So if you want to understand Krsna, then you have to take the life of devotion. And one who does not take to this life of devotion, he cannot understand Krsna

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"So if you want to understand Krsna, then you have to take the life of devotion. And one who does not take to this life of devotion, he cannot understand Krsna"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

So if you want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then you have to take the life of devotion. And one who does not take to this life of devotion, he cannot understand Kṛṣṇa of Kṛṣṇa-philosophy, Bhagavad-gītā. It is far, far away. It is... My Guru Mahārāja used to say, "It is just like licking the honey bottle." One may come to the bottle filled with honey, but simply by licking the bottle, what taste he will get? The honey must be opened. Then if you taste, you will know what is honey. Similarly, simply by taking Bhagavad-gītā and trying to understand it by so-called scholarship is licking up the honey bottle. That's all. There will be no taste.
Lecture on BG 18.67 -- Ahmedabad, December 10, 1972:

Everything is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). As soon as one understands that he's not this body, he's spirit soul, then he becomes prasannātmā. Because prasannātmā means we are all working on the bodily concept of life. "I am Indian." "I am American." "I am Hindu." "I am Muslim." "I am brāhmaṇa." "I am śūdra." "I am this." "I am that." So when one understands that "I am not this body," then he comes to the point: "Why I am working so hard for this body?" Misunderstanding. That is called brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. Immediately your so many responsibilities go away. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu (BG 18.54). Then you understand that "Why I am envious of this man or that man, this animal or that animal? They are all part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. They are all brāhmaṇas." So samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). He sees brahma-darśī. In this way, when samatvam, samatvam, he comes to the point of samatvam, equality, mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54), that is the beginning of devotional life. That is the beginning of... It is not a sentiment. It is a great science to become a devotee, to come to the platform of devotional life. Mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54). When one comes to that stage of devotional life, then bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). At that time, one can understand what is Kṛṣṇa. Tattvataḥ. The same thing. In three places, Kṛṣṇa has been described: tattvataḥ. Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ (BG 7.3). How to understand tattvataḥ? Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55).

So if you want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then you have to take the life of devotion. And one who does not take to this life of devotion, he cannot understand Kṛṣṇa of Kṛṣṇa-philosophy, Bhagavad-gītā. It is far, far away. It is... My Guru Mahārāja used to say, "It is just like licking the honey bottle." One may come to the bottle filled with honey, but simply by licking the bottle, what taste he will get? The honey must be opened. Then if you taste, you will know what is honey. Similarly, simply by taking Bhagavad-gītā and trying to understand it by so-called scholarship is licking up the honey bottle. That's all. There will be no taste. There will be no taste. You go on for many millions of years, licking up that bottle. You'll never understand. If you want to understand, then Kṛṣṇa says here:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

The same tattva. You have to approach a person who has seen tattva, tattva-darśinaḥ. So that tattva-darśī already explained. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). One can become tattva-darśī simply by devotional service. So for coming to the platform of devotional service one has to make some sacrifice. That is called tapasya. Tapasya means voluntarily accepting some difficult things. That is called tapasya. Therefore those who have not taken to that, those who have taken Bhagavad-gītā as a table talk, they cannot understand. Not Bhagavad-gītā should be preached amongst them. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is warning: idaṁ te na atapaskāya nābhaktāya. Idaṁ te nātapaskāya nābhaktāya kadācana: "Never describe, never described this Bhagavad-gītā." Kṛṣṇa said in the previous verse... People will not be able to understand. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). This simple fact cannot be understood by any man who has not undergone some austerities, penances, and who has not become a devotee. It is not possible. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is warning: "Don't speak to these nonsense. They will not understand." But a devotee of Kṛṣṇa tries to make them devotee. Because Kṛṣṇa, in the next verse, says, ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati (Bg 18.68). Mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati. Here, in this verse, it is said, nābhaktāya: "Don't speak this truth of Bhagavad-gītā to the abhaktas," but if you can speak to the bhaktas... Ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyam. Paramaṁ guhyam. It is the most confidential knowledge, most confidential part of Vedic knowledge. It is said in the beginning: sarva-guhyatamam. Sarva-guhyatamam: "most confidential." So paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣu. Because from the beginning it is simply said, "Only the bhaktas can understand." Therefore it should be preached amongst the bhaktas. Mad-bhakteṣu abhidhāsyati, bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā mām eva eṣyasi, eṣyati asaṁśayaḥ.