ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 1st chapter, text number 20,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Prabhupāda, recorded on July 17,
1973 in London, England.
Translation: “O King, at that time
Arjuna, the son of Pāṇḍu, who
was seated in his chariot, his flag
marked with Hanumān, took up
his bow and prepared to shoot
his arrows, looking at the sons of
Dhṛtarāṣṭra. O King, Arjuna then
spoke to Hṛṣīkeśa, Kṛṣṇa, these
PRABHUPĀDA: So again the word
hṛṣīkeśa is used here. In the
beginning also, hṛṣīkeśaḥ
pāñcajanyam. Kṛṣṇa is again
designated as Hṛṣīkeśa. As we
have explained several times,
bhakti means hṛṣīkena hṛṣīkeśa-
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate [Cc.
Madhya 19.170]. Bhakti, the
whole devotional service
program, means hṛṣīkena
hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam. So Arjuna was
meant for serving Kṛṣṇa, because
he is bhakta. Kṛṣṇa has already
addressed him, bhakto ’si, priyo
’si, rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam:
“My dear Arjuna, I am speaking
to you the mystery of Bhagavad-
gītā.” It is a mystery. Mystery
means very complicated; no
ordinary man can understand.
Therefore it is called mystery,
rahasyam. But not ordinary
rahasyam, uttamam. Uttamam
means transcendental, not
covered with darkness of material
science. But it is brilliant, daivam,
So ordinary man cannot
understand. Therefore they
interpret foolishly, speculate, and
demonstrate their rascaldom.
That’s all. Even big, big scholars.
So they cannot understand
because they are not devotee. It
is meant for the devotee. This
whole Bhagavad-gītā is a
transaction between God and His
devotee. There is nothing more.
Just like if you go to the market
and two mercantile men talking.
So it should be understood that
he is also businessman, he is also
businessman, so they must be
talking something about
business. It is natural conclusion.
Two businessmen are talking
seriously, not that they are
discussing Bhagavad-gītā. You
cannot say that. They must be
talking about business,
something about profit.
Just like all the businessmen, they
assemble in exchange, like stock
exchange. So there is howling,
great sound, talking with each
other, tumultuous sound. That
tumultuous sound means one
businessman is talking, “What is
your rate? This is my rate. What is
your rate?” That’s all. You cannot
expect that a stock exchange, the
people gathered there, they are
talking something about
Bhāgavata and Bhagavad-gītā.
Similarly, when there is talk
between the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa
and His devotee, so this whole
talk is bhakti. It is nothing else.
They derive some meaning,
jñāna, jñānātmaka-vyākhyā. They
describe on the understanding of
the jñānīs, philosophical
speculators. They are also
candidate. Those who are jñānis
actually, they are also interested
to know what is Kṛṣṇa. Jñānī ca
bharatarṣabha, jijñāsur. Ārto
arthārthī jijñāsur jñānī ca
bharatarṣabha. These four classes
of men, provided their
background is pious life….
Impious life cannot inquire about
God or can understand about
God. We have several times
repeated the verse,
yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām te
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ [Bg.
Pāpīs, sinful men, they cannot
understand. They understand,
only think that “Kṛṣṇa is
Bhagavān; so I am also Bhagavān.
He’s an ordinary man, maybe
little powerful, historically very
famous man. So He is, after all, a
man. So I am also man. So why
not I am God?” This is the
conclusion of the abhaktas, non-
devotees and sinful men.
So anyone who is declaring
himself God, immediately you
should know he is the greatest
sinful man. And if you study his
private life, you will see that he is
number one sinful man. This is
the test. Otherwise nobody will
say that I am God, this false
representation. Nobody. Any
pious man will not do it. He
knows, “What I am? I am ordinary
human being. How can I claim to
take the position of God?” And
they become famous among
As it is stated in the Śrīmad-
kharaiḥ. What is that verse?
puruṣaḥ paśuḥ. They…. in this
world we see there are many
great men, so-called great men,
and they are very much praised
by the general people. So
Bhāgavata says, that anyone who
is not a devotee, who never
chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he
may be very great man in the
estimation of rascals, but he is
nothing but an animal. Śva-viḍ-
varāha-uṣṭra-kharaiḥ. “So how
you can say such a great man.
You are saying that animal.” Our
business is very thankless task.
We say any man who is not a
devotee, he is rascal. We say
generally. It is very harsh word,
but we have to use it. As soon as
we see that he is not a devotee
of Kṛṣṇa, then he’s a rascal. How
do we say? He is not my enemy,
but we have to say because it is
stated by Kṛṣṇa.
If we are really Kṛṣṇa conscious,
then our business is to repeat the
words of Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. What is
the difference between a Kṛṣṇa’s
representative and non-
representative of Kṛṣṇa will
simply repeat what Kṛṣṇa says.
That’s all. He becomes
representative. It doesn’t require
much qualification. You simply
repeat with firm conviction. As
Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān
parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ
vraja [Bg. 18.66] So one who has
accepted this fact, that, “If I
surrender to Kṛṣṇa, my all
business is successful,” he is
Kṛṣṇa’s representative. That’s all.
You don’t require to be very
highly educated or advanced.
Simply if you simply accept that
what Kṛṣṇa says… Just like Arjuna
said, sarvam etaṁ ṛtam manye
yad vadasi keśava: “My dear
Kṛṣṇa, Keśava, whatever You are
saying, I accept it, without any
change.” That is bhakta.
Therefore Arjuna is addressed,
bhakto ’si. This is the bhakta’s
business. Why shall I think of
Kṛṣṇa as like me, ordinary man?
This is the difference between a
bhakta and not bhakta. A bhakta
knows that “I am insignificant, a
small spark of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is
individual person. I am also
individual person. But when we
consider about His power and
my power, I am most
insignificant.” This is
understanding of Kṛṣṇa.
There is no difficulty. Simply one
must be sincere, not sinful. But a
sinful man cannot understand
Him. The sinful man, he will say,
“Oh, Kṛṣṇa is also man. I am also
man. Why I am not God? He is
simply God? No, I am also. I am
God. You are God, you are God,
every God.” Just like Vivekananda
said, “Why you are searching
after God? Don’t you see so
many gods are loitering in the
street?” You see. This is his God
realization. This is his God
realization. And he became a big
man: “Oh, he is seeing everyone
This foolishness, this rascaldom,
is going on all over the world.
One does not know what is God,
what is power of God, what is
meant by God. They are
accepting some rascal as God. As
nowadays, that is going on.
Another rascal has come. He is
also declaring himself God. So it
has become very cheap thing.
But they have no brain to think
that “I am claiming God; what
power I have got?”
So this is the mystery. This is the
mystery. Without becoming
devotee, the mystery of
understanding God is not
possible. And Kṛṣṇa has said in
the Bhagavad-gītā how one can
know Him. Bhaktyā mām
abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi
tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55]. Only by
devotion, simply. He could have
said, “By high, topmost
knowledge” or “By yogic process”
or “By acting, becoming a very
great karmī, worker, one can
understand Me.” No, he has
never said, never said. So the
karmīs, jñānīs, yogis, they are all
rascals. They cannot understand
Kṛṣṇa. All rascals. Karmīs are
third-class rascals, the jñānīs are
second-class rascal, and the yogis
are first-class rascal. That’s all.
You should understand, the so-
called yogis, they are first-class
rascal because they do not
understand Kṛṣṇa. The jñānīs
they are also second-class rascal.
Even a big scholar like Dr.
Radhakrishnan, he is how, I mean
to say, deforming the meaning of
Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says man-
manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-
yājī māṁ namaskuru: [Bg. 18.65]
“You always think…” This is Kṛṣṇa
“Always think of Kṛṣṇa, Me, about
Me,” Kṛṣṇa says. And they will
make meaning that you can say
also. “Kṛṣṇa says that you always
think of Him; you can say also,
Think of me.” This meaning, they
are distorting. So Kṛṣṇa says
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg.
18.65], and this Dr.
Radhakrishnan says, “It is not to
the Kṛṣṇa person.” Just see. Just a
big scholar, doctor of philosophy,
he cannot understand Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa says directly, man-manā
bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. He is
interpreting in a different way.
Therefore this word is used here,
hṛṣīkeśa. Hṛṣīkeśam idaṁ
vākyam, hṛṣīkeśam tadā vākyam
idam āha mahī-pate. Mahī-pate,
“O King…” Sañjaya was
addressing Dhṛtarāṣṭra. He’s a
king. So mahī-pate. Hṛṣīkeśaṁ
kapi-dhvajaḥ. Kapi-dhvajaḥ is
nominative. So “He said…” Kapi-
dhvajaḥ. Kapi-dhvajaḥ is also
significant. Kapi-dhvajaḥ, Arjuna,
on his… Just like nowadays also,
every nation has different types
of flags, so Arjuna also had his
flag on the… Dhvajaḥ. Dhvajaḥ
means the flag. The flag was on
the top of his chariot. And it was
marked with Hanumān,
Vajrāṅgajī, Vajrāṅgajī, Hanumān,
who fought for Lord
Rāmacandra. He is fighting for
Kṛṣṇa. So he is also following the
footsteps of Vajrāṅgajī.
Vaiṣṇavism is like that. Mahājano
yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ.
Mahājano yena gataḥ sa
panthāḥ. Vaiṣṇava should follow
his previous mahājana, authority.
That is Vaiṣṇavism. We don’t
manufacture ideas. We don’t
commit such rascaldom. We
simply accept the behavior or the
activities of previous ācāryas.
There is no difficulty. There is no
So in the fighting principle,
Arjuna is fighting for Kṛṣṇa. He is
following the previous fighting
ācārya, Hanumānji. Therefore he
has depicted his flag with
Hanumān, that “Hanumānji,
Vajrāṅgajī, kindly help me.” This
is Vaiṣṇavism. “I have come here
to fight for Lord Kṛṣṇa. You
fought also for the Lord. Kindly
help me.” This is the idea. Kapi-
dhvajaḥ. So any activities of the
Vaiṣṇava, they should always
pray to the previous ācārya,
“Kindly help me. Kindly…” This is,
Vaiṣṇava is always thinking
himself helpless, helpless. And
begging help from the previous
Just like in Caitanya-caritāmṛta
you will find, the author, at the
end of every chapter:
śrī rūpa-raghunātha-pade yāra
āśa caitanya-caritāmṛta kahe
His every line, he is thinking of
ācāryas. “So let me surrender to
the gosvāmīs and they will help
me how to write.” You cannot
write. That is not possible.
So this is Vaiṣṇava’s policy.
Vaiṣṇava ṭhākura, tomāra
kukkura, baliyā janaha more.
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has sung,
“My dear vaiṣṇava ṭhākura, you
just accept me as your dog, as
the dog works by the indication
of the master.” He will give his
life. Dog has a good qualification.
However a strong dog may be,
when the master orders, he will
give his life. This is dog, faithful,
so faithful to the master. So
vaiṣṇava ṭhākura… So
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is praying,
vaiṣṇava ṭhākura, tomāra
kukkura, baliyā janaha more: “My
dear vaiṣṇava ṭhākura…” Vaiṣṇava
ṭhākura means guru. “Kindly
accept me as your dog.” And he
describes, I forget the exact
language, that “I will always try to
protect you. As dog keeps watch,
so I will watch so nobody will
come to disturb you. And
whatever little prasādam you’ll
give me, I’ll be satisfied.” That
dog’s qualification. The master is
eating, but the dog will never
come, unless the master gives
little morsel. He is satisfied. He is
So this is Vaiṣṇavism, to follow
the previous ācārya. This is
Vaiṣṇavism. Mahājano yena
gataḥ sa panthāḥ, dharmasya
tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ
mahājano yena gataḥ…. Tarko
’pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā.
Tarko, if you are very great
logician, you can argue, “Oh why
Kṛṣṇa can be God? I can be God,”
by logic you may defeat an
ignorant devotee, but śāstra says
by becoming a big logician, you
Transcendental knowledge you
have to understand by
submitting, praṇipātena, tad
viddhi praṇipātena [Bg. 4.34].
First of all surrender. Tad viddhi.
If you want to know this
transcendental science, then you
must fully surrender. This is first
qualification. Tad viddhi
praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā.
Three things. First surrender; then
if you cannot understand, then
you question. Otherwise you
have no right to question from a
Not that “Can you show me
God?” What qualification you
have got? You want to see God.
Another rascal will say “Yes, I will
show you God. Come to me. I
shall show you God.” This is
going on. One rascal inquires,
“Can you show me God?” and the
big rascal says, “Yes, come to me
alone. I shall show you God.” This
business is going on. God’s
seeing is so cheap thing that any
rascal comes, “Can you show me
God,” and another rascal says,
“Yes, come to me. In the evening
I shall show you.” That means if
he is a foolish rascal, then he will
show him something magic, and
he will understand, “Oh I have
seen God.” That’s all, finished.
God-seeing business is finished.
And he comes… After God-
seeing, he is the same, the same
rascal. What improvement you
have… You have seen God. What
improvement you have made?
God seeing is so cheap thing. No.
So we should be very careful. If
we actually are interested in
understanding… Manuṣyāṇāṁ. It
is not so easy. In the Bhagavad-
gītā you will find. Manuṣyāṇāṁ
sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye
[Bg. 7.3]. Out of many millions of
persons, kaścid yatati siddhaye,
one person becomes interested
how to make his life successful.
Because they do not know what
is successful life. They simply
know who to work like hogs and
dogs, day and night working.
And what is the goal of life? Now,
sense gratification. Just like the
hogs. Hogs, you will find, day and
night finding out where is stool.
And he will eat. And as soon as
the hogs become very fatty,
because they eat actually very
substantial… Stool is chemically
very substantial food. It contains
hydro-phosphytes. The doctors
said. I do not know whether they
have tasted. (laughter). But they
taste it actually. When they test
in laboratory, they taste. I know
that. They taste it. They have to
taste it. Because their laboratory,
chemical examination means the
symptoms has to be written, the
characteristics. Just like
potassium cyanide, they have not
tasted. Because as soon as you
taste, you will die. (laughter)
So chemical analysis means one
has to test to find out the
characteristic. So this I have seen,
one doctor friend, he was
keeping one dysentery stool in a
plate, on his table, I saw. “What is
this doctor?” He said, “Oh, it is to
be tasted… It is dysentery stool”.
So they taste it. They have to.
They take fish… Everyone,
medical men know. So this hog’s
business is to eat stool, and as
soon as he gets fatty, then sex.
And that sex has no
discrimination. You will see, a
hogs, he does not care whether
mother, sister or anyone,
daughter. It doesn’t matter. So
this is hog civilization. Simply
eating and getting strength of
the senses and enjoy it.
This human life is not meant for
that purpose. Therefore it is said
that a person without God
consciousness, he is no better
than these dogs and hogs. That’s
all. This is our conclusion. We
don’t give any formal respect. Of
course, we have to give because
we are in this world. But at heart
we cannot give respect to a
person who has not any sense of
Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We cannot
give. Because who is going to
give any respect to the dogs and
saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ.
Therefore Jīva Gosvāmī has
commented on this verse… If
somebody says that “This Mr.
such and such, this Dr. such and
such, he is respected by so many
people, and you are saying that
he’s a rascal? What is this?” So
Jīva Gosvāmī says that “This man,
who is respected, but he is
respected by whom? He is
respected by this class of men:
dogs, hogs, camel and asses. So
he is a big paśuḥ.”
Just like the lion. Lion is
respected in the forest by dogs,
hogs, camel and asses and other
animals. Because lion is the king
of the animals. But does it mean,
because he is designated as the
king of animals, it has got any
use? Has it got any use for any
purpose? Similarly, these political
leaders, they may be lion, but
who respects them? These dogs,
hogs, camels and asses, that’s all.
He may be a big animal, but he is
animal, no better than a big
animal. That’s all. And other
animals praises, dogs, hogs,
Every word in the Śrīmad-
Bhāgavata we have to… We have
described why especially these
animals have been selected,
dogs, hogs, camels and asses.
Thank you very much. Hare