Bhagavad-gita 9.24-26
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New York, December 12, 1966


aham hi sarva-yajnanam bhokta ca prabhur eva ca na tu mam abhijananti tattvenatas cyavanti te

Because we do not know God in fact, simply understanding, “Oh, there is God,” and little more advanced, “God is our order-supplier,” that is not sufficient. You must know God, I mean to say, tat, tattvena, in truth, tattvena. That tattvena, in truth, as it is explained by Lord Caitanya, that is the highest explanation. He has given the fullest information. Of course, it is not possible to understand God to the fullest extension, but as far as possible as a human being can understand, that has been explained in the…, by Lord Caitanya about Krsna. Krsna has explained in the Bhagavad-gita about Himself. That is more than sufficient. And still more Lord Caitanya has explained about Him. Krsna has explained Himself that you require to surrender unto Him. Just like here also He says that, aham hi sarva-yajnanam bhokta: “I am the beneficiary of all the activities of living entities.” And bhokta ca prabhur eva ca: “I am enjoyer, and I am the master.”

So in the Bhagavad-gita you’ll find that the Lord advises people in general that sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vra…: [Bg. 18.66] “Just try to surrender unto Me, and I shall give you all protection.” Then Caitanya Mahaprabhu… He’s also Krsna Himself. As a devotee, He’s explaining Krsna further. Not only surrender, but after surrender, what are the activities, that is explained by Lord Caitanya. So for the general, people in general, the first requisition is that they must learn how to surrender unto God. Tattvena na te abhijananti: “They do not know what is the,” I mean to say, “accurate situation of the Supreme Lord.” Now here it is stated,

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ’pi mam [Bg. 9.25]

Now, the argument that “In whatever form you worship the Supreme…” This is the Mayavadi theory, that “God is impersonal. Now, because we cannot worship or meditate on something impersonal, therefore let us imagine something about Him and meditate upon that.” Just like the impersonalist yogis. They put before them a lump of something and concentrate upon them. So here that theory is refuted by Krsna. That impersonal conception of the Supreme and our imagination of God, that is not the way of approaching God. He says clearly herewith that yanti deva-vrata devan: “Those who are worshiping the demigods…”

The demigods have their different places in this material world. All the planets, heavenly planets… There are seven planetary systems up and seven planetary systems down. So this is called bhurloka, earthly planet, and there are many planets on this system. So bhurloka, bhuvarloka, janaloka, tapoloka, then brahmaloka, satyaloka, like that—so many planets there are. So there are different kinds of living entities and different kinds of comforts. They are highly intelligent, more intelligent than the human being. Therefore they are called demigods, almost God. So here Krsna says, “Those who are trying to worship the demigods, they’ll go to the planets of the demigods.” Yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah [Bg. 9.25]. Pitr-vratah. There is a form of worship of the forefathers. So there is a particular planet. The worshiper of the forefathers, they go there. Pitrn yanti pitr-vratah. And bhutejya yanti. Bhutani yanti bhutejya. And those who are materialistic, those who want to worship these earthly things in this material…, not material world, everywhere, but bhutejya, especially material worship, so bhutejya, those who are worshiper of material elements, they go to… They remain in the material platform. Yanti mad-yajino ’pi mam: “And those who are worshiping Me, Lord, they will come to Me.”

This is very nice, clear. Now, suppose if you have purchased ticket for an intermediate station between California, San Francisco, and New York. So you shall have to get down in that station. So how can you expect that… You have purchased a ticket for intermediate station. How can you expect to go to California? Similarly, if you worship demigods, you can go up to that planet. As you worship, there are different arrangement in the system, in the creation of God, as you want. You have got freedom of action, and God awards you the result, whatever you want. But if you want to go to the planet where Krsna is, Krsna planet, which is called Goloka Vrndavana, then you have to worship Krsna. Oh, there is nothing unreasonable. If you want to go to California, San Francisco, you have to purchase ticket for that.

Now, what is the difference between going to other planets and to the planet where Krsna is? That will be explained. The… That is explained in a different place that yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama: [Bg. 15.6] “The supreme platform, supreme planet is that, where going, nobody returns to this material world.” Yad gatva na nivartante. Nivartante means…, na nivartante, “does not return.” Abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ’rjuna [Bg. 8.16] That we… Already we have discussed, that gata-gatim. Within this material world, even if you go (to) the higher planets, the planet of the moon, planet of the sun planet or heavenly planet, the Indraloka, Candraloka, so many there are, then, after finishing your result of pious activities, you have to come back again. Punar avartinah. So we are sometimes going up, sometimes coming back again in this material world, sometimes going down.

Just like we are changing different dresses. Sometimes I am, I have got this body, Indian, sometimes you have got this body, American, and sometimes I may get the body of a dog or a hog or something else. I may get the body of demigod. As these changes of dresses are going on, cycle of birth and death, transmigration of the soul in different forms of life, similarly, there is transmigration of the soul in different planets. So abrahma-bhuvanal lokah… This system of going up and down should be stopped. That is the business of an intelligent person. Yad gatva na nivartante [Bg. 15.6]. We should try to go (to) that planet where going, no more coming back. That is Krsnaloka. That is Vaikuntha, the spiritual sky. Paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah [Bg. 8.20]. Beyond this material sky there is spiritual sky. There are spiritual planets, and Krsnaloka is there. So Krsna gives here hint that mad-yajino ’pi mam: “As others are going, trying to go in other planets, similarly, those who are in Krsna consciousness, those who are absolutely worshiper of the Supreme Lord, they will come to Me. They will come to Me.” Mam upetya tu kaunteya. In other place… There are several places mentioned, this fact.

mam upetya punar janma duhkhalayam asasvatam napnuvanti mahatmanah samsiddhim paramam gatah [Bg. 8.15]

“Those who attain once to Me, they will never… They will have never to come again to this place of miseries.” So here is the hint that by Krsna consciousness, if we remain always in Krsna consciousness, then our transference to that planet of Krsnaloka is guaranteed.

Yam yam vapi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram. We have discussed this verse that at the time of death my mental condition, whatever my mental condition is at that time, at the time of my death, I am just going to have a similar body, according to the mental condition at the time of my death. So if we are in constantly engaged in Krsna, transcendental loving service of Krsna, Krsna consciousness, then naturally we shall be thinking of Krsna at the time of death. This is the practice. This is the practice. Sada tad-bhava-bhavitah [Bg. 8.6] Unless you practice… Just like if you have to play on the stage, you have to perform several rehearsals, or if you have to appear in some examination, then you prepare yourself, what sort of question may be there, and so, similarly, if we at all want to transfer ourselves to that planet, Krsnaloka, cintamani-dhama, then we have to practice. We have to practice in this life. This human form of life is meant for practicing. Just like apprentice. Here those who are even apprentice, they are already liberated because… Just (like) a nice student who is preparing himself, he is already passed. Passed means he is preparing himself in such a nice way that his passing of the examination is guaranteed. Similarly, if we take the trouble of becoming Krsna conscious always, then our transference to that planet…, mad-yajino ’pi mam, that is guaranteed. Bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ’pi mam.

Now the question is that Krsna consciousness, how to perform Krsna consciousness. That is explained by the Lord in the next verse,

patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnami prayatatmanah

Now, you have to make friendship with Krsna. Just like if you want to go to see somebody very great, then somehow or other, you have to make some connection with him, something. You have to introduce yourself in a way, in a friendly way, in a loving manner. Then it is possible to make connection with great personalities. So if we want to transfer ourself to that supreme planet, Krsnaloka, then we have to prepare ourself how to love Krsna. Love of God. If you are intimately in touch with God by love… We cannot conquer with all… We cannot claim any favor from the Supreme unless we are in love.

So love means… There are six principles of loving. What is that? Dadati pratigrhnati bhunkte bhojayate, guhyam akhyati prcchati ca sad-vidham priti-laksanam. How one can understand I love you, or you can understand that I love you? There is… There are six kinds of reciprocation, six kinds of exchange, reciprocation. What is that? Dadati. One whom you love, you must give something. And you must take something from him. Dadati pratigrhnati. Bhunkte bhojayate: You must give him something to eat, and you must accept also what he gives to eat. And dadati pratigrhnati bhunkte bhojayate, guhyam akhyati prcchati ca: You must disclose your mind, and you must hear him. If your lover is also in some difficulty, he discloses his mind. So these six things, dadati, giving, and pratigrhnati, accepting, and bhunkte, to offer foodstuff and accept foodstuff, and disclose your mind and hear him also, these things…

So we have to deal with God in that way. Therefore, if you want to offer something… The beginning is offering, offering. We must offer something. So what is that offering? If you… If somebody says that “I am very poor man. I cannot offer anything…” Because in India, of course, offering to the demigods, offering to some deity… That is very expensive job. There are list of goods. Now, suppose a poor man, he wants to offer something to God. Then what he has to offer? He… Here is a prescription given by the Lord Himself which can be offered even by the poorest man. What is that? Patram puspam phalam toyam. A, a little bit of tulasi leaves or any leaf, puspam, a little bit of flower, patram puspam phalam, a small fruit, and toyam, a little water.

Now, patram puspam phalam toyam, these four things can be available universally. Nobody is so poor that he cannot collect a leaf of a tree or a small fruit or a small flower and little water. It is universal, nothing expensive. So anyone, in any country, in any place, he can offer Krsna these four things. There is no bar. Patram puspam phalam toyam. Four things: a small leaf… You can have any. There are so many trees. If you take one leaf, even if you are forbidden, if you ask that “I am going to offer this leaf to God,” anyone will offer you. Patram puspam, a little flower, and a small fruit and little water. So Lord says, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati. The real thing is love. “Anyone who is offering Me these four things in love,” tad aham bhakty-upahrtam, “because he has brought these four things with love and devotion,” then God says, Lord says, tad aham asnami, “I eat. I eat,” bhaktya prayatatmanah, “because with devotion, with faith, and with love, he has brought.”

God is full. We should not think that “God is depending upon my this little flower or fruit. He is very hungry. When I shall offer this fruit and He’ll satisfy His hunger.” No. He’s purnam. But the qualification is that offering should be in love, in devotion. That He accepts. He accepts your devotion and love. So patram puspam. So anybody can worship Krsna. This is universal. Patram puspam… These four things can be… But one thing you should remember that if we want to cheat Krsna—“Oh, Krsna wants only patram puspam phalam toyam, so let Him have this patram puspam phalam toyam, and for myself, let me eat very sumptuously, the best thing”—that is cheating. Krsna can understand. This is for the poorest man. But if you have got very nice things to offer to Krsna, just offer. Any… Your love means you should offer to Krsna the nicest, the choicest, the best thing. Because everything belongs to Krsna. So when you offer something best, choicest, that is your love only. Suppose you offer a fruit to Krsna. Can you manufacture fruit? Oh, it is manufactured by Krsna. It is God’s gift. But if you place before Him some choicest fruit, some choicest flower, some choicest, I mean to say, thing, then that is your token of love that you think… In this material world…

Suppose there is a very nice rose flower. Somebody takes it: “Oh, it is very nice rose flower. Oh, I shall take it and offer my girlfriend or boyfriend.” That is sense gratification. That is sense gratification. The same flower, if you take it and think, “Oh, it is very nice flower. I shall offer to Krsna,” that is your service to the Lord. The flower is there. Simply change of consciousness… This is called Krsna consciousness. The flower is there. You are there. The consciousness is there. This offering is there. Simply you have to change. That’s all. You have to change. If you utilize things for sense gratification, then you go to the darkest region of this material atmosphere. And the same thing, if you offer to Krsna, it becomes spiritual.

Now, after offering Krsna, Krsna is not taking it away. You are… You are taking the prasadam. That means the whole thing becomes spiritualized. So in this way we can spiritualize the whole world, whole world, simply by changing our consciousness. We are… We are anxious for peace. This is the process of peace; you change your consciousness. Don’t accept anything for your sense gratification. Everything is there. It is supplied by the Supreme Lord. Everything is the property of the Supreme Lord. You are falsely claiming that you are the proprietor. You are not proprietor. How you can be proprietor? Suppose before you came to America from Europe… The land was there. And suppose sometimes you leave this land. Oh, the land will remain there. Or suppose I take my birth in America. So before my birth the land was there. And after my death, the land will be there. If you trace out history, go on tracing. When the land was not there, you’ll never find. Therefore the land is God’s. Why do you claim that “This is my land”? The earth belongs to God. Everything belongs to God. This consciousness should be changed if you at all want peace. If you encroach upon God’s property and take it as your own thing and try to utilize for your sense gratification, you cannot expect any peace, cannot expect any peace. Suppose you have stolen something from somebody else and if you want to enjoy, you’ll be always in trouble because the police search will be there, and as soon as you are caught, you’ll be in trouble. Similarly, the nature is the police agent of God. As soon as you want to gratify your sense by utilizing the property of God, then you’ll be in trouble. The nature will inflict miseries upon you. This is the law of nature. It is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gita,

daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]

This gunamayi, maya, this material nature of three modes of nature, gunamayi… Guna means modes of nature. This modes of nature means it is a combination of three modes: modes of passion, modes of goodness, modes of ignorance. So therefore it is called gunamayi maya. So daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya. You cannot surpass the stringent laws of material nature. That is not in your power. Just like however stout and strong you are, when you are under police custody, oh, no strength will help you. You’ll be offered all kinds of tribulations. Similarly, the nature is very strong. So long we shall go on utilizing God’s property illegally and encroach upon others’, I mean to say, possession, then there cannot be any peace. If you want peace at all, then you have to accept that “Everything belongs to God and I can use after offering Him: ‘Accepting that this belongs to You, God, kindly… You have sent me all these things for my subsistence. Oh, it is Your thing. Kindly You first of all taste it. Then I shall take Your prasadam.’ ” This is Krsna consciousness. Lord is supplying you everything. He will not eat whatever is given to you. It is for you. Simply just acknowledge. Just acknowledge. Oh, can you not acknowledge even, “Oh, God, You have given us so nice things for eating. Please, You taste”?

Just like small child. He is provided by the father, but while eating, he offers the father: “My dear father, it is very nice thing. You taste.” How much pleased will be the father. Just imagine. The father knows that “The child has brought my things.” But if a small child offers to the father, “Father, it is very nice. You eat,” oh, father says, “Oh, it is very nice? All right, I shall eat it.” This is love. This is love. So here… How you can offer your love? Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati, tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnami. And if God accepts your things and eats, then what do you want more? He becomes your, the most intimate friend. Yam labdhva caparam labham manyate nadhikam tatah. If you can make God as your intimate friend then there is no, I mean to say, nothing wanted. You’ll be fulfilled. You’ll find yourself that “I have got everything.” Yasmin sthito na gurunapi duhkhena na vicalyate. And if we become convinced that “God is my protector; Krsna is my protector,” then how much happy and peaceful we will be. So this process Bhagavad-gita recommends, that you offer. Doesn’t matter. In the next sloka… Even if you cannot offer this patram puspam phalam toyam, then in the next sloka it is explained that whatever you can offer, offer something. Offer something. Just be in love with Him. Then just see how much peaceful you feel. How much tranquility you feel and how you are protected by Krsna, how you avoid insufficiency, how you become pure and how you make your progress in spiritual life. Thank you very much. Any questions? (end)