ami ca tvam dhrtarastrasya putrah
bhismo dronah suta-putras tathasau
sahasmadiyair api yodha-mukhyaih
vaktrani te tvaramana visanti
kecid vilagna dasanantaresu
sandrsyante curnitair uttamangaih
All the sons of Dhrtarastra along with their allied kings, and Bhisma, Drona and Karna, and all our soldiers are rushing into Your mouths, their heads smashed by Your fearful teeth. I see that some are being crushed between Your teeth as well.
In a previous verse the Lord promised to show Arjuna things he would be very interested in seeing. Now Arjuna sees that the leaders of the opposite party (Bhisma, Drona, Karna and all the sons of Dhrtarastra) and their soldiers and Arjuna’s own soldiers are all being annihilated. This is an indication that Arjuna will emerge victorious in battle, despite heavy losses on both sides. It is also mentioned here that Bhisma, who is supposed to be unconquerable, will also be smashed. So also Karna. Not only will the great warriors of the other party like Bhisma be smashed, but some of the great warriors of Arjuna’s side also.
yatha nadinam bahavo ‘mbu-vegah
samudram evabhimukha dravanti
tatha tavami nara-loka-vira
visanti vaktrany abhivijvalanti
As the rivers flow into the sea, so all these great warriors enter Your blazing mouths and perish.
yatha pradiptam jvalanam patanga
visanti nasaya samrddha-vegah
tathaiva nasaya visanti lokas
tavapi vaktrani samrddha-vegah
I see all people rushing with full speed into Your mouths as moths dash into a blazing fire.
lelihyase grasamanah samantal
lokan samagran vadanair jvaladbhih
tejobhir apurya jagat samagram
bhasas tavograh pratapanti visno
O Visnu, I see You devouring all people in Your flaming mouths and covering the universe with Your immeasurable rays. Scorching the worlds, You are manifest.
akhyahi me ko bhavan ugra-rupo
namo ‘stu te deva-vara prasida
vijnatum icchami bhavantam adyam
na hi prajanami tava pravrttim
O Lord of lords, so fierce of form, please tell me who You are. I offer my obeisances unto You; please be gracious to me. I do not know what Your mission is, and I desire to hear of it.
kalo ‘smi loka-ksaya-krt pravrddho
lokan samahartum iha pravrttah
rte ‘pi tvam na bhavisyanti sarve
ye ‘vasthitah pratyanikesu yodhah
The Blessed Lord said: Time I am, destroyer of the worlds, and I have come to engage all people. With the exception of you [the Pandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.
Although Arjuna knew that Krsna was his friend and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was nonetheless puzzled by the various forms exhibited by Krsna. Therefore he asked further about the actual mission of this devastating force. It is written in the Vedas that the Supreme Truth destroys everything, even Brahma. Yasya brahma ca ksatram ca ubhe bhavata odanah/mrtyur yasyopasecanam ka ittha veda yatra sah.Eventually all the brahmanas, ksatriyas and everyone else are devoured by the Supreme. This form of the Supreme Lord is an all-devouring giant, and here Krsna presents Himself in that form of all-devouring time. Except for a few Pandavas, everyone who was present in that battlefield would be devoured by Him.
tasmat tvam uttistha yaso labhasva
jitva satrun bhunksva rajyam samrddham
mayaivaite nihatah purvam eva
nimitta-matram bhava savya-sacin
Therefore get up and prepare to fight. After conquering your enemies you will enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They are already put to death by My arrangement, and you, O Savyasaci, can be but an instrument in the fight.
Savyasacin refers to one who can shoot arrows very expertly in the field; thus Arjuna is addressed as an expert warrior capable of delivering arrows to kill his enemies. “Just become an instrument”: nimitta-matram.This word is also very significant. The whole world is moving according to the plan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Foolish persons who do not have sufficient knowledge think that nature is moving without a plan and all manifestations are but accidental formations. There are many so-called scientists who suggest that perhaps it was like this, or maybe like that, but there is no question of “perhaps” and “maybe.” There is a specific plan being carried out in this material world. What is this plan? This cosmic manifestation is a chance for the conditioned souls to go back to Godhead, back to home. As long as they have the domineering mentality which makes them try to lord it over material nature, they are conditioned. But anyone who can understand the plan of the Supreme Lord and cultivate Krsna consciousness is most intelligent. The creation and destruction of the cosmic manifestation are under the superior guidance of God. Thus the Battle of Kuruksetra was fought according to the plan of God. Arjuna was refusing to fight, but he was told that he should fight and at the same time desire the Supreme Lord. Then he would be happy. If one is in full Krsna consciousness and if his life is devoted to His transcendental service, he is perfect.
“If one wants to remain steady in Krishna consciousness, he has to be situated properly according to his psychophysical nature. Like the elephant - he was not situated properly in the water and therefore he was weak. He was not able to fight properly. The crocodile was situated properly in the water, therefore he was strong. In the same way we also have to fight illusion or maya. In order to do that year after year after year we have to be situated in a proper varna and asrama.”
-Bir Krishna das Goswami
(From the lecture on Gajendra Moksana, Serbia, Sept. 2003)
Bir Krishna das Goswami
(From a lecture, SB 5.5.30, April 2, 2012, Suva, Fiji)
Bir Krishna das Goswami
(From a lecture “Don’t confuse external with the internal” - Sarajevo, July 7, 2011)
“Considering your specific duty as a ksatriya, you should know that there is no better engagement for you than fighting on religious principles; and so there is no need for hesitation. O Partha, happy are the ksatriyas to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets.”
- Bhagavad-gita As It Is 2:31-32
How many men have I killed in Your service, Sweet One? How many more will I kill?
Krishna is the Supreme Controller, and the Supreme Enjoyer. It is He who has made me as I am. It is He who loves my hate-filled soul. Govinda, I would commit any atrocity for You, and I will as surely stay my hand at Your leisure. I am Your servant, and You may call on me for acts of love, acts of death, or acts of mind-numbing mundanity. Thou art mine, and I am Thine. ;)
You have an eternal identity which transcends your material form, however you are still subject to the laws and illusions of the material world while you are within it. Krishna is pure consciousness, and He has a body, a form, but this body is nonmaterial, truly transcendental. Shiva is an expansion of His energy, as indeed all living entities are (even matter itself; every atom is an expansion of Vishnu), who operates within the material world, and is thus subject to its laws, though Lord Shiva is an empowered personality. This is His duty, and this is what makes Shiva so powerful: He enacts His duty within the material world while understanding His context, His purpose, within it, and His mind remains steadfastly fixed on the Absolute- Lord Vishnu.
The material world is illusory, but this doesn’t mean it does not exist. We are all sparks of undying spirit who inhabit forms of flesh which are impossibly fleeting, and this is why it is useless and detrimental to spiritual progress to become attached to the impermanent nature of the material world. Instead, we should focus our mind on our true selves, which transcend the flesh, and our true identites, which reside eternally in the spiritual sky. We enact our pastimes and the desires of Krishna as we live in the material world, taking on bodies, even moving between planets, and transcendental knowledge teaches us that we are enacting our dharmic duties in this way, as Lord Shiva, though we are not as aware of this dharma as He is. Shiva is the greatest devotee, which is why He is so elevated. He has a higher grasp on the truth of His own constitution, and He is privileged to engage in significant pastimes in the material planets.
Our eternal identity, our true Self, is in no way tarnished by dealings within the material world, through taking physical forms and engaging in activity. It is this Self which propels us, which animates us, which is ACTUALLY doing anything, and this true Self is a spark from the Original Person, Sri Krishna. The highest realization to our true Selves is to learn our true identities within the spiritual sky, where Krishna eternally resides, enacting His intimate pastimes with His associates.
My friend, you are very real. Your flesh is real, but temporary. Your soul, however, is beyond death, beyond birth, beyond time.
Hare Krishna is, literally, God manifest in words. And when spoken aloud, Hare Krishna is God manifest in sound.
On a broader level, there is the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. This is a mantra chanted by millions of people across the globe, including but not limited to members of several sampradayas (schools of philosophy), most commonly those of Vaisnava (devotees of Lord Vishnu) traditions, as well as many people inclined to spiritual advancement or inquiry, regardless of religious or cultural affiliation. The sound is pure, transcendental consciousness, and the embodiment of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, in the form of sound.
Chanting or singing of the maha-mantra is an entreaty to the Lord and His potency (Shakti) to be used in His divine service. It awakens our transcendental awareness as undying spirit souls, parts and parcels of Vishnu which are contained within every living entity. It is an offering of love to God, Krishna, and to all His expansions, the material and spiritual universes, and every atom, which is infused with His energy.
The name Hare means the potency of the Lord, His shakti, the feminine source of His internal energy: His eternal consort and second half to His whole, Srimati Radharani. Krishna does not exist without Radharani, and Her name always comes before His. Krishna means both “black” for His skin is a beautiful dark hue, like fresh rainclouds, and it also means “all attractive.” The name Rama refers to two of God’s expansions, as Balarama, Krishna’s brother, and Ramachandra, His heroic, bow-bearing incarnation, and means “the supreme pleasure.” God has countless names, but Krishna is the sweetest. Hare Krishna goes straight to the source, straight to the top, for it represents the pure pleasure of God. Krishna is the ultimate enjoyer, the form of God who lives only to enjoy: He enjoys all of us, as He is within us while simultaneously being separate from us, and to voice the maha-mantra is to call out for His pleasure, and thus the pleasure within ourselves. And what’s better than pleasure, eh?
To seek the pleasure of Krishna is to seek the pleasure of yourself. HARE KRISHNA!
At the top Krsna is dancing with His purest devotees as a lover. On the lotus petals the Lord is reciprocating with His devotees as a son, as a friend and as a master. Below left, a devotee in the material world is associating with Krsna personally by painting His transcendental form. Next, an impersonalist, by his meditation, is merging with the brahmajyoti, the spiritual effulgence emanating from the Lords body. On the right a mystic yogi is walking on the water. On the far right a fruitive worker is receiving the fruits of his labor.
Chapter 4. Transcendental Knowledge
ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
manusyah partha sarvasah
ye—all of them; yatha—as; mam—unto Me; prapadyante—surrender;tan—unto them; tatha—so; eva—certainly; bhajami—do I reward; aham—I; mama—My; vartma—path; anuvartante—do follow; manusyah—all men; partha—O son of Prtha; sarvasah—in all respects.
All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.
Everyone is searching for Krsna in the different aspects of His manifestations. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is partially realized in His impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence and as the all-pervading Supersoul dwelling within everything, including the particles of atoms. But Krsna is only fully realized by His pure devotees. Consequently, Krsna is the object of everyone’s realization, and thus anyone and everyone is satisfied according to one’s desire to have Him. In the transcendental world also, Krsna reciprocates with His pure devotees in the transcendental attitude, just as the devotee wants Him. One devotee may want Krsna as supreme master, another as his personal friend, another as his son, and still another as his lover. Krsna rewards all the devotees equally, according to their different intensities of love for Him. In the material world, the same reciprocations of feelings are there, and they are equally exchanged by the Lord with the different types of worshipers. The pure devotees both here and in the transcendental abode associate with Him in person and are able to render personal service to the Lord and thus derive transcendental bliss in His loving service. As for those who are impersonalists and who want to commit spiritual suicide by annihilating the individual existence of the living entity, Krsna helps also by absorbing them into His effulgence. Such impersonalists do not agree to accept the eternal, blissful Personality of Godhead; consequently they cannot relish the bliss of transcendental personal service to the Lord, having extinguished their individuality. Some of them, who are not situated even in the impersonal existence, return to this material field to exhibit their dormant desires for activities. They are not admitted into the spiritual planets, but they are again given a chance to act on the material planets. For those who are fruitive workers, the Lord awards the desired results of their prescribed duties, as the yajnesvara;and those who are yogis seeking mystic powers are awarded such powers. In other words, everyone is dependent for success upon His mercy alone, and all kinds of spiritual processes are but different degrees of success on the same path. Unless, therefore, one comes to the highest perfection of Krsna consciousness, all attempts remain imperfect, as is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam:
akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udara-dhih
tivrena bhakti-yogena yajeta purusam param
“Whether one is without desire [the condition of the devotees], or is desirous of all fruitive results, or is after liberation, one should with all efforts try to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead for complete perfection, culminating in Krsna consciousness.” (Bhag. 2.3.10)
The residents of Vrindavan are not thinking philosophically. They are absorbed in lila. And the pure devotees of the Lord speak the philosophy to attract people to Krishna and they relish the philosophy, but they are actually concentrating on the lila internally. That is the juice, that is the nectar. And that is our goal - to be absorbed in Krishna lila internally.
-Bir Krishna das Goswami
(From a lecture, Sydney, Sept. 20, 2011)
Everyday I think of Radhe, everyday I think of Krishna, everyday I think of the forests of Goloka-Vrindavan and its blessed residents. But I do not beg to return there upon my death. I do not fear that I may take birth again on this plane, any plane, any world, any universe, any form, any body. I do not beg to return to the spiritual world so that I may enjoy it. I beg that I may serve Krishna wherever He wishes me to be. I do not fear having a hellish or ignorant birth, for I know I shall be used in His service, even if I am unconscious of it. I do not disregard the material world; it is Krishna’s stage and stomping grounds, where He comes to enact His pastimes. He has His pleasures here, as surely as He has in Vrindavan. We are His feelers, billions upon billions, of His endless little nerve endings, extending His pleasure beyond our individual understanding. He enjoys us wherever we are, and that is enough for me to beg for any birth at His pleasure. Any suffering is endurable when it is for Him.