Bhagavad-gita 4.8
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bombay, March 28, 1974

Nitai: (leads chanting of verse and synonyms) “In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.”


paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge [Bg. 4.8]

So the routine work of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, how and when He appears. Because Krsna is the proprietor of all planets. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. Sarva-loka. Loka means planets or universes. There are innumerable universes, unlimited number. And those universes are coming out within the breathing period of Maha-Visnu. Yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya jivanti loma-vilaja jagad-anda-nathah [Bs. 5.48]. Jagad-anda means universe. Jagad-anda-nathah. Plural number. There are innumerable universes, and on each universe there is a predominating deity who is called Lord Brahma.

Similarly, in each and every universe there are innumerable planets. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-kotisv asesa-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam [Bs. 5.40] In each universe there are innumerable planets and each planet is of different atmosphere. The atmosphere of one planet is not equal to another. This is God’s creation. Ekamsena sthito jagat. All these innumerable universes, they are sustained by one plenary portion of Krsna.

Krsna, in His vibhuti-yoga, He has explained to Arjuna,

athava bahunaitena kim jnatena tavarjuna vistabhyaham idam krtsnam ekamsena sthito jagat

So Krsna is staying within these universes. Andantara-stha-paramanu-cayantara-stham. Not only within the universes but within the atom also. Paramanu-cayantara-stham, In this way, Krsna is ruling over the material creation. Eko ’py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim [Bs. 5.35]. There are many places in Vedic literature wherein we understand there are innumerable universes. We cannot take account of one universe, and Krsna has to take account of all these universes, how things are going on.

This material world is ekamsa. Out of Krsna’s whole creation, this is one-fourth manifestation of His creative energy. Ekamsena. The three-fourths of the creative energy is in the spiritual world. So this material world means the living entities are given chance. They have come here to enjoy.

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

When…. Living entity is eternal servant of Krsna. When he, instead of becoming servant of Krsna, wants to imitate Krsna to enjoy…. Because the enjoyer is Krsna. Bhokta. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. But when we try to imitate Krsna…

Just like here also we can see practically, everyone is trying to become a big or small isvara, Krsna. Isvara is Krsna. Isvarah paramah krsnah [Bs. 5.1]. But here the struggle is that everyone is trying to become isvara. Nobody wants to become servant. Although he is servant of maya. He cannot be isvara constitutionally. Any one of us. This is called illusion. Actually, we are servant but we are trying to become isvara. This is called maya. So this position of the living entity is called dharmasya glanih, discrepancy of the constitutional position. Actually, I am servant but I am trying to become master. This is called dharmasya glanih. So when the world is full…

Of course, there are devotees who are trying to become servant. They are trying. The devotional service means, Krsna consciousness means to train people how to become servant of God. That is all.

Because everyone is under the impression that I am God, I am master, I am proprietor. This illusion. To dissipate this illusion and to put him into the right position, that “you are not master, you are not enjoyer, you are simply eternal servant of Krsna.” If you remain in that position, then you are happy. If you artificially try to become Krsna, that is your unhappiness. Artificial thing will never give us any pleasure. Prakrti and purusa. Krsna is the purusa. Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan, purusam divyam sasvatam [Bg. 10.12] He is purusa, we are prakrti. Apara-prakrti, para-prakrti.

This matter, bhumir apo ’nalo vayuh—earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, intelligence and false ego—they’re all material. That is described. And apareyam. These are inferior material nature and there is another superior nature. That is also described. Or energy. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakrtim param, jiva-bhutam maha-baho. We living entities, we are prakrti. We are not purusa. But we are trying to become purusa. Suppose a woman artificially wants to become man. That is very troublesome. Similarly, actually position is prakrti. Prakrti means enjoyed, one who is enjoyed. And purusa means one who is enjoyer. So our position is to be enjoyed, but we are trying to become enjoyer. Our position is to be predominated but we are trying to become predominator. That is called dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata.

But there are certain persons who are above this mistake, illusory energy. Who are those? The devotees. The devotees, who are called sadhu. Sadhu. There is a word, sadhu. Sadhu means honest, good behaved. They are called sadhu. There is description of sadhu. Sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah. What are they, sadhu?

titiksavah karunikah suhrdah sarva-dehinam ajata-satravah santah sadhavah sadhu-bhusanah

This is the description of sadhu. Sadhu does not mean for livelihood change the color of the garment or having big beard and become sadhu. No. Sadhu means devotee. Sadhu means first-class devotee. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Sadhur eva sa mantavyah samyag vyavasito hi sah [Bg. 9.30]. Who is that man? Api cet su-duracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak sadhur eva sa mantavyah [Bg. 9.30]. One who is fully engaged. Bhajate mam ananya-bhak. He has no other engagement. Not partial, some percentage for this purpose, some percentage for that purpose. No. Samyak, wholeheartedly, twenty-four hours engaged in the service of the Lord. He is sadhu. He is sadhu.

Api cet su-duracarah. Even if you find some fault in him. Because sadhu is sadhu-bhusanah. You cannot find fault in him. Cannot find fault, but even though if you find some fault, but if you find that he is strictly, he’s engaged in the service of the Lord, Krsna says, he is sadhu. Here it is said, paritranaya sadhunam. What is the verse number? Yes. Verse number eight. Paritranaya sadhunam. As sadhu is always engaged, dedicated to the service of the Lord, he has no other business…. That is sadhu.

So Krsna also is always anxious to give them protection. Just like a child is adherent to the parents. He does not know anything else except his father, mother. Similarly, the parents are also very much anxious to give protection to the child. This is reciprocal. If you depend on Krsna fully and simply engage yourself in His service, then you are sadhu. And Krsna is always very much anxious to give you protection. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati. This is natural. You can say, “Why Krsna is so partial to the sadhus?” No. He gives protection to everyone. Without His protection nobody can live. That’s a fact. But He gives special protection to the sadhu, to the devotees. That is natural. Samo ’ham sarva-bhutesu na me dvesyo ’sti na priyah. Krsna says, “I am equal to everyone.” Unless He is equal to everyone, how He can be the Supreme Lord? He is equal. Ye tu bhajanti mam bhaktya tesu te mayi. “But one who is engaged in love and affection in My service, I am especially attentive to him.” That is not partiality. That is His special prerogative.

The example is that the sun is equally distributing sunshine. Anyone can take advantage of it. But if somebody does not take advantage of it, if he closes his door and windows, if he wants to remain in darkness, then what sun can do? Similarly, Krsna appears for everyone. Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. “You take shelter unto Me.” But we shall not do that. Instead of Krsna, we shall find out so many imitation Krsna and take shelter of them. This is our fault. This is not Krsna’s partiality. Krsna is open to everyone, but we shall go to some rascal, who will falsely declare himself, “I am incarnation of God, incarnation of Krsna,” and I’ll go there. And how some magic. He does not want to see the magic of Krsna. He wants to see some false magic of an imitation Krsna. That is the fault.

Why should we go to anyone else when Krsna is there? When Krsna’s instruction is there in the shape of Bhagavad-gita, why shall I read any nonsense book? That is my fault. Can anyone give better instruction than Krsna for solving all the problems of the world? No. That is not possible. But still, we shall find out some imitation Krsna. This is our ill luck, misfortune.

Therefore they are called duskrtina. The word is used here, paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. Duskrtam means miscreants. Krti, krti means…. This is explained in the Seventh Chapter more elaborately. Na mam prapadyante duskrtino naradhamah. Na mam prapadyante mudhah duskrtino naradhamah [Bg. 7.15] Another place the word duskrti is used. Duskrti means…. Krti means meritorious. One who has got merit, nice merit. But it is employed for sinful activities. They are called duskrti. And one who uses his merit for pious activities, he is called sukrti. Catur-vidha bhajante mam sukrtino ’rjuna. Those who are sukrtinah, pious, they can be engaged in devotional service. Catur bhajante. This word bhajana is used. Bhajana is meant for the sukrtina. Those who are pious. Not the impious. Bhajana is not possible for the impious because Krsna says na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. They cannot take to bhajana. Mayayapahrta-jnanah. They pose themselves as very much advanced, but actually maya has taken away their knowledge. They cannot understand Krsna. They will accept some, something imitation.

So Krsna’s purpose of appearing is mentioned here. Paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]. Vinasaya means for annihilating, for killing. So Krsna’s killing is also good for the person who is killed by Krsna. And another killing is to dissipate his ignorance. This is also…. One is in ignorance, he does not know what is the value of life. Therefore Krsna wants to kill his ignorance and give him real knowledge. That is also vinasaya. Vinasa, killing his ignorance. So the Bhagavad-gita is going on for two varieties of business. One business is to give relief to the sadhu, to the devotee, and another business is to kill ignorance or kill personally the duskrtinah. Those who are nondevotees. For them, killing business. But the killing is also good for them. Because Krsna is absolute. Either Krsna loves somebody or kills somebody, the result is the same. That is called absolute. Just like father or mother loves some child and chastises the other. The result is the same—affection. There is no jealousy.

Suppose one child is diseased, another child is healthy. The healthy child is being supplied with nice foodstuff and the diseased child, mother says, “No. You cannot eat. You go away. You get out from here.” That is not that mother is unkind to the child. She is all-kind. So Krsna’s killing and Krsna’s supporting is the same. There is affection. He therefore comes here. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata [Bg. 4.7].

Here we have come falsely to become enjoyer. Falsely. Suppose I am American or Indian. I am enjoying my life very nicely. I have got everything complete. But it is no guarantee that next life you shall become American and you will be situated in the same position. Therefore my enjoyment, so-called enjoyment is false enjoyment. Temporary. It will not stay because I will have to change body. I will have to change body. There is no guarantee. This is the law of nature.

Duhkhalayam asasvatam [Bg. 8.15]. It is the place for miseries and that is also temporary. If you want to make some compromise, “Never mind it is a place of miseries. I’ll stay here comfortably as much as possible.” But Krsna says, asasvatam. Even if you make some compromise arrangement, you cannot stay here. You’ll be kicked out. As soon as you think that “Now I have got a very nice building. Very nice wife and children. Everything is properly settled. Now I am happy,” next day, “Get out.” Finished. This is the law. Daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14].

So foolish people, they think that “Now I am settled up.” What is your settlement? First of all make it a settlement that you shall be allowed to stay here. If there is no such guarantee, then where is the settlement? Next life you may become a cat or dog according to your mentality. But these foolish people, they do not know it. They think that “This is all right.” This is not all right.

So sadhus they can understand that this life is preparation for next life. So that is also described in the Bhagavad-gita.

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ’pi mam [Bg. 9.25]

If you prepare yourself as the karmis do, to be elevated to the higher planetary system, Svargaloka, Janaloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka, Brahmaloka. That is very good, but Krsna says, abrahma-bhuvanal lokah punar avartino ’rjuna [Bg. 8.16] Even if you go to the Brahmaloka, there is no guarantee. You have to come back here again. Ksine punye punar martya-lokam visanti.

These are the statements of Bhagavad-gita. We should study Bhagavad-gita very nicely. We can understand. But mad-yajino ’pi yanti mam. If you prepare your life to become a perfect pure devotee of Krsna, then you go to Krsna. What is the difference between going to the Brahmaloka and Krsnaloka? If you go to Krsnaloka, yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6], then you haven’t got to return again to accept another material body. You go to Krsna means you go with your spiritual body. No more material body. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9].

So we should cultivate knowledge in that way, that “I am prepared for the next life.” So somebody is preparing for the next life to go to the heavenly planet and somebody is going to the Pitrlokas. Somebody wants to remain within this world as human being or even animals. Because if we contact with the modes of ignorance, then adho gacchanti tamasah. These are the rules of prakrti. Prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah [Bg. 3.27]. Gunaih karmani. As you are associating with the particular type of the modes of material nature, you are preparing your next life.

But these foolish persons, they do not know what is next life, whether there is birth. Ignorance. Mudha. They have been described as mudha. They do not know their duty. They are thinking that this life is all in all and there is no next life because they cannot think of…. Duskrtinah, if for them there is next life, then they have to stop their nefarious activities. But they do not like that. They think, “No, no. There is no next life. Let us do whatever we like. Enjoy.” But nature will not give you. Nature…

Just like if you think that “I am in, I am associating with some infectious disease. It will not affect me.” No, no. You may think so, but it will affect you. That’s a fact. Similarly, we may foolishly think that we are doing all nonsense things, jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah. In tamasika-guna, in ignorance we are doing so many nasty things. We may think that “This will not affect,” but no. It will affect. The same example. If you infect some disease, you’ll have to suffer. It is nature’s law. You cannot avoid it. Similarly,

urdhvam gacchanti sattva-stha madhye tisthanti rajasah jaghanya-guna-vrtti-stha adho gacchanti tamasah [Bg. 14.18]

Adho gacchanti tamasah. And otherwise how we can explain so many abominable forms of life? Even up to the worm in the stool. This is also a life. And Brahma is also a life. Why the differences? According to karma. Karmana daiva… Infection. As you infect, as you associate. Karanam guna-sango ’sya. These are all explained. Why one is the stool worm, and why one is Lord Brahma? Now, karanam guna-sango ’sya. As we are associating with the laws of material nature, we are infecting and we are getting the next body. So this is our position.

We are spirit soul, pure, as Krsna is pure. We are part and parcel of Krsna, we are also pure. That is qualitative equality. Not quantitative. Krsna is the great, we are the small. Anor aniyan mahato mahiyan. He is mahato mahiyan, we are anor aniyan. We are anu, atomic. Atomic sparks of Krsna. So actually, we are pure, but as we associate with the qualities of material nature, we become impure. Therefore this Krsna consciousness movement is to purify, to purity[?] the impure living entities. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s movement. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12] If you become purified, ceto-darpana…

Where the purificatory process begins? From the heart. Ceto-darpana. Cittah. Desires. We have got so many desires and Krsna is so kind, He fulfills your desire, my desire. Whatever you like you can do. But you’ll never be happy in that way. Therefore Krsna said, “Give up all these nonsense desires. Simply surrender unto Me. That is your only business.”

So that is the…. As we have discussed in the last verse, yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati, tadatmanam srjamy aham [Bg. 4.7]. Glanir bhavati bharata. Glanih. We should not desire anything except serving Krsna. That is our fulfillment of life. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. Or anyabhilasita-sunyam [Bhakti- rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11]. We should not desire anything except we simply desire how to serve Krsna, how to remain a pure devotee of Krsna. Then our life is successful.

Anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam [Madhya 19.167]. Even we should not speculate so-called knowledge. What kind of knowledge we can get? We are deficient, imperfect in so many ways. So what is the use of speculating, of our knowledge? Therefore jnana. And karma, fruitive activities. “Let me work hard and get the result and enjoy.” This is called karma. And jnana means speculative knowledge. So Rupa Gosvami says, anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam, anukulyena krsnanusilanam [Bhakti-rasamrta- sindhu 1.1.11]. Simply cultivating Krsna consciousness favorably. Not unfavorably. Krsna consciousness…

Just like demons like Kamsa. He was also Krsna conscious. What was his purpose? He was conscious Kamsa, he was making plan how to kill Krsna. That’s all. That is not anukula. Anukulyena. We should be Krsna conscious favorably. “What Krsna wants and how can I serve Him?” That is anukula. And “Krsna wants this, I’ll not do this. Rather I shall kill Krsna. I shall read Bhagavad-gita to kill Krsna. There is no Krsna. There was no Krsna. There was no battlefield of Kuruksetra. It is imaginary,” that means the Kamsa’s program, for killing Krsna. So we should not adopt that. That is pratikula, Krsna consciousness, reading Krsna’s books but trying to kill Krsna. So this is going on. “Not to Krsna.” Krsna says man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], and a learned scholar, commentator is saying, “It is not to Krsna, not to the person Krsna.” This is going on. This kind of consciousness will not help us. Anukulyena krsnanusilanam.

Therefore Krsna comes down. Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata, tadatmanam srjamy aham [Bg. 4.7]. Paritranaya sadhunam. Sadhus, they are very much neglected. They are criticized. “You are service mentality. You are after Krsna. You have given up all material enjoyment.” So they tolerate. Those who are devotees, they tolerate. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us these things. What is that word?

Devotees: Trnad api sunicena….

Prabhupada: Trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna. You have to learn toleration. Just like Prahlada Maharaja. He was tolerating. His father became enemy. What is the fault of this little boy, five years? Because he was Krsna conscious. His father became enemy.

So the Krsna consciousness movement is rather difficult. If you become Krsna conscious, you will…. Just like we are experiencing in this land so many obstacles. Now the latest difficulty is they are not sanctioning our plan. “No temple, sir.” So we have to tolerate. What can be done? There are so many temples, but we are faulty. Because we are Krsna conscious. Our temple will not be sanctioned. So this is going on.

This is not new thing. It is very old thing. As soon as…. Because maya is very strong. maya sees that “This person is now Krsna conscious. He’ll go out of my clutches.” Because Krsna says, mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te [Bg. 7.14]. Maya puts obstacles so that he may not go away. But if you stick to your principle, catch Krsna’s lotus feet very tightly, then you’ll be saved. Krsna will save. Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati. So this is our duty. In spite, despite all difficulties, we cannot give up Krsna consciousness. We must go on.

So this teaching for the nondevotees. And to punish them, to chastise them, Krsna appears. You have seen Krsna’s life. You will read in our Krsna Book up to Ninth Chapter. There was simply killing. No, after Tenth Chapter. When He was in Dvaraka His business was only killing. So many demons, so many Aristasura, Aghasura, Bakasura, Putanasura, and Jarasandha, Dantavakra. So this is vinasaya ca duskrtam. This is one side.

And another side, another side is paritranaya sadhunam. Those sadhus… Actually Krsna appears for the sadhus. Not for the duskrtas. To kill the duskrtas, there are many agent. One little earthquake can kill millions of duskrtas in a second. So Krsna does not require to come to kill the duskrtas. But He comes to favor sadhu. Sadhus, they are very much persecuted.

Just like Prahlada Maharaja. He was a sadhu. He was being persecuted by his father. So Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared, not for killing the Hiranyakasipu, but to come and show Prahlada Maharaja, “Don’t be afraid. I am here. Don’t be afraid. I’ll give you protection.” So actually, Krsna comes for this purpose. Paritranaya sadhunam. Sadhus, they are very much anxious. They do not command, “Krsna, please come and save me.” No. They’ll never say that. They know that “Krsna is busy in so many…. Why shall I give Him trouble? Let me suffer. That’s all right.” But Krsna comes. “Yes. I have come here. I have come here. I’ll save you.” This is Krsna’s business. Paritranaya sadhunam. And by the, side by side, killing the duskrtina. And dharma-samsthapanarthaya.

People are busy with so many rascaldom dharmas, cheating dharma. Dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra [SB 1.1.2]. Krsna says “These are all cheating dharmas. The real dharma is surrender to Me.” Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This is dharma. So

paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge [Bg. 4.8]

This is the cause of Krsna’s appearance. Thank you very much. (end)