Bhagavad Gita Tutorial: Why did Krishna bother to explain karma-yoga and jnana-yoga when bhakti-yoga is the only way to understand Krishna?

By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda

Srila Prabhupada giving a lecture on the Bhagavad gita

Srila Prabhupada giving a lecture on the Bhagavad gita

Guru-kripa: If one can understand Krishna only through bhakti-yoga, why did Krishna bother to explain karma-yoga and jnāna-yoga in the Bhagavad gita?

Prabhupāda: Because there are third-class men, fourth-class men. They cannot understand bhakti-yoga immediately. But at end of the Bhagavad gita, Krishna  says, sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66], if you are intelligent, [give up all varieties of religion and surrender unto Me]. Sarva-guhyatam [Bg. 18.64]. Real knowledge is here: sarva-guhyatamam. He’s proposing bhakti-yoga at the end. That is the most confidential knowledge. It is not for everyone. How can one give up karma-yoga, jnāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga? They cannot. But Krishna says, “This is the most confidential knowledge. If you accept this, then it is to be understood that you have knowledge.” It is not for everyone. Find out this verse.

Pusta Krishna:

sarva-guhyatamam bhüyah

śrnu me paramam vacah

isto ‘si me drdham iti

tato vaksyāmi te hitam

[Bg. 18.64]

“Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you…”

Prabhupāda: It is to be spoken to the most confidential person. “You are My dear friend; therefore I am telling you.” Other rascals will not understand. It is especially for Arjuna, not for the common man.

Pusta Krishna: “…I am speaking to you this most confidential part of knowledge. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.”

Prabhupāda: That is especial friendship and especial love. “So I give you this. Keep it confidential.” This is real. Other rascals will not value this. They will protest, “Huh? Why shall I surrender to Krishna?”

Guru-kripa: So what is that confidential?

Prabhupāda: Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam śaranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. “So I have spoken so many other things for other rascals. But you are My friend, very intimate. I tell you, this is real fact.” So fact is fact. If you take earlier or later, that is different thing. You have to come to this understanding.

[An excerpt from a room conversation in Fiji on May 1, 1976]

Also Read

BHAKTI IS THE CULMINATION OF YOGA AND THE HIGHEST PERFECTION OF LIFE

ENGAGEMENT IN KARMA IS NOT VERY GOOD: THERE IS NO MORE KARMA FOR A DEVOTEE

FOR WHOM ARE THE PATHS OF KARMA, JNANA AND YOGA PRESCRIBED?

Karma means working for enjoyment, Jnana means speculating about God

BHAKTI IS NOT INERTNESS – IT IS ACTIVE SERVICE

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