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Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):

Translation: "Alas, how strange it is that we are preparing to commit greatly sinful acts, driven by the desire to enjoy royal happiness."

Prabhupada:

aho bata mahat-papam
kartum vyavasita vayam
yad rajya-sukha-lobhena
hantum svajanam udyatah
[Bg. 1.44]

So sometimes Arjuna is accused, Bhagavad-gita is also accused, that "There is violence. There is violence. Bhagavad-gita is full of violence." Yes, it is full of violence. The warfield. But here the Vaisnava thinking, Arjuna is thinking that it was arranged for his rajya-sukha. Yad rajya-sukha-lobhena. Lobhena. It was arranged for the satisfaction of Arjuna so that he could enjoy the kingdom and the happiness thereof. Actually, it was not so. It was arranged by Krsna for His satisfaction, not for Arjuna's satisfaction. So that is the difference between ordinary work and devotional service. Devotional service and ordinary work, they look almost equal. Just like we are living in this house. The neighbors, they may think that "Some people are living here, chanting, dancing. We also dance. We also sometimes sing. And eating, they are also eating. Then what is the difference?" They may think that "What is the difference between devotional service and ordinary work?" It looks almost equal. Therefore people misunderstand that Bhagavad-gita is ordinary warfare, violence. But it is not that. It is arranged by Krsna because, to fulfill His mission. His mission is paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. That is His satisfaction, not Arjuna's satisfaction, not anyone's satisfaction. It is His plan. He comes, He descends on this planet, in this universe, just to establish the real purpose of religious life and to kill, to vanquish those who are opposing the real purpose of life, human life. That is His mission, simultaneously two things. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam.

So svajanam.

aho bata mahat-papam
kartum vyavasita vayam
yad rajya-sukha-lobhena
hantum svajanam udyatah

Svajanam means kinsmen. So kinsmen does not mean, in higher sense, only my brother or my sister or my father or my uncle. No. Svajanam means all living entities. Because one who hasn't got Krsna consciousness, with ordinary consciousness, material consciousness, he cannot think in terms of svajanam. "My kinsmen, all living entities," he cannot think. Actually, everyone is our svajanam, because if God is father, as Krsna claims, aham bija-pradah pita, if He is the supreme father... Not only He claims, at least, any fine religious system claims, "God is the original father." That's a fact. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. Everything has come from Him. He is the supreme father. So if Krsna is the supreme father, He is father of everyone. Sarva-yonisu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]. In all species of life, in all forms of life, they are all our svajana, kinsmen. How it cannot be? Because Krsna is the original father. This is Krsna consciousness. Therefore a devotee of Krsna does not want to commit a little harm to any living entity. That is Krsna consciousness.

vidya-vinaya-sampanne
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah
[Bg. 5.18]

Pandita, one who is learned, he is sama-darsinah, equal vision. Not that... Just Krsna has equal vision... That picture, Krsna, He's embracing the calf. He is not only embracing the gopis, but He is embracing the calf also, cows also. Sama-darsinah. For Krsna the gopis, the calf and the cows or anyone in Vrndavana who has come to serve Him, they are all equal to Him. Somebody wants to serve Krsna as calf, somebody wants to serve Krsna as cow, somebody wants to serve Krsna as gopi, somebody wants to serve Krsna as cowherd boy, somebody wants to serve Krsna as His father, somebody wants to serve Krsna as His mother. These are the different mellows, different tastes. Every living entity has got his own taste, how to love Krsna. But the central point is to love Krsna. Krsna also reciprocates. He has no discrimination that "Here is gopi, beautiful girl. Therefore I shall love her more than the calf." No. Krsna is not so partial. Similarly, Krsna's devotees also, because he has... Krsna consciousness means he has got now in minute quantity Krsna's quality. Therefore he is also equal to everyone. He thinks everyone svajana, the member of the same family. It does not matter if one has become ant or one has become elephant. The living spark, the soul, is the same dimension, either within the ant or in the elephant. This dimension of the soul we have several times discussed, 1/10,000th part of the top of the hair.

kesagra-sata-bhagasya
satadha kalpitasya ca
jivo bhagah sa vijneyah
sa canantyaya kalpate
[Cc. Madhya 19.140]

That is the dimension. In sastra we get the dimension of the soul -- very, very minute: 1/10,000th part of the top of the hair. Just imagine. So that portion is within the ant and within Brahma and within elephant. Therefore, one who is pandita, one who knows what are these souls, spiritual sparks, part and parcel of Krsna, if he has got full knowledge, then his vision is

vidya-vinaya-sampanne
brahmane gavi-hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah
[Bg. 5.18]

Sama-darsinah means equal vision. A learned brahmana, he is most intelligent man in the human society, and a dog... Superficially, externally, there is much difference. Here is a dog, a street dog, and here is a learned brahmana. But one who is pandita, one who is Krsna conscious, he sees that the pandita and the dog, they are the same, because they are also the same spiritual spark. By his karma, he has become a learned pandita, and by his karma, he has become a dog. But within the different body, dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram [Bg. 2.13]. Asmin dehe, in this body there is the soul. That is his vision. Of course, externally, it is not that I shall behave equally with the brahmana and the dog. That is external behavior. But internally, we should know that both the brahmana and the dog, they're a spiritual spark. This is called brahma-jnana. Brahma-jnana means the knowledge of spiritual self. That is called brahma-jnana. So when one attains this brahma-jnana, then brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati, samah sarvesu bhutesu [Bg. 18.54]. Samata, equal. That is brahma-jnana.

So in this verse Krsna says, er, Arjuna says that yad rajya-sukha-lobhena hantum svajanam udyatah. So when are killing animals for the satisfaction of our tongue, this is mahat papam. Krsna, Arjuna says, aho bata mahat papam. Mahat papam, great sinful act, great sinful act. If we want to kill anyone, any living entity, for my satisfaction, either my tongue satisfaction or any sense satisfaction, it is maha-papam, great sinful act. Because they are all svajana. You cannot kill, either you take this sense or that sense. But Arjuna is speaking in a limited sense; he is thinking of his own family members. But if one is actually in knowledge, brahma-jnana, he thinks in the same way that "The lower animals, they are also our family members. And if I kill him for my satisfaction, my sense satisfaction, it is great sinful act." Unfortunately, everyone is killing for his sense gratification in the name of religion. In the name of religion, although it is prohibited, still they are killing. Just imagine how much sinful activities they are doing. And how they can be happy? Happiness, of course, a hog also thinks that he is very happy that he is eating stool, living in filthy place, and because he has got the facility of sex life without any discrimination he may think happy life, but that is not happiness. Happiness is different thing. Sukham atyantikam yat tad atindriya-grahyam. If you want to feel happiness by your these blunt material senses, that is not happiness. Happiness is beyond your material senses. Atyantikam. That is real happiness. Real happiness means it will never end, and you will never feel satiation, that "I no more want." That is real happiness. Material happiness, there is no such thing. That you will feel immediately satiation. After enjoying any material happiness a few minutes, you will feel "Again another, again another, again another." So therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, sukham atyantikam yat tat. So real, what is real happiness, that is not felt by these blunt material senses. So what is that sense? That is purified senses. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. When our senses are purified, tat-paratvena, for the sake of Krsna, when our senses are employed for the sake of Krsna, that is purified senses. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate. That is wanted.

So here, in the beginning, Arjuna, he's thinking in terms of his blunt senses. But the same thing he will do. Atyantikam, atindriya, purified senses. Just try to understand. This is Krsna consciousness. Arjuna is now thinking, yad rajya-sukha-lobhena, "For the matter of getting kingdom and sense gratification, I am going to kill my kinsmen. So it is great sin." That's a fact. If the warfare in the Kuruksetra battlefield was for Arjuna's sense satisfaction, then it was a great sin. But actually, it is not being done for Arjuna's satisfaction. It is to be done for Krsna's satisfaction. So therefore the conclusion should be that whatever we do, if we do it for our own sense satisfaction, that is maha-papam, sinful activities. But if we do the same thing for Krsna's satisfaction, that is spiritual advancement. This is the difference. So outsiders, they think that... A karmi is working for his own satisfaction and a devotee is working for Krsna's satisfaction. Although two things are similar, externally it appears the same thing, but there is great difference. Whatever you do for your own satisfaction, for the satisfaction of your whims, that is maha-papa, great sin. The same thing, when you do for Krsna, that is opening your path to liberation, back to home, back to Godhead. This is difference. You have to change the consciousness. What you are doing? For whom you are doing? For yourself or for Krsna? This is Krsna consciousness. And that is the perfection of life. In whatever position you are, whatever you are doing, it doesn't matter. That is confirmed in the Srimad-Bhagavatam,

atah pumbhir dvija-srestha
varnasrama-vibhagasah
svanusthitasya dharmasya
samsiddhim hari-tosanam

Hari-tosanam means to satisfy the Supreme Lord, Hari. That is perfection. It doesn't matter what you are doing. Varnasrama-vibhagasah. First of all, "whatever doing," it does not mean whatever nonsense you are doing, that will be accepted. No. Varnasrama-vibhagasah. According to Vedic civilization, there is division of varna: brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra. So activities must be done according to the varnasrama prescription. A brahmana is ordered to do like this. Satyah samo damas titiksa arjavam. You should practice this. A ksatriya should practice this. And a vaisya should practice this. So therefore it is called varnasrama -- the prescribed duties are already there. Therefore perfect human society means... First of all there must be this division, brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya. And when they act the duties of that particular position, brahmana, ksatriya, for the satisfaction of Krsna, that is perfection of life. It doesn't matter whether you are a sudra or you are a brahmana, but if you act for the satisfaction of Krsna according to the prescription of your position, then your life is perfect. That is wanted. The whole human civilization should be based on this principle. There must be division. The division is already there. They should be coordinated, systematized. Not that everyone is brahmana. Brahmana means the intelligent man. So we should pick up the intelligent men. They should be trained as brahmana. Those who are martial, having fighting spirit, they should be selected as ksatriya. Those who are for increasing money, mercantile mentality, they should be also collected. Similarly, sudras. And they should be trained, everyone, to satisfy Krsna. Varnasrama-vibhagasah. Svanusthitasya dharmasya samsiddhim hari-tosanam.

So here Arjuna is a fighter, he is engaged in fighting. Now he is thinking that is proper. He is Vaisnava. He is devotee. He is properly thinking that "For my sense gratification I am going to kill my kinsmen? Oh, what a great sinful activity I am going to do." But actually, Krsna is not engaging His devotee to act sinfully. No. That is not Krsna's business. Although superficially it appears that Krsna is engaging Arjuna to fight in the sinful activities, no, that is not sinful. Whatever Krsna does, it is not sinful; it is transcendental, the most pure activity. The rascals who do not understand Krsna, they say that Krsna is immoral. They do not know what is Krsna and what is Krsna's action. They do not know. They think, "Now, Krsna is engaging Arjuna to fight. Oh, it is immoral. Why Krsna should engage Arjuna in the fighting business?" So therefore... Or "Why Krsna is engaged in dancing with the gopis? They are wives and sister of other men. It is sinful." If we enjoy with others' wife or others' daughter or others' sister, who is not bona fide my wife, if I want to enjoy life, that illicit sex... Krsna is not doing that. But artificially, those who have nonsense, they see that "Krsna is dancing at dead of night with others' daughters and girls. Therefore He is immoral." But that means he does not know what is Krsna. Krsna can do anything. Tejiyasam na dosaya. Tejiyasam na dosaya. Just like the sun is very powerful. As you see in this material world, a sun, a material thing, and it is very powerful, but the sun is soaking water, taking water from the sea as well as from filthy place. So he is also evaporating water from urine also. In filthy place, sewer ditches, he is evaporating water, as well as from the sea. But does it mean by evaporating water from the sewer ditch and urine, the sun is becoming polluted? No. Rather, he is turning that place, what is called, prophylactic, antiseptic, by his sunshine. Similarly, even though somebody comes to Krsna with some purpose which is not moral, but the man or woman who comes there, he becomes, he or she becomes purified. And Krsna does not become immoral. This science has to be known by the rascals before calling Krsna immoral. Therefore Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita,

manusyanam sahasresu
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascid vetti mam tattvatah
[Bg. 7.3]

These rascals, they do not know what is Krsna. They think Krsna is ordinary man. "Why He is engaging Arjuna in the fighting? Why He is dancing with others' daughter and girls? These are immoral things." Therefore this rasa dance should not be discussed among the fools and rascals. They'll misunderstand. Although the professional reciters, they take part, whenever they speak of Bhagavata, they immediately jump over the rasa dance. That is not to be done. Caitanya Mahaprabhu never indulged in such thing. For mass of people He engaged Himself in sankirtana. And when Krsna's dealing with the gopis were discussed, He was discussing amongst three selected devotees: Ramananda Raya, Svarupa Damodara and Sikhi Mahati. He had thousands and thousands of devotees, but He never discussed Krsna's rasa-lila in the mass of people, never did it. Therefore it is restricted. Because they will misunderstand. These rascals, they do not know what is Krsna, and they will misunderstand. They will be polluted. Of course, not polluted. Because after all, they will hear about Krsna. But they may misunderstand. That is against their making progress to the spiritual life.

So Krsna is not immoral. Krsna is not engaging Arjuna to commit such sinful activities, svajanam hatva. No. Krsna is engaging him in His service. So one has to understand that. So when Arjuna will understand that "This war, this fighting is not for my sense gratification, it is for Krsna's sense gratification..." Then he agreed, because he is a devotee. Karisye vacanam tava: [Bg. 18.73] "Yes I shall now act." This is the proposition. So atmendriya-trpti-vancha dhare tara nama kama. Kama means lust. What is lust? Lust means whenever you try to satisfy your senses, that is called lust. And the same, whenever you try to satisfy Krsna's senses, that is love. Practically the same business, but personal and Krsna. So Krsna consciousness movement means we have to act everything for Krsna under proper direction. We cannot manufacture that "I am doing for Krsna." Then that is another misleading. Therefore we require the guidance of the spiritual master. Krsna. Guru-krsna-krpaya. In the Caitanya-caritamrta, that you have to seek the mercy both of Krsna and guru, not that you have become so advanced that you are directly in connection with Krsna and whatever you are doing, it is mercy. No. Don't think like that. It must be guided, it must be confirmed by guru. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Bhakti line is there. So our business is, Krsna consciousness movement is that we have to satisfy Krsna. That reference by that Professor Zaehner, that one rogue, he did by his whims, and he alleged that "After reading Bhagavad-gita violence, he committed this violence." So did he take permission from Krsna or Krsna's representative? But he does not know the technique. He has unnecessarily accused, committed a great offense to the lotus feet of Krsna. So therefore inexperienced persons, they should not try to teach Bhagavad-gita to others because he has no knowledge. This knowledge has to be received by parampara system. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. So simply by academic career, by knowledge of ABCD, you cannot understand Bhagavad-gita. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me, without becoming bhakta... Therefore Sanatana Gosvami has forbidden that "Don't hear anything about Krsna from a person who is not a Vaisnava." Avaisnava-mukhodgirna-puta-hari-kathamrtam sravanam na karta... This is prohibited. You cannot hear. But this audience or the students, they also do not know that "Here is a rascal, he is not a devotee, he is not a Vaisnava. Why shall we hear from him Bhagavad-gita?" The first condition is bhakto 'si. And the prohibition is also by acaryas. Avaisnava-mukhodgirna-puta-hari-kathamrtam sravanam na kartavyam. Puta-hari-kathamrtam. Hari-katha, talks of Krsna, they are by themselves pure. But still, it is prohibited that if it is spoken by an avaisnava, nondevotee, one should not hear, should not hear. Must immediately reject. First of all, we have to see who is going to speak about Krsna. Is it a devotee of Krsna? Is he a Vaisnava or not? If he is not, then immediately reject: "Oh, we are not going to hear from you." But people do not know. Any rascal speaking about Bhagavad-gita we hear. That is not the process. Then you will misunderstand. Avaisnava-mukhod..., sarpocchistam payo yatha. Just like milk is very good food, everyone knows. But when it is touched by the tongue of the serpent, it is poison immediately. So we cannot drink poison. Don't hear Bhagavad-gita or any talk about Krsna from a person who is not a Vaisnava, who is not a devotee of Krsna. We'll misunderstand. Just like they will say, they will say, "Oh, Krsna is engaging Arjuna for fighting, for committing so many sinful activities." No, that is not the fact. Krsna is engaging Arjuna fighting, to fighting, just to serve His purpose. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. And Arjuna is executing the mission of Krsna not for his personal benefit. These are the things.

That's all right. Thank you very much. (end)
Bhagavad-gita 1.44 -- London, July 31, 1973

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