Bhagavad-gita 9.11
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Calcutta, June 30, 1973

Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):

avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta-mahesvaram [Bg. 9.11]

Translation: “Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.”

Prabhupada: So Krsna is not an ordinary man. Therefore Krsna warns this. Avajananti mam mudhah. Mudha rascals. To accept God as man and to accept man as God, this is rascaldom. Rascaldom means to accept a man as God and to accept God as man. This is rascaldom. Avajananti mam mudhah. We can understand who is an intelligent man and who is a rascal by this criterion. In another place Krsna says, na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah: [Bg. 7.15] “Mudhah, rascals, they do not surrender unto Me.” Krsna is canvassing… Especially in India He appeared. He is canvassing, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66] He is canvassing. But the mudhas, they will not accept it. Avajananti mam mudhah. “Oh. Why shall I accept Krsna? I have got my own God. I manufacture my God.” So we have got very short-cut criterion to understand a rascal and intelligent man. What is that? If he is a devotee of Krsna, then he is intelligent man. If he is not, then he’s rascal. That’s all.

“No, he does not accept Krsna as God, but he has many other gods.” Especially in our Hindu society, they say, the Mayavada philosophers, they say that everyone is God. How everyone can be God? If everyone is God, then what is the significance of God? Even not demigods… In sastra it says, yas tu narayanam devam brahma-rudradi-daivataih. Not to speak of ordinary demigods, but big, big demigods, just like Brahma, Lord Siva… Even Visnu. Of course, Krsna is visnu-tattva. Krsna is not in the category of jiva-tattva. There are jiva-tattvas, there are sakti-tattvas, there are visnu-tattvas. People do not know it. Therefore in the next line it is said, param bhavam ajanantah. They do not know what is visnu-tattva, what is jiva-tattva, what is sakti-tattva, how things are working. Param bhavam ajanantah. Mama bhuta-mahesvaram: “I am the Supreme Person.”

In another place Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat: [Bg. 7.7] “There is no more superior personality than Me.” This is… These are the facts. In the Brahma-samhita it is said, isvarah paramah krsnah: [Bs. 5.1] “Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” You can become God, I can become God, He can become God, but Supreme God is Krsna. If we accept that we are all gods… But still, there is distinction. Here is male god, here is female god, here is child god, here is an educated god, here is a foolish god. If we are all gods, then we have to qualify these gods in this way. There are differentiations from one god to another. That means one god is superior than another god. That you have to accept. So in this way, if you go on making progress, who is the best God, then you come to Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]. Sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah. So the param, param brahma, impersonal they say. No. Vigraha, person, just like you and me, person. But they cannot imagine how a person can become so powerful, as in the previous verse it is said, mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10] A person is directing.

Just like we direct, a big businessman, he is sitting in his room alone, but he is directing the whole factory, whole business, everything. That is being done. Although Krsna is in Goloka Vrndavana, He has nothing to do… Why God has something to do? Then what kind of God He is? Here we see practically a big man, a big minister, a big prime minister or president, he is also sitting, giving direction. He has nothing to do. Similarly, Krsna also, He has nothing to do. Krsna is enjoying. Just like you see Krsna’s form, He is enjoying with Srimati Radharani. He has nothing to do. That is confirmed in the Vedic literature: na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. Why God should be busy doing something?

So param bhavam ajanantah. They do not know what is God. Although God is appearing before them. We have got the name of God, the fame of God, the pastimes of God, the demonstration of His different energies of God. Everything is there. Still, we are searching after God, and unfortunately we are manufacturing a man-god. Therefore we are mudhas. Avajananti mam mudhah. Here is God, accepted by all acaryas. Not that by sentiment. There are acaryas in India. Actually, practically, our whole civilization is guided by the acaryas. Acaryavan puruso veda. We have to accept acarya.

In India, our culture, Vedic culture, depending on acaryas. Even we differ, we Vaisnavas… There are Vaisnava acaryas, and there is Mayavadi acaryas. So Sankaracarya, he is Mayavadi, impersonalist; still, he accepts Krsna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sa bhagavan svayam krsnah devaki-nandanah. He has written in his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita. He accepts. Narayanah parah avyaktat, sa bhagavan narayanah krsnah. He has accepted. And what to speak of Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya and other acaryas. Latest acarya Krsna, er, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, five hundred years… These acaryas are five hundred thousands of years ago, they appeared. Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared near about five hundred years ago. He accepted Krsna—the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And we are followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Acaryavan puruso veda: “One who is acaryavan, one who is following acarya, he knows things as they are.” Acaryavan puruso veda.

So unless we become acaryavan… That is the Vedic instruction. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. We cannot understand God, what is God. We cannot make research (because) we do not know what are the symptoms of God, although everything is described in the sastras. Here also, in the Bhagavad-gita, the indications are there. Mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. “There is nobody superior than Me.” So this is the shortcut definition of God. Just try to find out a person… God is also a person, but He is the most superior person. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. He is the chief amongst the living beings. Nityo nityanam. He is the wisest of all wise men. Cetanas cetananam. What is the difference between God and us? The difference is that He is the maintainer and we are maintained. This is the difference.

We are not maintained. Nobody can say… One can say that “I am God,” but nobody can say that “I am maintaining everyone.” No, that is not possible. These are the simple definition of God given in the Vedic literature. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. We have necessities of life, but who is supplying the necessities of life? That eka, that one person, eka. So it is a great science, to understand God. It is not an ordinary thing simply by speculation or by so-called meditation you become God. God is God always. You cannot become God if you are not God. Krsna… Krsna was God when He was three months old on the lap of His mother. Krsna was God when He was four months old. Krsna was God when He was seven years old. Now we are chanting, jaya radha-madhava kunja-bihari gopi-jana-ballabha giri-bara-dhari. Krsna was gopi-jana-ballabha. He was always meant for pleasing the gopis, but that does not mean that he was not God. Giri-bara-dhari. When gopis were in danger, incessant rain in Vrndavana, He immediately lifted the whole Govardhana Parvata. Immediately showed: “Here is, I am. I am God. I can give you protection.” Giri-bara-dhari. One side, gopi-jana-ballabha, just like ordinary boy He is pleasing the gopis by His joking behavior, but that does not mean He is not God. So one imitates the joking behavior of Krsna, but one cannot imitate lifting the Govardhana Hill. That is not possible.

Therefore those who are mudhas, they deride at Krsna. They cannot believe how a person can become the supreme authority. Otherwise one who knows the… Budha bhava-samanvitah.

aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate iti matva bhajante mam budha bhava-samanvitah [Bg. 10.8]

Those who are budhas, they are Krsna conscious. They are devotees of Krsna. Krsna ye bhaje sei bada catura. Without being very, very intelligent, nobody can become Krsna conscious, devotee of Krsna. These mudhas cannot become. It is not possible. If you want to remain a mudha, then you can not understand. When your mudhatvam, your “unwisdom” will go… How it will go? Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19] If you cultivate knowledge, spiritual knowledge for many, many births, bahunam janma. Because you will not accept Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply by saying by Krsna. Krsna says, “Yes, I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” If you don’t believe it, then you have to cultivate knowledge for many, many births. You have to take birth and cultivate spiritual knowledge, again die, again come, again come, again take birth. This will go on continuously. Bahunam janmanam ante [Bg. 7.19]. And if you are fortunate enough to become wise enough, then you will understand, vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah: [Bg. 7.19] “Oh, Vasudeva, Krsna is everything.” That is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,

vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah janayaty asu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam [SB 1.2.7]

If you become devotee of Vasudeva, bhaja vasudevam, then very quickly you will become jnanavan. First of all, one becomes jnanavan; then he surrenders to Vasudeva. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66] This is one process. Another process is you become a devotee of Vasudeva, then jnana, vairagya, will automatically come. You’ll… Because the human life, the perfection of human life is to accept jnana and vairagya. That is perfection. In our Vedic civilization, this is the process, perfection. There are different stages of life. Brahmacari, grhastha, vanaprastha, sannyasa. So what is the sannyasa law? Sannyasa means perfection. Jnana and vairagya. Who can take sannyasa, renounced order, unless he has got full knowledge? As Sankaracarya explains, brahma satyam jagan mithya. Unless one understands fully that “Our these material engagements, they are simply waste of time.” He can attain perfection knowledge. Jnana-vairagya-yuktaya. Unless there is perfection of knowledge, jnana, there cannot be vairagya. And unless there is vairagya, unless you become detestful of this material existence, there is no question of liberation. Jnana-vairagya-yuktaya.

So this jnana and vairagya can be achieved simply by becoming a devotee of Vasudeva. That is the verdict of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah, janayaty asu vairagyam [SB 1.2.7]. Asu vairagya, very soon. Just like these boys, these American, these European boys, they are young men. Now they have taken sannyasa and dedicated their life for service of Krsna. They are vairagya. They are coming from opulent nation, very rich men, rich nation. Their parents are very rich. There is no scarcity of food. There is no scarcity of money. There is no scarcity of women in the western countries. But they have left everything. Simply boys. They are all within thirty. How much a young man may have propensities for enjoying this material way of life! And when there is facilities. But how they have taken to it? This is the proof.

vasudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogah prayojitah janayaty asu vairagyam jnanam ca yad ahaitukam [SB 1.2.7]

This is proof. So actually if we want jnana and knowledge… because human life is meant for jnana and knowledge. Human life is not meant for living like animals, cats and dogs. Cats and dogs cannot be elevated to the platform of jnana and vairagya. That is not possible. A human being can be elevated by education, by culture, to the platform of jnana and vairagya. That is the ultimate goal. Sri Narottama dasa Thakura sings therefore,

hari hari bifale, janama gonainu, manusya-janama paiya, radha-krsna na bhajiya janiya suniya bisa khainu

This is jnana, regretting “My dear Lord, I got this very opportune moment to possess this human form of life, manusya-janama paiya, but my duty was to worship Radha-Krsna.” That is the highest perfection of worship. Ramya kecid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargabhir ya kalpita. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended, “The upasana, the worship which was invented by the gopis to worship Radha and Krsna, ramya kecid upasana, there is no more perfect upasana.” So this radha-krsna-upasana is the perfection of upasana. Even it is better than visnu-upasana. In the material way of life visnu-upasana has been recommended as the highest. Aradhananam param devi visnor aradhanam param. It is the statement of Lord Siva to Parvati, that “Of all aradhana, visnu-aradhanam is the best.”

aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param tasmat parataram devi tadiyanam samarcanam

Tasmat parataram. “Even better than visnu-aradhana is to worship the Vaisnavas.” Mad-bhakta-pujabhyadhika [SB 11.19.21] Krsna has said also that “Anyone who is worshiping My devotee, pure devotee, that is better worship than one who is worshiping Me directly.”

So Sri Narottama dasa Thakura says that “I got this opportunity of human life, but instead of worshiping Radha-Krsna, I have worshipped so many things.” Somebody is worshiping his body, somebody is worshiping his mind, somebody is worshiping his country, somebody is worshiping his something else, something else, or somebody is worshiping some other demigods also. But that is not recommended in the sastra, at least in the Bhagavad-gita. Kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajanty anya-devatah [Bg. 7.20]. There are worshipers of other demigods, but they have been described in the Bhagavad-gita as hrta-jnanah. Hrta-jnanah. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura comments, nasta buddhayah, “one who has lost his intelligence.” These are the verdict of the sastra. Therefore one who has taken only to Krsna worship sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam [Bg. 18.66], only Krsna, he is intelligent. And one who is not intelligent, mudha, he does not take to Krsna. This is straight meaning of Bhagavad-gita. You can make your own meaning, but if you want to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is, this is the meaning. You cannot accept the worship even of big, big demigods. What to speak of minor demigods, even big demigods just like Lord Brahma, Lord Siva… You can worship. Vaisnava is ready to give respect even to the ant. And why not Lord Siva? And why not Lord Brahma or any other demigods? They offer. But they offer in which way? As servant of Krsna.

Just like in the Brahma-samhita, there is: srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani vibharti durga [Bs. 5.44]. This is worship of Durga. A Vaisnava, Brahma, is offering respect to Mother Durga. So similarly, a Vaisnava never disrespects any demigod. Why demigods? They are so exalted. They do not disrespect even an ant. Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna, amanina manadena. A Vaisnava should be ready to give respect to anyone, all living entities, because all living entities are part and parcel of Krsna. They should offer respect to everyone. Just like this finger is my part and parcel of the body. If you respect my body and kill my, cut my finger, shall I be happy? No. Therefore Vaisnava knows this, that “Even a small ant, he is the part and parcel of Krsna. So if I kill this ant, Krsna will be unhappy. Krsna will be unhappy.”

There was a vyadha. In the Padma Purana, this story is there. He was habituated to kill animals. Vyadha, you know, hunter. So he was killing so many animals half-dead. So Narada Muni was passing through that forest, he was very much aggrieved, “Who is this rascal, killing these animals half, and they are flapping out of painful condition? Let me see this rascal.” So he searched out this vyadha, hunter. The vyadha was very busy in his hunting. So he thought… Because, after all, Narada Muni is a Vaisnava, after seeing him personally his heart was immediately little clarified. So he offered respect: “Sir, you have come here for some tigerskin or deerskin. I shall give you, but don’t disturb (me) in my business. Please let me do my business.”

So Narada Muni said, “All right, you do your business, but one thing I request: ‘Why you are not killing these animals all at a time? Why you are killing half? It is great sin.’ ” Then it stuck to his brain. “Sin? What is this sin?” Then he described the effects of sin. Then he said, “I have been taught by my father to do this business. So if I do not do this business how shall I live?” So Narada Muni said, “If I guarantee your living, would you give up this business, this profession?” “Why not? If I get my living means, then I can give up.” So it was agreed that he will give up his business of hunting. And Narada Muni said that “I will give you all the necessities of your life. Come on.” So it is a long story. I am making short cut.

So Narada Muni asked him that “You sit down on this bank of Ganges and here is the tulasi plant. You worship it, and I will send your food. Don’t be worried.” So next morning it was declared in the village, “That heinous hunter has become a Vaisnava.” So people, generally, they are inquisitive. They came to see. It is the custom when you go to see a saintly person, you take some fruits or flowers or some rice or some ata. So huge stack of rice and ata and fruits and flowers also. They were surprised: “Why Narada Muni is sending so much? We are simply husband and wife.” In this way they become Vaisnava. And after some time Narada Muni with his friend Parvata Muni, he wanted to see his devotee. So he asked Parvata Muni that “My dear friend, will you come with me. I shall show my devotee who was formerly a hunter.” So Parvata Muni knew that “You can play wonderful. So let me see this devotee.” So when Narada Muni was coming, this devotee was going to receive the spiritual master. This is the custom, to receive the spiritual master from distant place with all honor by bowing down. But he was jumping. He was jumping. So when he came near, the Parvata Muni first of all asked him, “My dear son, you are great devotee, but while coming here why you are jumping?” He said that “On the ground there are so many ants, sir. So I do not want to kill these ants.”

This is the effect of devotional service. The same man who was taking pleasure by killing one animal half-dead, he is not prepared to kill even an ant. This is called bhakti. Yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah. If one becomes a devotee of the Lord, akincana-bhakti, then sarvair gunaih, all good qualities will come out automatically. Because every living entity is part and parcel of God. God is all-good. Therefore every living entity, potentially, constitutionally, he is also good. As God is good, we are also good. But due to our material association, we have become bad. So if we revive our old position, Krsna consciousness, then automatically we shall become all-good. This is Krsna consciousness movement.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended therefore, ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. If you want to see, the to stop this blazing fire of material existence, then you have to spread this Krsna consciousness movement all over the world. And the practical effect, you can see, what is already done, how they have become. Our limit, there are limitation, we cannot accept anyone and everyone as disciple. Unless he agrees tacitly to give up some preliminary principles. Just like illicit sex life. Anyone who comes to me to become my disciple, the first condition is no illicit sex life, no intoxication, up to drinking or smoking or even drinking tea and coffee and chewing pan. These are also intoxicants. So one cannot take all these things. No intoxication. No illicit sex. Unless you have got connection with woman by marriage tie, there cannot be any sex life. These are the pillars of sinful life. Yatra papas catur-vidha. Striya-suna-pana-dyutah yatra papas catur-vidha. If you actually want to make progress in spiritual life, you must accept at least these four principles. This is tapasya. Tapasa brahmacaryena tyagena, sauca, satya-saucabhyam [SB 6.1.13]. These are the tests, the prescription.

So to become purified, one must be purified of this material existence. Then he can understand what is God. Then he can serve God. With these material senses it is not possible to serve God. That is not possible. Atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [BRS. 1.2.234] These indriyas, the present indriyas, contaminated by material existence… You cannot understand by simply hearing about God. Therefore you have to purify yourself. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. This is the definition given by Narada Muni, how one can become a devotee, how one can be engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. This is the formula. What is that? Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam, first condition: One has to give up all designation. “I am Indian,” “I am American,” “I am brahmana,” “I am sudra,” “I am this,” “I am that.” These are all designations of the body, but we are not this body. So if we can give up this bodily designation, that is called sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. Then one has to become purified on the standard of devotional service.

Unless one is engaged in devotional service, there is no question of purification. Then you’ll fall down. These are the statements in the sastras. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah [SB 10.2.32]. You can elevate yourself to the Brahman effulgence, brahma-jnana, aruhya krcchrena, with tapasya, with severe austerities. But if you cannot understand Krsna, if you do not take shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna, then you’ll again fall down. Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah [SB 10.2.32]. So a devotee, if you become a devotee, you’ll never fall down. Krsna will give you protection. Krsna says, kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati. He will give you protection. Otherwise you are helpless. You can fall down at any moment. But if you take shelter of Krsna… So there are so many facilities for perfection of life. Simply by accepting Krsna, mam ekam saranam vraja. If you do not do that, then you are a mudha, rascal. Avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam, param bhavam aja… [Bg. 9.11]. “How much powerful is Krsna; what He can do for me,” without knowing this, we do not surrender to Krsna.

Therefore it is necessity to assemble like this to understand Krsna. This Krsna consciousness movement is there all over the world just to help the people to understand real God, Krsna. This is the purpose of Krsna consciousness movement. Because people are suffering, they are all mudhas. They do not understand Krsna or they deride Krsna. Therefore they will, he will go on suffering. Tan aham dvisatah kruran ksipamy ajasram andha-yonisu. Those who are envious of Krsna, Krsna says, “I put them eternally in the hellish condition of life.” So if you want to save yourself from the hellish condition of life, you must take to Krsna consciousness and surrender unto Him. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)