Speeches From The Couch

[Bhagavad-gita, As It Is]“And I declare that he who studies this sacred conversation worships Me by his intelligence.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.70)

adhyeṣyate ca ya imaṁ

dharmyaṁ saṁvādam āvayoḥ

jñāna-yajñena tenāham

iṣṭaḥ syām iti me matiḥ

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Man is gifted with advanced intelligence. He can’t fly through the air; not without a machine anyway. He can’t run very fast; especially in comparison to some animals. His eyes can’t penetrate the darkness of night. He can’t survive arctic temperatures on his own. He can’t live in the water and he can’t see something from miles and miles away. Other species can do such things, but they lack the intelligence that man has.

What should this intelligence be used for? Should man try to imitate the abilities of the animal? Should they even ponder why they have this intelligence? A great way to decipher how something is to be used is to first eliminate things; use negation. Look at various ways that intelligence is improperly used now and then work your way towards the right answer.

In times past, if you were a person of prominence, you could get your message out quickly by issuing a press release. Make a statement and then have the people that cover the news redistribute your statement to their readers. This way you don’t have to travel very far. Let others do the work for you.

[twitter]In more recent times, there is the tweet. You can be sitting on your couch watching a football game and share with the whole world whatever is on your mind. You don’t have to say much. Just tell people what you are eating. Let them know what you think of a particular player. Explain your mood at the time.

In addition to reaching all of your followers, the message is again picked up by those who cover the news. Based on what you write, these writers can craft entire stories. The practice is something like lecturing off an emotion. You’re walking down the street and you feel thirsty. You tell your friend about it. Then a bystander, who overhears what you say, decides to write a story about it. They speculate about what your thirst means. “Where could it be coming from? Is it a sign of a greater problem? Who was the person to whom you shared your emotion initially?”

Under a sober analysis, one would have to conclude that lecturing off a one-time emotional response is not a very wise use of intelligence. The material world is miserable and temporary. Happiness is elusive, though it is coveted. If you get something that you want, you worry about keeping it. If you win something, you don’t get to enjoy the victory for too long. The world is temporary because we know that after birth there must be death. Everything will end at death; we just don’t know when exactly the end will come.

Instead of using the tweet as the basis for a lecture, one can use any of the verses in the Bhagavad-gita, all of which are profound. Indeed, this is the course taken by the wise. They don’t need to rely on the temporary conditions of the manifest world to find something to say. The Supreme Lord speaks this ancient work, and so even by saying a few words He says so much.

[Krishna speaking to Arjuna]In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna speaks of truths that apply to all aspects of life, from all time periods. He says that the yogi, who is trying to unite with the Supreme Lord, neither sleeps too little nor sleeps too much. The yogi also doesn’t eat too much or eat too little. This formula for moderation is applicable to every single person, regardless of their circumstance. It is the simplest way to explain how to regulate life, to keep body and soul together.

For the scientifically minded, Krishna explains sankhya, which translates to “metaphysics.” There are various elements that make up the different aspects of nature. The way those elements react is what allows us to predict how things will play out going forward. For instance, we know that an infant will likely grow to be a lot taller. This is through the work of the elements of nature.

A person can lecture off of the concluding statements of the Bhagavad-gita, where Krishna advises Arjuna to surrender to Him, to be delivered from all sinful reaction as a result. What is this surrender? If this promise is there, why isn’t everyone taking advantage? Why are they surrendering to the material nature instead? Why are they focused on temporary emotions produced by fallible beings?

[Prabhupada lecturing]These questions and more can be answered by a thorough study of Krishna’s teachings, which are presented for the proper understanding of the time and circumstance by the acharya, who can lecture on a single word from scripture at any time and place. He facilitates the worship of Krishna through intelligence, which is the best use of the valuable gift given to the human species.

In Closing:

After latest tweet getting sight,

News person entire story can write.

Like lecturing off emotion from couch to rest,

Of advanced human intelligence not use the best.

Single verse from Bhagavad-gita just take,

And discussion for the rest of your life make.

Acharya for the time and circumstance explaining,

Method of worship of Supreme fortunate gaining.



Categories: knowledge

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