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Chapter 11: The Universal Form

Bg 11.55
mat-karma-krn mat-paramo
mad-bhaktah sanga-varjitah
nirvairah sarva-bhutesu
yah sa mam eti pandava
mat-karma-kåt—engaged in doing My work; mat-paramaù—concerning Me, the Supreme; mat-bhaktaù—engaged in My devotional service; saìga-varjitaù—freed from the contamination of previous activities and mental speculation; nirvairaù—without an enemy; sarva-bhüteñu—to every living entity; yaù—one who; saù—he; mäm—unto Me; eti—comes; päëòava—O son of Päëòu.
My dear Arjuna, one who is engaged in My pure devotional service, free from the contaminations of previous activities and from mental speculation, who is friendly to every living entity, certainly comes to Me.
Anyone who wants to approach the Supreme of all the Personalities of Godhead, on the Kåñëaloka planet in the spiritual sky, and be intimately connected with the Supreme Personality, Kåñëa, must take this formula, as is stated by the Supreme Himself. Therefore, this verse is considered to be the essence of Bhagavad-gétä. The Bhagavad-gétä is a book directed to the conditioned souls, who are engaged in the material world with the purpose of lording it over nature and who do not know of the real, spiritual life. The Bhagavad-gétä is meant to show how one can understand his spiritual existence and his eternal relationship with the Supreme Spiritual Personality and to teach one how to go back home, back to Godhead. Now here is the verse which clearly explains the process by which one can attain success in his spiritual activity: devotional service. As far as work is concerned, one should transfer his energy entirely to Kåñëa conscious activities. No work should be done by any man except in relationship to Kåñëa. This called Kåñëa-karma. One may be engaged in various activities, but one should not be attached to the result of his work, but the result should be done for Him. For example, one may be engaged in business, but to transform that activity into Kåñëa consciousness, one has to do business for Kåñëa. If Kåñëa is the proprietor of the business, then Kåñëa should enjoy the profit of the business. If a businessman is in possession of thousands and thousands of dollars, and if he has to offer all this to Kåñëa, he can do it. This is work for Kåñëa. Instead of constructing a big building for his sense gratification, he can construct a nice temple for Kåñëa, and he can install the Deity of Kåñëa and arrange for the Deity's service, as is outlined in the authorized books of devotional service. This is all Kåñëa-karma. One should not be attached to the result of his work, but the result should be offered to Kåñëa. One should also accept as prasädam, food, the remnants of offerings to Kåñëa. If, however, one is not able to construct a temple for Kåñëa, one can engage himself in cleansing the temple of Kåñëa; that is also Kåñëa-karma. One can cultivate a garden. Anyone who has land-in India, at least, any poor man has a certain amount of land-can utilize that for Kåñëa by growing flowers to offer Him. He can sow tulasé plants because tulasé leaves are very important, and Kåñëa has recommended this in Bhagavad-gétä. Kåñëa desires that one offer Him either a leaf, or a flower, or a little water-and He is satisfied. This leaf especially refers to the tulasé So one can sow tulasé leaves and pour water on the plant. Thus, even the poorest man can engage in the service of Kåñëa. These are some of the examples of how one can engage in working for Kåñëa.
The word mat-paramaù refers to one who considers the association of Kåñëa in His supreme abode to be the highest perfection of life. Such a person does not wish to be elevated to the higher planets such as the moon or sun or heavenly planets, or even the highest planet of this universe, Brahmaloka. He has no attraction for that. He is only attracted to being transferred to the spiritual sky. And even in the spiritual sky he is not satisfied with merging into the glowing brahmajyoti effulgence, for he wants to enter the highest spiritual planet, namely Kåñëaloka, Goloka Våndävana. He has full knowledge of that planet, and therefore he is not interested in any other. As indicated by the word mad-bhaktaù, he fully engages in devotional service, specifically in the nine processes of devotional engagement: hearing, chanting, remembering, worshiping, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering prayers, carrying out the orders of the Lord, making friends with Him, and surrendering everything to Him. One can engage in all nine devotional processes, or eight, or seven, or at least in one, and that will surely make one perfect.
The term saìga-varjitaù is very significant. One should disassociate himself from persons who are against Kåñëa. Not only are the atheistic persons against Kåñëa, but also those who are attracted to fruitive activities and mental speculation. Therefore the pure form of devotional service is described in Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu as follows: anyäbhiläñitä-çünyaà jïäna-karmädy-anävåtam änukülyena kåñëänuçélanaà bhaktir uttamä. In this verse Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé clearly states that if anyone wants to execute unalloyed devotional service, he must be freed from all kinds of material contamination. He must be freed from the association of persons who are addicted to fruitive activities and mental speculation. When, freed from such unwanted association and from the contamination of material desires, one favorably cultivates knowledge of Kåñëa, that is called pure devotional service. Änukülyasya saìkaplaù prätikülyasya varjanam. One should think of Kåñëa and act for Kåñëa favorably, not unfavorably. Kaàsa was an enemy of Kåñëa's. From the very beginning of Kåñëa's birth, he planned in so many ways to kill Him, and because he was always unsuccessful, he was always thinking of Kåñëa. Thus while working, while eating and while sleeping, he was always Kåñëa conscious in every respect, but that Kåñëa consciousness was not favorable, and therefore in spite of his always thinking of Kåñëa twenty-four hours a day, he was considered a demon, and Kåñëa at last killed him. Of course anyone who is killed by Kåñëa attains salvation immediately, but that is not the aim of the pure devotee. The pure devotee does not even want salvation. He does not want to be transferred even to the highest planet, Goloka Våndävana. His only objective is to serve Kåñëa wherever he may be.
A devotee of Kåñëa is friendly to everyone. Therefore it is said here that he has no enemy. How is this? A devotee situated in Kåñëa consciousness knows that only devotional service to Kåñëa can relieve a person from all the problems of life. He has personal experience of this, and therefore he wants to introduce this system, Kåñëa consciousness, into human society. There are many examples in history of devotees of the Lord risking their lives for the spreading of God consciousness. The favorite example is Lord Jesus Christ. He was crucified by the nondevotees, but He sacrificed His life for spreading God consciousness. Of course, it would be superficial to understand that He was killed. Similarly, in India also there are many examples, such as Öhäkur Haridäsa. Why such risk? Because they wanted to spread Kåñëa consciousness, and it is difficult. A Kåñëa conscious person knows that if a man is suffering, it is due to his forgetfulness of his eternal relationship with Kåñëa. Therefore, the highest benefit one can render to human society is relieving one's neighbor from all material problems. In such a way, a pure devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord. Now, we can imagine how merciful Kåñëa is to those engaged in His service, risking everything for Him. Therefore it is certain that such persons must reach the supreme planet after leaving the body.
In summary, the universal form of Kåñëa, which is a temporary manifestation, and the form of time which devours everything, and even the form of Viñëu, four-handed, have all been exhibited by Kåñëa. Thus Kåñëa is the origin of all these manifestations. It is not that Kåñëa is a manifestation of the original viçva-rüpa, or Viñëu. Kåñëa is the origin of all forms. There are hundreds and thousands of Viñëus, but for a devotee, no form of Kåñëa is important but the original form, two-handed Çyämasundara. In the Brahmä-saàhitä it is stated that those who are attached to the Çyämasundara form of Kåñëa in love and devotion can see Him always within the heart and cannot see anything else. One should understand, therefore, that the purport of this Eleventh Chapter is that the form of Kåñëa is essential and supreme.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Eleventh Chapter of the Çrémad-Bhagavad-gétä in the matter of the Universal Form.


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Copyright (c) 1972 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada