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Contents of the
Gita Summarized


Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you?


Lord Krsna was astonished in the beginning at Arjuna’s uncalled-for plea for compassion, and He described his compassion as befitting the non-Aryans. Now in so many words, He has proved His statements against Arjuna’s so-called compassion.



O son of Kunti, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore, get up with determination and fight.


Even though there was no certainty of victory for Arjuna’s side, he still had to fight; for, even being killed there, he could be elevated into the heavenly planets.



Do thou fight for the sake of fighting, without considering happiness or distress, loss or gain, victory or defeat—and by so doing you shall never incur sin.


Lord Krsna now directly says that Arjuna should fight for the sake of fighting because He desires the battle. There is no consideration of happiness or distress, profit or gain, victory or defeat in the activities of Krsna consciousness. That everything should be performed for the sake of Krsna is transcendental consciousness; so there is no reaction to material activities. He who acts for his own sense gratification, either in goodness or in passion, is subject to the reaction, good or bad. But he who has completely surrendered himself in the activities of Krsna consciousness is no longer obliged to anyone, nor is he a debtor to anyone, as one is in the ordinary course of activities. It is said:

devarsi-bhutapta-nrnam pitènam
na kinkaro nayam rni ca rajan
sarvatmana yah saranam saranyam
gato mukundam parihrtya kartam

"Anyone who has completely surrendered unto Krsna, Mukunda, giving up all other duties, is no longer a debtor, nor is he obliged to anyone—not the demigods, nor the sages, nor the people in general, nor kinsmen, nor humanity, nor forefathers." (Bhag. 11.5.41) That is the indirect hint given by Krsna to Arjuna in this verse, and the matter will be more clearly explained in the following verses.



Thus far I have described this knowledge to you through analytical study. Now listen as I explain it in terms of working without fruitive results. O son of Prtha, when you act in such knowledge you can free yourself from the bondage of works.


According to the Nirukti, or the Vedic dictionary, sankhya means that which describes things in detail, and sankhya refers to that philosophy which describes the real nature of the soul. And yoga involves controlling the senses. Arjuna’s proposal not to fight was based on sense gratification. Forgetting his prime duty, he wanted to cease fighting, because he thought that by not killing his relatives and kinsmen he would be happier than by enjoying the kingdom after conquering his cousins and brothers, the sons of Dhrtarastra. In both ways, the basic principles were for sense gratification. Happiness derived from conquering them and happiness derived by seeing kinsmen alive are both on the basis of personal sense gratification, even at a sacrifice of wisdom and duty. Krsna, therefore, wanted to explain to Arjuna that by killing the body of his grandfather he would not be killing the soul proper, and He explained that all individual persons, including the Lord Himself, are eternal individuals; they were individuals in the past, they are individuals in the present, and they will continue to remain individuals in the future, because all of us are individual souls eternally. We simply change our bodily dress in different manners, but actually we keep our individuality even after liberation from the bondage of material dress. An analytical study of the soul and the body has been very graphically explained by Lord Krsna. And this descriptive knowledge of the soul and the body from different angles of vision has been described here as Sankhya, in terms of the Nirukti dictionary. This Sankhya has nothing to do with Sankhya philosophy of the atheist Kapila. Long before the imposter Kapila’s Sankhya, the Sankhya philosophy was expounded in the Srimad-Bhagavatam by the true Lord Kapila, the incarnation of Lord Krsna, who explained it to His mother, Devahuti. It is clearly explained by Him that the purusa, or the Supreme Lord, is active and that He creates by looking over the prakrti. This is accepted in the Vedas and in the Gita. The description in the Vedas indicates that the Lord glanced over the prakrti, or nature, and impregnated it with atomic individual souls. All these individuals are working in the material world for sense gratification, and under the spell of material energy they are thinking of being enjoyers. This mentality is dragged to the last point of liberation when the living entity wants to become one with the Lord. This is the last snare of maya, or sense gratificatory illusion, and it is only after many, many births of such sense gratificatory activities that a great soul surrenders unto Vasudeva, Lord Krsna, thereby fulfilling the search after the ultimate truth.

Arjuna has already accepted Krsna as his spiritual master by surrendering himself unto Him: sisyas te ’ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam. Consequently, Krsna will now tell him about the working process in buddhi-yoga, or karma-yoga, or in other words, the practice of devotional service only for the sense gratification of the Lord. This buddhi-yoga is clearly explained in Chapter Ten, verse ten, as being direct communion with the Lord, who is sitting as Paramatma in everyone’s heart. But such communion does not take place without devotional service. One who is therefore situated in devotional or transcendental loving service to the Lord, or, in other words, in Krsna consciousness, attains to this stage of buddhi-yoga by the special grace of the Lord. The Lord says, therefore, that only to those who are always engaged in devotional service out of transcendental love does He award the pure knowledge of devotion in love. In that way the devotee can reach Him easily in the ever-blissful kingdom of God.

Thus the buddhi-yoga mentioned in this verse is the devotional service of the Lord, and the word Sankhya mentioned herein has nothing to do with the atheistic sankhya-yoga enunciated by the imposter Kapila. One should not, therefore, misunderstand that the sankhya-yoga mentioned herein has any connection with the atheistic Sankhya. Nor did that philosophy have any influence during that time; nor would Lord Krsna care to mention such godless philosophical speculations. Real Sankhya philosophy is described by Lord Kapila in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, but even that Sankhya has nothing to do with the current topics. Here, Sankhya means analytical description of the body and the soul. Lord Krsna made an analytical description of the soul just to bring Arjuna to the point of buddhi-yoga, or bhakti-yoga. Therefore, Lord Krsna’s Sankhya and Lord Kapila’s Sankhya, as described in the Bhagavatam, are one and the same. They are all bhakti-yoga. Lord Krsna Said, therefore, that only the less intelligent class of men make a distinction between sankhya-yoga and bhakti-yoga (sankhya-yogau prthag balah pravadanti na panditah).

Of course, atheistic sankhya-yoga has nothing to do with bhakti-yoga, yet the unintelligent claim that the atheistic sankhya-yoga is referred to in the Bhagavad-gita.

One should therefore understand that buddhi-yoga means to work in Krsna consciousness, in the full bliss and knowledge of devotional service. One who works for the satisfaction of the Lord only, however difficult such work may be, is working under the principles of buddhi-yoga and finds himself always in transcendental bliss. By such transcendental engagement, one achieves all transcendental understanding automatically, by the grace of the Lord, and thus his liberation is complete in itself, without his making extraneous endeavors to acquire knowledge. There is much difference between work in Krsna consciousness and work for fruitive results, especially in the matter of sense gratification for achieving results in terms of family or material happiness. Buddhi-yoga is therefore the transcendental quality of the work that we perform.



In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.


Activity in Krsna consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Krsna without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure. But any work begun in Krsna consciousness has a permanent effect, even though not finished. The performer of such work is therefore not at a loss even if his work in Krsna consciousness is incomplete. One percent done in Krsna consciousness bears permanent results, so that the next beginning is from the point of two percent, whereas in material activity without a hundred percent success there is no profit. Ajamila performed his duty in some percentage of Krsna consciousness, but the result he enjoyed at the end was a hundred percent, by the grace of the Lord. There is a nice verse in this connection in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17):

tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer
bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim
ko vartha apto ’bhajatam sva-dharmatah

"If someone gives up his occupational duties and works in Krsna consciousness and then falls down on account of not completing his work, what loss is there on his part? And what can one gain if one performs his material activities perfectly?" Or, as the Christians say, "What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffers the loss of his eternal soul?"

Material activities and their results end with the body. But work in Krsna consciousness carries a person again to Krsna consciousness, even after the loss of the body. At least one is sure to have a chance in the next life of being born again as a human being, either in the family of a great cultured brahmana or in a rich aristocratic family that will give one a further chance for elevation. That is the unique quality of work done in Krsna consciousness.



Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.


A strong faith that by Krsna consciousness one will be elevated to the highest perfection of life is called vyavasayatmika intelligence. The Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.62) states:

’sraddha’-sabde——visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya
krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

Faith means unflinching trust in something sublime. When one is engaged in the duties of Krsna consciousness, he need not act in relationship to the material world with obligations to family traditions, humanity, or nationality. Fruitive activities are the engagements of one’s reactions from past good or bad deeds. When one is awake in Krsna consciousness, he need no longer endeavor for good results in his activities. When one is situated in Krsna consciousness, all activities are on the absolute plane, for they are no longer subject to dualities like good and bad. The highest perfection of Krsna consciousness is renunciation of the material conception of life. This state is automatically achieved by progressive Krsna consciousness.

The resolute purpose of a person in Krsna consciousness is based on knowledge. Vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah: a person in Krsna consciousness is the rare good soul who knows perfectly that Vasudeva, or Krsna, is the root of all manifested causes. As by watering the root of a tree one automatically distributes water to the leaves and branches, so by acting in Krsna consciousness one can render the highest service to everyone—namely self, family, society, country, humanity, etc. If Krsna is satisfied by one’s actions, then everyone will be satisfied.

Service in Krsna consciousness is, however, best practiced under the able guidance of a spiritual master who is a bona fide representative of Krsna, who knows the nature of the student and who can guide him to act in Krsna consciousness. As such, to be well versed in Krsna consciousness one has to act firmly and obey the representative of Krsna, and one should accept the instruction of the bona fide spiritual master as one’s mission in life. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura instructs us, in his famous prayers for the spiritual master, as follows:

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

"By satisfaction of the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes satisfied. And by not satisfying the spiritual master, there is no chance of being promoted to the plane of Krsna consciousness. I should, therefore, meditate and pray for his mercy three times a day, and offer my respectful obeisances unto him, my spiritual master."

The whole process, however, depends on perfect knowledge of the soul beyond the conception of the body—not theoretically but practically, when there is no longer a chance for sense gratification manifested in fruitive activities. One who is not firmly fixed in mind is diverted by various types of fruitive acts.


VERSE 42-43

Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.


People in general are not very intelligent, and due to their ignorance they are most attached to the fruitive activities recommended in the karma-kanda portions of the Vedas. They do not want anything more than sense gratificatory proposals for enjoying life in heaven, where wine and women are available and material opulence is very common. In the Vedas many sacrifices are recommended for elevation to the heavenly planets, especially the jyotistoma sacrifices. In fact, it is stated that anyone desiring elevation to heavenly planets must perform these sacrifices, and men with a poor fund of knowledge think that this is the whole purpose of Vedic wisdom. It is very difficult for such inexperienced persons to be situated in the determined action of Krsna consciousness. As fools are attached to the flowers of poisonous trees without knowing the results of such attractions, unenlightened men are similarly attracted by such heavenly opulence and the sense enjoyment thereof.

In the karma-kanda section of the Vedas it is said, apama somam amrta abhuma and aksayyam ha vai caturmasya-yajinah sukrtam bhavati. In other words, those who perform the four-month penances become eligible to drink the soma-rasa beverages to become immortal and happy forever. Even on this earth some are very eager to have soma-rasa to become strong and fit to enjoy sense gratifications. Such persons have no faith in liberation from material bondage, and they are very much attached to the pompous ceremonies of Vedic sacrifices. They are generally sensual, and they do not want anything other than the heavenly pleasures of life. It is understood that there are gardens called Nandana-kanana in which there is good opportunity for association with angelic, beautiful women and having a profuse supply of soma-rasa wine. Such bodily happiness is certainly sensual; therefore there are those who are purely attached to such material, temporary happiness, as lords of the material world.



In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.


Samadhi means "fixed mind." The Vedic dictionary, the Nirukti, says, samyag adhiyate ’sminn atma-tattva-yathatmyam: "When the mind is fixed for understanding the self, it is said to be in samadhi. " Samadhi is never possible for persons interested in material sense enjoyment, nor for those who are bewildered by such temporary things. They are more or less condemned by the process of material energy.



The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.


All material activities involve actions and reactions in the three modes of material nature. They are meant for fruitive results, which cause bondage in the material world. The Vedas deal mostly with fruitive activities to gradually elevate the general public from the field of sense gratification to a position on the transcendental plane. Arjuna, as a student and friend of Lord Krsna, is advised to raise himself to the transcendental position of Vedanta philosophy where, in the beginning, there is brahma-jijnasa, or questions on the supreme transcendence. All the living entities who are in the material world are struggling very hard for existence. For them the Lord, after creation of the material world, gave the Vedic wisdom advising how to live and get rid of the material entanglement. When the activities for sense gratification, namely the karma-kanda chapter, are finished, then the chance for spiritual realization is offered in the form of the Upanisads, which are part of different Vedas, as the Bhagavad-gita is a part of the fifth Veda, namely the Mahabharata. The Upanisads mark the beginning of transcendental life.

As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions in the material modes. One has to learn tolerance in the face of dualities such as happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by tolerating such dualities become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss. This transcendental position is achieved in full Krsna consciousness when one is fully dependent on the good will of Krsna.



All purposes served by a small well can at once be served by a great reservoir of water. Similarly, all the purposes of the Vedas can be served to one who knows the purpose behind them.


The rituals and sacrifices mentioned in the karma-kanda division of the Vedic literature are meant to encourage gradual development of self-realization. And the purpose of self-realization is clearly stated in the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (15.15): the purpose of studying the Vedas is to know Lord Krsna, the primeval cause of everything. So, self-realization means understanding Krsna and one’s eternal relationship with Him. The relationship of the living entities with Krsna is also mentioned in the Fifteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita (15.7). The living entities are parts and parcels of Krsna; therefore, revival of Krsna consciousness by the individual living entity is the highest perfectional stage of Vedic knowledge. This is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.33.7) as follows:

aho bata sva-paco ’to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te

"O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a candala [dog-eater], is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic rituals and studied the Vedic literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Aryan family.

So one must be intelligent enough to understand the purpose of the Vedas, without being attached to the rituals only, and must not desire to be elevated to the heavenly kingdoms for a better quality of sense gratification. It is not possible for the common man in this age to follow all the rules and regulations of the Vedic rituals, nor is it possible to study all of the Vedanta and the Upanisads thoroughly. It requires much time, energy, knowledge and resources to execute the purposes of the Vedas. This is hardly possible in this age. The best purpose of Vedic culture is served, however, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, as recommended by Lord Caitanya, the deliverer of all fallen souls. When Lord Caitanya was asked by a great Vedic scholar, Prakasananda Sarasvati, why He, the Lord, was chanting the holy name of the Lord like a sentimentalist instead of studying Vedanta philosophy, the Lord replied that His spiritual master had found Him to be a great fool and thus asked Him to chant the holy name of Lord Krsna. He did so, and became ecstatic like a madman. In this Age of Kali, most of the population is foolish and not adequately educated to understand Vedanta philosophy; the best purpose of Vedanta philosophy is served by inoffensively chanting the holy name of the Lord. Vedanta is the last word in Vedic wisdom, and the author and knower of the Vedanta philosophy is Lord Krsna; and the highest Vedantist is the great soul who takes pleasure in chanting the holy name of the Lord. That is the ultimate purpose of all Vedic mysticism.



You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.


There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious work, and inaction. Prescribed duties are activities enjoined in terms of one’s acquired modes of material nature. Capricious work means actions without the sanction of authority, and inaction means not performing one’s prescribed duties. The Lord advised that Arjuna not be inactive, but that he perform his prescribed duty without being attached to the result. One who is attached to the result of his work is also the cause of the action. Thus he is the enjoyer or sufferer of the result of such actions.

As far as prescribed duties are concerned, they can be fitted into three subdivisions, namely routine work, emergency work and desired activities. Routine work performed as an obligation in terms of the scriptural injunctions, without desire for results, is action in the mode of goodness. Work with results becomes the cause of bondage; therefore such work is not auspicious. Everyone has his proprietary right in regard to prescribed duties, but should act without attachment to the result; such disinterested obligatory duties doubtlessly lead one to the path of liberation.

Arjuna was therefore advised by the Lord to fight as a matter of duty without attachment to the result. His nonparticipation in the battle is another side of attachment. Such attachment never leads one to the path of salvation. Any attachment, positive or negative, is cause for bondage. Inaction is sinful. Therefore, fighting as a matter of duty was the only auspicious path of salvation for Arjuna.



Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga.


Krsna tells Arjuna that he should act in yoga. And what is that yoga? Yoga means to concentrate the mind upon the Supreme by controlling the ever-disturbing senses. And who is the Supreme? The Supreme is the Lord. And because He Himself is telling Arjuna to fight, Arjuna has nothing to do with the results of the fight. Gain or victory are Krsna’s concern; Arjuna is simply advised to act according to the dictation of Krsna. The following of Krsna’s dictation is real yoga, and this is practiced in the process called Krsna consciousness. By Krsna consciousness only can one give up the sense of proprietorship. One has to become the servant of Krsna, or the servant of the servant of Krsna. That is the right way to discharge duty in Krsna consciousness, which alone can help one to act in yoga.

Arjuna is a ksatriya, and as such he is participating in the varnasrama-dharma institution. It is said in the Visnu Purana that in the varnasrama-dharma, the whole aim is to satisfy Visnu. No one should satisfy himself, as is the rule in the material world, but one should satisfy Krsna. So unless one satisfies Krsna, one cannot correctly observe the principles of varnasrama-dharma. Indirectly, Arjuna was advised to act as Krsna told him.



O Dhananjaya, keep all abominable activities far distant by devotional service, and in that consciousness surrender unto the Lord. Those who want to enjoy the fruits of their work are misers.


One who has actually come to understand one’s constitutional position as an eternal servitor of the Lord gives up all engagements save working in Krsna consciousness. As already explained, buddhi-yoga means transcendental loving service to the Lord. Such devotional service is the right course of action for the living entity. Only misers desire to enjoy the fruit of their own work just to be further entangled in material bondage. Except for work in Krsna consciousness, all activities are abominable because they continually bind the worker to the cycle of birth and death. One should therefore never desire to be the cause of work. Everything should be done in Krsna consciousness, for the satisfaction of Krsna. Misers do not know how to utilize the assets of riches which they acquire by good fortune or by hard labor. One should spend all energies working in Krsna consciousness, and that will make one’s life successful. Like misers, unfortunate persons do not employ their human energy in the service of the Lord.



A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the art of all work.


Since time immemorial each living entity has accumulated the various reactions of his good and bad work. As such, he is continuously ignorant of his real constitutional position. One’s ignorance can be removed by the instruction of the Bhagavad-gita, which teaches one to surrender unto Lord Sri Krsna in all respects and become liberated from the chained victimization of action and reaction, birth after birth. Arjuna is therefore advised to act in Krsna consciousness, the purifying process of resultant action.



By thus engaging in devotional service to the Lord, great sages or devotees free themselves from the results of work in the material world. In this way they become free from the cycle of birth and death and attain the state beyond all miseries [by going back to Godhead].


The liberated living entities belong to that place where there are no material miseries. The Bhagavatam (10.14.58) says:

samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam

"For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda, or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s footprint. param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuntha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life."

Owing to ignorance, one does not know that this material world is a miserable place where there are dangers at every step. Out of ignorance only, less intelligent persons try to adjust to the situation by fruitive activities, thinking that the resultant actions will make them happy. They do not know that no kind of material body anywhere within the universe can give life without miseries. The miseries of life, namely birth, death, old age and diseases, are present everywhere within the material world. But one who understands his real constitutional position as the eternal servitor of the Lord, and thus knows the position of the Personality of Godhead, engages himself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. Consequently he becomes qualified to enter into the Vaikuntha planets, where there is neither material, miserable life nor the influence of time and death. To know one’s constitutional position means to know also the sublime position of the Lord. One who wrongly thinks that the living entity’s position and the Lord’s position are on the same level is to be understood to be in darkness and therefore unable to engage himself in the devotional service of the Lord. He becomes a lord himself and thus paves the way for the repetition of birth and death. But one who, understanding that his position is to serve, transfers himself to the service of the Lord, at once becomes eligible for Vaikunthaloka. Service for the cause of the Lord is called karma-yoga or buddhi-yoga, or in plain words, devotional service to the Lord.



When your intelligence has passed out of the dense forest of delusion, you shall become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.


There are many good examples in the lives of the great devotees of the Lord of those who became indifferent to the rituals of the Vedas simply by devotional service to the Lord. When a person factually understands Krsna and his relationship with Krsna, he naturally becomes completely indifferent to the rituals of fruitive activities, even though an experienced brahmana. Sri Madhavendra Puri, a great devotee and acarya in the line of the devotees, says:

sandhya-vandana bhadram astu bhavato bhoh snana tubhyam namo
bho devah pitaras ca tarpana-vidhau naham ksamah ksamyatam
yatra kvapi nisadya yadava-kulottamasya kamsa-dvisah
smaram smaram agham harami tad alam manye kim anyena me

"O my prayers three times a day, all glory to you. O bathing, I offer my obeisances unto you. O demigods! O forefathers! Please excuse me for my inability to offer you my respects. Now wherever I sit, I can remember the great descendant of the Yadu dynasty [Krsna], the enemy of Kamsa, and thereby I can free myself from all sinful bondage. I think this is sufficient for me."

The Vedic rites and rituals are imperative for neophytes: comprehending all kinds of prayer three times a day, taking a bath early in the morning, offering respects to the forefathers, etc. But when one is fully in Krsna consciousness and is engaged in His transcendental loving service, one becomes indifferent to all these regulative principles because he has already attained perfection. If one can reach the platform of understanding by service to the Supreme Lord Krsna, he has no longer to execute different types of penances and sacrifices as recommended in revealed scriptures. And, similarly, if one has not understood that the purpose of the Vedas is to reach Krsna and simply engages in the rituals, etc., then he is uselessly wasting time in such engagements. Persons in Krsna consciousness transcend the limit of sabda-brahma, or the range of the Vedas and Upanisads.



When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas, and when it remains fixed in the trance of self-realization, then you will have attained the divine consciousness.


To say that one is in samadhi is to say that one has fully realized Krsna consciousness; that is, one in full samadhi has realized Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. The highest perfection of self-realization is to understand that one is eternally the servitor of Krsna and that one’s only business is to discharge one’s duties in Krsna consciousness. A Krsna conscious person, or unflinching devotee of the Lord, should not be disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas nor be engaged in fruitive activities for promotion to the heavenly kingdom. In Krsna consciousness, one comes directly into communion with Krsna, and thus all directions from Krsna may be understood in that transcendental state. One is sure to achieve results by such activities and attain conclusive knowledge. One has only to carry out the orders of Krsna or His representative, the spiritual master.



Arjuna said: O Krsna, what are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus merged in transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?


As there are symptoms for each and every man, in terms of his particular situation, similarly one who is Krsna conscious has his particular nature—talking, walking, thinking, feeling, etc. As a rich man has his symptoms by which he is known as a rich man, as a diseased man has his symptoms by which he is known as diseased, or as a learned man has his symptoms, so a man in transcendental consciousness of Krsna has specific symptoms in various dealings. One can know his specific symptoms from the Bhagavad-gita. Most important is how the man in Krsna consciousness speaks; for speech is the most important quality of any man. It is said that a fool is undiscovered as long as he does not speak, and certainly a well-dressed fool cannot be identified unless he speaks, but as soon as he speaks, he reveals himself at once. The immediate symptom of a Krsna conscious man is that he speaks only of Krsna and of matters relating to Him. Other symptoms then automatically follow, as stated below.



The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of desire for sense gratification, which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind, thus purified, finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness.


The Bhagavatam affirms that any person who is fully in Krsna consciousness, or devotional service of the Lord, has all the good qualities of the great sages, whereas a person who is not so transcendentally situated has no good qualifications, because he is sure to be taking refuge in his own mental concoctions. Consequently, it is rightly said herein that one has to give up all kinds of sense desire manufactured by mental concoction. Artificially, such sense desires cannot be stopped. But if one is engaged in Krsna consciousness, then, automatically, sense desires subside without extraneous efforts. Therefore, one has to engage himself in Krsna consciousness without hesitation, for this devotional service will instantly help one onto the platform of transcendental consciousness. The highly developed soul always remains satisfied in himself by realizing himself as the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord. Such a transcendentally situated person has no sense desires resulting from petty materialism; rather, he remains always happy in his natural position of eternally serving the Supreme Lord.



One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.


The word muni means one who can agitate his mind in various ways for mental speculation without coming to a factual conclusion. It is said that every muni has a different angle of vision, and unless a muni differs from other munis, he cannot be called a muni in the strict sense of the term. Nasav rsir yasya matam na bhinnam (Mahabharata, Vana-parva 313.117). But a sthita-dhir muni, as mentioned herein by the Lord, is different from an ordinary muni. The sthita-dhir muni is always in Krsna consciousness, for he has exhausted all his business of creative speculation. He is called prasanta-nihsesa-mano-rathantara (Stotra-ratna 43), or one who has surpassed the stage of mental speculations and has come to the conclusion that Lord Sri Krsna, or Vasudeva, is everything (vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah). He is called a muni fixed in mind. Such a fully Krsna conscious person is not at all disturbed by the onslaughts of the threefold miseries, for he accepts all miseries as the mercy of the Lord, thinking himself only worthy of more trouble due to his past misdeeds; and he sees that his miseries, by the grace of the Lord, are minimized to the lowest. Similarly, when he is happy he gives credit to the Lord, thinking himself unworthy of the happiness; he realizes that it is due only to the Lord’s grace that he is in such a comfortable condition and able to render better service to the Lord. And, for the service of the Lord, he is always daring and active and is not influenced by attachment or aversion. Attachment means accepting things for one’s own sense gratification, and detachment is the absence of such sensual attachment. But one fixed in Krsna consciousness has neither attachment nor detachment because his life is dedicated in the service of the Lord. Consequently he is not at all angry even when his attempts are unsuccessful. Success or no success, a Krsna conscious person is always steady in his determination.



In the material world, one who is unaffected by whatever good or evil he may obtain, neither praising it nor despising it, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.


There is always some upheaval in the material world which may be good or evil. One who is not agitated by such material upheavals, who is unaffected by good and evil, is to be understood to be fixed in Krsna consciousness. As long as one is in the material world there is always the possibility of good and evil because this world is full of duality. But one who is fixed in Krsna consciousness is not affected by good and evil, because he is simply concerned with Krsna, who is all-good absolute. Such consciousness in Krsna situates one in a perfect transcendental position called, technically, samadhi.



One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in perfect consciousness.


The test of a yogi, devotee, or self-realized soul is that he is able to control the senses according to his plan. Most people, however, are servants of the senses and are thus directed by the dictation of the senses. That is the answer to the question as to how the yogi is situated. The senses are compared to venomous serpents. They want to act very loosely and without restriction. The yogi, or the devotee, must be very strong to control the serpents—like a snake charmer. He never allows them to act independently. There are many injunctions in the revealed scriptures; some of them are do-not’s, and some of them are do’s. Unless one is able to follow the do’s and the do-not’s, restricting oneself from sense enjoyment, it is not possible to be firmly fixed in Krsna consciousness. The best example, set herein, is the tortoise. The tortoise can at any moment wind up his senses and exhibit them again at any time for particular purposes. Similarly, the senses of the Krsna conscious persons are used only for some particular purpose in the service of the Lord and are withdrawn otherwise. Arjuna is being taught here to use his senses for the service of the Lord, instead of for his own satisfaction. Keeping the senses always in the service of the Lord is the example set by the analogy of the tortoise, who keeps the senses within.



The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.


Unless one is transcendentally situated, it is not possible to cease from sense enjoyment. The process of restriction from sense enjoyment by rules and regulations is something like restricting a diseased person from certain types of eatables. The patient, however, neither likes such restrictions nor loses his taste for eatables. Similarly, sense restriction by some spiritual process like astanga-yoga, in the matter of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, etc., is recommended for less intelligent persons who have no better knowledge. But one who has tasted the beauty of the Supreme Lord Krsna, in the course of his advancement in Krsna consciousness, no longer has a taste for dead, material things. Therefore, restrictions are there for the less intelligent neophytes in the spiritual advancement of life, but such restrictions are only good until one actually has a taste for Krsna consciousness. When one is actually Krsna conscious, he automatically loses his taste for pale things.



The senses are so strong and impetuous, O Arjuna, that they forcibly carry away the mind even of a man of discrimination who is endeavoring to control them.


There are many learned sages, philosophers and transcendentalists who try to conquer the senses, but in spite of their endeavors, even the greatest of them sometimes fall victim to material sense enjoyment due to the agitated mind. Even Visvamitra, a great sage and perfect yogi, was misled by Menaka into sex enjoyment, although the yogi was endeavoring for sense control with severe types of penance and yoga practice. And, of course, there are so many similar instances in the history of the world. Therefore, it is very difficult to control the mind and senses without being fully Krsna conscious. Without engaging the mind in Krsna, one cannot cease such material engagements. A practical example is given by Sri Yamunacarya, a great saint and devotee, who says:

yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhamany udyatam rantum asit
tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame smaryamane
bhavati mukha-vikarah susthu nisthivanam ca

"Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, and I have been enjoying an ever new transcendental humor, whenever I think of sex life with a woman, my face at once turns from it, and I spit at the thought."

Krsna consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables. Maharaja Ambarisa also conquered a great yogi, Durvasa Muni, simply because his mind was engaged in Krsna consciousness (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane).



One who restrains his senses, keeping them under full control, and fixes his consciousness upon Me, is known as a man of steady intelligence.


That the highest conception of yoga perfection is Krsna consciousness is clearly explained in this verse. And unless one is Krsna conscious it is not at all possible to control the senses. As cited above, the great sage Durvasa Muni picked a quarrel with Maharaja Ambarisa, and Durvasa Muni unnecessarily became angry out of pride and therefore could not check his senses. On the other hand, the king, although not as powerful a yogi as the sage, but a devotee of the Lord, silently tolerated all the sage’s injustices and thereby emerged victorious. The king was able to control his senses because of the following qualifications, as mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (9.4.18–20):

sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayor
vacamsi vaikuntha-gunanuvarnane
karau harer mandira-marjanadisu
srutim cakaracyuta-sat-kathodaye

mukunda-lingalaya-darsane drsau
tad-bhrtya-gatra-sparse ’nga-sangamam
ghranam ca tat-pada-saroja-saurabhe
srimat-tulasya rasanam tad-arpite

padau hareh ksetra-padanusarpane
siro hrsikesa-padabhivandane
kamam ca dasye na tu kama-kamyaya
yathottama-sloka-janasraya ratih

"King Ambarisa fixed his mind on the lotus feet of Lord Krsna, engaged his words in describing the abode of the Lord, his hands in cleansing the temple of the Lord, his ears in hearing the pastimes of the Lord, his eyes in seeing the form of the Lord, his body in touching the body of the devotee, his nostrils in smelling the flavor of the flowers offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, his tongue in tasting the tulasi leaves offered to Him, his legs in traveling to the holy place where His temple is situated, his head in offering obeisances unto the Lord, and his desires in fulfilling the desires of the Lord... and all these qualifications made him fit to become a mat-para devotee of the Lord."

The word mat-para is most significant in this connection. How one can become mat-para is described in the life of Maharaja Ambarisa. Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana, a great scholar and acarya in the line of the mat-para, remarks, mad-bhakti-prabhavena sarvendriya-vijaya-purvika svatma-drstih sulabheti bhavah. "The senses can be completely controlled only by the strength of devotional service to Krsna." Also, the example of fire is sometimes given: "As a blazing fire burns everything within a room, Lord Visnu, situated in the heart of the yogi, burns up all kinds of impurities." The Yoga-sutra also prescribes meditation on Visnu, and not meditation on the void. The so-called yogis who meditate on something which is not on the Visnu platform simply waste their time in a vain search after some phantasmagoria. We have to be Krsna conscious—devoted to the Personality of Godhead. This is the aim of the real yoga.



While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.


One who is not Krsna conscious is subjected to material desires while contemplating the objects of the senses. The senses require real engagements, and if they are not engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, they will certainly seek engagement in the service of materialism. In the material world everyone, including Lord Siva and Lord Brahma—to say nothing of other demigods in the heavenly planets—is subjected to the influence of sense objects, and the only method to get out of this puzzle of material existence is to become Krsna conscious. Lord Siva was deep in meditation, but when Parvati agitated him for sense pleasure, he agreed to the proposal, and as a result Kartikeya was born. When Haridasa Thakura was a young devotee of the Lord, he was similarly allured by the incarnation of Maya-devi, but Haridasa easily passed the test because of his unalloyed devotion to Lord Krsna. As illustrated in the above-mentioned verse of Sri Yamunacarya, a sincere devotee of the Lord shuns all material sense enjoyment due to his higher taste for spiritual enjoyment in the association of the Lord. That is the secret of success. One who is not, therefore, in Krsna consciousness, however powerful he may be in controlling the senses by artificial repression, is sure ultimately to fail, for the slightest thought of sense pleasure will agitate him to gratify his desires.



From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.


Srila Rupa Gosvami has given us this direction:

prapancikataya buddhya
mumuksubhih parityago
vairagyam phalgu kathyate

(Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.258)

By development of Krsna consciousness one can know that everything has its use in the service of the Lord. Those who are without knowledge of Krsna consciousness artificially try to avoid material objects, and as a result, although they desire liberation from material bondage, they do not attain to the perfect stage of renunciation. Their so-called renunciation is called phalgu, or less important. On the other hand, a person in Krsna consciousness knows how to use everything in the service of the Lord; therefore he does not become a victim of material consciousness. For example, for an impersonalist, the Lord, or the Absolute, being impersonal, cannot eat. Whereas an impersonalist tries to avoid good eatables, a devotee knows that Krsna is the supreme enjoyer and that He eats all that is offered to Him in devotion. So, after offering good eatables to the Lord, the devotee takes the remnants, called prasadam. Thus everything becomes spiritualized, and there is no danger of a downfall. The devotee takes prasadam in Krsna consciousness, whereas the nondevotee rejects it as material. The impersonalist, therefore, cannot enjoy life, due to his artificial renunciation; and for this reason, a slight agitation of the mind pulls him down again into the pool of material existence. It is said that such a soul, even though rising up to the point of liberation, falls down again due to his not having support in devotional service.



But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.


It is already explained that one may externally control the senses by some artificial process, but unless the senses are engaged in the transcendental service of the Lord, there is every chance of a fall. Although the person in full Krsna consciousness may apparently be on the sensual plane, because of his being Krsna conscious he has no attachment to sensual activities. The Krsna conscious person is concerned only with the satisfaction of Krsna, and nothing else. Therefore he is transcendental to all attachment and detachment. If Krsna wants, the devotee can do anything which is ordinarily undesirable; and if Krsna does not want, he shall not do that which he would have ordinarily done for his own satisfaction. Therefore to act or not to act is within his control because he acts only under the direction of Krsna. This consciousness is the causeless mercy of the Lord, which the devotee can achieve in spite of his being attached to the sensual platform.



One who is not connected with the Supreme [in Krsna consciousness] can have neither transcendental intelligence nor a steady mind, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?


Unless one is in Krsna consciousness, there is no possibility of peace. So it is confirmed in the Fifth Chapter (5.29) that when one understands that Krsna is the only enjoyer of all the good results of sacrifice and penance, that He is the proprietor of all universal manifestations, and that He is the real friend of all living entities, then only can one have real peace. Therefore, if one is not in Krsna consciousness, there cannot be a final goal for the mind. Disturbance is due to want of an ultimate goal, and when one is certain that Krsna is the enjoyer, proprietor and friend of everyone and everything, then one can, with a steady mind, bring about peace. Therefore, one who is engaged without a relationship with Krsna is certainly always in distress and is without peace, however much he may make a show of peace and spiritual advancement in life. Krsna consciousness is a self-manifested peaceful condition which can be achieved only in relationship with Krsna.



As a boat on the water is swept away by a strong wind, even one of the roaming senses on which the mind focuses can carry away a man’s intelligence.


Unless all of the senses are engaged in the service of the Lord, even one of them engaged in sense gratification can deviate the devotee from the path of transcendental advancement. As mentioned in the life of Maharaja Ambarisa, all of the senses must be engaged in Krsna consciousness, for that is the correct technique for controlling the mind.



Therefore, O mighty-armed, one whose senses are restrained from their objects is certainly of steady intelligence.


One can curb the forces of sense gratification only by means of Krsna consciousness, or engaging all the senses in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As enemies are curbed by superior force, the senses can similarly be curbed, not by any human endeavor, but only by keeping them engaged in the service of the Lord. One who has understood this—that only by Krsna consciousness is one really established in intelligence and that one should practice this art under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master—is called sadhaka, or a suitable candidate for liberation.



What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled; and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage.


There are two classes of intelligent men. One is intelligent in material activities for sense gratification, and the other is introspective and awake to the cultivation of self-realization. Activities of the introspective sage, or thoughtful man, are night for persons materially absorbed. Materialistic persons remain asleep in such a night due to their ignorance of self-realization. The introspective sage remains alert in the "night" of the materialistic men. The sage feels transcendental pleasure in the gradual advancement of spiritual culture, whereas the man in materialistic activities, being asleep to self-realization, dreams of varieties of sense pleasure, feeling sometimes happy and sometimes distressed in his sleeping condition. The introspective man is always indifferent to materialistic happiness and distress. He goes on with his self-realization activities undisturbed by material reactions.



A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.


Although the vast ocean is always filled with water, it is always, especially during the rainy season, being filled with much more water. But the ocean remains the same—steady; it is not agitated, nor does it cross beyond the limit of its brink. That is also true of a person fixed in Krsna consciousness. As long as one has the material body, the demands of the body for sense gratification will continue. The devotee, however, is not disturbed by such desires, because of his fullness. A Krsna conscious man is not in need of anything, because the Lord fulfills all his material necessities. Therefore he is like the ocean—always full in himself. Desires may come to him like the waters of the rivers that flow into the ocean, but he is steady in his activities, and he is not even slightly disturbed by desires for sense gratification. That is the proof of a Krsna conscious man—one who has lost all inclinations for material sense gratification, although the desires are present. Because he remains satisfied in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, he can remain steady, like the ocean, and therefore enjoy full peace. Others, however, who want to fulfill desires even up to the limit of liberation, what to speak of material success, never attain peace. The fruitive workers, the salvationists, and also the yogis who are after mystic powers are all unhappy because of unfulfilled desires. But the person in Krsna consciousness is happy in the service of the Lord, and he has no desires to be fulfilled. In fact, he does not even desire liberation from the so-called material bondage. The devotees of Krsna have no material desires, and therefore they are in perfect peace.



A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego—he alone can attain real peace.


To become desireless means not to desire anything for sense gratification. In other words, desire for becoming Krsna conscious is actually desirelessness. To understand one’s actual position as the eternal servitor of Krsna, without falsely claiming this material body to be oneself and without falsely claiming proprietorship over anything in the world, is the perfect stage of Krsna consciousness. One who is situated in this perfect stage knows that because Krsna is the proprietor of everything, everything must be used for the satisfaction of Krsna. Arjuna did not want to fight for his own sense satisfaction, but when he became fully Krsna conscious he fought because Krsna wanted him to fight. For himself there was no desire to fight, but for Krsna the same Arjuna fought to his best ability. Real desirelessness is desire for the satisfaction of Krsna, not an artificial attempt to abolish desires. The living entity cannot be desireless or senseless, but he does have to change the quality of the desires. A materially desireless person certainly knows that everything belongs to Krsna (isavasyam idam sarvam), and therefore he does not falsely claim proprietorship over anything. This transcendental knowledge is based on self-realization—namely, knowing perfectly well that every living entity is an eternal part and parcel of Krsna in spiritual identity, and that the eternal position of the living entity is therefore never on the level of Krsna or greater than Him. This understanding of Krsna consciousness is the basic principle of real peace.



That is the way of the spiritual and godly life, after attaining which a man is not bewildered. If one is thus situated even at the hour of death, one can enter into the kingdom of God.


One can attain Krsna consciousness or divine life at once, within a second—or one may not attain such a state of life even after millions of births. It is only a matter of understanding and accepting the fact. Khatvanga Maharaja attained this state of life just a few minutes before his death, by surrendering unto Krsna. Nirvana means ending the process of materialistic life. According to Buddhist philosophy, there is only void after the completion of this material life, but Bhagavad-gita teaches differently. Actual life begins after the completion of this material life. For the gross materialist it is sufficient to know that one has to end this materialistic way of life, but for persons who are spiritually advanced, there is another life after this materialistic life. Before ending this life, if one fortunately becomes Krsna conscious, he at once attains the stage of brahma-nirvana. 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 transcendental loving service of the Lord is to have attained the spiritual kingdom. In the material world there are activities of sense gratification, whereas in the spiritual world there are activities of Krsna consciousness. Attainment of Krsna consciousness even during this life is immediate attainment of Brahman, and one who is situated in Krsna consciousness has certainly already entered into the kingdom of God.

Brahman is just the opposite of matter. Therefore brahmi sthiti means "not on the platform of material activities." Devotional service of the Lord is accepted in the Bhagavad-gita as the liberated stage (sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate). Therefore, brahmi sthiti is liberation from material bondage.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has summarized this Second Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita as being the contents for the whole text. In the Bhagavad-gita, the subject matters are karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, and bhakti-yoga. In the Second Chapter karma-yoga and jnana-yoga have been clearly discussed, and a glimpse of bhakti-yoga has also been given, as the contents for the complete text.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Second Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita in the matter of its Contents.


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