In the beginning the whole planet was covered in water. The water is drying up and gradually land is coming out. So therefore in the beginning the aquatics, jalaja nava-laksani. So the aquatic animals, they are 900,000 species

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"in the beginning the whole planet was covered in water. The water is drying up and gradually land is coming out. So therefore in the beginning the aquatics, jalaja nava-laksani. So the aquatic animals, they are 900,000 species"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

In the beginning the whole planet was covered in water. The water is drying up and gradually land is coming out. So therefore in the beginning the aquatics, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi. So the aquatic animals, they are 900,000 species.
Lecture on BG 2.11 -- Rotary Club Address -- Hotel Imperial, Delhi, March 25, 1976:

Because in the beginning the whole planet was covered in water. The water is drying up and gradually land is coming out. So therefore in the beginning the aquatics, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi. So the aquatic animals, they are 900,000 species. Jalajā nava..., sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Then trees and plants and herbs and grasses and so many, they are 2,000,000 forms. Then kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ. Then insect life, reptile life, 1,100,000. Then pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam, then birds, varieties of birds, 1,000,000. Then paśu, four-legged animals, 3,000,000 types. Then mānuṣāḥ catur-lakṣāṇi. Then human form of life, uncivilized and civilized, that human form of life 400,000. So in comparison to the lower species of life, we are very small quantity. Together there are 8,400,000 species of life, living entities. The evolution process is from one body to another, another, another. In this way, when you come to the human form of life, it should be utilized for full knowledge about our eternal life. That is the opportunity. And if we don't take this opportunity, if we live like other animals—eating, sleeping, sex, and fearfulness, āhāra-nidrā-bhayam—but we do not care to understand what we are, what is God, what is our relationship with God, then we are missing the point.

That lesson, instruction, is given in the Bhagavad-gītā. And it is very easy to understand. The perplexity which Arjuna met at the Battle, in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra... The fight was between two sector of family members. They're cousin-brothers, one family, but there was some trouble, who would occupy the throne. From Mahābhārata we understand that the Pāṇḍavas, at least up to Mahārāja Parīkṣit, he ruled over the whole world. Bhāratavarṣa means the whole world, and the capital was here, Hastināpura. This information we get, Mahābhārata. Mahā means greater, and bhārata means India. Mahābhārata. So there was trouble, who will occupy the throne. So there was fight. So when fight was arranged, then Arjuna... He was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. (aside to someone talking:) Please stop. He declined fight. He said to Kṛṣṇa, "My dear Kṛṣṇa"—Kṛṣṇa was his friend—"I don't like this fight because they are my cousin-brothers. Although they have usurped my kingdom, let them enjoy it. I don't wish to fight with them." But Kṛṣṇa declined. Kṛṣṇa said, "No, you have to fight. Your duty is to fight." Then Arjuna placed before Him so many ideas that "If I kill my brother, then my brothers' wives will be widow and they may be polluted, then unwanted children, varṇa-saṅkara, will come out, and when the varṇa-saṅkara population is filling, then the whole world becomes a hell." So many arguments. So Kṛṣṇa, when He saw that Arjuna is very much afflicted with the material ideas, so He wanted to teach him this Bhagavad-gītā. So first punishment... Not punishment, chastisement. Because Arjuna accepted that "The perplexities which I am facing is not possible to be solved except Yourself." He knew that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So he surrendered himself to Kṛṣṇa, śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam, kārpaṇya-doṣopahata svabhāvaḥ: (BG 2.7) "I am a kṣatriya. It is my duty to fight in right cases, and I am declining. This is my weakness. So kindly instruct me how I can give up this weakness. I am accepting You as my guru." Śiṣyas te 'ham. Śiṣya means who voluntarily accepts to be ruled by a person who is guru. He is called śiṣya.

So Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa, they were friends, but still, to take right instruction without any argument, he accepted He is guru. Then after the acceptance Kṛṣṇa's first warning is,

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
(BG 2.11)

"My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very learned man, but the subject matter which you have touched is not at all taken seriously by the paṇḍita." Paṇḍita means learned man. That means, "You are talking like a fool. You are taking this body as self." So actually this is not the fact. The body is not the self. The self is different. If you analyze this body, what you will find? Suppose we are breathing. What is this breathing? It is air only. Now, when the breathing is stopped, a man is dead. Now, you are so much advanced in science. Why don't you replace this breathing? It is nothing but air. So you can manufacture some machine working in electric battery and put some air and fix up, and that same air will come: "Woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh. "Will that give you life? No. Even if you artificially bring breathing, just like nowadays they, with oxygen gas, as if oxygen gas is life... That is not the fact. So if you analyze every part of the body, then you will find that there is no life. This is called education. This is called scientific knowledge. Simply abruptly taking something without any proper understanding, that is not knowledge. Therefore Kṛṣṇa chastised him that "You are talking like very scientific, learned scholar, but you are a fool number one because you are accepting this material body as the self." This is ignorance. This is confirmed in another place, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). This kuṇape, this bag of three elements, kapha pitta vāyu, or, take it, the skin, muscle, veins, bones, urine, stool, blood—what you will find if you dissect this body? They are all material things. What is blood? It is also water, red water. The urine, this is also water. And this bone, bone is nothing but earth hardened. If you take plaster of Paris... They sometimes show artificial bone also in the medical college. But that is not. That is bone. That is earth. So do you think this combination of this earth, water, air, fire, is life? Can you produce life? You take... You can get enough earth, water, air, pus, stool, urine, blood. You manufacture one life. That you cannot do. This is called analysis. And those who are engaged in understanding the self as the combination of these earth, water, air, fire—sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Such persons are defined in the śāstra as no more intelligent than the cows and the asses. So from here spiritual knowledge begins. You analyze the body, but you won't find the real soul or real life, although it is within you. But why you cannot find? It is very, very small. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca (CC Madhya 19.140). The formation of the soul, measurement of the soul, is very, very... It is smaller than the atom. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya (CC Madhya 19.140). The tip of the hair you divide into hundred part, and take one part. Again divide it into hundred parts. That one part is the measurement of the soul. That means one ten thousandth part of the top of the hair. So how you can see? But that small particle is giving you living force. This knowledge we get from Bhagavad-gītā, and that is the fact. You cannot get life by analyzing this material body. That is not possible. You have to find out what is that small particle. You have to hear. Therefore you cannot get knowledge by your material activities. You have to hear it from the authorities; otherwise there is no possibility. Just like you cannot understand who is your father. You have to take the knowledge from your mother. If mother certifies, "This gentleman is your father," that is correct. But if you go on researching who is your father you will never be able to know who is your father. Similarly, what is life, what is soul, what is our, this body, what is the ultimate goal of life, why you are suffering—all this knowledge you have to take from the higher authorities. That is called Vedic process, not to endeavor by research. What you can research? Our fund of knowledge is very, very poor, limited. You cannot have perfect knowledge unless you hear from the authority. So Kṛṣṇa is the authority. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means you take knowledge from the best authority. Don't manufacture knowledge. That will not help you. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.