The Bhagavad-gītā is a standard literature. Most of you know this Bhagavad-gītā. But generally the Bhagavad-gītā is read very superficially, not very critically. We do not understand Kṛṣṇa, the author of Bhagavad-gītā, neither we understand what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, although it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. We read Bhagavad-gītā superficially, not very critically, neither there is any edition so far... Of course, in Sanskrit there are many editions, annotation by Śrīdhara Svāmī, annotation by Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, annotation by Viśvanātha Cakravartī, annotation by Śrī Rāmānujācārya. There are many great scholars. But we have no information of those in the western countries. You have no information of those scholars. Ordinary persons with some academic career, they think they are very learned, they can comment on Bhagavad-gītā. Oh, that is not possible. That is not possible. The other day we have already discussed that Bhagavad-gītā can be understood by a person who is Kṛṣṇa conscious, nobody else. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam (BG 4.3). So here is a chance.
Now, Kṛṣṇa says that ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. Now the proportionately, if you agree to follow the leadership of Kṛṣṇa, proportionately as you follow, so you become perfect. If you follow one percent, then you become one percent perfect. If you follow twenty-five percent, then you become twenty-five percent perfect. And if you follow cent-percent, then you become centpercent. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham (BG 4.11). Kṛṣṇa does not interfere with your individual independence. Every living entity has got an independence, minute, because he is also spiritual atom. We are all spiritual atoms. That atomic, spiritual atomic force... Just like a material atomic force is so strong, so you can just imagine how strong is spiritual atom.
In the modern age, the atomic age, the scientists have discovered the force, the power of material atoms. But they have not yet known what is the force of spiritual atom. There is spiritual atom. We are spiritual atom. The atom is described in the Vedic literature, the form of the spirit which we are actually. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca (CC Madhya 19.140).
Keśāgra... Keśa means the hair, the upper portion of your hair. When it is divided into ten thousand parts... And just imagine. That one part is the spiritual atom. It is so small, it is so minute, that it is not possible to see with our material eyes. Even the material atom also we cannot see. When the material atoms are combined into six, then you can see floating in the air through the sunshine which is entering your room through the holes of a window. You can see some particles. That small particle, they are combination of six atoms. That particle, when it is divided into six, that becomes the atom. So you cannot see even the material atom, and what to speak of the spiritual atom.
When a dead man is there, the medical man or every scientist, everyone is sitting. How that spiritual atom is passed from this body, nobody can see. They can simply say, "Oh, now he is gone." Who is gone? Have you see who is gone? "No." Then what you are seeing? "I am seeing this dead body." So whole life you have seen this dead body. If I cannot see at the present structure of my body even the spark, material atom, how we can see God, the Supreme Spirit?
So we have to qualify ourselves. So that qualification is, here it is stated, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. If you try to surrender yourself into Kṛṣṇa consciousness... Just like Kṛṣṇa is canvassing, asking Arjuna, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam: (BG 18.66) "You just try to surrender unto Me, and I shall give you all protection." And just I described a few minutes before that Kṛṣṇa is seated along with you in the same tree of this body. He is just waiting for your voluntary looking unto Him. That's it. He does not press you. He gives you all instruction.
Just like Kṛṣṇa gave all instruction of Bhagavad-gītā to Arjuna, but at last, He asked him, "My dear Arjuna, I have given you all instruction. Whether you have understood it? And how you are going to follow? Have you decided to follow Me?" Just see. He does not say that "I force you to follow," no. He asked him, "Now, have you decided to follow Me?" And He gives him the, I mean to say, full independence—yathecchasi tathā kuru: (BG 18.63) "Now I have given you all instruction. Now it is up to you. You can do whatever you like."
So our position is always like that. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, or His bona fide representatives who come here, they can force you to go back to Godhead, but they do not do that. They want your voluntary cooperation. Unless you are prepared to cooperate voluntarily oh, there is no question of my improvement. So we must accept our voluntary cooperation with Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, or His representative who comes before you to canvass, "My dear sir, please be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Please look to the leadership of the Supreme Lord." Now it is up to you.
Now, He says that "Actually they are following my leadership." Because they are servant, they are followers of leader. They are servant of some created leader materially. So that means there is a propensity, that intrinsic background of following some leader, is there. That you cannot avoid. That you cannot avoid. Mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ. They have to... Every man has to follow the same principle. He cannot go out of it. His constitutional position is to follow a leader. He cannot go out of it. Nobody can go out of it. He has to follow either A, B, C, or D, or anyone. He has to select.
Just like I'll give you another example. According to Manu-saṁhitā, our Vedic literature, the Manu-saṁhitā says, na striyaṁ svatantratām arhati: "Women should not be given independence" or "Women are not independent." That is a truth, Vedic truth. Now, so far a girl is child, she is dependent on the father, and it is hoped... At least in India we have got this principle. When a girl is grown up, the father gives her in charity to a boy to protect her, protect her, give her protection. And similarly, when a woman is grown up, old enough, she becomes protected by the grown up boys, children. So this Vedic truth that a woman has no independence... She is always under the protection, either under the protection of the father or under the protection of the husband or under the protection of the grown-up sons. That is position. And woman becomes happy in that way. Those who are not following this principle, I think they are not happy. This Vedic principle is truth.