Arjuna was not Chanting Hare Krishna but still he became a Devotee

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

Our aim of life should be to understand that everything belongs to God. Nothing belongs to us. This is self-realization. I also belong to God. My body is made of five elements – earth, water, fire, air and sky [bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuh (Bg. 7.4)]. This is gross body. And subtle body is made up of mind, intelligence, ego (kham mano buddhir eva). “These eight kind of prakrti are My energy,” says Krishna [bhinnā me prakrtir asthadhā] So this whole universe is the creation of Krishna’s material energy.

We are marginal energy of Krishna. So we are now put into this material energy because we wanted to enjoy this material world. In the spiritual world the only enjoyer is Krishna. Either in spiritual or material world, He is the only enjoyer. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, bhoktāram yajna-tapasām sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29]. “I am the enjoyer.” So this is to be understood, that Krishna is the supreme enjoyer. He is also the enjoyer of my energy because my energy is derived from Krishna’s energy. Just like master and servant. The master is paying him food, for anything, for comforts. He is getting energy. So how the energy should be utilized? For the master, not for his own sense gratification. This is perfection of life.

Hare Krishna devotees in Boston, USA

Hare Krishna devotees in Boston, USA

You can produce anything by your energy, but you cannot use it for your sense gratification. Then you become perfect. And if you want to do it, then Hrisikesa, the master of the senses, will give you intelligence how to do it. Just like He is giving intelligence to Arjuna. Therefore He is mentioned as Hrisikesa. How to win victory? How to utilize his energy for Krishna?

Krishna wanted the battle and Arjuna, who was a military man, utilized his military strength for Krishna’s purposes. That is the perfection of life. So whatever you have got, if you utilize it for Krishna’s sake, then that is bhakti. [hrsīkena hrsīkeśa-sevanam bhakti (Cc. Madhya 19.170)]. Even by fighting, you can be a great devotee. Just like Arjuna, he was not chanting on the beads, but he was fighting. But still, bhakto ‘si me priyo ‘si me [Bg. 4.3]. Krishna says, “Oh, you are My great devotee.”

Now people may say that “He was not chanting. He was fighting. So how he became a great devotee?” But Krishna says, bhakto ‘si me priyo ‘si me: “You are My dear friend. You are My devotee. Because you are utilizing your energy for Me.”

So bhakti means you utilize your energy for Krishna. Then your life is perfect.

[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Bhagavad-gita 1.15 in London on July 15, 1973]

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One thought on “Arjuna was not Chanting Hare Krishna but still he became a Devotee

  1. “Four kinds of people do not surrender unto me—those ignorant of knowledge, those who lazily follow their lower nature though capable of knowing me, those with deluded intellect, and those with a demoniac nature.” – Bhagvad Gita, Chapter 7, verse 15


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