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ANNOUNCER: The following is a
class on the Bhagavad-gītā As It
Is, 1st chapter, text number 31,
given by His Divine Grace A. C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupāda, recorded on July
24th, 1973 in London, England.

PRADYUMNA: Translation. “I do
not see how any good can come
from killing my own kinsmen in
this battle, nor can I, my dear
Kṛṣṇa, desire any subsequent
victory, kingdom, or happiness.”

PRABHUPĀDA: So there are two
things, śreyas and preyas. Here
Arjuna is speaking of śreyas.
Śreyas means ultimate good, and
preyas means immediately
palatable. That is called preyas.
So everyone should be interested
for śreyas, not for preyas. Just like
a child, he likes to play all day
and night. Naturally. Playful child.
So that is called preyas. He likes
immediate pleasure. But his
father says, “My dear child, just
go to school or read book.” So
father is asking for śreyas,
ultimate good. If he is not
educated at the, at childhood,
then how he will prosper in his
future life? So considering the
future prospect, ultimate good,
that is called śreyas. And preyas
means immediate. Just like we
eat something which I may not
digest, or it may have some bad
effect later on. But people are
interested—the immediate
benefit, without calculation of
future benefit.

So Arjuna is considering with
reference to his future, that “If I
kill my kinsmen, what benefit
there will be? I want victory, I
want kingdom, to become happy,
but if my all kinsmen are killed,
then what is the value of my
victory? With whom I shall
enjoy?” He is thinking like that.
Society… The same thing: society,
friendship and love. Everyone
wants to enjoy life with society,
friends. Nobody wants to enjoy
life alone. That is not possible.
This is not natural. So wherefrom
we got this idea, that I cannot
enjoy alone? Just like generally a
person is alone, but he gets a
wife with a hope for enjoying
family life, children, wife, friends.
Gṛha-kṣetra, ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-
sutāpta-vittaiḥ. Gṛha means
apartment, and kṣetra means
land. Gṛha-kṣetra-suta. Suta
means children. Ataḥ gṛha-
kṣetra-suta āpta. Āpta means
friends, society. Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-
sutāpta-vittaiḥ. Āpta means
friends, society, and to support
all these things—Gṛha, kṣetra,
suta, āpta,—there is required
money, vitta. Vitta means money.
Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair
janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti
[SB 5.5.8]. This is material life.
Gṛha, kṣetra. “I must have Gṛha.”
Gṛha means with wife. Na gṛhaṁ
gṛham ity āhur gṛhiṇī gṛham
ucyate. Gṛha. Gṛha means house.

So we are also living in house,
very nice house. But still, we are
not gṛhastha. A Gṛha, to live in a
house, does not mean a
gṛhastha. Na gṛhaṁ gṛham ity
āhuḥ. Gṛhastha means gṛha. Gṛhe
tiṣṭhati iti gṛhastha. Every Sanskrit
word has got elaborate meaning.
Gṛhastha means one who stays in
gṛha, in house. He is called
gṛhastha. So we can be called
gṛhastha also. We are living in
house. No. Śāstra says, na gṛhaṁ
gṛham ity āhuḥ: “Simply a house
is not gṛha.” There must be the
housewife. That means wife.
Gṛhiṇī gṛham ucyate. In Hindi this
word is used, garbhali means if
there is no wife, that is not gṛha.
Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, putra-
hīnaṁ gṛhaṁ śūnyam. “You have
got wife, but if you have no
children, that gṛha is also void.”
So gṛhastha means to live with
wife and children, and cultivating
spiritual life. That is called
gṛhastha. It doesn’t matter, you
live with your wife and children,
or you live with brahmacārī,
sannyāsī. Anything. It doesn’t
matter. Therefore there are so
many divisions of life. Whichever
status of life is suitable for you,
you can accept. Brahmacārī,
gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa
āśrama. Āśrama, when the word
is added, āśrama, that means it
has got reference with cultivation
of spiritual life. So gṛhastha-
āśrama. One can live at home
with wife and children, but the
business should be Kṛṣṇa
consciousness. We don’t accept
the Māyāvādī sannyāsī because
there is no Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Simply by becoming sannyāsī…
Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā:
“This world is false. Brahman is
truth. So I give up this world.”
That kind of sannyāsī we do not
accept. Either you become
gṛhastha or sannyāsī or
brahmacārī, there must be Kṛṣṇa.
Then it will be called āśrama.
Gṛhastha-āśrama, sannyāsa-
āśrama, brahmacārī-āśrama.
Therefore this word is added,

So Arjuna is in gṛhastha-āśrama.
He wants to serve Kṛṣṇa. He’s
Kṛṣṇa’s friend. He is a devotee.
Kṛṣṇa has already recommended.
In the Fourth Chapter He will
declare, bhakto ’si priyo ’si me.
“You are My dear friend. You are
My devotee.” So he is qualified,
gṛhastha-āśramī. He is devotee of
Kṛṣṇa, but he is also family man.
He has his wife, children. So here
the problem is what is śreyas?
What is ultimate good? That is
mistaken here. Therefore
Bhagavad-gītā is required. He is
thinking that “Kṛṣṇa is not so
important. My family is
important. My family.” Although
he is devotee. Therefore
kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, in the lower
stage of devotee, in the lower
stage of devotion, one may be
interested in Kṛṣṇa
consciousness, but his real
interest is how to improve this
material life. Just like: “O God,
give us our daily bread.” So he
has gone to God not to serve
God, but to take bread. Ārtaḥ
arthārthī. That is also good. But
he… Because he has gone to God
to ask for bread, he is better than
the rascals who do not care for
God. He has gone to God. That is
recommended in the Bhagavad-
gītā. Ārto jijñāsur arthārthī jñānī
ca bharatarṣabha. Catur-vidhā
bhajante māṁ janāḥ sukṛtino
’rjuna. “Arjuna, four kinds of
people, they become devotee.”
Who are they? Ārta. Ārta means
distressed. Arthārthī, one who is
poor, wants some money; jijñāsu,
inquisitive; and jñānī, and a man
of knowledge. So ārtaḥ arthārthī,
this is meant, this is referred to
the gṛhastha. The gṛhasthas, they
become sometimes distressed.
The gṛhastha-āśrama means
unless there is Kṛṣṇa or full
consciousness of Kṛṣṇa, it is
simply miserable, simply
miserable. Duḥkhālayam
aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. Simply
working hard day and night, then
there is, child is sick, then wife is
not satisfied, the servant is not
satisfied… So many things,
problem. But if there is Kṛṣṇa in
the center, the all problems will
be solved. But people do not
know this. They think that “I shall
be happy with wife, children,
servants, house, and this and
that.” No. That is not possible.
Therefore one should be in
gṛhastha-āśrama. Not only in
family life. Family, the dogs have
got family life. He has got wife,
children. The cats and the hogs, a
big family. Because a hog begets,
at a time, one dozen children.
What you beget? You are afraid
of begetting one child even. This
contraceptive method. But they
are not afraid. They beget one
dozen children at a time, twice in
a year. So to live with family, wife,
children… Then the hog accepts
family life. No. That is not family
life. You live with wife, children,
peacefully, if you like, but bring in
Kṛṣṇa in the center. That is

So Arjuna is talking of the
ultimate good. But he is talking
ultimate good with the point of
view from material conception.
He does not know… He knows,
but he is playing the part of a
person who does not know that
ultimate śreyas, ultimate good, is
Kṛṣṇa. Ultimate good is not that
“We live with family—that is
good.” No. When you live with
family because you cannot
renounce, so that is allowed. But
you live with family with Kṛṣṇa. So
Kṛṣṇa is there, but he is thinking
in terms of material role, that “If
my kinsmen are dead, I kill them,
then where is my good? It is no
good. What shall I do with the
victory and happiness? Where is
happiness? I cannot live without
them.” This is the conception.
Ataḥ gṛha… Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-
sutāpta-vittair janasya moho
’yam. This is illusion. Everyone is
trying to become happy with
society, friendship and love,
children, wife, friends, money and
house and land. This is the
conception of material…. So
Arjuna is thinking in material
concept of life. He is not thinking
that “My ultimate good is to
satisfy Kṛṣṇa.” This is the
Bhagavad-gītā’s purport. That is
Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One has to
change to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, not to
satisfy himself or the family or
the society or the nation, no.
Whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, that is
the criterion. That is ultimate
good. Kasmin tuṣṭe jagat tuṣṭam.
If Kṛṣṇa is satisfied, then other
things will be automatically
satisfied. But they do not know.
They are thinking that “I can
bring Kṛṣṇa in the midst of my
family provided Kṛṣṇa helps me
to enjoy this material life.” They
are thinking like that. That is ārta.
But that is also good. Just like
Dhruva Mahārāja, he was ārta.
Ārta, means he wanted
something material, benefit. His
stepmother insulted him, that
“You cannot sit down on the lap
of your father because you were
not born in my womb.” He was
kṣatriya; he took it insult. So his
father had two wives. So he was
born the eldest queen. The father
was not very much attached to
the eldest queen. The father was
attached to the junior queen. And
the junior queen was very proud
that “The king is in my hand.” So
she insulted. The father was not
happy. The… Although Dhruva
Mahārāja was born of the eldest
queen… And it is sometimes
liking. So that does not mean he
did not like his son. So he wanted
to sit down on the lap of his
father and the stepmother
insulted. So he took it very
seriously. And he wanted to have
the kingdom. This is arthārthī. He
wanted something. And his
mother advised that “You take
shelter of Kṛṣṇa. He can fulfill
your desire.” So therefore ārtaḥ
arthārthī. He was distressed; at
the same time, he wanted a
kingdom by the grace of Kṛṣṇa.
That was his purpose. So because
he went to worship Kṛṣṇa for
some material benefit, he is to be
taken as pious.

Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
sukṛtina. Sukṛtina means pious.
Kṛtī means very expert in acting
worldly activities. So one who are
engaged in pious activities, they
are called sukṛtī. There are two
kinds of activities: impious
activities, sinful activities; and
pious activities. So one who goes
to pray in the church or in the
temple, “O God, give us our daily
bread,” or “God, give me some
money,” or “God, give me relief
from this distress,” they are also
pious. They are not impious. The
impious people, they will never
surrender to God, Kṛṣṇa. Na māṁ
duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ, prapadyante
narādhamāḥ [Bg. 7.15]. These
class of men, sinful men, rascal,
lowest of the mankind, whose
knowledge has been taken away
by māyā, and demon—these
classes of men will never
surrender to God. Therefore they
are duṣkṛtina, impious. So Kṛṣṇa
is pious, but still he wants the
family benefit. This is his defect.
Er, Arjuna. Family prosperity. He
wants to be happy with society,
friendship and love. Therefore he
says that na kāṅkṣe vijayam… This
is called vairāgya. Śmaśāna-
vairāgya. It is called śmaśāna-
vairāgya. Śmaśāna-vairāgya
means that in India, the Hindus,
they burn the dead body. So
relatives take the dead body for
burning to the burning ghāṭa,
and when the body is burned,
everyone present there, for the
time being, they become little
renounced: “Oh, this is the body.
We are working for this body.
Now it is finished. It is burnt into
ashes. So what is the benefit?”
This kind of vairāgya,
renouncement, is there. But as
soon as he comes from the
burning ghāṭa, he again begins
his activities. In the śmaśāna, in
the burning ghāṭa, he becomes
renounced. And as soon as
comes home, again he is
vigorous, vigorous, how to earn,
how to get money, how to get
money, how to get money. So
this kind of vairāgya is called
śmaśāna-vairāgya, temporary. He
cannot become vairāgī. And he
said, na kāṅkṣe vijayam: “I don’t
want victory. I don’t want this.”
This is temporary sentiment.
Temporary sentiment. These
people, they attach to family life.
They may say like that, that “I
don’t want this happiness, don’t
want this very nice position,
victory. I don’t want.” But he
wants everything. He wants
everything. Because he does not
know what is the śreyas. Śreyas is
Kṛṣṇa. Actually, when one gets
Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness,
then he can say that “I don’t want
this.” They will not say that. Why
they will say, “Don’t want this”?
Here what we have got? Suppose
I have got a kingdom. So that is
my kingdom? No. That is Kṛṣṇa’s
kingdom. Because Kṛṣṇa says
bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-
loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29]. He is
the proprietor. I may be His
representative. Kṛṣṇa wants that
everyone should be Kṛṣṇa

So the king’s duty is, as
representative of Kṛṣṇa, to make
every citizen Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Then he is doing nice duty. And
because the monarchs did not do
so, therefore now monarchy is
abolished everywhere. So again
the monarchs, where there is
monarchy, little, at least show of
monarchy, just like here in
England there is, actually if the
monarch becomes Kṛṣṇa
conscious, actually becomes
representative of Kṛṣṇa, then the
whole face of the kingdom will
change. That is required. Our
Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is
for that purpose. We don’t very
much like this so-called
democracy. What is the value of
this democracy? All fools and
rascals. They vote another fool
and rascal, and he becomes
prime minister, or this or that.
Just like… In so many cases. That
is not good for the people. We
are not for this so-called
democracy because they are not
trained. If the king is trained…
That was the system of
monarchy. Just like Yudhiṣṭhira
Mahārāja or Arjuna or anyone. All
the kings. Rājarṣi. They were
called rājarṣi.

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān
aham avyayam vivasvān manave
prāha manur ikṣvākave ’bravīt
[Bg. 4.1]

Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ
rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2].
Rājarṣayaḥ. Rāja, king means, he
is not only king. He is a great ṛṣi,
saintly person, just like Mahārāja
Yudhiṣṭhira or Arjuna. They’re
saintly persons. They are not
ordinary, this drunkard king, that
“I have got so much money. Let
me drink and let there be
dancing of the prostitute.” Not
like that. They were ṛṣi. Although
they were king, they were ṛṣis.
That kind of king wanted, rājarṣi.
Then people will be happy. In
Bengali there is a proverb, rājara
pāpe rāja naṣṭa gṛhiṇī doṣe
gṛhastha bhraṣṭa (?). In gṛhastha
life, in household life, if the wife is
not good, then nobody will be
happy in that home, gṛhastha life,
household life. Similarly, in a
kingdom, if the king is impious,
then everything, everyone will
suffer. This is the problem.

So Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna is thinking of the
śreyas and preyas. Actual śreyas
means to achieve Kṛṣṇa
consciousness. That is wanting in
Arjuna. He is showing that
feature of life, that he wants
better the society, friendship and
love. He does not want to kill
them. Then everything will be
finished. But actually the fact is
that even after killing the so-
called kinsmen, if he can satisfy
Kṛṣṇa, that is his śreyas. That is
his śreyas. That he does not
know. And because he does not
know, therefore this Bhagavad-
gītā is there. He is playing the
part that he does not know that
Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate goal of life,
not this so-called society,
friendship and love. He is playing
that part, that he does not know.
He is thinking that “Kṛṣṇa is not
important.” Kṛṣṇa has already
asked him to fight, but he is
considering that “Kṛṣṇa, You are
asking me to fight, and I have to
kill my own kinsmen. Then where
is my victory?” So therefore he
said… Here in the previous verse,
he has said, paśyāmi viparītāni
keśava: “You are asking me to
fight, for my victory, for my
happiness, but I see it will be just
the opposite.” Paśyāmi viparītāni.
This is his problem. And to solve
this problem, Arjuna became the
disciple of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa
advised him this Bhagavad-gītā,
and that is the prelude. Unless
Arjuna plays like that, ordinary

Anyone, everyone wants to be
happy with this Gṛha-kṣetra-
sutāpta-vittaiḥ, household life,
and having some land. In those
days there was no industry.
Therefore industry is not meant.
Land. If you get land, then you
can produce your food. But
actually that is our life. Here in
this village we find so much land
lying vacant, but they are not
producing their food. They make
their food the cows, poor cows,
to kill them and eat them. This is
not Gṛha-kṣetra. You become
gṛhastha, but you produce your
food from the land, Gṛha-kṣetra.
And when you produce food,
then beget children, Gṛha-kṣetra-
suta-āpta-vitta. In India in village,
there is, still the system is
amongst the poor men, the
cultivators, that if the cultivator
cannot provide to keep a cow, he
will not marry. Jaru and garu. Jaru
means wife, and garu means cow.
So one should keep a wife if he is
able to keep a cow also. Jaru and
garu. Because if you keep a wife,
immediately there will be
children. But if you cannot give
them cows’ milk, the children will
be rickety, not very healthy. They
must drink sufficient milk. So cow
is therefore considered mother.
Because one mother has given
birth to the child, the another
mother is supplying milk. So
everyone should be obliged to
mother cow, because she is
supplying milk. So according to
our śāstra there are seven
mothers. Ādau mātā, real mother,
from whose body I have taken
my birth. Ādau mātā, she is
mother. Guru-patnī, the wife of
teacher. She is also mother. Ādau
mātā guru-patnī, brāhmaṇī. The
wife of a brāhmaṇa, she is also
mother. Ādau mātā guru-patnī
brāhmaṇī rāja-patnikā, the queen
is mother. So how many? Ādau
mātā guru-patnī brāhmaṇī rāja-
patnikā, then dhenu. Dhenu
means cow. She is also mother.
And dhātrī. Dhātrī means nurse.
Dhenu dhātrī tathā pṛthvī, also
the earth. Earth is also mother.
The people are taking care of
mother land, where he is born.
That is good. But by the by they
should take care of mother cow
also. But they are not taking care
of mother. Therefore they are
sinful. They must suffer. They
must have, there must be war,
pestilence, famine. As soon as
people become sinful,
immediately nature’s punishment
will come automatically. You
cannot avoid it.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness
movement means solution of all
problems. Teaching people not
to become sinful. Because a sinful
man cannot become Kṛṣṇa
conscious. To become Kṛṣṇa
conscious means that he has to
give up his sinful activities.

Thank you very much.