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Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 1 - 6

BG 4.4, Purport:

That Kṛṣṇa is the supreme authority is accepted by the whole world, not only at present but from time immemorial, and the demons alone reject Him. Anyway, since Kṛṣṇa is the authority accepted by all, Arjuna put this question before Him in order that Kṛṣṇa would describe Himself without being depicted by the demons, who always try to distort Him in a way understandable to the demons and their followers. It is necessary that everyone, for his own interest, know the science of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, when Kṛṣṇa Himself speaks about Himself, it is auspicious for all the worlds. To the demons, such explanations by Kṛṣṇa Himself may appear to be strange because the demons always study Kṛṣṇa from their own standpoint, but those who are devotees heartily welcome the statements of Kṛṣṇa when they are spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself. The devotees will always worship such authoritative statements of Kṛṣṇa because they are always eager to know more and more about Him. The atheists, who consider Kṛṣṇa an ordinary man, may in this way come to know that Kṛṣṇa is superhuman, that He is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1)—the eternal form of bliss and knowledge—that He is transcendental, and that He is above the domination of the modes of material nature and above the influence of time and space. A devotee of Kṛṣṇa, like Arjuna, is undoubtedly above any misunderstanding of the transcendental position of Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna's putting this question before the Lord is simply an attempt by the devotee to defy the atheistic attitude of persons who consider Kṛṣṇa to be an ordinary human being, subject to the modes of material nature.


SB Canto 1

SB 1.7.49, Purport:

Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, who was the son of Dharmarāja, or Yamarāja, fully supported the words of Queen Draupadī in asking Arjuna to release Aśvatthāmā. One should not tolerate the humiliation of a member of a great family. Arjuna and his family were indebted to the family of Droṇācārya because of Arjuna's learning the military science from him. If ingratitude were shown to such a benevolent family, it would not be at all justified from the moral standpoint. The wife of Droṇācārya, who was the half body of the great soul, must be treated with compassion, and she should not be put into grief because of her son's death. That is compassion. Such statements by Draupadī are without duplicity because actions should be taken with full knowledge. The feeling of equality was there because Draupadī spoke out of her personal experience. A barren woman cannot understand the grief of a mother. Draupadī was herself a mother, and therefore her calculation of the depth of Kṛpī's grief was quite to the point. And it was glorious because she wanted to show proper respect to a great family.

SB 1.11.37, Purport:

The mental speculators misunderstand Him as the Supreme Person, and they consider His impersonal features as inexplicable Brahman to be all. Such a conception is also the product of conditioned life because they cannot go beyond their own personal capacity. Therefore, one who considers the Lord on the level of one's limited potency is only a common man. Such a man cannot be convinced that the Personality of Godhead is always unaffected by the modes of material nature. He cannot understand that the sun is always unaffected by infectious matter. The mental speculators compare everything from the standpoint of experimental knowledge of their own selves. Thus when the Lord is found to act like an ordinary person in matrimonial bondage, they consider Him to be like one of them, without considering that the Lord can at once marry sixteen thousand wives or more. Due to a poor fund of knowledge they accept one side of the picture while disbelieving the other. This means that due to ignorance only they always think of Lord Kṛṣṇa as like themselves and make their own conclusions, which are absurd and unauthentic from the version of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 4.14 -- Vrndavana, August 6, 1974:

So so much in the renounced order of life. But they lived—how? Gopī-bhāva-rasāmṛtābdhi-laharī-kallola-magnau muhuḥ. They were always thinking of the gopīs' dealing with Kṛṣṇa. So from this standpoint of view, the, the dealings of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa, that is not these ordinary human dealings. That is all spiritual. Without understanding the spiritual platform of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs... Nobody try to understand it. Then they will be misled. So... Therefore Kṛṣṇa says. People may not be misled. Sometimes He's seen to be acting against the social laws. Therefore Kṛṣṇa warns, na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti: (BG 4.14) "These social, political or religious laws do not apply to Me." Na māṁ karmāṇi limpanti.

Lecture on BG 4.14-19 -- New York, August 3, 1966:

Just like Arjuna, when he first refused to work, refused to fight, that "My dear Kṛṣṇa, it is not possible for me to fight with my relatives, brothers. I am not going to fight," but from material estimation, this conclusion, this decision of Arjuna, is very good, very good. So materially, from material standing of, standpoint of view, that he is not going to commit nonviolence, violence—he is nonviolent—he's very good man. But from spiritual point of view, it is not so. From spiritual point of view, it is not so. So one has to see. Simply by external features, that one is working and one is not working, that we cannot... What is the standard of work? Under what consciousness he's working. If he's working in material consciousness, then he's being bound up. However good may be that work, he's being bound up.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 2.9.1 -- Tokyo, April 20, 1972:

Just like in India there is a rascal. He makes like that, and there is immediately some gold. And people become after him: "Oh, he is God. He is God." By producing a little gold, he becomes God. Another yogi, he gives immediately two rasagullā. So by producing two rasagullā, four annas' worth, he becomes God. You see? This is illusion. These rascals, they do not know that, "What is this rasagullā, two rasagullā? I can purchase from the market for four annas. So he is becoming God by four annas?" But they have no sense. "Oh, he is God. He can produce rasagullā." Rasagullā I can produce in our kitchen. But they are so rascal. "Oh, wonderful." So the yogic siddhis... So Kṛṣṇa gives him some power of yogic siddhi and he thinks that "I have become God," and some flatterers, they also think, "Oh, you are God." The same dream. And as soon as death comes, everything finished, your Godhood and everything finished. Now becomes doghood, come to the stage of doghood. Again, another dream: "I am dog." First of all "I am God," then next stage, "I am dog." This is going on. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura said, keno māyār bośe jāccho bhese': "Why you are being washed away by the waves of māyā? Just fix up. Stand up." Jīv kṛṣṇa-dās ei viśwās korle to ār duḥkho nāi. You simply remain fixed up on this standpoint, that, "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." Then there is no more dream. And if you allow yourself to be washed away, Kṛṣṇa gives you facility, "All right, come on. Be washed away."

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz:

Śyāmasundara: He says that the world could have been otherwise if God desired, but that He chose this particular arrangement, and from the standpoint of its ingredients, this is the best possible world.

Prabhupāda: Yes. God can do anything He likes, but this world is planned not by God; it is given to the living entities who wanted to imitate God. So actually, the plan is according to the desire of the living entities who wanted to lord it over the material nature. God's plan is not this. It is exactly like the prison house is planned by the government because there are criminals. God's plan is "Come back home, giving everything up." Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar iti mām eti. His plan is to invite all the conditioned souls back to home, back to Godhead. He doesn't like the living entities to live here. But because they wanted to lord it over the material nature, they have been given that facility.

Śyāmasundara: So from the standpoint of the ingredients of this world, material ingredients, is this the best possible world with those ingredients?

Prabhupāda: No. The spiritual world. There are spiritual ingredients.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

Press Interview -- December 30, 1968, Los Angeles:

Journalist: Do you think that, really, from a very practical standpoint, do you think that your movement has a chance to make it here in America?

Prabhupāda: So far I've seen it has great chance. What do you think?

Journalist: From a very pragmatic standpoint what do you think? Really.

Hayagrīva: Yes, it has possibilities. I don't know about on a wide scale, but it definitely has possibilities. Especially in I think in these areas, in the cities.

Journalist: Cosmopolitan areas.

Hayagrīva: Of course, we're also starting a community in West Virginia.

Journalist: You are? Why West Virginia?

Hayagrīva: Well, this is where we're starting. I've just started it with other's help.

Journalist: You're starting it?

Prabhupāda: He has secured a land, about 138 acres.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- December 10, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: No, you may not agree with him. Still, you have to accept. That is his supremacy. You may not agree with him, but because he's supreme, you have to accept his order. That is his position. It does not depend on your acceptance or not acceptance. That is supremacy. Is it not?

Hṛdayānanda: Yes.

Prabhupāda: You cannot say, "Mr. President, I don't agree with you. Therefore I shall not accept your order." No. You have to. You agree or not agree. That is supremacy. So when we judge the supremacy from material standpoint of view, we find that these things are the symptoms of supremacy. So all these symptoms must be in full extent in God. That is Supreme Person. God is great, God is the supreme controller. How He's supreme controller? So these are the symptoms. Therefore the definition of God given by Parāśara Muni.

Morning Walk -- December 31, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: ...theologician?

Prajāpati: Here I am, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: No theory?

Prajāpati: Actually, I was concerned this morning about inflation. The government and the newspapers, they say the biggest problem today is inflation. From our Kṛṣṇa conscious standpoint, how can we cure this problem of inflation?

Prabhupāda: It is very simple. Don't accept paper currency. It must be gold or some metal worth. Just like one dollar, it must be worth one dollar metal. Then it is solved. But they want to cheat. How it can be solved? Because if I pay you one dollar, I must pay you value for one dollar. But it is the cheating process is going on, "I pay you one dollar, a piece of paper. That's all." So you accept cheating, and I also cheat. Government allows. So how the problem can be solved? It is cheating. But the government allows it as law. And you accept, I accept. Then how they can be solved, solution? This is the solution.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk Excerpts -- May 2, 1974, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: "...Kṛṣṇa is gone, I shall die." This is govinda viraheṇa me. "Oh, what is the use of living if Kṛṣṇa is gone?"

Dr. Patel: He was just a boy of five, six, seven years. (break)

Girirāja: ...about a hundred hoods, how could Kṛṣṇa manage all of those hoods?

Prabhupāda: Oh, then you do not understand Kṛṣṇa. You are trying to understand Kṛṣṇa from your point of view. Kaliya may have unlimited number of hoods; still, Kṛṣṇa can expand Himself. That is Kṛṣṇa. You are thinking Kṛṣṇa from your standpoint of view.

Girirāja: So He did it, He expanded Himself.

Prabhupāda: Oh yes.

Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: That's it. So from God's standpoint of view, we cannot take simply that simply to serve the human being is to serve God. Another point is that living entities, the service, according to Sanskrit conception, service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior, mercy. There are two words. Sevā, the Sanskrit word, sevā, and dayā. You know something of Sanskrit?

Monsignor Verrozano: Somewhat, yes.

Prabhupāda: Seva means service. So service is offered to the superior. And to the inferior or subordinate, we offer our compassion. So similarly, as we are eager to give service, similarly, we should be eager to be compassionate. So it is not very good idea. Just like in India they say, daridra-nārāyaṇa. Some nation, that to give service to the human being, and cut the throat of the animals. This philosophy is not good.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- April 5, 1975, Mayapur:

Madhudviṣa: But who...? We can say that because we're above the hogs.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Madhudviṣa: But what do the hogs think?

Prabhupāda: Hogs think like that.

Madhudviṣa: They think they're enjoying.

Prabhupāda: If you become hog, you will also think like that.

Madhudviṣa: But let us say just from our human standpoint...

Prabhupāda: Then the human standpoint is... If a hog eating stool, you hate it.

Madhudviṣa: We hate it.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Madhudviṣa: But he doesn't hate it.

Prabhupāda: Therefore... Because he is hog. You become hog. You'll not hate it.

Room Conversation with the Rector, Professor Olivier and Professors of the University of Durban, Westville -- October 8, 1975, Durban:

Professor: You mean your future?

Prabhupāda: Yes. I do not know what is my future. Then what is my education?

Professor: Yes. Yes. Of course, that is one standpoint, isn't it?

Prabhupāda: No, that is the main standpoint. I am taking education in the university. I do not know what is my future. Then where is the education? I am in darkness.

Professor: Yes. But the main thing is, from the Hindu point of view, you have the...

Prabhupāda: It is not the Hindu point of view. It is science. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13)—that is applicable both for Hindu, Muslim, Christian, everyone. Just like a Hindu child and a Muslim child. Does it mean that Hindu child will not grow to become young man? Only the Muslim will grow? The dehāntara-prāptiḥ—a child becomes a boy—that is equally applicable to the Hindus, to the Muslim, to the Christian, to everyone.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Oh, yes. Our students to pick up some Sanskrit words. Ātmā, jīva, like that. He was telling me that in about thirty or forty years our ISKCON, our movement will have a great impact in the social life there.

Prabhupāda: We are giving all, all round enlightenment. Bhagavad-gītā is full of information from all standpoint. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7). We are now in such a downtrodden position, the whole human... He must accept. There is... The civilization is doomed. (pause) What do they explain about so many varieties of life? How do they come?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They call by mutation. It's called mutation.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Mutation is... They say DNA molecule is the... called master molecule. But somehow during the course of...

Prabhupāda: Somehow.

Press Interview at Muthilal Rao's House -- August 17, 1976, Hyderabad:

Interviewer (3): So you help people inquire God.

Prabhupāda: Yes, because that is business. Athāto brahma jijñāsā But they are forgetting that, that there is necessity of inquiring about God. To inquire about my relationship with God, what is God, they are neglecting this. Not only here, all over the world, it is becoming more and more acute.

Interviewer (4): So in relation to your movement, where does Marxism stand?

Prabhupāda: It is not my movement, it is the Vedic culture. Don't think... If you say "my movement," I have manufactured something. Not. This is the Vedic culture.

Interviewer (4): No, from the standpoint of this culture...

Prabhupāda: Standpoint is that I am trying to revive the Vedic culture, that's all. That is my business. I am not manufacturing anything.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Interview with Mr. Koshi (Asst. Editor of The Current Weekly) -- April 5, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Somebody. What is that somebody? Is he a scientist? Is he a philosopher? Is he advanced? Any loafer class man say anything.

Mr. Koshi: There are scholars from other religions also.

Prabhupāda: Then you do not understand the standpoint. We have to understand the active principle of life. So why other scholars will disagree? Then he is not a scholar. Let us come to the scientific point of view. We have to understand what is the active principle within this machine. It is equally important to all scholars. That we have to preach. They may say that "Your Kṛṣṇa; our this." No. That knowledge Kṛṣṇa is giving for everyone. And it is accepted by everyone. They are Christians. How they are accepting? I am not bribing them.

Discussion about Bhu-mandala -- July 5, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: First of all you have to prove that you are imperfect.

Bhakti-prema: That has already been proved.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You're simply insisting on things by "probably." "Probably beyond the Himalaya there is something." That is one thing. We say "Definitely, here is. Beyond the Himalayas like this, that." That is the difference. You say "probably," I say "definitely." Father, mother said, "Here is your father." You can say "probably," and mother is saying "definitely." She knows perfectly. You may say probably he may be your father, but mother knows that definitely. Therefore we take Vedas as mother, Purāṇas as sister. Śukadeva Gosvāmī is explaining it. Iti śuśruma. But śuśruma, why he should waste his valuable time? He knows it is definite. So unless you come to this standpoint that whatever is spoken in the Vedic literature, that is definite, you cannot be convinced by argument. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Śukadeva Gosvāmī said—that's all. Mahājano yena. Vaiyāsakiḥ.


1969 Correspondence

Letter to Hayagriva -- Los Angeles 31 January, 1969:

You know Dr. Haridasa Chondhery of San Francisco. He writes as follows:—"I am delightful to receive your affectionate gift of 'The Bhagavad-gita As It Is.' Whenever I find some time, I read a little from it. The book is without doubt the best presentation so far to the western public of the teachings of Lord Krishna—the standpoint of the Vaisnava tradition of India . . . etc."

Actually it is so. Now we have to make some propaganda work to convince the different colleges and universities to read this real form of B.G. to the Western Public.

Letter to Brahmananda -- Los Angeles 5 February, 1969:

Regarding my teaching in different universities, you will be pleased to know that recently I got one letter from Cultural Integration Fellowship President, Dr. Haridasa Chaudhuri. He has appreciated my book, and he remarks as follows: "The book is without doubt the best presentation so far to the western public of the teachings of Lord Krishna from the standpoint of Vaisnava tradition and devotional Hindu mysticism." So actually this is the correct position of our Krishna Consciousness movement. There are religious classes held in almost every university of your country, and they are eager also to study different kinds of religions. So far as Bhagavad-gita is concerned, there is no doubt about it that I am the only authority in your country in this matter. Nobody can speak on the Bhagavad-gita so authoritatively as I can do. That is a fact. So if the university wants to take advantage of this opportunity, even in this old age I can go from one university to another, and I am sure they can learn from me only the true teachings of the Bhagavad-gita; from me and from my students who are already trained up in this connection. So, if something can be done in this connection, it will help our missionary propaganda, and the students shall get new light from our book, Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Letter to Tirtha Maharaja -- Los Angeles 7 February, 1969:

Five thousand (5,000) copies of Back To Godhead Magazine are being published monthly now, and since the demand is increasing, we are arranging to print twenty thousand (20,000) copies starting from next April. You are regularly receiving these copies both in Calcutta and Madras, and I have also instructed to send copies to Sri Caitanya Math for Sraman Maharaja. My books are being published by MacMillan Company, and the first publication is Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I am sending a copy of this book for your personal reading by separate mail. Please let me know of your opinion. Dr. Haridasa Chaudhuri, the President of the Asiatic Studies Institute in San Francisco has opined as follows: "The book is without doubt the best presentation so far to the western public of the teachings of Lord Krishna from the standpoint of the Vaisnava tradition in India—the standpoint of devotional Hindu Mysticism."

Letter to Vrndavanesvari -- Allston, Mass 26 April, 1969:

I am so pleased to receive your letter dated April 18, 1969 here in Boston. I am glad to learn that little Muradvaja is now become recovered from the fever he experienced in Los Angeles, and I am also glad to learn that Mandali Bhadra has already begun the translation work. It is Krishna's desire that we should meet together and cooperate for the cause of Krishna Consciousness movement which is so badly needed throughout the world. You and your husband are quite competent to take up this responsibility and your little child, Muradvaja, is a great hope for our future activities. He is fortunate boy to have such nice father and mother, and if you can raise him properly for this purpose, you shall all be benefited from the spiritual standpoint. I am glad that Ananda is executing the Krishna Consciousness movement there in Vancouver very intelligently with determination and sincerity. Please offer him my blessings, as well as to your husband and child.

Facts about "Standpoint"
Compiled byVisnu Murti + and Serene +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryMarch 21, 0012 JL +
Date of last entryApril 30, 0012 JL +
Total quotes22 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 1 +, SB: 2 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 4 +, Conv: 11 + and Let: 4 +