Pandal Lecture

Bombay, April 11, 1971
Prabhupada: (chants mangalacarana prayers) Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly participating in today's meeting. And we are known practically all over the world as the Hare Krsna people. Wherever we go, they immediately recognize us as the Hare Krsna people. So I'll try to speak something about this Hare Krsna people. This Hare Krsna people means... Since I started this movement in 1967 in New York, very, in a small scale... In the beginning... I went there in 1965, and for one year I had no shelter, neither any means to maintain myself. I had some books only, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and some way or other, I pulled on. In 1966 I started this movement after incorporation in New York under the state religious act, and I began to chant Hare Krsna mantra in a park in New York. What is called? Thompkins Square. Thompkins Square. And these young boys and girls, they began to assemble and chant and dance. This is the beginning. And when one well-known poet... Perhaps you know. He is Mr. Allen Ginsberg. He was also coming and joined with us. In this way, first of all we started our center in new York, Second Avenue, and then gradually expanded in San Francisco, in Montreal, in Boston, Buffalo, and Los Angeles. Now we have got fifty-two branches all over the world, including one in Tokyo, one in Hong Kong, in Australia, Sydney.
Now try to understand what is this Hare Krsna movement. This Hare Krsna movement, recently it was started about five hundred years ago by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in Bengal, West Bengal, in the district of Nadia, about sixty miles north of Calcutta. And He started this movement. This movement is, of course, not to be understood that Caitanya Mahaprabhu started it, something new. No. It is the oldest, oldest in this sense, that five thousand years ago Lord Krsna spoke about this Krsna consciousness movement in the Bhagavad-gita. And if we go further, then from the statement of Bhagavad-gita we understand it was started about forty millions of years ago, because in the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, you'll find, there is a statement given by Lord Krsna:
Vivasvan manave prahur... (aside:) Don't sit like that. Manur iksvakave 'bravit. It is stated by Lord Krsna Himself that "First of all I spoke this Krsna consciousness philosophy, yogam..." Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam. And Vivasvan means sun-god. As there is one god in this planet, maybe the president of United States or some other president, the predominating deity, similarly, in every planet there is a predominating deity. And the predominating deity, or the person, in the sun globe is called Vivasvan. So Vivasvan, his son is Manu. Manu means the father of the mankind. Manusya. The Sanskrit word, the man, called manusya. That means "of Manu." Man or manusya, these words have come from Manu. This Manu happened to be the son of Vivasvan. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: manur iksvakave 'bravit. Vivasvan manave prahur manur iksvakave 'bravit. And Iksvaku was the son. Maharaja Iksvaku was the son of Manu. Therefore, the dynasty coming from Iksvaku Maharaja, in which Lord Ramacandra appeared, is called Surya-vamsa, because it is coming from the sun-god. The ksatriya family, the royal family in India, there are two groups. One is coming from the sun-god, another coming from the moon-god. That is a long history, of course. But the point is that this Krsna consciousness movement is not new, something manufactured, concocted. It is the oldest because it is coming from sun-god, and taking it from Manu, it comes to the calculation, about forty millions of years ago.
Now, what is this Krsna consciousness movement? The Krsna consciousness movement means the essence of all religious principles. What is religious principle? Religious principle means to abide by the laws given by God. That is called religious principle, simple word. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: [SB 6.3.19] "Dharma means the codes and the laws given by God." That is dharma, or religion. Just like in our ordinary life we receive the laws from the state or the king. The word given by the king or the state is accepted as law, and everyone has to abide by the law. Similarly, the order or the principle given by God is called religion. Religion without God is nonsense. Religion... Because religion means the codes of God. So if one does not accept the existence of God, naturally he has no religion. And according to Vedic principle, a man without religion is an animal. Dharmena hina pasubhih samanah. Because in every civilized form of human society, you will find some sort of religion. It may be Christian religion, it may be Hindu religion, it may be Buddhist religion, or it may be Muhammadan religion, Jewish religion—it doesn't matter. Any civilized form of human society must have a sort of religion. Otherwise it is animal society. What is the difference between animal and human being? The animals, they are engaged with the bodily necessities of life, ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam: eating, sleeping, ahara nidra, and defending, and sex life. These are the bodily necessities. You have to eat something, you have to sleep for some time, you have to defend yourself from others' attack, and you must have sex enjoyment. These are bodily necessities. So these bodily necessities are there in the human society and the animal society. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etad pasubhih naranam. Then what is the speciality of human society? The speciality of human society is that there must be some form of religion. In the animal society there cannot be any form of religion; therefore the sastric injunction is that without any form of religion, a human society is animal society. Dharmena hina pasubhih samanah.
Now, we have to understand what is religion. Religion, as I have already told you, religion means the codes and words given by God, these codes and words coming from God in disciplic succession. According to our Vedic principles... That is the original principles of the world. Because at the present moment the history of the world cannot give any chronological account more than three thousand years. And what was the position of the human society beyond these three thousand years? That is Krsna consciousness. From Mahabharata history we can understand that the whole world, this planet, was called Bharatavarsa. Now Bharata-varsa has come to a limited circle only, but formerly the Bharata-varsa was... The whole planet was known as Bharata-varsa. There was an emperor of the name Maharaja Bharata, under whose name, or after his name, this planet is called Bharatavarsa. Before that, this planet was known as Ilavrta-varsa. So the Vedic civilization, I mean to say, before three thousand years, the whole world was under Vedic civilization, the Aryans. The Aryans, at least they were under Vedic civilization. And that Vedic civilization is Krsna consciousness. One friend was telling me that in Russia the word krsna is there, and krsna means beautiful. Somebody told me? You told me? Yes. And in Greek, I mean to say, what is called, dictionary, there is a word krista. And some of the Christians say that this Christ comes from the word krista. So there is a link. Of course, those who are philologists, they can find out what is the history of this word. But so far we have studied the history of the world, Krsna was known all over the world. Krsna was known all over the world. Therefore it is to be understood that everyone was Krsna conscious.
So apart from this historical point of view, try to understand what is Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness means pure consciousness. Just like water, when it falls down from the cloud, it is pure, and as soon as it drops or mixes with the muddy earth, it becomes muddy. It is not more clear. Similarly, we, as spirit soul, our consciousness is as pure as Krsna is pure. And Krsna consciousness means that "I am eternal servant of Krsna." That is Krsna consciousness. Gradually, as we contact the material contamination, we become different conscious. Just like we are sitting, so many ladies and gentleman here. Some of us thinking that "I am American," some of them are thinking that "We are Indian," some of them are thinking "German," or this or that—"I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," "I am white," "I am black." In so many way we are. Our consciousness are polluted. Actually, my position is, as it is said in the Vedic literature, aham brahmasmi: "I am Brahman, or spirit soul." In the Bhagavad-gita we find that when a person becomes realized as Brahman, means spirit soul... Now I am identifying not with Brahman, but I am identifying with this body: "I am American," "I am Englishman," "I am Indian." Because by accident I have got this Indian body, I may think, "I am Indian." You may have American body; you may think, "I am..." But we are neither American nor Indian. We are pure spirit soul. This is only an outward dress. Suppose you have got green dress. You don't say that "I am green dress." You say, "I am Mr. John." Similarly, if we say that "I am American," "I am Indian," that is not my real identification. Exactly like that, if somebody says that "I am Mr. green dress," "I am Mr. white dress," as that is not identification, similarly, if I say "I am American" or "I am Indian" or "Englishman," or so many, "Hindus" or "Muslims," that is not my pure identification. My pure identification is that "I am eternal servant of Krsna, or God." That's all. That is pure identification. When comes to this understanding, that "I am eternal servant of God," that is called brahma-bhutah stage, aham brahmasmi.
And what is the characteristic of that brahma-bhutah stage? The characteristic of brahma-bhutah stage is stated in the Bhagavad-gita by Krsna Himself:
So the brahma-bhutah stage is described that when one realizes his own self, that is called mukti, liberation. As soon as one understands that "I am not this body. I am something different from this body..." That anyone can understand very easily. That's not a very big job. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that,
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati
[Bg. 2.13]
Just like in your childhood you were in a body which was called baby or child. Now I am old man. I can remember in my childhood I was so small, but that body is gone. Now I have got a different body. But I am there. This is the understanding. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. By changing body, the eternal soul does not, I mean to say, annihilate. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire. This understanding is called Brahman understanding, that "I am eternal. I have no birth; I have no death. The birth and death is pertaining to this body. I am changing body from one body to another." This is called brahma-bhutah understanding. Aham brahmasmi, that is.
So when one comes to this understanding, his characteristics will be that he is jolly. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. He becomes jolly. In the material state everyone is morose, full of anxiety, but in the spiritual life he is jolly. Na socati na kanksati. What is the characteristic of jolliness? That he does not lament, he does not hanker. In the material stage we hanker for things which we do not possess, and we lament for things we have lost. But in the brahma-bhutah stage, as soon as we understand that we are spirit soul, there is no more hankering or lamenting. That is the characteristic of Brahman realization. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. Then you can think of universal brotherhood. So long you are under the category of hankering and lamenting, you cannot think of universal brotherhood. That is impossible. Therefore in spite of so much of conferences in the United Nations, the fighting is going on. The Pakistan is separated on the ground of religion: Hindu, Muslim. Now they are fighting between Muslim and Muslim. Why? Because that disease, hankering and lamenting, is there. It is not brahma-bhutah stage. And they cannot be on the platform of seeing everyone on equal terms. Samah sarvesu bhutesu. That is not possible. Samah sarvesu bhutesu means when one is actually on the spiritual platform, he can see everyone on the same category because everyone is spirit soul. Then not only in human society—in other animal society also... Just like there are 8,400,000 species of life. That means the living entity is passing through different types of bodies. This is called learning. This is called understanding. Unfortunately, this learning and understanding, there is none throughout the whole world in any university. Therefore whatever education we are getting, that is not real learning. That is not real learning. Panditah sama-darsinah [Bg. 5.18]. If one gets actual learning, then he sees equally everyone. Panditah sama-darsinah. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi hastini.
So this is a longer subject matter. It is not possible to explain everything what is the Krsna consciousness movement. But the actual fact is this Krsna consciousness movement means to bring one to his original consciousness. That is the sum and substance, to original consciousness. That original consciousness can be achieved by simple method. What is that? Chanting this Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It is a fact. Just like we have got so many European and American boys and girls. How they have come to this platform? How they have given up their old habits? Naturally these boys and girls were taught from the beginning of their life so many things which is not accepted in Vedic civilization, but they have now given up. There is no illicit sex life amongst our students. There is no meat-eating, there is no intoxication, including coffee and tea and cigarette, and there is no gambling. And they are practiced to Hare Krsna mantra chanting not only as you have seen some of the samples. We have got fifty-two branches. In every branch we have got not less than twenty-five up to hundred. So this is the brahma-bhutah stage. It is not story, but it is fact. How it is obtained? It is obtained by Krsna consciousness. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita:
"Anyone who is engaged in devotional service unflinchingly, without any adulteration, he immediately becomes elevated to the brahma-bhutah stage, immediately." That is stated.
So this Krsna consciousness movement is neither a new movement, nor it is a concocted philosophy. It is based on authorities like Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic literatures. And practically you see how it is effective. Simply by chanting this Hare Krsna mantra, these boys and girls, they are elevated. And they have taken the matter very seriously. They are preaching this cult all over the world. So our request to everyone, that whatever you are doing, it doesn't matter. Please take to this chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. That is our only request. You are not losing anything, but you are gaining very much, simply by chanting. It will cleanse your heart. All our misunderstanding is in the heart—all rubbish things we have accumulated after many, many births. So we have to cleanse this. Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommends by simply chanting this Hare Krsna mantra, your heart will be cleansed. The mirror of your heart will be cleansed. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. And immediately you will be able to extinguish the blazing fire of this material existence. These are the different items of chanting Hare Krsna mantra. And He therefore says, param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam: "All victory to sri-krsna-sankirtanam." So I do not wish to take much of your time. This Hare Krsna movement is very nice, authorized, spiritual, simple and sublime, all at a time. If you kindly take this, you will be benefited, and your life will be successful.
Thank you very much. [break]
Acyutananda: We have made the statement that we attain a certain amount of bliss by engaging in this Krsna consciousness process. Do we deny the fact that other people have attained similar bliss from doing other things, such as...?
Indian man: Such as religion and other.
Acyutananda: Religion?
Indian man: Yeah, religion.
Prabhupada: The thing is, there are three qualities of men, and each one's feeling of pleasure is different. Just like there are crows, and there are swans. The crows take pleasure in a different way, and the swans take pleasure in a different way. That is natural. The crows are different from the swans, although they are birds, but because they are being conducted under different qualities of nature, their propensities are also different. So one may take pleasure by howling and drinking, and one man takes pleasure by chanting and dancing in Hare Krsna. It is a different quality only. So in the Bhagavad-gita everything is divided into three divisions. There are religions of different qualities, and there are actions of different qualities. Exactly the same example: as there are differences between the crows and the swans, similarly there are different persons in the human society. One class of person, they take pleasure in one class of thing, and another person, they take in a different type. So that divisions will continue so long we are in this material world. But we are talking of original consciousness. These are contaminated consciousness. When we come to the original consciousness, that is Krsna consciousness. We are trying to bring everyone to that platform. That is our program. [break] ...we explain... Just like when the water from the sky drops on the ground, immediately it becomes muddy. Now, if the water drops in too much muddy place, it becomes too much muddy. And if it drops in a clear place, then it remains clarity. Similarly, our coming in contact of this material world means we come in contact of the three qualities of matter: sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. So if you come in contact with sattva-guna, then your position ms very clear, just like sunshine, prakasa. And if you are in rajo-guna, then you are very passionate. And if you are in tamo-guna, then you are in darkness. But Krsna consciousness is so nice that in whatever quality or modes of nature you are in, if you simply chant this Hare Krsna mantra, all of you come to this transcendental position of Krsna consciousness. That is the advantage of this Krsna consciousness movement. It doesn't matter in what modes of nature and quality you are now existing. If you simply take to this process of chanting Hare Krsna mantra you, if not immediately, but gradually you'll be assured to come to the Krsna conscious platform. That is our program. (end)

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