"The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku."(Bhagavad-gita 4.1)
From this verse we can understand Bhagavad-gita has a special position among the Scriptures of the world. There are many, many Scriptures but they all came into existence at a certain point in time. Anything that has a beginning in this material world must also ultimately have an end. For something with a beginning the time will come when the knowledge or information is no longer useful or no longer used. You can trace out the beginning of practically everything in this world.
The Bhagavad-gita, however, the science of Krishna consciousness, is beginingless. The knowledge contained in this book is eternal and transcendental. Sometimes this knowledge is manifest before our eyes and sometimes it is covered to the people in general. But that doesn't mean the knowledge is not there. In the same way we can look at the example of the sun. During the day the sun is shining in the sky and sometimes you may find a cloud has covered the sun. You can't perceive the sun any more. But the sun is still shining. It is only our vision that is blocked. Our eyes are covered by the cloud so we can't see the sun, but the sun is there. The sun is also distributing it's rays but we can't perceive those rays because they are being blocked by the cloud. So the same situation is there with the Bhagavad-gita. This Bhagavad-gita is the transcendental knowledge spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. So the Bhagavad-gita is not something which has a beginning.
Of course, from the mundane point of view you can say the Bhagavad-gita has a beginning because Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, spoke the Bhagavad-gita five thousand years ago in India on a battlefield in a place calledKuruksetra. Kuruksetra is a place which still exists in India and we can visit this place. So someone might say the Bhagavad-gita is five thousand years old. They might say, "Of course, other Scriptures may not be so old, but what's the difference? The New Testament of the Bible is not more then two thousand years old, and the Old Testament is not more than three thousand years old. So the Bhagavad-gita is five thousand years old, a couple of thousand years older, that's all." But this is not correct as it is very clearly pointed out in this verse by Krishna Himself because here, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam vivasvan manave praha manur iksvakave 'bravit. This means Krishna instructed this knowledge of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, at the beginning of this millennium. Then Vivasvan instructed it to his son Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu instructed it to Iksvaku. So Vivasvan, the sun-god, is very old according to our scale of time. The sun has existed for many, many hundreds of millions of years and the sun-god was born at the time the sun was created. We don't have any conception, in the Western world, of how the universe is functioning. We have no conception of why the planets are moving. We look into the sky and see somany planets and heavenly bodies moving in some orderly, organised fashion.
This verse gives us information about the Bhagavad-gita and tells us it wasspoken to the sun-god at the beginning of this creation, which makes it certainly the oldest knowledge within this universe, but, of course there are many other universes. When Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to Vivasvan, the sun god, that wasn't the first time Krishna had spoken the Bhagavad-gita.
Krishna always speaks the Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god in every universe. This is because all of the kings, the ksatriya kings, are either descendants of the sun god, or they are descendants of the moon god. This means because the sun god is responsible for begetting these ksatriya kings he has to educate them. If the kingly order is to be saintly it is required that the sun-god have spiritual knowledge.
The purpose of this material world is to enable us, the fallen conditioned souls, to elevate ourselves to the spiritual platform and ultimately to go back home, back to Godhead. This is why Krishna originally speaks Bhagavad-gita to the sun-god. And the sun-god is the leader of the ksatriyas, or the saintly kings. So he instructs the saintly kings with this knowledge. This is the way spiritual knowledge is coming down:
"This supreme science was thusreceived through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."
This is the next verse in the Bhagavad-gita (4.2). That the disciplic succession was lost after some time is interesting, it sheds some light on the nature of the material world. In due course of time everything in the material world deteriorates. This also occurs with spiritual knowledge. Spiritual knowledge is established at one point and after some time it deteriorates therefore there is a need for constant maintenance of spiritual knowledge.
We find this everywhere. For example if we establish a big factory, it may be producing the product very nicely, but unless the management has an expert maintenance crew always maintaining the machinery, it's called preventative maintenance, the factory will soon no longer work efficiently. When something breaks they have to fix it, they have to continually oil the mechanisms, clean the machines, replace any worn parts, tighten up any loose screws, this is maintenance.
Maintenance is a very important part: of any mundane institution, any mundane factory. Even in big shopping centres maintenance is required. If the management of these centres is successful they are very careful to attend to maintenance. They make sure everything is always-very clean, nicely painted and running smoothly. So this is maintenance. Maintenance is required in every aspect of the material world. Of course we sometimes don't notice it is going on. But as soon as the maintenance stops we notice. Then we can quickly see that maintenance is required. Cities require maintenance. Even simple maintenance. In our big cities everyone is generating so much rubbish. So maintenance means there has to be a rubbish department who will come around every morning and collect the rubbish and take it away and bury it in the ground somewhere. We don't notice this ordinarily. It just goes on and we don't think about it. But if the rubbish men go on strike and stop doing their work, if they stop taking the rubbish out of the city, it doesn't take very long and we'll find a big mess.
The city-can't go on without maintenance, so many things need to be done to maintain it, to keep it going, there are so many departments. There is the rubbish department maintaining the cleanliness, the water department maintaining the water pipes, making sure that the water pressure is at the proper level everywhere, putting so many pumps in to correct things, they're always maintaining the water supply and if they go away then the water will stop, but we don't notice them, we don't realize that they are doing that work. There's the electricity department, they're always maintaining the system which distributes the electricity throughout the city, but we don't really notice them -- unless they go on strike and there's no electricity. There is the cleansing department, the street sweepers, they're also doing their work and we don't notice so much. In this way in any city, in any factory, in any shopping centre, in anything that we can experience in the material world, there's maintenance going on and that maintenance is not happening impersonally. Behind it there is a manager, a director, who is thinking about it. He's thinking, "How are we going to manage this maintenance? Who's going to do it?"
Nothing happens automatically, that's our experience, we don't experience anything happening by itself. We see everything happening because behind it there is some management department, and behind any management department you find some head man who is in charge of the department and ultimately it's his responsibility to see that everything goes on.
This is our practical experience. So far we have been talking on the scale of one factory, or one city or one small area. This is how things work on a small scale. It's not inconceivable to think on a much grander scale, on the universal scale, that the same thing would be mirrored on a large scale. According to the Vedic literature that is what happens. On the large scale, on the grand scale, we find there is a management department superintended by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Krishna is ultimately directing all the activities of every living entity. In Bhagavad-gita18.61 Krishna says:
"The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy."
Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He is in the core of everyone's heart, hrd-dese, means in the heart. isvarah paramah krsnah, Krishna is the supreme controller, sac-cidananda-vigrahah, He's eternal, He's full of knowledge and He's full of pleasure and He has a spiritual body. So Krishna is in everyone's heart, there is another verse in this chapter of the Bhagavad-gita(15.15): sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistho, mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca, Krishna is in everyone's heart and He is giving remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.
So Krishna is there, in everyone's heart, He's sanctioning, anumanta, upadrsta. He's has to give His sanction before we can do anything. We have our own desires, but Krishna is permitting and sanctioning our desires. Without Krishna's permission we can't do anything. So on that level Krishna is with us all the time. He's with every living entity, giving every living entity guidance. But on another level Krishna is separate from the actual day to day management of the universal affairs. Because Krishna's business is to enjoy. Krishna's business is not in the material world. Krishna's business is in Goloka Vrndavana, in the spiritual world. Krishna is a cowherd boy, Krishna is the most attractive person, Krishna is the most beautiful person. So He doesn't have any worries, His business is to enjoy. In the morning He is getting out of bed, His mother, Yasoda, is giving Him a bath, decorating His body very nicely with ornaments, putting beautiful clothes on Him and feeding Krishna, cooking a nice breakfast.
After Krishna takes His breakfast He goes out with His cows to the pasture, Krishna is a cowherd boy, Krishna is the most beautiful person, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna is actually the source of everything. Everything is within Krishna, but Krishna's a cowherd boy. This is one of the most inconceivable aspects of spiritual life. How the Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything is emanating, within whom everything is existing, is a cowherd boy and He's enjoying going out onto the pastures in Goloka Vrndavana with the transcendental cows. The cows in the spiritual world are called surabhi cows. Surabhi means givers of unlimited milk. Here in the material world we can milk one cow, and the cow can only give a certain amount of milk in the morning and in the evening. But in the spiritual world Krishna's cows, the surabhi cows, can give any amount of milk at any time. This is the nature of the spiritual world goloka eva-nivasaty akhilatma bhuto, govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami, cintamani prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-laksa vrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam. Cintamani means touch-stone, we have no experience of cintamani in this world at present, bul cintamani is an element, it's better than any element we have ever seen, but it's an element. In the same way a loadstone [magnet] is an element. The property of loadstone is it is magnetic, it can attract to it other metal objects. So this cintamani stone is a desire fulfilling stone. It means touch-stone. We have information in the Vedic literature that even in this material world there is a stone you can touch to some other metal and it will turn that metal into gold, so that's touch-stone. Of course that's only one thing a touch-stone can do.It is a very special entity, it is not within our experience at the moment, but we can understand that in the spiritual world, just as this material world is built with the mundane elements; earth; water, fire, air and ether, the spiritual world is built of this cintamani stone, the touch-stone, the desire-stone. So we can't imagine. Everything there is conscious; we can't imagine, it's inconceivable, it's outside our experience, we can't understand how transcendentally ecstatic the spiritual world is. So Krishna's business is there Krishna is looking after the cows. Krishna is playing with His cowherd boyfriends and so many pastimes are going on there. Krishna has His girlfriends, the Gopis, all the pastimes of Krishna are going on in Goloka Vrndavana, the spiritual world. Krishna's connection with the material world is not so direct. In one sense, as I explained before, Krishna is directly within the heart of every living entity. But on another level Krishna is separate from the material world. The way the material world, the universe, is maintained is through Krishna's servants. These servants are called the demigods. There are many, many demigods. Vivasvan, the sun-god, is the demigod controlling the sun planet.
So Vivasvan is a person also. In the same way I am a person and you are a person. Vivasvan is the sun-god and I am just an ordinary person, but I could also become the sun-god. This position is a post within the government of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna
Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.