Bhagavad-gita 4.11
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Geneva, June 1, 1974

(Translator translates into French)

Nitai: “All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.”


ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah [Bg. 4.11]

We are continuing from yesterday’s subject matter, how one can become purified and go back to home, back to Godhead.

Here the second line of this verse is very important. It is said, mama vartmanuvartante manusyah partha sarvasah: “All human being is searching after Me.” As we have explained yesterday, Krsna means sac-cid-ananda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], the transcendental form of eternity, knowledge and blissfulness. In the Vedanta-sutra, the summarized philosophy of Vedic knowledge, it is said, anandamayo ’bhyasat: “The spirit soul by nature is jubilant.” So the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is supreme living being, and we are also living being, but we are not the Supreme. Try to find out this difference. But both of us, we are of the same quality. That means jubilant. So our present position being materially contacted… Just like a man in his healthy condition, he is happy, but in his diseased condition he is not happy, similarly, we, being part and parcel of the Supreme, we are naturally jubilant, but on account of being contacted in material nature, we are morose.

In the Upanisads, the Vedas, it is said that nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam: “The God is the chief of the living beings. He is the chief of the persons. He is the chief of knowledge.” In this way He is described. Just like we can find out amongst us. One is more intelligent, more in knowledge. In this way you search out. God means the most intelligent, the full of knowledge, full of opulence, everything full.

Now, Krsna said in the last stanza, mad-bhavam agatah. Mad-bhavam means “My nature.” So Krsna’s nature, you will find always Krsna, He is enjoying with His flute and His associates, His consort Radharani and the gopis. You will never find Krsna in morose condition. He is in jubilation always. And because we are also part and parcel of Krsna, we have got the propensity to dance with young girls or enjoy the company of the young girls. That propensity is not unnatural. It is natural, jubilation, but because it is in material contact, we cannot enjoy it fully. There are so many inebrieties. Those who have seen our temple, we worship Radha and Krsna in jubilation. They are, along with the gopis, playing the flute and many musical instruments, dancing. That is the definition given in the Vedanta-sutra. Anandamayo ’bhyasat, means “by nature jubilant.” There is no moroseness. There is no unhappiness. That is the kingdom of God.

Now, Krsna says, ye yatha mam prapadyante: “According to the degree of surrender, one comes nearer and nearer.” Krsna is manifested in three features, namely, brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate, means He is revealed as impersonal Brahman, as localized Paramatma, or the Supersoul, or as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krsna. There are three different types of transcendentalists. They are called the jnanis, the yogis and the bhaktas. Jnanis means those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth in impersonal feature, brahmajyoti. The jnanis means those who are mental speculators, philosophers, neti neti. They are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by dint of their limited knowledge. They are called jnanis. And the yogis, the mystics, they are trying to find out the Supreme Personality of Godhead within the heart. Because the Lord is situated in everyone’s heart as Supersoul.

In the Vedic literature it is said that dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1] “Yogis, mystics, they are meditating and trying to find out the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the Supersoul, Paramatma, within the heart.” And the bhaktas, or the devotees, they are directly contacting the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. Just like Krsna appeared, and the bhaktas met Him face to face. Not everyone could understand that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the bhaktas could understand. That is vrndavana-lila, pastimes. Vrndavana-lila, Krsna manifests just to attract us that how you can meet the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face.

Just like we are meeting in this meeting face-to-face, similarly, you can also meet the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to-face, but you have to be qualified for that purpose. If you want to understand Krsna in His impersonal Brahman feature, there is risk also. I will explain that. The Brahman feature is impersonal.

Just like… Try to understand that there is sun, the sun globe, and within the sun globe, there is the sun deity, and outside the sun globe, there is sunshine. All of them are light. The… Within the sun globe, there is light, and in the outside the sun globe, there is light, and the sunshine is also light, but still, there are differences. Another example is: just like if you try to observe a mountain from distant place, it will appear as a hazy cloud. And if you go still nearer, you will find something, greenish rock. The subject of observation is the same thing, but you are looking in different way on account of your different angle of vision. Similarly, if you actually enter the mountain, you will find there are many trees, many houses, many animals, many men. It is full of varieties. Similarly, the Absolute Truth, object of vision, is one, but according to our angle of vision, sometimes we are seeing it is hazy cloud, sometimes as greenish mountain, and when you actually in that place, you see varieties of living entities, trees and houses, everything there.

Similarly, those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by dint of his limited knowledge, they realize impersonal Brahman. Here Krsna says, mama vartmanuvartante manusyah, everyone. Everyone means those who are actually seeking after God realization, they are following the same path, but on account of their distance of vision, they are realizing the Absolute Truth in different way. But all of them are beyond this material world. That I have already explained yesterday. Tapasa puta bahavah. Tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah. Bahavo jnana-tapasa. Bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah. The process of going to the spiritual world is knowledge and austerities. That is for everyone, either he is jnani, yogi or bhakta. But even going to the spiritual platform, there are differences according to the angle of vision.

So risk of impersonal realization is that because in the impersonal feature you cannot enjoy that blissfulness eternally, therefore sometimes—not sometimes, mostly—they come back again into the material world. Because by nature we are jubilant, in the impersonal feature of brahmajyoti, we cannot enjoy life. Therefore again we come back to this material enjoyment. Just like by an airplane, you want to go higher and higher, but if you don’t get the shelter, a shelter in another planet, you will have to come back again to this planet. It is stated in the Vedic literature… (baby starts crying very loudly and Prabhupada stops speaking for a few moments)

Aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah anadrta-yusmad-anghrayah: [SB 10.2.32] “Unless you become elevated to the position of serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, simply by impersonal Brahman realization you cannot become happy. Therefore for enjoyment…” Enjoyment means variety, the varieties of enjoyment. “You come down again to the material world.” We have seen it practically. Many big, big sannyasis and transcendentalists, they give up this world as mithya or false and take to sannyasa, but after some time, again they come back to this material world for executing philanthropic activities like opening hospitals or opening schools and other philanthropic activities. It so happens because they cannot fully realize the Absolute Truth as the Supreme Person, they again come to these material persons.

Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita you will find, Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19], which means, “After many, many births, the jnanis, after speculative knowledge, when actually they come to the platform of knowledge, they surrender unto Me or they understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

The next line is, vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah [Bg. 7.19]. One who can understand Krsna, whose another name is Vasudeva, so He is everything, He is the origin of everything, one who can understand, He is supposed to be mahatma, the liberated soul, or the great soul. Mahatma. Maha means great. Atma means soul. But sa mahatma sudurlabhah. It is very difficult to find out such mahatma. So the Krsna devotees who are engaged in these missionary activities, Krsna consciousness movement, they are not ordinary persons. They are mahatma, but very rarely to be found. Sa mahatma sudurlabhah. So although everyone is searching after Krsna, either in impersonal Brahman or localized Paramatma, the person who has understood Krsna, the Supreme Person, he is the greatest, I mean to say, successful man within this world.

In another place Krsna says, bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Krsna never says that “By mental speculation or yogic mystic practice, one can understand the Supreme Lord.” Never says that. It is clearly said that bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Tattvatah means in truth. To understand Krsna in truth, that requires bhakti or bhakti-yoga, not the jnana-yoga or karma-yoga, hatha-yoga or any other yoga system. By other yoga system like jnana-yoga or karma-yoga, hatha-yoga, you can understand Krsna partially. As I have explained, that somebody is seeing the mountain as hazy cloud and somebody is seeing as greenish something, and somebody is seeing actually the mountain with all varieties, so without bhakti-yoga realization of the Absolute Truth, it is partial. In another place Krsna says,

yoginam api sarvesam mad-gatenantar-atmana sraddhavan bhajate yo mam sa me yuktatamo matah [Bg. 6.47]

He clearly says that “Out of the many varieties of yogis, one yogi, or the bhakti-yogi, who is always thinking of Me within his heart, he is first-class.”

So this Krsna consciousness movement is teaching everyone to become the first-class yogi. This movement is giving everyone the chance of chanting this Hare Krsna mantra, which means always thinking of Krsna. As soon as you chant Hare Krsna and if you hear— the chanting process is you chant and hear—then immediately you become in the samadhi state, absorbed in Krsna. This is not our manufactured way. It is all authorized by the Vedic scripture.

Therefore our request is that if you want to become first-class yogi according to the authorized statement of Vedas, then you take to this maha-mantra, chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. The chanting, the purpose of chanting is that it is addressing, Hare. Hare means addressing the energy of Krsna. The energy is called Hara. Krsna is called Hari, and His energy is called Hara, or Radha. Krsna, Radha, or Hari, Hara. So the form of addressing is Hare. Those who know Sanskrit, there is… The example is just like lata. Lata word, the note of address is late. Similarly Hara is the word, and the note of address is Hare. So the request is “O the energy of Krsna, O Lord Krsna, please accept me in Your service.” Without going through the energy of Krsna, nobody can approach Krsna.

In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13] Those who are mahatmas, actually, after many, many lives cultivation of knowledge, when one becomes fully cognizant of Krsna’s position, he surrenders. Sa mahatma sudurlabhah. So that is also explained. Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah: [Bg. 9.13] “Those who are mahatma, they have taken shelter of the superior energy, daivim prakrtim.”

Therefore we worship Krsna not alone—Krsna with Radharani. You have seen the picture. Krsna is standing with Radharani. So that is full realization of the Absolute Truth. Without energy, simply energetic Krsna, that is not full realization. So all the Vaisnavas, they worship the Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead, with the energy. Just like there are many devotees, Sita-Rama. They worship mother Sita and Rama. There are other Vaisnavas who worship Laksmi- Narayana. Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, and Narayana. In this way, we Gaudiya-Vaisnavas, we worship Radha and Krsna.

So in this way the process of approaching the Absolute Truth is one straight line, but it is a matter of progress. One who has progressed hundred steps, another has progressed thousand steps, another has progressed many other more steps. But the aim is the same: Krsna. Anyone… Anyone in transcendental line, they are aiming at Krsna.

This can be understood in another way: Just like every one of us we love our body. Or I love your body. But what is the reason? The reason is because the spirit soul is there. Nobody loves a body, either his own body or other’s body, when it is dead. Therefore the conclusion is that each, every one of us, we love our body because I, the spirit soul, is there. Therefore the conclusion is that I love myself, or yourself, the spirit soul. Then the next question will be “Then why one should love the spirit soul?” The spirit soul is loved because it is part and parcel of Krsna. Therefore ultimate goal is Krsna. We do not know that. Therefore we sometimes love the body or sometimes love the mind or sometimes love the soul or in this way, but the ultimate aim is to love Krsna. That is our natural instinct.

In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said,

nitya-siddha krsna-prema sadhya kabhu naya sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya [Cc. madhya 22.107]

The meaning is that our love for Krsna is eternal… [break] (end)