Commander (Lectures)

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.2-3 -- London, July 9, 1973:

So dṛṣṭvā tu pāṇḍavānīkam (BG 1.2). Duryodhana did not expect that the Pāṇḍavas would be able to accomplish military strength so nicely because they were bereft of all sources. Their kingdom was taken away, their money was usurped, they were sent into the forest, so many tribulations. But the foolish Duryodhana did not know that above all, there was Kṛṣṇa on their side. That he could not calculate. Therefore when he saw the Pāṇḍavas are well-equipped with good number of soldiers, pāṇḍavānīkam, he was little surprised, that "How they could gather are so many soldiers?" So immediately, to consult the commander-in-chief Dronācārya....

Lecture on BG 1.2-3 -- London, July 9, 1973:

Arjuna was satisfied with Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Kṛṣṇa also divided Himself. Because it is family quarrel. So He said, "I cannot take part with anyone and even if I take part, side, of any of you, I shall not fight. Directly I shall not fight. I may be on your side or that side, but I'll not fight." Still, Arjuna was satisfied. So Kṛṣṇa, in order to satisfy Arjuna, that "I shall not fight, but I shall become your charioteer. I shall drive your chariot." So in this way the battle was arranged, and when Dhṛtarāṣṭra inquired, kim akurvata sañjaya (BG 1.1), "What did they do?" He said, "Sir, don't be disappointed. There was no compromise. Immediately your son, after seeing the military arrangement of the Pāṇḍavas, he was surprised, and immediately he went to Dronācārya." He is the commander-in-chief appointed first. "What to do?" Rājā vacanam abravīt (BG 1.2). Then he began to speak, to inform Dronācārya.

Lecture on BG 1.2-3 -- London, July 9, 1973:

If Kṛṣṇa desires to kill somebody, nobody can give him protection, no power. And if He wants to save somebody, nobody can kill him. This is Kṛṣṇa's protection. Therefore this big, big commander-in-chief Dronācārya and Bhīṣmadeva, Karṇa, they were very, very, big, powerful commanders. Arjuna was nothing before them. Arjuna was just like... Parīkṣit Mahārāja compared that "My grandfather was just like an ordinary fish, and these soldiers, these commanders, (were) just like timiṅgila." Timiṅgila, there is a fish—we get information from Vedic literature—very big fish. They swallow up the whales. Timi. Timi means whale fish. And timiṅgila means... Just like small fish are swallowed up like this. So just imagine how big such fish is. So these commanders, Karṇa, Dronācārya, and Bhīṣma, were compared with the timiṅgila. And Arjuna although very powerful, he was compared with timi. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja admitted "That it was not possible for my grandfather to win over the battle before these big, big commanders. It is only by the grace of Kṛṣṇa he was saved." So the conclusion is if Kṛṣṇa saves, nobody can kill; and if Kṛṣṇa wants to kill, nobody can save.

Lecture on BG 1.4-5 -- London, July 10, 1973:

Some of them are soldiers, some of them are commander-in-chiefs, some of them this, that. Or the chariot or the ground—everything Kṛṣṇa's energy. So if we remember that everything is manifestation of Kṛṣṇa's energy, there is no question of materialism. It is all spiritual energy. So nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe. So we have to use them for Kṛṣṇa. Here all of of them have gathered. This is another Kṛṣṇa's energy. Kṛṣṇa appears, paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8). He wanted to kill all the demons. That is another side of his business. As one side, paritrāṇāya sādhūnām, to give protection to the devotees, the other side is to vanquish all the demons.

Lecture on BG 1.6-7 -- London, July 11, 1973:

So formerly, five thousand years ago, the same system, military—ordinary soldiers, then the captain, then the commander, the commander-in-chief—as there are gradations in the modern age, the same thing was there. But mahā-ratha, they had good qualification. Mahā-ratha means alone he could fight with many other charioteers. They are called ati-ratha, mahā-ratha. There are different grades of fighters.

Lecture on BG 1.6-7 -- London, July 11, 1973:

In Sanskrit, just like bhaginī, sister, bhaginī, her son is called bhāgineya, nephews. So there is link. As soon as we speak Saubhadra, that means Subhadrā's son. Subhadrā's son, he was only sixteen years old at that time. He was married with Uttarā, the daughter of Mahārāja Virāṭa. So they were all mahā-rathas, ordinary, not ordinary fighters. This Abhimanyu was killed by conspiracy by seven commander-in-chief. Bhīṣma, Karṇa, Droṇācārya, Aśvatthāmā, they all surrounded him, and they did not allow him to come out. They were very experienced commanders. So this is kṣatriya spirit. He was simply a boy, sixteen years old and he had to be killed by the combined efforts of very, very, big commander-in-chiefs. He was so great fighter, Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu-vāda (?). So Saubhadra, Draupadī... Similarly, Draupadī's sons also there. Sarva eva mahā-rathāḥ (BG 1.6). Mahā-ratha means one who could fight with one thousand chariots on the other side. They were called mahā-rathāḥ.

Lecture on BG 1.6-7 -- London, July 11, 1973:

So after calculating their strength, then Duryodhana is speaking about his own strength, asmākaṁ tu viśiṣṭā ye. Viśiṣṭā, not to speak of the ordinary soldiers. They're viśiṣṭā. Viśiṣṭā means who are specifically to be mentioned, high officers. Asmākaṁ tu viśiṣṭā ye tān nibodha dvijottama (BG 1.7). He was in commander-in-chief. For eighteen days there was fight, and one after another, a commander-in-chief was killed. And sixty-four crores of men were killed in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. And the battle was finished within eighteen days, not lingering for some years. No. Fight to the best capacity and finish the business.

Lecture on BG 1.10 -- London, July 12, 1973:

So Duryodhana is very proud of his strength, military strength, because he was empowered, he could gather. And over and above that, Bhīṣma is the commander-in-chief. He is giving protection. And on the other side, the Pāṇḍavas, they are not empowered. Somehow or other, they gathered some soldiers from relatives. Therefore their strength was limited in consideration of the other party. And that is, being protected by Bhīma. Duryodhana always considered Bhīma as a fool. Therefore he is very much confident that "Our side is being protected by Bhīṣma, and the other side, although Bhīma is very strong, but he has no brain very much." So he was very hopeful of victory.

Lecture on BG 1.45-46 -- London, August 1, 1973:

So you can violate the laws on the order of Kṛṣṇa. You cannot do. This is surrender. When Kṛṣṇa says that "You do this," although it is wrong, you have to do it. There is no consideration. Just like in fight, the commander says to the soldiers, "Do this." His duty is to do that. He should not think at that time what is right or wrong. Just like Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, he was advised by Kṛṣṇa that "Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, you go to Droṇācārya and inform him that 'Your son is dead.' " It was a false information. Because Droṇācārya would not die if he is not affected with some lamentation. So Kṛṣṇa asked Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira that "You go because you are recognized truthful, Dharmarāja. So when you will say, this is also false, he will believe."

Lecture on BG 2.1 -- Ahmedabad, December 6, 1972:

Kṛṣṇa is on the chariot, sitting on the throne, and, uh, Arjuna is sitting on the throne, and Kṛṣṇa has taken the inferior position, driving the chariot. So this is very nice position for devotional service. Those who are not devotees, they aspire to become Kṛṣṇa. Their aspiration is to merge into the existence of the Supreme, or to become one with Kṛṣṇa. But in devotional service it is not the desire of the devotee to become one with Kṛṣṇa, but sometimes to make Kṛṣṇa as the order-carrier of the devotee. To become one with Kṛṣṇa, it may be a very great position. But to become the, I mean to say, command, commander of Kṛṣṇa, that is another thing. That position is greater than to become one with Kṛṣṇa.

Lecture on BG 2.33-35 -- London, September 3, 1973:

So imaṁ dharmyam, religious fight. Just like even nowadays also, if the soldier disobeys the order of the commander, that soldier is shot down by martial law. Because to disobey the order of the commander is sinful. So Kṛṣṇa says, atha cet tvam imaṁ dharmyaṁ saṅgrāmaṁ na kariṣyasi. This fight is not ordinary fight. It is not the politician's fight. "For the sake of religion, you must fight. And if you do not, then sva-dharmam... You are a kṣatriya. Not only kṣatriya, you are a very well known fighter. You have been recognized by so many demigods." Arjuna got the pāśupata-astra. To test Arjuna's fighting capacity, sometimes Lord Śiva, when Arjuna was hunting in the forest, so Lord Śiva also, as a hunter, he appeared before him, and when a boar was killed by hunting, Lord Śiva claimed that "I have done this killing." Arjuna said, "No, I have done this." So there was controversy, who will claim that hunt, I mean to say, killed animal. So Arjuna was claiming, and Lord Śiva as a hunter, he was also claiming. Then there was fight between Lord Śiva and Arjuna. So Lord Śiva was defeated. So he then disclosed his identity that "I am very much pleased that you (are) such a nice fighter." So he presented him one arrow which is called pāśupata-astra.

Lecture on BG 2.33-35 -- London, September 3, 1973:

This spirit of kṣatriya was prevalent even, say, three hundred years ago in India. There was a king, Yasomanta Sena. He was the commander-in-chief of Emperor Aurangzeb. So in one fight, he was defeated and came back to his home. So his wife heard that "My husband has been defeated. He's coming back home." So she asked the caretaker to close the door of the palace. So when Yasomanta Sena came there, he saw that his palace door is closed. Then he sent message to the queen that "Why you have closed the door? I have come home." So messenger came and informed that "The king has come. So he is asking to open the door." The queen replied, "Who is king? Yasomanta Sena. No, no. Yasomanta Sena cannot come being defeated. Yasomanta Sena either he conquers the battle or he lays down his body there dead. So the man who has come, he must be somebody pretender. He is not King Yasomanta Sena." So she refused to open the door. This is the spirit of kṣatriya spirit.

Lecture on BG 2.33-35 -- London, September 3, 1973:

Especially other commander-in-chiefs like Droṇācārya, Bhīṣma, Karṇa... They are mahā-rathas." Mahā-ratha means one fighter who can combat with thousands of men alone. He is called mahā-ratha. As nowadays the titles are "captain," "commander," "commander-in-chief," similarly, formerly "mahā-ratha," "ati-ratha" were the titles given to the soldiers, fighters. So mahā-ratha, the greatest commanders... So Kṛṣṇa said that "You are recognized, one of the mahā-rathas. So what the other mahā-rathas will think of you? They will not consider that out of compassion you did not fight. They will think that out of fear you have left the battlefield. They will take the opposite." Bhayād raṇād uparatam. "Out of fear you have stopped fighting." Maṁsyante tvaṁ mahā-rathāḥ. "So now you are recognized as one of the mahā-rathāḥ. Yeṣāṁ ca tvaṁ bahu-mataḥ. "Oh, you are known by various, I mean to say, commander-in-chiefs." Bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam: "In their eyes you will be considered as degraded." Bhūtvā yāsyasi lāghavam. "Why should you accept? Better fight and die." That's all right.

Lecture on BG 2.58-59 -- New York, April 27, 1966:

Just like a soldier, he is simply awaiting the order of the commander. Then his activities are approved, "Oh, he is doing nicely. Yes." By the approval of the commander, he is killing as many persons, and by this killing art, he is being rewarded, "Oh, you are a good soldier." But that killing, if he does for his personal interest, even he kills one man, he is hanged—by the same state. By the same state for which he is engaged in fighting, if he kills enemies, he is rewarded. He is awarded gold medal, recognition. And that very person, out of the war field, when he comes home, if he kills one man, then he is hanged. If he says that "The same killing I was doing in the war field, and same killing I have done. There I was killing hundreds and thousands of men. I was awarded gold medal. And here I have killed only one person. I am being hanged? What is this?" No. You have killed according to your own whims, and that is from the superior order. That is the difference.

Lecture on BG 2.62-72 -- Los Angeles, December 19, 1968:

Now here is the difference. Lord Śiva, he is the greatest of the demigods. He was also allured by Pārvatī, and as a result of that attraction, this boy Kārttikeya was born. That was the, what is called, conspiracy of the demigods, that unless one son is born out of the semina of Lord Śiva, it is impossible to conquer the demons. So Kārttikeya is considered the commander in chief of the demigods. But here, another example. Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Haridāsa Ṭhākura was young boy, about twenty, twenty-four years old, and he was chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, and the landlord in that village, he was very much envious of Haridāsa Ṭhākura. He conspired and engaged one prostitute to defy him. So the prostitute agreed and at dead of night, with very beautiful dress and she was young, and tried to captivate Haridāsa Ṭhākura. But he was not captivated. That is the difference. A Kṛṣṇa conscious person, even an ordinary person, not in the level of Lord Śiva or Lord Brahmā, he's never conquered by māyā.

Lecture on BG 3.6-10 -- Los Angeles, December 23, 1968:

Bondage means working for one's own account. The same example. Just like a soldier is fighting for the country under the command of the commander in chief. The more he's killing, he's getting promotion, he's getting medals. But the same man, when he comes back at home, if he kills one man, he's hanged. Why? Because that killing and this killing is not the same thing. So one who cannot engage himself cent percent in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, let him remain in his own position and try to sacrifice for Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa as far as possible.

Lecture on BG 4.5 -- Montreal, June 10, 1968:

Just like, those who are personal associates, whenever the chief boss goes, his personal assistants also go. That is natural. Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa comes, just like when a king goes somewhere, it does not mean he is going alone. He goes with all his paraphernalia, secretaries, minister, and commander-in-chief, and so many others. Similarly, whenever Kṛṣṇa comes, He does not come... Just like in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, aham eva asam agre. "I was in the beginning." The impersonalists interpret that "I was, personally," but that is not the fact. Nārāyaṇa, as soon as Nārāyaṇa was means Nārāyaṇa was there with... Not was there, Nārāyaṇa is there always with His all paraphernalia. And that is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, dhāmnā svena nirasta-kuhakaṁ sadā paraṁ satyaṁ dhīmahi. Dhāmnā svena nirasta-kuhakam. The kingdom of God is freed from illusion. This world, this material world, is full of illusion. But dhāmnā svena nirasta-kuhakam. So God's kingdom, or Kṛṣṇa's kingdom, is spiritual. Everything will be explained one after another.

Lecture on BG 7.1-3 -- London, August 4, 1971:

The fighting was going on between Arjuna and Duryodhana. So Duryodhana criticized the commander in chief, Bhīma, Bhīṣmadeva. "My dear grandfather, you are affectionate to the other parties, my other cousin-brothers; therefore you are not fighting very nicely." "Oh, you think like that, that I'm not fighting very nicely?" "Yes." Just to enthuse him. Yes. So he said, "All right. Tomorrow I shall kill all these five brothers. Is that all right?" "Yes, that's nice." "So I'll keep these five arrows reserved for killing these five brothers." So Duryodhana did not believe, that "He may miss these five arrows," but he said, "My dear grandfather, better I keep these five arrows with me. I shall deliver you tomorrow morning." "All right, you keep it." Kṛṣṇa understood. Kṛṣṇa is all-pervading.

Lecture on BG 13.3 -- Bombay, December 30, 1972:

When Kṛṣṇa comes, He comes with His associates. Just like if you invite King. That does not mean the king alone. The king comes along with secretaries, commander, ministers, soldiers, so many things. Similarly whenever Kṛṣṇa comes... Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham (BG 4.7). At that time, Kṛṣṇa, all His associates also come. So Kṛṣṇa said that "The difference is that you have forgotten." That is the difference between Kṛṣṇa, God, and ordinary living entity. Kṛṣṇa says: vedāhaṁ samatītāni (BG 7.26). He knows past, present, future.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.2.1 -- New Vrindaban, September 1, 1972:

Devotee (1): He said that you say, he said you said that God created us because He waw lonely.

Prabhupāda: No, I didn't say lonely.

Guest: Oh, I misunderstood then.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest: Would you say that...

Prabhupāda: God cannot be lonely. Just like as soon as you say that President Nixon is coming, it does not mean he's coming alone. Because his position as President means whenever he goes he has got his secretaries, his military commanders, so many things. Similarly, God is never alone. God is always with many paraphernalia. So God is not lonely. Never.

Guest: You say that we have eternal relationships with the Supreme?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Lecture on SB 1.2.17 -- San Francisco, March 25, 1967:

So anyone who is working under his direction, they have no responsibility. They have got simply to discharge the duty, either pious or impious, never mind. In the military rank the order of the captain or the commander is there. The soldier has to execute it. Never mind whether it is pious or impious. It doesn't matter. He has to act simply. Then he becomes a, I mean to say, real soldier. If he acts in that way, he gets remuneration, he gets reward, he gets title, he gets honor. He doesn't care. The commander asks him, "Just go and kill the enemy." He goes and kills. He gets reward. But killing, do you mean to say by killing one gets reward? No. For the duty discharged. For the duty discharged. Similarly, here the whole position is that Kṛṣṇa is instructing Arjuna. Kṛṣṇa is the supreme consciousness and Arjuna has to discharge only according to the order of the supreme consciousness. So my, manīṣiṇaḥ.

Lecture on SB 1.2.17 -- San Francisco, March 25, 1967:

Same example can be cited, that a soldier is killing his enemy, and the soldier's rewarded, "Oh, you have killed such a big enemy. You are rewarded." Do you mean to say by killing one is rewarded? But he is not acting on his platform. He's acting on higher consciousness platform, higher order. So if a commander's order can give him immunity from the reaction of being hanged, why not God's command? That is the thing. So we have, we haven't to discriminate whether I am in the modes of ignorance or passion or goodness. No. We have simply to see whether I'm acting under the direction of the supreme consciousness. That is the thing to be seen. Then we are free. Then our life becomes free. That thing, we have to learn.

Lecture on SB 1.2.23 -- Los Angeles, August 26, 1972:

Just like when we speak of a king, it means the king is not alone. There is queen, there is palace, there is bodyguard, there is secretary, there is commander in chief, so many things. Just like in England, there is Queen Elizabeth. It does not mean that Queen Elizabeth is alone. She has got so many paraphernalia. Similarly, when we speak of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa means His name, His form, His quality, His activities, His pastimes, His friends, His mother, His father, His cowherd, cows, His Vṛndāvana... So many things. That is another variety. And here this material world, this variety, this variety is imitation of that variety. And that variety is eternal. This variety is created, maintained and destroyed. But in the middle, the point, Kṛṣṇa, He is ever-existing.

Lecture on SB 1.8.24 -- Los Angeles, April 16, 1973:

Mṛdha means battlefield. Mṛdhe mṛdhe. Aneka-mahā-ratha astrataḥ. There were great, great fighters, mahā-ratha. These are just like in modern days they are given title, lieutenant, commander, commander-in-chief, like that. Formerly these titles were for the military man: eka-ratha, mahā-ratha, koṭi-ratha. Ratha means chariot. So if one could fight with one charioteer, he is eka-ratha. And if he could fight with one thousand charioteer, then he is called mahā-ratha. So all the commanders there in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra were mahā-rathas. Mahā-ratha. They are described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Especially Bhīṣma and Karṇa, Droṇācārya, they were very, very great commanders. Still, Arjuna could kill them by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna was nothing in front of them. They were so great fighter. Arjuna was also mahā-ratha. Still, these commanders were very, very powerful. But by the grace of Kṛṣṇa he could kill Karṇa, he could kill Bhīṣma, he could kill Droṇācārya and came out victorious.

Lecture on SB 1.8.24 -- Los Angeles, April 16, 1973:

So drauṇy-astra. So when that weapon was let loose, Parīkṣit Mahārāja mother, Uttarā, felt that she is going to discharge the womb. And she approached Kṛṣṇa, "Save me." And Kṛṣṇa entered the womb of Uttarā and saved the child, the posthumous child. So in this way the Pāṇḍava family was saved. Simply Parīkṣit Mahārāja remained. That also within the womb of his mother. And in mature time, when Parīkṣit Mahārāja came out, the grandfathers only (were) there. Parīkṣit Mahārāja's father was sixteen years old, and he went to fight. Seven big, big commanders killed him, seven. He was so great fighter, Arjuna's son. Subhadrā's son. This Subhadrā is here. The Subhadrā is sister of Kṛṣṇa. She was married to Arjuna, and she got only one child, this Parīkṣit Mahārāja. So as soon as Parīkṣit Mahārāja became grown up, the whole estate was entrusted to him, and all the Pāṇḍavas left home and went to Himalayas. This is the history of Mahābhārata.

Lecture on SB 1.8.47 -- Los Angeles, May 9, 1973:

So dakṣa-yajña, the Lord Śiva's devotees, they massacred all the yajña arena. You know dakṣa-yajña. Mahārāja Dakṣa was also cut off by his head, and he was put in a goat's head, in this way. So after the death of his wife, Lord Śiva was very much aggrieved. He went to the forest and engaged himself in meditation. So there was a need of one soldier commander, and the calculation was that such soldier must be there, by the demigods... Because there was always fighting between the demigods and the demons, so to kill the demons, there was need of a very great soldier who must be born by Lord Śiva, by the semina of Lord Śiva. So at that time Pārvatī, Dākṣāyaṇī, after death she has taken another body as daughter of King of Himalaya, Pārvatī. Therefore her name was at that time Pārvatī. Pārvatī means "the daughter of Parvata." Parvata means mountain. So the plan was that within the womb of Pārvatī and by the semina of Lord Śiva, one son must take birth, and later on he took and his name was Kārttikeya.

Lecture on SB 1.8.51 -- Los Angeles, May 13, 1973:

So the point is that Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, how much responsible king he was, that for ordinary woman, the soldiers... Take for... Soldiers or officers, commander-in-chief, they all died. Now he is thinking of their welfare activities, how to give protection to these woman. Just imagine how much responsible king. And he is thinking in this way, that "The sinful activity which I have done in this connection by killing their husbands or sons or father, even if I give some donation as welfare..." Just like in your country there is welfare department. All these helpless girls are given some donation. He says, "That is not sufficient. That... By that way, I cannot compensate what harm I have done to them." That is... That is his con... "Even if I give some money, donation, they'll not be happy, because they have lost their protection." This is called responsible king. How much they are thinking. And similarly he was thinking for the children.

Lecture on SB 1.9.2 -- Los Angeles, May 16, 1973:

So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja asked his brother Dhanañjaya, Arjuna, "So bring some money from somewhere. Otherwise how we can perform the sacrifices? We have finished all our treasury." So Arjuna was little perplexed. The elder brother was king, and the younger brothers, they were commanders. So Kṛṣṇa saw that His friend was little perturbed. So He immediately gave information. This is God, sarva-jña. He knows where to find out. He gave him information that formerly, one king, by the grace of Lord Śiva, he got information of a big gold mine, or gold mine mountain. So that king used to manufacture so many things of gold. Especially in sacrifice he used to give immense dishes made of gold to the brāhmaṇas. So at that time, the brāhmaṇas were also not very greedy. So the king, during the sacrifice, gave them unlimited number of dishes of gold, made of gold. So they accepted it, but when they came out of the sacrificial arena, they thought, "Who is going to carry so much load? Throw it." Just see. This is opulence.

Lecture on SB 1.10.3 -- Mayapura, June 18, 1973:

The whole world was Bhārata-varṣa, and the emperor of Hastināpura, they ruled over, paridhyupāntām. Anujānuvartitaḥ. He was not alone. His brothers, Arjuna, Bhīma, Nakula, Sahadeva, great fighters, great commander-in-chiefs, generals, they were at his command. Anujānuvartitaḥ. Whatever Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira will order... Otherwise, how could he manage such great empire? He had generals and commander-in-chiefs like Arjuna and Bhīma, indefatigable. Nobody could conquer Arjuna or Bhīma also. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, personally he did not fight. His brothers were sufficient to fight for himself, as in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. He was not fighting, but his brother, Arjuna and Bhīma, was fighting. So well-equipped, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, completely, scientifically. Vijñāna-vidhūta. Vijñāna means scientifically. Jñāna and vijñāna. Jñāna means ordinary knowledge, and vijñāna means practical knowledge.

Lecture on SB 1.10.3-4 -- Tehran, March 13, 1975:

"In those days the king of Hastināpura, now part of New Delhi, was the emperor of the world, including the seas, up to the time of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the grandson of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. His younger brothers were acting as his minister and commanders of state, and there was full cooperation between the perfectly religious brothers of the King. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was the ideal king or representative of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa..." The king should be the representative of Kṛṣṇa. (reading:) " rule over the kingdom of earth and was comparable to King Indra, the representative ruler of the heavenly planet. The demigods like Indra, Candra, Sūrya, Varuṇa, Vāyu, etc., are representative kings of different planets of the universe. And similarly Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was also one of them, ruling over the kingdom of the earth.

Lecture on SB 1.13.12 -- Geneva, June 3, 1974:

Just like a big man, wherever he goes there are many others also go there to help him. When a king goes somewhere, the king does not go alone. He goes with his secretaries, his military commanders, and so many other companions. So these Yadu-kulas were like that. They came to help Kṛṣṇa's līlā, pastimes, within this material world. So some of them were born as sons of Kṛṣṇa, some of them as grandson, as great-grandson, and Kṛṣṇa did not want to leave them behind. Kṛṣṇa was planning to go back to His Vaikuṇṭha, Vṛndāvana planet. So He did not like that they should remain. They should also go back. Now, to go back means they must meet death after..., because otherwise it is unnatural. So... And who can kill them? Nobody can kill them. That is also another point. The family of Kṛṣṇa, there is no power in the whole world that anybody could kill them. So Kṛṣṇa planned that they should be killed amongst themselves by fighting. So another lesson is that if we fight amongst ourselves, even we belong to the family of Kṛṣṇa, we are ruined. This is the instance of Yadu-kula. Although they belonged to Kṛṣṇa's family directly, still, because they fought amongst themselves, they were all banished, vanquished.

Lecture on SB 1.15.45 -- Los Angeles, December 23, 1973:

Just like here in these verses, sarve tam anunirjagmur bhrātaraḥ. How ideal brothers they were. "My elder brother is going, retiring, going to the Himalayan side," all the brothers followed. When the elder brother was king, they acted. They did not fight, that "We are five brothers. Why you shall become king? I shall become king." No, there was a fight. One of them, the elder brother, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, was enthroned, and the other brothers, they acted as commanders of the soldiers. One brother is going one side of the earth to fight, to subdue the rascals. There was fight to subdue the rascals, not for ambition. Because he was emperor, so anyone who is doing wrong irreligiously, go there and fight. That was fight. That is called dharma-yuddha.

Lecture on SB 2.3.14-15 -- Los Angeles, May 31, 1972:

Mahā-rathaḥ. At the same time, he could fight thousands of warriors, mahā-ratha. A kṣatriya who alone can fight with another thousand kṣatriyas, he's called mahā-ratha. So it does not mean to become bhāgavata means, to become devotee, one has to stop all other activities. No. Here it is called, mahā-ratha. Mahā-ratha means a great commander. So a great commander can also become bhāgavata, a great merchant can also become bhāgavata, and a great brāhmaṇa, learned scholar, he can also become bhāgavata. There is no restriction. Not that simply one who is Vedantist, who is a very learned scholar, he can become bhāgavata. No. The social system was so nice that everyone could become bhāgavata. The brāhmaṇa could become bhāgavata, a kṣatriya could become bhāgavata, a vaiśya could become bhāgavata, or a śūdra could also become bhāgavata. Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ. Kṛṣṇa says personally, "Never mind whether he's woman or a śūdra or a vaiśya, te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim, "all of them can go back to home, back to Godhead."

Lecture on SB 2.9.9 -- Tokyo, April 25, 1972, Informal Class in Room:

Param. Param. You can say "It is a very nice apartment. Why shall I (go) after Vaikuṇṭha?" But he has no idea. He thinks that "If I go to Europe I get a better standard of living, better woman and better salary." But he has no idea what is param. Therefore, paraṁ na yat-param. There is no more superior. All superior finished. This is Bhāgavata. Paraṁ na yat-param. Final. Final beauty, Kṛṣṇa. Final opulence, final strength, final wisdom. Everything final in Kṛṣṇa, ultimate. No more. Na yat-param. Therefore He is called Parameśvara. Īśvara means commander. There are many commander, controller, but Kṛṣṇa is called Parameśvara. "No more." And Kṛṣṇa says mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat (BG 7.7). Para means superior. "There is no more superior than Me." Paraṁ na yat-param.

Lecture on SB 5.5.9 -- Vrndavana, October 31, 1976:

So Mansingh was very important man, he was the commander-in-chief of Akbar, and he approached Rūpa Gosvāmī, "What can I do for you." So, Rūpa Gosvāmī, he did not require that temple, but he wanted to engage this rich man to the service of the Lord and he asked him that, "You construct a temple like this." Rūpa Gosvāmī was living very humbly, you know at the Rādhā-Dāmodara temple, his bhajanāśrama. He did not require a temple. But we are making members. Why? The idea is they'll spend the money for nothing in sense gratification. Take some money from them and engage in constructing temple. This is our conscious...

Lecture on SB 5.5.20 -- Vrndavana, November 8, 1976:

So Duryodhana criticized Bhīṣmadeva, "My dear grandfather, you have got affection for the Pāṇḍavas. Then you are not fighting sincerely. You have been appointed the commander-in-chief, but out of your affection you are neglecting your duty." Indirectly he said. So old grandfather became little angry. "What do you want?" "No, can finish them in one day. Why you are taking so much time?" "All right, I shall finish today. Tomorrow I shall do that. At least I shall finish Arjuna tomorrow. Either his intimate friend Kṛṣṇa will have to break His promise or His friend will die. You'll see tomorrow." Because Kṛṣṇa said, "Arjuna, I am joining you, but I shall not fight. Do you want Me?" Still, Arjuna said, "Yes, I want You. You don't fight." And Duryodhana saw Kṛṣṇa divided, one side Himself and another side His eighteen aksauhini military force. So Duryodhana thought that "Better let me take the forces. If Kṛṣṇa does not fight, what shall I do with Him? Better take His forces." So Duryodhana accepted the military force, and Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa, with the promise that "I shall not fight. So I shall become your charioteer." So Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa, and Pitāmaha, the Grandfather Bhīṣmadeva, this is the scene.

Lecture on SB 6.1.1-4 -- Melbourne, May 20, 1975:

In the battlefield the commander-in-chief orders, "Yes, you kill and get gold medal." But if you think the, "I have killed so many persons in the battlefield. Here is my enemy. I kill him." No. That you cannot do. That you cannot do. This is the principle. When there is duty, that is another thing. But not whimsically. We cannot kill. Therefore Lord Jesus Christ ordered, "Thou shall not kill." This is the order. "Thou shall not kill." But we are violating the order. We are killing so many animals. So this is not good. On the plea that "Lord Christ sometimes took some fish somewhere; therefore we will have to maintain a big slaughterhouse," this is not very good logic.

Lecture on SB 6.1.13-14 -- New York, July 27, 1971:

The dhīra example is given by Kālidāsa Paṇḍita, a great poet in India, Sanskrit poet, long, long ago. He has written one book: Kumāra-sambhava. Kumāra-sambhava. In our college we read that book in Sanskrit class. Kumāra-sambhava. So he has given one example of dhīra about Lord Śiva, Mahādeva. He was meditating and the demigods, they had a plan, that "The demons are fighting with us. We are being defeated. We want a commander in chief, who must be born out of the semina of Lord Śiva." But he was in meditation. So how to do it? So Pārvatī, she was sent. She was young girl. And she was worshiping the genital of Lord Śiva. So a young girl, touching the genital, and she's present, but still Lord Śiva was in meditation. So Kālidāsa—here is the example of dhīra. He's called dhīra. In spite of presence of a young girl touching the genital, he's not, I mean to say, disturbed. Just like Haridāsa Ṭhākura.

Lecture on SB 7.5.22-30 -- London, September 8, 1971:

So in order to induce him to fight, Kṛṣṇa had to speak to him the whole Bhagavad-gītā. When he understood that "Although I do not wish to fight, Kṛṣṇa desires," then he took: "All right. Then I change my decision because Kṛṣṇa's desire is my first duty." That is devotee's duty. If Kṛṣṇa says, God says to devotee, that "You jump on the fire," he will do immediately. That is devotee: without any argument. So there is no consideration. Just like commander in the military active field. The commander says, "You jump in this fire," he jumps. He knows that "I'll surely die." Similarly, a devotee, fully surrendered devotee, means he is prepared to do anything for God. That is pure devotee.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, December 26, 1972:

So then... I have heard from a very reliable officer, Mr. MacPherson, in Allahabad... He was my... At that, at that, at that time, I was keeping a drug shop. So he was my customer. And when he was coming, he was talking with me many past stories of the war. So once he narrated... He was also one of the commanders. That the First War, Marshall Foch? He was in Second World War, or First? I think First World War. Or First? I think First World War.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 23, 1972:

So in the beginning certainly one who is not advanced, he cannot see Kṛṣṇa properly. Kṛṣṇa, when we speak of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is not alone. Just like if we speak of king, "The king is coming," it does not mean the king is coming alone. The king is coming, his ministers, his secretaries, his military commanders, his queens, his servants, so many other servitors of the king, they are also coming. Similarly, when we speak of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa does not mean alone Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8). Kṛṣṇa is the root of all emanations. Kṛṣṇa's energies, Kṛṣṇa's expansion, Kṛṣṇa's different types of energies, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate (Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport). He has got multi-energies, out of which the ācāryas have taken three principal energies, the external energy, the internal energy, the marginal energy.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 31, 1972:

Kṛṣṇa is not alone. Just like when we speak of "the king," although it is singular number, "king" means there are so many others. There is the queen, there is the minister, there is the secretary, there is the commander-in-chief, there is bodyguards, there are so many other things. Similarly, when we speak of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa means His expansions. He has got different types of expansion—svāṁśa and vibhinnāṁśa. Svāṁśa expansion is Viṣṇu-tattva. Kṛṣṇa is the original person. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8). All others... Just like Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, or demigods, all others, they are all expansions of Kṛṣṇa. We are also expansions of Kṛṣṇa; we living entities, we are vibhinnāṁśa.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Calcutta, January 27, 1973:

If you cannot find out... Some, something has dropped in the water, in the river, you cannot see the things dropped within the water by agitating the water. Just stand still for sometimes. As soon as the water is settled up, you'll see the things as they are. So as soon as our enthusiasm is agitated, it is better to sit down in any temple suitable and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There is no question of being disappointed. After all, we commit so many mistakes. That is human nature. To err is human. That is not fault. But try to rectify with cool head. That is required. So similarly, there are different classes of men in the society: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. They should cooperate for the common cause. They do not know the common cause. The common cause is Kṛṣṇa. For Kṛṣṇa's service, we should submit to the immediate officer or commander. Just like soldiers. Soldiers, there is no question of discrimination. Whatever is ordered by the commander, immediately done.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 7.4 -- Mayapur, March 4, 1974:

When Bhagavān... Bhagavān means His paraphernalia. Just like when we speak, "Now the king is coming," it is not that king is alone coming. The king is coming with his minister, with his commander, with his secretaries, with his so many officers. So when we speak of Bhagavān, don't think He is alone only. No. Pañca..., that Pañca-tattva. When Bhagavān incarnates, He comes with all the associates, His śakti-tattva, avatāra-tattva, prakāśa-tattva. Many paraphernalia He comes. So here Caitanya Mahāprabhu, avatīrṇa. Here it is said, pañca-tattva avatīrṇa caitanyera saṅge (CC Adi 7.4). Caitanyera-saṅge... Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa Himself. So He must have His associates. Associates. That is Bhagavān.

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 7.149-171 -- San Francisco, March 18, 1967:

Senā-pati means these two brothers, Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī, were appointed as the commander in chief, commander in chief in this fighting with māyā. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness means it is declaration of fighting with māyā. Māyā is killing all the poor conditioned souls, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu declared war against māyā by spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And the commander in chiefs are Rūpa-Sanātana. In other words, if anyone wants to be expert in Kṛṣṇa consciousness to fight with māyā, they must follow the principles of Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī.

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 7.149-171 -- San Francisco, March 18, 1967:

Āra kabe nitāi-cānder koruṇā hoibe: "And when I shall be favored by Nityānanda Prabhu?" Āra kabe nitāi-cānder koruṇā hoibe, saṁsāra-bāsanā mora kabe tuccha ha'be: "When I shall be detached from material enjoyment?" Viṣaya chāriyā kabe śuddha ha'be mana: "And when I shall be detached from this material enjoyment, my mind will be purified. My mind will be freed from all contamination of material dirty things." Kabe hāma herabo śrī-vṛndāvana: "And at that time it will be possible to see Vṛndāvana." Rūpa-raghunātha-pade hoibe ākuti. Now, here the author, I mean to..., the singer says that "When I shall be too much devoted to the principles of Rūpa Gosvāmī so that I'll be able to understand what is the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa?" In other words, if we want to understand Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and Caitanya philosophy, then we should try to follow the instruction left by Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. They are the commander in chief in this movement.

Festival Lectures

Sri Rama-Navami, Lord Ramacandra's Appearance Day -- Hawaii, March 27, 1969:

You see in the picture, the chief men of the fighting in the Kurukṣetra, both sides, they were arrayed, this side, that side, with their chariot. Not that the head man, the chief man, or the commander is taking shelter back side, protecting himself, and poor soldiers are (chuckles) thrown into the fighting. No. These were kṣatriya spirit. And it is necessary that a class of men should be trained up in that way, kṣatriya, fighting men. In India, because this training was there since a very long time, so there is no difficulty in recruiting soldiers there. There is a class of men, they are very much forward in fighting still. They are called... Just like the Gurkhas, the Nepalese.

Sri Rama-Navami, Lord Ramacandra's Appearance Day, Cornerstone Laying -- Bombay, April 1, 1974:

Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī, our predecessor ācārya, he left his ministership, government post and became a mendicant. He was living underneath a tree every night. Not permanently underneath a tree: tonight one tree, next night another tree. But when he was approached by King Mānsiṅgh, the commander-in-chief of Emperor Akbar... In those days rich men, big men, they were God conscious, and they wanted to do something for God's service. So King Mānsiṅgh approached Rūpa Gosvāmī if he could do any service. So Rūpa Gosvāmī, he was living under the tree, so what service he expected from King Mānsiṅgh? He said that "If you want to do some service, do it for Kṛṣṇa." So he advised him to construct a temple at Vṛndāvana.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

Arrival Lecture -- Gainesville, July 29, 1971:

Just like when we speak of a king, "king" does not mean king is alone. He, somebody says the king is coming here, it is to be understood that king with his associates coming. King does not come alone. Whenever a..., the king goes, he goes with his secretary, minister, commander, so many other people. King is never alone. There must be queen also, and queen's associates. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme king, how He can be alone? He's not alone. He's always with His associates. Therefore you see Kṛṣṇa's picture, Vṛndāvana picture. He's with His associates—a cowherds boy, a cowherds girl, Kṛṣṇa's father Nanda Mahārāja, Mother Yaśodā. But Kṛṣṇa is not alone. Supreme..., any person, he can not be alone. Just like we are here, we are not alone. We are so many friends, so many associates. So person does not mean alone. Person means with associates. This Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Prabhu Nityānanda, worshiping Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu means to worship Him with His associates, Pañca-tattva. Pañca-tattvātmakaṁ kṛṣṇaṁ bhakta-rūpa-svarūpakam.

Initiation Lectures

Deity Installation and Initiation -- Melbourne, April 6, 1972:

Prabhupāda: What is his original name?

Śyāmasundara: Doug.

Prabhupāda: Dhaumya. Your name is Dhaumya dāsa, Dhaumya dāsa, one of the commander in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra, Dhaumya. (laughter) Don't laugh. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Now bow down here. (chants japa) Chant. You'll get bead, bead bag. Keep it in that. Yes. (chants japa) You know what are the rules? What are the four rules?

Devotee (4): No intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling, and no illicit sex life.

Prabhupāda: So how many rounds you will chant?

Devotee (4): At least sixteen.

General Lectures

Lecture -- Los Angeles, December 4, 1968:

"Therefore, My dear Arjuna," Kṛṣṇa instructing Arjuna, that "you simply act for Kṛṣṇa, or God," tad-artham, "not for any other purpose." Don't create your action. Simply act according to the direction of the Lord. Mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara. Then you will be freed from the reaction of your act. There are many examples. Just like a soldier: when he is killing in the battlefield on the higher authorities of government and commander-in-chief, he is not liable for killing. He is, rather, rewarded. The same man, if he kills on his own account somebody, he is hanged. Immediately he becomes liable to the law.

Pandal Lecture -- Bombay, April 10, 1971:

Ladies and gentlemen, (applause) we thank you very much for your kindly coming here and participating in this noble movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or saṅkīrtana movement. You'll be very glad to know that today I have received one letter from my disciple, Śrīman Kṛṣṇadāsa adhikārī, the in-charge-of, commander, maṭha-command, or temple command, of West Berlin. He was negotiating with Russian Cultural Society, and one very important professor, he has invited us to lecture in Russia. (applause) So very soon I shall be going to Russia with some of my disciples.

Pandal Lecture -- Delhi, November 12, 1971:

Parīkṣit Mahārāja had no time more than seven days. Therefore he finished the whole Bhāgavata hearing in seven days. The another instruction is that Parīkṣit Mahārāja had notice for seven days' duration of life, but we do not know whether seven days or seven minutes. It may be I am speaking now, immediately I can stop, because I am completely under the control of the material nature. You know perhaps that one big officer of Indian government, I think he was the Commander in Chief or something like that, he was eating in the feast in Japan, and on the table he died while eating. There was some trouble in the throat by eating fish, and some trouble was there, and he suffocated, died immediately.

Sunday Feast Lecture -- Atlanta, March 2, 1975:

Prabhupāda: Yes. As he advises. Just like he says, "Thou shalt not kill." But if you kill, at the same time take shelter of Christ, what is the meaning? First of all you try to follow him; then you can go through him. But you don't care for him—what is the meaning of go through him?

Woman: Believe in him.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Believe in strongly.

Woman: Believe that he is the son of God.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Believe or not believe, he is son. And if you are fortunate, you follow his path and you become perfect. You believe or not believe, God is there. Similarly, you believe or not believe, God's son is there, God's devotee is there, everyone is there. God is not alone. Just like if you say, "Now here the king is coming," "the king is coming" means he is coming with his ministers, his commander-in-chief, his secretaries and so many, hundreds of men, soldiers... Similarly, when we speak of God, God is not alone. He has got His sons, He has got His friends, He has got His father, He has got His mother, He has got His beloved, everything. That is God.

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on John Stuart Mill:

Hayagrīva: He says, "Belief in the supernatural, great as though the service is which it rendered in the early stages of human development, cannot be considered to be any longer required either for enabling us to know what is right and wrong in social morality, or for supplying us with motives to do right and abstain from wrong." That is God is not actually necessary for a sense of morality and in communist countries today we see that they instill a social morality in their citizens that is devoid of any conception of God.

Prabhupāda: Morality means to abide by the orders of God. That is real morality. Other things which we manufacture, that you will find different in different countries. But religion and morality both of them are the same principle because religion means to carry out the orders of God, and morality means only the, I mean the principle to fulfill the desires of God. Just like in the battle of Kurukṣetra, Arjuna was considering, "Killing is immorality." But when he understood by the instruction of Kṛṣṇa that this fight is necessary as it is designed by Kṛṣṇa, so this is morality. Ultimately, morality means to carry out the desire of Kṛṣṇa or God. He knows what is morality. This, another example can be given, that in the warfield the soldier is there and the commander is there. The commander is asking, kill the enemy, and if he considers that "Killing is bad, why shall I kill the enemy?" That is immorality. He should be immediately killed by martial law. He is disobeying the order of commander. So similarly, what you get, orders from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, if you carry it that is morality. Any other things manufactured by you, that (is) immorality.

Facts about "Commander (Lectures)"
Compiled byVisnu Murti + and Serene +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryDecember 12, 0011 JL +
Date of last entryDecember 25, 0011 JL +
Total quotes55 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 55 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 0 +