Bhagavad-gita 4.10
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vrndavana, August 2, 1974


vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah [Bg. 4.10]

Bhavam means nature also. Just like we call nature, sva-bhava, sva-bhava. So mad-bhavam… This is one nature, this material nature… This is also Krsna’s bhavam, means Krsna’s nature. Nothing is beyond Krsna, but this is external nature. Bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh… bhinna me prakrtir astadha. Bhinna means separated energy. The energy is working. Although it is Krsna’s nature, still, it is separated nature.

Just like I am speaking, it is being recorded. When it will be replayed, you will hear the same sound, but still, it is separated from me. Similarly, this material nature is also Krsna’s nature.

Nothing is beyond Krsna. There are two nature: the spiritual nature and material nature. So material nature means external energy, and spiritual nature means internal energy. And we, we are also spiritual nature, marginal. We can remain either in the material nature or in the spiritual nature. Therefore we are marginal nature. There are three natures: external, internal and marginal. So so long we are in the material nature, external nature, we are unhappy. This is the position.

Just like a fish, when it is put into the land, it is unhappy, or death. Similarly, if you, the creature of the land, if you are put into the water, you are unhappy. And death. So because we belong to the spiritual nature… As it is explained by Krsna, that this material nature is apara, apara. Apara means inferior, not fit for us. Therefore we are unhappy. So long we shall remain in the material nature, we must be unhappy.

Just like this body. This body is made of material nature, and we are within this body. Dehino ’smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara [Bg. 2.13] So long we have got this body, material body, we must be unhappy. First of all, we must try to understand why we are unhappy. We are unhappy because we are in this material body. And the… What is that unhappiness? It is ending in four principles, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi. To take birth and again to die, and so long we live we must suffer from some disease, and we must become old. Plain truth.

Therefore intelligent persons must be aware of the miserable condition of this material existence and try to get out of it. Is there any doubt? Eh? This is the fact. So our only business is how to get out of this material existence. That is our only business, not that how we can adjust things here and become happy. That is called karmi, fools. It is a fact that so long you’ll be here in this material world, however you may try to adjust things to become happy, it will be never possible. It will be never possible. They are trying to be materially happy in the western world. They do not know actually what is happiness, but material happiness means sex life. So sex life they are every day enjoying. And still, they go to the naked dance to see if there is happiness. Why there will be happiness? There cannot be any happiness. But this is adjustment. They are trying this way or that way. That’s all.

Punah punas carvita-carvananam [SB 7.5.30]. In the Bhagavata the answer is they, they’re all self-interested, but they do not know what is self-interest. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah [SB 7.5.31]. Bahir-artha. Bahir-artha means external energy, material energy. They are thinking by material adjustment they will be happy. But they do not know that self- interest is how to be again connected with Visnu, svartha-gatim. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [SB 7.5.31]. Or to become Vaisnava. Visnur asya devata iti vaisnava.(?) Vaisnava means one who has accepted Visnu as everything. As Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66].

This is our business. But nobody is interested. Na te viduh. They do not know that this is the interest. This is the only interest, how to become reconnected with Krsna or Visnu. Na te viduh. They do not know. Therefore we have started this Krsna consciousness movement. They do not know. Everyone, cent percent, the whole population of the world, they do not know. So rascal, so fool, they do not know their interest.

Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya [SB 7.5.31]. Durasaya, with the hope against hope which will be never fulfilled. Therefore it is called durasaya. Why? Bahir-artha-maninah. They are interested with this external energy. So this is our problem. But the rascals, they do not know. Sastra… Therefore we have to consult sastra. What is our problem, we have to consult sastra. And sastra, how we can consult sastra. Sastra, we have to go somebody who knows sastra. Therefore the Vedic injunction is tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet, srotriyam [MU 1.2.12]. If you want to know what is your actual interest, then you have to approach a guru. And who is guru? Srotriyam, who knows sastra. Srotriyam. And not only knows, but the result must be there, brahma-nistham, means Krsna consciousness. Brahma-nistham means fully dependent on Krsna.

This is the process. We must know, we must find out guru who knows sastra, the essence of sastra, Vedic, Vedas. What is the essence of Vedas? Vedanta. Vedanta means to know Krsna. Vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]. Krsna says. All… There are different types of Vedas. Sama, Yajur, Rk, Atharva. Then one- hundred-eight Upanisads. Then Vedanta-sutra. Then Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharata. And the vimsati, twenty kinds of dharma-sastra, Manu-samhita. So many things.

So what is the purpose of all these sastras? Krsna says, “The purpose is to know Me.” And in Vedanta, the Upanisad confirms it, kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. If you try to know Krsna, if you try to know Krsna, then… Or if you understand Krsna, then you, know everything. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. This is the knowledge, to understand Krsna.

And Krsna also confirms this, janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah: “Simply if one understands tattvatah, in truth, what I am, why I descend, why I become a child of Yasoda, why I become son of Vasudeva, janma, and why I act, why I take part in the battlefield…”

He has nothing to do. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. Veda says. The Supreme Lord has nothing to do. Why He has to do? He’s full, complete. He has nothing to do. He has nothing to aspire. There is nothing wanting. We are working for… Because we want so many things. But He has no want. He’s atma-trpta, fully complete. Thus He has nothing to do. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate. This is description of God. He has nothing to do. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate.

There is nobody equal to Him, nobody is greater than Him. This is the Vedic description of God. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate, na tat-sama… Sama means equal. And adhika. Adhika means greater. Here you will find somebody is equal to you, somebody is greater than you, somebody is lower than you. Three positions. Everyone. Nobody can say that “I am the final.” Anybody, beginning from Brahma down to the ant, everybody you’ll find that somebody is equal to him, somebody is greater than him, and somebody is lesser than him. But Krsna, nobody one is equal to him, nobody is greater than Him, but every is lesser than Him. That’s all. This is Krsna. Everyone is lesser. Na tasya karyam karanam ca vidyate na tat-samas cabhyadhikas ca drsyate.

Now, you are in Krsna consciousness, studying, of course, so many books. Have you found anyone who is greater than Krsna or equal to Krsna? No. We can find one greater than… Radharani is greater than Krsna. (laughter) Yes. That is out of love. Actually, Radharani’s also lesser than Krsna. She’s dasi, maidservant. She’s always thinking how She shall be perfect dasi. She’s not thinking that… Krsna sometimes makes Radharani greater than Him. That does not mean Radharani thinks like that. Radharani always thinks, “How I shall become perfect maidservant of Krsna?” That is the real position, everyone. In the Caitanya-caritamrta you’ll find how everyone is thinking of servant of Krsna. That is our real position. But Krsna sometimes elevates some of His devotees.

Just like Mother Yasoda. He’s thinking, “Mother Yasoda is greater than Me.” Or He is making Radharani, I mean, Mother Yasoda feeling like that, that “I am protector of Krsna. If I do not feed Krsna nicely, He will die.” This is called vatsalya-rasa, paternal feeling. So nobody is greater than Krsna actually. And she is feeling greater than Krsna as also maidservant, that “I must serve Krsna. I must timely give Krsna food. I must timely raise Krsna.” Always taking care, always anxious that “Krsna may not be in danger. Krsna is crawling. He may not go to the water. He may not be attacked by the monkey. He may not be…” So many. She’s always anxious. She’s doing her household work, but she’s always anxious how to protect Krsna. So she is thinking, she is thinking that “Unless I give protection to Krsna, Krsna may be facing with so many dangers.” But Krsna is doing His business.

Radharani, uh, Mother Yasoda, keeping Krsna underneath the cart, and Krsna is breaking the cart, killing the Sakatasura. And Mother Yasoda thinking Krsna is saved. Then when the cart was broken, the utensils scattered, and she became anxious. This is Krsna’s enjoyment, to deal with His devotee in different rasas and enjoy. Sakhya… Santa dasya sakhya madhurya vatsalya. In this way Krsna is always enjoying. He has no other business than enjoyment. Anandamayo ’bhyasat. He’s by nature simply enjoying. Enjoying. That is Krsna.

So we are also Krsna’s part and parcel. Therefore in minute quantity we have got the same propensities, how to enjoy life. This is… Because we are Krsna’s part and parcel. The same… Just like the drop of sea water has the same chemical composition. Analyze. The same percentage of salt, proportionately. Just like two upon fifty, proportion, what is called, ratio. The ratio is the same, only in small quantity. Otherwise the percentage is the same. Only in small quantity.

So we are anandamaya. Our nature is to remain always jubilant in pleasure. But because we are in this material contact, we are not jubilant. This is our problem. That Krsna is suggesting here, how to solve your problem. He says, vita-raga. “Give up this attachment, sense attachment.” Raga. Raga means attachment. Vita-raga-bhaya.

And here we have got one quality, that fear, always fearing. Just like we are having these railings, why? We are afraid, we may not be attacked. The material life means ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca. We must eat, we must sleep, and we must be afraid of, and we must have sex. This is material life. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam. And spiritual life means minus this. No more fear, no more attachment, no more sex life.

Just like in the life of the Gosvamis. Nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau. Conquered. Conquered over these things, material necessities. So this is called penance. Here it is said. Bahavo jnana-tapasa. First of all jnana, understanding our position. This is called jnana. And then practice tapasya. Tapasya means make these things, material necessities, zero. That is called tapasya. Tapasya. Because we are accustomed to all these things, eating, sleeping, mating and fearing. So to give up it is not possible all of a sudden. That is not possible. Because we are accustomed.

Just like the fan is rotating. You stop the switch, it will rotate. At least, for some time. Because the force is there. Similarly, even if we accept that these things should be stopped—no more eating, no more sleeping, no more sex, no more fearing, that should be… There must be determination. But it may go around because we are practiced to this. Therefore Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, api cet su-duracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30] If we take to Krsna consciousness full, even due to our past habits, we are attached to all things, Krsna says it doesn’t matter. But you keep yourself always in Krsna consciousness.

What is that? Krsna consciousness? Chant Hare Krsna. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. That will keep your Krsna consciousness. Bhajate mam ananya-bhak. He does not forget to worship Krsna by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. If you do that, that… But don’t be attached to all these eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But be detached, that “These things I do not require as spirit soul, but because I am in material condition, because I have got this body, to keep this body fit, I require these things. So minimize it. Minimize, it.

Just like I am sannyasi. Somebody is sannyasi. So sannyasi, what is that sannyasi? We are also eating, we are also sleeping. But there is no mating. No sex life. So one item dropped, at least. The very important item. So that is called vita-raga. And there is no fear. Vita-raga. Everything can be practiced. Abhyasa-yoga-yuktena cetasa nanya-gamina [Bg. 8.8]. If we practice, then things will be all right.

Therefore Krsna says that bahavah, not one. Bahavah. Krsna says, many. Many persons. We have got many instances in the sastras. By tapasya, brahmacaryena, tapasa, jnanena, yamena, niyamena, tyagena. These are the different items. But either you practice the different items or simply take to Krsna consciousness, all these practices will be automatically done. Kecit kevalaya bhaktya vasudeva-parayanah [SB 6.1.15]. If you become vasudeva-parayana, then these things will be practiced.

Just like everyone in this country. In the morning the manager of the Central Bank came. He was very much praising that how these European, American boys have become so nice. Because they have taken to bhakti-yoga. It is compared: niharam, niharam iva bhaskarah. Niharam iva bhas… Niharam means… What is called? Mist or frost? The…? In the morning sometimes?

Devotees: Mist? Fog? Mist? Fog?

Prabhupada: Fog. Fog, yes. The fog… We have got experience. When there is fog… I was, when I was going to your country, USA, I was on the ship. So there was all of a sudden fog cover all over the sea. Anyone who has traveled in the sea, they have got experience. So you cannot go. Immediately the ship stops and horns so that other ships may not collide. It becomes… So this fog… Now, you have no instrument to drive away the fog. But as soon as the sun rises a little with strength, immediately fog is gone. So strong, but due to the sunshine, immediately it will go… Niharam iva bhaskarah. This example is given.

Similarly, we may have so many bad habits, raga, attachment. If you simply take to Krsna consciousness, this will go. Just like the fog, immediately. Immediately. So take to Krsna consciousness very rigidly. That is called vita-raga. Simply by… This is the gift of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. Ceto-darpana-marjanam. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12] means to drive away the fog in the mind. That’s all. Because we are covered by the fog in so many ways, and it is very difficult to drive away. But you keep yourself in Krsna consciousness, it will be driven away. It will be driven away. There is no doubt about it.

So Krsna is suggesting that first of all jnana. The rascals have no knowledge how to become happy. They are thinking, “We shall…,” they will be happy by drinking wine and eating meat and having sex life unlimitedly. They’re thinking like that, so rascal. The whole civilization is condemned. They do not know how to become happy. They do not know how to become happy. Mudha. They do not know. The happiness is only in Krsna consciousness. This is the fact. Krsna assures that, that bahavah, many, jnana-tapasa…

First of all, one must know that the way in which you are finding out, trying to, trying to find out happiness, that is nonsense. That is not possible. We have to give up all these things. That is tapasya. Voluntarily give up all these things. The more we are advanced means more we have given up all these things. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This is the position. So vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah… [Bg. 2.56].

So how it is possible? How to become detached? Man-maya. “Always be absorbed in My thought.” Or man-maya means… Mat means “mine,” maya, “of Me.” “Thinking of Me.” That is recommended. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. This is the process. Always think of Krsna, man-manah. This is easy. Just like you love somebody. So if you chant his name, if you think of him, then you’ll always remember. Similarly, if you simply think of Krsna, if you simply chant Hare Krsna name, then you remain man-maya.

So vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah [Bg. 4.10]. You should take shelter of Krsna. Krsna advises, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. “You take My shelter.” So, of course, those who are thinking of Krsna, it is understood that he has taken shelter of Krsna. Man-maya. Man-maya mam upasritah… So if you do these things… Not only you. There are… There are many examples. Bahavah. Just like Prahlada Maharaja and Dhruva Maharaja, all big, big stalwart devotees. Narada Muni, Brahma, Svayambhu… Svayambhur naradah sambhuh kumarah kapilah prahladah bhismah… [SB 6.3.20]. There are big, big personalities. To follow them, how?

Prahlada Maharaja was being chastised by his father, five years old, but he did not know how to protest. He was suffering and chanting Hare Krsna, Narayana. What can be done? What can be done? He was completely dependent on his father. And father had no mercy. The only fault was he, Krsna, turned Krsna consciousness. That is the fault. And he was being punished. He was punished, punished.

This is the world. Even father will be enemy, what to speak of others. If you become Krsna conscious, the whole world will be your enemy. You must be prepared for that. So therefore you require tapasya. Tapasya means voluntarily agree to suffer. That is called tapasya. Voluntarily. Suffering is there, but why not suffer for Krsna? Everyone is unhappy. Everyone is in suffering condition. Who is not suffering? Everyone is suffering.

Tri-tapa-yatana. Adhyatmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. Three kinds of sufferings are always going on. Why you are running fan? Because suffering. There is heat. So where is no suffering? This is called adhidaivika, the scorching heat, scorching, I mean, severe cold. There must be always. We are suffering now due to scorching heat, and when the… We are thinking, “If it is become cooler…” And when it is cool, then also we suffering. Then we think, “If there is some heat.” When there is winter, we are hankering after heat, and when there is summer, we are hankering after cooling.

So this is going on. We cannot be happy. First of all we must know that. There is no question of happiness here. We are simply hankering. “If, it would have been very nicely cool.” And when it is cool, then you’ll think, “If it had been nicely hot…” The same thing. Carvita-carvananam. Carvita-carvananam means chewing the chewed. We have tasted heat and cold both, but we are desiring. “If it would have been like this, if it had been like that, if it…” But never come to the conclusion that either heat or cool, we have to suffer. Matra-sparsas tu kaunteya. That is explained by Krsna. So long you have got this, this material skin, then this heat and cold you’ll have to suffer. Matra-sparsas tu kaunteya sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah. The sita, the summer, the winter, or the summer season, neither of them are sources of happiness. But you are thinking like that. “If it would have been like this, if it would have been like this.”

Therefore kanksa, akanksa. So if you become transcendentally situated, brahma-bhuta, there will be no more akanksa. There will be no more hankering either for this or that. Because he knows… That is called jnana. So after jnana… That is required. Jnana, in the human form of life, this knowledge is required. The animals cannot have jnana. The human beings can have jnana. This is knowledge, that “So long I’ll possess this material body, I’ll have to suffer. I’ll have to suffer.” Unless you come to this conclusion, there is no progress.

If we remain attached to these bodily pains and pleasures… Of course, nobody wants pains, but for pleasure you take to Krsna consciousness. Of course, gradually you’ll come to knowledge. That is not our aim. Our aim is that the pains and pleasure; so-called pleasure—actually pain—this will continue so long we have got this body.

Therefore we have to practice tapasya, penance. Simple thing: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. This is tapasya, voluntarily accepting… Those who are practiced to all these bad habits… So they will feel some pain, but you accept that pain. Then this pain will be over, this material pain. Just like sometimes for curing some disease the doctor says that injection or surgical operation. That is painful, but to cure the disease we should accept that thing. Similarly, if you want to become free from this material body, then you should accept, accept this pain. This is not pain. It is simply imagination. Actually, it is pleasure.

So… Because we have no knowledge, therefore jnana-tapasa. And if there is knowledge and if there is tapasya, penance, then puta, purified. You become purified. Therefore it is said, bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah. Then you come back to home, back to Godhead. So this Krsna consciousness movement is for teaching how one can be detached from this material existence and voluntarily accepting some so-called, I mean to say, sufferings. We should be steady. But actually, there is no suffering. It is simply imagination.

Just like there are many meat-eaters. We do not eat meat. What is our suffering? It is simply imagination. If you ask the meat-eater that “Don’t eat meat,” he’ll think, “Oh, it is horrible.” He’ll say horrible. Yes, actually they say. Even big, big man.

The Lord Zetland, he also said, “Oh, no, no, this cannot be done. This is our life.” Lord Zetland to some of our godbrothers, he said, “Can you make me brahmana?” “Yes, we can make you brahmana. You give up these…” “No, no. This is not possible. Horrible.”

It appears to be horri… Because we are so much absorbed in maya. As soon as you ask anybody that “You cannot eat meat,” he’ll think it, “Oh, it is horrible.” As soon as you say, “You cannot drink, you cannot have any intoxication,” he thinks, “This is horrible.” But actually it is not… This is maya. It is not horrible, but we are thinking horrible. We are not eating meat. Are you dying? No. We have got so many nice foodstuffs. Why shall I eat meat? So param drstva nivartate. So our philosophy, our Vaisnava philosophy, we do not say only that “Don’t eat this,” but “Eat this.” We do not enjoy this, but enjoy this.

We give one alternative. We are not simply zero. The Mayavadi philosophy is zero. We say that “Make this side zero, and take this positive side.” Just like here,

vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah [Bg. 4.10]

They gave up this, but that does not mean he became zero. Zero is sunyavadi, voidism. No, you cannot remain in zero. That is not possible. If you accept this void philosophy, to make everything zero, that is artificial. Then again you’ll fall down. Because you cannot remain in zero. The Mayavadi philosophers, they want to… Or the Buddhist philosophers, they want to make things zero. That is not possible. You cannot remain in zero. Because you are anandamayo ’bhyasat. You want ananda, pleasure. Pleasure cannot be in zero. That is not possible. Is it possible? To make things zero and you’ll enjoy? No, that is not possible.

Therefore Krsna says that param drstva nivartate. You can make zero automatically when you find better engagement. So we have to give better engagement. Then things will be zero. Because you have got better engagement, you are not interested to go to the hotel. There is hotel also, cinema also in Vrndavana. But will you go there? So if you become attached to Krsna consciousness, this hotel, restaurants and, and dancing, and this and that, they’ll be zero. Automatically. But if you simply try to make it zero, that is not possible. That is not possible. Therefore param drstva nivartate. If you get better engagement, to try to engage yourself always in the better engagement, then these material activities will be zero. But zero is not our philosophy. Positive, not negative. They simply make negative. Negative will not help us. Negative, there is of requisition negativeness.

But here it is said that… “One is vita-raga-bhaya-krodhah [Bg. 2.56], or you have to be detached from all these nonsense things, but the result will be, by jnana-tapasa, by knowledge and penance and austerities, when you’ll be purified, then you’ll come back to Me.” This is positive. This positive… Our philosophy’s positive, not negative. Negative is, I mean to say, that is… What is called? Anya-vyatireka… Sanskrit. Direct and indirect. This is indirect method. And direct method is positive. So you be positively engaged in Krsna consciousness, in Krsna’s service, then you’ll always remain on the transcendental platform, making the material activities zero. That is wanted. Thank you very much. (end)