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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Preface and Introduction

BG Preface:

People in general, especially in this Age of Kali, are enamored by the external energy of Kṛṣṇa, and they wrongly think that by advancement of material comforts every man will be happy. They have no knowledge that the material or external nature is very strong, for everyone is strongly bound by the stringent laws of material nature. A living entity is happily the part and parcel of the Lord, and thus his natural function is to render immediate service to the Lord. By the spell of illusion one tries to be happy by serving his personal sense gratification in different forms which will never make him happy. Instead of satisfying his own personal material senses, he has to satisfy the senses of the Lord. That is the highest perfection of life. The Lord wants this, and He demands it. One has to understand this central point of Bhagavad-gītā. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is teaching the whole world this central point, and because we are not polluting the theme of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, anyone seriously interested in deriving benefit by studying the Bhagavad-gītā must take help from the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for practical understanding of Bhagavad-gītā under the direct guidance of the Lord. We hope, therefore, that people will derive the greatest benefit by studying Bhagavad-gītā As It Is as we have presented it here, and if even one man becomes a pure devotee of the Lord, we shall consider our attempt a success.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

12 May, 1971

Sydney, Australia


SB Canto 3

SB 3.21.2, Purport:

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is also a history of the great rulers of different parts of the universe. In this verse the names of Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, sons of Svāyambhuva, are mentioned. They ruled this earth, which is divided into seven islands. These seven islands are still current, as Asia, Europe, Africa, America, Australia and the North and South Poles. There is no chronological history of all the Indian kings in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but the deeds of the most important kings, such as Priyavrata and Uttānapāda, and many others, like Lord Rāmacandra and Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, are recorded because the activities of such pious kings are worth hearing; people may benefit by studying their histories.

SB Canto 4

SB 4.21.12, Purport:

Sapta-dvīpa refers to the seven great islands or continents on the surface of the globe: (1) Asia, (2) Europe, (3) Africa, (4) North America, (5) South America, (6) Australia and (7) Oceania. In the modern age people are under the impression that during the Vedic period or the prehistoric ages America and many other parts of the world had not been discovered, but that is not a fact. Pṛthu Mahārāja ruled over the world many thousands of years before the so-called prehistoric age, and it is clearly mentioned here that in those days not only were all the different parts of the world known, but they were ruled by one king, Mahārāja Pṛthu. The country where Pṛthu Mahārāja resided must have been India because it is stated in the eleventh verse of this chapter that he lived in the tract of land between the rivers Ganges and Yamunā. This tract of land, which is called Brahmāvarta, consists of what is known in the modern age as portions of Punjab and northern India. It is clear that the kings of India once ruled all the world and that their culture was Vedic.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Adi-lila

CC Adi 17.127, Purport:

Such orders stopping saṅkīrtana in the streets of the world's great cities have been imposed upon members of the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. We have hundreds of centers all over the world, and we have been specifically persecuted in Australia. In most cities of the Western world we have been arrested many times by the police, but we are nevertheless executing the order of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by chanting on the streets of all the important cities, such as New York, London, Chicago, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris and Hamburg. We must remember that such incidents took place in the past, five hundred years ago, and the fact that they are still going on indicates that our saṅkīrtana movement is really authorized, for if saṅkīrtana were an insignificant material affair, demons would not object to it. The demons of the time tried to obstruct the saṅkīrtana movement started by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Similar demons are trying to obstruct the saṅkīrtana movement we are executing all over the world, and this proves that our saṅkīrtana movement is still pure and genuine, following in the footsteps of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

CC Adi 17.213, Purport:

The word ṭhākura has two meanings. One meaning is "God" or "a godly person," and another meaning is kṣatriya. Here the pāṣaṇḍī brāhmaṇas address the Kazi as ṭhākura, considering him the ruler of the town. There are different names by which to address the members of different castes. The brāhmaṇas are addressed as mahārāja, the kṣatriyas as ṭhākura, the vaiśyas as śetha or mahājana, and the śūdras as caudhurī. This etiquette is still followed in northern India, where the kṣatriyas are addressed as Ṭhākura Sāhab. The pāsaṇḍīs went so far as to request the magistrate, or Kazi, to have Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu expelled from the town because of His introducing hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana. Fortunately our Hare Kṛṣṇa movement all over the world, especially in the civilized world of Europe and America, has become very popular. Generally no one complains against us to have us removed from a city. Although such an attempt was indeed made in Melbourne, Australia, the attempt failed. Thus we are now introducing this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement in great cities of the world like New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu everything is going on nicely. People are happy to accept the principle of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and the result is most satisfactory.

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 25.120, Purport:

The cult of bhāgavata-dharma can be spread in all circumstances, among all people and in all countries. Many envious people accuse the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement of spoiling the rigidity of so-called Hinduism. That is not actually the fact. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirms that devotional service to the Lord—the cult of bhāgavata-dharma, which is now being spread as the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement—can be spread in every country, to every person, in any condition of life, and in all circumstances. Bhāgavata-dharma does not restrict pure devotees to the Hindu community. A pure devotee is above a brāhmaṇa; therefore it is not incompatible to offer the sacred thread to devotees in Europe, America, Australia, Japan, Canada, and so on. Sometimes these pure devotees, who have been accepted by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, are not allowed to enter certain temples in India. Also, some high-caste brāhmaṇas and gosvāmīs refuse to take prasādam in the temples of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

CC Madhya 25.193, Purport:

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not based upon bodily designations. It is a transcendental movement on the platform of spiritual understanding. If the people of the world understood that the basic principle of life is spiritual identification, they would understand that the business of the spirit soul is to serve the Supreme Spirit, Kṛṣṇa. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.7), mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ: "The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts." All living entities in different life forms are sons of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are all meant to serve Kṛṣṇa, the original supreme father. If this philosophy is accepted, the failure of the United Nations to unite all nations will be sufficiently compensated all over the world by a great Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Recently we had talks with Christian leaders in Australia, including the Catholic Bishop of Melbourne, and everyone there was pleased with our philosophy of oneness in religious consciousness.

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