Bhagavad-gita 9.11-14
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
New York, November 27, 1966


avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta-mahesvaram [Bg. 9.11]

So Lord Krsna says that the mudha… Mudha means the foolish, just like animals or less than animal. An ass, he is called mudha. So avajananti. Avajananti means deride. “Deride at Me.” That any person who does not believe in God, he must be either a madman or foolish man number one. Any person who does not believe in God. There is no reason that we cannot believe in God. There is every reason. So suppose if you are saying that “I don’t believe in God,” but who has given you this power to say that “I don’t believe in God.” You are speaking, “I don’t believe in God,” but as soon as there is something, you cannot speak, everything stops. So who has given you this speaking power that you dare to say that “I don’t believe in God”? Will you not think that “How I am speaking? Who has given me the power?” Do you mean to say that this speaking power has come automatically from the stone? This body is just like as good as stone. As soon as the speaking power is withdrawn by the supreme authority, you are as good as stone, this body. What is the meaning of this body? So who has given you the speaking power that you are denying that “I don’t believe in God”? Therefore an atheist or an unbeliever, he must be a first-class foolish man. There is no other reason that one can deny the existence of God. It is very simple reasoning, that who has given you the power to talk and who, if he withdraws the power from you, then what is your value? How can you boastly say that “I don’t believe in God”? This very power of speaking is the proof that there is the greatest authority who gives you everything.

Therefore the Krsna conscious person, he knows that “Everything, whatever I have got, it is not my, under my control. The controller is different. I am feeling… I am simply using it. I am talking. This is my hand. I am working, but if the power of working is immediately withdrawn—it is paralyzed—have you got any power to revive this working power of this hand? No. You have not. One hand will work; another hand will stop. Who stops?” These things are to be thought. How can I deny? There is something. If I don’t believe in God, but I must believe some power beyond me which is controlling me every step. Either call it God or anything, nature, but there is a controlling power. You have to admit. How can you deny it? Therefore anyone who denies the existence of God, he is a foolish man. He is not very intelligent man. No intelligent man will deny. So Krsna says, avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11] Krsna is saying here, because He was present on this earth just like a human being with some supernatural power. But mostly, 99% of people, they could not recognize Him, could not recognize Him that He is the supreme power, Supreme Personality of Godhead. Param bhavam ajanantah. Because they have no eyes to see. There are…

How we can recognize God? Some supernatural power, evidence of authorities, scriptural evidence. These things are required. So so far Krsna is concerned, every authority has accepted Him as God. And when He was present, His activities were superhuman. And from the evidence of Vedic literature, He is God. Then, in spite of all these evidences, if you don’t believe Him, then it must be considered that asuram bhavam, that “I shall not believe. Whatever evidence you give, and whatever, I mean to say, activities you may show, I’ll never believe You God. Finished.” Then that is helpless. So avajananti mam mudha manusim tanum asritam [Bg. 9.11]. Besides that, one must have the eyes to see God also. God cannot be seen with our imperfect senses. So the whole bhakti process, bhakti-yoga, is the process of purifying the senses to take, to understand what is God, what is spirit, what is soul. It requires… Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama. And in the Narada-pancaratra,

sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam bhaktir ucyate [Cc. Madhya 19.170]

Simply, this bhakti-yoga is the process of purifying, purifying. As soon as you purify your power of seeing, power of hearing, power of tasting, power of touching, all these… We have got our senses to taste, to acquire knowledge. But if the senses are blunt, then we cannot understand what is God. But therefore you require regulative principles to understand what is God. That regulative principle must be undertaken. And the easiest regulative principle is this chanting of Hare Krsna. If you regularly chant with devotion, without any offense, then this very simple process will help you to purify your senses and you will appreciate presence of God, and God consciousness, Krsna consciousness will develop in you.

So param bhavam ajananto mama bhuta-mahesvaram. People, they do not know what is the inconceivable power and potencies of God. Therefore they think, “God might be somebody like me.” They cannot understand God.

moghasa mogha-karmano mogha-jnana vicetasah raksasim asurim caiva prakrtim mohinim sritah [Bg. 9.12]

So why they cannot understand? Moghasa. Moghasa means whatever they are aspiring, whatever they are desiring, that will be baffled. Moghasa. Just the karmi… Karmi means the fruitive actor. They are always hoping, “Something better, something better, something better.” There is no limit where they will stop. So much money, so much bank balance, so much money, so much… Still… So moghasa. Mogha means they are hoping to be very happy at a certain point, but that point never comes. That point never comes. Moghasa. This means moghasa. Because he does not know “what is the ultimate point of my satiation.” Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah [SB 7.5.31] People, they do not know… Who are, I mean to say, enamored by the external beauty of this illusory material energy, they cannot understand that what is the aim and objective of life. They cannot understand. Therefore moghasa.

Mogha-karmanah. Mogha-karmanah means fruitless, baffled. Whatever they are doing, doing something, but at the end they will find it is frustration. They are not happy. Take for example we have practical experience in India. Mahatma Gandhi, he was a great worker for national emancipation. You have heard his name. But at the end he was so much disgusted—that I have seen personally— wherever he used to go, he used to plug his ears like this. Why? Now, wherever he would go, thousands of people would gather and will cry, “Mahatma Gandhi ki jaya!” So the poor fellow could not sleep even. The person, as soon as there is some scent that “Mahatma Gandhi is coming here,” at least five thousand people will gather and will cry, “Mahatma Gandhi ki jaya.” So at the last stage of his life he could not sleep due to this crying. Just see. And he was so much disgusted, the very morning when he was, I mean to say, assassinated—he was killed by bullet shot—he said to his secretary, “I am so disgusted, I wish to die.” You see. This very word was published in the paper. Now see. Such a big worker, such a…, simply a worker, but still, he felt baffled. And what to speak of others. So mogha-karmanah. Unless we become Krsna conscious, then all our activities will be baffled at the end. Take it what Krsna is saying, not ordinary person like me. Krsna is… Moghasa mogha-karmano mogha-jnanah [Bg. 9.12]. Mogha-jnanah. Jnana means research of knowledge, philosophical speculation.

So without Krsna consciousness, without this definite point… Now, if you have sufficient knowledge, if you have such power for research, now here is a point, that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now make research work whether Krsna is not God. Then your research work will be sufficient. But without any point of aim, without any objective, what is this? Thousands of years, simply speculating.

panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara-sampragamyo vayor athapi manaso muni-pungavanam so ’py asti yat prapada-simny avicintya-tattve govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami [Bs 5.34]

Govinda, the Supreme Lord, who is so vast that you cannot reach Him by your mental speculation… Panthas tu koti-sata-vatsara. Koti means ten million, and koti-sata-vatsara, similarly, millions and millions of years, with the speed of air and with the speed of mind, if you proceed to speculate, to understand the Supreme, oh, that is not possible. That is not possible. So many speculators at the present moment or in the past, speculating, speculating, speculating. They never reach the point, never reach the point. There is not a single instance that they have reached the point.

So this speculating process will also not help. Moghasa mogha-karmano mogha-jnana vicetasah [Bg. 9.12]. Vicetasah means they are bewildered, that God cannot be perceived by your own endeavor unless God reveals before you. Vicetasah. Vicetasah means bewildered. Just like if you want to see the sun, can you see the sun just at this time, all over darkness? Have you got any machine or any apparatus or any searchlight, you can show me sun? No. It is not possible. So if you cannot see at night with your own endeavor even a material thing like sun, do you think that by your own endeavor you will see God? How it is possible? As the sun reveals in the morning at five o’clock or six o’clock, similarly, when the sun Krsna will reveal before you, then you will understand. You cannot find out Krsna or understand Krsna by your own endeavor. Now, that process is this Krsna consciousness. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam [Bg. 18.66] You will be in confidence. Tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam [Bg. 10.10]. Those who have taken this line with faith and love, always engaged in the transcendental loving service of Krsna, buddhi-yogam dadami tam, then from within… Krsna is within you. We have no realization. Due to my material conception of life, I have no realization. So you have to realize that Krsna is there, and you have to purify yourself by service attitude. Then Krsna will reveal. You will see, eye to eye.

Moghasa mogha-karmano mogha… [Bg. 9.12]. vice…, raksasim asurim caiva prakrtim mohinim sritah. Raksasi. Raksasi means those who are atheists, they are called raksasas. Raksasa and asura. Asura, they are always against God. They are called asuras. And raksasa means they don’t believe in God. So raksasim asurim caiva prakrtim. Why they…? That mohinim prakrtim. They are bewildered by this illusory material energy. They are… They think, “This is all, and this life…” They do not know God. “There is no life. Let us enjoy as far as possible. Squeeze out the extract of this matter.” Squeezing, squeezing, they don’t… They are frustrated, frustrated, moghasa, baffled in every respect. Squeezing to take essence of this material pleasure, they are baffled. They are baffled. Don’t you see this practically? “So much money, so much I have earned.” They go to enjoy, fifty thousand dollars, hundred thousand dollars, squeezing—they do not find any pleasure. Simply squeezing, squeezing. Moghasa mogha-karmanah. That is not the process to find out real pleasure. If you have to find out real pleasure, then you have to take to this Krsna consciousness. You have to be trained up in this Krsna consciousness. Then you will have to change your habits in this way. You will find ananta. Ramante yoginah anante. Unlimited happiness which will never end, never end. Ramante yoginah anante satyanande. That is real happiness that does not end. Don’t you see? Is there happiness in the material world, in your sense enjoyment, which does not end? It begins and ends, say, for few minutes or few hours or few seconds. It ends. But real happiness has no end. That is real happiness.

That you have to search, and for which you have to undertake some voluntary penance. You are trying to get the unlimited happiness and you are not prepared to sacrifice anything? What is that sacrifice? You have to sacrifice little time. Come here and hear this Bhagavad-gita and chant with us. Is it very great sacrifice? And you will learn everything. Just to sacrifice little time. In former days they used to sacrifice their whole life for realizing self-realization. Deva-munindra-guhyam. Even the demigods, even great saintly persons, they sacrificed everything; still, they were unsuccessful. You see? Now, for this age, Lord Caitanya mercifully has given you so much easier process for God realization. There is no comparison. Simply to sacrifice a little time. Sravanam. Simply hear. You haven’t got to pay any charges. Sravanam. Simply you have to sit down a little patiently and hear. You’ll realize it. It is such a nice thing. Lord Caitanya, therefore, recommended this process. In this age no process will help you for self-realization but this process.

Sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. If you be situated in whatever position you are, it doesn’t matter. We are not going to inquire what you are. “Are you businessman, engineer, doctor, or police, or intelligent, or educated, non-educated, black, white?”— there is no question, no question. The only thing is sthane sthitah sruti-gatam. Sruti-gatam means… Sruti means this aural reception. You have to receive this word little submissively. Namanta eva. Don’t think yourself, that you are very man of knowledge. Because our knowledge is very limited, so we should not be puffed up with false thinking that I am very learned man. No. Just become a little gentle and submissive, and hear these messages from Krsna. Sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhih. Tanu. Tanu means your body, and vak means your words, and mana means mind. Just try to adjust your mind, your body, your words, and hear the Srimad-Bhagavad-gita which is spoken by the Supreme Lord, and put your arguments, put your reason, whatever you have got. Don’t accept it blindly. And think over it, and then you’ll see what is the result. This is… So raksasim.

But in spite of all these facilities, the Lord says, the raksasim asurim caiva, those who are raksasas… Raksasa means almost man-eaters. Raksasa are called man-eaters, more than tigers. They, for their self-satisfaction, they can eat, I mean to say, even, even their own sons. You see? They are called raksasas. No shame. “My sense gratification should be satisfied. Never mind. You go to hell.” So this is the age. So we, we create a machine that everyone comes and becomes smashed in that machine, and my sense satisfaction is there. Although I’ll never be happy by that sense satisfaction. This is going on. You can know this world is now managed by the raksasas. Raksasa. They don’t mind what is happening. They are prepared to sacrifice everything for fulfilling their whimsical nonsense. They are called raksasa. Raksasim asurim caiva prakrtim mohinim sritah. Why they are? Now, they are very much enamored by this material beauty. Not beauty. The material civilization. So they cannot. They cannot understand. It is very difficult for them. They cannot understand. And they’ll never try to understand because they are raksasas.

Then who will understand God? Mahatma.

mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah bhajanty ananya-manaso jnatva bhutadim avyayam [Bg. 9.13]

And here it… “Those who are mahatma…” Mahatma means one who has enlarged his heart, enlarged his heart: “Oh, everything belongs to God, and I also belong to God.” He’s mahatma. Mahatmanas tu mam partha: [Bg. 9.13] “My dear Arjuna, these mahatmas, they are not in, under the control of this material nature.” One who can think that “Everything belongs to God, and I also belong to God. Therefore the supreme proprietor is God. Everything should be engaged in His service…” This is the qualification of mahatma, broader. “God is great,” and his heart is also has become great for serving the great. He’s mahatma. Mahatma, not a stamp, a political leader, mahatma. Don’t misunderstand. “I stamp you mahatma by votes, and you become God. You become mahatma.” These are not accepted in Bhagavad-gita. Mahatma’s description is there, that mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah: [Bg. 9.13] “He has taken the shelter of the superior, spiritual energy.”

As we have discussed many times, God has got many energies. Parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate. There are unlimited energies, different varieties of energy. Out of that, those who are in the knowledge, they have divided the whole energy into three divisions. What is that? Material energy, spiritual energy and marginal energy. This material energy, you are seeing. And the spiritual energy, now we have no knowledge. But the marginal energy, something spirit, something matter, that we are, we living entities. I am… As I am, I am spirit. But I am mixed up with this matter. Therefore I am marginal energy, between spirit and matter. I am combination of spirit and matter. As soon as I am spirit, I am away from this matter, this bodily matter. “Dust thou art; dust thou beist.” Yes. So those who are mahatma, they have take shelter of the spiritual energy. Of course, for God, every energy is His energy. Therefore He has no distinction what is spirit and what is matter. But for me, because I am in marginal energy, I have to make distinction that “This is spirit; this is matter.”

So mahatma, those who have broadened their heart for becoming Krsna conscious or devoting himself for the service of the great… Just like to, one, a government servant, important government servant, he also becomes important, similarly, God is great, and when you are engaged in His service you become great. You become great. That is called mahatma. So as soon as you take shelter of the spiritual energy of the Supreme Lord, at once you become mahatma. Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13] And suppose now I have identified with the greatness of the Supreme, aham brahmasmi. This Vedic word is called aham brahmasmi: “I am the… I am Brahman.” But simply being puffed up, “I am Brahman, I become God,” that is another raksasim, another misleading. Here it is said that if you have become Brahman, then you must show your activities in Brahman. Because you are spirit, you are not inactive. To become Brahman does not mean that I become inactive. Oh, in matter I am so much active because I am Brahman. Although I am contaminated with matter, still, I am so active. And when I am purified from matter, do you mean to say my activities stop? What is this reasoning?

By nature I am active. By nature, because I am spirit, and by nature I am active. And my activities are exhibited even I am contaminated with this matter. And when you become purified from matter, do you think you shall be silent? Is there any reason? So do you…? To become Brahman does not mean to become void. No. To become Brahman means superior energy. With superior energy, we have to work with superior endeavor and superior energy and superior position. And therefore it is called, in the next line, bhajanty ananya-manasah: “One who has become mahatma, his symptom is that he’s fully engaged in the loving transcendental service of Krsna.” He is mahatma. How can you stop activities? Bhajanty ananya-manasah, jnatva bhutadim avyayam. Why does he engage in that way? Because he understands that “If service has to be rendered, it is to Krsna and nobody else. I have so long served my senses. Now I shall serve Krsna, the proprietor of the senses.” That is called mahatma. You cannot stop your service because you are meant for service. Can you show anybody, within this meeting, anybody who does not serve? Is there anybody who does not serve anybody? You go outside, ask hundreds and thousands of people that “Do you, don’t you serve anybody?” You go to the president, Johnson. Ask him, “Don’t you serve anybody?” “Oh, yes, I am serving the country.” So who is out of service? Nobody is out of service. But he’s serving the illusion. And as soon as he serves the Supreme, he becomes mahatma. Service you cannot stop. But you have to stop your service to the nonsense, and you have to give service to the reality. Then you become mahatma.

Mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah [Bg. 9.13]. They are under the influence of the spiritual energy. They are no longer under the control of this material energy. So

mahatmanas tu mam partha daivim prakrtim asritah bhajanty ananya-manaso jnatva bhutadim avyayam [Bg. 9.13]

He transfers his service potency to the Supreme instead of serving the false. Instead of becoming baffled always, he wants to make some asset in his life by serving the Supreme. And how does service begin? Now that is also stated here. You see. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah [Bg. 9.14] This kirtana. This kirtana, always chanting, glorifying. This is the beginning of mahatma. So you come here. You chant. You become mahatma. Thank you very much. (end)