3

In Bhagavad gIta, Krishna's words are supposed to represent the objective truth and not just opinions. However at some places, Krishna talks about his opinions.

BG 6.36

asaṅyatātmanā yōgō duṣprāpa iti mē matiḥ.

vaśyātmanā tu yatatā śakyō.vāptumupāyataḥ৷৷6.36৷৷

English translation by Swami Adidevananda

6.36 In my opinion Yoga is hard to attain by a person of unrestrained mind. However, it can be attained through right means by him, who strives for it and has a subdued mind.

BG 13.3

kṣētrajñaṅ cāpi māṅ viddhi sarvakṣētrēṣu bhārata.

kṣētrakṣētrajñayōrjñānaṅ yattajjñānaṅ mataṅ mama৷৷13.3৷৷

English translation by Swami Gambhirananda

13.3 And, O scion of the Bharata dynasty, under-stand Me to be the 'Knower of the field' in all the fields. In My opinion, that is Knowledge which is the knowlege of th field and the knower of the field.

Why is Krishna saying that the above teachings are his opinions, rather than the truth?

  • good question. there may be many ways of speech... it can be one of the styles.. I don't think there is any thing more to read into it. Krishna's opinion can be taken as truth. or he is just giving respect to other's opinions without completely dismissing them . other's opinions also may indicate partial truth.... – Krishna Varna May 10 at 7:33
  • if the Lord appeared to you and told you that in His opinion you should do something - would you not listen to Him????? – Swami Vishwananda May 14 at 14:38
5

Krishna learnt many arts and sciences which already has an answer here out of which some are related to conversation where he would have learnt different styles of speaking.

Bhagavata says in

tā dṛṣṭvāntikam āyātā  bhagavān vraja-yoṣitaḥ avadad vadatāṁ śreṣṭho  vācaḥ peśair vimohayan

SB 10.29.17 — Seeing that the girls of Vraja had arrived, Lord Kṛṣṇa, the best of speakers, greeted them with charming words that bewildered their minds.

Hemadri says in his commentary to Mukta-phala of Vopadeva:

vedāḥ purāṇaṁ kāvyaṁ ca prabhur mitraṁ priyeva ca bodhayantīti hi prāhus trivṛd bhāgavataṁ punaḥ

It is said that the Vedas instruct like a master, the Purāṇas instruct like a friend, and poetic works instruct like a lover, but the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam does all the three.

From all the above, we can conclude that Krishna, being expert speaker, could chose different styles of speaking.

Two styles of speech are descriptive and prescriptive. Both have their usage, for example in post modern world, descriptive method is liked by people more than prescriptive and people may be more receptive to descriptive way rather than prescriptive.

I can think of two reasons:

First:

Krishna spoke some things in descriptive way and some in prescriptive way being expert speaker. But intention is same, to reveal the truth.

Second

Krishna doesn't have any issue if others explain the same truth in a different way.

We find an instance of this in Uddhava Gita:

SB 11.19.14 — I personally approve of that knowledge by which one sees the combination of nine, eleven, five and three elements in all living entities, and ultimately one element within those twenty-eight.

Uddhava later asks Krishna:

SB 11.22.1-3 — Uddhava inquired: My dear Lord, O master of the universe, how many different elements of creation have been enumerated by the great sages? I have heard You personally describe a total of twenty-eight — God, the jīva soul, the mahat-tattva, false ego, the five gross elements, the ten senses, the mind, the five subtle objects of perception and the three modes of nature. But some authorities say that there are twenty-six elements, while others cite twenty-five or else seven, nine, six, four or eleven, and even others say that there are seventeen, sixteen or thirteen. What did each of these sages have in mind when he calculated the creative elements in such different ways? O supreme eternal, kindly explain this to me.

Krishna replies:

SB 11.22.4 — Lord Kṛṣṇa replied: Because all material elements are present everywhere, it is reasonable that different learned brāhmaṇas have analyzed them in different ways. All such philosophers spoke under the shelter of My mystic potency, and thus they could say anything without contradicting the truth.

SB 11.22.5 — When philosophers argue, “I don’t choose to analyze this particular case in the same way that you have,” it is simply My own insurmountable energies that are motivating their analytic disagreements.

SB 11.22.6 — By interaction of My energies different opinions arise. But for those who have fixed their intelligence on Me and controlled their senses, differences of perception disappear, and consequently the very cause for argument is removed.

SB 11.22.7 — O best among men, because subtle and gross elements mutually enter into one another, philosophers may calculate the number of basic material elements in different ways, according to their personal desire.

SB 11.22.8 — All subtle material elements are actually present within their gross effects; similarly, all gross elements are present within their subtle causes, since material creation takes place by progressive manifestation of elements from subtle to gross. Thus we can find all material elements within any single element.

SB 11.22.9 — Therefore, no matter which of these thinkers is speaking, and regardless of whether in their calculations they include material elements within their previous subtle causes or else within their subsequent manifest products, I accept their conclusions as authoritative, because a logical explanation can always be given for each of the different theories.

How elements merge into each other or arise out of one another can be seen from the annihilation and creation process.

Process of annihilation of universe is described here:

SB 12.4.15-19 — The element fire then seizes the taste from the element water, which, deprived of its unique quality, taste, merges into fire. Air seizes the form inherent in fire, and then fire, deprived of form, merges into air. The element ether seizes the quality of air, namely touch, and that air enters into ether. Then, O King, false ego in ignorance seizes sound, the quality of ether, after which ether merges into false ego. False ego in the mode of passion takes hold of the senses, and false ego in the mode of goodness absorbs the demigods. Then the total mahat-tattva seizes false ego along with its various functions, and that mahat is seized by the three basic modes of nature — goodness, passion and ignorance. My dear King Parīkṣit, these modes are further overtaken by the original unmanifest form of nature, impelled by time. That unmanifest nature is not subject to the six kinds of transformation caused by the influence of time. Rather, it has no beginning and no end. It is the unmanifest, eternal and infallible cause of creation.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .