Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge
imam vivasvate yogam
proktavan aham avyayam
vivasvan manave praha
manur iksvakave 'bravit
çré bhagavän uväca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; imam—this; vivasvate—unto the sun-god; yogam—the science of one's relationship to the Supreme; proktavän—instructed; aham—I; avyayam—imperishable; vivasvän—Vivasvän (the sun-god's name); manave—unto the father of mankind (of the name Vaivasvata); präha—told; manuù—the father of mankind; ikñväkave—unto King Ikñväku; abravét—said.
The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvän, and Vivasvän instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikñväku.
Herein we find the history of the Bhagavad-gétä traced from a remote time when it was delivered to the royal order, the kings of all planets. This science is especially meant for the protection of the inhabitants and therefore the royal order should understand it in order to be able to rule the citizens and protect them from the material bondage to lust. 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 Kåñëa 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.
In this millennium, the sun-god is known as Vivasvän, the king of the sun, which is the origin of all planets within the solar system. In the Brahma-saàhitä it is stated:
yac-cakñur eña savitä sakala-grahäëäà
räjä samasta-sura-mürttir açeña-tejäù
yasyäjïayä bhramati sambhåta-kälacakro
govindam ädi-puruñaà tam ahaà bhajämi
"Let me worship," Lord Brahmä said, "the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda [Kåñëa], who is the original person and under whose order the sun, which is the king of all planets, is assuming immense power and heat. The sun represents the eye of the Lord and traverses its orbit in obedience to His order."
The sun is the king of the planets, and the sun-god (at present of the name Vivasvän) rules the sun planet, which is controlling all other planets by supplying heat and light. He is rotating under the order of Kåñëa, and Lord Kåñëa originally made Vivasvän His first disciple to understand the science of Bhagavad-gétä. The Gétä is not, therefore, a speculative treatise for the insignificant mundane scholar but is a standard book of knowledge coming down from time immemorial. In the Mahäbhärata (Çänti-parva 348.51-52) we can trace out the history of the Gétä as follows:
tretä-yugädau ca tato vivasvän manave dadau
manuç ca loka-bhåty-arthaà sutäyekñväkave dadau
ikñväkuëä ca kathito vyäpya lokän avasthitäù
"In the beginning of the Tretä-yuga [millennium] this science of the relationship with the Supreme was delivered by Vivasvän to Manu. Manu, being the father of mankind, gave it to his son Mahäräja Ikñväku, the King of this earth planet and forefather of the Raghu dynasty in which Lord Rämacandra appeared. Therefore, Bhagavad-gétä existed in the human society from the time of Mahäräja Ikñväku."
At the present moment we have just passed through five thousand years of the Kali-yuga, which lasts 432,000 years. Before this there was Dväpara-yuga (800,000 years), and before that there was Tretä-yuga (1,200,000 years). Thus, some 2,005,000 years ago, Manu spoke the Bhagavad-gétä to his disciple and son Mahäräja lkñväku, the King of this planet earth. The age of the current Manu is calculated to last some 305,300,000 years, of which 120,400,000 have passed. Accepting that before the birth of Manu, the Gétä was spoken by the Lord to His disciple, the sun-god Vivasvän, a rough estimate is that the Gétä was spoken at least 120,400,000 years ago; and in human society it has been extant for two million years. It was respoken by the Lord again to Arjuna about five thousand years ago. That is the rough estimate of the history of the Géta, according to the Gétä itself and according to the version of the speaker, Lord Çré Kåñëa. It was spoken to the sun-god Vivasvän because he is also a kñatriya and is the father of all kñatriyas who are descendants of the sun-god, or the sürya-vaàça kñatriyas. Because Bhagavad-gétä is as good as the Vedas, being spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, this knowledge is apauruñeya, superhuman. Since the Vedic instructions are accepted as they are, without human interpretation, the Gétä must therefore be accepted without mundane interpretation. The mundane wranglers may speculate on the Gétä in their own ways, but that is not Bhagavad-gétä as it is. Therefore, Bhagavad-gétä has to be accepted as it is, from the disciplic succession, and it is described herein that the Lord spoke to the sun-god, the sun-god spoke to his son Manu, and Manu spoke to his son Ikñväku.