DON’T HEAR GITA FROM THE RASCALS
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Krishna himself is speaking in the Bhagavad-gītā. Don’t misinterpret it. Simply hear it as Arjuna heard it. Sometimes rascals say, “Arjuna heard the Bhagavad-gītā directly, but we do not find Krishna now, so how can we hear it?” His words are there. Krishna is non-different from his words. He’s absolute. If you read Bhagavad-gītā as it is, through disciplic succession, then you are as good as Arjuna, hearing directly from Krishna. There is no difference. But if you play around with the meaning, saying, “This word means this, this word means that,” it is rascaldom. As Arjuna said, sarvam etad ta manye, “My dear Krishna, whatever you are saying, that is correct. I totally accept it. I don’t misinterpret it.” [Bg. 10.14] para brahma para dhāma pavitra parama bhavān — “You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth.” [Bg. 10.12] Krishna said he instructed Bhagavadgītā to Arjuna because he was his devotee. Someone can understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is only by devotion. Krishna mentioned that this Bhagavad-gītā, this yoga system, had been lost, yoga-na a parantapa [Bg. 4.2]. But, “Because you are my devotee I shall again begin teaching that yoga through you.” Krishna did not go to find a so-called vedantist to teach it. A real vedantist means someone who is a devotee. “Veda” means knowledge, and “anta” means ultimate. So what is the ultimate knowledge? In Bhagavad-gītā (7.19) it is described: bahūnā janmanām ante jṣānavān mā prapadyate — real knowledge means that after speculating life after life one finally comes to the point of surrendering unto Krishna. Unless you come to the point of surrendering unto Krishna, your knowledge is defective. You may advertise yourself as a very learned scholar, but we have got a simple formula. Our position is strong and simple. We accept the words of Krishna. Now, when we see that someone is not a devotee of Krishna, or he does not surrender to Krishna, immediately we consider him to belong to one of the four classes, either du ktinā , the miscreants; mū hā , the foolish; narādhamā , the lowest of mankind; or māyayā-apahta-jṣānā , those whose knowledge has been stolen by illusion. Immediately. It doesn’t require much time to test him, to see what he is, because he has no surrender to Krishna and he talks all nonsense. There are so many Gītā commentators in our country. They are simply talking nonsense, explaining Bhagavad-gītā minus Krishna. That’s all. Such rascals have spoiled the whole country. Politicians and everyone else, they are all saying, “Oh, we are students of the Bhagavad-gītā.”
“And what do you know about Krishna?” “Krishna is zero.” Krishna describes such persons, na mā du ktino mū hā prapadyante narādhamā — Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, who are lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto me [Bg. 7.15]. So we have to hear. If we actually want to diminish our anarthas, then we must hear Krishna as he’s speaking, without any interpretation. This is the process of diminishing all dirty things within the heart. ś vatā sva-kathā k a pu ya-śrava a-kīrtana hdy anta -stha — Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear his messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted [Bhāg. 1.2.17]. Krishna is hdy anta – stha , within your heart. Vidhunoti, he washes away all dirty things therein. Krishna is taking charge of washing your dirty things. Why don’t you take this opportunity and hear from him? What is this nonsense? Krishna simply says, “You hear about me; you hear from me.” satata kīrtayanto mām — “Always chanting about me, and hearing about me.” [Bg. 9.14]. It is a simple process. But the rascals will not take to it. They say, “This is the meaning, that is the meaning.” Humbug! Jugglery of words! Therefore they do not advance. andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānā , the blind leading the blind [Bhāg. 7.5.31]. The story of the anchor is an example. Some persons were going on a boat, but the anchor was not taken out, so although they rowed the whole night, they just remained in the same place where they were. One should hear about Krishna from Krishna or Krishna’s representative, not from bogus men. According to this Vedic philosophy, if someone speaks about Bhagavad-gītā, but he’s not a vai ava, one should not hear from him. Sanatan Goswami has forbidden that. “Don’t hear from him. If you hear from him you will also become a rascal.” Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has said, māyāvādi-bhā ya śunile haya sarva-nāśa — “If one hears the commentary of māyāvādis, everything is spoiled” [Cc. madhya 6.169]. If you hear about Krishna from an impersonalist, a māyāvādī, then your future is doomed, finished. Therefore Sanatan Goswami has quoted from Padma Purā a: avai ava-mukhodgīr a pūta hari-kathāmtam śrava a naiva kartavya sarpocchi a yathā paya One should not hear anything about Krishna from someone who is not a vai ava. Milk touched by the lips of a serpent has poisonous effects. Similarly, talks about Krishna given by a non-devotee are also poisonous. [quoted in Cc. antya 1.211] There are some professional reciters who are not following the principles of vai ava behavior. To hear from them is forbidden.
— Lecture in Vrindavan. 29 October 1972.
– An expert from Sri Krishna-kathamrta Bindu, a free bi-monthly magazine service provided by Gopal Jiu Publications.