Arjuna said: 0 Krishna, what is (he destination of the unsuccessful
transcendentalism who in the beginning takes to the process of
self-realization with faith but who later desists due to worldly-
mindedness and thus does not attain perfection in mysticism?
The path of self-realization or mysticism is described in the
Bhagavad-Gita. The basic principle of self-realization is knowledge
that the living entity is not this material body but that he is different
from it and that his happiness is in eternal life, bliss and knowledge.
These are transcendental, beyond both body and mind. Self-
realization is sought by the path of knowledge, by the practice of the
eightfold system or by bhakti-yoga. !n each of these processes one
has to realize the constitutional position of the living entity, his relationship with God. and the activities whereby he can reestablish the
lost link and achieve the highest perfectional stage of Krishna consciousness. Following any of the above-mentioned three methods,
one is sure to reach the supreme goal sooner or later. This was
asserted by the Lord in the Second Chapter: even a little endeavor on
the transcendental path offers a great hope for deliverance. Out of
these three methods, the path of bhakti-yoga is especially suitable for
this age because it is the most direct method of God realization. To be
Arjuna is asking Lord Krishna to confirm His former
statement. One may sincerely accept the path of self-realization, but
the process of cultivation of knowledge and the practice of the
eightfold yoga system are generally very difficult for this age. There-
fore, despite constant endeavor one may fail. for many reasons. First
of all, one may not be sufficiently serious about following the process.
To pursue the transcendental path is more or less to declare war on
the illusory energy. Consequently, whenever a person tries to escape
the clutches of the illusory energy, she tries to defeat the practitioner
by various allurements. A conditioned soul is already allured by the
modes of material energy, and there is every chance of being allured
again, even while performing transcendental disciplines. This is called
: deviation from the transcendental path.
Arjuna is inquisitive to know the results of deviation from the path of
- kaccin nobhaya-vibhrastas
- chinnabhram iv nasyati
- apratistho maha-baho
- vimudho brahmanah pathi.
0 mighty-armed Krishna, does not such a man, who is bewildered
from the path of transcendence, fall away from both spiritual and
material success and perish like a raven cloud, with no position in
There arc two ways to progress. Those who are materialists have no
interest in transcendence; therefore they are more interested in
material advancement by economic development, or in promotion
to the higher planets by appropriate work. When one takes to the
path of transcendence, one has to cease all material activities and
sacrifice all forms of so-called material happiness- If the aspiring
transcendentalist fails, then he apparently loses both ways; in other
words, he can enjoy neither material happiness nor spiritual success.
He has no position; he is like a riven cloud. A cloud in the sky
sometimes deviates from a small cloud and joins a big one. But if it
cannot join a big one, then it is blown aw ay by the wind and becomes
a nonentity in the vast sky.
The brahmanah pathi is the path of
transcendental realization through knowing oneself to be spiritual in
essence, part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, who is manifested as
Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Lord Sri Krishna is the fullest
manifestation of the Supreme Absolute Truth, and therefore one
who is surrendered to the Supreme Person is a successful transcendentalist. To reach this goal of life through Brahman and Paramatma realization takes many. many births (bahunam janmanam ante}
Therefore the supermost path of transcendental realization is
bhakti-yoga. or Krishna consciousness, the direct method.
- etan me samsayam Krishna
- chettum arhasy asesatah
- tvad-anyah samsayasyasya
- chetta na hy upapadyate.
This is my doubt, 0 Krishna. and I ask You to dispel it completely. But
for You, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.
Krishna is the perfect knower of past, present and future. In the
beginning of the Bhagavad-Gita, the Lord said that alt living entities
existed individually in the past, they exist now in the present, and
they continue to retain individual identity in the future, even after
liberation from the material entanglement. So He has already
cleared up the question of the future of the individual living entity.
Now, Arjuna wants to know of the future of the unsuccessful transcendentalist. No one is equal to or above Krishna, and certainly the
so-called great sages and philosophers who are at the mercy of
material nature cannot equal Him. Therefore the verdict of Krishna is
the final and complete answer to all doubts, because He knows past,
present and future perfectly-but no one knows Him. Krishna and
Krishna conscious devotees alone can know what is what.
- sri-bhagavan uvaca
- partha naiveha namutra
- vinasas tasya vidyate
- na hi kalyana-krt kascid
- durgatim tata gacchati.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Son of Prtha, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good,
My friend, is never overcome by evil.
"If someone gives up all material prospects and takes complete
shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no loss or
degradation in any way. On the other hand a non-devotee may fully
engage in his occupational duties and yet not gain anything." For
material prospects there are many activities, both scriptural and
customary. A transcendentalist is supposed to give up all material
activities for the sake of spiritual advancement in life, Krishna consciousness. One may argue that by Krishna consciousness one may
attain the highest perfection if it is completed, but if one does not
attain such a perfectional stage, then he loses both materially and
spiritually. It is enjoined in the scriptures that one has to suffer the
reaction for not executing prescribed duties; therefore one who fails
to discharge transcendental activities properly becomes subjected to
these reactions. The Bhagavaiam assures the unsuccessful transcendentalist that there need be no worries. Even though he may be
subjected to the reaction for not perfectly executing prescribed
duties, he is still not a loser, because auspicious Krishna consciousness
is never forgotten, and one so engaged will continue to be so even if
he is lowborn in the next life. On the other hand, one who simply
follows strictly the prescribed duties need not necessarily attain
auspicious results if he is lacking in Krishna consciousness.
The purport may be understood as follows. Humanity may be
divided into two sections, namely, the regulated and the non-regulated. Those who are engaged simply in bestial sense gratifications
without knowledge of their next life or spiritual salvation belong to
the non-regulated section. And those who follow the principles of pre-
scribed duties in the scriptures are classified amongst the regulated
section. The non-regulated section, both civilized and non-civilized,
educated and non-educated, strong and weak, are full of animal
propensities. Their activities are never auspicious, because while
enjoying the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, defending and
mating, they perpetually remain in material existence, which is
always miserable. On the other hand. those who are regulated by
scriptural injunctions, and who thus rise gradually to Krishna consciousness. certainly progress in life.
Those who arc following the path of auspiciousness can be
divided into three sections, namely
- the followers of scriptural rules and regulations who are enjoying material prosperity,
- those who are trying to find ultimate liberation from material existence, and
- those who are devotees in Krishna consciousness.
Those who are following the rules and regulations of the scriptures for material
happiness may be further divided into two classes: those who are
fruitive workers and those who desire no fruit for sense gratification.
Those who are after fruitive results for sense gratification may be
elevated to a higher standard of life-even to the higher planets-
but still, because they are not free from material existence, they are
not following the truly auspicious path. The only auspicious activi ties are those which lead one to liberation. Any activity which is not
aimed at ultimate self-realization or liberation from the material
bodily concept of life is not at all auspicious. Activity in Krishna
consciousness is the only auspicious activity, and anyone who voluntarily accepts all bodily discomforts for the sake of making progress
on the path of Krishna consciousness can be called a perfect transcendentalist under severe austerity. And because the eightfold yoga
system is directed toward the ultimate realization of Krishna consciousness, such practice is also auspicious, and no one who is trying
his best in this matter need fear degradation.
- prapya punya-krtam
- lokan usitva
- sasvatih samah sucinam
- srimatam gehe yoga-bhrasto ’bhijayate.
The unsuccessful yogi. after many, many years of enjoyment on the
planets of the pious living entities, is born Into a family of righteous
people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.
AThe unsuccessful yogis are divided into two classes: one is fallen
after very little progress, and one is fallen after long practice of yoga.
The yogi who falls after a short period of practice goes to the higher
planets, where pious living entities are allowed to enter. After pro-
longed life there, one is sent back again to this planet, to take birth in
the family of a righteous brahmana vaisnava or of aristocratic
The real purpose of yoga practice is to achieve the highest perfection of Krishna consciousness, as explained in the last verse of this chapter. But those who do not persevere to such an extent and who
fail because of material allurements are allowed, by the grace of the
Lord, to make full utilization of their material propensities. And
after that, they are given opportunities to live prosperous lives in
righteous or aristocratic families. Those who are born in such families may take advantage of the facilities and try to elevate themselves to full Krishna consciousness.
- atha va yoginam
- eva kule bhavati
- dhimatam etad dhi
- durlabhataram loke
- janma yad idrsam.
Or if unsuccessful after long practice of yoga] he takes his birth
in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom.
Certainly, such a birth is rare in this world.
Birth in a family of yogis or transcendentalists-those with great
wisdom-is praised herein because the child born in such a family
receives a spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is
especially the case in the acarya or gosvami families. Such families
are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they
become spiritual masters. In India there are many such acarya
families, but they have now degenerated due to insufficient education and training. By the grace of the Lord, there are still families that foster transcendentalists generation after generation. It is cer
tainly very fortunate to take birth in such families.
our spiritual master, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta
Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, and our humble self had the opportunity to take birth in such families, by the grace of the Lord, and
both of us were trained in the devotional service of the Lord from the
very beginning of our lives. Later on we met by the order of the
- tatra tam buddhi-samyogam
- labhate paurva-dehikam
- yatate ca tato bhuyah
- samsiddhau kuru-nandana.
On taking such a birth, he revives the divine consciousness of his
previous life, and he again tries to make further progress in order to
achieve complete success 0 son of Kuru.
King Bharata, who took his third birth in the family of a good
brahmana. is an example of good birth for the revival of previous
transcendental consciousness. King Bharata was the emperor of the
world, and since his time this planet has been known among the
demigods as Bharata-varsa. Formerly it was known as Ilavrta-varsa.
The emperor, at an early age, retired for spiritual perfection but
failed to achieve success. In his next life he look birth in the family of
a good brahmana and was known as Jada Bharata because he al-
ways remained secluded and did not talk to anyone. And later on he
was discovered as the greatest transcendentalist by King Rahugana.
From his life it is understood that transcendental endeavors, or the
practice of yoga. never go in vain. By the grace of the Lord the
transcendentalist gets repealed opportunities for complete perfection in Krishna consciousness.
- purvabhyasena tenaiva
- hriyte hy avaso ’pi sah
- jijnasur api yogasya
By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles-even without
seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always
above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.
Advanced yogis are not very much attracted to the rituals of the
scriptures, but they automatically become attracted to the yoga
principles, which can elevate them to complete Krishna consciousness,
the highest yoga perfection. In the Srimad- Bhagavatam,
such disregard of Vedic rituals by the advanced transcendemalists is
explained as follows:
"0 my Lord! Persons who chant the holy names of Your Lordship
are far, far advanced in spiritual life, even if born in families of
dog-eaters. Such chanters have undoubtedly performed all kinds of
austerities and sacrifices, bathed in all sacred places, and finished all
The famous example of this was presented by Lord Caitanya, who
accepted Thakura Haridasa as one of His most important disciples.
Although Thakura Haridasa happened to take his birth in a Muslim
family, he was elevated to the post of namacarya by Lord Catianya
due to his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred
thousand holy names of the Lord daily: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.
Krishna Krishna. Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama,
Hare Hare. And because he chanted the holy name of the Lord
constantly, it is understood that in his previous life he must have
passed through ail the ritualistic methods of the Vedas. known as
Sabda-brahma. Unless, therefore, one is purified, one cannot take to
the principles of Krishna consciousness or become engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord. Hare Krishna.
- prayatnad yatamanas
- tu yogi samsuddha-kilbisah
- tato yati param gatim.
And when the yogi engages himself with sincere endeavor in making
further progress* being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, achieving perfection after many* many births of practice, he
attains the supreme goal.
A person born in a particularly righteous, aristocratic or sacred
family becomes conscious of his favorable condition for executing
yoga practice. With determination, therefore, he begins his un-
finished task, and thus he completely cleanses himself of all material
contaminations. When he is finally free from all contaminations, he
attains the supreme perfection-Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is the perfect stage of being freed of all contaminations-
This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-Gita:
"After many, many births of executing pious activities, when one is
completely freed from all contaminations, and from all illusory
dualities, one becomes engaged in the transcendental loving service
of the Lord."
- tapasvibhyo ’dhiko yogi
- jnanibhyo ’pi mato ’dhikah
- karmibhyas cadhiko yogi
- tasmad yogi bhavarjuna.
A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and
greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, 0 Arjuna, in all circum-
stances, be a yogi.
When we speak of yoga we refer to linking our consciousness with
the Supreme Absolute Truth. Such a process is named differently by
various practitioners in terms of the particular method adopted.
When the linking process is predominantly in fruitive activities it is
called karma-yoga, when it is predominantly empirical it is called
jnana'yoga. and when it is predominantly in a devotional relation-
ship with the Supreme Lord it is called bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga. or
Krishna consciousness, is the ultimate perfection of all yogas, as will
be explained in the next verse. The Lord has confirmed herein the
superiority of yoga, but He has not mentioned that it is better than
bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is full spiritual knowledge, and therefore
nothing can excel it. Asceticism without self-knowledge is imperfect.
Empiric knowledge without surrender to the Supreme Lord is also
imperfect. And fruitive work without Krishna consciousness is a waste
of time. Therefore, the most highly praised form of yoga performance mentioned here is bhakti-yoga. and this is still more clearly
explained in the next verse.
- yoginam api sarvesam
- sraddhavan bhajate yo
- mam sa me yuktatamo matah.
And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me,
thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving
service to Me-he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and
is the highest of all. That is My opinion.
The word bhajate is significant here. Bhajate has its root in the verb
Bhaj, which is used when there is need of service. The English word
''worship" cannot be used in the same sense as bhaj. Worship mean*
to adore, or to show respect and honor to the worthy one. But service
with love and faith is especially meant for the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. One can avoid worshiping a respectable man or a
demigod and may be called discourteous, but one cannot avoid
serving the Supreme Lord without being thoroughly condemned.
Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, and thus every living entity is intended to serve the Supreme Lord by his own constitution. Failing to do this, he falls
down. The Bhagavatam confirms this as follows:
"Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the
primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly
fall down from his constitutional position."
In this verse also the word bhajanti is used. Therefore, bhajanti is
applicable to the Supreme Lord only, whereas the word "worship"
can be applied to demigods or to any other common living entity.
The word avajananti. used in this verse of Srimad- Bhagavatam. is
also found in the Bhagavad-Gita. Avajananti mdm mudhah: "Only
the fools and rascals deride the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Lord Krishna." Such fools take it upon themselves to write commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita without an attitude of service to the
Lord. Consequently they cannot properly distinguish between the
word bhajanti and the word "worship."
The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga.
All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakii in
bhakli-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga: all other yogas are
progressions toward the destination of bhakli-yoga. From the
beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to
self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and
renunciation, the stage is called jnana-yoga. When jnana-yoga
increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him. it is called astanga-yoga. And when
one surpasses the astanga-yoga and comes to the point of the
Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna. it is called bhakti-yoga. the
culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to
analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other
yogas. The yogi who is progressive is therefore on the true path of
eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does
not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-
yogi, jnana-yogi ovdhy ana-yogi, raja-yogi, hatha-yogi etc. If one is
fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be
understood that he has surpassed all other yogas. Therefore, to
become Krishna conscious is the highest stage of yoga. just as. when
we speak of Himaiayan. we refer to the world's highest mountains,
of which the highest peak. Mount Everest, is considered to be the
It is by great fortune that one comes to Krishna consciousness on
the path of bhakii-yoga lo become well situated according to the
Vedic direction. The ideal yogi concentrates his attention on Krishna,
who is called Syamasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a
cloud, whose lotus like face is as effulgent as the sun. whose dress is
brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower-garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoli.
He incarnates in different forms such as Rama. Nrsirhha. Varaha
and Krishna. the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends
like a human being, as the son of mother Yasoda, and He is known as
Krishna, Govinda and Vasudeva. He is the perfect child, husband,
friend and master, and He is full with all opulence and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the
Lord, he is called the highest yogi.
This stage of highest perfection in yoga can be attained only by
bhakti-yoga. as is confirmed in all Vedic literature:
"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord
and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge
"Bhakti means devotional service to the Lord which is free from desire for material profit either in this life or in the next. Devoid of such inclinations, only should fully absorb the mind in the Supreme. That is the purpose of
These are some of the means for performance of bhakti or Krishna
consciousness, the highest perfectional stage of the yoga system.
Thus end the Purports to the Sixth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita in the matter of Dhyana-yoga.