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Reading from the Bhagavad Gita as it is, seventh chapter, knowledge of the absolute

text number twenty six.

Vedaham samatitani vartamanani carjuna
Bhavisyani ca bhutani mam tu veda na kascana

O Arjuna, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I know everything that has
happened in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all the things that are yet
to come. I also know all living entities: but Me no one knows

This is Krishna. Krishna knows everything that has happened in the past, He knows
everything that is happening in the present and He knows everything that will happen
in the future and what do we know..?.......little….One of the big problems of this
world is misunderstandings, there are so many misunderstandings, we always feel
misunderstood or we always misunderstand people. Someone looks at you and sort of
gives the evil eye and you think this person doesn’t like me but maybe he just has a
toothache..can be or something like that you know…and you just look at the whole
world like I hate you world and someone walks past and thinks this person hates
me…so many misunderstandings…constant…..infact a lot of our time is spent setting
things straight, you know, reconciliation they call it “let’s have conciliation meetings
and work it out and we sit down and discuss, I didn’t mean it like that” and hours
and hours, years of our lives are just spent to overcome misunderstandings..why? Just
because we don’t, we don’t know what people think, we don’t know what they feel”
How are you today? Yeah?” you know “you ok?” to constantly ask, we don’t know,
no idea…how different is Krishna and how peaceful is Krishna, can you imagine all
the insecurities, all these anxieties are not there. ..Sanskrit…between two armies
Krishna and Arjuna were there, Arjuna was lamenting but Krishna was smiling in the
middle of a battlefield between two armies, to smile is somewhat unusual…in
otherwords to be totally relaxed, very cool that was Krishna, totally transcendental,
not seeing anything to cause anxiety in this world….

We read the Bhagavad Gita and we hear the verses…Sanskrit ..the soul never takes
birth, the soul can not be killed and all these kind of verses, we hear them and say “
Yes we agree, Yes,Yes I agree with this” and the next moment we are in total anxiety
and we are still in anxiety about something in this world. Basically the Bhagavad
Gita was just telling us don’t worry about this world at all, there’s nothing to worry
about, Just like Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, the spiritual master of our founder
acharya Srila Prabhupada, He once gave a lecture and in that lecture he basically says
to the people “ So are you convinced now about Krishna Consciosness”..They all said,
like good audience “Ohh Yesss!” “Are you really convinced?” “Yes yes yes we are
really convinced” and then ok the lecture finished and after the programme they were
talking a little and people said “ well we have to go now”…He said…… “Go now?
What do you mean? You said you were convinced, right? You were convinced where
do you want to go? Where do you want to go, there’s nowhere to go and you may
think there’s a reason to go but even if there’s a fire know that all those things that are
burning in the fire anyway you had to give your relationship with them, because
whatever can burn in fire you will have to give up your relationship with, that and
whatever can not burn in fire that you will maintain”…….That was getting intense!
Everyone was saying “Yeah, Yeah very nice” and they all went home. Everyone said
“Yes,Yes we agree” and they went home. That is the nature. So it is very interesting
how we have different compartments, compartments in our head, one compartment in
our head is totally convinced “Yes, Yes I believe this Yes, I agree with it” but the
other part we don’t act upon it, we act totally in the opposite way as if we don’t
understand the higher knowledge. It’s very interesting how we can have these two
sides in us which are totally contradictory and it’s totally ok to be like that, this is our
position…But not Krishna, Krishna is truly transcendental, not just a little bit
transcendental but completely on the platform of the spiritual world.

Krishna is not really considering this material world of much importance, what shall I
say…I remember this one Sunday feast lecture, I gave in Switzerland and it was about
ants and how ants, ants are always working, so I was interested in the psychology of
the ant and what makes the ant work so hard. So if for a moment we make a parallel
with our own life, we don’t mind working 24hrs if it is really worth it, if it’s really
something important, therefore we may assume that whatever the ants are working for
is important to them and means a lot to them, it’s worth working 24hrs for. At night
you wake up and see the ants in India, you can see this more closely, their nature is a
little closer and you wake up and see the ants are still moving around, they are
working hard middle of the night, in the day the ants are still working, you never find
an ant sort of taking a break, lying on the beach catching a little sun, you know, little
sporting or playing, nothing like that, no football nothing, that’s right, they don’t seem
to enjoy, they just work, so basically whatever they are doing must be very
important… them, but to us it is too insignificant to really spend much time with,
OK, we put the ants in the spotlight. Now, when was the last time we thought about
ants…ok , they get a little bit of disturbance, we think about them but otherwise we
don’t think about ants, you don’t read in newspapers about ants, there’s not much on
the internet about ants compared to people, ants are insignificant. So imagine the
dreams of the ants, do you know how long they lie, I mean something like ten days,
and it’s all over, ten days and that’s it…you start off all your hopes, all your dreams in
ten days…so short….even butterflies I read the other day, live for eleven days once it
is a butterfly maybe a little bit before, but very short lives, so many hopes, so many
dreams, in such a short time and if you look at everything like that, how is it
possible……so Krishna looks at us in the same way, Krishna also looks at our lives as
so short, and to us it’s like….Krishna looks at our dreams just like the ants, the ants

I know, I know sanyassis have this nature to pop bubbles, we are the guys when
everyone has a balloon, we come with a bit of pin and “pop” “pop” “bang” “bang”
“bang” that is our duty to kind of destroy illusions, illusions about the material world
and to point towards Krishna, point towards the eternal. So at least we are not
propagating that we give up the temporary because it is not possible anyway, you can
move from one place to another, but you can’t give it up, the temporary world, we are
in the temporary world, therefore we are not speaking about giving up the temporary,
but we are speaking about making relationships with the eternal that is really Krishna.

Krishna is eternal, the spirit soul, the living being are eternal and the relationship with
Krishna is also eternal and that eternal relationship has now been covered. When
Krishna says ..SANSKRIT … me know one knows, He talks about the living being in
this material world. In one sense, in the material world no one knows Krishna, in the
spiritual world world everyone knows Krishna, of course no one knows Krishna in
full, that is not possible, because Krishna is unlimited, we can not know Krishna in
full but still Krishna reveals Himself to the devotee, and the devotee knows Krishna to
be the Supreme Lord….So Krishna is behind everything….ultimately who is more
important the painting or the painter, some might say, that could cause a big debate, if
you really start that you could spend all Sunday afternoon debating it………what is
more important the painting or the painter. Some might definitely say the painting, in
modern philosophy and text it’s like that, they say for example if somebody writes a
book, it’s not what the writer meant with the book, that’s not the essence, it’s what the
book is in itself, it’s what the book means to the reader, that’s what the book is,
therefore it is not important what the writer tried to put in there, it’s what the reader
gets out of it, that’s modern understanding, of course in our mind at least in mine
that’s a bunch of rubbish. That’s a bunch of rubbish because for me, it’s the
communication that counts in the book or the painting, what ever, the book is the
product of the writer’s consciousness, so it is the writer who is communicating
something, even in a painting, if we see something sublime in the painting, then it
means there is something sublime in the consciousness of the painter, so it is the
person, really, it is the person that is really important, so we take that to Krishna.

There was a story that Srila Prabhupada one time in the very early early days, when
he came to the west, he started in a forefront in New York. That storefront Matchless
Gifts, we still have it, and it’s just as wide as this temple but from this altar to this first
pillar, that part is less, so from the window to the pillar, that’s matchless gifts
basically and that was Prabhupada’s first temple and there’s no partition so you step
in and you are just immediately in the whole temple, it was very nice spiritual
atmosphere there, very powerful, if you ever go to New York definitely go there, this
matchless gifts because it is surcharged with spiritual energy, that place is
vibrating…so Prabhupada stayed there in such a small little temple and then the
buildings are a little higher but its sort of just like here, there was a time when I just
stayed here for five months at a stretch and I got so tired of that wall on the other side,
you know, just look outside that window and you see that wall…I got sick of that wall
and I hated that wall, what to speak of New York, in New York there is always a wall,
everywhere there’s a wall. In Manhattan sky is difficult to see. So naturally everyone
wanted to get out of the city, so they went to the country ashram of Dr. Misra. They
were all camping out with these city boys of New York, they were in ecstasy and they
all slept outside under the stars and in the morning they woke up and Hayagriva who
was bit of a poet, professor in English said it was as if an artist from his pallet had
made red streaks in the sky, romantic vision painting in the sky…and Prabhupada did
the same thing I do, he popped the bubble. He basically brought his pin and bang
bang and Prabhupada said we’re not so interested in the work of the artwork in the
painting we are more interested in the painter Krishna.

Right so yes. But this is not at all what modern people would like because actually
you see the traditional religions of the world Christianity, Islam or you name it have
the same concept…just look at the old ideas they had an idea that a heaven called
walhala heaven and in that heaven there was beer forever and in Islam you get so
many maidens, very nice, and in Christianity you get a white dress, a harp or a
trumpet so that’s also nice you can have a jam session(crowd laugh). So according to
your preference you can go to a different heaven, if you’re in to beer you can go to the
walhala and if you want the maidens you can go there and if you are a musician you
can get a white dress, a harp or a trumpet…forever and that’s heaven basically and in
heaven you can enjoy, the whole idea is when you finally go to heaven it is wonderful
because you enjoy there forever and oh……..
I forgot to tell you ..God lives there too..but it doesn’t really matter it’s alright he
doesn’t disturb anyone, no he doesn’t bother any one exactly…He Lives in His corner
of to the side and you rarely see Him, sometimes He walks by and he’s kind of a nice
old chap, He’s like He doesn’t really get on anybody’s case he just lets you enjoy and
he doesn’t interfere with anyone’s enjoyment and so on’s really nice heaven…God
lives there too. And that’s more or less how it is in most traditions of the world… so
People want the Kingdom of God without God…that’s what they want, modern man,
in the past you read of building a stair case to heaven and things, big demons have
tried it; stair cases to heaven have been tried from time to time but nowadays we have
decided we don’t need a staircase to heaven any more we are going to make heaven
on earth that is our aim, we are going to fix it up and with technology whatever is
wrong we can make up for it and compensate, compensate and fix it and reach what
the angels have right here on this planet, we don’t need wings because we can fly with
electronics and it will get better all the time so like this we have tried to create an
heaven on earth.

Prabhupada had a different concept about it he called it fools paradise, he called this
world the fools paradise so we see that there is an underlying theme in the lecture that
keeps on coming to the same point…the point that that how much faith are we going
to put in the material energy.…
The Greeks already figured it out they said everything is always streaming, like
everything is always changing like a river and it says you can not step in the same
river twice in other words we enjoy something in this world and it is good. Have you
also gone through this you have the perfect pizza and it was just a dream pizza ,
everything right, and you want like another piece and it’s just not as good as the first
piece, it’s just not quite there, it’s not just that dream pizza anymore, sometimes you
may get two dream pizzas or three , who knows , you think you’ve got it all figured
out and now I’ve got the secret now I have got the formula…but everything
changes……….so in the sixties a philosophy was discovered where by Richard Alpert
who had went to India and met this Ram Das Baba and he developed this idea of be
here now, be here now and this be here now basically meant just don’t worry let
things change just go with the changes, go with the flow …go with the groove, it’s
groovy just groove stay with the groove, groove of the disk, there were these old
music players you put the needle on the groove and gradually it goes to the middle,
and that’s how it was so stay with the groove go with the changes…when the good
things change go for the new good things and in this way always relish the good thing
and now we’ve got the secret so that’s ok but I see some of these hippies now and
they’re still hippies but they look really old, wrinkled faces, long hair and beards and
everything and I don’t know what you call those ribbons on the stick that you can
throw up in the air and did that for hours…that reminded me in sixties where they
would spend hours looking in the kaeladoscope looking at different patterns thinking
there’s like patterns, rivers in the sky…isn’t that a bit childish for somebody who is
close to seventy or sixty, right, it begins to look a bit stupid at least in my eyes it’s
like nothing changed? It may have been ok in the twenties, may have look like fun but
when you are sixty it starts to look pretty dumb ….so like that time moves along.

I saw a little cartoon and it said ….that then they lived happily ever after and after that
everything was ok except for the old age thing, then you see these two old people
sitting in bed, that’s there, so sooner or later we have to face the reality, the reality of
time. Time is maybe, is the most powerful force in this world, they think that the most
powerful energy is nuclear energy but that’s not a fact because even the nuclear
energy will be destroyed by the time, all the nuclear power plants will be destroyed by
time and even the radioactive waste which is staying toxic for three hundred thousand
years, for time it’s nothing…so the biggest power that exists in this world is
time…it’s interesting because I’m here and I see the power of time working on the
audience because I see people here that I’ve known for quite some time, actually, and
I see how you are changing…here’s Gopinath, I know him from Vrndavan when he
was just half …but he has a voice of a Gandharva, an angel singing very nice and he
still sings very nice…I think he should lead the kirtana at the end , will you do
that?..huh..that’s another symptom of time(bit of banter)
So today here in this place this is about the only place where we’ve got all the time of
the world because here we are looking at things in the perspective of eternity and for
this afternoon don’t worry we don’t have to go anywhere, it is not required there’s not
really anything to do, everything is already attained, everything that is there to do is
already done, we are here, we are here, we have come to the spiritual world we are
there, it is the temple and it is non different to Vrndavan, Krishna is here , He is here,
there’s nothing lacking here, everything here is perfect…There’s no beauty in the
world greater than the beauty of Krishna, there’s no wealth in the world that is greater
than the wealth of Krishna. There’s nothing more wonderful than Krishna everything
you could possibly dream, all the dreams you haven’t dreamt yet you can dream here,
because here you have attained perfection….Isn’t it?

With spiritual vision one can understand that that, yes it is true, so the idea of my talk
is to awaken a bit of spiritual vision and I’m suppose to throw a whole bunch of
words at you and with play with your mind like a ball which I bounce against the wall
until it slowly gets softer and then you sort of walk out and I hope for the whole week
a bit of Krishna pops up in the brain every once in a while and sort of think about
eternity, time and we see the world…Some people think that there is the Bhagavad
Gita and that it is a book, some people would say that this is a book, would you say
that it is a book?........................... Hey this is Alecandro a big book distributor…. is
this a book?...........He says it’s a book….I say Alecandro it’s not a book…can you see
it in the back… this is not a book, it’s not do you know what it is…it’s a way of life,
it’s a way of life, Bhagavad Gita as it is…the world is also Bhagavad Gita,
everywhere we see is Bhagavada Gita and what I hope is when we leave this temple
that we see a little bit of Bhagavad Gita out there and that when we walk out on the
street we see a little bit of Kuruksetra out there for a moment we remember Arjuna
and Krishna were there on the Kuruksetra…
We on the battlefield of Amsterdam, Krishna and Arjuna between the chariots on the
battlefield of Kuruksetra, we on the white line between the chariots in Amsterdam
before we are cross the street like Arjuna remember the eternity for a moment, he was
forgetting but Krishna reminded him and we can also just see…and then if we just
look at all these cars in the perspective of eternity then we are thinking…about
Prabhupada who was imitating the sounds of the cars..whushhhh, whussssh,
whussssh..going at neck breaking speed and not making any progress so
yes…Prabhupada about cars, didn’t have a very high opinion about cars because he
was thinking that people would make friends with their neighbours but now they
make friends with people that live 50km away and they have to drive everywhere and
they have to sit in the car and we think we go so fast and save so much time but if you
add it all up we don’t save any, nowadays with traffic jams especially, no parking
space even more time it takes. I was at Sydney last year and they had said they had
calculated that the centre of Sydney to a particular suburb in 1930 used to take 45
mins with a horse cart and now takes 45 mins with a BMW it’s the same so nothing
has changed, still takes 45 mins…… of course there was a time when Belgium
was far away it was a long journey, you have to go on your horse and cart … you are
not going to do it in one day , it’s too much for the horse you have got to stop and it’s
a couple of days journey and now we can do it few minutes in 20 mins you can just
fly over and so like this we are living in the so called Global Village and everything is
like that distances have become short and the one culture in the world …blue jeans
and mickey mouse and the same food and everything, what shall I say …burgers…so
the whole world is just going down the tube literally and in London you see people
are running down the tube and at night they come flying back as if it’s a big vacuum
cleaner slurping up all these people putting them in the factories and offices on the
computer and at night slurped up by a tube and spitted back out, spit out all these
people and they can go home…

This is what we have made of the world, this is what man has made of the world and
Amsterdam with great pride has to have a subway as well although it is very difficult
with a city which has ground water levels so high that its practically like an
underwater subway but we pride ourselves to also have one the first underwater
subway in the world …may as well make it under the sea…this is to keep with the
Jones’s and the whole world is keeping up with the Jones’s, keeping up with the
neighbours, that’s what it means and in the end there is no world left…like that nice
poster which is called the happy happy home it just looks like a nice little house with
a garden on planet earth it’s a nice poster of planet earth but the only thing is that of
planet earth there’s only one piece left, one piece of the cheese and that’s all that is
left , the rest has fallen off. So we’re living a way of life, making far too much out of
the temporary and we are trying to artificially build up the temporary and in this way
we become destructive and we drive around in our cars poisoning the very air that we
breathe…isn’t that weird, we enjoy driving around in a machine that fumigates us….
imagine you were to drive around in a fumigation machine in this house, a fumigation
machine is a machine that puts poison gas to get rid of all the insects and we just walk
around in that house here, that’s insane that’s suicidal…what’s six million cars in
Holland going to do for you. I read yesterday, saw the newspapers here that
Amsterdam is one of the most polluted countries in Europe they say because of the
density of the population so we are top in Europe in terms of pollution. Holland is
way up there and of course we knew that we have the most toxic rivers because we
get the junk of everyone else so by the time it comes to Holland, Switzerland dumped
their junk, Germany dumped theirs, France put a bit of there’s as well so we get all
that, we get all the junk of everyone’s in our rivers so……home sweet home anyway!

Yes I guess the most tamasic thing I saw was, the strongest manifestation of the mode
of ignorance was a guy who instead of a garland, instead of a flower garland he hung
a toilet seat around his neck…I thought that’s a flower Garland in the mode of
ignorance…so that was something, so you see some things sometimes…so we saw
some manifestation of tama guna and what to do, alright…so let us try and throughout
this coming week from time to time remember the divine perspective, let us for a
moment look at this world as through the eyes of God. Let us realise that God is
eternal and how does this world look from the point of view of eternity let us from
time to time contemplate that and if we do that I think then we are seeing things
through the eyes of the Bhagavad Gita and then gradually the Bhagavad Gita is not a
book but it becomes a way of life….is it a book? ….banter…. It is not a book it is a
way of life. You can try it on the street you can stop someone and say what is this? Is
it a book? What is it? Please tell me and when he says it’s a book you say “no it’s not.
It’s a way of life.” .I don’t know maybe it works ..who knows sparkle some
interest…any questions, any comments…

Devotees speak
Yeah…..Well, ultimately the painter, it’s his energy and the painting. It’s not that the
painter is the energy of the painting so the painter can create more paintings, the
painting came out of him so therefore whatever we find in the painting is somewhere
having it’s roots in the painter so the painter has a quality by which he can produce
the painting so it’s really the quality of the painter that is more important than the
painting, that’s the idea behind it but in one sense the painter is also being manifest in
the painting, we encounter the painter in the painting, that is true but if we look at the
painting without the painter it’s incomplete…..I mean what’s Van Gough…… it’s the
whole personality the madness, far out type of consciousness he had, this different
kind of look this mystery that he is and how he even cut his ear, my God, why did he
cut his ear…so many things can be said about it, different ideas why did he do it what
was the rationale…if the personality wasn’t there it wouldn’t have the kind of
charm…. it’s like just like the red brown paintings they are just stupid paintings, they
have no message, they are beautiful pictures absolutely beautiful. Here’s this guy
with a big collar and big suit, being rich being powerful, being a politician and
wanting to have his picture painted and we have to look at it, there’s absolutely no
deeper message in the whole thing it’s just some arrogant rich guy who paid a lot of
money to have his picture painted and very well done and extraordinarily well done
but it is totally mundane but with Van Gough there’s some hope of another dimension
added in the painting so that’s more, so we are looking at what is behind…so that’s a
whole dimension………….so the person Krishna, what is in the person Krishna and it
is said if we see in the same way the material world, we should take it that if we see
beauty in this world take it as the smile of Krishna. So there’s a lot more beauty in
Krishna then there’s in this world because the smile is only a welcome invitation, a
little smile is like ..yes …come welcome, smile, nice ……that’s not everything there’s
a lot behind the smile there’s a whole universe behind the smile to find out, a whole
spiritual world to find out behind the smile of Krishna so let us understand beauty in
this world is the smile of Krishna…an invitation to experience the unlimited spiritual
world so that’s the spiritual purport …..questions anyone else…..

Devotees speak
Krishna knows everything about the future ? Yeah…but therefore He doesn’t. He
doesn’t enjoy anything material, He doesn’t enjoy this world but He enjoys in Goloka
because in Goloka He doesn’t know everything about the future due to Yoga
Maya…Krishna knows past, present and future but in the spiritual world Krishna
allows Himself to become covered by His own illusory energy so that He doesn’t
know the future. He knows and He doesn’t…sometimes He knows and sometimes He
doesn’t. When a devotee comes up to Krishna and says to Krishna “Krishna! What
have I got in my hand?” Krishna doesn’t reply…Maharaja speaks in a authoritive
deep cosmic voice as if a voice from the sky…… “Look I am the personality of
Godhead, I am all pervading, I already knew what you put in your hand before you
even thought of it, you think you can surprise me, nobody ever suprises me” It’s not
like that. He allows Himself to become covered by His own yogamaya, by His own
illusory energy and then He really doesn’t know what the devotee has in his hand. He
doesn’t know, no idea. But here in this world He knows everything, everything, so
here there are no suprises for Krishna…therefore in the material world Krishna
doesn’t enjoy the material energy, the material world, nothing here for Him to

There is a choice…..again…..The living entity has the choice to serve Krishna or to
not serve Krishna. As soon as we serve Krishna we also come under this yoga maya
energy together with Krishna and then we go in the realm where Krishna doesn’t
know and there we have independence. We can change our destiny but before that
we are simply under Karma and everything predestined ,…. so as long as we are in
the material world everything predestined…it’s all by karma….So it’s all going on, by
the three material modes of nature, here we don’t really make a choice. It’s all one
big puflofs reflex, you know mr puflofs and the rats and three little tunnels and door
number one, you put some food and the doors are made of metal. Then the second
day the rat came back, great ..go straight to gate number one and dr.pufflof put some
electricity on gate number one, you know, so….. This rat comes and arrrrgggh and
didn’t go back to gate number1 and tried gate number two and three but never number
one again, right. So the whole world is actually a big puflofs reflex, where we are just
responding like the rat and this is called the learning process, education we call

Yeah, if we become devotees we gradually become more and more advanced and
Krishna will start to allow himself to become covered but not for ordinary devotees.
One must be like a liberated devotee, at this point we can not, but Krishna gives us the
freedom of choice…….yes, so with the devotee Krishna doesn’t know everything but
He may know almost everything…just like Arjuna, Krishna said I know past, present
and future. Krishna also says I know all the births you and I have taken, I can
remember them and you can not ….so this is Krishna. Krishna in His position of
God, the All powerfull, the All knowing but when Krishna is the cowherd boy with
His residents of Vrndavan then He becomes covered also by the forgetfulness….

someone asks question
Yeah in the spiritual world past, present and future are not existing in that same sense
although there is obviously some concept but it is not necessarily going on in a nice
sequence, but there is the beginning of the day the end of the day, going and coming
back and there is doing one thing and the next and…it’s not all chaotic there’s a
sequence. Krishna leaves Vrndavan and walks outside of the house and he walks
down the path and He gets to the border of Vrndavan and everyone follows Him to
that point so there’s still sequence so they still say He left the house and then He
passed this and this tree and then He passed the lake and then He came by the hill and
then He went around the curve and then He disappeared into the forest. So, it all
comes in sequence, so there is a sequence of events, sequence, so it’s not like in the
same sequence of time as is here….How to understand? Impossible, impossible, we
can not understand because we can not think beyond time, we can theoretically say
there is a world in the spiritual but there is no time but we can not imagine it…best
answer is wait till you get there and you will see how there is no time because here it
is too much for us we can not think outside, outside of time even if you try, like
here..things on the altar I see maybe it’s time, I see also people yawning so I think
maybe it’s overtime….chuckle….so let us stop…. thank You very much…

Srila Prabhupada Ki Jaya.