Bhagavad-gita 1.36
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
London, July 26, 1973

Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):

papam evasrayed asman hatvaitan atatayinah tasman narha vayam hantum dhartarastran svabandhavan svajanam hi katham hatva sukhinah syama madhava

Translation: “Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhrtarastra and our friends. What should we gain, O Krsna, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?”

Prabhupada: So papam eva. Papam means sinful activities, and punyam is pious. So people should consider in every activity, whether it is papam or punyam, whether it is virtuous or sinful activities. But the asuras, they do not know. Pravrttim ca nivrttim ca na vidur asura janah. Those who are asuras, they do not care what is sinful or what is right. “I like it; I must do it.” This is asura. There is no reference to the authorities, whether the action which I am going to do, whether it is pious or impious. Because by impious activities I will be degraded. Adho gacchanti tamasah. Jaghanya-guna-vrtti-sthah. If we become addicted to sinful activities, the result will be we shall be degraded. But they do not know. Even so-called religious priests, they support killing, condone it. Killing is impious, sinful activity, but in the name of religion, killing is also going on. If someone says, “It is my religion to cut throat,” will it be accepted very nice thing? Sometimes… Just like here is the war. This is also religious war. But still, discrimination. Arjuna, because he is a Vaisnava, a Vaisnava means devata, demigod. Visnu-bhakto bhaved daiva asuras tad viparyayah. What is the difference between deva and asura? Who is called a devata, and who is called an asura? There are two kinds of men. One class is called deva, devata. The other class is called asura. Devasura.

So there is always fight between deva and asura. Now at the present moment, the number of asuras have increased. Formerly the number of devatas were greater. So Arjuna is devata because he is Visnu-bhakta. Dvau bhuta-sargau loke (’smin) daiva asura eva ca. There are two classes of men within this creation. Visnu-bhakto bhaved daivah. Those who are devotees of Lord Visnu, they are called devata. Just like the demigods like Indra, Candra, Surya, and many others. There are thirty-three krores of devatas in the higher planetary system. They are all Visnu-bhakta. They will abide by the orders of Visnu and Vaisnava. Just like Indra. He is devata. There was fight between Hiranyakasipu and the Indra’s party. So when Hiranyakasipu was defeated, naturally the… Afterward, if the other party is defeated, the victorious party makes some, so many aggression, especially aggression of women. That is still current. Innocent women, they are very much harassed after the war by the victorious party. You know, the soldiers are given freedom to rape the women. And plunder the property. So many things they have. So when Hiranyakasipu was defeated, all the devatas, they did not make such aggression, but the wife of Hiranyakasipu—Kayadhu, I think—she was arrested by Indra and was taken. She was crying, just usual, woman. But she was being dragged by Indra. So Narada was passing. Now, he said, “What are you doing this?” “No, there is no question of harassing this woman. But I am taking her in my custody because she is pregnant and the child is begotten by asura, Hiranyakasipu. Therefore I shall wait for the birth of the child, and as soon as she gives birth, I will kill that child.” Yes. So Narada said, “No, no. That child is not asura child. He is coming, a great devotee, maha-bhagavata of Krsna.” Because Narada knew that when… Not before. After all, he knew. But before also, he knew. Because they are saintly persons, they can understand that here is a child is coming who will be a great devotee of Krsna. So maha-bhagavata. So “Don’t try that. You don’t take her to your custody. Better give her in my custody. I shall take care.” So immediately he abided by the order of Narada, immediately. He released. And not only released, circumambulated the woman. So here is a maha-bhagavata, in the womb of this woman. So let us offer our obeisances. This is Vaisnava. As soon as understood, that there is a Vaisnava maha-bhagavata, in the womb of this woman, “She is to be respected, offered obeisances.” This is called Vaisnava. But the asura would not do that. Asura would not do that. That is the difference between devata and asura. In the Bhagavad-gita, Sixteenth Chapter, you will find the description of the asura: pravrttim ca nivrttim ca na vidur asura janah. Pravrtti. Pravrtti means what sort of activities we shall do, and what sort of activities we shall not do. The asuras, they do not know. The asuras, they do not know. Anything they do. “For my sense gratification I must do everything.” Therefore they become entangled. So long they are strong in this life, they do not take care of anyone. Sastra, sadhu or guru. They do not care for anything. So that means… But the asuric civilization, the living entities become entangled because he may not care for any action, the asura, but the nature is there.

prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]

Rascals, they are thinking that they are free to act anything he likes. That is not possible. So long we are in this material world, we are conditioned. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani. As we are associating with the particular quality of this material nature…

There are three varieties of quality. Goodness, passion and ignorance. So we have to associate with either of these qualities. Unless we are Krsna conscious. Unless one is engaged in devotional service, he must be influenced by these three kinds of qualities. Goodness… Somebody may be very good man, according to the estimation of the… Just like Arjuna, he is talking in the modes of goodness, considering, considering. “Although they are atatayinah…” Papam eva asrayed asman hatva etan atatayinah. Atatayinah means aggressor. According to law, if somebody comes to attack you, or if somebody comes to kidnap your wife, these are atatayinah. Or somebody comes to set fire in your house, especially they are called aggressors. So these aggressors are to be immediately killed. There is no question of nonviolence. You must kill immediately. There is no sin. Atatayinah. But here, although the other party is atatayinah, aggressor, still, Arjuna is considering whether they should be killed or not. That is the difference between devata. In every action, they are calculating. But he is considering that “This kind of aggressor, because they are my kinsmen, they are my family men, whether this kind of aggressor should be killed or not?” It is common sense. Suppose your son has done something mischievous. The same thing. Same thing means to attack the father. Still, the father will consider, “Whether I shall kill my son or not?” That is natural. “If my son sets fire in the house, whether I shall kill him or not?” So Arjuna’s position is like that. “Although they are atatayinah, aggressor, still, because they belong to the same family, whether I shall kill them?” He is considering, papam eva asrayed: “If I kill this kind of aggressor, I will be attacked with sinful activities. I have to suffer the result of sinful activities.” And he is explaining why. Papam eva asrayed asman. “Because these are bandhavan.” Sva-bandhavan dhartarastran. The dhartarastran means the sons of Dhrtarastra, Duryodhana and others. So sva-bandhavan. “They are our family members, bandhavan.” Sva-janam hi katham hatva sukhinah syama madhava. “Madhava, my dear Madhava, You are the husband of the goddess of fortune. So you are always very happy. Do you think I shall become happy by killing my own men? Do you think like that?” Because friend and friend talking.

So this is the position. Just see, they were atatayinah, aggressor. There is no doubt about it. Because these dhartarastran, the sons of Dhrtarastra, they insulted Draupadi. Arjuna’s wife. There was betting. The wife was betting. So they defeated, they were defeated in the chess play, and the wife was taken by the other party. So Karna took the opportunity. Because during Draupadi’s svayamvara, Karna was insulted by Draupadi. The piercing of the eyes of the fish, Karna was greater, what is called, arrowman. So when Karna came to touch the arrow for piercing the eyes of the fish, Draupadi objected, objected because she wanted Arjuna to become her husband. But she knew that “If Karna comes to this combat, he will be victorious. Then I will have to go to Karna.” So she was also very intelligent daughter of ksatriya king. So Karna, nobody knew that he is ksatriya. He was supposed to be son of a carpenter. Karna was born before Kunti’s marriage. Therefore she… Karna remained hidden, whose son. But he was ksatriya. So it was unknown. So Draupadi took this opportunity that “This competition is meant for the ksatriyas, not for the non-ksatriyas.” Because he was supposed to be son of a carpenter, sudra. So he was not given the opportunity to gain Draupadi. But if he was given the opportunity, he would have come out victorious. So now Karna took this opportunity. When Draupadi was lost in the game, so he immediately… Karna was Duryodhana’s friend. He immediately advised, “Now she is our property. We can do whatever we like with. Arjuna has lost his wife.” So he advised that “Make her naked in this assembly.” To become naked in the, so many people, that is a great insult for woman. So actually, they tried to insult. Not tried, it was fact. But Krsna saved. You know, Draupadi’s vastra-harana. She was tried to become naked, but these people could not make her naked. The sari was supplied by Krsna, one after another, one after another, heaps of sari. Then they become fed up, gave up that business, that “She cannot be made naked.”

So they were actually atatayinah. Because atatayinah means one who comes to kidnap your wife, insults your wife. You should immediately kill. Just like Lord Ramacandra. He was so pious king, but when it so happened that his wife, Sita, was insulted… Sita was taken away by Ravana. Lord Ramacandra could marry hundreds and thousands of Sitas. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He could create Sita, Radharani, Laksmi. They are the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot have a material wife or material companion. Krsna’s Radharani or Lord Ramacandra’s Sitadevi, Narayana’s Laksmidevi, they are pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Radha-krsna-pranaya-vrkitir ahladini-saktir asmat. Ahladini-sakti. Krsna, God, has got many potencies. One of the potencies is called ahladini-sakti, pleasure potency. So Krsna’s consort, Lord Ramacandra’s consort, they are pleasure potency, exhibited. So to show the example, Lord Ramacandra, because Sita was kidnapped, Sita was insulted, or Ramacandra was insulted, the retaliation was Lord Ramacandra killed not only Ravana, but the whole dynasty, finished. Only for one woman. He could create so many. No. Because atatayinah, aggressed over. Just to teach people that anyone, if he is aggressor, he must be killed. This is the position.

But Arjuna is considering whether it will be pious or impious. This is devata. In every action, they will consider, “What I am going to do, whether it is pious or impious.” That is devata. “If it is pious, then it will elevate me. And if it is impious, then it will degrade me.” Nobody wants degradation. The human life should be especially meant for elevation, not for degradation. You have come to this human form of life from the lower status of life. Jalaja nava-laksani sthavara laksa-vimsati krmayo rudra-sankhyakah. Through so many status of life: the aquatics, the trees, the plants, the insects, the reptiles, the birds, the beasts. In this way… Bahunam janmanam ante. Bahunam sambhavante [Bg. 7.19] This human form of life is gotten, we have received, after many, many births. These people, they do not know. It is very rare. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura sings, manusya janama paiya, radha-krsna na bhajiya, janiya suniya visa khainu. Hari hari viphale janama goinu. He is lamenting, “My dear Krsna, I am so unfortunate. I got this human form of life. It was meant for developing Krsna consciousness. But I have wasted my time otherwise. So how it is so? Janiya suniya visa khainu. Knowingly I have taken poison. Knowingly.” Labdhva sudurlabham idam bahu-sambhavante, manusyam artha-dam. These people, they do not know. Because they are asuras, they do not know what to do in this human form of life and what not to do. They are killing animals without any hesitation. They do not know these rascals. And still they are spiritual leaders. How horrible condition is this, in this Kali- yuga. Just imagine. Without any restriction, without any hindrance, they are committing sinful life. They do not know, next life, all this boastfulness, pride, will be finished. He will have to accept another body, which will be offered by the material nature. You cannot say that “I will not accept this body; I want this body.” No. Nature is not under your dictation. You have to abide by the dictation of nature. Prakrteh kriyamanani. This verse of Bhagavad-gita is very important.

prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate [Bg. 3.27]

Ahankara, by false ego. The asuras, they think, “I am independent. I can do whatever I like.” No. You cannot do so. If you do so, then you will be punished.

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

For every little action, you are responsible. It is being noted by the material nature. And you will be forced to accept a kind of body for suffering. In so many types of bodies. Therefore Arjuna, being devata, he is considering that “Although they are atatayinah, at the same time, they are family men. Whether it is good to kill family?” He is asking Krsna. Krsna is there. He is considering, he is consulting with Krsna that “Do you think that killing this kind of aggressor, I will be benefitted or not?” Therefore in the last line he said, sva-janam hi katham hatva sukhinah syama madhava: “My dear Krsna, do you think by killing my family men, my relatives, shall I be happy? You are Madhava. You are always happy because You are husband of goddess of fortune. But do you think I shall be happy in this way?” This is consultation.

So this is the proof of Arjuna’s character, a devotee’s character. A devotee is always devata, demigod. So one who is devotee, one who is Krsna conscious, sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah. Sura means devata. All the good qualities of devata. A devotee of Krsna will never accept that killing is very good. No. “For the satisfaction of my tongue, I shall kill so many animals.” A devotee will never accept. Ahimsa. Ahimsa. That is the third quality. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa ksantir arjavam. These are… Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita. Amanitvam. Amanitvam means to accept this body as “I am.” This is amanitvam, er, not to accept. That is amanitvam. Everyone is proud that “I am Indian,” “I am American,” “I am Englishman.” So it is boastful, very proud of this body. So knowledge means “I am not this body. I am not this body.” That is amanitvam. Adambhitvam. As soon as we become aware that “I am not this body,” then my false pride immediately goes. Amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa. Then ahimsa, nonviolence. Arjavam, simplicity. There are eighteen qualifications of the demigods. So one who becomes a devotee of Krsna, Krsna conscious, these, all these good qualities develop. So here is the proof, that Arjuna, because he is a devotee of Krsna, he is considering, “Whether I shall kill them or not?” Ahimsa. It is consideration, not that it is final settlement.

So people are trying to elevate the status of the society by so many things. But they do not know the secret. The secret is that if one is trained only to become a devotee of Krsna, all good qualities automatically will be visible in his person. There is no need of separate endeavor, how to make a man honest, how to make a man religious, how to make a man high-thinking, simple living. These are good… Samo damas, titiksa arjavam jnanam vijnanam astikyam. All these qualities immediately develop. Because a living entity, spirit soul, he is part and parcel of Krsna. Mamaivamso jivah. Krsna says all this. Aham bija-pradah pita. “They have come to this material world. I am the seed-giving father. They wanted to enjoy. So I have given them chance. But actually I am the father. The material nature is the mother.” Just like we have got experience, the father injects the living entity in the womb of the mother. And the mother, by her blood, develops the body of the child. Similarly, all these living entities, 8,400,000 species, the… Bijo ’ham sarva-bhutanam. The father is Krsna. He has given the seed in the womb of this material nature. And the material nature has given the body. Somebody has got the body of fish, somebody has got the body of tree, plant, somebody has got insect, reptile, somebody bird, sometimes beasts, somebody human being, somebody demigod. But all these materials have been supplied by the mother. It is very easy to understand. Just like the child grows, the mother supplies the bodily ingredients. Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore… This is very scientific. When He took sannyasa and the mother came… Advaita Prabhu arranged to see for the last time her son. Because a sannyasi is no more coming home. So at that time, mother became overwhelmed: “Such beautiful body. He has nice hair. Now it is shaven.” So she became very much overwhelmed and was crying. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu immediately fell down on her lotus feet and He said, “My dear mother, this body is yours. My dear mother, this body is yours. This body should have been engaged for your service, but some way or other, I mistake, I have taken this sannyasi. Kindly excuse Me.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that “This body belongs to you. This is your body.” Every son should think like that. This is Vedic culture. Actually, the body supplied, mother. From the very beginning, after sex… These are all described in the Bhagavata. The two secretions become emulsified, and a body is formed just like a pea, and gradually develops. The ingredients, the energy is supplied by the mother. So the same thing. The whole creation, the body is supplied by material nature, mother. Therefore she is called “mother.” Material nature is called “mother.” Mother Durga. Srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka [Bs. 5.44] The material nature…, and her name is Durga.

Srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani vibharti durga icchanurupam api yasya ca cestate sa govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. [Bs. 5.44]

This is description of Durga. So Krsna also says. So we should not think like that, that animals or trees or birds and beasts, they are other than ourself. They are our brothers. Because the seed-giving father is Krsna, and the mother is material nature. So we have got the same father and same mother. So if we have got the same father and mother, they are all our brothers.

So unless one is advanced in spiritual consciousness, how he can think of universal brotherhood? This is nonsense. There is no possibility. The so-called universal brotherhood is possible when he is Krsna conscious, when one knows that Krsna is the common father of everyone. The father will not tolerate. Suppose father has got ten sons. Out of them one or two sons are useless. So those who are very capable sons, if they say to the father, “My dear father, these two sons of yours, they are useless. So let us cut their throat and eat.” So father will say, “Yes, you do that”? No. Father will never say. The father will say, “Let them be useless, but let them live at my cost. Why…? You have no right to infringe on their rights.” This is common sense. But these rascals, they think that animals are to be killed for the satisfaction of the tongue of the human being. No sense. No sense. And still they are passing on as religious heads. Such type of cheating religion is completely kicked out from this Bhagavata religion. Dharmah projjhita-kaitavo atra paramo nirmatsaranam vastavah vastu vedyam atra. It is meant for, this Bhagavat-dharma. Krsna consciousness movement is meant for the paramo nirmatsaranam those who are not envious. How they can be envious? Paramahamsa, one who has understood what is this creation, who is the creator, what are these living entities, one who has got this knowledge, he is called paramahamsa. So how a paramahamsa can be envious of others? Therefore it is said paramo nirmatsaranam. Matsarata. Matsarata means envious. So without becoming Vaisnava, without becoming a devotee of Krsna, you do not think that anyone is a human being. He is simply animal.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)