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Krsna says that "This Bhagavad-gita is taught from time immemorial by disciplic succession," not by research work

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"Krsna says that" |"This Bhagavad-gītā is taught from time immemorial by disciplic succession" |"not by research work"

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The Bhagavad-gītā is being taught by Lord Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna. He is authority. And Kṛṣṇa says that "This Bhagavad-gītā is taught from time immemorial by disciplic succession," not by research work. As soon as you study Bhagavad-gītā by your academic knowledge, without reference to the authoritative description, then you commit mistake. You do not understand what is Bhagavad-gītā.


Engagement Lecture -- Buffalo, April 23, 1969:

Prabhupāda:

om ajñāna-timirāndhasya
jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
(Gautamīya Tantra)

(aside) It is recording?

The meaning of this verse . . . it is offering obeisances to the spiritual master. The spiritual master opens the eyes of the ignorant disciple in the matter of transcendental knowledge. Therefore it is the duty of the disciple, before speaking, to offer obeisances to the lotus feet of the spiritual master.

Our Vedic process is not research work. Just like in the mundane scholarship, one has to show his academic career by some research work. The Vedic process is different. Vedic process is that our research work is not complete, because the instruments and the means by which we make progress in research work are blunt and imperfect.

We are conditioned. 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.

So to commit mistake, to become illusioned, number two; and number three: a cheating propensity. Everyone, conditioned soul, thinks himself very expert, and he talks with his, I mean to say, fellow man as a very intelligent man. And he has got every . . . just like in business. In business you go to a storekeeper.

He'll say: "Oh, you are my great friend. I am not taking a farthing profit from you." But you must know that he is taking profit at least fifty percent. So this is called cheating propensity. One who is not in the knowledge, but he puts forward his theories and theses and so many by the words "perhaps," "it may be," like that—this is called cheating.

So to commit mistake, to be illusioned, and cheating propensity, and at last, imperfectness of the senses. Our senses are limited. We cannot see far distant place. We cannot see nearest. Just like our eyes cannot see the eyelids, because it is the nearest. And you cannot see the farthest. So the eyes also see under certain condition, in certain perspective position. Similarly, all our senses are limited. They cannot understand, or it is not possible to understand the unlimited by these imperfect, illusioned and cheating senses.

Therefore Vedic process does not accept that one should endeavor to know the ultimate truth by exertion of our present senses, which are conditioned by so many ways. Therefore those who are students in the Vedic literature, they accept authorities. Just like you are reading Bhagavad-gītā. The Bhagavad-gītā is being taught by Lord Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna. He is authority. And Kṛṣṇa says that, "This Bhagavad-gītā is taught from time immemorial by disciplic succession," not by research work.

As soon as you study Bhagavad-gītā by your academic knowledge, without reference to the authoritative description, then you commit mistake; you do not understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, therefore that, "This disciplic succession is now broken. I therefore establish again the disciplic succession unto you." That means Arjuna becomes the disciple of Kṛṣṇa, and anyone who understands Bhagavad-gītā, following the footprints of Arjuna, he can understand rightly what is the purpose of Bhagavad-gītā.

So all Vedic literature, not only Bhagavad-gītā, all the Vedas . . . there are four Vedas: Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva. Then there are Upaniṣads, 108 Upaniṣads. Out of that, nine Upaniṣads are very important: Īśopaniṣad, Kaṭha Upaniṣad, Taittirīya Upaniṣad. So then again, Vedānta-sūtra, then Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

In this way there are various Vedic literatures. And if you are interested . . . you should be interested. These Vedic literatures are not meant for a particular class of men. It was meant for the human society, so that they may take advantage of this knowledge and make a perfection of their human life.