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Rotary Club Lecture
Hyderabad, November 29, 1972
Prabhupada: Rotarians and Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly inviting me in this important meeting of very respectable gentlemen of the city. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said,
yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad eva itare janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
Yad yad acarati sresthah. There are leading men in every society—in government post and educational institution, in business, and so many other fields. In every field of activity, there are leading men. That is natural. And in the Vedas we understand the supreme leading person is God. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam eko bahunam vidadhati kaman (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). Leaders must be accepted. Just like father is necessary, similarly, leader is also necessary. Guru is also necessary. So according to Vedic verse, Vedic version, we can understand that the supreme leader is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, God, a person. The conception of Absolute Truth, as given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate: [SB 1.2.11] "The Absolute Truth is realized from three angles of vision—as the impersonal Brahman, the localized Paramatma and the Supreme Personality of Godhead." The, this Bhagavan, this word, is used at the end in the matter of describing the nature of Absolute Truth.
So those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by philosophical speculation, they can reach up to the impersonal Brahman effulgence of the Absolute Truth. Similarly, those who are trying to find out the Absolute Truth within the heart... Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginah [SB 12.13.1]. They are generally called yogis. And the philosophical speculators, they are called jnanis. So jnani, yogi. So the jnanis, they reach up to the impersonal Brahman effulgence, and the yogis, they reach up to the localized aspect of the Supreme Person. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese arjuna tisthati [Bg. 18.61]. Isvara, the Supreme Person, is within your heart, everyone's heart. Sarva-bhutanam. Not only human beings, but also animals, trees, insects, aquatics. There are 8,400,000 forms of life. So in each and every living entity, within the heart, there is representation of God, who is known as Paramatma. So brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. At last, Bhagavan. Bhaga. Bhaga means opulence, and van means possessing. So the possessor of the opulences in full is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is described in Vedic literature as Krsna, "all-attractive." Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. There is a list of different incarnations of God. Even Lord Buddha's name is there. So the con..., in the conclusive portion it is said, ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. All these descriptions of the incarnations, they are plenary portion or portion of the portion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But the name we find here as Krsna, He is the Supreme. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam. Svayam. He is the original Personality of Godhead. Similarly, we get information from other Vedic literatures. Just like Brahma-samhita. It is written by Lord Brahma. And when Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was present on this planet, He collected the copy of this book from South India, Adi-Kesava Mandira, and presented it to His devotees, that "This is authorized book." There were hundred chapters of this book. Unfortunately, they're missing. This is only the Fifth Chapter. But it contains the essence of theology.
The Supreme Person, or Isvara... The word isvara means controller. So everyone is controller. All of you are present here, to some extent, every one of us is a controller to a limited extent. But here it is mentioned, isvarah paramah. Parama means ultimate. We are controller, every one of us, but we are controlled also. That is our position. Nobody can say... All the gentlemen, ladies present here, nobody can say that "I am controller absolute." That is not possible. Everyone is relative controller. But if you try to find out who is the absolute controller, then He's Krsna. This has been analyzed by great scholars in the Vedic sastras, by the Gosvamis, and this is the statement of Lord Brahma, who's supposed to be the first creature within this universe. So he says, isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1]: "Isvara, the supreme ultimate controller, is Krsna. And He's vigraha." Vigraha means person, with body. Just like we have got body, similarly, the Absolute Supreme Person has also body. But His body is different from ours. Sac-cit-ananda-vigraha. His body is eternal. Our body, this material body, is not eternal. Sat cit. His body is full of knowledge. Our, this body, is full of ignorance. And ananda. He's full of joyfulness. In the Vedanta-sutra it is said, anandamayo 'bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). The Supreme Person is always joyful, abhyasat, naturally. So our, this body is not anandamaya; it is, rather, always miserable. Therefore we must distinct the body of the Supreme Person from our body.
When sometimes in the Vedic literature it is explained as God has no form, that does not mean He has no form. He has a form which is different from this form. Nirakara. Nirakara means not this akara. We can distinguish. Because in the sastra it is said that sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah [Bs. 5.1], "eternal, blissful and fully cognizant." He knows everything. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, vedaham samatitani [Bg. 7.26]. Krsna says, "I know everything, past, present and future." That is knowledge. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is also stated, janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah [SB 1.1.1]. Abhijnah: He knows everything. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said also: ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi sarva-ksetresu bharata. Ksetrajnah. Ksetrajna means the proprietor of the body, the owner of the body. Just like you are a spirit soul, owner of your body. I am also a spirit soul. I am owner of the body. I know to some extent the pains and pleasure of my body. You know, to some extent, the... I say "to some extent" because we are not... Although I am the proprietor of this body, still... I do not know how the body is acting, functioning, why there is pain, why there is pleasure. So many things, we do not know—partially we know—although I am the proprietor. If there is some defect in the bodily function, I cannot detect it. I go to another person, a physician. So although I am proprietor of this body, I do not know exactly what is functioning, how it is becoming in happy condition or in morose condition. So... But supposing that I know everything, but still, I do not know what is happening in your body. That is not possible. Therefore it is concluded that we are individuals. We are individuals. I have got my individual pains and pleasures; you have got your individual pains and pleasures. So you are individual person; I am individual person. And the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is also individual person. Nityo nityanam. This is Vedic information. We are plural number, nityanam. Cetanas cetananam. He's the supreme living force amongst all other living forces.
So therefore... In the Bhagavad-gita also, it is said that, when Krsna was advising Arjuna in the Battlefield, He said, "My dear Arjuna, all these persons, you and Me, and all these persons, it is not that we did not exist in the past. Neither it is so that we shall not exist in the future." This is... So these three things are pointed out: "You, Me and all these soldiers and kings." So all of them are individual. All of them are individual persons. And Krsna, the Supreme Person, He's also individual person. But what is the difference between Krsna and ourself? That Krsna, as it is stated in the Vedas, eka, that one singular number person. Vidadhati kaman. Eko bahunam vidadhati kaman. He's supplying the necessities of life to all these plural number living entities. So therefore He's the supreme controller.
And He's the cause of all causes. Just like I am born; the cause is my father. And the cause of my father—his father, my grandfather. And go on searching—his father, his father, his father—and then you'll have to reach the original person, Brahma. Then if you find, or try to find out who is the cause of Brahma, then you'll find that this cause is the Garbhodakasayi Visnu. And what is the cause of Garbhodakasayi Visnu? Then you'll find Karana, Karanodakasayi Visnu. And Karanodakasayi Visnu, the cause is Sankarsana. In this way, you will find, ultimately, Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cause of all causes. And Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita:
aham sarvasya prabhavah
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
"I am the cause of all causes."
The Vedanta-sutra says, "Who is the Absolute Truth?" Athato brahma jijnasa. The Vedanta-sutra means to inquire about the Absolute Truth. This human form of life is meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa. That is the duty of the human form of life. It is a very big subject matter. So this human birth, form of life, we have got after so many evolutions: aquatics, then trees, then plants, then insects, then birds, then beasts. Then we come to the platform of this human being, especially civilized human being. And especially born in India. For this reason, Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that Indian people have got a special mission. He said, bharata-bhumite manusya-janma haila yara [Cc. Adi 9.41]. Anyone who is fortunate enough to get his birth in Bharata-varsa, janma sarthaka kari' kara paropakara. Paropakara. Indian, Indians are meant for doing welfare activities to others. Because in India you have got the culture which is actually human culture. Human culture means to understand God, to understand Krsna; that is human culture. Otherwise, if you simply improve the four principles of animal life, that is not culture. Ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanyam etad pasubhih naranam. Eating: animal eats; we also eat. And if we make some improvement in the eating matter, that is not advancement of civilization. Similarly in sleeping matter. A dog lies on the ground; we lie down on very silk bed and very nice apartment. But we are thinking this is advancement of civilization. No. This is not advancement of civilization. The advancement of civilization is that "Why I am put under the material laws?" Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanu-darsanam [Bg. 13.9]. One must be complicated... Everyone is trying to live. Nobody wants to die. Nobody wants to take birth. He's afraid of dying and again entering into the womb of mother. But less intelligent class of men, because they cannot make any solution, they make a wash-off: "Oh, there is no life after death." No. That's not fact. That's not fact. There is life.
In the Bhagavad-gita you'll find:
dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
dhiras tatra na muhyati
Tatha dehantaram-praptir. Just like we have got different types of body in this life. I was a child, I was a boy, I was a young man, I..., I was a something else. Now I have got this old body. So as I am existing after changing so many different phases of body, therefore the conclusion should be that after annihilation of this body, I shall exist, and, which is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. Nityah sasvato 'yam na hanyate hanyamane sarire. After destruction of this body, actually we are not going to die. Our subtle body—the mind, intelligence and ego—that is, that is working. As it, the subtle body, works during my sleeping position, similarly, this body may be, gross body may be annihilated, but my subtle body carries me to another gross body as I desire. Krsna, or the Supreme Lord, is very kind. As we desire, He gives us opportunity. Any kind of body, any kind of enjoyment we want, He gives us the opportunity: "All right, you take this body. And you wanted to enjoy like this. All right, you enjoy." Mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca [Bg. 15.15]. Sarvasya caham hrdi sannivistah. He is sitting in everyone's heart as the Supersoul, and even if we forget, He reminds: "My dear living entity, you wanted to do this; now you do it." So this is the process going on. But unfortunately, there is no educational system throughout the whole world about the activities of the soul, how he is working in different evolutionary process, what is his ultimate goal of life, wherefrom he's coming, where he's gone, what is the relation. So many things, we have to know. But we are placed in ignorance on account of blind leaders. We do not know the problems of life. We are blind, and we are led by other blind leaders into still blindness. Visatam tamisram punah punas carvita-carvananam.
matir na krsne paratah svato va
mitho 'bhipadyeta grha-vratanam
adanta-gobhir visatam tamisram
punah punas carvita-carvananam
Adanta-gobhih. Our senses are uncontrolled, so our senses are dragging to the darkest region of existence. We do not know that. But we are simply chewing the chewed. We do not try to solve the problem of life; we are simply chewing the chewed. The so-called sociology, politics, or humanitarian work, it is simply chewing the... Just like we are trying to open hospitals. We think it is very great task. But we can... We do not think that how to get out of the diseased condition of life, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi [Bg. 13.9].
So there are so many things, problems of our life; we are neglecting. And everything is very clearly described in the Bhagavad-gita. It is being, explained by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. We should take advantage of these lessons in the Bhagavad-gita. Unfortunately, in the foreign countries, before me, many other swamis went, tried to explain Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is very well known book of knowledge. In America and Europe and other countries there are many translations. But the Bhagavad-gita, such translation is taken as a mental speculation. They do not take it seriously that this, "This is the statement by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it cannot be commented with my poor knowledge. What I am in comparison to Krsna? He is tri-kala-jna. He knows present, past, future, everything. What do I know? So my interpretation..." Just like "Kuruksetra means this body," or "The five Pandavas means the five senses." If we interpret in that way, Bhagavad-gita, according to our whims, we'll never understand what is the purport of Bhagavad-gita. We have to learn Bhagavad-gita as it is; otherwise, we'll miss the opportunity. Just like Kuruksetra. Kuruksetra is still there, existing. Everyone, you know. While passing through Delhi to Punjab side you find the Kuruksetra. The, the field is also there. It is a very big field, and in the sastra, in the Vedas, it is said, kuruksetre dharmam acaret. So people go as a place of pilgrimage. So you cannot interpret Kuruksetra otherwise. Kuruksetra should be accepted as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre [Bg. 1.1]. Then you'll understand Bhagavad-gita. Everything is there. Our request is—you are all respectable gentlemen, ladies, present here—that kindly try to read Bhagavad-gita as it is. Then you will understand the problems of your life, the solution also there. The solution is there, and the ultimate end of Bhagavad-gita speaking: sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. That is the ultimate solution, that we have to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is our... Because every one of us, in this material condition, we are trying to become master, ultimately to become God. That is maya. That is illusion. We cannot become master. We are servant by constitution. Every one of us sitting here is a servant to somebody. Nobody can deny it. Either he may be servant of his family or his community or his country or... So many things... If one has no master, then he keeps a dog to become his servant. That is the nature. We are all servants. The, our thinking that "I shall become master," that is maya.
So our ultimate goal of life is to become in our original purpose, servant of God. That is our perfection of life. That is called mukti. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that muktir hitva anyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih [SB 2.10.6]. Mukti means when we give up our artificial way of life. The artificial way of life is that we are trying to become master. That is artificial. We are not master. Constitutionally we are servant. But that servitude is interlinked in the service of the Supreme Lord. Krsna says that mamaivamso jiva-bhutah: [Bg. 15.7] "The, all the living entities, they are My part and parcel." Just like this finger is the part and parcel of your body, similarly, we are also part and parcel of the body of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are so many descriptions. It takes a long time. I don't wish to take much of your time. The... Just like our part of the body is this head, the part of the body is the hand, the part of the body is the belly, and the part of the body are the two legs. So the head is considered to be the brahminical portion of the society, and the arm is considered as the ksatriya portion of the society, and the belly is the vaisya part of the social body, and the legs are sudras. So in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. So as you require to keep your body completely fit—you require your head, you require your arms, you require your belly, you... Nobody is lower or higher. Of course, comparatively, when we see that the head is more important than the leg, but you cannot do deal, also without leg. Neither you can do without head. Everything is required in the social body. Therefore Krsna says, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. So this scientific social system, a class, intelligent class of men, should be the head of the society. And the fighting class or the martial class of men, they should be the administrators. And the productive class, merchants and industrialists, they should be the belly of the society. And the laborer class, they should be the legs of the society. This is the idea we get from Srimad-Bhagavatam.
So if we try to follow the already perfect statements in the sastras, and if we apply in the, our practical life, then the whole human society will be perfect. Otherwise, if we do not follow the instruction which is perfect, already there in the sastras—we manufacture or concoction—the social order will never be perfect and there will be always a confusion. And that is going on. I have seen. I have traveled all over the world, especially in America. They're the richest country, but there is a confusion now. The younger section, they do not like to live like their father or grandfather. They want a different body, different life. They, they are joining this Krsna consciousness movement because they are in search of such thing, perfect thing. They are fed up with this materialistic way of life. Therefore... It is not that I am playing something magic; it is the need of the present-day situation, present-day civilization, that people want Krsna consciousness, spiritual advancement. So if we can administer the spiritual advancement of life in the proper way, as they are in our Vedic literatures, so we can contribute greatest contribution to the world, and that will glorify India's name. If we simply imitate them, or beg from them, then India's position is always remain as beggar. Because we are already known: "The nation of beggars." Because our ministers go there to ask, "Please give me this. Please give me this. Please give me." Nothing to contribute. Here is a thing, Krsna consciousness. We can contribute to the whole world. Please help this movement.
Thank you very much. (applause) (end)
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