sattvaà rajas tama iti
dehe dehinam avyayam
Material nature consists of three modes—goodness, passion and ignorance. When the eternal living entity comes in contact with nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he becomes conditioned by these modes.
The living entity, because he is transcendental, has nothing to do with this material nature. Still, because he has become conditioned by the material world, he is acting under the spell of the three modes of material nature. Because living entities have different kinds of bodies, in terms of the different aspects of nature, they are induced to act according to that nature. This is the cause of the varieties of happiness and distress.
Krishna is the true authority of the whole cosmic manifestation
The Bhagavad Gita is the essence of the Vedic literatures in the sense that in very clear and easy to understand teachings. The summary of everything that is required to know, to perfect our lives is contained. The Bhagavad Gita is perfect and everybody is perfect because it is spoken by Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan Shri Krishna who is the source of all perfection. In this world all condition being has four defects we have imperfect senses, we have a tendency to cheat, we are invariably in illusion and we commit mistakes. However great we are even the most learned powerful and great people in our history they make mistake and sometimes those mistakes cause them their reputation or even their life. Our senses are imperfect we have to judge things according to how we perceive them but it is not always as it is. Also we are illusioned by so many conditions of life, when we do something we do not always know what the result will actually be and there is so much propaganda in this world on practically subject there are varieties of opinion. How do we know what is right and what is wrong? Just like about every person in history there are a practically several versions. When we were young being brought up in the United States of America we were taught to practically worship glorify the greatness of various presidents of the past and we heard about how they were so brave and how they were righteous and how they were so moral and how they were such selfless servants of the people. But then as you grow up you started reading other books which explains all sorts of scandalous private affairs that they were having and all the ways they cheated so many people and how egoistic they were. Of course how do we know who is right, it is very difficult. So this is the condition of this world. But Krishna it is explained in Gita
bhaviñyäëi ca bhütäni
mäà tu veda na kaçcana
He is the source of all perfection, He knows perfectly well everything in the past, present and future, He knows every living being because He is seated within everyone’s heart.
Vedaiç ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
Vedänta-kåd veda-vid eva cäham
Vishnu says I am the compiler of all the Vedas and by all Vedanta I am to be known. So therefore when Krishna speaks it is the absolute truth, it is perfect. In this particular sloka He is describing the nature of this material world and He is the authority because He is the manufacturer of this material world. Just like, if you buy a Maruti motor car you don’t find out how to drive it from the Hindustani Automobile company, you do not get their instruction guide because they don’t know what Maruti is. But the Maruti Company knows what the Maruti is because they have created every single little part and put it together and given it to you, so they are the authority. If you buy an IBM computer you don’t find out how to use it from the Kellogs cornflakes company that being advertise all over Bombay because they don’t anything, they may know something but they are not the authority. If you want to actually understand authoritatively about something how it operates and how to use it you must learn from the manufacturer. Krishna explains in,
mürtayaù sambhavanti yäù
täsäà brahma mahad-yonir
ahaà béja-pradaù pitä
That I am the seed giving father of all living beings,
ahaà sarvasya prabhavo
mattaù sarvaà pravartate
That I am the source of all material and spiritual world everything emanates from me.
That this material nature is working under my direction, Krishna is the creator of this world and therefore He and He is speaking with authority what is this condition of material nature that we living in.
Conditioned souls are haunted by three modes of material nature
He is explaining here that He has personally created this material nature under the influences of three modes of material nature or three Gunas Satvaguna, Rajaguna and Tamoguna, Goodness, passion and ignorance. When the living entity who is part of Krishna comes in contact with this nature he becomes condition by this three modes, in fact he becomes controlled by these three modes. Krishna explains,
That the living entity, the spirit soul is part and parcel of me, is eternal full of knowledge and full of bliss. The soul in its own right its eternally liberated but when that soul comes in contact with this material nature he becomes so much conditioned by the modes nature that he forgets his liberated condition and therefore he wanders through eight million four hundred thousand species of life trying to enjoy, trying to avoid suffering under the misconception that he is simply a product of matter. That pervaded intelligence creates such Amazing and wonderful theories to propagate and prove to the world through science that we are just a product of matter by some accident that took place at a time that no one can comprehend. There were various mixtures of chemicals which created particular reactions and through the reaction of these chemical transformations all the universe, all the planets, all the mountains and rivers and seas and all the species of life have been created and evolved but where is the evidence of this, the only evidence is this in the speculations of the authors of these theories. Actually modern science in its theories of this creation and cosmology is nothing more than science fiction literally, science fiction. Charles Darwin and others were just very good science fiction authors and they convinced most of the world that what they were saying is true although if you read the origin of species by Charles Darwin in the introduction he actually explains that what he is saying is just his opinion but because he did some reasonable amount of research and he speculated guessed on the basis of some minimal research that you should accept what I say, he says like that. So all the big, big professors and all great, great so called learned scholars with PhD’s following their names they accept yes this must be true but it is all speculation. In all of these speculators after some years they all die and the bodies are transformed into ashes or into the dirt the earth or eaten by birds. So why should we accept such people as authorities, Krishna is the true authority. He is explaining that the consciousness within every living being the source of life is pure, it is spiritual and it is eternal.
na jäyate mriyate vä kadäcin
näyaà bhütvä bhavitä vä na bhüyaù
ajo nityaù çäçvato ‘yaà puräëo
na hanyate hanyamäne çarére
For the soul there is neither birth nor death or having once been does he ever cease to be, he is primeval, immortal and he is not slain when the body is slain. That soul cannot be cut into pieces by any weapon, cannot be withered by the wind or dampened by water it is transcendental, it is of the same nature as God in an infinitesimal portion, tiny portion. But when that soul comes in contact with material nature he comes under the influence of these three modes of nature and his real inherent consciousness is covered. Just like the sun is sometimes covered by a cloud, actually the cloud cannot destroy the sun he just covers the sun. So these modes of material nature they cover the real truth of the essence of our very existence and we becomes controlled by the influence of that covering. In the mode of goodness it is explained by Krishna it is purer than the other modes, the mode of goodness is illuminating and it freeze one from sinful reactions. But there is a great danger to the mode of goodness is in the mode of goodness there is certain amount of pleasure in being charitable, in philanthropic, in being peaceful, in being well cultured that we become conditioned to be satisfied by that particular condition of life and then we don’t strive to reawaken or reevaluate who we really are, eternal full of knowledge and full of bliss because those in the mode of goodness are also under the power of time they must grow old, get diseased and die. If they somehow other in the mode of goodness if you become influence by the other modes that are constantly all around you then you can fall from that situation, cannot stay there for very long unless you are going higher the tendency is we go down that is material nature. Nothing remains as it is either you are progressive or digressing.
Then Krishna explains that the mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings and because of these unlimited desires of longing we become so active to fulfill them and as we act we become more in tangled in the complicities of the laws of Karma where for every action there is an equal corresponding reaction.
The mode of ignorance it causes delusion, in the mode of ignorance people are not generally so much anxious to act for obtaining more and more and more but they like to sleep and take intoxications and sometimes even cause terrible harm, violence to other living beings. When we are influence by the mode of ignorance or influence by the mode of passion it causes us to act in such a way that we further and deeper entrapped in karmic reactions of passion and ignorance. So it becomes a vicious terrible cycle which is almost impossible to escape. Krishna is explaining this is a situation of everyone in this world the comparison is given that material energy Maya illusory energy is like puppeteer and the three modes of material nature are like three strings on the on the puppet . When the mode of goodness influences us we practically helplessly just act accordingly and when the mode of passion or ignorance comes into our lives we practically helplessly act according to that conditioning.
guëaiù karmäëi sarvaçaù
kartäham iti manyate
Krishna says that the bewildered soul thinks he is the doer of activities but actually he is just being forced by the modes of nature to do everything. Do you think that you are doing what you are doing every day, what you are seeking pleasure? Different people seek pleasure in different ways, it’s not you, you are the eternal soul, your only pleasure and your only ambition is to serve God and to love God and spread God’s glories to everyone that is you that is your only real propensity as a spirit soul. But w hen that soul becomes infatuated by the modes of material nature we are forced and pushed to act according to that influence. When we are very greedy for money that’s not the soul, the soul is prasannätmä,
na çocati na käìkñati
The soul is of Brahman it hanker for nothing and longs for nothing of this world and laments for nothing that is lost so why we are greedy for money, greedy for fame, greedy for affection, greedy for power because the mode of passion is just pushing us for and we are so foolish that we think that it is me that it’s doing, this is what I want. The example is given of a bull, if you put the nose ring in the bull even though the bull is so powerful, his nose are so sensitive that any way even we have seen in the villages that big giant terrible bull and little child like our friend here not very strong, even little girl like this they take the bull by the ring and whenever they pull the bull, the bull goes like this anywhere. The bull is so foolish that sometimes he is thinking that wherever he is being is by his choice, he is pulled to the left and he thinks oh! I want to go left and he is pulled to the right and he thinks now I will go right and he is pulled around in circle and he is thinking now I just like to spin around in circles. But actually he is being force and similarly sometimes people in this world they want to drink the blood of innocent animals in their meat and they think oh I like meat but nobody likes meet you are the soul, the soul is compassion and loving and merciful by nature but the mode of ignorance, Tamoguna is what pushes and forces people to think that they enjoy the taste of the flesh and blood of one of their own brothers or sisters who are part of God in the name of innocent animals. Then people think oh, especially in the western countries some extent here, people are very fond of sex life I like sex, they don’t like sex. You think the eternal pure soul which by nature has a loving relationship with God is concerned with the various sensations of this body in the form of sex life, not at all. It is Rajaguna, the mode of passion that is just pushing and forcing a person to fulfill these desires and he is thinking I like, I like. Greed what people do, what people do we have seen they become enemies with their own father mothers, brothers, friends just for some money the most sacred things in life of relationship in this world with people that we love by some or at least affection towards they become completely disturbed and destroyed when some greed becomes between us, passion; this is not the soul, this is the mode of passion just forcing you to become enemies with your own love ones to attain more and more and more. In the mode of Goodness we are also forced to act by the influence of goodness we want to help another person, we want to be in a peaceful place and natural surrounding not harming anyone just enjoying the situation. But the spirit soul it is not concern with just helping other people on the physical and mental platform, the spirit is seeking to give pure love of God to every living being but in the mode of goodness we become materially very nice, very respectful, and very affectionate.
By Perform devotional service one can transcend three modes of material nature
But it is explained here in Gita that the mode of goodness is the stepping stone to illumination but if you have a stepping it’s not meant to stand on for the rest of your life, stepping stone means it meant to be used to step to go higher. In the Puranas and in the Bhagavad Gita Krishna explains that from this mode of goodness we can actually elevate our consciousness to its true nature which is spiritual, which is transcendental.
Krishna says that the Vedas mainly deal with the three modes of material nature but you must transcend all of these modes of material nature and be established in the true nature of yourself the Aatma. How is this done? Krishna explains in Gita,
na çocati na käìkñati
samaù sarveñu bhüteñu
mad-bhaktià labhate paräm
mäà ca yo ‘vyabhicäreëa
sa guëän samatétyaitän
By engaging our mind and senses in the spiritual activities in the service of God our activities are no longer under the influence of the material modes of nature. You see the senses and the mind are by nature active because they are under the influence of the modes of material nature and to just try to negate the propensity for action is impossible. Arjuna who is far highly developed then our self he told Krishna that to control the mind, to stop the mind is more difficult then control the raging wind. So to try to perform meditational process to stop the mind is impossible, we may be able to subdue it and make it a little more peaceful for sometime but then again like a tiger sometimes it rest but then at other times it wakes up and becomes very hungry that is the nature of our mind. So Krishna explains that the perfection of our meditation is to actively utilize our mind and senses in positive spiritual activities and that is called bhakti, works in devotional by which we transcends the three modes of material nature by making our actions, our words and our thoughts offerings to God. This is the true art of living according to the Bhagavad Gita because Arjuna was a family man and warrior when Krishna spoke this summary study of all Vedic knowledge the highest truths to Arjuna and the conclusion was not that Arjuna gave up all of his activities and set in a cave chanting the sacred inaudible 29.04}own. Krishna told Arjuna no, you cannot just do that you use the God given mind and senses and intelligence but you dedicate those actions for my pleasure, in my service this is Bhagavad Gita. Krishna didn’t tell Arjuna you just do your work and don’t hurt anybody, you just be loyal to your work that is the misconception that is sometime propagated and misconceived that Bhagavad Gita means you just do your work honestly, you dedicate yourself to your work and you do not hurt anybody unnecessarily. That consciousness is the mode of Goodness but Krishna tells Arjuna you have to go beyond the mode of Goodness,
Yajïärthät karmaëo ‘nyatra
Loko ‘yaà karma-bandhanaù
Your offerings should be done as offerings of sacrifice in my service to always think of me, to become my devotee, to worship me and offer your homage unto Me; this is the path by which you will come to me without fail.
Man-manä bhava mad-bhakto
Mad-yäjé mäà namaskuru
Mäm evaiñyasi satyaà te
pratijäne priyo ‘si me
Krishna says all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away should be done as an offering to me because when we act in this way we are acting under the order of God, we are no longer the slave of the modes of material nature but we become the servant of God. Outside of the instruction of the Lord which is reveal through the scriptures and through the Sadhu’s and through the Guru’s everything is the modes of material nature, every thought that comes to our mind and every thought that has been spoken to us through everyone else’s mind whether they be a scientist, the educationist, philanthropist, the politicians everything they speak they are just being forced to speak it by the influence of the modes of material nature. Of course according to our free because we do have a free will we have certain choices of which modes of nature we want to be influenced by that is a fact, one person become a criminal because he gives in the mode of ignorance because, one persons becomes very charitable because he is giving in to the mode of goodness because we have that choice. But everything that we read in all of our text books, all of our scientific book, all of news paper, all of our history books is nothing more than the influences of material nature and these three Gunas and following the dictation of any of the speculations what to speak of every single thought in our minds we are simply subjecting of our self to the pushing’s of the three modes of material nature. Because besides the word of God there is else than exist in this whole creation. But the word of God intervene Krishna is an Avataar that means He has descended from the spiritual platform in to this world to show us the way out of this entrapment and entanglement. Therefore to understand the value of the scriptures is the beginning of all real knowledge.
pavitram idam uttamam
su-sukhaà kartum avyayam
Krishna says this knowledge that I am explaining in the Bhagavad Gita is the king of knowledge, it is the most secret of all secret, it is the purest of all education why because this knowledge will give you something that you will find nowhere else, it will give you direct perception of your eternal blissful self and you will be able to realize and experience true happiness and true peace and true love. So when we act according to Krishna’s direction in the service of His words than our actions, our thoughts and our words are no longer in anyway under the influences of material nature. Therefore the result of those action will liberate us, will free us from the modes of material nature. Krishna says in the seventh chapter of Gita,
bahünäà janmanäm ante
jïänavän mäà prapadyate
väsudevaù sarvam iti
sa mahätmä sudurlabhaù
That after many, many births and deaths that the spirit soul is transmigrating through and following various religious principles when one finally comes to the platform of real knowledge he surrenders to me and what does it mean to surrender to Krishna it means to do what he says. Surrender is not a thing that is subjected to our own mental conceptions it’s simple and clear. If a father tells son surrender to me by going to school, the son can fabricate in so many ways that I am surrendered to my father but I don’t have to go to school because I know what he really means. That’s not surrender he can fool himself and he can fool all of his friends around him but he cannot fool his father. So similarly in the name of religion there is so many compromises I which we can justify what we want born of the modes of material nature in the name of surrendering to God and we can fool each other and this world humanity is doing a fantastic job of fooling each other in the name of religion. You cannot fool the father; you cannot fool Krishna because He made it crystal clear what He wants us to do. He wants us to live pure life, He wants us live pure lives, He wants us to do real good for others on every level and He wants us to make all of our action, words and thought and offering to Him.
tad viddhi praëipätena
upadekñyanti te jïänaà
The great Saintly person who selflessly present the word of God as He reveals in the scriptures they can teach us actually practically in our day to day life how to make our every moment an offering to Krishna, how to make our every moment progressive in liberating our soul from bondage cleansing our hearts from the coverings and the clouds and reawakening our true nature, our blissful loving eternal nature. That is the purpose of Gita, Gita teaches,
bhakto ‘si me sakhä ceti
rahasyaà hy etad uttamam
That through devotion to God in our life we can be liberated from all pains, we can freed from the three modes of material nature and their influences and we can be reestablished in our true essence as the eternal servant of Krishna. To perform our works in consciousness in remembrance of the Lord is very important that is the difference between spiritual activity and pious activity, they are both good but one further entangles us from goodness and the other liberates us. The difference is the remembrance of God in our pious acts, this is essential. How to always remember Krishna, we must live in goodness pious but we must also always remember Krishna by hearing His words, by regularly associating with devotees and hearing the message of Krishna consciousness as it is without interpretation, by studying the scriptures sincerely, by hearing the wonderful pastimes of the Lord which He enacts when He comes to this earth, which are pure and spiritual. If we read a novel or go to the Cinema we see so many exciting scenes that sometimes make us cry and sometimes make us very afraid and sometimes make us very happy and sometimes make us laugh. The pastimes of the Lord created all these sensations in our hearts too.
Krishna has given script to how to get out of this material world
This week is coming up is Dassera where we celebrate Rama’s killing of Ravana. In the holy Ramayana we find some chapters where weeping and crying as Lord Shri Ramachandra is being banished to the forest for so many long years and His father is dying in separation and His mother and all the inhabitants of Ayodhya are simply weeping. When we read these tears come our eyes and in other times when big Rakshasa’s like Indrajit come and they apparently are conquering Laxman and Rama by tying Him with the snake ropes and throwing Javelins into their chest we become very afraid oh! What is happening and other times we laugh and other times we cheer. So the same types of emotions will take place when we are reading a novel or going to the movies and its also beautiful romance as Rama was living so wonderfully Chitrakut forest with Sita. But difference is because in these experiences we are remembering God we are becoming purified, we are beyond the modes of material nature that every form of entertainment in this world is just more deeply entrenching us in the three modes of material nature and in bandage and illusion. Similarly music, people like good music they like to hear, they like to sometimes dance but the Kirtan of the Lord by hearing that music it may be with sweet instruments, it may with nice voices because the name of God is content it helps us to remember Krishna and thus it cleanses our heart and liberates us from all the ignorance, passion and goodness and brings us to our eternal natural condition. So it is very important that we associate with sincere devotees of the Lord on a very regular basis and we try to minimize and avoid as much as possible those people who are continuously trying to entrench our minds deeper and deeper in the modes of nature. By hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord we can established within our minds the process by which in every situation we could remember Krishna and our every moment would be progressing on the eternal path of Sanatan Dharma. At every moment we should be striving for purification and we do not have to become a Brahmacari or Sanyaasi to do this we can be in the same setting that you now. But by learning how to remember God by chanting His names and following His teachings we can perform our work with this goal in mind purification and service. The Bhagavad Gita is the practical scripture for practical person and it is guarantee to be affective if we follow in proper way. This is the greatest gift and the greatest fortune is to accept this gift. Krishna as He is explaining here, He has created this material nature, He has created all the traps that keep us bound to this material nature and He is also created the process of getting out of this material nature and Bhagavad Gita tells it all, it explains what is this material nature, how He created it what all the traps are and the process of avoiding entanglements and liberating ourselves from bondage. Is there any questions?
Question: What is the difference between emotions and feelings?
Answer: The most important thing is to understand how to ductile or direct our emotions and feelings in the proper toward the proper goal of life. We have emotion they are due to previous conditioning, previous experiences and motion are particular type of mental state that comes about and often its changing from one direction to another, various emotions, various feeling. The mind is very fickle; the mind is very difficult to control our emotion and our feelings. Sometimes when somebody crosses our path we become very angry and we say something very terrible to that person but then after little bit of time our emotions are completely changed and we regret we think why I said that. Sometimes we regret for the rest of our lives what we have said, so emotion and feelings are always changing and they are creating bondage sometimes we love someone and sometime we hate that person that is the nature of the mind. Therefore we should not live our life according to the dictation of our emotion and feelings which are born go the unsteady mind caïcalam we have to control our emotion and feelings with our intelligence. Real intelligence is the word of God; God is the supreme intelligent when we live according to His instructions that are intelligence and we must direct our emotion and feelings towards serving the will of God that is the perfection of controlling our mind. Krishna tells us to control our anger and even if feel to not give into it, Krishna tells us to control our lust, greed and our pride and to utilize this emotions and feelings and all of our mental changes in something very positive which is devotional service or bhakti. In this way we don’t want to give up our emotion and we don’t want to give up our feelings we want to purify them by using them in Krishna’s service.
sevanaà bhaktir ucyate
The same mind which is always bringing about emotion and feelings it’s like an ocean, the ocean has millions of waves that are at every moment coming to the shore of our conscious perception. Within our mind we have unlimited emotions and feelings and sometimes they come to the shore of our consciousness where recognize them but they are always changing. The senses they are being so much influenced by our mind, you have to understand the senses themselves they are just instruments by which the mind finds satisfaction externally. So this verse from the Padma Purana explains that the same mind and the same senses that are causing us so much entanglement if they are just utilized according to the intelligence of Krishna’s words in Krishna’s service then those very emotions and feelings purify us, purify our very soul. Arjuna had so many emotions and feelings at the beginning of the Gita, he was weeping, he was crying there were tears flowing from his eyes, his complexion was pale as a string cloud, his limbs were trembling, he couldn’t even hold his bow that fell from his hands, his mouth was dry and he was in a miserable state because he had so many emotions and feelings for his relatives who were fighting against him. Krishna said you use all of these facilities in my service and you fight this war and you will be purified that is the perfection of your life. Is there any other questions?
It’s really wonderful experience to come here, thank mister Gupta to making this wonderful arrangement for us to come together. It is a devotional activity, this is your home, this home is made out of material elements bricks and concrete and electrical wiring and metals and wood some material elements but because he is using these material elements to invite people to come and to hear the glories of the Lord to chant the glories of the Lord and take the Lord’s Prasada therefore his home is no longer a material place, it becomes a temple of God, it becomes the spiritual abode. So his endeavor tonight is practical example of how we can transform material energy into spiritual energy by using it in God’s service. How we can take the same element, the same ingredients are causing us so much bondage under the three modes of material and use those same facilities to free us from material nature. Here is the example given that sometimes when you are walking in the forest you step on a thorn and it goes deep into your foot but then you take another thorn to get it out. So one thorn is the cause of distress but the same exact thorn when used for a different purpose is the cause of relief of distress. So we can use the wonderful gifts of material nature to relieve the problems that the same material nature is created by doing it in remembrance of God and devotion to God. So we are very thankful to all of you for coming so it explain that the chanting of God’s name in congregation with others is the sublime process by which on a social level it brings people’s hearts together on an eternal spiritual platform where real and true love can develop between human beings and in an individual level this chanting of the holy name it install God with our heart and helps us to remember Him in every aspects of our life. The benefits of the divine remembrance of the Lord in the purification that takes place through the chanting of the holy name should be carried every aspect of our life to make us better human beings and real spiritual servants of God and society. This Sankirtan is the most sublime recommended process of purifying our consciousness in this age. So this time I like to invite everyone to very sincerely and enthusiastically chant the name of Krishna, would you like to sit or stand, everyone can stand. Radhakanta prabhu you teach them how Lord Caitanya has taught us to have kirtan.
Thank you very much!