London, July 12, 1972
Prabhupada: Thank you very much for your participating in this sankirtana movement. This movement was started by Lord Caitanya five hundred years ago in India, West Bengal. (noises in background) (aside:) What is that sound? That sound cannot be stopped?
Hamsaduta: That's the speaker system, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: But this movement is not five hundred years old. It is coming since very, very long time. As we have advertised, bhagavata-dharma. This is part of bhagavata-dharma. Bhagavata-dharma was explained by Prahlada Maharaja, a great devotee of Lord Nrsimhadeva, Narayana, some millions of years ago. His father was Hiranyakasipu, atheist. He did not believe in God. But by the grace of Narada Muni, his son, from the very womb of his mother, he was initiated in this Krsna consciousness. And after his birth he became a great devotee. And when he was only five years old he was preaching this Krsna consciousness movement amongst his class fellows. He was little boy, king's son. He had no opportunity to go out of the palace. Still, he took the opportunity of speaking something about this bhagavata-dharma amongst his class fellows. So he was canvassing his class fellows, "Chant Hare Krsna."
Bhagavata-dharma, execution of bhagavata-dharma. There are different types of dharma. Dharma means the codes of God, the laws of God. This is real dharma, or religion. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Dharma means the codes, the laws, which is given by God. This is the simple definition of God, er, of dharma. (child screaming) (aside:) It is disturbing. This child is... (pause)
Pradyumna: If the children are noisy, they can go outside and...
Prabhupada: So "religion," this English word, is not sufficient translation of the word dharma. Religion... According to English language, religion means a kind of faith. You may believe in some faith. Somebody believes in Hindu religion; others may believe in Christian religion. One may become a Christian from Hindu, or from a Hindu to Christian. Generally, we find these changes. But a dharma does not mean like that. Dharma means which you cannot change. It is the constitutional part of your life. So Bhagavata says, dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra [SB 1.1.2]. Dharma, the so-called religion, kaitava, which is cheating. Kaitava means cheating. Dharmah projjhita. Projjhita means prakrsta-rupena ujjhita, thrown away, kicked away. Dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam. So there are different kinds of dharmas, faith. But what is real dharma, real religion? Real religion is, as described in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Real religion is the codes which is given by God. Just like you may have some by-laws in your office or in your home, but there is state law. That you cannot, I mean to say, disobey, state law. Just like in your country the state law is that "Keep to the left." In America the state law is "Keep to the right." So here we have to obey. If you drive your car, keep to the left. You cannot disobey. You cannot say, "I am American. I go in my country on the right. Why shall I drive on the left?" No. Because it is the state law you must obey. Similarly, dharma is such a thing that you cannot disobey. You must obey because it is the codes given by God. If you are so much respectful to the laws of the state, how much respectful you should be to obey the laws given by God.
So we find in the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. This is real dharma. Krsna says in the beginning of Bhagavad-gita, dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge: "I descend in different millenniums," yuge yuge, "for establishing the real dharma, real religion."
So God descends, He comes Himself or He sends His representative, to reestablish the real purpose of religion, whenever there is discrepancies in the matter of discharging real religion. So the real... Krsna, when appeared, He said... His last instruction is... In the Bhagavad-gita, you know, those who have read Bhagavad-gita. He said, "The most confidential part of religion is this." What is that? Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You give up all other processes of faith and religion. Simply surrender unto Me." Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah. Religion means to become purified, to become purified from our sinful activities. So Krsna says that "If you surrender unto Me..." When I speak "Krsna," you may understand "God." God is speaking that "You surrender unto Me and I'll give you protection from the reaction of all sinful activities." In this material world we are encaged in this material body for our sinful activities, different types of sinful activities. So our aim of life is to get out of these sinful activities and be situated in our own original position, constitutional position, spiritual position. Because we are part and parcel of God, we are as pure as God, but we have been contaminated by this material association, and therefore we have got different types of bodies, encagements. And according to the different types of bodies we have to enjoy or suffer the material atmosphere. This is our position. So bhagavata-dharma means to surrender unto God. That's all. Very simple thing. And Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is teaching us this bhagavata-dharma, how to surrender. He demanded that "You surrender unto Me." But still, people misunderstood Him.
Therefore He again came, Krsna again came in the form of Lord Caitanya, as a devotee, and He taught us how to approach Krsna, how to become Krsna conscious. So this bhagavata-dharma is eternal. As long as we are there, as long God is there, our relationship with God, that is called bhagavata-dharma. Bhaga. Bhaga means fortune. Bhaga means fortune, and bhagavan... Bhagavan means who is the most fortunate or who has got all the opulences. So God has got all the opulences. And one who is in association with God, he has also all the opulences. And the exchange between God and the devotee in all opulences, it is called bhagavata-dharma.
So Prahlada Maharaja is preaching amongst his class fellows, kaumara acaret prajno dharman bhagavatan iha.
kaumara acaret prajno
dharman bhagavatan iha
durlabham manusam janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
He says, "My dear friends..." Because the friends were born of atheist family. Prahlada Maharaja also, his father was atheist. So they were not agreeable to their friend's advice, Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada Maharaja canvassing to his friends, little friends, "My dear friends, chant Hare Krsna." And they were replying, "Prahlada, why you are insisting us to chant Hare Krsna? Let us play. We shall see Hare Krsna at the time of death." But he was insisting, "My dear friends, no." Kaumara acaret prajno. "This Krsna consciousness should be studied, should be understood from the very beginning of boyhood, kaumara." Kaumara means boyhood. From... Boyhood means from the age of five years. As education begins at the age of five years, similarly, Krsna consciousness, or bhagavata-dharma, should be taught to the children as soon as the child is five years old. That is his instruction. "Why so early? We can understand about God later on." No. Prahlada Maharaja says, durlabham manusam janma. Durlabham, "very rarely." "My dear friends, you have got this human form of life after many, many births." The modern civilization, they do not know. The university education, they do not know. The scientists, they do not know. There is a false theory, Darwin's theory, about evolution of species. But that is not perfect knowledge. That is simply an idea taken from Puranas. In the Puranas, this Darwin's theory is not new to the Vedic knowledge. It is a theory only. But actual fact is different.
Actual fact is described in the Puranas, where it is described, asitim caturas caiva laksams tan jiva-jatisu. Jiva-jati, different species of life. There are 8,400,000's of different species of life. Asitim catura. Asitim means eighty, and catura means four. Eighty-four, laksams, 100,000. Jiva-jatisu, there are different species of life. They are developing. Because after devastation, the whole universe is filled up with water. So in the water the first living beings are the fishes or the aquatics. Then that fish or aquatic means a living entity embodied by that fish body. Just like we are now, every one of us... I am also a soul, you are also a soul. We are embodied by this body, human form of body. Similarly, we had to accept the body of a fish. Because we are in this material world, when there is water only, where shall we go? We must live here in this material... Unless we are liberated, we must have to live... And according to the circumstances, we get different types of body. So from the aquatics, next promotion is trees, plants, then insects, then birds, then beasts. In this way, after millions, millions of years... You have seen that a tree is standing for thousands of years. If I get a body of a tree, then I'll have to stand in one place for many thousands of years. Therefore when you come by gradual evolution in the different species of life, by nature when you come to this point, to possess a human form of body, it is very, very rare. That is described: durlabham manusam janma. Durlabham. Duh means difficult, and labha means gain. Durlabham manusam janma tad apy adhruvam. Adhruvam. He said durlabham manusam janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam. Although it is also temporary. We shall not live forever with this body. The animals also, they'll also not live forever. The body will be finished after certain period of time. So he says, Prahlada Maharaja says, "My dear friend, this body, this human form of body, is very, very rarely we have obtained it. Although it is temporary, but there is a great gain." In the animal life, that is also temporary, and this human form of body is also temporary. But the animals cannot get that achievement which we can get. Durlabham manusam janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam. Arthadam means... Artha means meaningful or some material profit or spiritual profit.
So we can, by the help of this human form of body, we can achieve some very great profit. That is required. That is the human mission. Not like that, we take our birth like cats and dogs. Everyone takes birth. The process of birth is the same: the male-female sexual intercourse, and there is some child. So there is no difference between the human process of birth and the animal process of birth. There is no difference of living condition of the animal and the human being. Because the animal eats; we also eat. The animal sleeps; we also sleep. The animals have facility for sex life; we have also got the facility of sex life. The animal also defends according to his own way; we can defend with atom bomb. That's all right. But it is defending, nothing more. Therefore, about these four things—eating, sleeping, mating, and defending—they are common. The special feature of this human form of body is that he has developed consciousness how to understand God. The animal hasn't got this. And the process of understanding God and to revive our relationship with God is called bhagavata-dharma. This is explanation of bhagavata-dharma. The eating, sleeping, mating, this is also dharma. Dharma means the activities, constitutional activities. Any man or any animal who has got this body, he must eat. This is also dharma. Dharma means which we cannot avoid. Because we have become human beings, it is not that we can avoid eating. That is not... This is also dharma. So this dharma, this practice, this occupation, is visible in animal life and human life. But another thing, the dharma which we actually mean, means to understand God, that is not visible in animal life. That is not possible. Therefore dharmena hina pasubhih samanah. Anyone who does not cultivate religious life, he is no better than an animal. He's animal. If you are simply interested with eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, nothing more, then this is animal civilization. This is not human civilization.
So we have got the opportunity. Why we should accept religious life? To get out of these material clutches. People do not take it very seriously, but those who are intelligent, they take it seriously. In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find that living soul, the living entity or the soul... Na jayate na mriyate va kadacit, nityah sasvato 'yam na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. The living entity, the soul, is never born; it never dies. It is the oldest. Nityah sasvatam purana. Purana means very old; nitya, eternal; na hanyate hanyamane sarire, does not die after the destruction of this body. The death and birth is of the body, not of the soul. Therefore when we are actually intelligent, cultured, advanced, then we should be inquisitive that "If I am eternal, then why I am subject to these tribulations of birth, death, old age, and disease?" That is intelligence. It is not intelligence that "The cats and dogs are eating on the footpath; I am eating (in) a very nice plate, nice hotel or nice table." You are eating, that's all. It is not advancement of civilization when you think that you have got good apartment, good house, and sleeping in a nice bedstead, and the cat and dog is lying on the floor or in the street. No. She sleeping; when you sleep, the enjoyment is as good as of the cats and dogs. Similarly, sex life also. They also enjoy, you also enjoy. Then what is your special prerogative? The special prerogative is that you can understand in this life that you are eternal, you are Brahman. Therefore the, in the human form of life, if one is not so advanced as to inquire about the Brahman, athato brahma jijnasa... This human form of life is meant for inquiring about Brahman, or spirit soul. So long this inquiry is not there, one is animal. That's all.
So bhagavata-dharma is meant for, actually, for the advanced human being. Bhagavata-dharma. Bhagavata-dharma means to know "What I am? Am I this body or something else?" If you study yourself, you can also understand. Or if you take instruction from the Vedas, then also you can understand. The knowledge is already there. If you take advantage of the knowledge, you can know. But if you make analysis by yourself, then also you'll know. But if you make analysis by education, speculation, it will take long, long years. Because if you don't accept the standard way, then it will waste, you will waste your time. So you will have to come to the same point. But if you are inquisitive, that is your life. If we come to the point of inquiring about "What I am?" Oh, that is great advancement. Athato brahma jijnasa. I can understand very well that when... There are so many babies here. I was also a baby. My body, I had a body like a baby on the lap of my mother. I can remember that. Then I became a child, then I became a boy, then I became a young man, now I am old man. Now, the bodies, different bodies, I possessed. I remember. But those bodies are no more existing. Where is my childhood body? Where is my boyhood body? Where is my youthhood body? They're all gone. So although the bodies are gone, I remember that I had a body of a child, I had a body of a boy, I had a body of young man. Therefore I am eternal, my bodies are not eternal. Therefore the conclusion should be: when I change this body, then I'll exist. That is... Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra... [Bg. 2.13]. Everything is there, either you study yourself or take the lesson from the Vedic version.
The Vedic version is that,
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
Just like the... I am changing, you are changing, everyone is changing. Every second, every moment, we are changing bodies. So similarly, changing of this body, accepting another body. After leaving this body, I'll accept another body. That body is not in my hands. What kind of body I am going to accept next, that depends on my work here, in this body. I am preparing my next body in this life. Just like a child is being, a boy is being educated to prepare his next life. If he is nicely educated, his next life is very bright. If he's not nicely educated, that will be very dark. Similarly, this chance, this human form of body, is a junction. From animal forms of life, by gradual process of evolution, I have come to this human form of life. Now I have to make out next what life. You can promote yourself to the higher planetary systems. You can promote yourself to the spiritual world. You can get your eternal life. That is called arthadam. That achievement you can do in this human form of life. So anyone who is attempting to get eternal, blissful life of knowledge, he is intelligent man. Otherwise, one who is spoiling his life simply for animal propensities, eating, sleeping, mating, he's no better than animal. That's all. Cats and dog. Polished cat, polished dog maybe, but he is animal. This bhagavata-dharma means that, how to get out of these four defects of material life, or four miserable condition of material life—birth, death, old age and disease—and get eternal, blissful life of knowledge. That is called bhagavata-dharma.
So it is a great science. It is not sentiment. It is a great science. And anyone can achieve this benefit in this human form of life. Anyone. It doesn't matter what he is, provided he is serious about getting out of these material clutches and regain his spiritual life. That is possible. So Vedic civilization is aimed at this point. Therefore you don't find in the Vedic civilization industrial enterprise or so many material activities. But they were concerned how to get out of these material clutches and regain our original position. That is called mukti, liberation. Liberation means to be situated in our original position. We are part and parcel of God. God... Just like gold and part and parcel of gold is also gold. Therefore the Vedic literature says that "You try to understand that you are also Brahman. God is Supreme Brahman; you are also Brahman. And mold your life as Brahman." So this Krsna consciousness movement is how to mold this life to understand that we are all Brahman and our original source is the Parambrahman. Just like Arjuna accepted Krsna, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan: [Bg. 10.12] "Krsna, You are Parabrahman." That is accepted by the Vedas. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam eko bahunam vidadhati kaman (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). "God" means He is also a living entity as you are, as I am. As we are sitting, I am speaking, we are face to face, similarly, God is also a person like you, like me. But He is very, very powerful. Nityo nitya... Just like here in this material world also I see that you are more powerful than me, and another person is more powerful than you, another person is more powerful than him. If you go on searching, when you find the supreme powerful, that is God. That is God. Supreme powerful. Here, in our relative position, I see that I am powerful, somebody is less powerful than me, and somebody is more powerful than me. This is relative world. Nobody can say that "I am the most powerful. Nobody is more powerful than me." Nobody can say. That is not possible. Similarly, you go on searching who is the most powerful. If you are fortunate enough, if you can find out such a person, the most powerful, nobody is more powerful than Him, that is God. So God's definition is not very difficult. Simply... So we have to go through the sastras. The Vedic literature says that the supreme powerful is Krsna.
Krsna also says in the Bhagavad-gita, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: [Bg. 7.7] "My dear Dhananjaya, Arjuna, nobody is superior than Me." Therefore Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Try to find out your relationship (to) Krsna and mold your life in that way. That is Krsna consciousness movement.
Indian guest: (indistinct)
Syamasundara: "Is it safe to compare scientific advancement with Bhagavata, like Darwin and Bhagavatam."
Prabhupada: What do you mean by scientific advancement?
Indian guest: Well, material advancement...
Prabhupada: Material means it is to be finished. Where is the advancement? You do not want to die, but why you die? Where is your advancement?
Indian guest: No, I fully agree with your interpretation of Bhagavata, but the comparison between Darwin's discoveries and what is mentioned in Bhagavata, I don't agree with that. It is already mentioned in Bhagavata, but Swamiji, you are from a different point of view. So...
Prabhupada: No, that is a wrong theory. Therefore we say. That is a wrong theory. Darwin is studying this body. He does not know. He has no information of the soul; therefore his knowledge is imperfect. His theory is imperfect. It is a long subject matter. If you want to discuss, you come. We shall discuss. It is a wrong theory. That is not scientific advancement. Science means it must be correct. That is science. If science is theory, that is not science. So Darwin is advocating his theory, "May be like this, perhaps like this." This "perhaps," "maybe," is not science. This is only suggestion. We have to deal with the facts. That is science.
Indian guest: Yes, but as you say, there are two ways of reaching the God. Either through the study of Vedas up to...
Prabhupada: Yes. Through study of Vedas, not study something nonsense. Study of Vedas.
Indian guest: That is up to the level of self-analysis, because it is that time when we compare.(?)
Prabhupada: Yes. Self-analysis, if you analyze yourself, if you think yourself, meditate, study your finger, "Am I this finger?" the answer will be, "No. My finger." "Am I this hand?" The answer will be, "No, it is my hand." Then where is "I"? That is... If you can study "I," then it is scientific. Simply "my" is not scientific. That is, child knows "It is my finger."
Indian guest: Yes, but, I mean, it is a further word(?) to study oneself.
Prabhupada: That further means when you come to the conclusion that "I am spirit soul." If you can understand this, then it is scientific. If you remain in ignorance, that "I am this body," that is not scientific. Actually, I am not this body. Everyone can understand. Just like a dead man. Suppose some of your relatives has died. You are crying, "Oh, my friend has gone. My friend has gone." Your friend is lying there. Why you say that "My friend has gone"? What is the answer? If I say... The dead body, you are crying, "Oh, my relative has gone. My father is gone." I say, "Where he has gone? He is there. Why you are crying?" Then what will be your answer?
Indian guest: No, I mean that that is the ultimate scheme for...
Prabhupada: But that you understand, that that... What is that? What is that? You have never seen your father or friend. You have seen this body. Now you are crying, "Now he has gone." Where he has gone? You have seen the body all along. That is lying here. Why you say he has gone? What is your answer? This is ignorance. All along I am seeing the false thing: "He is my father; I am the body." But he's not my father. Actually, when father, my, goes away from this body, I cry, "Oh, my father has gone." Where he has gone? His, the body is there. This is ignorance. It is not scientific. Because I'm thinking, "I am this body," this is not scientific. This is ignorance. So in this way you have to study. But the answer is there in the Vedic literature: tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. "My father has accepted another body." This is scientific. Dhira, one who is sober, he is not lamenting. Just like your child, from babyhood it becomes grown-up, or acts in another way. You are not crying, "Where is that body of my child, that baby body? Where he has gone?" But you know that he has transferred to this body. Similarly, when you get this knowledge that "My father has left this body, he has accepted another body, although it is not visible," that is knowledge. That is scientific.
Indian guest: Yes, but by average person it is very difficult to reach the light...
Prabhupada: But therefore he has to study. Every rascal, fool, he has to study. There is education. Therefore Vedic literature is there. If you don't study and you see... If you say, "I am scientific advanced," then what is this nonsense? If you have no knowledge, if you have not studied, why do you say unscientific? Chant Hare Krsna. [break]
Indian guest: How does repeating one word, "Krsna," or singing "Rama" and "Krsna" help achieving the way?
Prabhupada: Because you'll be in touch with Krsna. Krsna and Krsna's name not different because Krsna is absolute. So you see, these European and American boys and girls, simply by chanting how they are advancing in spiritual consciousness. This is practical, not theoretical. "Krsna" means Krsna. Just like here in this material world, if I want to drink water, if I say "water, water, water," that will not satisfy me. I want the substance water. So here there is difference between the name and the substance. But in the absolute world there is no such difference. Nama cintamanih krsnah. Krsna the person and Krsna's name the same thing. Therefore if you chant "Krsna," then you are in direct touch with Krsna. So that will help you for your spiritual advancement. Just like if you are in touch with fire you will get yourself warmer and warmer and warmer, and at last you'll get red fire. Similarly, if we are in touch with Krsna, then we advance spiritually, and then we become completely spiritualized, our original Brahman. This is the process. Simple process. Chant Hare Krsna and you'll gradually develop your spiritual consciousness. That is actually happening. It is not story. You can see practically how they are spiritually advancing. So why not experiment yourself? What is the loss? If you chant Hare Krsna, is there any loss? Tell me, is there any loss? But why don't you do it? Why not make a try? Instead of arguing, you see practically what is happening. They are of different civilization, different culture. How they are developing their Krsna consciousness? How it is possible? Simply by chanting. This is practical. Throughout the whole world—in Africa, in America, in Canada, everywhere. So this is very simple process. But people will waste their time by arguing. Why not make an experiment and see what is the result? That is our propaganda. (end)
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