Srila Prabhupada’s lecture to the Rotary Club, Chandigarh – Summarized and narrated by HG Dharmavira dasa
Prabhupa’s lecture to the Rotary Club, Chandigarh – summarized and narrated by HG Dharmavira das Prabhu
(Address to Rotary Club, Chandigarh, October 17, 1976)
Srila Prabhupad starts his addresses by stating that he is glad that the people are eager to hear what Krishna says. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepted by all our Acharyas in India. At the beginning of the seventh chapter Sri Krishna tells Arjuna how to know Him in completeness and free from doubt. You can understand God in this way, when He speaks about Himself. This is known as the descending process of acquiring knowledge. You cannot understand God by mentally speculating with your imperfect senses.
Previously the world was ruled by the Pandavas from Hastinapur (New Delhi) according to the greater history of India.
You can only understand God in truth by His mercy and this is the version of all Vedic literature. You cannot understand Krishna by speculating with your imperfect senses. We accept the descending process of knowledge as explained in the Bhagavad Gita. The Lord said in the Bhagavad Gita ch.4 txt 1-2:
“I instructed this imperishable science to the sun-god, Vivasvan and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikshvaku. This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession and the saintly Kings understood it that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.”
If a person has ample resources and if he does not utilize them properly, Krishna calls such person a miser.
Today many so called saintly persons and scholars have misinterpreted the words of Krishna in the Bhagavad gita and they do not allow Krishna to speak but instead use Bhagavad gita for their own purposes. This is the misfortune of India today. If everyone interprets Bhagavad gita as they like, then what will be the authority of Bhagavad gita? Can you interpret the law of the government in your own way? That is not possible. The Bhagavad gita has answers to any questions you may raise from a political, social, philosophical, cultural and economical aspect.
Some translators have interpreted Kurukshetra as the the body and the five Pandavas to be the five senses. Bhagavad gita clearly states that Kurukshetra is a place of pilgrimage and up until today people go to Kurukshetra to perform ritualistic ceremonies. Interpretation is only required when the meaning is not clear. Due to this sort of misinterpretation we have lost our Vedic culture.
Everyone has the freedom to speak his philosophy but why use the Bhagavad Gita to present their philosophy? A sincere student of Bhagavad gita accepts what Krishna said in total and not only what he likes. Accepting only what you like is nonsense philosophy.
It is explained that Krishna cannot be understood by demigods then what to speak of ordinary human beings? One who derides Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is referred to as a mudha or an ass. If you want to properly understand Bhagavad gita as it is then you have to accept it the way Arjuna accepted. Otherwise there is no possibility of understanding Bhagavad gita.
Bhagavad gita is the most authorised scripture in Vedic literature. It is apaurusheya – without defects. It is the summary study of the Vedanta Sutra. Vedanta Sutra is the cream of the Vedas and Krishna says in Bg 15.15:
“By all the Vedas I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.”
In the Kali Yuga we don’t live very long as in the previous ages, therefore the Bhagavad Gita is essential for us. One can only understand Bhagavad gita if one is submissive, but if you think you are a great scholar or philosopher and know more than Krishna, then there is no possibility of you understanding this great literature.
In the beginning Krishna spoke to Arjuna as a friend and Krishna heard Arjuna’s opinion on why he should not fight. Krishna immediately informed Arjuna that “though you are speaking like a learned man but you are only speaking from the bodily concept without any spiritual calculation, therefore you not very learned.”
The active principle within the body is the spirit soul. A learned person does not lament for the living or the dead. Krishna says that the beginning of knowledge is to understand that you are the soul and the body is your vehicle. The soul transmigrates from one body to another.
Krishna expains to Arjuna that the soul is not annihilated when the body is annihilated. The soul never takes birth or dies.
Chanakya pandit, a famous moralist, said that people are busy calculating gain or loss in terms of money, but if we lose only one moment of time we will not get it back with all the money in this world. So if you are spending moments of your time uselessly then how much loss are you suffering? We have achieved this human form of life which is very rare so we should not waste it for animal pleasures of eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
We should understand who we are, then we will understand who is God. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati used to say say:”Don’t try and see Krishna, but act in such a way that Krishna will come to see you.”
Thank you very much! Hare Krishna!