4.1 Do You Wanna Hear It From the Horse’s Mouth, Dude?

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave ’bravīt

The Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku. Bg 4.1


Krishna gave a crash course to Arjuna 5000 years ago on the manual of life; life on this planet or another, life in this universe or elsewhere, life today or billion years later.

The history of the timeless knowledge; knowledge that every soul needs for survival, is traced in this verse. The original person reveals it Himself. For those who think the Gita is for the Hindus should trace the origin of the Hindus to the time of Vivasvan. They should trace not just the time but the location, too. Vivasvan lives on the sun planet. A visit to sun may fry the doubts about the Bhagavad Gita’s universality and timelessness. Let the gross and subtle matter burn in the fire of Truth. Let the bare souls–fleshless, mindless–see the bare truth.

Why did Krishna choose Vivasan as His first disciple? Because Vivasan is the king of the sun planet. Because the sun not only lights other planets in the solar system, it’s also the origin of them. Srila Prabhupada explains, “Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge, in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the executive heads of all states and all planets are obliged to impart this lesson to the citizens by education, culture and devotion. In other words, the executive heads of all states are intended to spread the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that the people may take advantage of this great science and pursue a successful path, utilizing the opportunity of the human form of life.”

Krishna, the chaitya guru, personally imparted this knowledge to Vivasvan, who imparted it to Manu, the father of the mankind, and Manu in turn instructed Iksvaku. And, Krishna, in the form of Time, caused this knowledge to fade, too. He returned in His original form on the stage of Mahabharat and enlightened His friend and devotee, Arjuna.

Krishna, as the supreme lord, is always the first teacher. He likes this knowledge to pass through the lotus mouths of his disciples. Krishna tells Arjuna, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (4.2), that this science is received through Tradition. He advises to inquire submissively to the guru (4.34). Self-proclaimed gurus or non-guru philosophers are free to write their Gitas. They are not, however, authorized commentators on the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna doesn’t let this secret knowledge seep into the cracked walls of those stone hearts on whose thrones sit arrogance and envy. He is choosy. He tells Arjuna that He’s giving this knowledge to him because Arjuna is His friend and devotee (4.3). Standing at the threshold of Dvapara yuga, Arjuna could see the yuga of fools and disbelievers coming. So, he asked Krishna, wasn’t the sun god born before you (4.4)? Krishna reveals to us by speaking to Arjuna, “Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot.” (4.5). Krishna’s body is transcendental. It’s not made of matter. So He can descend anytime, anywhere in the same form as He descended 5000 years ago (4.6). What a man! Super man! Supreme man! He’s youthful without dermatologists’ intervention. He doesn’t need to hide His body in weird tight outfits to look Supreme. On the contrary, on His bare chest and waist He wears a garland of kadamba flowers; a garland that touches His knees; whose flowers never become stale. His touch is enlivening.

What a priceless conversation! In a few minutes Krishna revealed the timeless Truth that the science hasn’t been able to and will never be able to reveal. They need to drop the crutches of material apparatus. They need to stop becoming the instruments of their own devices. The philosophers can speculate till eternity and may call Truth a pathless land. Who can see the path lit with blinding effulgence with the eyes made of flesh? premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena …(Brahma Samhita 5.38) “I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, who is always seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love. He is seen in His eternal form of Śyāmasundara, situated within the heart of the devotee.”

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