Bhagavad-gita 13.20
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bombay, October 14, 1973

Pradyumna: Translation: “Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless. Their transformations and the modes of matter are products of material nature.”

Prabhupada: So there were six questions by Arjuna: ksetra, ksetra-jna, jnanam, jneyam, prakrti, purusa. Six questions. So Krsna has already replied what is ksetra, ksetra-jna, and what is the process of knowledge and what is the object of knowledge. Now He is beginning to explain what is this material nature and what is these living entities.

Material nature, prakrti, is enjoyable. Prakrti means enjoyable. And purusa. Purusa means enjoyer. Just like in our present condition we accept the female as the fair sex, enjoyable. And we, male, we think we are enjoyer. By nature the females, they are by nature apt to dress attractively, and the purusa is attracted. So this prakrti and purusa. Actually none of us are purusa. This conception of purusa, enjoyer, that is there in so-called woman and so-called man. The man also wants to enjoy. Not only man, every living entity, cats, dogs, trees, aquatics, everyone, because this material world means all the living entities, beginning from Lord Brahma, down to the smallest ant, they are seeking after enjoyment. Purusa. That is purusa spirit. One who is seeking for enjoyment is called purusa. But actual purusa is Krsna.

We are all prakrtis. And because, being prakrti, we are trying to become purusa, that is called maya, or illusion. Just like if a woman dresses like a man and wants to act as man, as that is illusion, similarly, we are differently dressed in the material ingredient, bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh. Everyone’s body is made of these five elements and mind, intelligence, they are also subtle material elements, and with this combination we have got this body, and I am the spirit soul. I am trying to enjoy. This is material world. We have forgotten that we are part and parcel of Krsna. Our business is not to enjoy but to help Krsna to enjoy. That is our business, part and parcel.

We have given several times this example, just like these fingers. They are my part and parcel of the body. The finger catches a nice sweetmeat. It is not the business of the fingers to enjoy the sweetmeat, but it gives to the mouth to go to the stomach for enjoyment.

So it is the duty of the part and parcel of God to help Him enjoying. That is bhakti. Bhakti means anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Anukula. Anukula means favorably. Krsnanusilanam, Krsna consciousness. Always thinking how to make Krsna happy. That is bhakti. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam. Just like gopis, the first-class example are the gopis or the inhabitants of Vrndavana. They are all trying to make Krsna happy. That is Vrndavana. If here also, if you try to make Krsna happy, this can be converted into Vrndavana, Vaikuntha.

But that attitude we haven’t got. We have got… By the influence of maya, we have become purusa. We want to enjoy. “Why this Krsna shall enjoy? I shall enjoy. I am Krsna. I am God.” This is going on.

So the enjoyable is this matter, this material world, and the living entities, they are trying to enjoy. They are not actually enjoyer. They are suffering. They are becoming entangled because by this enjoying spirit we are developing different types of mentality, and at the time of death, according to that mentality, I get the next body. That means by this enjoying spirit I am getting entangled. I am not becoming free. If at the time of, if I live like dogs, dog mentality, then naturally at the time of death my mentality will be like a dog and naturally I get a dog’s body. Then I enjoy. The dog is also enjoying. They forget. The animals… The ant is also enjoying, and Lord Brahma is also enjoying. So this purusa spirit is material life.

So that purusa… Purusa means the living entity. Krsna says here that prakrtim purusam caiva viddhy anadi. Anadi, eternal. It is not temporary; it is eternal. There are five things: the living entities, the prakrti, God, and the work… There are… Prakrtim purusam caiva viddhy anadi. Anadi means eternal. It is not created. It is there but it becomes manifested. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, bhutva bhutva praliyate.

Another example: just like this body, my body, your body. I have got this body; you have got this body. This body will be destroyed. Avinasi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam. But my, that consciousness will not be destroyed. This body will be destroyed, but my consciousness will not be destroyed. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Avinasi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam. Idam tatam. Idam, this body, is spread with consciousness. If you pinch any part of your body, you will become conscious that it is painful. But how long it is painful? So long the soul is there. And as soon as the soul is gone, you chop it with a dagger; it will not respond. Therefore avinasi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam. That thing, that consciousness, is avinasi.

The so-called scientists, they do not know that the consciousness is eternal and it carries me to another body. “I see that this body is destroyed; therefore finish, all finished.” No. You have got practical experience. When you sleep, the body does not work but the consciousness works. You therefore dream in a different atmosphere. You get a different body and enjoy differently. Every day we have got experience. At night I forget this body, and daytime, I forget the dreaming body. So this is also dreaming, at daytime, because I forget. At night I saw that I was a king, I was ruling over somebody, or I was lecturing as a political leader, and daytime I see that I am a clerk, neither politician nor king. So I forget the night’s body, and at night I forget the day’s body.

Similarly, change of body means I forget this body. Last life, I had some body, but I cannot say what kind of body I had. Of course, there is science, astronomy and other things. They can speak, but I don’t believe it. Or even if I believe, what can I do with that? So we are changing. But the consciousness is not vinasi. Avinasi tu tad viddhi yena sarvam idam tatam. So because the consciousness is not changed, it is creating another body according to consciousness.

Just like we create favorable circumstances to enjoy even in this life. Why this struggle for existence? We are trying to make a favorable condition for enjoyment. This is struggle for existence. Nobody is satisfied with the present position. Everyone is struggling hard. But he does not know that any material arrangement, according to my intelligence, will never make me happy. That we do not know. Therefore Krsna says, “You rascal, nonsense, give up this business.” Sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. “You are rascal number one. You have forgotten your constitutional position. Now you give up all these engagements if you want to be happy.” Mam ekam saranam vraja. “Just be under My control.” “And what benefit I shall derive?” Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah: “I’ll give you protection.” Because you’re suffering for your sinful activities… everything is sinful activities. Everything.

Just like a gang of thieves. A gang of thieves, after plundering booties from some gentleman’s house, they came outside the village, and they were dividing. So one of the thieves is saying, “Sir, let us divide it honestly. Let us divide the booty honestly.” Now, their basic principle is dishonesty, and now they want to divide honestly. So all these rascals, politicians, they are all dishonest, and they are trying to make adjustment honestly. Honestly. What is this honesty? There cannot be honesty. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunah. Anyone who is not a devotee of the Lord, he cannot be possessing any good qualities. That is not possible. He must be dishonest if he is a not devotee of the Lord. He must be dishonest. This is the verdict of the sastras.

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akincana sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih [SB 5.18.12]

Because one who is not in the transcendental plat… [break] So this material nature is also eternal. It is not… As the Mayavadi philosopher says, “It is mithya,” jagan mithya, we don’t say. Why it is mithya? It is fact. Because Krsna says that bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca, bhinna me prakrtir astadha. Krsna says, “It is My prakrti, My energy.” If Krsna is fact, why His energy should be mithya? This is nonsense. The jagat is not mithya. We don’t say. If Krsna is truth, then this world is also truth. But the fact that Krsna is the enjoyer, we are trying to be enjoyer, that is not true. That is mithya. The jagat is not mithya, but the propensity to enjoy this world, that is mithya because we cannot be enjoyer. Krsna says,

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram suhrdam sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati [Bg. 5.29]

If you want santi, you must learn these three things, that bhokta, enjoyer, is Krsna… We are not enjoyer, but every one of us, we are thinking we are enjoyer, individually, collectively, nationally, socially, communical…, any way, everyone.

krsna-bahirmukha hana bhoga vancha kare nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare

This is a Bengali poetry. It says, “As soon as we forget the real enjoyer and we want to enjoy, immediately that is called maya.” And as soon as we give up this mentality… That is confirmed by Bhagavad-gita.

mam ca yo ’vyabhicarena bhakti-yogena sevate sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]

As soon as you give up this mentality, that “I am the enjoyer,” as soon as we change our mentality, that “Krsna is enjoyer,” then immediately we become liberated. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Avyabhicarena bhakti-yogena yah sevate, sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26]

Here it also said, vikarams ca gunams caiva viddhi prakrti-sambhavan. We have become servant of the three gunas, three qualities of this material world. Somebody is very proud of becoming good, goodness, like brahmana quality. That is good. In the material world that is first-class quality. The second-class quality, passionate, very active. All people are very active for enjoyment, passionate. And some people are in ignorance. They do not know what is goodness and what is passion. They can simply waste their time by laziness and sleeping. Sleeping. So actually we are all sleeping because we do not know what is the aim of life. At night we sleep. We forget that “what is my duty, what is my business, what I have to do.” Everything we forget.

Similarly, so long we are in ignorance, that is our sleeping stage. Therefore the Vedic mantra is uttisthata jagrata prapya varan nibodhata. “Now you have got this human form of life. Do not sleep like animals, cats and dogs. Get up!” That is Vedic injunction. Tamaso ma jyotir gama: “Don’t remain in this darkness. Just come forward to the jyoti.” Jyoti means… That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita.

na tad bhasayate suryo na sasanko na pavakah yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]

Everything is there. Here you require the sunlight, the moonlight, the electricity, but there is another nature, paras tasmat tu bhavah anyo ’vyakto ’vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20] There there is no need of sun, there is no need of moon, because each and every planet is illuminating. Yad gatva na nivartante. And if you go there, then you do not come back again in this material world, which is duhkhalayam asasvatam, napnuvanti mahatmanah samsiddhim paramam gatah [Bg. 8.15].

So our aim should be how to go back to home, back to Godhead. But we do not know. We are simply acting like cats and dogs, that’s all. Jumping like dog, cat, and eating, sleeping, and having sex intercourse and trying to defend my position. These things are done by the animals. These things are done by animals. Then what is your benefit you get, this human form of life? Sastra says,

nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam [Bhag. 5.5.1]

”This human form of life is not meant for working very hard like cats and dogs. It is meant for tapasya. Tapasya, simple life, and realize yourself. And then you stop the miserable condition of your life. Tapo divyam yena suddhyet sattvam.

Just like when we are diseased, we go to the physician and we try to cure the disease, similarly, we do not know what is our main disease. That is explained by Krsna previously. Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi—this is our real disease, to take birth, to die, to become old and to become victims of disease. But nobody knows how to cure this, and still, we are very much proud of becoming advanced in education and civilization. This is called illusion. This is called illusion. The real disease is how to stop janma-mrtyu.

Krsna has repeatedly said, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya, janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah: [Bg. 4.9] “Simply try to understand Me, Krsna. The result will be tyaktva deham…” That is… After giving up this body we have to accept another body. Krsna says, “Simply if you understand Me in truth, then thereafter, no more accepting any material body. You remain in your spiritual body and come to the spiritual world, back to home, back to Godhead.”

So here prakrtim purusam caiva. Although prakrti is also Krsna’s nature, bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh kham mano buddhih. He said, apareyam: “This is inferior nature.” So apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param: “Another superior nature there is.” What is that? Jiva-bhutah: “this living entity.” So we are also prakrti, and the material nature is also prakrti. It is inferior prakrti, and we are superior prakrti. As we are now under the control of this inferior prakrti, we can transfer ourself under the control of the superior prakrti. That superior prakrti is spiritual world. This material world means it is made of this inferior prakrti, bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh.

And there is another prakrti, sanatana. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. You’ll find in the eighth chapter. Paras tasmat tu bhavah anyah [Bg. 8.20]. Bhava means nature. Avyakto ’vyaktat sanatanah. Sanatanah means that is not destroyed. And this prakrti is destroyed. Bhutva bhutva praliyate. So bhutva bhutva praliyate means that prakrti is fact, but the manifestation is temporary. It is not false.

Just like you become sometimes angry, so you show some symptoms. That symptom is within you, but it is manifested sometimes. Sometimes it is not manifested. But the propensity, the quality of your becoming angry, is there eternally. It is not that it is created. Anything… Sometimes you become passionate. To become passionate is there, it is not a new thing, but it sometimes appears, sometimes disappears.

Similarly, this material world… This is also prakrti of Krsna. The fact is that it is sometimes manifest, sometimes not manifest. Just like the cloud. Cloud is a fact, but sometimes it is manifest; sometimes it is not manifested. When it is not manifest, you cannot say, “Cloud is false.” No. It is a fact, but the nature is sometimes manifest, sometimes not manifest. So here Krsna says, prakrtim purusam caiva viddhy anadi. They are eternal. Krsna is eternal, and the living entities are eternal, and the prakrtis are also eternal. They are not false. But they are manifested, sometimes not manifested.

And when we do not like to obey Krsna we cannot live in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there is no such thing, disobedience. There is always… They are all devotees. Just like in Vrndavana. They are all devotees of Krsna. Somebody is serving Krsna as father and mother, Nanda Maharaja, Yasoda, and somebody is serving as friend; somebody is serving as servant; somebody is serving as conjugal lover. In this way there are five kinds of service, mellows, whatever you like. Everybody is not like… There is taste. “I like to serve Krsna as a conjugal lover.” “I like to love Krsna as my son.” “I like to love Krsna as my friend.” “I like to love Krsna as my master.” “I simply love Krsna by glorifying Him.”

These are panca, five kinds of rasas, santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhurya. So you can select any one of them, because there must be varieties. Because we are living entities, everyone, we want to enjoy. Therefore variety is the mother of enjoyment. You cannot make everything impersonal, no. There is varieties. Even in the spiritual world there is varieties. That varieties are reflected in this material world. Therefore here also, we love somebody as friend; we love somebody as wife; we love somebody as father; we love somebody as mother, like that. The same thing is pervertedly reflected. And because it is illusion, therefore you are not satisfied.

If you want real love, real position, then you have to transfer your, these loving propensities in five different kinds of mellows to Krsna. Then it will be permanent, and you’ll be happy.

Don’t reject this as, because you could not capture the grapes, then the grapes and the jackals. The jackal… You know that story. The jackal went to steal some grapes in the orchard, and it was very high. He jumped over several times. He could not get it. Then he rejected, “Oh, this is sour. I don’t want it.”

Similarly, this Mayavadi philosophy is like that. First of all he wants to become very big man, very big businessman, minister, this, that, to enjoy, simply enjoy, competition of enjoyment. But when he’s baffled, when he did not enjoy, simply suffered—he comes to his knowledge that “I could not enjoy; I simply suffered”—then “It is mithya. Grapes are sour.” That philosophy will not do. You must know that this prakrti, this material world, you are not enjoyer. The enjoyer is Krsna. Sarva-loka-mahesvaram.

If you want to become enjoyer, then you are thief. Stena eva sa ucyate. Yajnarthe karmano ’nyatra loko ’yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9] You cannot be happy with stolen property. So everything belongs to Krsna, isavasyam idam sarvam. Whatever we are trying to enjoy, it is stolen property. The philosophy is tena tyaktena bhunjitha. You can enjoy whatever is allotted to you by Krsna. Tene tyak… Ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam. Don’t try to encroach upon other’s property. This is real proposition for peace and prosperity. But we are trying to become the biggest enjoyer, and we are trying to encroach upon others’ property, others’ life, others’ jurisdiction. Therefore there is no peace. There cannot be peace.

Therefore if we want peace at all, this is the formula. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram, suhrdam sarva-bhutanam [Bg. 5.29] Krsna is the suhrt; He is well-wisher of everyone. Therefore he comes, because he is well-wisher of all living entities, because living entities are His sons. Everyone… Father is always well-wisher of the son. So we are trying to enjoy here falsely, which we cannot do. Therefore Krsna comes to give us advice. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Otherwise the struggle for existence will go on and you’ll never be happy. That is Krsna consciousness movement. Thank you very much. Hare Krsna. (end)