By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

As the Battle of Kurukshetra is about to begin, Arjuna’s enemy Duryodhana is confident of victory, but Krsna has a plan of His own. 

aparyaptam tad asmakam
balam bhishmabhirakshitam
paryaptam tv idam etesham
balam bhimabhirakshitam

“Our strength is immeasurable, and we are perfectly protected by Grandfather Bhishma, whereas the strength of the Pandavas, carefully protected by Bhima, is limited.”—Bhagavad-gita 1.10

Duryodhana, who speaks this verse, is very proud of his military strength. Because he was empowered, he could gather a large force. And over and above that, Bhishma, the commander-in-chief, is giving protection. On the other side, the Pandavas are not empowered. Somehow or other they gathered some soldiers from relatives, but their strength is limited in comparison to the other party and is protected by Bhima, whom Duryodhana always considered a fool. Therefore Duryodhana is very confident. “Our side is protected by Bhishma. And the other side is protected by Bhima. Although Bhima is very strong, he doesn’t have much of a brain.” So Duryodhana was very hopeful of victory.

In the previous verse Duryodhana said, anye cha bahavah shura mad-arthe tyakta-jivitah. Tyakta-jivitah means “They have come to lay down their life for me.” This is a foretelling, because none of the soldiers on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra would return home. It is already concluded that although Duryodhana is very proud of his military strength because his soldiers are protected by Bhishma, they would surely die. This is the conclusion.

Nana-shastra-praharanah sarve yuddha-visharadah (Gita 1.9). Not a single inexperienced person was there. Yuddha-visharadah means very expert in fighting. Still, they would have to lay down their lives. That was Krishna’s plan, because these fighting men were not ruling properly according to the tenets of Vedic injunctions. Therefore they were demons. Military strength for self-aggrandizement is demoniac. Military strength is required to rule the kingdom but not to misuse for aggression against others’ country or kingdom. That was not allowed.

When Krishna appeared on earth there were many kings. Although they were under the rule of the Pandavas, still they were fighting. That is natural. If one has no Krishna consciousness, then his strength and opulence will be misused. And if one is Krishna conscious, then he will use his strength and opulence properly. These kings were meant to give protection to the citizens, to train them to the Vedic conception of life. But they were not doing that. Therefore they were demons.

They were kshatriyas, and kshatriyas are meant to represent the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna is the proprietor. Sarva-loka-maheshvaram (Gita 5.29). Sarva-loka means all the planets, all the universes, and maheshvaram means the supreme controller. The universes are created by Krishna from His bodily effulgence, brahma-jyoti. Just as the sunshine creates these planets, the brahma-jyoti creates innumerable universes.

yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti
kotishv ashesha-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma nishkalam anantam ashesha-bhutam
govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami

Lord Brahma says in the Brahma-samhita (5.40), “I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman mentioned in the Upanishads. Being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe, He appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless truth.”

The Creator and Proprietor

It is all the creation of Krishna. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate (Gita 10.8). Everything has come from Krishna’s body; therefore He is the proprietor. If I have created something, then I am the proprietor. It is very easy to understand. In the Vedas it is saideko narayana asit: “Before the creation there was only Narayana.” And in the Bhagavatam (2.9.33) it is said, aham evasam evagre: “Only I existed before the creation.”

That does not mean Krishna was alone. Krishna includes His form, His pastimes, His paraphernalia, His entourage, everything. When we speak of a king, we do not mean the king alone. As soon as we speak of a king, we must understand that it includes the king, the king’s kingdom, the king’s secretaries, the king’s ministers, the king’s queen, the king’s palace, and so many things. Similarly, when the Vedas say, “Before creation there was only Narayana,” that means Narayana with His paraphernalia, His expansions, and so on.

Narayana also has expansions in the spiritual world, vaikuntha jagat—the innumerable Vaikuntha planets. You have seen the picture on our Bhagavatam cover. Innumerable planets. We have given only twenty-four names, but there are innumerable spiritual planets.

Either in this material world or in the spiritual world, all planets—Vaikuntha planets or kuntha planets—come from Krishna. Here in the material world there are kuntha planets. Kuntha means anxiety. Here, any planet you go to, anxiety will be there. That is the nature of the material world. Sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat (Bhagavatam 7.5.5). Why anxiety? Because we have accepted something that is asat, or temporary; it will not stay. But we are eternal; we want to stay. Our natural position is eternity, so we don’t want this temporary body. We try to save the body as much as possible, but it will not be saved. We have accepted something nonsense that is not compatible with our existence.

People in modern civilization do not know this. They think that death is a natural sequence, that it cannot be avoided. No, it can be avoided. But these rascals do not know how to avoid death, although the Bhagavad-gita mentions how you can avoid death. Birth, death, old age, and disease are the problems, but people do not know how to solve these problems. They are simply engaged in some temporary business.

And they are fighting. They are making plans. They are making diplomacy. But they do not touch the real problem, nor do they know how to solve it. But this Krishna consciousness movement can solve it. These rascals may understand this fact—that this Krishna consciousness movement is not a sentimental so-called religious movement. It is a scientific movement to solve all the problems of life. That is Krishna consciousness.

After giving up this body, we have to accept another body. These rascals do not understand this. There are so many defects in the modern civilization. People are full of ignorance, and still they are passing as great scientists, great philosophers, great politicians. Real knowledge they haven’t got. So try to give them real knowledge. Tatha dehantara-praptih (Gita 2.13). This is the crucial point. Dehantara-praptih: one has to accept another body. If you can find a means so that you do not accept another body, then you are safe. Otherwise, as soon as you take another birth, then you must die also. And between birth and death are disease and old age.

Avoiding Another Body

Krishna says tyaktva deham punar janma naiti (Gita 4.9): One can avoid accepting another material body. How? Janma karma cha me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah: Simply try to understand Krishna—who Krishna is, why Krishna appears, why Krishna takes part in politics, why Krishna engages in so many activities, and so on.

Our Krishna consciousness movement means to try to understand Krishna. Simply try to understand; you cannot understand Krishna fully. That is not possible. Krishna is unlimited. But the Bhagavad-gita presents whatever is possible for us to understand. If, as far as we can, we simply understand Krishna’s transcendental nature, transcendental activities—and we understand them tattvatah: “in fact”—then we become free from birth, death, old age, and disease. Very easy thing.

Therefore try to understand Krishna. How will you understand Krishna? Krishna is so great.

atah shri-krishna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

“Material senses cannot appreciate Krishna’s holy name, form, qualities, and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord’s holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord’s food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krishna really is.” (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.2.234) You cannot understand Krishna with your blunt material senses. That is not possible. You have to purify them. Simply by Krishna consciousness, by always thinking of Krishna, all your senses will be purified. That is the process. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau: And you can begin service with your tongue.

Service with the Tongue

Now, this is very surprising. By utilizing our tongue we can become perfect. This is unknown to modern science, but this is the process. If with your tongue you chant the Hare Krishna mantra, and with your tongue you taste prasada, you will be perfect, simply by executing these two things. Do not allow the tongue to touch anything not offered to Krishna. This is one item. And another item—engage the tongue always in chanting Hare Krishna. You will become perfect. Is it a very difficult task? Anyone can do it. Anyone can chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. Anyone can take nice prasada. Actually, it is happening so. How are these European and American boys and girls advancing, realizing? Simply by using the tongue to chant Hare Krishna and take prasada.

You can introduce this process all over the world. Give people a chance to chant the Hare Krishna mantra. But it is difficult also. There was a cartoon. One old lady is requesting her husband, “Chant chant, chant,” and the husband is replying, “Can’t, can’t, can’t.” [Laughter] We are requesting everyone, “Please chant,” and they are replying, “Can’t.” They will not chant. That is the difficulty. Otherwise, we can deliver all the people on this earth back home, back to Godhead, simply by this process: chanting and taking prasada.

The other day we held a festival, Rathayatra. Chanting and taking prasada—that’s all. Organize this all over the world. People will be saved. People will understand Krishna. Krishna will appear. You cannot see Krishna. That is not possible. You cannot order Krishna, “Please come; I will see You.” No. When He is pleased with your service, He will come. “Yes, I am here. See Me.”

History has shown this. For example, Dhruva Maharaja was meditating, and within six months he saw Krishna face to face. So everyone can see Krishna. Everyone can, provided they utilize the tongue. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau. Jihvadau means “beginning with the tongue.” We have eyes, ears, touch, and other senses, but begin with the tongue. Try to control the tongue and engage in it Krishna’s service.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, sharira abidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal . . . ta’ra madhye jihwa ati lobhamoy sudurmati: “The material body and senses are our greatest enemies, and out of all the senses, the tongue is the most formidable.” The tongue is sudurmati: It has no limit to what it wants to taste. I have seen in Japan. From twenty miles away people are coming to taste some fried birds in the hotel. The hotel has its own bus to bring customers from the city, and they are coming after office hours just to taste some fried jungle birds.

The tongue is such a formidable enemy that simply for taste people will commit so many sinful activities. They will commit so many abominable actions simply for the tongue. And there is a straight line from the tongue to the belly to the genitals. So if you can control the tongue, the other things will be controlled. Therefore, ta’ra madhye jihwa ati lobhamoy sudurmati. Lobhamoy: The tongue is very greedy. And sudurmati: It is very difficult to control.

Just see. Simply for the tongue so many slaughterhouses are being maintained. I have seen in the airplane that people are eating a small piece of meat, not very much. But for these small pieces, so many huge slaughterhouses are being maintained. They cannot give up that small piece of meat. The same thing can be made from milk. Prepare cheese and fry it, and you’ll get the same taste. Let the animal live, take its milk, and prepare so many milk preparations.

But these rascals will not do that. They will kill simply for the tongue. It is so strong, this tongue. They cannot give up this formidable tongue. The tongue demands, “You must give me meat.” So they are obliged. And for this obligation, they are committing so many sinful activities, abominable activities, and becoming bound up by the laws of nature to accept a body within the 8,400,000 species of life, perhaps becoming a worm in stool.

People do not know how the material law is working. Prakriti, nature, is so strong. It is acting very nicely. We have to become very careful. And in this age especially, there is only one way to be careful: If you surrender to Krishna, if you become Krishna conscious, Krishna will take care of you, and you will be saved.

Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.