Madhusūdana. Kṛṣṇa is described here as Madhusūdana, the killer of the demon Madhu. Madhu-kaiṭabha-ari. So Arjuna was attacked by a demon of forgetting his duty, being too much afflicted by bodily relationship. This is our position. In this material world, we are so much attached to this bodily relationship that it is to be considered just like we are ghostly haunted. In a poetry, Prema-vivarta, it is said that piśācī pāile yena mati-cchanna haya, māyā-grasta jīvera haya se bhāva udaya. Māyā-grasta jīva. Māyā-grasta. Māyā means illusion, hallucination. So we are, in this material world, we are all illusioned. Illusioned means accepting something as fact which is not. Something... Just like in dream we see sometimes I am attacked with a tiger; my head is being cut off. So many things. So actually there is no tiger, my head is not being cut off, but still, I am crying: "Oh, here is a tiger, here is a tiger!" So our attachment for this world is like that. It is illusion. I am thinking that "Without me, everything will be spoiled. My presence is required." And so on, so on. Just like sometimes our political leaders. Each and every one of them thinks that without him, the whole situation will be spoiled. Even Mahatma Gandhi, he was so attached that he would not retire from political life—unless he was killed. The attachment was so strong. But after passing away of Mahatma Gandhi or Jawaharlal Nehru or so many big, big leaders, the world is going on. There is a Bengali proverb that "When the king dies, it does not mean the kingdom stops." The kingdom goes on. But when, so long, the leader or the person in charge remains there, he thinks that "Without me, everything will be spoiled." This is called māyā. This is called illusion.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Illusioned. Now, illusioned you can see. Illusioned means taking one thing for another. That is called illusion. Just like in the desert, accepting the sand as water. That is called illusion. Similarly, every one of us who are identified with this body, he's under illusion. That is a false thing, but he has no knowledge. Even President Johnson, he's under illusion. Even the greatest scientist, he's under this illusion. So that, one is sure to commit mistake, and one is under illusion, and bhrama, pramāda and vipralambhana... Vipralambhana means the tendency for cheating.
The one deficiency is that we commit mistake. Anyone, any big man of this material world, he commits mistake. Besides that, he is illusioned. Illusioned means to accept something what is not fact. Just like... (coughs) (aside:) Water. We accept this body as self. This is called illusion. According to Vedic understanding, anyone who thinks of this body as the self, he's animal. Just like a dog, he thinks that he is the body, similarly, if a man thinks that he is this body, he is American or Indian or Frenchman or German or Hindu or Muslim, with this bodily concept of life, so, according to Vedic understanding, this conception is animal conception. So this is called illusion.
We have got four deficiencies. We commit mistakes, we become illusioned... We commit mistake, everyone knows. I have several times talked that even a personality like Gandhi, he committed so many mistakes. So, so long you are conditioned by the material nature, you must commit mistake. There is no escape. Similarly, we are illusioned. Illusioned means we accept something for something. Just like you are accepting this body—"I am American," "I am Indian"—but I am neither American nor Indian; I am spirit soul. This is called illusion. Bhrama, pramāda, and vipralambha. Vipralambha means the propensity for cheating others. I do not know exactly what is the cause of life; still, I am theorizing in so many ways. And when I am challenged by other person that "Can you produce, with chemical, life?" "That I cannot say." Then why you are talking nonsense? This is cheating. If you are actually in knowledge that from chemical, life can be produced, then you produce it. I give you chemicals. But when you cannot do, why you are cheating people? But this cheating propensity is there. One is a nonsense number one, but he speaks. "Devils cite scripture." That we do not accept. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement does not accept the scripture cited by the Devil. Therefore we have accepted Kṛṣṇa, sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam (Bs. 5.1). Whatever He says, we accept. We are not perfect, our senses are not perfect, we are fool number one, but the knowledge which we accept, that is perfect. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Just like we are..., we are not liberated. Therefore we have got four defects. The four defects are that we commit mistake. Anyone, big, big man, he must commit mistake, because he is not liberated. He is under the laws of material nature. Who is here in this meeting who can say that "I have never committed any mistake"? Is there anybody? However learned scholar you may be, commit mistake is inherent. Similarly, to become illusioned. Illusioned means to accept something which you are not or which is not fact. That is called illusion. Just like sometimes we see that the sun is on the western side, but reflection is on the glass, and the glass is reflecting some light. So we are thinking that sun has come to the other side. We have got this experience. Sun is this side, reflecting the sun shining, and on the glass or on mirror, and the same reflection is this side. So we are thinking that "Sun is this side. The sunlight is coming..." That is called illusion. This is example of illusion, which is not fact. But it is appearing. False thing appearing as truth, that is called māyā. This is the explanation of māyā. Māyā. Mā means "not," yā means "this." Māyā, what you are experiencing, that is not. That is called māyā. So a conditioned soul... A child will think that... Although the fact is sun is this side, by seeing the reflection a child may say, "The sun is this side." So that is called illusion.
We don't manufacture knowledge, because how we can manufacture? Perfect knowledge means I must be perfect. But I am not perfect. Every one of us, when I was speaking, because... We are not perfect because in our conditional life we have got four defects. The first defect is that we commit mistake. Any one of us who are sitting here, nobody can vouchsafe that he has not committed any mistake in life. No, that is natural. "To err is human." In our country, even a personality like Mahātmā Gandhi, he committed so many mistakes. So to commit mistake is not unusual. It is usual for any man. Then again, one is illusioned. Illusioned means accepting something for something. Just like every one of us, we accept this body as ourself, but actually we are not, everyone. On this bodily concept of life the whole trouble is there in the whole trouble is there in the world. I am thinking "Indian"; you are thinking "American"; he is thinking "dog"; he is thinking "cat"; because on this bodily concept of life. So this is illusion because I am not this body, you are not this body. Because at the time of death we can understand the body is there, but my relative is crying, "Oh, my son is gone." "My father is gone." Where he is gone? The body is there. Where is your father gone? No. Then we can... After death we can understand that "My father or my son was not this body. He was something else." So this is called illusion.
At this stage of our material existence, we are conditioned by so many laws of nature. Under the circumstances, every conditioned soul has four defects. Just like to commit mistake. There is no man, even great man, who does not commit mistake. More or less, he commits mistake. Just like in our country there was Mahatma Gandhi. He was supposed to be a very great personality, mahātmā, but he also committed mistake because when he was killed, five minutes before his coming to the meeting, he was warned by his confidential associates not to go to that meeting, but he persisted, and as soon as he entered the meeting hall he was killed. So I am giving an instance that even a great personality like Mahatma Gandhi, he also committed mistake. So in the conditioned state of our life, committing mistake is very natural. Just like we say, "To err is human." Any human being is susceptible to commit mistake. Another imperfectness is that every man is illusioned. Illusioned means to accept something which is not, phantasmagoria. Just like every one of us in this meeting, we are under the impression that "I am this body." But actually I am not this body. This is called illusion, māyā.
According to our Vedic calculation, this is called Kali-yuga. Kali means disagreement and fighting, kālaḥ. So in this age, a slight disagreement will cause some fighting, some misunderstanding. And practically, this is the age of misguidance; therefore it is called Kali-yuga. So in different Purāṇas, the symptoms of Kali-yuga is described. Śāstra. Śāstra means tri-kāla-jña. Śāstra is not ordinary book. Therefore our Vedic literatures are known as apauruṣeya, "not written by ordinary human being." Ordinary human being, who is called, according to śāstra, conditioned souls, they are conditioned by so many, nature's law. So the imperfectness of the conditioned soul are described as that a conditioned soul is sure to commit mistake; however great he may be, he'll commit mistake. And... "To err is human," they say. And he may be illusioned. Not may be. He's illusioned. Illusioned means accepting something for something else. Just like we accept this body, material body, as self. That is the conception of the general people at the present moment, especially. "I am this body." "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am śūdra." Like that. Bodily conception of life. This is illusion. Actually, I am not this body. But because we are lacking knowledge, imperfect, insufficient knowledge, therefore we are accepting this body as self. This is called illusion.
Everything has got cause and effect. So therefore Arjuna has decided to take knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Being. And He has no material body; therefore His knowledge, whatever knowledge is given by Kṛṣṇa, that is perfect. Anyone who is giving knowledge in this material body, he has got four defects. The first defect is that a person in the material body must commit mistake. Must commit, less or more. And the..., anyone who possessing this material body, he must be illusioned. Illusioned means that accepting something for something. Just like we are accepting this body as self. But this is illusion. I'm not this body. I am spiritual spark, part and parcel of God. That is my position. But anyone identifying himself, he thinks that he's this body... Especially the animals. The animals have no knowledge that he's different from the body. Therefore a human being, if he's under the impression that he is this body, he's no better than the animal. Therefore in the human form of life, one can understand his real identity, he can understand what is God, he can understand what is his relationship with God and act accordingly. If he does so, then his human life is perfect.