna consciousness then detachment will cause us great
misery.

1) What are the differences between mayavadi sannyasis and vaisnava sannyasis?

Verse 7

1) What is the consciousness of one in the path of liberation by KC regarding his


attitude and relationship with all living entities?
2) How is everyone satisfied with such a person?
3) How was Arjuna not offensive to anyone even in the battlefield?

Verses 8 and 9

Note :
Krsna now describes how transcendental knowledge that we are not our bodies should
be expressed through work. This knowledge allows us to remain aloof from the body as we
work. We see our bodies acting but we have no interest in the fruits of our actions. Srila
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that the niskama-karma-yogi, even while acting
with his body, senses and so on, is tattva-vit. He realizes that the self is separate from the
body.

Srila Prabhupada :
In this state, Krsna says, naiva kincit karomiti yukto manyeta tattva-vit. “I am not doing
anything.” A Krsna conscious person does not think he is accomplishing a lot. Ask him,
“When are you going?” and he’ll answer, “I do not know when I shall go but when Krsna
asks me or allows me to go, then I shall go.” I am saying this based on the practical
experience of my Guru Maharaja, my spiritual master. He would never say “I am going” but
“If Krsna desires then I shall go.” He always depended on Krsna. This is called
visuddhatma…tattva-vit means one who knows the truth. The truth is that I shall only go
when Krsna allows me to go.
Lecture, BG 5.7-14, New York, 1966

1) How is the devotee always free even though he is engaged in the affairs of the
senses?

Introduction (verses 10-20)


After describing the superiority of devotional service, Krsna explains how to work
devotionally with detachment. One in knowledge of Krsna understands his incompatibility
with material nature and thus acts only for purification, giving the results of his work to
Krsna. Thus, he remains unattached, performing his work as a matter of duty. The
transcendentalist who works with detachment has knowledge of the relationship between
the living entity, material nature and the Supersoul. Although it may appear that the modes
of nature of the Supersoul are the cause of action and reaction, they are not responsible.
When the living entity desires to enjoy material nature, the modes of nature carry out the
actions necessary to satisfy his desire, after it is sanctioned by the Supersoul. One who is
enlightened with this knowledge of the relationship between the living entity, material
nature and the Supersoul, takes shelter of the Supersoul, becomes enlightened and
attains liberation.

Verse 10

Srila Prabhupada :
The example given here is that of the leaf of a lotus flower which, situated in water, has
no connection with it. Not a drop of water will stay on the lotus though it is in the huge
mass of water. Water is always flowing over it but that particular leaf of the lotus flower has
no connection with the water. Similarly, with all the upheavals of this material world, one
who is Krsna conscious is oblivious to such disturbances. Visvam purnam sukhayate.
Everyone is afflicted but a man who is in Krsna consciousness will not be affected.
Krsna consciousness is the antiseptic. If there is an epidemic in the city, a person who
has taken the vaccine will not be affected. Similarly, this Krsna consciousness is the
antiseptic method to free one from the contamination of this material world. So, lipyate na
sa papena. A Krsna conscious person is not affected by the contamination of this material
world.
Lecture, BG 5.7-14, New York, 1966

1) How should we perform our duties such that we do not get any sinful reactions for
our work? Explain with the analogy of the lotus leaf and water.
Verse 11

Note :
Kaivalya comes from the root kevala which, in this verse, is defined as purified. One
becomes purifies by his detached work. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarthi Thakura explains,
“Although one’s mind may sometimes be distracted while making offerings of oblations
such as indraya svaha, such persons sense are still kevala, acting for the purification of
the atma, for the sake of purifying the mind.

1) How is a person in Krsna consciousness able to act without false ego?

Verse 12

1) What is the difference between a Krsna conscious and materially attached person?

Verse 13

1) Why does a living entity undergo suffering?


2) How can he become free from the sinful reactions he is forced to suffer?

Verse 14

Srila Prabhupada :
All your activities should be for Krsna’s enjoyment. But, if you act for your own sense
gratification, you will be entangled by the results. Krsna is so kind that if you want to do
something, He forbids it. A thief may pray to God, “My dear Lord, give me an opportunity to
steal.” Krsna initially forbids it. But the thief insists. Then Krsna says, “All right. Do it.” But
as soon as he does it, he becomes entangled. Why does he go against the will of Krsna?
That is his entanglement. Krsna does not wish him to do it but if he is determined, Krsna
will let him steal another’s property and thus he becomes entangled. That is not Krsna’s
fault but his.
Suppose a high court judge rules that you should be hanged to death. Does it mean
that the high court judge is your enemy? He is neither your enemy nor your friend. You
broke the law and the law decrees that you should be hanged. The judge simply
administers the law. Your best plan is to surrender to Krsna and act according to His
instruction. That way, you will be happy. Otherwise, you will be miserable.
Lecture, BG 5.7-14, New York, 1966

1) Who is the cause of the results of various activities of the body? How does it work?

Verse 15

Srila Prabhupada :
Desire comes from us but sanction comes from God. If you want to do business, you
must have sanction or license from the government. You cannot do it of your own will.
Similarly, you can desire and propose, “God, I want to do this”, and God will sanction it.
Those who are not Krsna conscious have many, many desires and Krsna says, “Alright.
You can have them.” To devotees He says, “Give up all these trivial desires.” Sarva-
dharman parityajya mam ekam: “Simply take to Me”. But we refuse His offer. Krsna gives
you the liberty to do whatever you like. It is your choice. Just like a father gives his grown
up son good advice. But the son disregards it and goes his own way. But without his
father’s sanction, the son cannot do anything. Similarly, without Krsna’s sanction, you
cannot do anything. But the proposal is yours. Hence the maxim “Man proposes and God
disposes.” So God is not responsible for your actions. If you act according to the precepts
of God, then He is responsible. But if you act against the will of God, you are responsible.

1) If the Lord is the one fulfilling the desires of the living entities, why is He not
responsible for the results of the activities of the living entities? Who is responsible
then?

Verse 16

1) How can we obtain perfect knowledge about Krsna, ourselves and material nature?

Verse 17

1) Why is it that by simply focusing the mind on Krsna one can achieve perfect
knowledge and liberation?

Verse 18

1) How is a Krsna conscious person able to be impartial and see with equal vision all
the different forms in creation?

Verse 19

Note : Sameness and equanimity can be experienced on the platforms of Brahman,


Paramatma realization and in Krsna consciousness. The Brahmavadi sees everything as
situated in Brahman. The Paramatmavadi sees the Supersoul at work, impartially
sanctioning the karmic reactions of all living entities. He is undisturbed because he
understands that everything is occurring by the Lord’s will. Thus he remains calm even in
an ocean of material turbulence. A devotee of Krsna recognizes everything that happens to
him as kindness therefore everything increases his devotion.
SB – “My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy
upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering
You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body is certainly eligible for liberation.
For it has become his rightful claim.” (Bhag 10.14.8)

1) Which qualities of the mind will enable a living entity to enter the spiritual sky?

Verse 20

Note : A practicing devotee (sadhaka) should attempt to act in this way. However, as SP
explains in his purport, such behavior is a symptom of a perfect devotee (siddha).
1) What are the symptoms of a pure devotee, as mentioned in this verse?

Home work:

1) Make a list of comparisons between the process of work in devotion and


Sankhya(renunciation of work.)
2) Even if we do not realize it, Krishna says that we are all suffering in this world and
that we are responsible for it. Consider the ways you are suffering now and trace
out their causes. What are the Krishna conscious solutions for them?
3) What is a practical metod to treat everyone equally despite their caste and creed?

Week 11
Verses 21-29

Summary:
A Krsna conscious person enjoys unlimited inner pleasure by fixing his consciousness
on Krsna. Always busy working for the welfare of all beings, he soon achieves liberation.
Yogis can also attain this state by practicing astanga-yoga. Krsna introduces dhyana-yoga
at the end of this chapter and will elaborate on it in Chapter Six. Krsna gives the peace
formula in the last verse : Lord Krsna is the supreme enjoyer and controller and thus He is
the beneficiary in all human activities.

Verse 21

Srila Prabhupada :
Those who are on the material plane seek to gratify their senses. The highest level of
sense gratification in the material world is sexual activity. One who is situated in Brahman
has no connection with external things and enjoyment of the senses. Bahya sparsa.
Sparsa means touch and bahya means external. He is not interested in such happiness
but is detached from it. Vindaty atmani yat sukham : His pleasure is from within himself.
That is real happiness. We chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare
Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Rama means unlimited enjoyment in real
happiness. Atmani means ‘with the soul’. With the Supersoul and the relation between the
soul and the Supersoul. That is called atma. You have heard about Krsna’s rasa dance.
That is true happiness. On the spiritual platform, happiness is fully realized. So sa
barhma-yoga-yuktatma sikham aksayam asnute. Aksayam means it does not pass away.
Here in the material world all (so-called) happiness is flickering. It comes and goes. One
who is transcendentally situated does not look for happiness or distress because he knows
it has appeared and it will go. So there is no need to be disturbed in distress. It is like
snowfall in your country. Last winter there was snow. It has melted away and will come
again this winter. Anything of this world will come and go. We should not be disturbed by it.
In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna advised Arjuna - matra-sparsas tu kaunteya.

1) What is the source of pleasure for a liberated soul? How is he able to avoid sex
pleasure?

Verse 22

1) Why does the sadhaka intellectual avoid sense pleasure?

Verse 23

Note :
How long will we have to tolerate the pushings of the mind and senses? Does maya
give up? One day, do we wake up liberated and freed from the impediments caused by the
mind and senses? This verse answers that sense attraction must be tolerated until death.
We can remain tolerant by fixing our consciousness on Krsna. The pleasure of KC,
combined with the conviction that nothing in this world can bring lasting happiness, will
help us tolerate the pushings of the body and mind.

Srila Prabhupada :
Suppose a man is suffering from some disease and the doctor tells him to avoid solid
food. Because he is accustomed to eating solid food, he wants to eat solid food. However,
if he can obey the doctor, he will be cured very easily. Similarly sense perception, sense
pleasure is reserved for us in spiritual life. That is actual sense pleasure. Here, we are
having sense pleasure artificially through this body. We have to avoid sense pleasure as
much as possible. Krsna advises us to tolerate the urge of sense pleasure and we have to
order our life so that we can tolerate. That will give us advancement in spiritual life and
when we achieve the spiritual plane where true enjoyment is unending and unlimited.
Lecture, BG 5.22-29, New York, 1966

1) Who is a goswami?

Verse 24

1) Describe the characteristics of a brahma-buta or one who is inwardly happy?

Verse 25

Srila Prabhupada :
Ksina-kalmasah is one who is able to reduce the reaction of all sinful life by practicing
sense control. Just like a diseased person, by listening to the doctor and controlling
himself can reduce suffering from his disease. Similarly, we have to reduce the
temperature. We think that by increasing the temperature, we shall become happy. We do
not know that by increasing the temperature, we shall never be happy. We have to
decrease the temperature.
There is a nice story about a rich householder whose wife and maidservant were both
sick. The gentleman called a doctor, who treated both the patients. The doctor said, “Your
wife has a temperature of 98 degrees. It is not serious. But your maidservant has a
temperature of 104 degrees. So she should be taken care of.” The housewife became
angry and told the doctor, “I am the head of the family. I have a temperature of only 98
degrees and my maidservant has a temperature of 104 degrees? You are not a doctor!”
From 104, we want to go higher. And at 104 degrees, death will come. Modern civilization
is raising the temperature. We have come to the point of 107 degrees – atom bomb. We
are prepared to kill ourselves. This increasing the temperature of material enjoyment will
never make us happy. We have to decrease the temperature. We have to come to the
point of 97 degrees, not 107 degrees.
Lecture, BG 5.22-29, New York, 1966

1) Why is it that only one who is fully Krsna conscious can be doing real welfare for all
living entities?

Verse 26

Srila Prabhupada :
After beholding the beautiful form of the Lord, the Kumaras declared, “O Lord, we have
committed a great offence by cursing your servants. Let us be born in Hell for this grievous
sin but we pray that our hearts and minds always be engaged in the service of Your lotus
feet, our words be made beautiful by speaking of Your activities just as tulasi leaves are
beautified when offered to Your lotus feet and our ears always filled with the chanting of
Your transcendental qualities.”
(This prayer reveals how the hearts of the Kumaras had changed and heralds a
significant difference between the jnani and the bhakta. As jnanis, the Kumaras had
become angry simply because their movements had been checked but having attained
bhakti, they are prepared to tolerate the sufferings of hell provided they can hear and
chant about the Lord).
SB 3.15.49

1) Describe, with the analogy of the tortoise, how devotional service can give us
liberation, which is so difficult to achieve, in the ‘very near future’?

Verse 27 and 28

Srila Prabhupada :
This yoga practice means withdrawing the senses from the sense object. The bhakti-
yoga process means not wanting to be affected by the beauty of the woman or man and
instead holding in the mind a vision of Krsna’s beauty. In this way, my desires to see a
beautiful man or woman diminish even without closing my eyes. If the mind is
concentrated on the beauty of Krsna, I can see beautiful girls as Krsna’s gopis. That is
another vision. So, if I close my eyes and if some beautiful girl is in my imagination, what is
the use of closing my eyes?
By force, you cannot control the senses. There are many examples where even great
yogis have failed. Real sense control lies in purifying the senses by engaging in the
activities of Krsna consciousness.
Lecture, BG 5.26-29, New York, 1966

1) What is the yogic process of controlling the mind, senses and becoming liberated?
2) Which is the better way of controlling the mind and senses than this? Why?
Verse 29(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Note:
Krsna here summarizes many of the topics discussed thus far in the Bhagavad-gita and
puts them in the context of achieving liberation. Bhoktaram yajna and sarva-loka
mahesvaram refer to Krsna, not the demigods, as the final enjoyer of all sacrifices
performed by one practicing karma-kanda or karma-yoga. Bhoktaram tapasam refers to
Krsna as the goal and the beneficiary of the jnani’s attempts at austerities. Suhrdam
sarva-bhutanam is directed to the yogis who meditate on the Supersoul because it is the
Supersoul who, as a well-wishing friend, accompanies the jiva from body to body.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura adds, “Krsna is the well-wishing friend of all living
beings. He is mercifully bestowing benefit through His devotees in the form of instructions
on devotional service.”
Knowing Krsna’s position in relation to activities of karma-kanda or karma-yoga,
understanding knowledge of Him as the goal of all tapasya and finally recognizing Him as
the well-wishing friend in everyone’s heart brings us to the only true platform of peace :
liberation from the material world.
Srila Prabhupada expanded upon suhrdam sarva-bhutanam in a 1968 Bhagavad-gita
lecture :

Krsna is always our natural friend. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita : suhrdam sarva-
bhutanam. Suhrdam means suhrt. There are different names in Sanskrit for different kinds of
friends. One friend is called bandhu, one is called mitra and one is called suhrt. So Krsna says, “I
am suhrt, which means “such a friend.” A friend sincerely wants your happiness. A suhrt is a real
friend. Mitra is social friendship. Bandhu is official friendship. But suhrt means one actually desires
good for his friend. Krsna is suhrt. He is always wishing my good and is therefore advising me,
“Please surrender unto Me.”
Just like a father says, “My dear boy, why are you acting independently? Foolishly you are
suffering. Just surrender unto me. I shall give you protection.” Similarly, Krsna is a friend like a
father. He is always asking and is going with me in every type of body. Even if I get the body of a
dog, Krsna is always there with me. Even with cats, dogs, hogs or any lower types of animals, He
has no hesitation. He is so friendly that wherever His friend is going, He is also going there.
As Paramatma, He is doing friendly activities. He is sending His bonafide servant as spiritual
master. He is coming as incarnations. And He is coming as a devotee, Lord Caitanya. He is helping
us in so many ways. But we are so foolish that we are not accepting Him. Nobody can be a better
friend than Krsna. But we are so unfortunate, so captivated by the external energy that we do not
accept Krsna as out friend.
Lecture, October 14, 1968, Seattle

Jnana (knowledge that we are eternal souls), renunciation and sense control cannot
actually give us liberation. We must take shelter of our dear-most friend, Krsna.
Srila Prabhupada discusses this chapter in his purport: “This Fifth Chapter is a practical
explanation of Krsna consciousness, generally known as karma-yoga. The question of
mental speculation as to how karma-yoga can give liberation is answered here. To work in
Krsna consciousness is to work with the complete knowledge of the Lord as the
predominator. Such work is not different from transcendental knowledge.” That
transcendental knowledge is knowledge of the Supersoul and it awards liberation.

Srila Prabhupada :
A saintly person simply depends on Krsna. Why? If Krnsa is supplying food to all
animals from the elephant to the ant, why would He not supply food to me? I am engaged
in His service. Is He is ungrateful? If you render some service, he rewards you. So if you
are engaged in Krsna’s service do you think you will starve? You cannot starve. He is the
well-wisher of all living entities, even you. We must have confidence in Krsna. If He is a
well-wisher for everyone and I am engaged in His service, is He not my well-wisher? So
we should simply depend on Krsna. We should simple exert our energies in the service of
Krsna and everything will be alright. This is surrender. This is confidence. Krsna will supply
everything. Let me engage in His service and attain peace from the pangs of material
miseries. Those who are not confident of Krsna’s protection are in constant anxiety over
food, accommodation, occupation and so on.
Therefore, the other day I cited the verse from Yamunacarya. Bhavantam evam ciram
nirantaram prasantam nihsesa gato rathan. Just like the child in the lap of its mother is
confident that “My comfort, my food, my dress : everything is taken care of. My mother is
there.” Not only human beings but even cats and dogs have confidence that the mother
will take care of them. Young people, on reaching maturity, seek independence away from
their parents. Actually, we are all dependent on Krsna. He is the supplier. He gives us
everything. So we must have confidence in Him.
Lecture, BG 5.26-29, New York, 1966

1) How can we truly achieve relief from the pangs of material miseries?

Homework

1) You are walking through a forest in India. You are accompanied by a jnani and a yogi.
Suddenly, a tiger appears in front of you. When the tiger approaches the jnani, the
latter sees him as Brahman. The tiger devours the jnani. The tiger then turns towards
the yogi, who meditates on the Supersoul within the tiger. The tiger devours him as
well. You are a devotee of Krishna. How do you see the tiger and what do you do?
2) How will you explain to a hedonist who says, “What is wrong with enjoying yourself?
God put us here to enjoy.”

Week 12
BG Chapter 6

Verses 1-24
Verses 1-9
Summary:

At the end of the fifth chapter and continuing with the 6 th, chapter, Krishna explained
dhyana yoga, concluding that He is the goal of meditation. Even in astanga –yoga, karma
yoga is necessary in the beginning stages . When one becomes accomplished in the
practise of meditation, he ceases all disturbing mental activities and comes to the stage of
yogaruda.
Verses 10-24
Krishna explains the practise of the stages in astanga yoga.By practicing yoga with
determination, one attains the perfect stage called Samadhi wjherein one attains unlimited
transcendental pleasure.

Verse 1

Srila Prabhupada :
But Krsna prescribes that anasritah karma-phalam, “One who works without any
expectation of result or reward.” Then why does he work? Karyam. “It is my duty”. There
two kinds of duties in life. One is to serve the illusion and the other is to serve the reality.
When one serves reality, it is called real sannyasa. When one serves illustion, it is called
maya.
Lecture, BG 6.1-4, New York, 1966

Meditation means to stop all mundane occupation. Those who are advanced in Krsna
consciousness have to work for Krsna. Just like an upset child. The mother says, “My dear
child, sit down here.” And if the mother can keep him occupied doing various things, the
child will be content. The whole Bhagavad-gita is action. “Fight for Me.” There are no
“don’ts.” Krsna consciousness does not mean sitting idly. We can think of Krsna’s
pastimes, how they are full of activities. In the spiritual world, Krsna is always dancing. You
have twenty-four hours to dance and to eat but no time to sit around. There is no question
of sitting down. Have you ever heard about the gopis or even Caitanya Mahaprabhu
meditating or sitting down? Can you imagine it?
Lecture, BG 6.1, Los Angeles, 1969

1) In this chapter on astanga yoga, why is Krishna first talking about karma yoga and
saying that it is a better process for every one?
2) How are the impersonalist sannyasis and yogis selfish?
3) How are only devotee sannyasis perfect?

Verse 2

1) How is a Krsna conscious person simultaneously a sannyasi and a yogi?

Verse 3

Srila Prabhupada :
The mind is the driver. The body is the chariot or car. If you ask your driver to take you
to the Krsna conscious temple, the driver will take you there. If you ask your driver to take
you to a liquor house, he will drive you there. The driver’s business is to drive you
wherever you want. Similarly, your mind is the driver. And if your driver takes your license
then he will take you wherever he wants. Then, you’re finished. Your driver becomes your
enemy. But if your driver carries out your order, he is your friend. So actually, the yoga
system means to control the mind in such a way that he will act as your friend, not as your
enemy. “Nobody is anybody’s friend. Nobody is anybody’s enemy. But it is only behavior
by which one can understand who is his friend and who is his enemy”. Similarly, I have to
deal with myself. I have to get myself out of the entanglement of material nature. If I act in
that way then I am my own friend. But even after getting this opportunity, if I do not act in
that way then I am my own enemy.
Lecture, BG 6.2-5, Los Angeles, 1969

1) What are the different parts of the yoga ladder?


2) How do yogis try to control their minds and how do devotees in Krsna
consciousness do it?

Verse 4

Note : Owing to his higher spiritual taste, the yogi renounces both material desires and the
desire for fruitive pursuits. He thus attains the yoga-rudha platform. Such a yogi may
choose to continue his work, which mostly consists of his prescribed duties, not out of
attachment but to set a proper example.

Verse 5

Srila Prabhupada :
Our thoughts are always changing. That is the nature of the mind. So, you cannot
expect that even the great saintly persons are free from thoughts coming and going. But
after thinking, there is feeling and willing. Willing is the stage of putting the thoughts into
action. So, if we are able to employ our intelligence, then we kill the thoughts before they
become manifest in activity. But because we are so inclined to enjoying something
intelligently, we have to sharpen our intelligence by reading, discussing and preaching to
others. In this way, we are able to very easily defeat all challengers to our philosophy and
everything becomes very clear as it is revealed from different angles of vision.
Letter 2.28.72

1) How can we train our minds in such a way that it always acts as our friend?
2) When is our mind an enemy?

Verse 6

1) When the mind becomes the best friend what does the living entity do?

Verse 7

1) When does the mind get attracted to material activities?


2) When the mind is controlled through one of the yoga systems, how does a living
entity reach his destination?

Verse 8

Srila Prabhupada :
So jnana-vijnana-trptatma. One should have not only enlightened theoretical knowledge
but practical knowledge as well. Simple understanding that I am not this body and doing all
nonsense with this body is a mistake. One should have perfect knowledge and
demonstrate it in practical ways. One who has perfect understanding that he is not this
body will find that his bodily necessities will be reduced to a minimum. There should be
practical realization and this is prasannatma. The mind is calm and quiet, no longer
agitated by the attraction of this material encirclement.
Lecture BG 6.4-12, New York, 1966

1) How can we actually realize the Supreme Truth by which our mind can be actually
self-controlled?

Verse 9

Srila Prabhupada :
We have relationships within this world. Somebody is my very good well-wisher.
Somebody is my friend. Somebody is neither my friend nor my enemy. Somebody is
madhyasta, a mediator. And somebody is actually doing some good. When you are on
yoga-yukta, the platform of transcendence, these distinctions of friend, enemy, sadhu,
saintly and sinful will all disappear. No more. We are just acting disguised as father,
mother, wife, children, friend and enemy. In a drama, each plays a part. But off-stage, we
are all friends. On stage I may say, “Oh, you are my enemy. I shall kill you” and so on. But
off stage, we are friends. Similarly, in this material world, with this dress of the material
body, we are playing on the stage as enemies, friends, father, mother, son etc. I cannot
beget any son. It is not possible. I simply beget this body.
Lecture, BG 6.4.12, New York, 1966

Verse 10

(Introduction to verses 10-24)


Having described the symptoms of the stages of astanga-yoga, Krsna next explains the
practices of those stages. By practicing yoga with determination, controlling the mind and
fixing it on the Supersoul, one attains the stage of perfection called Samadhi wherein one
enjoys unlimited transcendental pleasure.

1) What conditions does a person who has attained the yoga-rudha stage accept in
order to practice yoga?

Verse 11-12

1) What severe restrictions must an astanga-yogi practice?


2) Why are the modern day yoga societies bogus?
3) What is the best means of spiritual realization in this age? Why?

Verse 13-14

1) What is the real purpose of yoga?


2) When are people wasting their time in mock yoga practice?
3) Why do the jnana and yoga schools prescribe that one should leave the house in
order to make spiritual progress?
4) Why does the bhakti school allow grhastas to also make spiritual advancement?
Verse 15

1) What is the ultimate goal of performing yoga?

Verse 16

1) Why is it necessary to regulate eating and sleeping to become a yogi?


2) Why is it that only a Krsna conscious person will attain perfection in yoga practice?

Verse 17

Srila Prabhupada :
After one lecture, a devotee asked Srila Prabhupada this question, “Swamiji, you said
that if you eat too much, you will pay a price. But what if a devotee eats too much
prasadam?
Srila Prabhupada : You want to eat more prasadam?
Young boy : I just want to know the consequences of doing so.
Srila Prabhupada : Yes, you can eat more. It is medical advice that there are two kinds of
mistakes in eating - over-eating and under-eating. Under-eating for an old man is very
good. Over-eating for boys is good. So you can overeat. I cannot.
Young boy : What about Tamala and Visnujana?
Srila Prabhupada : They cannot. You can. You can eat as much as you like.
Lecture, BG 6.46-47, Los Angeles, 1969

1) How does a Krsna conscious person avoid all material miseries?

Verse 18

1) How did Ambarisa Maharaja attain the transcendental stage?


2) How can we constantly engage in such transcendental engagements? What is such
a person called?

Verse 19

Srila Prabhupada :
A yogi should meditate on the most benevolent smile of Lord Sri Hari - a smile which
dries away the ocean of tears caused by intense grief. He should also meditate on His
arched eyebrows, which are manifested by His internal potency in order to charm the sex
god for the good of the sages.
It is stated in this verse that the charming eyebrows of the Lord are so fascinating that
they cause one to forget the charms of sense attraction. The conditioned souls are
shackled to material existence because they are captivated by the charms of sense
gratification, especially sex life. The charming eye-brows of the Personality of Godhead
protect the sages and devotees from being charmed by material lust and sex attraction.
Lecture, BG 6.46-47, Los Angeles, 1969
Verse 20-23

Srila Prabhupada :
Each of us is searching for happiness but we do not know what real happiness is. Real
happiness is described by Lord Sri Krsna to Arjuna. We feel happiness through our
senses. Inanimate things cannot feel happiness or distress. Developed consciousness
feels happiness and distress more than undeveloped consciousness.
The trees also have consciousness but it is not developed. Trees are standing on the
roadside but they have no sense of feeling pain. Now, suppose a human being is asked to
stand like a tree for at least three days. It will be impossible for him because he cannot
tolerate this sort of torture. Therefore, the conclusion is that every living entity feels
pleasure and happiness according to the developed consciousness of his being. Similarly,
the happiness which we are feeling now in material nature is not real happiness. If you ask
a tree, “Are you feeling happy?” the tree will say. “Yes. I am feeling happy standing here
the whole year and I enjoy the wind and snowfall very much.” So, the tree may enjoy that
sort of happiness. But you are a human being and you cannot endure this level of
enjoyment. Therefore, the highest standard of happiness is described here. Sukham
atyantikam yat tad buddhi-grahyam attindriyam. Buddhi-grahyam attindriyam. Buddhi
means intelligence. The animals do not have human intelligence. Therefore, they cannot
enjoy life the way a human being can. So here, in the Bhagavad-gita, it is said that buddhi-
grahyam attindriyam.
Attindriyam. Take the example of a dead man. The senses, hands, nose and sense
organs are all there. But now he cannot enjoy them. The dead body cannot enjoy anything.
Enjoyment requires intelligence. That means that the enjoying energy, the spiritual spark,
has gone away and it has no power to enjoy. The dead body cannot enjoy anything. If a
man is offered a dead body of a beautiful woman, will he accept? Or if a woman is offered
the dead body of a beautiful man, will she accept? No. Because the enjoying spark is no
longer there. That requires intelligence. The spirit can enjoy but not this body.

1) In the stage of samadhi what does the soul experience that gives it unlimited
happiness?
2) What does the Lord’s cit-sakti reaveal at this time and how is the person able to
maintain detachment from external events?
3) Why do the monists not accept transcendental pleasure? What is their interpretation
of samadhi?
4) What are the two types of samadhi? Which samadhi will make one infallible? How
can we achieve it?
5) How does a bhakti-yogi easily achieve the results of the difficult yoga process?

Verse 24

Surrender Unto Me :
Without strong faith, one cannot possess determination. If we believe neither in the goal
(sadhya) nor the method to achieve the goal (sadhana), how will we remain determined?
That applies to all spiritual practices. We require faith that following the process will award
success. Perfection does not manifest quickly, especially for the astanga-yogi. Therefore,
the yogi must have fixed determination and enthusiasm which goes beyong even the
bounds of one life. Such a yogi thinks, “Even if I do not achieve perfection in this life, I
must continue.” He cannot become discouraged and say, “This is taking so long. Is it worth
it?” In his purport, Srila Prabhupada tells the wonderful story of the determined sparrow
trying to recover her eggs from the ocean. He then concludes, “The practice of yoga,
especially bhakti-yoga, Krsna consciousness, may appear to be a very difficult job. But if
anyone follows the principles with great determination, the Lord will surely help, for God
helps those who help themselves.” We cannot succeed without blessings. Still, we have to
show our sincerity by making a determined effort, as mentioned in the next verse.

Srila Prabhupada :
In a letter, Srila Prabhupada says, “Good things do not come easily. You know the
difficulties that I encountered during my first years in your country. Sometimes, I did not
even know where I was to live. Neither did I have friends when I came. But I was always
determined to somehow do everything possible to fulfill the desire of my Guru Maharaj and
despite all difficulties, I always remained enthusiastic.

1) What is the most important ingredient required to be successful in yoga? Explain


with example of the sparrow.

Homework

1) Share your realization of how the mind is the friend and/or the enemy?
2) How can we turn the potential enemy into a friend? Do we ignore the mind
completely? Do we obey it but only under certain circumstances? Do we preach to
it?
3) What is the difference between the dictation of the mind and that of the
Paramatma? How can we tell whether we are under the dictation of the mind or the
Paramatma?
4) Mention as many arguments as possible to show the defects of modern yoga
practices?

Week 13
Verses 25-47
Verses 25-36
Summary:

After describing the yoga practise of fixing the mind on the self, Krishna explains the
realization of a yogi.Srila Prabhupada explains that a Krishna conscious yogi is the perfect
seer because he sees Krishna situated in everyone’s heart as Super soul. He sees
Krishna everywhere and everything in Krishna.So he sees all living entities equally.
Arjuna rejects the astanga yoga system as impractical, as the mind appears too
uncontrollable. Krishna assures that it is possible by suitable practise and detachment.

Verses 37-47
Summary:

Arjuna is doubtful about the destination of the unsuccessful yogi, but Krishna ssures him
that his next birth will be auspicious, giving him a chance for self-realisation. Krishna
conscludes by comparing yogis to karmis, jnanis and tapasvis. The yogi is superior to all,
and among yogis, the bhakti yogi, who always thinks of Krishna and worships Him with
faith, is the best.
Verse 25

Surrender Unto Me :
Sanaih sanaih means “gradually, step by step.” Progress in yoga occurs slowly and
steadily. Because a yogi cannot expect instant success, he is required to fix his
intelligence and determination by hearing sastra. The means of success is described next.

Srila Prabhupada :
A Krsna conscious person should not sit idly thinking that such a nice philosophy of life
need not be distributed. It should be his mission to preach. A yogi may be satisfied with his
own elevation, sitting in a secluded place, practicing yoga, elevating himself to
transcendental life. That is his personal concern. But a devotee is not satisfied simply with
elevating himself. We offer our respects to the Vaisnavas. Therefore, the preacher is the
dearest devotee of the Lord. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. They are preaching. They
are meeting opposing elements. Sometimes they are defeated, sometimes disappointed,
sometimes unable to convince. Not every devotee is expert at convincing people. There
are three classes of devotees. But the endeavor to preach Krsna consciousness itself is
the best service to the Lord because they are trying, despite opposition, to elevate people
to the highest standard of self-realization.
Lecture, BG 6.25-29, Los Angeles, 1969

1) What is pratyahara?
2) What should the mind be fixed on so that it will receive pleasure?

Verse 26

Surrender Unto Me :
Here, Krsna uses three adjectives to describe the mind. Niscalati (wandering),
cancalam (flickering) and asthiram (unsteady). By steady intelligence, the yogi must
overcome all these mental tendencies. He cannot indulge his mind and gratify his senses.
He must know for certain that yielding to the mind will destroy his tranquility. Rather, he
should be fixed in the Self – not his thoughts, which may be influenced by his previous
passionate conditioning.

1) What is the difference between a gosvami and a godasa?

Verse 27

Surrender Unto Me :
Happiness comes to a yogi even before he attains perfection. Freedom from passion
and ignorance situates the yogi in the pleasurable mode of goodness. Gradually, he
realizes his qualitative identity with Brahman and becomes satisfied. A devotee’s
realization, however, goes beyond the yogi’s. The devotee remains unsatisfied even after
achieving his own happiness. His interest is in pleasing Krsna, which awards him far
greater bliss.

1) What is the method of becoming free from all material contamination?


Verse 28

Surrender Unto Me :
The previous verse described the yogi who attained self-realization, who realized that
he is not his body but a soul qualitatively one with Brahman. This verse describes going
beyond that realization to realization of the Supersoul. Thus, the yogi, one who is in touch
with the Supreme Self, experiences sukhena (transcendental happiness) because of
brahma-samsparsam (being in constant touch with the Supreme). Thus, a yogi can
gradually progress from an impersonal realization to a personal relationship. When the
Supersoul he is realizing gradually ‘turns into’ Bhagavan, his practice changes from
meditation to the pure transcendental loving service of the Lord.

1) What is brahma-samsparsa?

Verse 29

Srila Prabhupada :
A true yogi, a true devotee, observes Me in all beings. Just like these devotees who are
going to preach Krsna consiousness outside. Why? They see Krsna in all beings. How?
Because they see that all beings are part and parcel of Krsna. They have forgotten Krsna.
So let us awaken them to Krsna consciousness. Everyone should know that he is part and
parcel of Krsna. Forgetting this consciousness, he suffers.
Not that everything has become Krsna. Don’t see it that way or you will be mistaken.
Just like if I see that this boy is the son of such and such gentleman and I see such and
such gentleman in this boy. Is it clear? If I see every living being as the son of God, or
Krsna, then it means I see God in all beings. Do you understand?
Visnujana : Is this an association or a vision?
Prabhupada : No, it is a fact – not an association or vision. When you see a cat, you
see Krsna in him because you know that the cat is a living being. Due to his past deeds,
he has the body of a cat. So, to help this cat, give it some Krsna prasada so that some day
it will become Krsna conscious. This is the way to see Krsna in him. We do not say, “Oh,
here is Krsna. Let me embrace this cat.” That is nonsense. Or if we see a tiger, “Oh, here
is Krsna. Come one, please eat me.” That is rascaldom. You should have sympathy for
every living being because it is part and parcel of Krsna. Vanca kalpa tarubhyas ca krpa
sindhubhya eva ca. Instead of saying, “Come on Krsna, eat me” a true yogi observes
Krsna in all beings. That is proper seeing.
Do not make the mistake of considering everyone as Krsna. Krsna is all-pervading. He
is in every human being. He is also present in an atom. Andantarastham paramanu
cayanatarastham – a line from the Brahma-samhita. Paramanu means atom. So if He is
also situated in an atom, why not every living entity? You should have that knowledge. As
Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, “The true yogi observes Me in all beings and also sees
every being in Me.” How does the yogi see every being in Krsna? By seeing everything as
Krsna. If you are sitting on this carpet, you are sitting on Krnsa. You should know it. Why is
this carpet Krsna? Because it is made of Krsna’s energy. If you see everything in relation
to Krsna, you see Krsna everywhere.
Lecture, BG 6.25-29, Los Angeles, 1969

1) How does the Krsna conscious yogi see the connection between all living beings
and Krsna?
Verse 30

Srila Prabhupada :
If you practice life in this way, always thinking of Krsna, you are sure to return to Him at
the time of your death. Krsna promises this in the Bhagavad-gita, “My dear Arjuna, My
pure devotee is never lost to Me.” Do not be lost to Krsna. That is the perfection of life. You
can forget everything else. But do not forget Krsna. Then you have real wealth.

Quotation from the purport, “A person in Krsna consciousness certainly sees Lord Krsna
everywhere and everything in Krsna. Such a person may appear to see all separate
manifestations within the material nature. But in each and every instance, he is conscious
of Krsna, knowing that everything is a manifestation of Krsna’s energy.”
Energy. Consider a Krsna conscious person. If he sees a tree, he asks himself, “What
is this tree?” He sees that the tree has a material body, just like him. The tree is a living
entity, but due to its past misdeeds, it has acquired such an abominable body that it cannot
even move. But its body is material, which means it has material energy. Whose energy?
Krsna’s energy. Therefore, the tree is connected to Krsna. It is part and parcel of Krsna.
So, if you see Krsna instead of a tree, it is Krsna consciousness. You have to practice that.
That is yoga practice. Then you reach samadhi.
Devotee : So nothing can exist without Krsna. Krsna is the Lord of everthing. This is the
basic principle of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness involves the developing love
for Krsna - a position transcendental to even material liberation.
Prabhupada : Yes. This consciousness, seeing the tree as Krsna’s energy and part and
parcel of Krsna, will help you enhance your love for Krsna - just as you love your child. If
he is not there and you see his shoes, you (fondly) think, “Oh, these are the shoes of my
child.” But you do not love the shoe. You love the child. Similarly, once you perceive
Krsna’s energy manifested in a different way, you will love that entity because you love
Krsna. Therefore, if you love Krsna, your all-embracing love becomes apparent.
Otherwise, you do not have (true) love. If you do not love Krsna, you reason, “This
American man is my brother. That American cow is my food.” But your reasoning is false.
Both are living creations – parts and parcels of Krsna. You cannot say that you will love
one and eat another. That is not all-embracing love.
On the other hand, when a Krsna conscious person sees a cow or a dog, he knows that
they are part and parcel of Krsna even though they have a different body. That does not
mean those creatures are not his siblings. So how can he kill his siblings? If we love
Krsna, we will love all his creations without exception. There cannot be true love without
Krsna consciousness.
Devotee : So it is the stage after self-realization in which the devotee becomes one with
Krsna in the sense that Krsna becomes everything for the devotee and the devotee
becomes full of love for Krsna. An intimate relationship between the Lord and the devotee
then exists. In that stage, there is no chance of the living entity being annihilated nor is the
Personality of Godhead ever out of sight for the devotee.
Prabhupada : How can Krsna every become out of sight? The devotee sees everything
in Krsna and Krsna in everything. So how can he lose sight of Krsna?
Devotee : To merge with Krsna is spiritual annihilation. The devotee takes no such risk.
It is stated in the Brahma-samhita : “I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, who is always
seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed by the pulp of love. He is seen in His
eternal form of Syamasundara situated within the heart of the devotee.” At this stage, Lord
Krsna never disappears from the sight of the devotee. Nor does the devotee ever lose
sight of the Lord. In the case of a yogi who sees the Lord as Paramatma within the heart,
the same applies. Such a yogi turns into a pure devotee and cannot bear to live for a
moment without seeing the Lord within himself.
Prabhupada : That is it. That is the process of seeing God. You must qualify yourself so
that you can see God every moment, everywhere. And this qualification is simple. It is not
very difficult.
Lecture, BG 6.30-34, Los Angeles, 1969

1) How does a devotee who has developed love for Krishna never lose sight of
Krishna?

Verse 31

1) What does the yogi who is practicing meditation on the Supreme soul see?
2) How is the yogi able to be faultless?

Verse 32

1) How is the perfect yogi able to understand the happiness and distress of others?
Why does he try to make them happy?
2) Why is a devotee more perfect than a yogi meditating in a secluded place?

Verse 33

1) Why did Arjuna find this system of astanga yoga impractical for him?
2) Why is this process of yoga impossible to practice in the age of Kali?

Verse 34

Srila Prabhupada :
The mind is so agitated that to control it is as impossible as trying to stop a hurricane.
Just imagine Arjuna. Five thousand years ago, he was able to understand the Bhagavad-
gita from Krsna, his friend. Just imagine his qualification. He was a close friend of Krsna
and a great warrior. He had administrative ability and wide-ranging knowledge. He was
able to understand the Bhagavad-gita within one hour. Do you think what was impossible
for Arjuna five thousand years ago under such favorable circumstances would be possible
for you?
There is a Bengali proverb describing a wide, overflowing river. In those days there
were no ferry boats. Everyone had to cross the river either by a small boat or by
swimming. Generally, the animals were allowed to swim over to the other bank while the
men used small rowing boats. Now, there was a very strong current and many horses
were swept away by it. One lean horse came and asked, “Tell me how strong the river is”.
Similarly, Arjuna was such an advanced devotee in every respect and a close friend of
Krsna. Yet, even he said, “Krsna, this process is not possible for me.”
Even from the history of the Mahabharata, we do not find that Arjuna ever practiced
meditation or the yoga system. Still, Krsna approved of him and told him, “You are the only
man to understand the Bhagavad-gita.” Why? Bhakto ‘si : “Because you are My devotee.”
Priyo si : “You are My very dear friend.” So, with such commendation and favorable
circumstances, Arjuna still refused.
Lecture, BG 6.32-6.40, New York, 1966
1) Why is it so difficult to control the mind?
2) How can we be delivered from the mind’s control?

Verse 35

1) What is the method prescribed by Krsna to control the mind? How can this be easily
done in Krsna consciousness?

Verse 36

1) What does Krsna advocate to steadily control the mind?

Verse 37

1) Why does a person who is engaged in the transcendental path deviate from it
sometimes?

Verse 38

1) Why does Arjuna fear that a deviated transcendentalist might perish altogether?
2) Why is KC the better path than Brahman or Paramatma realizations?

Verse 39

1) Why does Arjuna say that only Krsna can destroy his doubt about the future of the
fallen transcendentalist?

Verse 40

1) What happens to a fallen transcendentalist with regard to his next birth? How will
his consciousness be?
2) Which is the truly auspicious path followed by the regulated section of society?
What does Krishna say about the future of such transcendentalists?

Verse 41

1) What happens to an unsuccessful yogi who has fallen after a short practice of
yoga? How does Krsna help him achieve success in subsequent births?

Verse 42

1) What happens to fallen yogis a long practice of yoga?


2) Give examples of such a rare birth?
Verse 43

1) What happens to the yogi after taking birth in a spiritually elevated family? Explain
the example of an unsuccessful yogi who made it in his subsequent life?

Verse 44

Srila Prabhupada :
He has got a taste from the previous life. So it appeals to him. Purvabhyasena tenaiva
hridayate hy avaso ‘pi sah. As if somebody is urging, “Oh, take this, take this.” Just like
one who is sinful is forced to go to the Bowery. Similarly, one who is pious in his life and
has begun his spiritual path is forced to cultivate and make progress because God is
within. sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah. He is seated in everyone’s heart. mattah smrtir
jnanam. He reminds us, “Yes. You forgot.” We are reminded and urged to begin again, to
be perfect and not ignore this chance. Krsna is so kind. Smrtir jnanam. He gives us
knowledge and remembrance. And if one wants to forget God, “Yes, you may forget. You
came to this earth because you wanted to.” But Krsna continues to give us the opportunity
to return to Him.
Lecture, BG 6.40-6.44, New York, 1966

1) How does such a yogi get attracted to spiritual principles and not mere religious
rituals?
2) What does SB say about those who are chanting the names of the Lord even if they
have a low birth? How did Lord Caitanya demonstrate this principle?

Verse 45

Surrender Unto Me :
To become successful, a yoga-bhrasta (yogi who has fallen from his practice) must
work harder than yogis who have practiced longer. Why? Because rigid practice
(prayatnat) is more difficult to achieve from a sucinam birth (birth in a pious, religious
family) or a srimatam birth (birth in a rich mercantile or royal family) than from a birth in a
yoginam dhimatam family (a family of transcendentalists possessing great wisdom).
Children born in families of transcendentalists receive especially deep Krsna conscious
impressions and training early in their spiritual lives.

Verse 46

1) Why is a bhakti yogi considered to be better than an ascetic, empiricist and a


fruitive worker?

Verse 47(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
When we speak of worship, there is motive. But when we speak of service, there is no
motive. A mother renders service to her child without any motive but only out of love.
Others can neglect the child but not the mother because of her love for it.
Similarly, bhaj-dhatu. Where there is service, there is no motive. That is the perfection
of Krsna consciousness. We have the example of a staircase. Let us say that you have to
go to the highest floor which is, say, the hundredth. Perhaps someone is on the fiftieth
floor, someone on the thirtieth and someone of the eightieth. If by reaching one of these
levels, a person thinks, “This it. I have arrived,” then he is not progressing. One must finish
the course. That is the highest platform of yoga. The whole staircase can be called a yoga
system, the connecting link. Do not be satisfied by keeping yourself on the fiftieth or
eightieth floor. Go to the highest level, the hundredth floor. That is bhakti-yoga. Now, if
someone is given the chance of taking the elevator instead of climbing the stairs, he
reaches the top within seconds. So if a person thinks, “Why should I take advantage of the
elevator? I shall climb step by step,” that is fine. But there is a better way. If you take up
bhakti-yoga, you immediately use the elevator and reach the hundredth floor within
seconeds. This is the direct process. You can go step by step, following all other yoga
systems or you can go directly and speedily. Lord Caitanya has taught us that in this age,
people are very shortlived. They are disturbed and full of anxiety. Therefore by His grace
and causeless mercy, He is giving you the lift to come immediately to the platform of
bhakti-yoga by chanting Hare Krsna.
Lecture, BG 6.46-47, Los Angeles, 1969

1) Why is the word bhajanti – to serve with love and devotion used here?
2) Explain the yoga ladder.
3) What does the ideal yogi meditate on?
4) To whom are the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed?
5) Described pure bhakti or Krishna consciousness, the highest perfectional stage of
the yoga system.

Homework

1) Try to remember an experience where you felt the presence of the Supersoul by the
association of another person – either advanced devotee or ordinary person.
2) How much should we identify with non-devotee’ happiness and distress? What is
the appropriate attitude for a devotee towards the illusory suffering of others?
3) How does maya attack us?
4) How were you initially attracted to Krsna consciousness?

Week 14
BG Chapter 7
Verses 1- 14

Verses 1-7
Summary:
The first six chapters of Bhagavad-gita deal primarily with karma yoga, the middle
six chapters with bhakti-yoga and the last six chapters with jnana yoga.Krishna has
explained in the last verse of chapter six that the yogi most intimately united with
Him was thinking of Him within. In chapter seven, He explains how to attain to this
state. In verses 1-3 He explains knowledge of Himself and in verses 4-7, He explains
how He is the origin of everything material and spiritual.
Verses 8-14
Summary:
Krishna describes how He is the essence of everything in verses 8-12.Why do some
people not recognize Him as the Supreme Personality of Gohead? Krishna explains
how the living entities are deluded and controlled by the three modes, but can go
beyond the modes only by surrendering to Krishna as He is the controller of the
modes.

Verse 1

1) Why should we concentrate our minds on Krsna?


2) Why is sravanam or hearing about Krsna so important?

Verse 2

Srila Prabhupada :
Krsna says jnanam te ‘ham sa-vijnanam idam vaksyamy asesatah. Now, this
knowledge of God is not sentiment. It is science. Nobody can deny it. It is a fact. How our
relationship with the Supreme Lord can develop, how we are related to Him – these things
are facts based on philosophy. Therefore Krsna is assuring Arjuna, “What I am saying to
you is not religious sentiment but jnanam. Jnanam means theoretical knowledge and
vijnanam means practical knowledge.
Lecture, BG 7.1, San Fransisco, 1968

1) What is complete knowledge?


2) How can we become the recipients of such complete knowledge?

Verse 3(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why is it difficult for jnanis and yogis to know Krsna? What do they generally
understand?
2) What do the pure devotees realize about Krsna?

Verse 4(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Surrender Unto Me :
Krsna has summarized the material world by describing its basic elements. His
description ranges from gross to subtle. From these eight elements come the twenty-four
elements that will be explained in Chapter Thirteen. The first five gross elements plus their
sense objects (earth – fragrance, water – taste, fire – form, air – touch and ether – sound)
add up to ten elements. Mind, intelligence and false ego bring the total to thirteen. The
false ego I the cause of the five knowledge-acquiring senses and the five working senses.
That equals twenty-three elements. Finally, we add the mahat-tattva, the twenty-fourth
element, which is the cause of false ego. All these material elements are called apara,
inferior, because they lack consciousness. Krsna has empowered this material energy to
move separately and independently of His direct control. Thus, it is called ‘separated’ or
bhinna.
Krsna has already explained in Chapter Two that the living entities are spiritual by
nature. In the next two verses, Krsna will explain that they material world consists of two
parts - the material energy and the living entities (tata-stha-sakti).

1) What is prakrti and who are the purusa incarnations?


2) What is the understanding of one who does not know the science of God about the
purpose of this world and who do they consider the purusa?
3) What aspects of material energy does material science deal with? What aspects of
the material energy are neglected by them?
4) Why are philosophers who deal with mental activities as well as the atheistic
sankhya philosophers incomplete in their understanding of these energies?

Verse 5(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Arjuna is addressed as maha-baho - a great warrior. Can you understand what is meant
by great warrior? Whoever is acting under Krsna’s direction is a great warrior. Just like
Arjuna fighting this battle, if you take shelter of Krsna and fight against material opposing
elements, sudras, you are also maha-baho. You are fighting with persons who are not
Krsna conscious. You are pushing on the Krsna conscious movement by fighting. But this
fighting is different. It was taught by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. krsna-varnam tvisa
krsnam sangopangastra-parsadam.
Lecture, BG 7.4-5, Bombay, 1972

1) Which is the superior energy of Krsna that is exploiting His inferior energy?
2) How can living entities become controllers?
3) How can the living entity become equal in quality to the Lord?

Verse 6

1) Explain how spiritual energy is the source of matter.


2) How is Krsna the cause of all causes?

Verse 7(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Surrender Unto Me :
In the previous verse, Krsna told Arjuna that He is the creator and the destroyer. Now,
Krsna explains that He is also the maintainer. Krsna maintains everything but nobody can
see Him, just as nobody can see the thread that holds together the pearls of a necklace.
Again, we can know Krsna only by hearing from Him or about Him (tac chrnu) from an
authorized source. If we accept Krsna’s assertion that everything material and spiritual
comes from Him, we become able to see Him everywhere.
Srila Prabhupada stresses that this verse presents a strong challenge to the
impersonalists. Krsna, the person, clearly states - mattah parataram nanyat (nothing is
superior to Me). Krsna explains this further in the following four verses by describing that it
is He who is the essential or maintaining principle of various manifestations.

Verse 8

Srila Prabhupada :
Suppose a doctor gives you medicine with directions, “Drink this medicine. Take two to
five drops.” Gradually you understand that by taking the medicine you are being cured.
You are feeling well again. Similarly, a prescription is given by Krsna. Actually, it is
meditation. When we meditate upon the taste of water, we are meditating on Krsna.
Similarly, Krsna says prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh, “I am the sunshine and the moonshine.”
So who has not seen the sunshine? If you have seen sunshine and if you follow this
prescription given by Krsna, then early morning you will see Krsna’s instruction and He will
be present. He is present. We have to purify our eyes and senses to understand Him.
premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva hrdayesu. Suppose you have a
beloved friend. When you hear your telephone ringing you take the call and ask, “Who is
it?” If he responds “This is …” you immediately recognize your friend. Similarly, if you
develop your dormant love for Krsna, you will see Krsna every moment.
Lecture, BG 7.7, Bombay, 1971

“I am the taste of any liquid that attracts you,” says Krsna. Even if you are a drunkard
fond of wine, I would recommend that you simply think, “The taste of this wine is Krsna.”
That will make you a yogi, the greatest yogi. Simply repeat, “I am tasting wine. Oh, very
nice taste. This is Krsna.” Is it not easy? That is Krsna consciousness.
Lecture, BG 7.1, Stockholm, 1973

1) How can the impersonalist realize God through His energies? Explain with the
examples of water, light, man’s ability or the sound Om.
2) How do the personalists understand these energies?

Verse 9

Surrender Unto Me :
We have heard that earth is one of Krsna’s energies. Here, Krsna explains that he has
imbued the earth with a variety of fragrances. If we plant a rose seed (which has no
fragrance) and add water (which also has no fragrance) a fragrant rose will bud from the
bush. Similarly, a jasmine seed or gardenia bulb will each yield blooms with unique and
wonderful fragrances which are all released from the earth.
The essence of fire is heat. Heat is necessary to cook our food. However, it is not only
the food which is maintaining us. We must also be able to digest the food. That fire of
digestion is Krsna’s energy.
The soul, which is the essence of life, is Krsna’s energy. The essence of an ascetic’s
life is penance or his ability to tolerate austerities. That ability is also Krsna’s gift.

Verse 10

1) Explain how Krsna is the root of everything – all living entities as well as of
Brahman.
2) Mention the other two ways in which we can see Krsna in the material world.
Verse 11

1) What kind of strength and sex life Krishna?

Verse 12

1) What controls all the material activities and who does it emanate from?
2) Why is Krsna called nirguna?

Verse 13

1) How do people get deluded by the three modes and forget their real identity?
2) Why is it not possible to understand Krsna when we are under the modes of
material nature?

Verse 14(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why is the living entity called nitya baddha?


2) What is the other name of guna? What do they do to us?
3) Why is it difficult for living entities to get out of the illusory energy by themselves?
4) How is it possible for the living entity to get out of material nature?
5) Why is it that Krsna says we have to surrender only unto Him?

Homework

1) How can we perceive Krsna through ‘ability in man’? What does this mean? Do you
have experience?
2) List all the items mentioned by Krsna and write how you perceive Krsna through
them.
3) How does Krsna protect the surrendered devotees and help them go beyond the
modes. Write personal experiences of being saved in times of danger by taking
shelter of Krsna.
4) List all the ‘boats’ you have learnt about so far which can deliver us from material
existence.

Week 15
BGChapter 7
Verses 15-30

Verses 15 to 23

Summary:
Liberation from the laws of material nature has always been sought by the leaders of
mankind with great plans and perseverance for many years. If such liberation is attained
by surrendering to Krsna, why do they not adopt this method? Verse 15 describes four
types of unqualified persons who do not surrender to Krsna and who sometimes pose
themselves as leaders simply for material gain. Versers 16-19 describe four types of
persons who surrender to Krsna and how the wise man is the best because he does not
desire material gain. Verses 20-23 describe less intelligent persons who worship demigods
for material gain.

Verses 24-30
Summary:

Krishna describes the impersonalists who surrender to the formless aspect of


Krishna.Pious persons, freed from the dualities arising from delusion, engage in devotional
service with determination and attain liberation.They have knowledge of Krishna s
adhibhuta, adhidaiva, and adhi yagna.By taking the association of devotees and engaging
in devotional service, one gets the determined faith that simply by devotional service all his
objectives will be fulfilled.

Verse 15(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Naradhama. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura said, “Having become civilized human
beings by practicing devotional service for sometime, they later decide that devotional
practices are impractical for achieving their aims in life and thus whimsically discard
devotional service. The symptom of being adhama, the most fallen, is their intentional
rejection of devotional service.
Asura. Baladeva Vidyabhusana : Krsna says, “Just as asuras try to shoot arrows at my
personal form, the source of all bliss, the mayavadis attack my personal form, which is
proven in sruti to be the eternal embodiment of living spirit. The mayavadis thus try to
destroy My personal form with their arguments.”

1) Who is duskrti? Why is he called so? Why doesn’t he surrender to Krsna?


2) Describe the mudha, the naradamah, the mayapahrta jnanah and asura.

Verse 16(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Surrender Unto Me :
Srila Prabhupada clearly explains that although these souls are not pure devotees, they
are pious. They can be elevated to pure devotional service by the association of a pure
devotee.
When a pious soul turns to Krsna out of distress, he is known as arta. Such a person
desires relief from sickness, calamity or other material miseries and this serves as his
impetus to approach Krsna. Gajendra is an example of an arta.
A jijnasu is curious. He inquisitively approaches Krsna to understand the soul or to
become self-realized. Saunaka Rsi is an example.
An artha-arthi may want to enjoy land, money, sons or a wife in this life or the next.
Fortunately, he asks Krsna, not the demigods, to supply his needs. Dhruva Maharaja is an
example of an artha-arthi.
All of the above categories contain sakama devotees. More specifically, they are
karma-misra-bhaktas because they ask Krsna to fulfill their fruitive desires. The fourth
category, a jnani, is technically referred to as a jnana-misra-bhakta (or yoga-misra). He
approaches Krsna not to have his material desires fulfilled but to gain knowledge and thus
approach liberation. Therfore he is on the niskama platform. Both Sukadeva Gosvami and
the four Kumaras are examples of this type of pious soul.
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana comments that a jijnasu is mentioned in the Sanskrit
verse between an arta and an artha-arthi because both will naturally progress to the
jijnasu category as they advance in Krsna consciousness. If they are not curious about
Krsna consciousness, then they are likely to later give up their interest in Krsna’s service.
Krsna next tells us which of these four kinds of pious men is best.

Srila Prabhupada :
He is pious, distressed and at the same time foolish because he does not know that
God is with him, dwelling within his heart. The soul and the Supersoul are both sitting
together. God knows everything about him so he need not pray to God to get him out of his
distress. He knows everything. When you pray, you ask for surrender to God. You glorify
God, knowing his greatness. But you do not pray out of selfish interests, for example, food.
A pure devotee does not pray to God for any personal interest. Even if he is distressed, he
says, “O Lord, it is Your kindness. You have put me in distress just to rectify me. I should
have many more trials but you are giving me only few. That is your great mercy.” That is a
pure devotee’s vision. He is not disturbed. A person in Krsna consciousness does not care
about his material distress because he is aloof from it. He knows very well that
designation, honor, insult and so on pertain to only to his body, and that he is not the body.
Because Socrates believed in the immortality of the soul, he was condemned to death. He
was asked to take hemlock. The judge asked, “Socrates, how do you want to be put into
the grave?” He replied, “First of all, you catch me. Then you put me into the grave.” One
who is completely conversant with Krsna consciousness knows very well that he is not the
body but part and parcel of Krsna. His eternal relation is with Krsna.
Lecture, BG 7.15-18, New York, 1966

1) Describe the four kinds of pious people who render devotional service to Krsna?
How can they become pure devotees?

Verse 17

Surrender Unto Me :
Krsna here tells us that the jnani is the because because he is free from material
desires. The other three types of pious souls are also great because they turn to Krsna but
often leave Krsna’s service once their distress is alleviated or their material desires are
fulfilled. A jnani’s devotional service, however, is steady. In this verse, he is called eka-
bhakti, interested only in devotional service. It is clear that Krsna has used the term jnani
to refer to one who has abandoned his pursuit of jnana and has turned to bhakti. Such a
jnani loves Krsna and Krsna loves him. In other words, Krsna is not referring to one who
practices bhakti to obtain knowledge.
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana comments that this type of jnani (the devotee in
knowledge who desires only Krsna’s service) is so dear to Krsna that the Lord is not
satisfied just to characterize him as the best. He thus adds, “He is dear to Me.”
After hearing this verse, one may conclude that the three karma-misra-bhaktas are
insignificant and only a jnani is important.
Verse 18

Srila Prabhupada :
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura said, “Krsna accepts the jnani as His own self. But the
Lord considers His pure devotee greater than His own self. Krsna once told Uddhavan,
‘My dear Uddhava, neither Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, Lord Sankarsana, Goddess Lakshmi
nor indeed My own self are as dear to Me as you are.’”
SB 11.14.15

1) What does Krsna say about the devotees who have approached Him for some
material fulfillment? Why?
2) What does He say about the devotee who has developed transcendental
knowledge and is serving Him?

Verse 19(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Now, this research about the science of God has to be carried out for several births.
Bahunam janmanam ante. God realization is very easy and yet very difficult. It is easy for
those who accept it as truth and difficult for those who are trying to understand by
knowledge alone since they still have to find their faith after they finish their research. That
may take many, many births. An intelligent man can do it immediately. If one understands,
“Ultimately I will have to surrender to the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is here,
personally speaking the Bhagavad-gita. So why not surrender immediately? If, ultimately,
after several births I have to come to the point of surrender, why should I put myself
through such difficulties for so many births? Why not surrender immediately?” If you take
up this principle, this intelligence, then God can be realized in one second. But if you do
not, then you may go on with your research for many, many, many births.
Lecture, BG 7.18, New York, 1966

1) What is the realization of a jnani who is just trying to give up materialism?


2) What is the realization when he is further advanced?

Verse 20

1) Why do some people approach the demigods and not the Supreme Lord for fulfilling
their material desires?
2) What is the advantage of approaching the Lord even for material desires?

Verse 21

1) How does the Lord arrange for the fulfillment of desires from demigods?
2) Why does he do so?

Verse 22

Surrender Unto Me :
The fruits that demigods offer their worshippers are ultimately awarded by Krsna. Even
the faith that demigod worshipers possess is given by Krsna and not by the demigods.
Although everything is ultimately given by Krsna, because demigod worshippers have not
directly approached Krsna, they cannot be liberated.
Krsna will now compare the destination of demigod worshippers with that of His
bhaktas.

Verse 23(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the destination of the demigod worshippers? What happens to the results of
worshipping them? Why?
2) If demigods are parts of Krsna then why can’t one achieve Krsna by worshipping
them?

Introduction to verses 24-30 :


Krsna has described the demigod worshippers whose surrender is misplaced. Now, He
will discuss the impersonalists who surrender to the formless aspect of Krsna. They cannot
see Krsna, who covers Himself from their vision. Pious persons, freed from dualities
arising from delusion, engage in devotional service with determination and attain liberation.
They have knowledge of Krsna as adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyajna. The Seventh
Chapter explains how one can become such a Krsna conscious person. In the beginning,
one takes the association of devotees, which leads to understanding one’s constitutional
position as servant of Krsna. By engaging in devotional service, one gains determined
faith, drdha-vrata, and becomes convinced that simply by such service all his objectives
will be fulfilled.

Verse 24

Srila Prabhupada :
Mayavadi philosophers do not accept Krsna or His lila. They think it is all maya. So,
there is no ananda for them. They therefore come down again. Punar musiko bhava.
Nowadays, it is very difficult to collect funds. If you say, “I am going to open a temple,”
nobody will help. But if you say, “I am going to open a hospital,” they will give you
donation.
Therefore, we must have positive engagement. Simply negating is called jagan mithya.
Why should it be jagan mithya? We do not say jagan mithya. Is this nice building mithya? It
is not. It is perfectly true because Krsna is being worshipped here. This is life. This is truth.
So why should I say “jagan mithya”? You have to utilize jagat in such a way that it will
become the Truth. This process is samsiddhir hari-tosanam. Here, the only business is to
satisfy Krsna.
Lecture, SB 1.8.41, Mayapur, 1974

1) How are the impersonalists unintelligent in their understanding of Krsna?


2) How can one understand Krsna as He is?

Verse 25(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why is it that less intelligent persons cannot see Krsna?


2) How was Krsna not manifest to everyone even when He was visible to everyone
during His appearance here?

Verse 26(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
The theory of overpopulation is defeated here. Krsna knows the future. He knows how
to provide for future populations. There is no question of overpopulation. The lower
animals are never concerned about overpopulation. The leaders mismanage and then give
some theory of overpopulation. People get punished due to sinful activity. Therefore there
is scarcity. When people are put into jail, it is not due to overpopulation. It is due to over-
criminality. Similarly, whenever there is scarcity of food, it is not due to overpopulation but
due to over-sinfulness.
Hari Sauri’s notes

1) How can we prove that Krsna’s body is transcendental?


2) Explain how we can understand that Krsna knows the past, present and future?
How He can know all the living entities and why is it that most people cannot
understand Him?

Verse 27(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Small mudhas are working hard just to be happy while the big mudha wants to become
God. The small mudha wants to become a minister or a president while the big mudha
wants to become God. But the disease is the same, “I shall become the most powerful.” It
is not possible. Only Krsna is the most powerful.
Lecture, BG 4.20, Bombay, 1974

1) What is the situation of living entities born into delusion?


2) What is the situation of pure devotees?

Verse 28(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
God consciousness is not cheap. Yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-
karmanam. One who is completely free from all contamination of the material modes,
anta-gatam papam, sinful activities, can te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam – stick
to the principle of devotional service. Otherwise, if he is not free from the contamination of
sinful life, he may make a show of devotion but that is not actual devotion. It is
bhaktyabhasa.
Lecture, BG 2.32, London, 1973

Surrender Unto Me
Pious persons are qualified to take to devotional service not exactly because of their
piety but because their piety attracts a pure devotee’s mercy. It is the mercy of the Lord’s
devotee and nothing else that destroys sins and establishes faith in bhakti. Thus, it is the
bhakta’s business to distribute Krsna consciousness to others. Srila Prabhupada writes,
“All the devotees of the Lord traverse this earth just to recover the conditioned souls from
their delusion.”
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s comment points directly to the unique, magnanimous
contribution of Srila Prabhupada :

But do we ever find devotion for you in anyone? It seems that this would not be the case,
judging by your statement that all beings in creation are born in delusion.
[This is answered:] Those living beings who have received the merciful glance of the topmost
pure souls will have all their sinful reactions destroyed. As stated in sruti, “The personal servants of
Lord Visnu wander this world to purify the conditioned souls.”
What characteristics are found in those who receive such mercy? This is answered by the
phrase punya-karmanam : their activity of taking the darsana of great souls is punya, attractive or
charming.
Says Krsna, “Becoming firm in their vows and gaining determination by virtue of the association
of great souls, they are freed from the delusion of duality. Coming to understand the truth about
Me, they engage in worshipping Me.”
How munificent, then, was Srila Prabhupada! He so widely cast his purifying glance
that it fell upon even the impious and those engaged in most unfortunate works. Thus, he
created their punya-karmanam.

1) How does piety and following regulative principles of religion help in acquiring
devotional service?
2) What is the real necessity in order to advance in spiritual life and render pure
devotional service?
3) Why are impersonalists the greatest violators of God’s law?

Verse 29

Surrender Unto Me :
Here, Krsna describes a fourth kind of sakama devotee – one whose devotion is mixed
with the desire for liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Such a devotee is Brahman
and knows everything about adhyatma (the self or jiva) and karma (activities).

1) Who are actually entitles to be called Brahman?

Verse 30

1) What are the three things of which the Lord is the governing principle and knowing
which we can go back to Godhead?
2) How does a person gradually develop this faith and knowledge and become fixed in
his determination to do devotional service?

Homework

1) What are the reasons for your coming to Krsna consciousness? Have your desires
been fulfilled?
2) Have your motives changed over time?
3) What are the arguments for demigod worship?
4) Write some arguments against demigod worship.
5) Find out all the misconceptions of mayavadis. These will include
a. The Lord is formless and all forms are impositions.
b. Krsna is a prince, a powerful living entity and an ordinary person.
c. Krsna has a body made of this material nature and all His activities, His form
and everything are maya.
6) What is the illusory curtain that separates us from Krsna? Make a list of things that
you think prevent you from seeing Krsna. Then tell how you can overcome these
things.
7) What makes you determined to stay in KC? Why do you continue practicing? What
are your challenges? How can you improve your determination?

Week 16

BG Chapter 8
Verses 1-13

Verses 1-6
Summary:
Arjuna enquires about six terms that Krishna used in th last verse of the seventh chapter.-
Brahman, adhtama, karma, adhibhuta, adhidaiva and adhiyagna. In verses 1-4 Krishna
answers the first seven questions and in verses 5-8 Krishna answers the eighth question
of what is the destination of one who thinks of Him at death and how to remember Him at
death.
Krsna explains that one must practice to remember Him while performing active devotional
service. In this way, one can remember Him at the time of death and attain His nature.
Verses 7-13

Summary:
One must always think of Krishna , especially by chanting the holy name, along with
performing active devotional service. Such practise helps one to remember Krishna at the
time of death and attain to His nature.Krishna explains some ways to meditate on Him in
verse 9. A yogi can attain Krishna by uttering Om and thinking of Krishna at death. Yoga
misra bhakti is described in verses 10-13.

Verse 1

Surrender Unto Me :
Arjuna first asks, “What is brahman?” He wants to know if brahman refers to the jiva or
the paramatma. Srila Prabhupada writes, “aham brahmasmi (I am spirit). It is said that one
should understand that he is brahman (spirit soul). This brahman conception of life is also
there in devotional service. The pure devotees are transcendentally situated on the
brahman platform and they know everything about transcendental activities. Only persons
who perform activities in Krsna consciousness (mam asritya) are actually entitled to be
called brahman because they are actually endeavoring to reach Krsna’s planet. Such
persons have no misgivings about Krsna and are therefore factually brahman.” (BG 7.29,
purport).
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana analyzes Arjuna’s remaining questions as follows, “What
is adhyatma?” Arjuna is asking if the adhyatma (self) pertains to the gross or subtle body.
“What is karma?” Arjuna asks is karma (activity) refers to fruitive or spiritual activity and,
if they are equivalent, why he should fight.
In “What is adhibhuta?” Arjuna is asking, “What gross, physical things are you referring
to – items such as pots or the bodies of living beings?”
“Who is adhidaiva?” Arjuna asks if the adhidaiva, governor of the demigods, is a
demigod or the virat purusa (universal form of the Lord).
The prefix adhi is significant. One definition of it is “above, over and above.” In another
respect, Arjuna then is asking about the identity of the adhi, the one above or ruling over
the body, the physical manifestation and the demigods.

Srila Prabhupada :
atma could mean this body, this self or the mind. But Arjuna is asking, “What is the real
meaning of atma?” atma means the soul. So Krsna is the purusottama - uttama-purusa.
The madhyama-purusa is the Supersoul, the link between Krsna and us. We are adhama-
purusa.
Lecture, BG 8.1, Geneva, 1974

Verse 2

1) Who are worshipped in yagna performance?


2) Why does Arjuna address Krishna as Madhusudhana?
3) Why does Maharaja Kulasehkhara pray that he many leave his body immediately?

Verse 3

Surrender Unto Me :
Arjuna’s questions and Krsna’s answers are as follows :
1) What is Brahman? Krsna tells Arjuna that the jiva is Brahman. Srila Prabhupada
writes, “Brahman is indestructible and eternally existing and its constitution is not
changed at any time. But beyond Brahman there is Parabrahman. Brahman refers
to the living entity while Parabrahman refers to the Supreme Personality of
Godhead.”
2) What is the self? The nature of the jiva, the adhyatma (self) is to eternally serve.
Srila Prabhupada writes, “The constitutional position of the living entity is different
from the position he takes in the material world. In material consciousness his
nature is to try to be the lord of matter but in spiritual consciousness, Krsna
consciousness, his position is to serve the Supreme.”
3) What is karma? Karma is not simply activity but, specifically, activity that develops a
material body. Srila Prabhupada writes, “When the living entity is in material
consciousness, he has to take on various bodies in the material world. That is
called karma or varied creation by the force of material consciousness.” Srila
Prabupada’s purport also gives a technical description of karma from the
Chandogya Upanisad. Karma, in this technical sense, specifically refers to the
journey of a jiva to the heavenly planets, his return to earth and his acquiring a
human body after falling from the heavens in the form of rain.

In answering Arjuna’s first three questions, Krsna has clarified the difference
between the body and the soul. He has also explained the difference between
activity of the body, which causes the soul’s bondage, and spiritual activity of the
soul, executed in the material world, which causes neither karma nor bondage. In
other words, the soul is spiritual. Its nature is devotional service to Krsna and its
karma is the material body or its conditioned nature.

Verse 4

1) Describe what adhibuta, adhidaiva and adhiyagna are?

Verse 5(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
This is the ultimate goal of Krsna consciousness. Anta-kale. At the time of death. At the
end of life. Anta-kale ca mam, “Unto Me”. Anta-kale ca mam eva ,”certainly”. smaran, “you
will remember Krsna.” Deity worship is especially meant for this purpose so that you can
go on worshipping the Deity of Radha and Krsna. Then, you will be able to think of Radha-
Krsna always within your heart. This practice is needed.
Lecture, BG 8.1, Geneva, 1974

1) How will you be able to think of Krsna at the time of death?

Verse 6

Srila Prabhupada :
The following is a letter written by a devotee on his deathbed to his friend, taken from a
lecture by SDG :
“I have to tell you about the place I’m staying at. It is a huge hospital like a factory. It is
next to a soulless suburb. Some of the people are in terrible shape. People scream and
cry at night. The jaws of karma are chewing at them. Amazingly, I am not losing my mind. I
have never felt so strong spiritually. Everyday, I drink the nectar of Srila Prabhupada’s
words in the Gita. This is the true remedy for all diseases in life.
This body has to go anyway. Anxiety is not necessary. Every living being which has
taken birth has to die. The aim is not to live and die. It is to know and realize who we really
are. We have to concentrate our minds on Krsna, His beauty and develop a loving
attraction for Him.
Of course, we have to serve His devotees when we can. That is what pleases Him the
most. We should never criticize someone engaged in His service, even if it is faulty. Both
mental and verbal offences bring fall down and misery.
SDG : ‘We pay more attention to someone on his deathbed. This is his last opportunity
to say things and there is no need to put up any pretense. There are lessons we should
take to heart. This devotee did have the problem of offending other devotees.’
I beg you to consider all this and think about your own life. I am experiencing these
trials for my benefit as well as yours. Please be serious with your devotional life. Please
make as much progress as you can while you are still able to function as a normal human
being. Read the Gita again. Take notes. Collect the verses that inspire you the most.
Chant your heart out in front of beautiful Krsna and Balarama. Serve Guru Maharaja to the
best of your ability. Then you will be safe and peaceful all your life and, at the time of your
death, your mind will be fixed as well as your destination. Do not lose even a minute.
There is no time to waste. The clock is ticking. Death is the most serious event of your life.
That is what we have to prepare ourselves for.
Here, people are trying to forget their anxieties by sinking deeper into illusion. They
watch TV on their deathbed. They do crosswords. They read mundane magazines like
Inquirer or Globe. It is so sad. They listen to music, trying to absorb themselves in material
sound vibrations. But it does not do them any good. Their anxieties are limitless.
There was a period when I worried about my health. But my scare was never big. It is
not that I am very courageous. It was just Krsna protecting me in the form of His holy
name. In the worst of times, I mentally chanted the mahamantra over and over again, and
felt secure. Either I would have died thinking of Krsna or lived thinking of Krsna. So why
worry?”
SB 1.19.15

1) What is the danger in thinking of something other than Krsna? Explain with the
example of King Bharata.

Verse 7

Surrender Unto Me :
Often, devotees wonder if it is necessary to remember Krsna while performing their
duty or whether doing the duty for Krsna is sufficient. Here is Krsna’s answer. We should
remember Krsna and do our prescribed duties. Even though it may be difficult to
remember Krsna while we work, it will be fare more difficult to remember Him at the time of
death when our consciousness is disturbed and overwhelmed with pain. Therefore, Krsna
wants us to practice now.
It is interesting that Krsna says, “mam anusmara (go on remembering Me)” even before
saying, “yudhya ca (and fight).” We should remember Krsna in devotion and work for His
pleasure.

Srila Prabhupada :
If he does not practice remembering Krsna while struggling for existence, it will not be
possible for him to remember Krsna at the time of death. Lord Caitanya also advises this.
He says, kirtaniyah sada harih : one should practice chanting the names of the Lord
always. The names of the Lord are non-different from the Lord Himself. So Lord Krsna’s
instructions to Arjuna are the same. There is no difference because Krsna is non-different
from His name. In the absolute status there is no difference between reference and
referent. Therefore, we have to practice remembering the Lord always, twenty-four hours a
day, by chanting His names and molding our life’s activities in such a way that we can
remember Him always. If a married woman is attached to a man other than her husband or
if a man is attached to a woman other than his wife then the attachment is to be
considered very strong. One who has such an attachment is always thinking of the loved
on. The married woman is always thinking of her lover, even while carrying out her
household chores. In fact, she carries out her household work even more carefully so that
her husband will not suspect her attachment. Similarly, we should always remember the
Supreme Lover, Sri Krsna while performing our material duties nicely. A strong sense of
love is required here.
Lecture, BG INTRO, New York, 1966

Verse 8
Surrender Unto Me :
Remembering Krsna is such a powerful practice that it can even empower us to
conquer our conditioned natures. We have different strengths, weaknesses, attachments
and misgivings according to our association with the modes of material nature. We can
conquer our limitations by Krsna’s mercy by always remembering Him. However, as Krsna
states in BG 6.35, remembering Him takes constant practice and determination.

Verse 9

Note : Krsna is discussing bhakti mixed with the aspirations of a yogi seeking liberation
from the cycle of birth and death (yoga misra bhakti). In the verses 10-13 he describes the
practices of the yogis.

1) What are the ten ways Krsna gives us so that we can meditate on Him and realize
Him as Supersoul?

Verse 10

Surrender Unto Me :
The ultimate message of these verses is to remember Krsna. That is the goal of yoga.
Fixing the life air between the eyebrows is useful only to assist a yogi in remembering
Krsna. Additional aids are mentioned in the next three verses.

Verse 11

1) What are the practices of the yogis to bring the life force between the eyebrows?

Verse 12

1) Describe further the activities of the yogis.

Verse 13

Surrender Unto Me :
Again, the important principle is mam anusmara - practice yoga, practice celibacy,
chant om and remember Krsna.
Having explained the practices of yoga-misra-bhakti, or how one attached to yoga and
liberation can remember Him, Krsna next discusses pure devotional service.

Srila Prabhupada :
Sarva-dvarani means …This system is called pratyahara in the technical language of
the yogic system. Pratyahara means ‘just the opposite’. Now, my eyes are engaged in
seeing worldly beauty. I have to retract from enjoying that beauty and must instead see
inside the beauty. That is called pratyahara. Similarly, I have to hear the omkara sound
from within. So, all the senses are to be stopped in their external activities, the perfection
of yoga and the mind should be concentrated on visnu-murti. Mano hrdi. The mind is very
agitating. So, it has to be fixed upon the earth. Mano hrdi-nirudhya. Nirudhya means
arresting the mind within the heart. Murdhni. Murdhny adhayatmanah pranam asthito
yoga-dharanam. And in this way, when we transfer the life air to the top of your head, that
is the perfection of yoga. A perfect yogi fixes up where he shall go. There are innumerable
planets. Beyond the planets, there is the spiritual world. Yoga. The actual meaning of the
word yoga is plus - the opposite of minus. At present we are minus God or minus the
Supreme. So, when we make ourselves plus, connected then our form of life is perfect.
So, at the time of death we have to finish that perfection. As long as we are alive, we have
to practice how to approach that point of perfection. And, at the time of death, when we
give up this material body, that perfection has to be realized.
Lecture, BG 8.12-13, New York, 1966

Om is a combination of the letters a, u and m. ‘A’ refers to Krsna, ‘u’ indicates Srimati
Radharani and ‘m’ indicates the jivas.
CC, Adi, 7.128

Chanting Om is the transcendental but mechanical way of getting into trance. Persons who
are unable to realize the transcendental, personal form or name of the Lord because of
imperfect senses are trained to practice self-realization by the mechanical process of
regulating the breathing while simultaneously repeating om within the mind,
SB, 2.1.17

Home- work:

1) If somebody says that he will live life as he chooses and only at the time of death, he
will think of Krishna, what will you reply him based on this section?

Week 17

Chapter 8
Verses 14- 28

Verses 14- 19
Summary:
Krishna urges Arjuna to engage in pure devotional service by remembering Him without
deviation. There is no impediment in such service and one easily attains Krishna. The
material world is miserable and temporary as illustrated by the constant cycle of universal
creation and destruction. By hearing this description, one gains detachment from this
world.

Verses 20-28
Summary:
In verses 20 -22, the eternal nature of the spiritual world is described., as well as the
means to attain it., devotional service to Krishna. Different ways that jnanis and karmis
leave this world are described in verses 23-26. But Krishna’s devotee need not worry
about these paths, as simply by performing devotional service, he gets the beneficial
results of all paths and reaches the Supreme destination(27-28).

Verse 14

Surrender Unto Me :(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


Srila Prabhupada mentions in his purport that pure bhakti is indicated in this verse by
the words ananya-cetah, “without deviation of the mind.”

This verse especially described the final destination attained by the unalloyed devotees who
serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead in bhakti-yoga. Previous verses have mentioned four
different kinds of devotees – the distressed, the inquisitive, those who seek material gain and the
speculative philosophers. Different processes of liberation have also been described : karma-yoga,
jnana-yoga and hatha-yoga. The principles of these yoga systems have some bhakti added but
this verse particularly mentions pure bhakti-yoga without any mixture of jnana, karma or hatha. As
indicated by the word ananya-cetah, in pure bhakti-yoga the devotee desires nothing but Krsna. A
pure devotee does not desire promotion to heavenly planets. Nor does he seek oneness with the
brahmajyoti nor salvation or liberation from material entanglement. A pure devotee does not desire
anything. In the caitanya-caritamrta, the pure devotee is called niskama, which means he has no
desire based on self-interest. Perfect peace belongs to him alone – not to those who strive for
personal gain. Whereas a jnana-yogi, karma-yogi or hatha-yogi has his own self-interest, a perfect
devotee has no desire other than to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore,the
Lord says that for anyone who is unflinchingly devoted to Him, He is easy to attain.

ananya-cetah means undeviating, with no desire for heavenly pleasure or liberation.


satatam and nityasah mean always serving, incessantly for one’s entire life, without
consideration of time and place. Krsna is so pleased by such an attitude that He becomes
su-labhah, easy to obtain, even if one is not yet on that platform but only desiring to reach
it. Krsna removes all obstacles from such a devotee’s path. A vivid example illustrating the
importance of ananya-cetah bhakti is found in Lord Caitanya’s lila.
Once, Lord Caitanya went to evacuate. When He returned, He was holding His tongue.
When the devotees saw this peculiar sight, they asked Him why he was doing that.
Mahaprabhu replied that His tongue was acting so improperly that it would not stop
chanting Hare Krsna even when He was engaged in such a filthy activity. Therfore He was
forced to hold His tongue to restrain it. At that time, a small boy named Gopala bravely
spoke up.
Gopala said, “No, no. This is not correct philosophy. Krsna’s names are pure and
should be chanted at all times. For instance, if one were about to die, would He think, ‘Oh,
this is an inauspicious, dirty time and therefore I should not chant?’ No. At all times,
regardless of the external purity of the situation, one should remember Krsna and chant
His names.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu replied, “You have properly understood the philosophy. You
are my guru. You are Gopala Guru.”

Ananya cetahah means undeviating….one achieves by practicing pure bhakti.

Srila Prabhupada :
For example, my residence is at Vrndavana. That is the place where Krsna advented
Himself. Now I am in America, your country. But that does not mean I am out of Vrndavana
because if I think of Krsna always, it is as good as being in Vrndavana. I am presently in
this New York apartment but my consciousness is there at Vrndavana. Krsna
consciousness means you already live with Krsna in His spiritual planet. You simply have
to wait to give up this body.
Lecture, BG 8.12-13, New York, 1966

Verse 15(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Surrender Unto Me :
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains, “Such devotees enter Krsna’s pastimes
and happily take birth when Krsna appears in the house of Vasudeva as his son.”

1) What is the achievement of the pure devotees?

Verse 16

Surrender Unto Me :(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


Krsna makes it clear that His planet is supreme. The term mam upetya, used in both
texts 15 and 16, means ‘achieving Me.’ Krsna, through repetition, emphasizes this
because He does not want us bewildered by a desire to go to the heavenly planets. He
therefore clearly states that every situation in the material world is miserable. We should
desire only mam upetya, to achieve Him.
To further establish this point, Krsna compares the material world with the spiritual
nature in texts 17-22.

Verse 17

1) What is a kalpa?
2) What is the duration of satya, treta, dvapara and kali yugas?
3) What are the characteristics of the four yugas?
4) What is Brahma’s life span? How does he get liberated? What living entities are
elevated to his planet?

Verse 18

1) What happens to the living entities during Lord Brahma’s night and day?

Verse 19

Surrender Unto Me :
Krsna is preparing a contrast to describe the benefit of leaving the material world for the
spiritual world. Here, Krsna explains that even Brahmaloka, the most wonderful planet, is
influence by time. How does time affect us? Time forces the annihilation of every material
body. Death, the annihilation of our body, rips us away from all the attachments we have
developed over a lifetime. Bhutva bhutva praliyate, it happens again and again. In addition,
we are intermittently forced into an unmanifest state for a thousand yuga cycles –
something not at all pleasant for the active soul.
Next, Krsna contrasts this disastrous situation to the attainment of those who become
Krsna conscious.
Verse 20

1) What is the nature of the un-manifested world?

Verse 21

Srila Prabhupada :
Srila Prabhupada was once asked while he was in Vrndavana, “What is the difference
between Goloka Vrndavana and this Vrndavana?” He replied, “None. But your mind is in
America.”
MW, New Vrndavana, 1974

Srila Prabhupada once told Govinda dasi, “Preach while you are still young. Once you
are old, retire to Vrndavana and chant Hare Krsna. But you cannot retire unless you have
preached sufficiently. The mind will agitate. After having preached, you can retire and
chant Hare Krsna. So, preach as much as possible.”
Srila Prabhupada Lila V

This verse refers to the jnana-yogi. When one leaves by this method, the fire-god takes
him up to a certain point and hands him over to the next demigod, who turns him over to
another. He passes through segment after segment of the universe till he reaches
brahman.
SUM

1) What are the features of the Lord’s supreme abode?

Verse 22

1) Describe the Lord in the spiritual abode. How is He also present in the material
world?

Verse 23

1) Which devotees should concern themselves with the time of leaving their bodies?

Verse 24

Surrender Unto Me :
This verse is for the jnana-yogi. Srila Prabhupada writes, “When fire, light, day and the
fortnight of the moon are mentioned it is to be understood that over all of them there are
various presiding deities who make arrangements for the passage of the soul. At the time
of death, the mind carries one on the path to a new life. If one leaves the body at the time
designated above, either accidentally or by arrangement, it is possible for him to attain the
impersonal brahmajyoti.”
When one leaves by this method, the fire-god takes him up to a certain point and hands
him over to the next demigod, who turns him over to another. He passes through segment
after segment of the universe until he reaches Brahman.

Verse 25

1) Where do the karma kandis go and return? What is the quality of life there?

Verse 26

1) Who are the people who keep coming back to this world? Why?

Verse 27

1) Why is the devotee not disturbed by the two paths of leaving the body?

Verse 28

1) What is the path prescribed by Vedic literature for one’s liberation?


2) Why is KC more glorious than this path?
3) How should we understand the middle six chapters of BG? Why are they special?

Home work:
1)Write ways in which you can increase your remembering Krishna throughout the day.

Week 18
BG Chapter 9

Verses 1-19

Verses 1-10
Summary:

The initial chapters of Bhagavad-gita describe confidential knowledge of the difference


between the soul and the body. Chapters 7 and 8 are more confidential because they
describe devotional service which brings enlightenment in Krsna consciousness. Chapter
9 is most confidential because it describes pure, unalloyed devotional service. In Chapter
8, Krsna has explained that the ananya devotee surpasses both the path of light and
darkness. Now, Krsna will explain how to become such an ananya devotee. The first step
is to hear about Krsna. A non-envious person can obtain the most intimate knowledge of
the Absolute Truth by hearing and can perceive Krsna directly through the process of
devotional service. A faithless person, however, must return to the path of birth and death.
Krsna explains His inconceivable relationship with the material world in verses 4 to 10.

Verses 11-19
Summary:

Krishna compares the pure devotees to the impersonalists, demigod worshippers and
those who worship the universal form. He also describes how to meditate upon Him as the
visva rupa.

Verse 1

Srila Prabhupada :
Guhya is positive. Guhyatara is comparative. So this brahma-jnana, Brahman, is
guhya, very confidential because if you achieve brahma-jnana, you immediately become
the most important person within this material world. Brahma-bhutah. Paramatma is Krsna,
or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, situated in everyone’s heart. So that is
guhyataram.
Lecture, BG 9.1, New Vrndavana, 1975

Jnana, this most confidential knowledge, is not sentiment. Vijnana-sahitam. It is


science. You must know scientific knowledge theoretically and practically. When you really
surrender, it is practical science. If you decide to surrender – that is called saranagati –
then you have to learn the science how to become surrendered. That is vijnana. Jnana
means theoretical knowledge and vijnana means practical knowledge. So, we have to do it
practically. We should not think, “I have read Bhagavad-gita and Bhagavata. So I have
become a devotee.” No. You should practically demonstrate in your life that you are
actually devotee. That is called vijnana-sahitam.

Quote 3 :
Krsna is very strict. But the devotees are very lenient. Krsna doesn’t want to even
speak with demons. But the devotees are so kind that they go to the demons and pray,
“Kindly hear. Kindly hear about Krsna.”
Krsna says, “Don’t speak this Bhagavad-gita to non-devotees,” because non-devotees
will not accept. Krsna says sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saran vraja. Who will
accept unless he is a devotee? The mayavadi, karmi, jnani or yogi cannot accept. They
are envious, “I am Krsna. I am God. Why should I surrender to Krnsa? Why should I
accept Krsna as God?” This is the position of the bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami. They cannot
understand the science of Krsna. They cannot understand because Krsna does not
disclose Himself to non-devotees. But the devotees are so merciful that they go to the
abhakta, transgressing the order of Krsna. Because they are so merciful, “All right, Krsna
has rejected them. Let me try. Let me try.” This is the position of a bhakta. They are totally
un-envious of God.
Lecture, BG 9.1, New Vrndavana, 1975
Note : This verse makes three points :
a) One becomes advanced by hearing about Krsna.
b) One must not be envious to hear properly.
c) One becomes free from material miseries when he hears properly and cultivates
devotional service.

1) Why is the ninth chapter considered to have the most confidential knowledge?
2) Why should we listen only to devotees’ commentaries on the Bhagavad gita?

Verse 2(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Pratyaksa means directly. Avagamam dharmyam. If you are hungry and are given very
nice, nutritious and palatable food then you do not have to take any advice from others.
You will understand, “Yes, I am now feeling strong. I am now feeling energetic.” This is
called pratyaksavagamam dharmyam. Similarly, if you take to Krsna consciousness – that
is the process – then you will feel automatically how you are satisfied.
Lecture, BG 9.1, Melbourne 1976

1) Describe why this knowledge of the ninth chapter is the king of all education, the
most confidential, the purest, the best part of religion, eternal and joyfully
performed?

Verse 3

1) Define faith in KC.


2) Describe the three classes of KC men based on their faith.
3) What happens to those who have no faith even after hearing about Krsna?

Verse 4

Srila Prabhupada :
Electric power can be transmitted everywhere. An electrician can take electric power
from anywhere and utilize it. Similarly, Krsna’s energy is spread all over the universe.
When we are transcendentally situated, just like the electrician, we see God eye to eye.
Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. That creation, spiritualization of the senses, is
made possible by devotional service and love. His energy is spread all over the universe,
all over the world, and by His energy He can be present anywhere and everywhere
simultaneously. The conclusion is that when His devotee is there, He can manifest Himself
everywhere and anywhere but when there is no devotee, He is not there although His
energy is there. There are many instances. Prahlada Maharaja saw Krsna from the pillar.
Lecture, BG 9.4-7, New York, 1966

1) Explain how Krsna is all pervading even though not being conceived by the material
senses.
2) How can we understand that even though Krsna is everywhere and everything is in
Him, He is aloof but material nature is not free from Him? Explain with the example
of the king.
Verse 5

Surrender Unto Me :
Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana explains that Krsna has presented an apparent
contradiction. He first said, “All beings are in Me.” Now he says the opposite, “And yet
everything that is created does not rest in Me.” Within the realm of Krsna inconceivable
potency or His yogam aisvaram (mystic opulence), everything rests in Krsna but does not
present even the smallest burden on Him. He maintains all that exists while remaining
completely separate and detached in the spiritual world.
To help us understand His inconceivable and mystical relationship with the material
energy, Krsna offers an analogous example.

1) How is Krsna able to maintain this material manifestation without even touching it?

Verse 6

Note : Although all living entities are within Krsna, are dependent on Krsna and are
supported by Krsna they nevertheless act independently. How can one who is completely
dependent act independently? This is an inconceivable feature of the relationship between
the living entities and Krsna. Krsna provides an analogy to help us understand. The sky
(space), like an inverted bowl, contains the wind. In the same way He says “All created
beings rest in Me.” Just as the sky is detached from the wind the wind, though in the sky,
blows freely and independently. The sky restricts only the area of movement – not the
movement itself. Krsna thus limits the activities of the conditioned living entities, regardless
of the extent of their power, to the circumference of this material world. Within the material
sphere they are free, and Krsna is detached from their independently enacted activities
and from the reactions their activities generate. The living entities are thus simultaneously
fully dependent on Krsna and independent of Him.

Verse 7

1) What is the total number of years in Lord Brahma’s day? What is the duration
of his night?
2) What happens during Lord Brahma’s night? What does the Lord repeat
during Brahma’s day?

Verse 8

Srila Prabhupada :
We are completely under the grip of the stringent laws of material nature. We are
repeatedly put under these stringent laws so that it may come to our consciousness that
“Why are we suffering this repeated birth and death?” But we have become so dull and
accustomed to this habit because it has been continuing since time immemorial. We don’t
take it very seriously that we are dying, getting another body and suffering these miseries.
Lecture, BG 9.7-10, New York, 1966

1) How is Darwin’s theory refuted here?


Verse 9

1) What analogy is used here to explain the Lord’s neutrality with regard to all material
activities?

Verse 10(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the governmental business of king, like
Ambarisa Maharaja, is carried out by his ministers while the un-involved king merely
remains present. All the same, unless the king is present on his throne, the ministers are
incapable of doing anything. In the same way, unless Krsna gives His support as the
supervisor, the material nature cannot do anything.
Maya means ‘by My’, adhi means ‘from above’ and aksa means ‘eyes’. Thus,
mayadhyaksena means ‘under my eyes’. Everything is done under Krsna’s supervision.
SUM

1) Explain the three analogies used here to describe the Lord’s relationship with the
material world.

Introduction to verses 11-19

Krsna compares the pure devotees to the impersonalists, demigod worshippers and those
who worship the universal form. He also describes how to meditate upon Him as the
visva-rupa.

Verse 11(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :

Quote 1:
Moghasa means that whatever they are aspiring to, whatever they desire, they will be
baffled. Mogha means they are hoping to be very happy at a certain point. But that point
never comes. He does not know the ultimate point of his satiation. Na te viduh svartha-
gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah. People are enamored by the external
beauty of this illusory material energy and therefore cannot understand the aim or
objective of life.
Lecture, BG 9.11-14, New York, 1966

Quote 2:
According to Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, if one practicing astanga-yoga for
liberation, karma-kanda rituals for material well-being or jnana-yoga for knowledge and
Brahman realization, all his aspirations will be crushed if he misunderstands Krsna’s form
to be material.
SUM

Quote 3:
Mogha-karmanah means fruitless and baffled. Whatever they do, they will find it
frustrating. They are unhappy. Mahatma Gandhi was a great worker for the national
emancipation for India. In the end, he was so disgusted by the attitude of his people that
he used to cover his ears to block out the noise from the thousands of people who would
gather and cry, “Mahatma Gandhi ki jaya.” The poor man (Gandhi) could not even sleep.
Whenever there was a rumor of Mahatma Gandhi’s arrival, at least five thousand people
would gather and cry, “Mahatma Gandhi ki jaya.” During the last stage of his life, he could
not even sleep due to such shouting. He was so disgusted that at the very morning of the
day of his assassination he had said to his secretary, “I am so disgusted. I wish to die.”
Those very words got published in the newspaper. Now see. He was such a great worker
but was still baffled. What to speak of others? So, mogha-karmanah. Unless we become
Krsna conscious, all our activities will be frustrated.
Mogha-jnanah. Jnana means research of knowledge – philosophical speculation. Do
some research work to find out whether or not Krsna is God. Then your research work will
be worthwhile. But without any objective, what is the use of your research? It is like
thousands of years of idle speculation.
Lecture, BG 9.11-14, New York, 1966

1) What are the qualities of Krsna which prove that He is the Supreme Personality of
Godhead?
2) Why do foolish persons find it difficult to conceive of Krsna as being the Supreme
person controlling everything?
3) What do devotees know about Krsna which makes them surrender unto Him?
4) How do Krsna’s activities on the earth prove that He is the Supreme person?
5) How do mayavadis misquote the Srimad Bhagavatam to prove that Krsna is an
ordinary person?
6) Why do impersonalists deride temple worship? How do devotees refute this?

Verse 13(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) How can one come under the shelter of the divine nature?
2) Why does the mahatma not divert his attention to anything other than the form of
Krsna?

Verse 14(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Bhajanti means always engaged in Krsna’s service. That is a mahatma. Laziness is not
bhakti. There must be activity. If somebody says, “I shall chant sitting down. Who will
notice? I will doze and people will think I am chanting.” This kind of cheating will not do.
For those who are interested in Krsna consciousness, it is clearly stated that they
should chant sixteen rounds everyday. You are not Haridas Thakura, who was able to
chant day and night. Though it is a lofty ideal, it is something which you cannot do at
present. Sixteen rounds of japa is the minimum requirement which takes no more than two
hours. That leaves twenty-two hours to spend in Krsna’s service which is required for
progress in Krsna consciousness.
That is upasate. Work is there for you. Just like fighting was Arjuna’s duty. That is also
Krsna consciousness. Yudhyasva mam anusmara. Krsna said, “Chant, remember Me and
fight at the same time.” Yudhyasva mam anusmara. He did not say, “Simply fight” or
“Simply chant” because that is not possible in the material world. Therefore, we must chant
and at the same time work to continue this movement. The movement requires a lot of
energy.
Lecture, BG 16.4, Hawaii, 1975

1) What are the qualifications of a real mahatma?


2) How do we know that he is determined to achieve the association of the Lord and
the end of life?
3) How can we also become a mahatma?

Verse 15

Note : In his purport, Srila Prabhupada mentions three levels of Krsna worshippers : 1)
The mahatmas 2) The sukrtvas 3) three kinds of jnanis who worship the Absolute truth. It
is the jnanis who are being discussed in this verse.

Srila Prabhupada :
Anye means ‘others’. They may not have been given much importance even though
they have been accepted. The manifestation of the universe is also the manifestation of
God’s energy. God is non-different from His energy. Therefore, one who takes the
manifestation of energy as God is not mistaken because there is nothing beyond God. If
you think, “I am God” then yes, you are also God because there is nothing beyond Him.
Ahangrahopasanam. If you think everything is God that is also true because in the
higher conception there is nothing beyond God. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. Sarvam
means everything.
Lecture, BG 9.15-18, New York, 1966

1) What are the three types of jnanis mentioned here? Who is the best among these
three and who is the lowest?

Verse 16

1) How is the yagna performance mentioned in the Vedas also Krsna?

Verse 17

Srila Prabhupada :
Now Krsna says pitaham asya jagatah, “I am the father of this material world.” How
does he become the father? What is the definition of father? The father is one who gives
the seed. Then He says mata, “I am the mother also.” What is the definition of mother?
The mother receives the seed from the father and the child is born. Similarly this material
energy is the mother. We obtain this body from our mother. So this material covering is the
mother. And I am a spiritual spark, the seed. I am part of the Supreme. The material
energy is also the energy of the father and, since I am a spiritual spark, I am also part of
the Supreme. So, He is my father and mother.
Lecture, BG 9.15-18, New York, 1966

1) Explain why Krsna is considered the mother, the father and grandsire, the object of
all knowledge, the Vedas and the pranata Om.

Verse 18
1) Describe how Krsna is the ultimate goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the
abode, the refuge, the best friend, the creator, accumulator and the cause of all
causes.

Verse 19

Note :
Krsna is explaining in these verses how to see Him within the objects of this world. Srila
Prabhupada says in his purport, “Since Krsna is both matter and spirit the gigantic
universal form comprising all material manifestations is also Krsna. And his pastimes in
Vrindavana as two handed syamasundara, playing on a flute, are those of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead.

1) Why does the advanced devotee not make any distinction between matter and
spirit?

Home-work:
1) What are the nine processes of devotional service? Which process or processes do
you enjoy most? Realisation comes when we associate with advanced devotees,
engage in devotional service and avoid restricted activities. How do we know if we
are making advancement in spiritual life?
2) How does Srila Prabhupada exhibit the symptoms of a Mahatma? How does his life
reveal that he worked under the shelter of the internal potency?

Week 19

Chapter 9

Verses 20-34

Verses 20-26
Summary:
Demigod worship, which neglects Krishna as the Supreme enjoyer, is improper and
causes fall down. Devotees of Krishna , however, are personally protected by Krishna,
who helps them achieve His association. Krishna accepts His devotees’ offerings which
are given in devotion. In verse 26, Krishna describes pure devotional service.

Verses 27-34
Summary:

Krishna advises Arjuna to perform karmarpanam, offering the the fruits of all activities to
Him., which will result in liberation from bondage to work. (verses 27-28). Krishna
compares His relationship with ordinary living beings to that of His devotees- how He
becomes friend to His devotee and protects him despite his accidental fall down. He gives
shelter to anyone regardless of birth, and assures everyone of attaining the supreme
destination.(verses 29-33). He concludes by giving the most confidential knowledge of how
to engage in devotional service to Him. Verse 34 is essential and is repeated in BG 18.66
Verse 20

1) What is the result of performing sacrifices to the different demingods?


2) What is the actual purpose of such worship?

Verse 21

1) What do souls who reach the heavenly planets enjoy?


2) What happens at the end of their lives there?

Verse 22

Surrender Unto Me :(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


Paryupasate (properly worship) and nityabhiyuktanam (always fixed in devotion)
indicate a devotee’s absorption in pure Krsna consciousness. Srila Prabhupada writes,
“One who is unable to live for a moment without Krnsa consciousness cannot but think of
Krsna twenty-four hours a day, being engaged in devotional service by hearing, chanting,
remembering, offering prayers, worshiping, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, rendering
other services, cultivating friendship and surrendering fully to the Lord.”
With such determination in their practice of sadhana, the devotees neglect even their
own maintenance and do not care for liberation. They leave both responsibilities to Krsna,
who thus personally delivers them. This contrasts with the description given of the yogi in
BG 8.24 where it is said that the demigods in shifts arrange for the soul’s passage higher
and higher through the material realm to the ultimate destination of the brahmajyoti.
One may ask, “What kind of devotee would give his worshipful Deity, Krsna, such a
burden?” However, Krsna does not consider maintaining His devotee a burden. He wants
to serve His devotee. Krsna is so powerful that simply by exerting His will, He can created
unlimited universes. Maintaining His devotees is not a burden but a pleasure for Him.
When the brahmana, Arjunacarya, was writing his commentary on the Gita, he saw this
verse and thought it was a mistake to believe that the Lord would personally carry
whatever was needed to each devotee. Arjunacarya therefore scratched out vahami (‘I
carry’) and inserted karomi (‘I have it done’). Arjunacarya was extremely poor. After making
the change in the text, he went out begging as he did everyday.
While he was gone, his wife heard a knock at the door. Two beautiful boys fearfully
insisted that she quickly accept the food that her husband had forced them to bring. These
two were anxious to get way from her house because, they told her, the great brahmana
scholar, Arjunacarya, would probably beat them again. When Arjunacarya’s wife expressed
disbelief that her husband would beat such boys, the dark boy said, “See?” and turned
around to show her the marks on His back where He had been struck. Then they both
dashed away.
Arjunacarya was bewildered. She began to cook and eat the food the boys had
brought. Upon Arjunacarya’s return, he saw his wife eating. He was shocked. According to
the Vedic system, a wife never eats before she has fed her husband. But his wife had
become bewildered.
When he challenged her, she replied, “Acarya, why have you acted so inappropriately
and become so cruel?” She then told him that two beautiful boys had come and left a
bountiful supply of food. After the dark boy had showed her the marks on His back they
had rushed away. The acarya thought for a few moments and then asked what the boys
looked like. Upon hearing that one had a beautiful, darkish complexion and the other was
white, he could understand that his fortunate wife had been blessed with the darsana of
Krsna and Balarama. The ‘beating’ marks on the beautiful dark boy’s back were the result
of the acarya’s having scratched out the word vahami. Krsna had been forced to come
personally to prove the truth of His words, “I carry what they lack.”

Srila Prabhupada :
Well Mr Materialist, you have to work very hard. But here, the assurance from the Lord
is, “For those who are unflinching and totally devoted to the transcendental service of Me,
in return I take responsibility for their care and comfort.” Nityabhiyuktanam yoga-ksemam
vahamy aham.
Now, this sloka is very important for the devotees. There was a great devotee named
Anandacarya.
Lecture, BG 9.20-22, New York, 1966

Verse 23

Srila Prabhupada :
To worship demigods may be acceptable if people know that these demigods are
authorized agents of the Supreme Lord. But those who do not accept the Supreme God
and misunderstand, “This particular type of demigod is all powerful,” are behaving stupidly.
They are in opposition to the Supreme Lord. That is avidhi-purvakam. It is not allowed
because nobody can compete with the Supreme Lord
Lecture, BG 9.23-24, New York, 1966

1) Explain, with the analogy of watering the tree, how it is unnecessary to separately
worship the demigods.

Verse 24

1) What is the result of worshipping the demigods and performing sacrifices for them?

Verse 25(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the destination of devotees who are performing devotional service?


2) What is the destination of those working demigods and other beings?

Verse 26(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :

Quote 1:
You must become a friend of Krsna. If you want to meet somebody important then
somehow you have to make some connection with him. You have to introduce yourself in a
friendly, loving manner. Then it is possible to make connection with great personalities. So
if we want to transfer ourselves to that supreme planet of Krsnaloka then we have to learn
how to love Krsna. How can one learn to love God? There are six kinds of reciprocation or
exchanges. Dadati. We have to serve God in that way. Therefore, if you want to serve Him,
start with some offering. Patram puspam. Anyone can offer a little flower, some fruit and a
little water. So the Lord says patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati.
The important thing is love.
Lecture, BG 9.24-26, New York, 1966

Quote 2:
Krsna went to Duryodhana’s house on a peace mission before the battle. Duryodhana
offered a sumptuous feast but Krsna refused. He said, “Neither am I hungry nor are you
offering out of love. This food is full of bad feelings. Therefore it cannot nourish body and
mind. Without good reason you are envious of the Pandavas. Anyone who envies the
Pandavas envies Me and anyone who favors the Pandavas favors Me. The Pandavas are
one with My life. One should neither eat in the house of envious people nor offer food to
them.”
Krsna then went to Vidura’s house. Vidura was in such ecstacy that he was peeling
bananas and offering the peel to Krsna and throwing away the bananas. Krsna relished
that offering.
Mahabharata

Quote 3:
Lord Caitanya used to drink from Sridhar’s water-pot which was made of iron. It was full
of dents, having been used for various purposes. However, the Lord enjoyed drinking from
this port because He was drinking Sridha’s transcendental devotion which had
transformed the common liquid water into divine ambrosia. Thus, the Lord taught that
everything in relation to a pure devotee is transcendental. The Supreme Lord, on the other
hand, ignores a valuable gem-studded water-pot of insolent materialists but he accepts
any offering from His surrendered devotees irrespective of any rules or regulations for
offering. If His devotee has a little ordinary food then He forcibly takes it from him, as in the
case of Sudama Vipra. It has been seen that the Lord sells Himself toe His devotees.
When the Pandavas were banished to the forest, Lord Krsna relished a simple offering of
leafy vegetables from Yudhishthira.
Caitanya Bhagavat, Madhya Lila 23

Quote 4:
Madana Mohana was talking to Sanatana Goswami who, at that time, had no temple
and was placing his deity on a tree. Madhana-mohana said, “Sanatana, you are bringing
all these stale, dry chapattis and you don’t even give Me a little salt. How can I eat?”
Sanatana Goswami replied, “Sir, where shall I go? Whatever I offer you, please accept. I
cannot move. I am an old man.” So Krsna ate the offered food. Because the bhakta is
offering He will not refuse. Ye mam bhaktya prayacchati. The important thing is bhakti.
What can you offer to Krsna when everything belongs to Him? What do you possess?
What is your value? And what is the value of your things? Nothing. Therefore the real thing
is bhaktya, your devotion. “Krsna, kindly take it. I have no qualification. I am most rotten
and fallen but I have brought this for you. Please take it.” This will be accepted. Do not be
puffed up. Always be careful. You are dealing with Krsna. That is my request. Thank you
very much.
Lecture, DI, Los Angeles, 1969

Quote 5:
There is a process for worshipping the river Ganges. After you take your bath, you
stand waist-deep in water and, taking a little water from the Ganges, you offer it saying,
“Mother Ganges, I am offering this respect.” This is the process. Now suppose you take a
handful of water from the Ganges. What is the loss to the Ganges? And if you offer a
handful of water to the Ganges, what is the gain? So, patram puspam phalam toyam. If
you offer a leaf, flower, fruit or water to the Supreme Lord do you mean to say He gains
something? Or if you take it from nature (you take so many things) is He in loss? He has
no gain or loss. It is in your interest. When God accepts He says, “Yes…asnami : I eat.”
A member of the Arya-samaj once asked me, “Swamiji, do you think God eats?” I
replied, “Yes, because God Himself says, ‘I eat.’ So who are you to say that He does not
eat? Whom shall I believe – you or Krsna? I am a third person, you are also a third person
and Krsna is recognized as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whom shall I believe? I
accept that I am fool number one. But whom shall I believe – Krsna or you? Who are you?
What is your position? You are an ordinary man. So when you say ‘God does not eat’ but
God Himself says ‘I eat’, whom should I believe?”
Lecture, BG 9.26-27, New York, 1966

1) Explain how performing bhakti is very simple and easy for everyone.
2) What type of sacrifices will Krsna accept?
3) Why is it important to accept only food offered as sacrifice to Krsna?
4) How do impersonalists misinterpret this verse?
5) How does Krsna eat the food we offer?

Verse 27(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Surrender Unto Me :
Niskama-karmis are attached to the specific work they perform. To them, Krsna
therefore says, “Whatever you are already doing, do it as an offering unto Me.” First
perform the activity and then surrender its fruit to Krsna.
Bhakti is different. In bhakti, we first surrender to the order of guru and Krsna. Then we
act. We make no distinction between the activity and its fruit. Everything is offered as
surrender to Krsna’s lotus feet.
Srila Prabhupada confirmed that this verse refers to karma-yoga, technically different
from bhakti-yoga, in a lecture on the prayers of Queen Kunti, given in Mayapur in 1974:

Krsna is meant for the paramahamsa and muni – very, very exalted persons. Yoga
means ‘contact’ or ‘having connection.’ Bhakti-yoga means directly connecting with Krsna,
or God. Other yogas are not directly connected. When there is karma-yoga, it is
adulterated. It is not pure. Karma-yoga means yat karoso yat asnasi yat juhosi dadasi yat.
In the beginning, one cannot take to pure bhakti-yoga. Therefore, karma yoga is
recommended. People are interested in different types of work. Therefore, Krsna says yat
karosi, “Never mind whatever you are doing.” So how does it become karma-yoga? Now,
kurusva tad mad-arpanam, “You give it to Me.” Krsna says, “Alright, go on. You are
attached to business. Go on doing that. But the money earned out of your business, give
to Me.” This is karma-yoga. “It does not matter what you do but give the ultimate result to
Me.”

Srila Prabhupada :
The real fact is that we have lost our devotion to and faith in God. He is begging for
your love and faith – not your money. He is already opulent while you have nothing. You
came from the womb of your mother empty-handed and when you die you will go empty-
handed. So what belongs to you? Nothing belongs to you. That is a fact. You came here in
illusion and you think for some time, “This is mine.” This is called maya. Therefore, it is
said here, manam janad avidusah karuno vrnite. Out of His causeless mercy He
sometimes begs, “Give Me this.” Just like a father sometimes asks his child, “My dear boy,
could you kindly give me a little cake from your portion?” And if the child is very fond of
him, he would immediately give. But sometimes he refuses, “No, I shall not give it.”
Similarly, Krsna’s hands are full. Why is He begging? He wants your love. But it does not
mean He is in need of it – He is not. He wants you to love Him because you have forgotten
how to love God.
Just like sannyasis. They beg from householders. They are not beggars but they still
introduce themselves as beggars so that the householder might receive them and benefit
from their knowledge. So, in one story, a sannyasi went to a householder. The housewife
told the householder, “Oh, this beggar is going from door to door. Give him some ashes.”
The sannyasi replied, “Alright. Give me some ashes. Just begin your charity.” Similarly,
when Krsna asks, “Give Me some flower, fruit or water” it does not mean He is begging.
He is just inducing you to practice offering everything that belongs to Him.
Lecture, SB, 7.9.11, Montreal, 1968

1) How can we mold all our different activities to be Krnsa conscious?

Verse 28

1) What is yukta vairagya?


2) How does it benefit us?
3) Who is a true sannyasi? Why is it difficult to understand his plans?

Verse 29(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
So, this is the reciprocation of devotional service to the Lord. If there is any devotee
who is constantly engaged in such devotional service, God never forgets him. Tesu te
mayi : “As he is always in Me, I am always in him.” There is no question of disappointment.
Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayat. If you do a little service for the Lord,
He records it. Do not think your labor is going in vain. Everything you do sincerely is noted.
It is clearly stated here, tesu te mayi, “As they are constantly thinking of Me, I am
constantly thinking of them. How they can make further development. How they can come
back to Me quickly. How they can be free from all contamination.” He will give you
intelligence.
Lecture, BG 9.27-29, New York, 1966

1) Why does Krsna in His Bhagavan feature become partial to His devotees?
2) How is Krsna equal to all in His feature as Paramatma?
3) What is the consciousness of the pure devotee towards Krsna and how does Krsna
reciprocate with them? Explain the gold and diamond analogy.

Verse 30(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


Srila Prabhupada :
There is tale of how habit becomes second nature. There was a thief who went on a
pilgrimage with some friends. One night, when his friends were sleeping, he got up and
began to steal from someone’s bag. At the same time he was thinking, “I have come to this
holy place of pilgrimage yet I am committing theft out of habit. I shall stop.” But he still took
someone’s bag and hid it. All night the poor fellow did this. However his conscience then
got the better of him. In the morning, when his friends got up and could not find their bags,
the thief owned up and confessed, “My dear gentlemen, I am a thief. Because I usually
steal at night, I wanted to steal your bags. Then I thought, ‘I have come to this holy place. I
shall not steal.’ So I switched your bags around. Please forgive me.” He did not want to
commit theft but he has the habit of stealing. Although he has decided not to commit
anymore theft, he still does so due to his habit. Therefore Krsna says, “In that condition,
one who has decided to stop all bad or immoral habits and progress in Krsna
consciousness and then, by chance, does something which is immoral in the face of
society, it should not be taken account of.”
Lecture, BG 4.7-4.9, New York, 1966

1) What are conditional activities and constitutional activities?


2) Why does an accidental fall-down in spiritual life not disqualify him as a devotee?
3) How do we know if a fallen devotee is sincere or not?

Verse 31(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
Kaunteya pratijanihi. Krsna says, “My dear Arjuna, you can declare this to the world.”
Why is Krsna speaking through His devotee and not directly? It is because He has
promised to protect His devotee. Because Krsna is God, He can violate His own promise.
But since He wants to protect His devotee, He declares through His devotee that the
promise will be kept.
I will give you an example of how Krsna sometimes breaks His promise. When He
joined Arjuna at Kuruksetra Krsna promised, “Because this fight is between cousins, it is
My duty not to take sides. Both of you are My relatives. But since I have divided Myself
into Myself and My army, and as Duryodhana has decided to take My soldiers, I shall join
you. However I shall not fight. I may perform tasks which may assist you.” Arjuna replied,
“You can do whatever work you like.” Krsna said, “Alright. I shall drive your chariot.” So
Krsna’s promise was never to fight.
While fighting Bhisma, Arjuna was perplexed. Bhisma was a great fighter despite his
old age. Duryodhana once complained to him, “Because your beloved grandsons are on
the other side, you are not fighting to your full potential.” In order to encourage him,
Bhisma said, “Alright. Tomorrow I shall finish off all five brothers. I now have special arrows
for that purpose.”
Duryodhana was very clever. He told Bhisma, “Let me keep those five arrows tonight. I
will deliver them to you tomorrow morning.” Krsna became aware of the situation because
He knows everything – past, present and future. So he advised Arjuna to go to
Duryodhana and remind him of a promise he had once made, “Arjuna, whenever you need
something, just ask me.” Krsna told Arjuna to request Duryodhana for those five arrows.
Arjuna therefore approached Duryodhana’s camp. He was well received there.
Duryodhana then asked, “Well Arjuna, what do you want? Come on, sit down. Do you want
something from me? I can stop this fight if you so desire.” Arjuna responded, “No. I have
not come to beg for my kingdom. The battle shall go on. But you have promised, in the
past, to give me what I ask. Give me those five arrows which Bhisma has given you.”
Duryodhana immediately granted Arjuna’s request.
News of this incident reached Bhisma, who knew that Krsna was behind all this since
He would always try to save His devotees. Krsna had caused him to break his promise. So
he waited to see if next day, Krsna would break his own promise. If so, His friend would be
killed. Bhisma therefore fought fiercely. Arjuna almost died. His chariot was shattered into
pieces. Arjuna fell onto the ground. Krsna then took one of the broken chariot’s wheels and
said to Bhisma, “Stop fighting or else I will kill you.” Bhisma at once gave up his arrows
and replied, “Alright. Kill me.” Because Bhisma had vowed that he would kill Arjuna and
Krsna had promised not to fight, just to save His two devotees (Bhisma was also His
devotee), He decided, “Either I will break My promise or you will kill Arjuna. So it is better
that I break My promise.” In this way, for His devotees, Krsna sometimes breaks His own
promise.
So here, Krsna says kaunteya pratijanihi, “You promised so I shall protect your
promise.” Na me bhaktah pranasyati, “Anyone who has taken to Krsna consciousness will
never be destroyed.” Of course, a living entity is never destroyed. Na hanyate hanyamane.
Destruction of this body is not destruction. Real destruction is if we lose our spiritual
consciousness and awareness of our spiritual identity. In the material conception of life we
are practically destroyed because, as spiritual beings, we have a blissful, eternal life. We
have full knowledge. But here, we live in wretched conditions thinking that life is not
eternal, not blissful and not full of knowledge. We are thinking that we are advancing in
civilization but unless we revive our original life of eternity, full knowledge and bliss we
should know that we are not advancing. We are being defeated by the illusory energy. This
is real destruction.
So Krsna has herein asked Arjuna, “Please declare to the world that anyone who has
taken to Krsna consciousness will never be destroyed. He will never return to material life
of sense gratification and this material existence full of miseries.”
Lecture, BG 9.27-32, New York, 1966

1) How can a person engaged in abominable activities be a devotee?


2) Why does Krsna ask Arjuna to declare His promise instead of saying it Himself?

Verse 32(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Srila Prabhupada :
According to sastra, even one born into a low grade family can be elevated without
exception. But there are rascals who do not believe this. They have their own ideas. Krsna
never said, “Only brahmanas, Indians or Hindus can take shelter or Me.” Mam hi partha
vyapasritya ye ‘pi syuh – “Whaver he may be. There is no restriction.” Just like anyone can
bathe in the Ganges – not just a particular person or a particular community. And by doing
so, he can purify himself. Na hi harate jyotsna candras candela vesmani. Just as the moon
does not discriminate between the bhangi and the candela when it comes to casting its
moonlight, Krsna’s mercy is for everyone and not restricted to a specific community or
class of people. Anyone can benefit from it.
Convention, Washington, 1976

1) Why is there no distinction between people in devotional service?

Verse 33
1) Why is Krsna advising everyone not to remain in this material world?
2) How is Krsna encouraging Arjuna to also take up devotional service?
3) How can we refute the mayavadis who claim that this world is false?

Verse 34(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Note : It was verse 34 that a famous Indian scholar interpreted to mean that we should not
surrender to Krsna but to the unborn within Him. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada comments in
the purport on “unscrupulous commentators” who distort the meaning of the verses. His
mood was to give Bhagavad-gita as it is without changing Krsna’s meaning. Therefore, by
his potency, people from every country could change their lives and take up pure
devotional service.

Surrender Unto Me :
Krsna here gives four confidential instructions 1) man-manah (always think of Me) 2)
bhava mad-bhaktah (become My devotee) 3) mad-yaji (worship Me) 4) mam namaskuru
(offer obeisances to Me).
First, Krsna tells us to always think of Him. It is not sufficient to work hard for Krsna
while our minds wander. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana comments here that Krsna says to
Arjuna, “A so-called ‘devotee’ of a king, his servant, is actually thinking about his own wife
and so on. His thoughts are not fixed upon the king. Thus he is not actually the king’s
devotee. You, however, in contrast with such a person, should be absorbed in thinking of
Me and should become My devotee. Your mind should always be fixed, like uninterrupted
flow of honey, on Me, the son of Vasudeva. You should think of Me as your own master
and as the very goal of your life.”
The Bhagavad-gita is the essence of all Vedic literature. The middle six chapters are
the essence of the Gita and the Ninth and Tenth Chapters are the essence of the middle
six chapters. Finally, the last verse of this chapter, which is exactly in the middle of the
Gita and which will be repeated practically verbatim at the end of the Gita, is the most
confidential and essential sloka. It is the essence of the essence of the essence and the
most confidential of all knowledge - Become a pure devotee of Lord Krsna.
One may question whether this verse beginning, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto, is
actually the essence of the Gita. Noting that almost the same verse appears again in BG
18.65, one may think that BG 18.66, sarva-dharman parityajya, is actually the essence, not
18.65. Actually, both verses are the same in that in both, Krsna offers the same instruction.
Text 18.66 expresses Krsna’s desire that Arjuna surrender and Text 18.65 explains the
components of that surrender.

1) In what mood should we think about Krsna? How can we develop this mood?
2) How can the person who has accepted directly the path of Krsna consciousness be
able to ‘live happily in this material world’?
Home-work :

1) Identify arguments in this section against the statement, “All paths lead to the same
God. Demigod worship is just as good as worship of Krsna.”
2) Share your experience where Krsna carried out what you lacked or preserved what
you had.
3) Write a letter to Krsna stating how you do not have firm faith that He will maintain
you. Then apologize for your lack of faith and tell Krsna how you will reform
yourself.
4) Discuss the practice of preparing and offering food. How can we do it carefully and
filled with devotion?

1) Describe all the activities that you perform in Krsna consciousness. How have you
dove-tailed your material life also in Krsna consciousness?
2) Do you like the idea of Krsna being partial to His devotees? How can you justify this
quality of Krsna? What do you think the devotee’s attitude should be towards Krsna
as well as other living entities when he is favored by Krsna in a way that will satisfy
Krsna?
3) Why should we overlook the faults of devotees and still respect them if they are
engaged firmly in devotional service? Do you find it easy to do that? Why or why
not?

Week 20
BG Chapter 10

Verses 1-11

Verses 1- 7
Summary:

Esspecially at the end of chapter 9, Krishna has described devotional service. To help
generate further devotion in His devotee, Krishna now explains His opulence. He explains
His opulence more specifically than He did in chapters seven and nine and reveals Himslef
as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all.
Verses 8-11
Summary:
The essence of Bhagavad-gita is stated in verses 8-11.
All of Krishna’s oppulences are summarized in verse 8. By knowing Krishna’s greatness,
devotees develop love for Him and engage in devotional service. They always relish
discussing about Him(verse 9)Krishna then reciprocates and enlightens them from within
their hearts.(10,-11)

Vesre 1
1) What is the benefit of hearing and knowing more and more about the opulence of
the Lord?
2) Why is it important to discuss topics about Krsna only in the presence of devotees?

Verse 2

1) Why are even demigods like Brahma and Indra unable to understand Krsna?
2) Why do impersonalists keep claiming that impersonal understanding of the Lord is
the highest perfection?
3) How are devotees able to understand Krsna?
Verse 3

1) How is Krsna different from the living entities, demigods and the sages?
2) What is the qualification necessary in order to be freed from all sinful reactions?
3) When do our activities become truly auspicious? How can we be able to perform
these activities?

Verses 4-5

1) How does the devotee very naturally develop the qualities mentioned in the verse
simply by being Krsna conscious?

Verse 6

1) Mention the twenty-five persons who are responsible for populating the whole
universe? How are they born?

Verse 7

1) What is the advantage of knowing all the details of Krsna’s greatness?

Verse 8(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1st sloka of the catusloki – or the 4 verses of BG which are the essence

1) What knowledge about Krsna makes the devotee surrender unto Him only and
none else?

Verse 9(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) How does the creeper of bhakti grow from the seed stage?
2) What are the feelings of a devotee who has developed love for Krsna?

Verse 10(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

3rd verse of Catusloki


Srila Prabhupada’s quotes (5)

Verse 11(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why do mayavadis consider devotees to be lacking in knowledge? Is this true? Why


or why not?
2) How can we become free of material anxiety?
Home work

1) How does the Supersoul function? How can we be aware of the direction of the
Supersoul in our daily lives?

Week 21
Verses 12-42

Verses 12-30
Summary:
After hearing the essential four verses of Bhagavad-gita Arjuna became completely free of
all doubts and accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He then
expressed his eagerness to hear Krishna’s glories so he could always think of Him. In
response to Arjuna’s request, Krishna describes the most prominent among His limitless,
all pervading opulences. Krishna lists various objects or groups of living entities and states
that He is the essence or the chief member of each group.

Verses 30-42

Summary:
Krishna concludes His description of His opulences. After naming eighty-two opulences,
Krishna summarises by explaining that these opulences simply indicate His glory, for He
pervades and supports the entire universe with a mere fragment of His total potency.

Verses 12-13

1) Who can understand Krsna as the ultimate truth?


2) How can we get purified of our sinful activities?

Verse 14

1) In what way should we follow Arjuna to understand the Bhagavad Gita?

SP’s quote :

Verse 15

1) What features of Krsna do we learn from this verse?

Verse 16

1) Why did Arjuna enquire from Krsna about His all-pervasive features?
Verse 17

1) Why does Arjuna enquire how to see Krsna in physical things?

Verse 18

1) Why does Arjuna ask Krsna to repeat the glories about Himself?

Verse 19

1) Why does Krsna agree to tell only his principle one?

Verse 20

Note : Krsna is the Supersoul of the mahat-tattva, each universe and also the hearts of all
living entities. He is the source, maintainer and end of everything.

Verse 21

1) Who are the Maruts? How many of them are there? Who among them represents
Krsna?
2) What do we learn about the stars from the verse?

Verse 22

Note : Because the mind is the most difficult sense to control it is considered the greatest
sense and therefore represented by Krsna.

Verse 23

Verse 24

Note : The ocean is so great that it neither increases when rivers run into it, rains pour
over it nor when its waters evaporate.

Verse 25

Note : Japa is the simplest form of sacrifice. Yagnanam-japa-yajno’smi. “Of sacrifices I am


the chanting of the holy names,” says Krsna. In his purport Srila Prabhupada explains, “Of
all sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Krsna is the purest representation of Krsna.”

Verse 26
Note : Nara means ‘mankind’ or ‘spiritual’. da means ‘giving’ or ‘granting’. Narada, who has
disciples all over the universe, gives God to everyone.
Citraratha was Arjuna’s friend and he taught Arjuna the art of singing.

Verse 27

1) Why does Krsna say that He represents the king?


2) Why are Ucaihsrava and Airavata considered to be representatives of Krsna?

Verse 28

1) When does kandarpa or sex represent Krsna?

Verse 29

Note : The surpass mentioned in the previous verse refer to one-headed snakes and the
nagas mentioned here are many-hooded.

1) Where is Yama’s planet located?


2) Who is Aryama?

Verse 30

1) Why is Prahlada considered to represent Krsna?


2) Why does time represent Krsna?

Verses 31-42

Introduction

Verse 31

1) Why does the shark represent Krsna?

Verse 32

1) How is Krsna the beginning, middle and end of all creation?


2) What are the different books of knowledge available for education? Which one
represents Krsna and why?
3) What are the different types of arguments among logicians? Which one represents
Krsna?

Verse 33
Verse 34

SP’s quotes (4)

Surrender Unto Me :
Death is described here as sarva-harah (all-devouring) because it takes everything
away, including our memories.
Many qualities in the Sanskrit language are considered feminine. Among them, these
seven represent Krsna. Men may also possess these qualities. Srila Prabhupada explains
in his purport, “The seven opulences listed – fame, fortune, fine speech, memory,
intelligence, steadfastness and patience – are considered feminine. If a person possesses
all of them or some of them, he becomes glorious.”

Verse 35

SP’s quotes (2)

1) Why do the months of November and December represent Krsna?

Verse 36

SP’s quote

Verse 37

1) Who is Vasudeva referred to in this verse?


2) What are Svamsa expansions and what are Vibinnamsa expansions?

Verse 38

1) What is the most important factor for victory?


2) Why is silence important while practicing spiritual activities?
3) What is true wisdom?

Verse 39

Surrender Unto Me :
Krsna herein explains how we can see Him everywhere. Without Krsna, nothing can be
and no one, moving or non-moving, can exist. Whenever we see anything, we can think,
“The existence of this person, this tree, this building, this universe rests upon Krsna.
Nothing exists without Him.”

Verse 40
Verse 41

SP’s quotes (3)

Verse 42

1) Why is it important to fix our minds only on Krsna and not on any demigod?

Homework

1) From the purport of verse 14 we can understand that scholarship alone cannot
make us realize Krsna. What qualities are essential in order to understand Krsna?

2) List all of Krishna’s opulences both material and spiritual.

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 11

Week 22

Read verses 1 - 31

1-13
Summary:
After hearing Krishna say that He pervades and supports the entire universe, Arjuna
wishes to see the all- pervasive form of the Lord. Krishna first describes His universal form
and then bestows upon Arjuna the vision necessary to see it. Thus in chapter 11, Krishna
proves Himself as the Supreme Lord, and establishes the criterion that anyone who claims
to be God must also show a universal form.
14 – 23
Summary:
After seeing Krishna's universal form with astonishmentt, Arjuna hesitatingly begins to
describe what He sees. Arjuna first envisions all existence, immeasurable and radiant,
situated in one place. Beginning with verse 19, Arjuna then sees Krishna's frightening , all-
destructive kala-rupa, form of time, which is eating all the soldiers on both sides. Krishna
had previously promised to show Arjuna things he would be interested in seeing. Arjuna
thus sees the future outcome of the battle, wherein most of the soldiers on both sides are
killed(verses 26-30). He asks, “Who are you? What is your mission?”

Questions to be discussed from the purports :

Verse 1

1) What is Arjuna's understanding of Krishna after his illusion was removed?

Verse 2
1) What oppulance of Krishna does Arjuna admit to have realized which is giving him
great joy and happiness?

Verse 3

1) What are the three reasons for Arjuna asking Krishna to show His universal form?

Verse 4(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) Why is it not possible for living entities see or understand Krishna?


2) How does Arjuna show us the method of seeing and understanding Krishna?

Verse 5

1) Is the universal form of Krishna material or transcendental in nature?


2) Why is it a temporary form?
Verse 6

1) Does a devotee of Krishna know all about Krishna? Why or why not?

Verse 7

1)What are the things that Krishna showed in His body to Arjuna?

Note: Krishna used the word pasya (“see”) four times in the alst three verses. He
is emphasizing that Arjuna hsould see this wonderful universal form, never before
seen.

Once, Krishna showed an aspect of the universal form to Duryodhana. In an


attempt to avoid the Battle of Kurukshetra, Maharaja Yudhishtra sent Krishna to
Duryodhana as a messenger of peace. Duryodhana's and Karna's response
however was foolish. To express disdain of the Pandava;s strength, they plotted
to bind Krishna with ropes and throw Him into prison. Only a great devotee such
as Yashoda- devi, however can evoke submission from the unlimitely powerful
Lord and bind Him. Binding Krishna was impossible for Duryodhana because he
was envious an devoid of bhakti.
Duryodhana's and Karna's attempt only caused Krishna to laugh and say, “You
cannot bind Me. I exist everywhere!” At that time, Krishna showed part of His
universal form to Duryodhana, who became frightened but remained un-
submissive. Duryodhana continued minimizing Krishna, despite His show of
power, by saying,”Oh, Krishnasimply has mystic powers.”
The universal form shown to Duryodhana was not the same as the universal form
Krishna will now show to Arjuna. (Surrender unto Me)

Verse 8

1) Why is a pure devotee not interested to see the universal form of the
Lord?
2) How was Arjuna able to see the universal form?

Verse 9

Verse 10-11

Verse 12
Note:
“So even in the universal form, there is Personality.Divya-malya, divya-gandha,
kiritina, well dressed. Well- dressed is not possible in impersonal.If you want to
dress somebody, he must be a person. You cannot dress the sky.”Here is a
helmet, here is a garland.” Where can you put them? So in the universal form
there is also personality.(SP, Morning walk, Mumbai 1974)

Verse 13

1) Could the others in the battlefield see the universal form of Krishna? Why?
2)Describe the things Arjuna saw in the person of the universal form.

Verse 14

1)What relationship with Arjuna take on with Krishna after seeing the universal
form? Why?

Verse 15

1) Describe what Arjuna sees as mentioned in this verse.

Verse 16

Verse 17

Verse 18

Verse 19

Note: “Now here is one important thing: sasi surya netranam.The sasi, the moon
and the sun are the two eyes of God. In the Brahma Samhita it is also confirmed.
Yac- caksur esa savita sakala grahanam. So in the Upanishads it is said, “ when
God sees, then you can see.” That means that when sunrise is there, you can
see.In the darkness you cannot see. Still these rascals are proud of their
eyes.”Can you show me?” How can you see? First of all you have to see through
the Supreme.And another significant point is that you cannot hide yourself from
the eyes of the Supreme.(SP, Morning walk Mumbai 74)

Verse 20
1) Who other than Arjuna could see the universal form?

Verse 21
Note: The demigods are taking shelter of the Lrdand crying, pahi, pahi””Please
protect us.”The sages ar begging the Lord, svasti:”Let there be peace, good
fortune and well being for all!”(Surrender unto Me)
Verse 22

Verse 23

Note: Arjuna also becomes afraid and his mood changes from astonishment to
fear.

Verse 24

Note:“The word Vishnu has been used- “all pervading forms”.It does not mean
that because it is all pervading, there is no form. There is always a form.”(SP,MW
Mumbai 74)

Verse 25

Verse 26-27

1) What is the outcome of the battle being revealed to Arjuna?

Verse 28
Verse 29

Note: “Leaders, they are entering into the mouth of kala just like insects. Phat!
Phat! Phat! Phat! Phat! Although within their life times, they are very very big
leaders, they are now entering into the mouth of kala just like insects and flies...”
(SP, MW Mumbai 74)

Verse 30

Verse 31

Home work:

1) What is meant by the term, “by the grace of the infinite”? Can this grace
be imagined or imitated? How can we become worthy of such grace?
2) Arjuna was overwhelmed by seeing the form of Krishna. Can you
remember a time when you were overwhelmed with awe and wonder?
How was it? Was it a humbling experience? Was it connected to Krishna?
What did you learn from that experience?

Week 23

Read verses 32- 55

32- 44
Summary:
Krishna explains His form as time, the destroyer of all the worlds, and requests
Arjuna, who has now seen the inevitable deaths of all the warriors, to become
His instrument. Arjuna, trembling, prays to the universal form. He also begs
Krishna's forgiveness for having previously, in ignorance, treated the Lord as his
friend.
44-55
Summary:
In answer to Arjuna's fearful prayers, Krishna shows His four-armed form before
again returning to His original two- armed form. Krishna informs Arjuna that His
two-handed form is supreme and understandable only by His unalloyed devotees
who are engaged in pure devoional service.

Questions to be discussed from the purports :

Verse 32

1)How did Krishna reveal His identity of that universal form? What was the
mission of that form?

Verse 33

1) What was Arjuna's role in that mission?


2) What is Krishna's plan in creating the material world?
3) How could Arjuna become happy?

Verse 34

1) Why are devotees given credit for their activities?


Note:
“And the whole world is a problem for ordinary persons, but not to us as we see
everything as Krishna's. If there is some problem, it is Krishna's problem. So we
have no problems. Krishna will see to the problem. They are not my problem
.Just like Arjuna was encouraged with nimitta matram bhava savyasacin- “Don't
worry about your victory. I have already arranged that.”So we should have faith
and conviction and try to work very sincerely and seriously. Then Krishna will do
everything.” (Lect SB 1.5.8-9 SP in New Vrindavan 1969)

Verse 35

Verse 36

Note: “The devotees and demons both worship Vishnu in Vaikuntha.” SB 2.9.10

Verse 37

1)Why is the Lord addressed as:

a) Mahatma, b) Ananta, c) Devesa

2)Why did Arjuna say that everyone including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma should
pay their obeisances to Krishna and worship Him?

Verse 38

Verse 39

Verse 40

Verses 41- 42

1) Why is Arjuna apologetic to Krishna about his behavior towards Him?

Note: “All the world is filled with conceptions of My majesty, but love weakened
by that sense of Majesty does not satisfy Me.If one has pure devotion for Me,
thinking of Me as son, friend or beloved, regarding himself as great and Myself
as equal or superior,I become subordinate to him.If my beloved consort
reproaches Me in a sulky mood,that steals my mind from the reverend hymns of
the Vedas.” CC Adi 4.17-26

Verse 43
1) How is Krishna the supreme Lord in spite of having senses and a body
like the ordinary man?

Verse 44

1) Why does Arjuna request Krishna to tolerate his behavior?

Verse 45

1) Why was Arjuna joyful and fearful at the same time when he saw the
universal form of the Lord?
2) What are the differences between the universal form and the forms of the
Lord in Vaikuntha?

Verse 46

1) What is proved when Arjuna asks Krishna to show His four armed form?

Verse 47

1) who were able to see the universal form along with Arjuna?

Verse 48

1) What is the qualification required to see the universal form of the Lord?
2) What endeavors are insufficient to have the vision of this form according
to the Lord?

Verse 49

1) Why is the devotee uninterested in seeing the universal form of the Lord?

Verse 50

1) What does the Brahma- samhita say about the qualification to see the
beautiful form of Krishna?

Verse 51

1) What has Krishna proven to the world beyond all doubts by showing His
universal form as well as His four-armed form?

Verse 52
1) What do materialistic and impersonalists opine about the universal form
and the Lord's two armed forms?

Verse 53

Verse 54

Note: Main points: a) Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.He


manifests His virat rupa just to attract those who have no love for Him.

b)Krishna reveals Himself only to those who faithfully execute devotional service
unto Him onder the guidance of His pure devotees.

Note: Srila Prabhupada, “You have to submit. You have to render transcendental
loving service.That is the way. Bhaktas tva ananya means without adulteration.
What is adulteration?”Now I love God for some material benefit”.That is
adulteration. “I love God to become one with Hin”. That is adulteration.This
adulteration in devotional service will not help you. Unadulterated. Tv ananya.”
Lec BG 8.21-22 New York 1966

Verse 55

1) How do we perform Krishna karma ? Explain the details of how anyone


can do so as explained by Srila Prabhupada.
2) What does considering Krishna as “Mat paramah” or the Supreme mean?
3) Why is a devotee careful about not associating intimately with non
devoees?
4) When and does a devotee approach non- devotees ?
What is a devotees' gain by doing so?

Home- work:

1) Share experiences where you became Krishna's instrument and


accomplished a task that was ordinarily beyond your capability. What did
you learn from that experience?
2) Arjuna begged forgiveness for offenses that he committed out of
ignorsnce. Do we sometimes commit offenses out of ignorance ,
especially when we are new devotees?” Share rememberences of such
times, and what we can learn from such experiences.
3) How can you convince materialists and impersonalists about the
supremacy of Krishna's form and the method of achieving Him?
Chapter 12

Week 24

Read verses 1- 12

1-7
Summary:
After witnessing Krishna's awesome universal form, Arjuna wishes to confirm his
own position as a devotee, who works for Krishna, as opposed to a jnani, who
renounces work. He thus asks whether worshiping Krishna through devotional
service, or worshiping the impersonal is superior. Krishna immediately responds,
saying that one engaged in His personal service is the topmost. A worshiper of
the impersonal is less perfect and undergoes more difficulty than one whho
worships Krishna. The path of devotion is easier, and Krishna personally
delivers /His devotee from material life.

8-12
Summary:
Krishna describes a progressive path leading to pure devotional service,
beginning with fixing one's mind on Him.If it cannot be done, one should follow
the rules and regulations of bhakti-yoga which purify one. If that is too dificult,
one may engage in Karma yoga, giving up the fruits of work to Krishna.If one
cannot follow this practise, the indirect path, which begins with renunciation of
work and leads to knowledge and meditation, is recommended.

Questions to be discussed from the purports :

Verse 1

1) Define a personalist and an impersonalist as described by Srila


Prabhupada.
2) What has been the conclusion of every chapter of the Bhagavad-gita
especially the 2nd, 6th, 7th and 8th chapters?
3) Why is Arjuna asking Krishna about which method of worship is better?
4)
Note: “The impersonalist thinks of the Absolute Personality of Godhead in two
different ways....On the one hand they worship the Lord in His Vishwa rupa, or all
pervading universal form, and on the other they think of the indescribable, un-
manifested subtle form. Theories of pantheism and monism are respectively
applicable to these two conceptions of the Supreme as gross and subtle.. but
both of them are rejected by the learned pure devotees of the Lord.”SB 2.10.35
Verse 2

1) Who is considered to be the most perfect by Lord Krishna? What are


His activities?
Verse 3-4

1) How does an impersonalist engage himself to achieve his goal?


2) What are the disadvantages of this process?

Verse 5
1) List the differences between personalism and impersonalism both in their
processes, goals and realizations.

Verse 6-7

1) What activities does the Lord recommend for realizing Him?


2) What promises does He make if we engage in these activities?

Note: “ Those who are truly vipscit, learned, are those who have reached the
platform of understanding and observing the Supreme Personality of Godheadin
any condition of life. Premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santah sadaiva
hrdayesu vilokayanti(Brahma- samhita 5.38). Learned devotees accept even
conditions of distress as representing the presence of the Supreme Lord. When a
devotee is in distress, he sees that the Lord has appeared as distress just to
relieve or purify the devotee from the contamination of the material world. While
one is within the material world, one is in various conditions, and therefore a
devotee sees a condition of distress as but another feature of the Lord.
Tatte'nukampam susamikasamanah (SB.10.14.8). A devotee, therefore, regards
distress as a great favor of the Lord because he understands that he is being
cleansed of contamination. Tesam aham samuddharta mrtyu-samsara-
sagarat(BG 12.7). The appearance of distress is a negative process intended to
give the devotee relief from the material world, which is called mrtyu- samsara, or
the constant repetition of birth and death. To save a surrendered soul from
repeated birth and death, the Lord purifies him of contamination by offering him a
little distress. This cannot be understood by a non- devotee, but a devotee can
see this because he is vipascit, or learned. A on-devotee, therefore , is perturbed
in distress, but a devotee welcomes distress as another feataure of the Lord.
Sarva khalv idam brahma. A devotee can actually see that there is only the
Supreme Personality of Godhead and no second entity. Ekam evadvitiyam.
There is only the Lord, who presents Himself in different energies.” SB 10.2.28

Verse 8
1) How can we have a direct relationship with Krishna all the time? What are
the activities recommended for this?
Verse 9

1) How can one practice Bhakti yoga?


2) How does Bhakti yoga help our senses?
3) How does Bhakti yoga help in developing attachment to Krishna?

Verse 10
1) What is the alternative given by Krishna for those unable to practice the
principles of Bhakti yoga?
2) What is the result of such activities?

Note: The previous two verses primarily dealt with engaging our mind, the chief
of the internal senses on Krishna. This verse, a stage lower, direct our external
senses in Krishna's service as a means of further advancement. Even if we are
unable to think of Krishna through absosrption in devotionl service, we can
progress by working or Him. This platform is called karma-yoga.
Surrender Unto Me

Verse 11

1) What alternative is Krishna giving for those who are not able to give the
results of their work directly for the service of Krishna?
2) What is the advantage of performing such activities?
3) Does Krishna consciousness depend on such activities? Why or why not?

Note: The practice of giving up of the fruits of work, unless the fruits are offered
to Krishna, is not in and of itself spiritual, and thus it does not yield tangible
result.

Verse 12

1) What is the direct method to reach the highest goal of Bhagavan?


2) What are the steps recommended for those following the indirect method?
3) Which method direct or indirect, does Bhagavad-gita recommend?

Note: Here the renunciation of the fruits of one's work for Krishna's service and
not simply detached work as mentioned in verse 11 is placed in perspective with
other less important practices for spiirtual advancement.

Progressive stages of Devotion: (12. 8---12)

1. One lives within Krishna by continuously fixing one's mind and intelligence
in Him.(verse 8)
2. One practices the regulative principles of Bhakti-yoga to increase one's
desire and ability to remember and obtain Krishna.(verse 9)
3. One surrenders one's work to Krishna.(Verse 10)
4. One surrenders the results of one's work to Krishna. (Verse 11)
5. One cultivates meditation or knowledge.(Verse 12)

Home- work:

1) Consider Srila Prabhupada's dependency on Krishna. How did he


exemplify this? Identify concrete examples.
2) Srila Prabhupada's emphasis was on surrender to the instructions of the
parampara and on confidence in Krishna looking after our welfare. Identify
examples of how we may sometimes fail to follow this.
3) Based on the principles behind the verses 9-12, how do we practically try
to involve different types of people to get involved in the different activities
of ISKCON?

Week 25

Read verses 13- 20

Summary:
Having described the stages of devotion, Krishna now enumerates the
transcendental qualities automatically achieved by a bhakti-yogi which endear
the devotee to Krishna. Pointing out these qualities further substantiates the
theme of chapter 12:that bhakti is the best method of spiritual advancement.
Krishna concludes that one who faithfully follows the path of devotional service,
making Him the supreme goal is very dear to Him. The question of who is better-
the personalist or impersonalist – is resolved and devotional service is seen to be
the best of all processes of spiritual realization.

Verse 13-14

1) How does a pure devotee remain calm even to his enemy's harmful
activities toward him?
2) How does he maintain equipoise in both happiness and distress?
3) How does he remain joyful always?
4) How is he able to always fix his mind and intelligence on the Supreme
Lord?

Verse 15
1) What qualities of a pure devotee endear him to Krishna as mentioned in
this verse?

Verse 16
1) How does a pure devotee remain free from ordinary activities of earning a
living?
2) How does he maintain his purity?
3) How does he become an expert?
4) How can he remain carefree?
5) How does he remain free from all pains?
6) What does “not striving for a result” mean?

Verse 17

1)What is the pure devotee's attitude towards material happenings in his life and
what is his attitude towards his devotional services to Krishna?

Verse 18-19

1) How does a remain neutral to fame and infamy?


2) What is meant by the statement that the devotee is always silent?
3) How can a devotee develop all these good qualities?

Verse 20

1) What is the conclusion of this chapter?


2) When is the impersonal method of approaching the Absolute Truth
helpful?

Home-work

1)Write down each of the qualities mentioned by Krishna. What does each quality
mean? Can you also give examples of such qualities in personalities from the
scripture, Srila Prabhupada or some devotee you know?

2) What are the different reasons why devotees are put in difficult or
distressful situations? Can you give example form the scriptures of
devotees who underwent such difficulties?
3) Mention some personal difficulties you have or had to undergo and what
your mental attitudes and behavior were in overcoming those situations.
Bhagavad-gita Chapter 13

Week 26

Read verses 1 - 19

Verses 1-7

Summary

In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gita, Krishna discussed how Karma-yoga,


action on the platform of knowledge, leads to bhakti. In the second six chapters,
Krishna spoke directly of Himself and the glories of devotional service. In the
third six chapters, Krishna discusses how jnana leads to bhakti. Starting with the
thirteenth chapter, the topics explained are: how the living entity comes into
contact with material nature and how he is delivered by the Supreme Lord
through different methods of fruitive activities, cultivation of knowledge, and
devotional service are explained(purport of verse 13.1-2) Krishna has promised
in BG 12.7 to redeem His devotees. Now, to that end, He will declare the
knowledge needed to elevate Gis devotees from the material world. Arjuna asks
Krishna to explain six topics:prakrti, purusa, ksetra, ksetra-jna,jnana, and jneya.
Krishna explains knowledge of the field of activities and the knower of the field.

Verses 8-19

Having described knowledge of the field and knower of the field, Krishna now
explains the process of knowledge beginning with humility and culminating in
realization of the Absolute Truth. (verses 8-12). In verses 13-19 the object of
knowledge(jneyam), or the soul and supersoul is discussed. Previously, Krishna
explained the soul and supersoul as kshetra-jna or knower of the field. By
understanding the difference between the body, soul and the Supersoul and by
following the process of knowledge, the soul can transcend dualities, realize his
eternal subordination to Krishna and attain the supreme destination.

Verses 1-2

1)What were the six things about which Arjuna wanted to know from Krishna.
2)What is kshetra and kshetra-jna.What is the difference between them. Explain.

3) Why do living entities acquire different types of bodies?

Note: “ A farmer, kshetrajnah, is plowing the land, kshetra. He knows that, “Iam
plowing this ground.” He is planting the seed and reaping the results. And what is
the fruit that one gets? It is according to what he plants. Similarly the person, the
soul, has a field which is basically this body, and the happiness and distress that
he will reap from this field will depend upon the activities that he performs with
the body. The body is called the field of activity and the doer, or the soul, is called
the knower of the field.” SP Lec BG 13.4 Miami 75

Verse 3

1)Who is the second knower in all the bodies? How is he different from the soul?

2) What knowledge mean?


Note: “Ca means there are two knowers. The Mayavadi philosopher says that
there is only one spirit. No, there are two. Krishna says ca. Ca means another.
And s the individual soul is the occupier of this body, similarly, Krishna has an
interest in every body.” A landlord has many houses. I may occupy one of the
houses, so Iam interested in that particular house where Iam living. But the
landlord has an interest in all his houses. So Krishna has an interest not only in
my body or your body but in each and every body. Because He says, sarva-
yonisu, “in every species of life.”Lec BG 13.3 Paris 73

Difference in two knowers: “There are two words: Paramatma and atma. Atma is
individual. Paramatma is also individual. Both of us are knower, kshetrajnam. My
knowledge may be limited. Krishna's knowledge is unlimited, complete. The
difference is that Krishna knows everything throughout His creation, whereas I do
not even know what is going on in my body. That is the difference. So how can
one become God? That is not possible. God knows everything. If one knows
everything, then you accept him as God. Otherwise, don't accept him. As soon as
somebody says, “Iam God”, kick him in his face. “Yes, you are God. Iam God.
Iam the kicking God. Now you protect yourself if you are God.” Don't accept this
false God. Krishna. Krsnans tu bhagavan svayam.” Lec BG 13.3 Paris 73

“Why did Krishna dance with others' wives? Because He is the knower of all
bodies. Actually He is the proprietor. Dehe sarvasya bharata.Iam not proprietor,
He is the proprietor. So if the proprietor dances with his maidservants, or
devotees, what is wrong with this?He is their proprietor.You are not the
proprietor.Supersoul is the real proprietor. Krishna says, bhoktaram yajna-
tapasam sarva-loka mahesvaram. Hes the supreme proprietor. Suhrdam sarva-
bhutnam. He is actually the friend. If Iam a lover, Iam not a friend. Krishna is the
real friend. So if the gopis dance with their real friend, what is wrong there? But
those rascals who do not know Krishna, think it is immoral. “ SP Lec BG 2.30
London 73

Verse 4

1) What are the five points raised by Krishna in this verse?

Verse 5

1)Where else does Krishna say that we can find the knowledge about the kshetra
and kshetragnas? Why does he give such reference?

2) What are the five types of realization of the Absolute Truth or the five
levels of consciousness for the kshetra jna according to the Tattriya
Upanishad?
3) How are the first three types of realization different from the last one
anandamaya?

Note:The fourth level vijnanamaya, the living entity realizes himself as eternal
spirit, separate from his gross and subtle bodies.
In the fifth level or anandamaya, full of bliss, one realizes and identifies himself
as a servant of that supremely blissful Lord.

Verses 6-7

1) What are the twenty four elements belonging to our field of activities?
2) What are the seven qualities of the mind derived from the interactions of
the twenty four elements?
3) What are the six changes undergone by a body?

Verses 8-12

Note: “Krishna has already defined knowledge as knowing the field and the two
knowers of the filed. These verses describe the process of obtaining that
knowledge.
According to Vishwanatha Chakravarthy Thakura, of the twenty items mentioned,
seventeen apply both to the jnani and bhakta. The last two, accepting the
importance of self- realization and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth are
technically only for the jnani, Constant and unalloyed devotion to Krishna is the
sole quality especially for the devotee. All other qualities come to a devotee who
exclusively endeavors for constant, unalloyed devotion.
These twenty qualities include qualities such as cleanliness- which, if developed ,
are favorable for spiritual advancement. They also include elements of the
process of advancement, such as approaching a spiritual master and perceiving
the evils of birth, death, disease and old age. Integrated as a process, these
items are the means of acquiring transcendental knowledge, or an accurate
understanding of the body, soul, and super soul.” SUM

“These four beneficial combinations are very rare: charity accompanied by sweet
words, knowledge without pride; valour with forbearance; and wealth with a
chaaritable disposition.” Hitopadesa

1) Mention all the twenty items of knowledge and explain what each quality
means.
2) Which is the most important quality amongst these without which all others
are useless?
3) What is the most important quality which will help us to keep progressin in
spiritual life? Why?

Verse 13
Note: “The term “knowable (jneya) used here signifies “the object of knowledge”
about which Arjuna inquired in Text 1.” SUM

1) Who can relish the nectar of life?


2) Who is the Brahman described in this verse? What brahma is he?
3) What brahma is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Verse 14

Note: Srila Prabhupada's purport strongly confirms that this verse, which refers
to the all- pervading , describes the Supersoul, not the living entity.

“Knowledge means to realize that these hands, legs, tongue, eyes, ears-
everything- belongs to Krishna. Therefore bhakti means to become liberated from
the false understanding that “This is my leg, this is my head.” No. It is Krishna's.
Sarvopadhi vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. At the present moment we have
this false knowledge that , “This is my hand, this is my leg.” When we become
purified, we understand that this is Krishna's leg, Krishna's hand, Krishna's eyes.”
Nirmalam. This is liberation. Ats long as we are materially attached, it is mala.
Mala means dirty things. But when we are purified of dirty things, we can
understand. Just like Arjuna.
In the beginning he was thinking”My hands, my legs, are meant for my
family.”Therefore he was hesitating to kill because “This hands belong to my
family, to my kinsmen, to my country, to my nation, to my society. How can I use
these hands and legs against them. “Krishna, I will not fight.” This is ignorance.
After hearing the Bhagavad-gita form Krishna, he understood, “I was thinking that
these hands and legs belong to my family, to me. No. They belong to Krishna.
They must be used for Krishna.”Then he decided, “Krishna, karisye vacanam
tava., because this is Your hand, Your leg, if you want to use them for fighting, I
mut do so.” This is knowledge. All- pervading means everything belongs to
Krishna, everything is Krishna's energy.

We are superior energy. When we act for Krishna, we are situated in our own
position. This is called mukti. Mukti means hitya anyata rupam svarupena
avasthiti. That is mukti. Mukti does not mean that at the moment you have only
two hands but as soon as you become mukta, you will have three thousand
hands.Mukti means svarupena vyavasthiti, when we understand that “I am using
these hands legs and eyes for sense gratification, but this is wrong, they should
be utilized for Krishna's service. Mukti is not very difficult. You can attain mukti in
a second simply by agreeing as Krishna says, sarva dharman...This is mukti,
moksayisyami. So Krishna is offering you this mukti.

Another meaning of this verse is that if Krishna has hands, legs, eyes, head, how
does He become impersonal, void? Where is this conception in the Bhagavad-
gita? The rascals say, “God is impersonal. He has no form.” How is it possible? If
he has hands and legs, head and ears, how has he become formless? Hi form is
different from our form. Our hands and legs are limited, but His hands and legs
are unlimited. When we say formless, it means that He dos not have our
unlimited form. Krishna says patram pushpam phalam..... If Krishna is in Goloka
Vrindavana , far away from here, how does He accept our offerings?The answer
is here. Sarvatah-pani padam. He has hands. That si the Vedic injunction. Apani-
pado javana grihitah. The Absolute Brahman has no hands and legs , but He can
accept anyhting. He can
walk everywhere. Therefore He is called omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent.
Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese rjuna tisthati. He is sitting within your heart.
He's seeing everything.” Lec BG 13.14 Bombay 73

1) Why is the Mayavadi theory that the individuals soul out of ignorance is
not aware that he is all pervading, but when liberated, but when l he can
understand his all pervasiveness, contradictory?

Verse 15

1) Why is the Lord called nirguna?


2) Why can the impersonalists not see the form of the Lord?

Verse 16

1) Why can we not see the Lord at the present even though He is outside
and inside of everything?
2) How can we become qualified to see Him constantly?
Verse 17
1) Explain with the example of the sun about how the Lord is not divided
even though He is situated in everyone's heart.
2) Apart from maintaining us, how is He devoring and developing us?

Verse 18

1)Why is there no need of sun and stars in the spiritual world?


2) Why is the light from the spiritual world not available here in the material
world?
3) How does one who is very anxious to be transferred to the spiirtual world,
receive knowledge?
Verse 19

1) What are the three items described in the section from verses 6 to 12?
2) Who does Krishna say are the only ones who can understand all this and
reach Him?

Home work:

1) Write down among all the twenty different qualities listed by Krishna which
constitute knowledge in verses 8-12, three qualities which are your strong
points and thee qualities which are major challenges. What plans do you
have to improve on your challenges?

Bhagavad-gita Chapter 13

Week 27

Read verses 20 - 35

Verses 20-26

Summary
Arjuna had asked Krishna to explain about what was prakrti and what is purusa
in verses 1-2.
Having described jneya or the knowable as the self and the Supersoul, Krishna
now explains the soul and Supersoul as purusa, in terms of their connection with
material nature. One who understands prakrti, purusa and their interactions
attains liberation from birth in the material world. Other methods of understanding
the Supersoul are jnana, astanga and karma.
Verses 27-35

Summary

Those who see the distinction between the body, its owner and the Supersoul,
and who recognize the process of liberation, can attain the supreme goal.

Verse 20

1) Material nature belongs to which energy of the Lord?


2) Which energy of the Lord do the living entities belong to?
3) What category does the supersoul belong to?
4) Where was the material energy before the cosmos was manifested?How
was this energy manifested?
5) Where are the living entities of this material world before creation? Why
are they not allowed to enter the spiritual world?What is the purpose of
creating this material world?
6) What gets transformed in the living entities? What remains the same?
What is the cause of the transformations?

Verse 21
Note: “ So how foolish we are to accept a particular type of body and the sukha-
dukha,happiness and distress, is already fixed. That is called destiny. So we are
trying to improve the situation because, after all, as soon as you get the material
body, it is suffering. There is noquestion of happiness. But by the illusory energy
we are enjoying. That is called illusion, maya. Just like the same example, a hog
is eating stool but he is thinking he is enjoying.This is called praksepatmika sakti.
Not only hog, even in human society, somebody eats the most abominable, most
rotten fish; still he is thinking he is enjoying.

We have seen it. If he thinks that “this is the most rotten thing”, then he
cannot live. Maya must make him forget that he is eating the most rotten thing.
He'll think,”It is very nice.” Mayayapahrta jnana. If you take the worm out of stool,
he will go back in. So this is the consequence of all forgetfulness. Theer are
varieties of living entities, bodies.

Narottama dasa therefore says, Nana yoni brahman kare.We are wandering in
different species of life.There are cockroaches in the commode. They are also
thinking, :am enjoying.”
A tree is standing for several thousands of years and he's also thinking, “Iam
enjoying life.”
So this is going on.And we are not very serious about our real identity:that Iam
part and parcel of God.”, sac- cit anandavigraha,. Na jayate mriyate :”My position
is that I never take birth and I never die.” Na hanyate hanyamane sarire:”I do not
die even after the destruction of this body.” These things are my privileges, but I
do not wish to take notice of them. This is caleed maya. We are satisfied in this
abominal condition of life by a body given by material nature.
Verse 22
1) For how long should we keep transmigrating from one body to the next?
2) How can we lose the desire to dominate over material nature and enjoy
spiritual bliss?
Verse 23

1) What are the differences between Paramatma and atma?


2) Why is the living entity become a marginal energy from being a spiritual
energy?
3) What is the reason for the Supersoul's presence in the body?

Note : “....Krishna, the Supersoul, is anumanta. Anumanta means that without His
persmission, you cannot do anything. Because everything belongs to Krishna,
how can you use something without His permission? Just like a child. The child
wants to do something and asks permisison from his father and mother, which is
given. In my childhood I even asked my mother's permission to go to the privy.
That is natural. Although my mother is not restricting me, still Iam asking her
permission. Similarly we cannot do anyhting without the permission of the
Supersoul within the heart.
So when we do something wrong, how does Krishna as antaryami, as
Paramatma, give permission? He gives permission when you do something
wrong.Because you cannot do anything without His permission. “All right, you do
it, but at your own risk.”Krishna does not want you to do it, but you want to do
it.Therefore He gives His permission.
What does Krishna want? He wants sarvadharman parityajya.That is His
demand. But your demand is different, that “I shall not surrender, Sir. I want to do
this.” All right, you do at your own risk.”

But if you follow the instruction of Krishna, then He takes charge of you. Aham
tvam sarva papebhyo, moksayisyami. So you do papa and punya and enjoy the
effect., but when you follow the instruction of Krishna, there is no such papa and
punya.”
Lec BG 13.23 Bombay 73

Verse 24
1) What is the knowledge that will liberate us from taking another material
body?
2) Ho can we attain this knowledge?
Verse 25

1) What are the different processes adopted by different types of men for
realizing the Paramatma?
2) What is the devotee's understanding of the Paramatma?
3) Which classes of people cannot have understanding of the
Paramatma?

Verse 26
1)What process is beneficial to the common man especially in this age , for
getting perfection and going back to Godhead?

Note: “Why does one take the responsibility of family life, of servants, of so many
items? Because we want to satisfy our senses. Therefore we are the servant of
our senses. That is the position. So when we forget to become the servant of
Krishna, then we become the servants of our senses. Our position as servant
remains the same. Again, if we give up the servitude of our senses and accept
the servitude of Krishna, we are liberated.
How can you conquer the repetition of birth and death?Simply by the process of
hearing, sruti parayanah. If you simply hear the Bhagavad gita from realized
souls, by this hearing only you will be able to conquer over birth, death, old age
and disease. This is the result.”
Lec BG 13.26 New Delhi 74

Verse 27

1) How do all the manifestations and the activities of this material world take
place?

Verse 28

Note: “Sarvam sarvesu bhutesu, that I have explained so many times. If you
materially see either a dog or a big brahmana, the body is composed of the same
material. When you dissect either body, you find the same blood, the same
muscle, the same bone. That's all. That is material. And spiritually they are
atman. Therefore sama-darsinah. Not that he is seeing the brahmana and dog as
equals. He is seeing both the outward and inward. Inward is spirit. That is one.
And outward, matter, that is one.”

MW Bombay 3.11.1975

Verse 29

1) What is the benefit of seeing the Paramatma in every being?


Verse 30

1) Why does the soul acquire different bodies?

Verse 31

1) Explain the difference between material vision and spiritual vision of living
entities in this material world.

Verse 32

1) How does a soul remain unaffected by the activities of the material body?

Verse 33
1) Why is it not possible to see the activities of the soul in the material body
and out of it?

Verse 34

1) What is the symptom of the presence of the soul in a particular body?


2) What is the difference in consciousness between the atma and the
paramatma?

Verse 35

1) What knowledge helps us to attain the spiritual world?


2) How can we become enlightened by this knowledge?

Home- work

1) The tiny jiva fooloishly thinks he is the Master. Draw from your experience
vivid examples which illustrates this.
2) Are there any examples in shastra? (e.g. Duryodhana falling in water in
the palace.)
3) What is your experience of the importance of becoming a servant? Why is
it important? How does it help?
4) How important is hearing? Did it play a role in your becoming a devotee?
5) What arguments will you give to defeat the premise that consciousness
comes from matter?

Chapter 14

Week 28
Read verses 1- 18

1-9
Summary:
Chapter 13 described the conditioned soul as distinct from material nature yet
entangled by it, trapped within his field of activities. Chapter 14 reveals in detail
how the living entity is limited and controlled within his field by the powerful
shackles of material nature- the three modes: goodness, passion and ignorance.
At the end of the chapter, Krishna informs us how to attain freedom from these
modes. After glorifying the knowledge that He will now speak, Krishna explains
the relationship between material nature, the conditioned living entities and
Himself. He impregnates the living entities into material nature. The eternal living
entity connects with the material energy through conditioning by the three modes.
The mode of goodness conditions one to happiness,passion to fruitive activities
and ignorance to madness.

10-18
Summary

Krishna explains characteristics and manifestations of the modes (verses 11-13),


death in the modes(verses 14-15), and the result of action in the modes(verses
16-18)

Verse 1

1) By what process can we understand this chapter on the three modes of


material nature and what conclusion can we arrive at by studying it?

Note: “As for the difference between mental speculation and philosophical
sspeculation, we take it that everything is known by the psychological action of
the mind, so that philosophical speculation is the same as mental speculation if it
is merely the random or haphazard activity of the brain to understand everything
and form theories,”ifs” and “maybes”. But if philosophical speculation is directed
by shastra and Guru, and if the goal of such philosophical attempts is to achieve
Vishnu, then philosophical speculation is not mental speculation. For example,
Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that “Iam the taste in water”: philosophical
speculation in the accepted sense means to try to understand under the direction
of shastra and Guru , just how Krishna is the taste of water. The points made in
the Bhagavad-gita , though simple and complete can be understood from
unlimited angles of vision.So our philosophy is not the same as dry mental
speculation. The proper function of brain or psychological activity , is to
understand everything from Krishna's perspective or point of view, so there is no
limit to that understanding because Krishna is unlimited, and even though it can
be said that the devotee who knows Krishna knows everything(Fifteenth
chapter), still, the philosophical process never stops and the devotee continues
to increase his knowledge even though he knows everything. Try to understand
this point. It is a very good question.” Letter, Caturbhuja 1/21/72

Verse 2

1) How can we get a spiritual form equal in quality with Krishna?


2) What are the activities of the liberated soul in the spiritual world?

Verse 3

1) What is the Mahat- tattva? What is it made up of?


2) What does the Lord impregnate within the Mahat tattva?
3) Describe the analogy of the scorpion and rice to explain the Lord as the
real creato of the material world.

Verse 4

1) How do different living entities get different forms in this material world?
Note: “ Who is the mother? Who is the father? The material nature is compared
to the mother. Although every living being is seen to come out of the mother's
body, it is still a fact that the mother is not the ultimate cause of such a birth. The
father is the ultimate cause of birth. Without the father's seed, no mother can give
birth to a child. Therefore the different living beings in different varieties and
forms and positions within the innumerable universes are all born of the seeds of
the almighty father, the Personality of Godhead, and only to the man with a poor
fund of knowledge do they appear to be born of the material nature.
“My dear Arjuna, we find so many species of life-eight million four hundred
thousand. They are all my sons. I am the seed-giving father.” Plants, trees,
insects, acquatics, demigods, beats, birds and all other living entities are sons or
parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, but because they are struggling with
different mentalities, they have been given different types of bodies(manah
sasthanindriyani prakrti sthani karsati.) Thus they have become sons of prakrti,
or material nature, which is impregnated by the Supreme Personality of
Godhead.

So the father is always affectionate to the sons. The sons may foerget father, but
the father cannot forget the sons. So Krishna comes here out of His love for us to
deliver us the right path. Sarva-dharman parityajya:”My dear sons, why you are
rotting in this material world? You come to me. I will give you all protection. You
are the son of the Supreme. So you enjoy life very supremely, very magnificently,
without any death. Why are you rotting?”. That is Krishna's mercy. Ajo api sann.
So Bhagavad -gita , the science of Krishna , is not meant for any particulr party
or particular country. It is meant for everyone , even for the animals. We have to
learn this science and preach it all over the world so that they can be lifted out of
ignorance.”
Lec BG 4.3-6 New York 66

Verse 5
1)Why do different living entities act differently and thus enjoy or suffer in this
material world?

Verse 6

1) What are the symptoms of one in the mode of goodness? What is the
limitation of one in this mode?
Verse 7

1) Why is one in the mode of passion very active?


Verse 8

1)
What are th symptoms of one in the mode of ignorance?

Verse 9

1) How do the different modes bind us to this material world?

Verse 10

1) How can we situate ourselves in the mode of goodness and then


transcend it also?

Verse 11

(How does this apply to us? In Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that we can see
Krishna with our ears by hearing.) Omy Lord, Your devotees can see You
through the ears, by the process of bonafide hearing, and thus their hearts
become cleansed., and you atke your seat there. You are so merciful to Your
devotees that You manifest Yourself in the particular for of transcendence in
which they always think of You. SB 3.9.11

Verse 12 -13

Verse 14

1) Where does a person situated in goodness go to after death?


Verse 15
1) What happens to a human being who develops the mode of ignorance?
Verse 16

1) What do pious actions in the mode of goodness result in? What does
action in passion result in? Give examples of how this is so. What does
action in ignorance result in?
2) Why is the modern society condemned and proceeding in the wrong
direction?

Verse 17

1) How can people become happy and prosperous in society?

Verse 18

1) What are the different destinations of people who leave their bodies in the
three different modes of material nature?

Home work

1) Formerly in the Vedic times, the mode of goodness was the prevailing
standard. Give some concrete examples of this. Are there any cultures
where the mode of ignorance is considered most excellent?

Chapter 14

Week 29

Read verses 19-27

19-27
Summary:

One understands all three modes by knowing that everything within this world
takes place under the modes., and by understanding that Krishna's activities are
transcendental to the modes. One who engage s in undeviating devotional
service comes to the level of Brahman, of which Krishna is the source. Verse 22
answers Arjuna's first question about the symptoms of a transcendentalist, and
verses 23-25 answers the second question as what is such a person's behavior.
Verses 26=27 discuss bhakti, the method of transcending the modes, thus
answering Arjuna's third question.

Verse 19

1) How can one become free from the influence of our material natures?

Verse 20

1) How can one enjoy spiritual happiness even while existing in this body?

Verse 21

Verse 22 -25

1) How can we be free from the influence of the nature and dictates of our
body?
2) How does such a transcendental person deal with other people?
3) What things does he accept for himself and what things does he reject?

Verse 26(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


1) How do we develop a transcendental relationship with the Lord?
2) What is the result of this?
3) Explain what becoming Brahman mena sin Bhakti- yoga.
Note: How is the devotee infallible? “Therefore, anyone who is earnestly serious
in heart and soul about being in intimate touch with the Personality of Godhead in
the relationship of transcendental loving service, will always be infallible in words
and action. The reason is that the Supreme Lord is the Absolute Truth, and
anything earnestly dovetailed with the Absolute Truth attains the same
transcendental quality. SB 2.6.34

Verse 27(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the constitution of Brahman?


2) What is the first step in spiritual realization of a conditioned soul?
3) Give an example of someone who raised themselves to Bhagavan
realization after achieving Brahman realization?
4) What happens to those who do not progress beyond Brahman realization
5) What realizations or experiences does a person engaged in devotional
service to the Lord have?
6) How can we become free from the desire to dominate and become
completely detached from material activities?

Note: Why do devotees prefer to realize Krishna? “Narada to Yudhishtra: The


impersonal Brahman is Krishna Himself because Krishna is the source of the
impersonal Brahman.He is the origin of the transcendental bliss sought by great
saintly persons, yet He, the Supreme Person is your dear friend and constant
well-wisher, and is intimately related to you as the son of your maternal uncle.
Indeed He is always like your body and soul. He is worshippable, yet He acts as
oyur servant and sometimes as your spiritual master......As the personal
realization is superior to impersonal, so the devotees are experiencing superior
pleasure because they are having loving exchanges with Krishna, the Supreme
Brahman. SB 7.10.49

Home-work

1) How can we use verses 26 and 27 to explain to impersonalists?(Note: The


feature of oneness is accepted but it is in being the same quality as the Lord.)

Chapter 15

Week 30

Read verses 1- 15
1-7
Summary

Chapter Fourteen described the modes of nature., those forces that


simultaneously restrict and control a soul within his field of activities. Now
Krishna using the allegory of an asvatta, a banyan tree describes the entire
material world with its varieties of of fields of activities situated on the higher and
lower branches of the tree. Although the living entities are Krishna's fragmental
parts, they are now struggling for existence, being entangled in this banyan tree
of the material world. One must detach oneself from this reflection of the spiritual
world by surrendering to Krishna and go to the spiritual world. The banyan tree is
analysed in the first five verses of this chapter. Then verses 6-20, Krishna
describes purushottama -yoga.

Verses 8-15
Summary
Although all living entities are eternally part and parcel of Krishna, they are
transmigrating from one body to another searching for
pleasure.Transcendentalists see this clearly, but blind materialists cannot.
Knowing Krishna's opulent position as our maintainer on both the cosmic and
personal levels, and His position as the compiler of Vedanta and knower of the
Vedas, this should attract us to Him.

Verse 1
1) What is the reflection of the banyan tree compared to?
2) What are the living entities doing in this tree?
3) What is the cause of their being situated in this reflected tree?
4) What is the real tree?
5) What is the purpose of the Vedas?

Note: “The banyan tree takes its root and is created. So the seed of the creation
is in the spiritual world. Sa aiksta, sa asrjata. The creation is coming from the
spiritual world. Spiritual world menas the kingdom of God., Narayana, or Krishna.
This cosmic manifestation has expanded downward, and the root is the Supreme
Personality of Godhead. As the Lord confirms in the Bhagavad-gita(10.8), aham
sarvasa prabhavah:”Iam the source of all spiritual and material worlds.”Krishna is
the root of everything.” Lec BG 15.1 Bombay 73

“So here the material world is described as urdhva mulam. Just like if someone
holds you by your legs and your legs are up and your head is down, how long will
you feel uncomfortable? This whole material world is like that, urdhva mulam.
The mulam should have been down but it is up. Therefore it is uncomfortable.”

Verse 2

1) What is the tree nourished by?


2) What are compared to the branches and what are the twigs?
3) Where is the real root coming from? Where are the subsidiary roots? What
do they represent?
4) Which type of living beings are situated in the lower branches and which in
the higher?
5) Which planet is the field of activities and which planets are for enjoyment?

Verses 3-4
1)How can we find out the origin of this tree?

2) How do we become automatically detached from this tree?


Verse 5

1)What is the first qualification for starting th process of surrendering?Why is this


the most important qualification?
2) How does this free one from false associations?
3) When is it possible for a person to surrender to the Supreme Personality
of Godhead?
Verse 6

1)How is the spiritual world illuminated? Which energy of the Lord illuminates it?

2) How are the inhabitants of the spiritual world as opposed to those in the
material world?
3) How can we attain to the spiritual world?
Verse 7(Learn Verse and translation by heart)
1) What is the difference between the primary and secondary expansions of
the Lord?
2) How does the living entity misuse his quality of independence?What
happens to him when he does that?
3) What happens to the fragmental parts of the Lord when they reach the
spiritual world?
4) What does oneness with the Lord mean? Does it mean that they merge
and become one with Him? Why or why not?

Verse 8

1)How can a living entity decide the quality of his body in the next life?

2) What carries the soul to the next body? What is the basis on which the
next body is determined?
Verse 9

1)If the soul originally has pure consciousness why do we get different grades of
bodies?

Verse 10

1)Which people understand transmigration and which are the people who do
not? Why is a devotee compassionate to even those who do not understand
about it?

Verse 11

1) Why are some aspiring yogis not able to understand the facts about
transmigration of the soul?
2) Which yogis can understand all the facts?
Verse 12

1) How can a living entity begin his Krishna consciousness by thinking of the
sun,moon and stars?
Verse 13

1)How do all the planets stay afloat? How do vegetables become palatable?

Vesre 14

1)What is required for our digestion according to Ayurveda? How is Krishna


involved in our food getting digested?

Verse 15(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


1) From where do the living entities get the results of their past karma? How
is it that they forget about their past lives and yet are influenced in their
activities by the past life?
2) How does the Lord benefit us in the form of the incarnation of the Vedas?

Note: How does the Supersoul make you forget? “The Supersoul is like an expert
director of a play.An expert director makes the actoref forgrt his real identty to
enter the part he is palying. The more he forgets, the better he plays. So
supersoul makes us forget our real identity to become these different material
designation sor bodies. We have forgotten our relationship witht eh Supreme
Lord. We wanted to enjoy this material world, so we forget completely that “Iam
the spirit soul, Iam this body, actually I cannot enjoy...”So forgetfulness is also
due to the Supersoul. He is giving us full chance.

But He advises that, “Do not become entangled in these material activities.”
Therefore his instruction is “sarva dharman parityajya ma ekam saranam
braja.That is His instruction. But we do not want that. We want to forget and
entangle ourselves in these material activities. Therefore Krishna, by the agency
of His maya, illusory energy, helps us in forgetting. But if we want to revive our
original consciousness, then Krishna also helps us.Buddhi-yogam dadami tam.
That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. We are at liberty to make our choice. If we
want to enjoy this material world, Krishna will provide all facilities. You can enjoy.
But Krishna sya that you'll never be happy. You'll simply be more entangled.”
Lec BG 13.17 Bombay 73
The devotees acknowledge the Supersoul. “The devotees of the Lord, while
delivering speeches and describing the transcendental attributes of the Lord, do
not think that they can do so independently. They think that they can only speak
what they r induced to speak by the Supreme Lord, the master of the senses.
The senses of the individual are not his own.; the devotee knows that such
senses belong to the Supreme Lord and that they can be properly used when
they are used for the service of the Lord. The senses are instruments, and the
elements are ingredients, all endowed by the Lord;therefore whatever an
individual can do, speak, see,etc, is under the direction of the Lord only. The
Bhagavd-gita(15.15) confirms this: sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto mattah smrtir
jananam apohanam ca.No one is free to act freely and independently and as
such, one should always seek permission of the Lord to act, eat or speak, and by
the blessing of the Lord, everything done by the devotee is beyond the four
defects typical of the conditioned soul.

SB 2.4.11 purport

Home work:

1) Verse 11 tells how the transcendentalist can see things in proper


perspective due to having knowledge. Describe an experience where the
knowledge of Krishna consciousness has changed your behavior or
perspective, or how such knowledge can help you at present to change for
the better.
2) How can we perceive the supersoul's presence? Why does He make us
forget our past lives? How can we consciously take advantage of the
direction of the Supersoul?

Chapter 15

Week 31

Read verses 16- 20


16-20
Summary
After concluding that He is the goal of the Vedas and the compiler of the
Vedanta, the Lord summarizes the Vedanta, which conclusively establishes His
position as Supreme. In the purport to verse 15, Srila Prabhupada indicated the
significance of sambandha, abhideya and prayojana. Verse 16-18 give
knowledge of our relationship with Krishna(sambandha jnana) and are also
known as the tri sloki Gita. Krishna , as the knower of the Vedas and the compiler
of the Vedanta , in these three verses, assists souls in transcending material
existencce by summarizing the essence of the Vedas, which is the Vedanta.
Verse 19 indicates abidheya jnana, the process of attainment, and the final verse
, verse 20, refers to prayojana, the goal.

The problems of material existence are due to two weaknesses of heat:the desire
to lord it over material nature, which leads to attachment and the sense of
proprietorship.The first five verses of this chapter describe the process of freeing
oneself from these weaknesses of heart and the rest of the chapter, from the
sixth verse through to the end, discusses purushottama yoga.

Verse 16
1) Why are the living entities in the material world fallible?
2) Why are they infallible in the spiritual world? How are they in oneness with
the Lord?

Verse 17
1)Who is maintaining bot the fallible and the infallible living entities?

Verse 18
1)What is the position of Krishna with respect to all living entities as well as to the
form of Paramatma and Brahman?

Verse 19
1) What is the topmost platform of knowledge?What does such a person do?
2) When is all endeavors for knowledge of a person useless?

Verse 20

1) How does a devotee become wise and perfect?


2) What weaknesses of heart should a devotee give up?

Home- work:

1) What are some of the weaknesses of heart that we experience and how
can we overcome them?

Chapter 16

Week 32

Read verses 1- 18
1-9
Summary

Chapter Fifteen described the banyan tree of the material world. The modes of
material nature nourish both the upper, auspicious and divine branches of the
tree and the lower, demoniac branches. In the sixteenth chapter, Krishna first
explains the divine qualities that elevate one on the tree and lead ultimately to
liberation. He then explains in detail the demoniac qualities and the mentality
which drives one lower and lower on the tree and ultimately to hell. He also
explains the advantages and disadvantages of these qualities.

Verse 1-3

Explain the twenty six transcendental qualities to be developed by people of the


different varnas and ashramas which can help everyone to rise to the
transcendental platform gradually?

Verse 4

1) Why are demoniac people proud?


2) How do they practice religion?
3) How do they try to get respect?
4) How are their dealings with others?
Verse 5
1)What is the disadvantage of the demoniac qualities?

2) Why is Arjuna's involvement in the war not demoniac?


Note: “Sampatti means what you possess, under your control. There are two
kinds of sampatti, divine sampatti and demoniac sampatti. They are open before
you. Now you take up whatever you like. It is up to you. It is not forbidden that
daivi sampatti is meant for one class of men and asuri sampatti is meant for
another class of men; Krishna is open to everyone. Krishna is not monopolised
by a certain class of men. Don't think that “Krishna is Indian, Krishna is
Hindu,”kshatrya. Therefore He is meant for others. “No. Because He is the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is everyone's property.
If you develop your daivi sampat, then you become fit for vimoksaya, for
liberation. What is that liberation? Liberation means coming to the platform of real
knowledge. Mukti means hitva, giving up something, hitva anyatha rupam. Iam
spirit soul. Liberation means janma- mrtyu-jara-vyadhi, liberation from these four
things: no more birth, no more death, no more disease, no more old age. So
people are unaware, and they are not interested.” Lec BG 16.5 Hawai 75

Verse 6
1)What is the main difference between the divine and the demoniac?

Note: “There are two kinds of people all over the universe. There is asura loka
and devaloka, planet. So devasura, fight. That is going on perpetually, daiva and
asura, demonic nature and divine nature. There are many people who do not like
us because we are preaching God consciousness. This is our fault. Even in
India, the government does not like us because nowadays, practically
everywhere, the number of demoniac people have increased. The Government is
also demonic, so they do not like people with a divine nature. They will tolerate
all kinds of noise, barking of the dogs, the motor car passing, the airplane
overhead. But as soon as there is kirtana , they're disturbed. They'll tolerate so
many different types of noise, but they'll not tolerate kirtana.(Bombay)

This has occurred from the very beginning. When we started this movement in
New York, we used to hold our class at seven o' clock in the morning, and there
was little sound. Immediately the upstairs tenants would come down and
complain. Sometimes they would call police. And on the street, Second Avenue,
there are always big, big trucks and motor cars going past, heavy sounds. Then
in your country,, the garbage carrier sound, the digging sound. They'll tolerate so
many sounds. But as soon as they hear , “Hare Krishna”, :Oh, it is intolerable.”

This is demoniac. They will not hear. Because it will do them good by hearing,
they'll not accept it. It is practically experienced. I know that if you go into a
haunted house and you chant the Hare Krishna mantra, they'll go away. They
cannot tolerate it. In my life there have been several incidences like that. In my
household life, I was ding business in Lucknow. There was one very big house,
worth thousands of rupees rent, but it was haunted. So nobody would take that
house. I took it at two hundred rupees. All the servants complained, “Sir , there is
a ghost.” So I was chanting. The ghost was living in several spots, especially in
the gate side. So I could understand, but I would chant Hare Krishna, and I was
saved. Every one was saved. And in 1969, I stayed in the house of John Lennon
in London. There was a guest house, about which they complained. “Sir, here is
a ghost.” So I advised them to chant Hare Krishna, and the ghost went away.
This is a fact. When there is Hare Krishna chanting, these ghostly, demoniac
living entities, will not be able to stay there. They'll go away. Lec BG 16.7
Hawaii 75

Verse 7

1) Why are the demons not knowledgeable of what to do and what not to do?
2) What are the other characteristics of Demons mentioned in this verse?
3) Why is the social condition of demoniac people very miserable?Illustrate
with an example.

Verse 8

1) What is a domoniac person's understanding of the creation and


maintenance of this universe?How do they account for the msnifestation
of all the diversity found in the material world?Who or what do they accept
as the cause of everything?
2) What is their attitude towards scriptural injunctions?

Verse 9

1) What effect have all these material inventions for furthering sense
gratification had on the people in society?
2) How are the demoniac people engaged in horrible works meant to destroy
the world?

Verse 10

1)What are the demons always anxious for?

2) What religious principles do they follow?

3) How do they get honor in this world?

Verse 11-12
1) Why do demons try to enjoy themselves up to their very last breath?
2) How are they able to perform all kinds of sinful activities? What is the goal
of all their activities?

Verse 13-15

1) After acquiring money by illegal means what are the demon's thoughts?

Verse 16

1)What cause does the demon attribute for all his wealth and successes?

2) Why is there so much enmity all over the world?


3) What is a demon's idea of who God is?
4) What is a demon's idea about himself with regard to his wealth and
influence in comparison to all others?
5) How do demons try to elevate themselves to higher planets? Give
examples of modern times as well as in the past from the scriptures.
6) Factually what is the demon's achievement at the end of life?

Verse 17

1)How do demoniac spiritual leaders mislead the ignorant?

Verse 18

1) Why does the demon get bewildered into thinking that he is independent
of God and the scriptures?
2) What ignorance causes him to be envious of the Lord, himself and other
living entities and commit violence?
Note: “If he's going to be a dog in the next life and if he does not take
precautions, then is he not envious of himself? In this life you are prime minister,
and in the next life you are preparing to become dog, what is the use of being
prime minister? You cannot save yourself. Nature's law will go on. You may
become prime minister or any minister, but the law will act. If you have contracted
some disease, the disease will develop.”

Conv New Vrindavan 76

Home work:

1) What is the greatest fear that people have? We may also think of this at
the time of death. Why are people afraid? How should we deal with fear?
2) What demoniac qualities do we witness in day to day life. Share some
experiences.
3) How will you with the help of the sixteenth chapter explain to someone
who says that whatever path you follow will give you liberation.

Chapter 16

Week 33

Read verses 19-24

Summary

The result of performing demoniac activities is to be cast by Krishna into lower


species and other types of hellish life. Because lust, anger and greed are the
beginning of demoniac life, all sane men should give them up and understand
their duty by faithfully following the scriptures. The ultimate difference between
the divine and demoniac is that the divine follow the scriptures while the demons
do not.

Verse 19

1) What happens to people with a demoniac mentality in their next life?

Verse 20
1)After repeated births as demons, what kinds of bodies to the demons acquire?

2) How does the Lord show His mercy to some asuras?

Note: “Birth after birth they suffer, especially by being born into lower species.
Because such souls have no desire to get out of material existence, they don't.
They don't want Krishna's mercy and He does'nt give it to them.” SUM

Verse 21

1) What are the three gates to hell that we should avoid?


Note: “Krishna orders every sane person to give up lust, anger and greed. Those
qualities are so vicious that even one possessing a divine nature should fear
them. For a man, a woman personifies kama, lust, because she is able to gratify
all his sense desires. When kama is unsatisfied, krodha, anger is born. Anger is
very difficult to control.

Krodha appears only when our desires are checked, but what if we are able to
satisfy our desires without hindrance? Do we then become peaceful? No. We are
filled with lobha, greed. Greed gives birth to moha, illusion, and loss of
discrimination. Next comes mada, the intoxication of pride. From the mixture of
these five,envy,matsara,is able to manifest fully. Thus all these demoniac
qualities are rooted in lust.”SUM

Verse 22

1) How do the Vedas help us to turn away from these gates of hell and
become liberated?

Verse 23

1) Why do people knowingly act against scriptural rules?


2) What is the situation of a person who follows the scriptures but does not
come to the point of understanding God or serving Him?

Verse 24

1)How is one following the instructions of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said to have


already studied all Vedic literature?

2) Why should ordinary people or those not in Krishna consciousness follow


only the injunctions of the shastras without argument?
3) How will following the shastras help them?

Home work:

1)Those who are demoniac keep getting birth in demoniac species and the Lord
says that can never approach Him and sink to the most hellish existence in verse
20. Does that mean they go to hell forever?

Chapter 17

Week 34

Read verses 1-19


Verses 1-10
Summary

In Chapter 16 Krishna established that faithful followers of shastra are divine and
that the faithless are demoniac. But into which category does a man fit who
follows with faith something other than sastra? Krishna answers this by
describing how the modes of material nature determine a person's faith , worship
and eating.
Verse 1
1) Which category of people is Arjuna inquiring from Krishna about?

Verse 2

1) Why do some people even after knowing the scriptures fail to follow them?
2) How can such people elevate themselves?
Verse 3

1) What mode is faith born of?


2) What is faith in pure goodness?
3) Why are there different types of faith and religions in this world?

Note: “Without coming to the platform of sattva-guna, nobody can advance in


spiritual life. That is a fact. Just as nobody is allowed to enter law college unless
he is a graduate. That restriction is there. How will he understand law? He must
be a graduate. So similarly, first of all, one must come to the platform of sattva-
guna. Then spiritual knowledge begins. Because spiritual knowledge is above
sattva guna. So sattva – guna is the best quality , when one's brain is clear and
he can see things as they are, no hazy understanding, but clear understanding.
So sattva-guna is the qualification of brahmana.

The example is given of fire, smoke and wood. Everyone knows that from wood,
fire will come. And when you ignite wood, there is smoke first of all, and then the
blazing flame. So one may say... it is wood. It is all one.” No. Although it is one,
you still require the flame, rather than the smoke or the wood, if you want to
work.. when you get the flame, then you can work. You can cook, you can get
heat, you can get light, so many things. So that is required, not that “Because I
have the wood, I have everything.” This is rascaldom. You have to ignite the
flame. That is sattva-guna.

Therefore , in our society we first of all try to reform the fallen soul or the most
infected material person. Come to the stage of flame, because without a flame,
you cannot work. Just like yajna. We perform fire sacrisice, but we want to see
there is a flame, not smoke, although it is the same thing. You cannot be
satisfied:”Now there is a smoke. It is all right. There is fire.” Without there being
fire, there cannot be smoke. When there is smoke one can understand there is
fire, even if it is far away. When smoke is coming from a forest, people
immediately understand there is a forest fire.

So although smoke is an indication of fire, it is not fire. Similarly, with so-called


meditation, so-called spiritualism, concocted ideas, there is some touch of
spiritual life, but it is not spiritual life. One should understand. It is not spiritual life.
It is called abhasa. Abhasa means just like the day, full sunlight. Early in the
morning you cannot see the sun, but there is light. There is no darkness. So
similarly, Arjuna's inquiry is very nice, that “One who is not following sastra-vidhi,
the direction of sastra, but has some faith, some vague idea, what will be the
consideration? Will they be taken as sattva-guna, rajo-guna or tamo-guna?”

So if you simply remain satisfied with the wood, that is called tamo-guna, not
developed. Again, when there is smoke, that is another platform. But when one
apprecites the flames, that is sattva-guna. Therefore Krishna says here, tri-vidha
bhavati shraddha dehinam sa svabhava-ja. If one is cultivating his life like hogs,
cats and dogs, and his behavior is also like that, he remains in that position. One
wo is advanced, one who is worshipping the Deity, having a bath three times
daily, and chanting mantras, Hare Krishna, these two are not equal.That is not
possible because one is stuated in sattva-guna and the other is situated in tamo-
guna, although the tamo-gunas, the persons who are in darkness of ignorance,
have their faith......
Therefore we have to change. Just like the diseased man can be changed into a
helthy person provided he follows the medical rules and regulations regarding
medicine and diet. So if one does not follow the prescribed rules and regulations,
he remains diseased. It is not that, “We have now become free. We can talk
nonsensically and behave like nonsenses. Still we are advanced..” You have to
judge by the symptoms who is in sattva guns, rajguna or tamo-guna. A sadhu is
determined by his behavior.

Lec BG 17.1-3 Honolulu 74

Verse 4

1) Who do those in the mode of goodness worship?


2) Who do the people in passion, or mixed modes of passion and ignorance
worship?
3) Who are worshiped by those in the mode of ignorance?
4) Who do the transcendentalists worship?
5) Who do the impersonalists worship? Ho do they conceive of them?

Note: Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana explains that texts 2-4 describe those who
have given up the sastra out of laziness or because the required worship was
troublesome, yet faithfully worship the demigods. Tesxts 5-6, in contrast ,
describe not those who have whimsically given up following the sastra but those
who are against Vedic practices. SUM

Verses 5-6

1) What sort of people manufacture their own methods of austerities and


penances?
2) What is generally their motivation for performing them?
3) Why are their activities disapproved?

Verse 7

1) What discrimination do wise people have with regard to the manner of


eating and the performance of activities by different people?
Verse 8 - 10

1) What kinds of food are pleasing to those in ignorance?


2) What is the purpose of food? What foods promote this?
3) How can we get animal fat?
4) What remnants of food are recommended and what are condemned?
Note: Food in the mode of goodness is made with pure ingredients and cooked
with purity. It is then served in a clean place by pure people.

Srila Vishwanatha Chakravarthi Thakura explains that in Text 9, “distress” refers


to the pain felt while eating foods in the mode of passion. “Misery” refers to the
depression one feels after thus eating, and “disease” refers to the results yet to
be felt. SUM

Verse 11

1) What mood of sacrifice is in the mode of goodness?

Verse 12

1) What kind of sacrifices are in the mode of passion?

Verse 13

1) What kind of sacrifices are performed in the mode of ignorance?


Verse 14

1) What are the recommended penances of the body prescribed by the


sastras ?
Verse 15

1) What is the austerity of speech recommended in the sastras?


2) How should we speak the Truth to others if it is unpalatable to them?

Verse 16

1) What different austerities of the mind are recommended? Explain what


each of these menas for a person in Krishna consciousness?

Verse 17
1)How can austerities of the body, mind and speech be in the mode of
goodness?

Verse 18

1) What is the motive of penance performed in the mode of passion? What is


the disadvantage of performing them?
Verse 19

1)What is penance in the mode of ignorance? Give an example.

Home- work

1)Discuss austerity in the mode of ignorance. Give examples from modern day
life.

Chapter 17

Week 35

Read verses 20-28


Summary

Krishna describes charity in the modes, with their differing results. All activities
are contaminated by the modes, and those defects can be offset by acting, even
if done within the modes of nature, in Krishna's service and by chanting om tat
sat. Actually, all our activities should be aimed at pleasing the Supreme Lord.
When sacrifice, penance and austerity are performed without faith in the
Supreme they are useless, both in this life and the next.

Verse 20
1)What is the proper mood, time, place person to whom we should give charity to
which is in the mode of goodness?
2) Why should we not give charity indiscriminately?

Verse 21
1)What constitutes charity in the mode of passion?

Verse 22

1) What is charity in the mode of ignorance?


2) How can charity to a worthy person also come under mode of ignorance?
Note: Prabhupada:If you make tamasic dana, then you become implicated with
his sinful activities. Suppose you want to kill somebody and you are asking, “Can
you give me a nice knife?” “What will you do?” “I will kill that man.” All right, take
it, danam. Iam giivng you in charity.” So he will be implicated. In the court if it is
known that that man supplied the knife. “Arrest him. Bring him immediately.” In
the material world, anything you do, yagnarthat karmano'nyatra loko yam, if it is
not meant for Krishna, then immediately you are a criminal.
MW Bombay 75

Verse 23

1) Why should all austerities, sacrifices and charity be accompanied by


reciting Om tat sat ?
2) What result will those who perform activities according to scriptures and
those who act without following scriptural injunctions derive?
Verse 24

1) What does the chanting of Om indicate about the performance of activity?

Verse 25

1)What does the word Tat indicate when you chant before your activities?

Verse 26-27

1) What does the word sat indicate?


Note: One must act in Krishna consciousness or sattva, in the association of
sadhus who are satam or pure.

Verse 28
1) Why are penances and charities without a transcendental objective
discouraged?
2) Even though worship in the mode of goodness is encouraged, why are
activities in Krishna consciousness considered the best? How can we
achieve success in this path? What will we achieve at the end?

Home-work

1) How should our attitudes and behavior be towards charities and welfare
activities . Base your answer on this chapter.

Chapter 18

Week 36

Read verses 1-12


Summary

The entire Bhagavad-gita is concluded in seventeen chapters, and to emphasize


the goal, surrender to Krishna, the essence of the previous chapters is taught in
the final chapter. In this chapter, Krishna concludes, as He has done throughout
the Bhagavad-gita, that one should practise devotional service. Krishna begins
His summary of all His previously spoken by reiterating His presription that
Arjuna renounce the fruit of work, not work itself. Verses 1-12 are a summary of
the first six chapters of Bhagavad-gita , which describe karma yoga (read
purport, verse 1, par. 1)

Verse 1

1) What two topics does Arjuna want to clarify in the eighteenth chapter?
2) Why is Arjuna addressing Krishna as Hrishikesha and Kesi Nishudana?
Verse 2
Note: Krishna begins His answer by giving the opinion of the learned and wise,
who say that sannyasa and tyaga are different. According to them, sannyasa
refers to the renunciation of materially motivated activities, specifically karma
kanda activities . Tyaga, on the other hand, refers to the renunciation of the fruits
of one's activities.SUM

Verse 3

Note: Srila Vishwanatha /chakravarti Thakura has explained that the first group
mentioned refers to the followers of Sankhya. Desiring to avoid the reactions that
fruitive actions bring, they encourage renunciation of all fruitive activities,
especially those based on karma kanda and which have as their main fault
violence towards animals during sacrifise.
In the second part of verse 3, the karma mimamsi's opinion is given. They say
that sacrifise, charity and penance is prescribed in the /vedas and should
therefore never be renounced. Because they are mentioned in the sastra, they
say, no one should consider them faulty and violent. Finally Krishna gives His
own opinion in the next verse. SUM

Verse 4
Note: The three kinds of renunciation are based on the three modes of material
nature . Krishna will describe them in verses 7-12. Arjuna has inquires about the
difference between tyaga and sannyasa, and Krishna in reply, mentions three
types of tyaga. The Lord will now continue His definitive answer to Arjuna's query.
SUM
Verse 5

Note: Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana comments that just as fibers exist within the
stem of a lotus, these three activities contain knowledge that purifies the heart
and elevates one.
Krishna's conclusion is positive advice: Every one should perform these
activities.” Perform them, purify your heart and set a good example. The mood in
which these three should be performed is described in the next verse.SUM

“Tapasya means voluntarily accepting all kinds of inconveniences. Material


activities mean we are trying to avoid inconveniences. Spiritual activity means to
execute tapasya, austeriy, penance, even at the risk of all inconveniences. This is
clled tapasya. So Krishna says, yajna- dana- tapah, kriya na tyajyam. You can
give up your family life, but you cannot give up yajna-dana-tapah. That you
cannot do, in all circumstances. These things must be continued. Yajna-dana-
tapah na tyajyam karyam eva tat. Karyam means “you must do it.”So unless you
practise yajna from the very beginning, give in charity if you are a grihastha,
tapasya on taking sannyasa, how will you understand this philosophy?It is not
possible. In the kali-yuga however, this yajna is not possible. Ritualistic yajna,
sacrifise,as recommended in the Vedas is not possible. It is very expenssive.
You have to acquire much ghee and grains and so many other things. Feed so
many people daily. It is very difficult task to perform ritualistic yajna.

Therefore Krishna has made it easy. What is that? Yajnaih sankirtanaih prayair
yajanti hi sumedhasah. Those who have brains, who are not dull,not filled with
cowdung, can understand sankirtana -yajna.Then it fulfills the injunction of the
Bhagavad-gita, yajna, dana, tapah-kriya.

Lec BG 18.5 London 73

Verse 6

Note: Krishna herein concludes His opinion. Because it is His opinion, it is


superior to the other opinions Krishna previously offered. Activity need not be
given up, because activities in and of themselves cause no reactions. We obtain
reactions from our activities, if out of our false ego, we think, “I am the doer and
the fruits are mine to enjoy.” Therefore Krishna is once again proclaiming the true
standard of renunciation as detachment from the fruits of work while performing
duty. Arjuna should fight dutifully, but in the mood of renunciation, detached from
the battle's results. SUM

1) What kind of work, sacrifice and charity should a devotee take up?

Verse 7
Note: In this verse Krishna uses and equates the word tyaga(parityaga), which
indicates His answer to the question”Are sannyasa and tyaga the same or
different?” Though some think they are different, Krishna' opinion is that the
renounced order of life and renunciation of the fruits of work, are, in fact, one and
the same. Indeed, Srila Prabhupada translates both words here as
“renunciation.” Renouncing prescribed duties because of illusion results in further
illusion. SUM

1) Give examples of renunciation of activities in the mode of ignorance.


2) What is the result of such renunciation?

Verse 8

Note: A person influenced by passion knows that he should perform his duty with
detachment, but he rejects those duties as troublesome. Yet, such a person
nevertheless may want spiritual benefit. Therefore he thinks,”Why should I work
hard? I will become a sadhu, a sannyasi” Whether problems arise from our work,
business or family, the mode of passion pushes us to avoid those difficulties
rather than to face them in the mood Krishna next explains. SUM

1) Give examples of renunciation of activities in the mode of passion.


2) What is the result of such renunciation?

Verse 9

1) What is renunciation in the mode of goodness?


2) How can working in a factore become transcendental work?

Verse 10

1) Who is the intelligent renouncer? How does he work and what is his
attitude to his work?
Verse 11

1) What is clearly given here as real renunciation?

Verse 12

Note: Those attached to sense enjoyment achieve varied results after death from
the activities they have performed. In contrast, the tyagi fixed in knowledge
attains liberation. We should note in this verse Krishna has again used both
words, sannyasa and tyaga, to emphasize that they are synonymous. Thus
Krishna has again established that the superior method of becoming free from
the reactions to work is niskama-karma – renouncing the fruits of work, not the
work itself.

Home-work

1) What is the summary of this section? What have you learnt from this
section? How can you apply this in your life?
2) Sannyasis in Krishna consciousness perform many activities that are
generally not accepted in the rigid Vedic culture, such as performing
marriage ceremonies. How do we justify such activities? What precedent
did Srila Prabhupada set? What should our attitude be and/or what can
we learn from this example?

Chapter 18

Week 37

Read verses 13-25


Summary

After summarizing His teachings on karma, Krishna describes, from the viewpoint
of jnana(which is the subject matter of last six chapters), how it is possible to act
and yet remain free from all reactions. Krishna cites Vedanta and analyses
activities as comprised of five factors(verses 13-18). He then describes in detail
how one's working according to the five factors is dictated by the three modes of
material nature(verses 19-40). Knowledge in the modes is described in verses
19-22, whereas one's actions in the modes is described in verses 23-25
Verse 13

Note: Krishna cites Vedanta and begins His analysis of activity by discussing the
five causes of action, the most important being the Supersoul. Krishna offers this
analysis to help us become detached from seeing ourselves as the doers of all
and thereby becoming bound. Krishna will carry His analysis further to the
perfection of janan: knowledge of the Supersoul.

Verse 14

1) What is the place of action, and who is the performer of the action?
2) What are the instruments of action?
3) What does endeavor refer to?
4) Which is th most important factor for any action? Why?

Verse 15

1) Is the Supersoul involved also in our actions which are done against
sastric injunctions?
Verse 16
1) What does one who cannot see the Supersoul think about his actions?
Verse 17
1) How is Krishna using this knowledge of the five causes of action to inspire
Arjuna to fight?
Verse 18

1) What are the three factors which motivate our actions?


2) What happens when the inspiration for our work comes from spiritual
authorities?
Verse 19

1) What are the three different types of knowledge, action and performers?

Verse 20

1)What is knowledge in the mode of goodness?

Verse 21

1) What knowledge manifests from the mode of passion?

Verse 22

1) What is knowledge in the mode of ignorance?

Verse 23
Note: In this verse, Srila Prabhupada closely equates the mode of goodness with
Krishna consciousness.

Verse 24

1) What is action in the mode of passion?

Verse 25
1)What is action in the mode of ignorance?

Home work:

1) What are the symptoms of one who considers himself the doer?
2) Give some concrete examples from experience of knowledge and action
in the various modes.
Chapter 18

Week 38

Read verses 26-40


Summary

Lord Krishna continues His description of how all activities are controlled by the
three modes of material nature. Verses 26-28 describe one's performance of
action, verses 29-32 describe one's understanding, verses 33-35 describe one's
determination, and verses 36-39 describe one's happiness in the modes.

Verse 26

1) How is a Krishna conscious worker situated always in the mode of


goodness?

Note: “ We should not lose enthusiasm because we have no strength to destroy


the reactions of karma. In the very beginning of devotional service the sadhaka
must have faith with full enthusiasm.” Sri Bhaktyaloka

Verse 27
1)Describe a worker in the mode of passion.

Verse 28

1) Describe a worker in the mode of ignorance.


Verse 29

Verse 30
1)Describe the intelligence of one who is in the mode of goodness.

Verse 31

which is intelligence in the mode of passion.

Verse 32

1) What is the intelligence of one in the mode of ignorance?


Note: “Those who are involved in the mode of ignorance manufacture religious
systems for killing animals. Actually dharma is transcendental. As Lord Krishna
teaches, we must give up all other systems of religion and simply surrender unto
Him.(sarva-dharman parityajyasya). Thus the Lord and His devotees and
representatives teach the transcendental dharma, which does not allow animal
-killing at all. At the present moment it is the greatest misfortune that in India
many so-called missionary workers are spreading irreligion in the name of
religion. They claim an ordinary human being to be God and recommend meat-
eating for every one, including so-called sannyasis.” SB 4.27.11

Verse 33

1) What is determination in the mode of goodness? How is this sustained?


How are devotees engaged in Krishna consciousness in this mode?

Note:
“Buddhi, intelligence or understanding, is in the mode of goodness when it
recognizes and engages in a religious act. Dhrti, determination, is that which
makes the intelligence firm in its decisions. Determination that prevents us from
performing degrading actions is also in the mode of goodness. SUM

Verse 34

1) Describe the determination of one in the mode of passion.


Verse 35
1) How is the determination of one in the mode of ignorance?
2) What does too much of dreaming indicate in such a person?
Verse 36

1)How does a person get free of so-called happiness in this material world?

Verse 37

1) How does one get happiness in the mode of goodness? Why does it taste
like nectar in the end?
Verse 38

1)Explain why happiness in the mode of passion always leads to distress in the
end.

Verse 39

1) Why is the person in the mode of ignorance always unhappy?


Note: Srila Prabhupada explains the difference between material and spiritual
happiness: Purport: In the material world, the spiritual energy of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead is manifested as tapa-kari, which means “causing
miseries.”Everyone hankers for happiness, but although happiness originally
comes from the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the
material world, because of material activities, the pleasure potency of the Lord
becomes a source of miseries(hlada -tapa-kari). False happiness in the material
world is a source of distress, but when one's endeavors for happiness are
directed toward the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this
tapa-kari element of misery is vanquished. An example given in this connection is
that extracting fire from wood is certainly difficult, but when the fire ignites it burns
the wood to ashes. In other words, experiencing the Supreme Personality of
Godhead is extremely difficult for those devoid of devotional service, but
everything becomes easier for a devotee, and thus he can very easily meet the
Supreme Lord. SB 6.4.27-8

“So this is our philosophy, to please Krishna through Radharani. So we should


pray to Radharani, “Radharani, kindly be merciful and tell your Krishna about me.
Krishna is yours.” Radha- Krishna. Krishna is not independent. Krishna is
Radharani's property. So you have to approach Krishna through Radharani.
Worship Radharani very nicely and be happy. This is real happiness of spiritual
life.” Lec BG 18.5 London 73

Verse 40
1) Who is the actual doer of all the activities in every part of this material
universe, though the Lord is the ultimate controller?

Note: Prthviyam means on this earth. In the higher planetary system or even the
heavenly planets. Every where. Sattvam prakrtir-jair mujtam. No one is freed
from the influence of these modes of material nature.Sattvam means existence.
Sattvam prakrtir jair. Prakrtir-jair means by material nature, gunaih, means the
modes, this goodness, passion and ignorance.
Yad ebhih syat tribhir gunaih. Everything, everywhere , even amongst the plant
life, beast life, these three gunas are working, just like some trees, they are
useless. They do not produce any nice fruit or flowers. That is third class, in
ignorance. In animals also. Just like cows, they are first class animals, in the
mode of goodness, supplying so many valuable nutritious foods, milk. But the
cats and dogs are third class animals. This is the calculation of the three modes
of material nature. Humanbeings, animals, trees, birds, everywhere Krishna
says, even in the higher planetary systems, these modes of material nature are
working. Therefore, in the human society, the classification should be made
scientifically according to these three modes of material nature. And that is
explained by Bhagavan, Sri Krishna, in the Bhagavad-gita, catur varnyam maya
srstam: four classes of men.” Lec BG 18.41 Stockholm 73

Home work:
1) What are the things that you are putting off or procrastinating to do ona
later date and the issue is troubling you in the background. What is the
consequences of procrastinating? (Both internal and external). What are
the benefits of giving up this habbit?
Chapter 18

Week 39

Read verses 41-55


Summary

Although all work is controlled by the modes, as described in the previous


verses, one can become free from the reactions of work by performing one's
occupational dutybas a brahmana, kshatriya, vaisya, or sudra while at the same
time worshipping the Lord through that work(Verses 42-48). Lord Krishna then
explains the stage where one can give up prescribed duties, jnana-yoga, wherein
one purifies himself by use of intelligence. This leads to the stage of liberation
where one becomes qualified to perform pure devotional service. ( verses 49-55)

Verse 41
Note: “You'll find these four classes of living entities everywhere,
according tot the three modes. And below the fourth class, there is a fifth
class, pancama. Now they want a classless society. There cannot be a
classless society.As long as you are in the material world, there must be
classes. It is nature's arrangement. Even amongst birds, there is a class of
birds known as crows and another called swans. The swans will try to
reside in a place where there is clean water, flowers and good trees; they
will flock there. Birds of a feather flock together.The crows will go to a
place where there is garbage, and enjoy there. So there is a division in
taste. But in the human form of body, although there is natural division,
one can be raised to a higher position by theis Krishna consciousness
movement. As far as this material body is concerned, you cannot change
the quality. Lec BG 18.41 Stockholm 73

Verse 42(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Note: Samo, controlling the senses. One should be trained not to be dictated by
the senses, but to be master of them. That is called samah.

And damah, the mind is dictating something. You should not be carried away by
the dictation of the mind, but the mind should be carried by your dictation. That is
called damah. Not that you remain a servant of the senses and because you are
born into a brahmana family you remain a brahmana. This is a miscalculation.
This is not allowed. Therefore Krishna says samo damas tapah.
Tapah, austerity. How can this samo damah be practised without tapasya? One
of our godbrothers went to preach in London and Lord Zetland was talking to him
saying, “Goswamiji, can you make me a brahmana?” So he said, “Yes, why not?
You give up these four bad habits,” and he said, “It is impossible for us.” He said
clearly, “It is impossible. This is our life.” This is called tapasya. Hundreds and
thousands have agreed. I ave not bribed them. I am a poor Indian. But they have
agreed.
Saucam, cleanliness. (As we learned in chapter 16, cleanliness means in mind
and body and also in dealings.) SB 10.5.3. Mother Dharitri said, “Now the Kali-
yuga has come... I am very disturbed that people are losing their original
qualities.” These qualities need not be acquired. These qualities are there, but
they are covered. Just like a sharpened knife. The cutting power is there, but
when it is covered with dirt it does not cut. This is due to our material
contamination. Therefore we have to revive that sharpness. That is the Krishna
consciousness movement. If one is actually Krishna conscious, hen these
qualities will be visible in that person.
O king, by passing of time, land and other material possessions are purified.; by
bathing, the body is purified; and by being cleansed, unclean things are purified;
and by purificatory ceremonies, birth is purified; by austerity, the senses are
purified; and by worship and charity offered to the brahmanas, material
possessions are purified. By satisfaction, the mind is purified; and by self-
realization, the soul is purified.” Lec BG 18.45 Durban 75
“Ksantir, tolerance. I am accustomed to love my son as the body. So if he dies
and somebody is crying, that does not mean he is afool, but it is material
affection. So Krishna advises that ksanti, titksa, tolerance. BG 2.14. “Yes, I
understand that there are pains and pleasures like that, but they have to be
tolerated. Do not be disturbed. You have to execute the business of Krishna
consciousness. If there is any rouble, you must know no happiness exists
because this is material. It comes. It will go. So for the time being, dont be mad
after happiness and don't be mad after miseries. Agamapayina. “They come and
go.”
“Arjavam. Very simple. What is the opposite? Duplicity is a very bad qualification
for spiritual advancement. We have the tendency for cheating, because everyone
is a conditioned soul. That should be minimized. This is called arjavam. Arjavam
means sada rata. And viraktata, detachment.The whole system is detachment
from matter. Even if we are slightly attached to this material life, we have to
accept this body, any kind of body, this body , or that body.There are 8,400,000
types of bodies. Therefore this vairagya,viraktata, detachment from matter, is the
whole basic principle of spiritual realisation.
So this Krishna conscious process is simultaneous detachment from matter and
attachment for Krishna. We have to increase our love for Krishna. As we
proportionately increase our love for Krishna, we decrease our love for matter.

Jnanam, full knowledge. What is this world. What am I, what is my relation with
this world, what is God, what is my relation with God? Everything in full
knowledge.

Vijnanam means complete application of the knowledge of life.

Astikyam means full faith in the transcendental literature, and full faith in the
existence of the Supreme Lord. One who believes in the words of Krishna is
astika. One who does not believe is a nastika.” Lec SB 7.9.10 Montreal 68

Verse 43(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Note: A ksatriya must have isvara-bhava, the ability to control others, but he must
use such power for the protection, not the exploitation -of the citizens. SUM

Verse 44(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


Verse 45
1)How many qualities does a Brahmana possess, aksatrya, Visya and sudra?
List all of them.

Verse 46

1)Why are we duty bound to render service to the Supreme Lord?

2) How can we feel connected to Krishna through our work? What will be the
result of this?

Verse 47

1) How is one's occupational duty determined?


2) How can every work become perfect even if it is not in the mode of
goodness?
Note: “ The antyajas, lower class men, are accustomed to stealing,drinking and
illicit sex, but that is not considered sinful. For example, if a tiger kills a man, that
is not sinful but if a man kills another man, this is considered sinful and the killer
is hanged. What is a daily affair among the animals is a sinful act in human
society. Thus according to the symptoms of higher and lower sections of society,
there are different varieties of occupational duties. According to the experts in
Vedic knowledge, these duties are prescribed in terms of the age concerned.

The four principal divisions of society-brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya and sudra-have


been defined, and now there is a description of antyaja, the mixed classes.
Among the mixed classes, there are two divisions, pratilomaja and anulomaja. If
a woman of a higher caste marries a man of lower caste, their union is called
pratilo. However, if a woman of a low caste marries a man of higher caste, their
union is called anulo. The members of such dynasties have their traditional
duties as barbers, washermen and so on. Among the antyajas,those who are still
somewhat pure in that they do not steal and are not addicted to meat-
eating,drinking,illicit sex and gambling, are called antevasayi. Among the people
of lower classes, intermarraige and the drinking of wine is allowed, for these
people do not recognize such conduct sinful among themselves. SB 7.11.31
Verse 48
1) Why does Krishna not encourage changing of one's occupational duties if
one is displeased with the faults in it?
2) When are the faults in an occupation purified?
3) When does our work lead to self- realization?
Verse 49
1) How can one achieve the highest perfectional stage of yoga even without
accepting the sannyasa order of life?
Verse 50

Note: These verses refer to a yogi on the path of the jnana-yoga, who has
purified his consciousness through work and has thus already progressed
upward from the stage of karma to the stage of jnana. Srila Vishwanatha
Chakravarthi Thakura, in his comment to text 49, explains:”It being the case that
all work is covered with fault, the person on the first level of sannyasa rejects the
faulty aspects of work-namely the mentality of being the doer and the expectation
of profit. Thus in due course of time, he perfects his sadhana. After having
ascended to the level of yoga, he gives up work itself. This is the second stage of
sannyasa, as described in this verse beginning asakta-budhih sarvatra.”

Thus we can understand that a devotee who has worshipped the Lord by his
work will not attain Brahman realization in the same way as does the jnana- yogi.
A devotee, after being purified by detached work, attains freedom from false ego
and moves forward to realize and serve the Supreme Brahman.

The process practiced by an advanced jnana-yogi to elevate him further is


described in the next verse.
Verse 51-53
1) How does a person reach the platform of Brahma bhuta and what are his
characteristics?
Verse 54(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) What is the realization of a devotee situated in the Brahma-bhuta


platform?
2) How can such realization be achieved in this age?

Verse 55(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1)Why can we not know and understand Krishna through scholarship or mental
speculation?
2) What does becoming brahman mean in the devotional sense?
3) What does “entering unto Me” mean? Explain with the analogy of the
green bird.
4) How does hearing about the Lord lead us to complete devotional
liberation?
Home -work:
1)How can we ensure peace and prosperity for the society by following the caste
system?

2) Must we suffer in this world or can we be happy? If we can, then how?


3) What exactly is liberation for devotees?

Chapter 18

Week 40

Read verses 56-66


Summary
After explaining the importance of devotional service for understanding Him,
Krishna describes how one can overcome all obstacles by depending on him and
working under His protection. He next explains more confidential knowledge of
Supersoul, then the most confidential knowledge of surrender to Him by
becoming His devotee.

Verse 56

Note: The Lord tells Arjuna that actions performed purely in Krishna's service
take place above the modes of material nature, on the transcendental platform. If
one does not work for Krishna under Krishna's direction, he will be forced to work
under the modes of nature. Inactivity is not an option.
By His grace, a devotee attains His eternal, imperishable abode. SUM

Verse 57
1)What should be our attitude while performing devotional service?

Note: Srila Vishwanatha Chakravarthy Thakura describes Krishna's instructions


to Arjuna:”Offering all your activities , your varnasrama duties and your ordinary
work to Me, you should be deicated to Me. I should be your only goal and the
whole purpose of Your life. In this way you should be renounced and without
desires... Always fix your mind on Me, both while executing your duties and at
other times as well. Always remember Me.” SUM

Verse 58
1) How can we overcome all the obstacles and problems in material life?
2) What happens to a person who acts in material consciousness?
3) What is the most wonderful thing about acting in Krishna consciousness?

Verse 59
1) What happens when we do neglect the instructions of Guru and Krishna
and act according to our false ego?
Note: “Somebody protested that “Your Krishna consciousness movement makes
people dull.,” but they have not seen the Vaishnava. There were two great fights
in Indian history. One was between Rama and Ravana and one was at
Kurukshetra. And the hero in both was a Vaishnava. We are going to produce
such Vaishnavas, not thesee dull rascals sitting down. We don't want these kind
of Vaishnavas - sitting down eascals. We wan't Arjuna or we wan't no-one. That
is a Vaishnava.” MW Los Angeles 74

Verse 60

Note: Krishna herein continues instructing all conditioned souls to surrender to


Him because it is in their own interest. If we choose not to surrender to Krishna,
however, it does not mean that we will be able to remain independent. All- those
who surrender and those who do not- are controlled. The difference is that the
surrendered souls are controlled and protected by Krishna and the
unsurrendered souls are controlled and protected by Krishna and the
unsurrendered are forced to dance like marionettes, their strings pulled by
illusion. SUM

Verse 61(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

Note: “ As the different limbs of the body cannot see the eyes, the living entities
cannot see the Supreme Lord, who is situated as the Supersoul in everyone's
heart. Not by the senses, by the mind, by the life air, by thoughts within the heart,
or by the vibration of words can the living entities ascertain the real situation of
the Supreme Lord.
Purport: Although the different parts of the body do not have the power to see the
eyes, the eyes direct the movement of the body' different parts. /thelegs move
forward because the eyes see what is in front of them, and the hand touches
because the eyes see touchable entities. Similarly, every living being acts
according to the direction of the Supersoul, who is situated within the heart.
Although one cannot see the Supersoul in one's heart through sensual activities,
His direction is necessary.

There are many, many yogis trying to find Him. Nonetheless, even great yogis,
demigods, saints and sages have not been able to understand the bodily
features of that great artiste, neither could they understand the meaning of His
movements.What then is to be said of ordinary speculators like the so-called
philosophers of this material world? For them He is impossible to understand.
Therefore we must accept the ststements given by the Supreme when He kindly
incarnates.
He is always trying to deliver us. He is within our hearts and not at all inattentive.
His only aim is to deliver us from worldly life. It is not that He becomes attentive
to us only when we offer prayers to Him. Even before e offer our prayers, He
incessantly tries to deliver us. He is never lazy in regard to our deliverance.
Therefore this verse says, bhuri karunaya namo 'layayaa. It is the causeless
mercy of the Supreme Lord that He always tries to bring us back home, back to
Godhead. God is liberated, and He tries to liberate us, but although He is
constantly trying, we refuse to accept His instructions(sarva dharman paritajya
mam ekam saranam vraja). Nonetheless, He has not become angry. Therefore
He is described here as bhuri-karunayaa, unlimitedly merciful in delivering us
from this miserable material condition of life and taking us back home, back to
Godhead.” SB 6.3.16

Verse 62

1) How is it clear that Krishna and the supersoul are the same?
2) How is Arjuna certain that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of
Godhead?
3) What are the benefits of surrendering to the Supersoul for this life and the
next?

Verse 63

1) What knowledge has the Lord given earlier? What is the superior
knowledge that He is giving us in this verse?
2) Why does Krishna say “Deliberate on my instruction and then do what you
wish to do”?

Verse 64

1) What is the essence of te teachings of the Bhagavad-gita?


2) Why is Krishna specially giving this instruction to Arjuna?

Note: “Seeing His dear friend Arjuna silently deliberatin on the Gita shastra, with
its deep meanings, the Lord felt His heart melt like butter and out of compassion
said, My dear friend Arjuna, I will now speak the essence of the entire sastra. You
don't have to exert yourself any more with this troblesome deliberating.”
Vishwanatha Chkravarthi Thakura.

Verse 65(Learn Verse and translation by heart)

1) How can we become a dear friend of Krishna also and achieve the same
perfection as Him?

2) How can we execute this most confidential instruction of the Lord?

Note: “We cannot think of anyone unless we love him.If you love somebody, you
think of them always. You can't get them out of your mind. Just like when a boy
and girl are in love, they think of each other constantly. “When shall we meet
again?” So similarly man mana bhava mad bhakto. When you become a devotee
of Krishna, you think of Him always, provided you have developed love for Him.
Premanjana cchurita bhakti vilocanena. By bhakti, you can develop your love for
Krishna. That is required.

This is the beginning of prema. “Always think of Me.” Krishna prema is there.
Nitya siddha Krishna -bhakti sadhya kabhu naya. It is not by artificial means we
are getting Krishna- prema. It is laready there. But just like the attraction between
a young boy and girl comes ata certain stage, similarly, if you develop this
sravana- kirtana, then Krishna prema will be automatically aroused. It is already
there. “ BG 2.20 Hyderabad 72

Verse 66(Learn Verse and translation by heart)


1) Why has Krishna spoken of so many forms of religion, yoga, and dharma
earlier? What was the purpose?
2) Why is Krishna asking us to abandon all of them and surrender to Him
directly?
3) What happens to all our sinful desires and activities as well as suffering for
our past sins, when we surrender to Krishna?
4) What worry is Krishna asking us to give up?

Home work:

1) How will you make decisions in your life? Why?


2) What should be our mood when we perform all activities?What is the
benefit of this?
3) How will you help first yourself as well as others in exercising their free will
wisely(That means without forcing)?

Chapter 18

Week 41

Read verses 67-78


Summary:

After hearing the instructions of Krishna, Arjuna is fixed and ready to fight.
Sanjaya, after narrating this conversation to Dhrtarastra, ecstatically thinks of
Krishna's universal form and predicts victory for Arjuna, the supreme archer, for
he is surrendered to Krishna, the master of all mystics.

Verse 67
1) Why is Krishna asking us not to explain this confidential knowledge to
those who are sensuous or are envious of Him?What about listening the
Bhagavad- gita from such persons as well as from non- devotees?Explain.
Note: “Not to the fools and rascals. So first of all, give them chance, let them
come to the Temple, take prasadam, hear sankirtana, offer obeisances by
imitating others. In this way, when they become a little purified you can instruct
them. Otherwise it will be useless. You'll waste your time by arguing.” BG
18.67-69 Ahmedabad 72

Verse 68

1) What is the minimum qualification required for the teacher as well as the
listener of the Bhagavad—gita?
2) What result does a person who sincerely explain the Bhagavad-gita to
others, achieve?
Note: “But one who is facing danger for the benefit of others is very quickly
recognized by Krishna. Just like soldiers who are fighting for their country are
recognized. Similarly, those who are preachers on behalf of Krishna, asking
people to take to Krishna consciousness, are great soldiers. So let us dedicate
this life for preaching Krishna consciousness all over the world. Never mind we
die by preaching. Still, it will be glorious.” SB 6.5.39

“The brahmanas preach the cult of Krishna consciousness all over he world, and
therefore , although they worship Krishna, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead,the Lord also recognizes them as worshippable. The relationship is
reciprocal. The brahmanas want to worship Krishna, and similarly Krishna wants
to worship the brahmanas. SB 7.14.42

Verses 69-71
1) How are devotees more merciful than Lord Krishna?
2) What happens to those perform devotional activities righteously but are
not fully purified yet?
Verse 72

1) How did Krishna act as the ideal Guru to Arjuna?


Verse 73
1)What illusion of Arjuna's was dispelled? What doubt of his was cleared by
Krishna?Why did he agree to fight?
2) What knowledge about Krishna does a person in maya lack?

Note: “All my misgivings, my misunderstandings, have now gone by Your mercy.I


have decided to fight because You desire it.” That is the summum bonum of
learning, that one should desire what God desires. That's all. That will make his
life perfect. He should not desire anything for himself. His desiring capacity
should not be stopped. Somebody says, “Don't desire;become desire-less.” What
do we say to that? It is nonsense. Nobody can be desire-less. How can he be
desire-less? Desire is a symptom of life. How can you stop it? It is not possible. I
cannot be desire-less, but I must desire purely. That's all. If I desire from the
bodily platform of life, then my desires will be impure. When I desire the same as
the Supreme, then my desire is pure.....Lust means whenever you try to satisfy
your senses. But whenever you try to satisfy Krishna's senses, that is love.....We
cannot manufacture that “I am doing for Krishna.” That is also misleading.
Therefore we require the guidance of the spiritual master. Krishna. Guru Krishna
krpaya.

“Yes, I will act according to Your desire.” That is bhakti. That is the difference
between bhakti and karma. Karma means to fulfill my desires and bhakti means
to fulfill Krishna's desires.....All the inhabitants of Vrindavana are trying to fulfill
Krishna's desire. The cowherd boys, the calves, the cows, the trees, the flowers,
the water, the gopis, the elderly inhabitants, mother Yasoda, Nanda, are all
engaged in fulfilling Krishna's desire. That is Vrindavana. So you can turn this
material world into Vrindavana provided you agree to fulfill the desires of
Krishna.”

Lec BG 2.55-56 New York 66

Verse 74

Verse 75
1) How can we also directly hear from Krishna and also understand the
confidential knowledge just like Arjuna?
Verse 76

1) What happens when we listen to and understand the Bhagavad-gita from


the right source?
Verse 78(Learn Verse and translation by heart)
1) What was Sanjaya'ss opinion on the outcome of the war?
2) What four principal subject matters of Bhagavad-gita have bben shown to
be simultaneously one with and different from the fifth principal subject,
the Supreme Lord Krishna?
3) What is the highest morality prescribed in the Bhagavad-gita? What can
we achieve by that?
Note: “If the preachers in our Krishna consciousness movement are sincere
devotees of Krishna, Krishna will always be with them because He is very kind
and favourable to all His devotees.Just as Arjuna and Krishna were victorios at
the battle of Kurukshetra, this Krishna consciousness movement will surely
emerge victorious if we remain sincere devotees of the Lord and serve the Lord
according to the advise of the predecessors.(Six Gisvamis and other devotees of
the Lord.)
CC Mad 4.79 purp

“The whole battlefield became victorious because of Arjuna. That is wanted. A


devotee must be there. Then all oppulences will come. That is the secret. Why
should a devotee go to the forest to meditate or acquire some mystic power? He
does'nt require if he always keeps Krishna with him.
Conv New Orleans 75