Bhagavad-gita 8.1
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Geneva, June 7, 1974

Nitai: (leads chanting, etc.) Translation: “Arjuna inquired: O my Lord, O Supreme Person, what is Brahman? What is the self? What are fruitive activities? What is this material manifestation? And what are the demigods? Please explain this to me.”


arjuna uvaca kim tad-brahma kim adhyatmam kim karma purusottama adhibhutam ca kim proktam adhidaivam kim ucyate

These are the subject matter of knowledge. Kim brahma. Brahman means the biggest. Brhannatvat brhatvat. Biggest, it is already biggest, but still increasing. That is called brahman. So this cosmic mani…, universe, it is already the biggest, but it is increasing. That is also scientific, modern science. It is… The statement is already scientific. Modern science also, they say that the universe is increasing. So brahman means the biggest.

So our Vaisnava philosophy, biggest means Krsna, because He is the richest, He is the strongest, He is the wisest, He is the most beautiful. In this way, He is the biggest. We also calculate. If anyone is very rich, we consider he is the biggest man in the society. But nobody can hold all the riches of the world. Krsna can hold. Krsna has got all the riches of the world. Sarva-loka-mahesvaram. Krsna says, “I am the mahesvaram, the supreme owner of all the planets.” So actually Krsna is Parabrahman. He’s not only Brahman, but Parabrahman. That is accepted. Kim adhyatmam. Atma. Atma means this body, atma means this self, atma means the mind. But Arjuna is asking, “What is the real meaning of atma?” Atma means the soul. You are also atma. I am also atma. Every one of us, the minute particle, part and parcel of Krsna. Kim karma. This karma means to work. That is material. Working is required in the material world. Without working, you cannot get anything. Here you have to maintain your body and soul together. Therefore you have to work. So work can be divided in different ways, but one has to work. One may work as a brahmana, one may work as a ksatriya, one may work as a vaisya or a sudra. So work is there. Without working… The just opposite, without working, without any endeavor, you can live eternally—that is Vaikunthaloka. Vaikuntha means without any anxiety. Here we are full of anxieties.

Purusottama. Arjuna addressed Krsna as Purusottama, uttama-purusa. There are three kinds of purusas. Purusa means the male, or the enjoyer. So uttama-purusa, madhyama-purusa, adhama-purusa. Adhama means the lowest. We are also purusa. At least, we have taken the position of purusa to enjoy this material world. But we are adhama-purusa. Adhama means the lowest. We cannot enjoy independently. We require so many favorable circumstances. Just like we cannot see without the sunrise. Still, we are very much proud of seeing. We say, “Can you show me God?” Well, can you see God? You cannot see without sunshine, and still, you are so much proud of your eyes. That is called adhama. He has no knowledge; still, he’s taking Ph.D. degree and getting Nobel Prize. This is going on. So Krsna is the Purusottama, uttama-purusa. The madhyama-purusa is the Supersoul. Via media between Krsna and we. We are adhama-purusa. So Krsna is addressed as uttama-purusa, “the best of all purusas, or enjoyers.” Adhibhutam, the matter, five elements of matter. Kim proktam. Which of them are called the Brahman, atma.

Everything, Krsna…, Arjuna wanted to know from Krsna. Krsna, he has accepted Krsna as the spiritual master, and spiritual master means the authority. Unless you accept somebody as quite fit for becoming your authority, he cannot become a spiritual master. You must be satisfied by the authoritative statement of the spiritual master. You cannot argue. That is the principle of authority. Adhidaivam, the demigods. The demigods, they are controlling the universal affairs. Just like for rain, water supply, Indradeva, the demigod known as Indra, he is in charge. For heat and light, the demigod Suryadeva, he’s in charge. Similarly, the moon, Candradeva… They are all devas, demigods. He’s in charge of, what is called, activating the vegetables, the moon, activating the vegetables. In this way, all these demigods have got different power invested upon them by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are agents. They are called demigods, Indra, Candra… There are thirty-three crores of demigods, and they are controlling our activities also. The astronomy means the astral influence upon us. And according to the astral influence, we act. Therefore horoscope is made. At the time of birth, a person’s situation according to different astral influence, and then the astrology science can make his horoscope, his future activities, his future hopes. Everything is done. Adhibhutam.

Then adhiyajnam. Adhiyajna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana or Visnu, Adhiyajna. Katham ko ’tra dehe ’smin madhusudana: “Where the Adhiyajna, Supersoul, living within this body?” Prayana-kale ca katham jneyo ’si niyatatmabhih, niyatatmabhih: “Those who are yogis or devotees, how do they meditate upon You, and at the time of death, prayana-kale, how he passes away?”

Sri-bhagavan uvaca: “Bhagavan replied.”

aksaram brahma paramam svabhavo ’dhyatmam ucyate bhuta-bhavodbhava-karo visargah karma-samjnitah

adhibhutam ksaro bhavah purusas cadhidaivatam adhiyajno ’ham evatra dehe deha-bhrtam vara

So after explaining all these different items, adhibhutam adhiyajnam, the Supersoul, the material creation, the Purusottama, everything, then Krsna said,

anta-kale ca mam eva smaran muktva kalevaram yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati nasty atra samsayah [Bg. 8.5]

This is the ultimate end of Krsna consciousness, that anta-kale, at the time of death, at the end of life, anta-kale ca mam, “unto Me,” anta-kale ca mam eva [Bg. 8.5], “certainly,” smaran, “remembering…” The Deity worship especially meant for this purpose, so that you go on worshiping the Deity of Radha and Krsna, naturally you’ll be practiced to think of Radha-Krsna always within your heart. This practice required. Anta-kale ca mam eva smaran muktva [Bg. 8.5] This is the mukti.

Mukti means no more material body. That is called mukti. We are now conditioned by this material body. In the material world, we are changing one body after another, but there is no mukti. There is no liberation. Mukti is… Simply by changing body, we are not mukta. Mukta means we change this body not to accept any more material body, but we remain in our own spiritual body. Just like if you are diseased, you are suffering from fever, so when there is no more fever, but you remain in your original healthy body, that is called mukti. It is not that mukti means to become formless. No. The same example: You are suffering from fever. To become free from fever does not mean that you become formless. Why I shall become formless? My form is there, but my form is no more disturbed by the fever, feverish condition. That is called mukti. Roga-mukta, free from disease. Therefore it is called muktva kalevaram. Just like the snake. They sometimes give up the outer covering of the body. Have you seen?

Devotees: Yes, yes.

Prabhupada: But he remains in the body. He remains in the body. But the extra covering which had, he had grown, that is also gone once he gives up. Everything, every education, is there in the nature’s study. We can see the, the snake give up the covering, but he remains in his form. Similarly, we… Muktva kalevaram means this extra… Just like this dress, this is covering. I can give it up, but I remain in my original body. Similarly, mukti means I have got my original body already. It is covered by this material coating. So when there is no more material coating, that is called mukti. That can be achieved when you go to Krsna, back to home, back to Godhead. At that time, you do not become formless. Form remains. As I am individual form, similarly, when I go to Krsna, Krsna has also His individual form, I have also my individual form… Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam. He’s the chief of all living entities. So that is called mukti.

So that mukti you can have if you can remember Krsna at the time of your death. So this is possible. If we are practiced to think of Krsna always, naturally, at the time of death, at the time of end of this body, if we are so fortunate to think of Krsna, His form, then we become materially free, no more this material body. This is Krsna consciousness. Practice. Yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati [Bg. 8.5]. In the fourth chapter, I think, we have read that,

vita-raga-bhaya-krodha man-maya mam upasritah bahavo jnana-tapasa puta mad-bhavam agatah [Bg. 4.10]

So that mad-bhava, here it is said, yah prayati. Anyone who is passing away, who is leaving this body, thinking of Krsna at the time of death, yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati [Bg. 8.5]. Mad-bhavam means spiritual nature, this spiritual world. This is also Krsna’s world, but this is not the spiritual world. This is material world. We have already discussed that He has got two energies, material and spiritual. This material world is the manifestation of Krsna’s material energy. Similarly, He has got a spiritual world also. Because He, His spiritual energy’s also one of the energies. So mad-bhavam yati means that spiritual energy… Because Krsna remains in that spiritual world, therefore He says mad-bhavam, “the spiritual nature.”

So this is the simple process. Anta-kale ca mam eva smaran muktva kalevaram, yah prayati sa mad-bhavam yati [Bg. 8.5], “He goes.” Na asti atra samsayah: “You do not doubt it.” If you have taken Krsna as the supreme authority, and Krsna says there is no doubt about it, then why shall I become doubtful? Why shall I disbelieve Krsna? This is the process. Chant Hare Krsna. Always remember Krsna. And death may take place at any time. There is no guarantee that after so much time you’ll die. At any moment, you can die. Death, there is no guarantee. But it is a guarantee that you must die. That is guaranteed. But when you will die, that is not guaranteed. Therefore we must be prepared for death at any moment. Therefore a devotee is not afraid of death. He knows that death may come at any moment. We are… Nowadays, it has, the death is very cheap. Because we are using this motorcar, these aeroplanes, so many things, ships and other things for transportation, and there is, every moment there is danger of accident, collapse, everything. So death is now very cheap. So we must be prepared for death at any moment. There is no guarantee, that “I am not yet old enough. I am not yet eighty years, ninety years. Why shall I die?” No. You may be twenty years, twenty-five years or younger than that. Death is assured, and it can take place at any moment.

Therefore our only duty is to think of Krsna, Purusottama, so that we may die at any moment, but we become spiritual salvation. This is our only du

So always be engaged in Krsna consciousness, chant Hare Krsna mantra. Then you are sure and safe not only in this life, but also you are going home, back to Godhead. It is so nice thing.

Thank you very much. (end)