Radhanath Swami on Significance of Kurukshetra

fortune to be in this holy land of Kurukshetra where so much of the history of our life and our culture has its origin. From time immemorial this holy place of Kurukshetra has been worshiped by saintly persons. It is the place where the great MaharajKuru performed his yajna, the place where many of the Lord’s incarnations performed Theirdivine leela, the place of the great battle of Mahabharat, where Sri Bhagavad Gita was spoken, the place where Krishna met the residents of Vrindavan after many long years of separation from each other.Also in gaudiyasampradaya, we understand that Lord NityanandaPrabhu and Lord ChaitanyaMahaprabhu came here to worship this holy place, as did all of the acharyas – Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya, Ramanujacharya, Vallabhacharya, Nimbarkacharya, Vishnu Swami – historically they all came and worshiped this holy land of Kurukshetra. The Bhagavad Gita which was spoken at Jyotisar, is the scripture more than any other scripture in human society that gives light and knowledge to all classes of men and women without discrimination.

Radhanath Swami explains Mood of Hearing the Bhagavad Gita

Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Lord Sri Krishna to Arjuna as a means of providing the opportunity by which everyone can perfect their lives in Sanatan dharma. Bhagavad Gita is a scripture which is meant to be received in the same spirit that Arjuna himself received it. Arjuna accepted Krishna as Bhagavan, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Paraà brahma paraàdhämapavitraàparamaàbhavän (BG 10.12), pratyakñävagamaàdharmyaàsu-sukhaàkartumavyayam (BG 9.2). And he had already given up his own opinions of what is truth and submissively accepted Krishna as the authority of real knowledge in this life. Kärpaëya-doñopahata-svabhävaùpåcchämitväà dharma-sammüòha-cetäù (BG 2.7).          This is the spirit in which Bhagavad Gita is meant to be heard – in a mood of submission, that “I do not know but God knows” and Krishna is that supreme God, the absolute truth. Mattaùparataraànänyatkiïcidastidhanaïjaya: [Bg. 7.7].

Radhanath Swami explains Why Krishna Came to This World?

The supreme truth has come to this world by His divine mercy to re-establish the real principles of religion. Krishna explains in Gita,

(BG 4.8)

That He comes to deliver the devotee, the pious, to annihilate the miscreants and to re-establish the true principles of religion. Of course we can understand that Krishna is performing this merciful mission on many levels. In His life, He killed so many of the great asuras like Kamsa, Shishupal, Dantavakra and so forth. He protected His devotees like the Brajavasis, like the Pandavas. But also He is performing the same service on an individual level to each individual soul who accepts Him and His teachings. Through the vani or words of Bhagavad Gita, the demoniac qualities within us are destroyed. Lust – kama, anger – krodha, envy – matsara, greed – lobha, pride, illusion – moha; all of these demons are living within our own hearts. And Krishna came to speak the Gita and one who hears and follows His teachings, these demons within our own hearts are destroyed.

Essence of the Gita by Radhanath Swami

And every spirit soul, every atma is by nature a devotee of Krishna. Jévera ‘svarüpa’ haya—kåñëera ‘nitya-däsa’ (CC 20.108).

(BG 15.7)

The atma within the heart of every living being is by nature Krishna’s servant, Krishna’s devotee. But now, due to the influence of material energy, it is being defeated, the soul’s natural original qualities are being defeated by demoniac influences within us and without us. But by this knowledge of the Gita, Krishna explains, it destroys all darkness unless the real light of the soul shines. So in this way Bhagavad Gita which is the sound incarnation of Sri Krishna is protecting the soul and annihilating the ignorance of demons around the soul and re-establishing the real principles of religion. The eternal, only eternal true principle of religion is the loving service of the Lord. This is the sum and substance and the essence of the Gita.

Conclusion of the Gita by Radhanath Swami

bahünäàjanmanäm ante
(BG 7.19)

That after many births and deaths, bahünäàjanmanäm ante
, when one comes to real knowledge, one surrenders to Vasudev. That is the definition of real mahatma. Bhaktyämämabhijänätiyävänyaçcäsmitattvataù(BG 18.55).

(BG 18.66)

To surrender to Krishna with love is the eternal dharma of everyone. There are many dharmas, there are many duties. But there is only one Sanatan dharma and that is to surrender to Krishna with love and with devotion. This is the conclusion of the Gita.

Radhanath Swami explains How Krishna Instructs the World through His Devotee

So this great gift which has been delivered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead here in Kurukshetra was delivered not only to Arjuna, but to the whole world. Our Guru MaharajSrilaPrabhupad would explain that actually Arjuna had no need to hear the Gita, because he was already an intimate associate of Sri Krishna. He was already a liberated soul in every respect. But by Krishna’s divine arrangement, he covered Arjuna by the power of Yogamaya just to put him in illusion so that He could speak to all of us through Arjuna. There is a saying, Bengali saying, that if the mother-in-law wants to teach the daughter-in-law, she does by teaching the daughter. Because the daughter-in-law is kind of stranger in the house and she will feel uncomfortable if the mother-in-law directly tells her, “Do like this”, “Do like this”, “Do like this”. But if she instructs the daughter, the daughter can accept any instruction and when the daughter-in-law hears the instructions coming to the daughter, she learns everything through the daughter’s instructions. So similarly, when Krishna wants to instruct the world, He instructs the world through instructing His devotee. Veda Vyas compiled the Bhagavad Gita in writing so that everyone for all time could hear this nectarine teaching that Krishna is giving to Arjuna.

Radhanath Swami explains How Gita is Non-Different than God Himself

And every word of the Gita is as worshipable as God Himself is worshippable.

(CC Madhya 17.133)

Because the word of God is non-different than God Himself, just as the name of God is non-different than God Himself. This is the absolute nature of the absolute truth. When Krishna speaks the Gita, He expands or incarnates Himself through sound vibration. But it is very important to understand that Krishna only manifests Himself through the sound of His name, or through the sound of His immortal words such as the Gita when they are spoken by the one who has the proper faith and devotion to Him. Krishna tells Arjuna, bhakto ‘si me sakhäcetirahasyaàhyetaduttamam (BG 4.3), that “You can understand this teaching because you are My devotee, because you accept Me as the supreme and you accept my words as supreme”. One who hears the message of Gita in this spirit and one who repeats the message of Krishna in this spirit, we can understand that Krishna will certainly manifest Himself within that sound vibration.

SrilaPrabhupad Brought Bhagavad Gita to the West

In the English language, Bhagavad Gita is the most popular book to have been translated from the East without comparison. Of all the books whether it be in Sanskrit, or Hindi, or Chinese or Arabic, there is no book that has been translated more into the various languages in the world than the Bhagavad Gita. When SrilaPrabhupad, our Guru Maharaj came to the West, there were already over one hundred translations of Bhagavad Gita in English alone. And they had been within the European and American societies for many many decades, sometimes for over hundred years. And yet it was surprising to see that not a single person was living by the teachings of the Gita, not a single person who had studied these various translations had become a devotee of Krishna or applied these teachings to their life. Although in so many of the greatest biggest places of scholarship, the universities, there were courses and studies of the Gita. Still, no one was able to understand what it meant. People would talk about it, people would meditate upon it, people would argue about it. But not a single person was willing to live by the teachings, nor did a single person even understand Who Krishna was. But when His divine grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadcame and repeated the Gita in the same spirit that Arjuna heard it, accepting Krishna as Bhagavan and living according to what Krishna has taught. His one translation not only sold tens and millions of copies, but millions of people began to change their entire lives to live by the teachings of the Gita.

Bhagavad Gita is for All

When Krishna in the eleventh chapter of the Gita showed His Viratrupa, His universal form, He showed that He is not just the Lord of the Kuru or Pandava dynasty, He is not just the Lord of people who live in India, He is the Lord not only of the people of this universe, but He is the Lord of everything that exists.

(BG 10.8)

Krishna says, “I am the source of all spiritual and all material worlds, everything emanates from Me, everyone emanates from Me. and the wise who know this perfectly, they engage in My loving service and worship Me with all their hearts”. Bhagavad Gita has universal application for all living beings everywhere, at all times. And one who understands Gita in this spirit can actually teach Gita as it is. So it was a great wonder when people from the Western world came back from the American and European countries to India living the lives of devotees completely dedicated and surrendered to Krishna. One very special exalted guest that is amongst us tonight, is SrimatiMalati Devi who is humbly sitting in the back corner there, she is one of SrilaPrabhupad’s first and original disciples. In nineteen sixty-seven, she first came upon His divine grace in San Francisco, California. And just by his speaking of the Gita and seeing how he was living it so perfectly in his life, she changed her whole life and gave her life to teaching the Gita to others. She and some other devotees went to London on the order of our Gurudev and front page of some of the largest of the newspapers of London were saying, ‘Hare Krishna shakes London’. And the most famous people in all of England who were known throughout the world, musicians, by their influence, they became devotees of Krishna and started singing songs about Krishna that were transforming peoples’ lives throughout the world. ButSrilaPrabhupad wanted to bring these valuable devotees back to India. His most dear and most beloved devotees of the West, he wanted to bring them back to India. He considered this a very very important part of his mission. Because he felt that India is the most important place on the planet for spirituality. It is Bharat varsha, it is dharma bhoomi, India is the place where the greatest of the avatars appeared. The further West you go, the more materialistic and Godless people become. But he found that the people of India were very progressively forgetting their own heritage and culture and exchanging for the materialistic atheistically inclined ways of the Western world. And he wanted to show the people of India that the teachings of the Gita were for everybody and they were the authority of truth which had been revealed to all mankind.

Radhanath Swami on Krishna Consciousness – The Solution to All Problems

SrilaPrabhupad used to tell us, that there is only one problem in the world and that is lack of Krishna consciousness. And there is only one solution to the problems of the world, and that is Krishna consciousness. And if we try to substitute Krishna consciousness with any other solution, it will only perpetuate and complicate the problems of human society. So Bhagavad Gita is that gift of God which could solve all the problems of life individually, socially, politically on every level if we simply accept it as it is because Bhagavad Gita teaches us how to live according to our true nature. Our nature is we are part of God. We are meant to live for the pleasure of God. There is so much unrest and conflict in this world. But Krishna in one shloka gives the formula by which there can be peace. One shloka of the Gita, if simply followed, will give peace individually, socially, within every family, nationally and internationally if it is simply understood and followed. But we see so much violence, so much unrest amongst people, amongst nations and there are so many solutions that they are trying to make but none of the solutions have been successful in the history of mankind. And if you look at society today, you will see so much terrorism, so many wars and the United Nations and the League of Nations and all of these various political groups, they simply cannot find a solution. But the solution is right there.

(BG 5.29)

The problem is we are all fighting over stolen property. We must admit and accept that everything is the property of God. And everything is meant to be utilised for the pleasure of God, in the service of God, according to the will of God. We think and trust that Krishna or God is our real well-wishing friend. These three principles will undoubtedly bring about real peace if accepted within society, within our lives.

The Body is the Property of Another

And if we analyse very systematically, we find that it is a fact that the root cause of all unrest or agitation and all conflict is that we are trying to claim God’s property to be our own. We say, “This is my body”. But actually is it your body? This body is the property of God. You did not create it. Your parents, they may have been instrumental in creating it. But actually they did not through their intelligence construct the various limbs, the various cells, the various organs; what to speak of the heart and the brain of your body? A man and a woman come together and perform a particular act, and they are just instruments by which nature creates the human body, the human mind; in fact, all species of life.

täsäà brahma mahadyonir
ahaàbéja-pradaù pita
(BG 14.4)

Krishna says, “Of all species I am the seed-giving father and nature is the mother”. So therefore, everything and everyone’s bodies has been created by nature. And Krishna explains in Gita, mayädhyakñeëaprakåtiùsüyatesa-caräcaram [Bg. 9.10], “This material nature is working under My direction, it is Mine”. So these bodies that we call our own are not our own. They belong to God. Just like for instance, you may rent an automobile or you may lease an apartment, a flat or a house, but you have to recognise who the proprietor is. Similarly this body is the property of God and the soul is temporarily residing within it for a certain duration of time. And when it is the desire of God, you are evicted, you have to leave. If this body was yours, it would be under your control. But it is not under your control. There is certain limitations of your control. But nobody wants to grow old. Children, they want to grow old fast. Children like to grow up fast, but they cannot. They have to act according to nature’s arrangement. If you remember when you were a little boy, you were thinking, “When I grow up, I will do this”. But you have to wait so many long years till you grow up and then when you grow up, then you wish you could become young again. But you cannot become young again. In fact, you keep getting older. You want to get younger but you keep getting older. Why? Because your body is the property of material nature, it is not your own. And ultimately death will come. When the owner of your body says, “Ok, now is the time. Get out!” And if you say “No, this is mine”, if it actually was yours, there would be no power on earth that could kick you away. But you have no power to stay in this body. This is evidence that the body is the property of another. So to recognise that, what to speak of all of creation around us.

The Peace Formula

People are very greedy for money. Money is fortune and Laxmi is the goddess of fortune. And Laxmi is the property of Narayan. She is not the property of anyone else. Wherever there is good fortune, whether it be money, whether it be high education, whether it be gold or silver or property, it is all fortune. It is all Laxmi’s energy. And we see what happens when someone tries to steal Laxmi from Narayan. Ravana was such a person. But he was not successful, nor will anyone or has anyone been successful in this pursuit. So when we accept that everything is the property of God, sarva-loka-maheçvaram [Bg. 5.29], all planets and everything within every planet is the property of God. Therefore everything should be utilised according to the will of God.Then there is no longer envy, then there is no longer any purpose or reason for conflict. There will be harmony and there is no other means of real harmony except accepting this principle. And this is called bhakti, this is called devotion, simply recognising that everything is Krishna’s and everything is meant ultimately for Krishna. Krishna says in Gita,

tat kuruñva mad-arpaëam
(BG 9.27)

That “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer and give away, should be done as an offering to Me”. It is simple. Arjuna was a family man. He had several wives, he had many children. Arjuna was a kshatriya, he was a military man with a very very highly professional occupation. Krishna taught the world through Arjuna, how according to the same very status that we have in life and society now, by performing our duties in a spirit of devotion, in a spirit of sacrifice to the will of God, we can be peaceful and we can create real harmony within the world and in the process we can achieve the true perfection of life. It is very simple, if we have the proper association with people whoare living according to these teachings. Association can make something possible or impossible. When we associate with people, we are genuinely and sincerely endeavouring to apply the Gita to our life, we come into their satsang, then living the Gita becomes natural. But when we intimately associate with people, we are too much materialistically inclined in ignoring, neglecting the true teachings of the Gita, their influence upon our minds makes the Gita impossible to understand, what to speak of to live by.

Importance of Kurukshetra

So in this great land of Kurukshetra where the Gita first appeared for the deliverance of the whole world, we are praying, we are hoping that we can be inspired, we can be encouraged to dedicate more and more of our life, of our energy to the highest goal and highest purpose of the teachings of the Gita. Räja-vidyäräja-guhyaà(BG 9.2). It is the greatest of all education. And the residents of Kurukshetra have the most precious and wonderful opportunity in this holy land, to take these teachings as their very life, as their very soul. And as the teachings of the Gita are giving light to the whole world, the residents of Kurukshetra, we are hoping and praying that by their example can also give light to the whole world. And we have all come to Kurukshetra for this purpose, to be energised by this holy place and to also help the world understand the importance of Kurukshetra, the importance of Gita and the importance of living in the real spirit of the Gita. It is the greatest gift that Krishna has given to you, it’s the greatest gift that you can give to your children and to all generations in future. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.
Question to Radhanath Swami: ….. (36.03)

Answer: Krishna explains that so many different people have different conceptions of the soul because as the Upanishad explains, the soul is one ten thousandth the size of the tip of a single hair. So it is tangible, but not to our imperfect senses. But we can understand the soul by the symptoms which emanates from it. The soul is the source of life. Matter is essentially dead. This body, at the time of death, has no life. What is the difference between the living body and the dead body? It is consciousness. The consciousness is the symptom of the presence of the soul. We can see the soul through the symptom of consciousness. Wherever we see life, we are perceiving the presence of the soul. The power to see, the power to hear, the power to feel, to taste, to think, to love, it is all being done by the soul. Dead matter cannot feel or love or think or taste or touch or see. It is the soul that is seeing through your eyes. It is the soul at this very moment that is hearing through your ears. It is feeling through your flesh. It is tasting through your tongue. It is loving through your heart. It is thinking, feeling and willing through your mind. That is the presence of the soul. Science has gone so deeply into physics, biology, breaking down into subtler and subtler and subtler understandings gross matter and through the sciences of psychology, they go into subtler and subtler forms of understanding the nature of the mind. But one thing that material science has never been able to grasp and understand is the element of consciousness. Where is intuition coming from? How is it being manifest? Through our gross or subtle senses, we cannot perceive. But we know that consciousness is there, that intuition is there. So to understand these things, to understand the very nature of the soul, we have to refer to the perfect science of perfect theism which is being presented by the perfect spiritual scientist, Krishna Himself, through the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. We can perceive the symptom of the consciousness, of the soul. But to actually understand its source and its very nature, it is beyond our speculation. We have to accept the authority of the creator of the source of all consciousness, and that is Krishna. Without accepting Bhagavad Gita as it is, we cannot truly understand the nature of the soul. We can understand the presence of the soul through the symptom of consciousness. But the realisation of the soul is being revealed through the Gita. It is a science. Unless you understand through the proper science book and through the proper science teachers, you simply cannot understand any science. Bhagavad Gita teaches the most profound and important essential science in all of creation, science of the soul and its relationship with the supreme soul or God. These are the five essential teachings of the Gita. What is paramatma or God? What is the jivamta or the individual soul? What is prakriti or material nature? What is karma? What is the law of cause and effect, action and reaction within material creation? And what is kala, or eternal time? And what makes these five subjects so important to our own lives is to understand how they all relate to the consciousness within ourselves or the soul? What is our relationship with God, the paramatma? What is our own atma or consciousness relationship with prakriti or material nature? How it is being influenced by karma or the laws of action and reaction? And how it is being influenced? What is its temporary and eternal relationship with time? So everything about the Bhagavad Gita is to understand the interrelationships between the soul and the phenomena around us and within us. And if we carefully with an open and attentive heart and mind study the teachings of Gita, we can understand everything necessary to be known about real nature of our soul. So many things are intangible to us. But we can understand by hearing from authority. Understanding outer space is intangible to us, understanding the ocean is intangible to us, understanding history – history is a very intangible thing. How do we know who is this Mahatma Gandhi? How do we know who is Alexander the great? Who is Napoleon? It is intangible to our senses. But we accept the authority of books, we accept the authority of proper teachers and we can understand in truth. But the science of the soul is the most vital and important subject to be learnt in life. And the great tragedy is in our educational systems today, throughout the entire world, even in this great land of India. The most important of all subjects is being very very deliberately neglected. And our children are being taught everything except the goal of life. Our children are being taught so many subjects, but not how to be truly happy, or what the purpose of existence is, or even who they are. They will not learn in the schools. The only way they will learn is if we teach them and the only way we can teach them is if we know. So it is our first and primary responsibility to understand the soul, to understand God and to give this knowledge to those who look up to us. That is real love.

Question to Radhanath Swami: … (45.05) real atma or super atma or whatever we call it, … by our these physical eyes, can we really see the atma or jivatma or super atma that we call it?

Answer: No. ….(45.25) answers this question.

govindamädi-puruñaà tam ahaàbhajä
(Bs 5.38)

When the eyes are anointed with the salve of love, then we can see the soul and we can see God, Shyamasundar. Material eyes cannot see what is spiritual. But when the eyes are spiritualised through the process of bhakti or devotion, then they can see spiritual substance. Paramatma is sat-chid-ananda, divyam – eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss. Paramatma is never material. Paramatma is spiritual, transcendental substance which means eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss. Material has no access to the spiritual. But bhakti or devotion is the bridge which brings together the material realm and the spiritual realm. In the sense that now our eyes are material, but through the process of devotion or bhakti, the eyes become spiritualised. They become purified of ahankar, false ego and all he material desires that are born of ahankar or false ego. When that purification takes place, then with these very eyes we can see God. You see, it is not the eyes that see, it is the soul that is seeing through the eyes. When the soul is free of ahankar and endowed with pure devotion, that pure soul through these very eyes can see God. But as long as the soul is covered by ahankar, all we can see through these eyes is material phenomena.

Question to Radhanath Swami:…. (48.0)

Answer: ….are reviving the original spiritual quality of our soul and spiritualising all of our senses to have perception of our eternal relationship with the supreme is the chanting of God’s holy names.

Question to Radhanath Swami: … (48.25)

Answer: … of the kirtan of the holy names is the prescribed medicine in this age of Kaliyuga to bring us back to our original natural spiritual state of health.

Question to Radhanath Swami: … (48.40)

Answer: … process given by the Lord Himself to revive our original consciousness or Krishna consciousness. All of the knowledge of the Gita and all of the great scriptures of the world are automatically realised…..

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Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.