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Initiation Lecture

Caracas, February 22, 1975
(Hrdayananda translates into Spanish)
Prabhupada: This evening we were discussing with some learned psychiatrist to solve the problems of the world. So we have tried to convince them that the problems of the world are due to ignorance of our spiritual life. So this body... Indriyani parany ahuh. This body means combination of different senses. This body means we have got hands, legs, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, genital, rectum. All these different parts of the body are working. So these senses are working under the leadership of the mind, and the mind is activated by intelligence, and behind the intelligence there is soul. That is stated in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita:
So we have to take information from authoritative scriptures. So the body is made of five material elements: earth, water, air, fire and ether. So mind is still finer than the ether, and intelligence is still finer than the mind, and the soul is still finer than the intelligence. So generally, we are on the bodily platform. They are called karmis. Bodily platform means that everyone is working for the bodily comfort. Bodily comforts means how to eat nicely, how to sleep nicely, how to have sex nicely and how to defend nicely. So these activities are there also in the animal life. Then, above these activities, there is mental activities. So the bodily activities are visible in the animal kingdom also, but mental activities, they are lacking. So the human being can tackle the mental activities, which is called psychology, the science of thinking, feeling and willing. So when still we go further, intellectual platform, how the mind should be utilized? So if we can intellectually utilize the mind, then we can approach the spiritual platform.
So this spiritual platform, to reach, requires gradually process of cultivation, and there is no difficulty to reach the spiritual platform. But first of all, the training of the mind is practiced by the yoga system. Yoga means to control the mind. Our mind at the present moment, being too much attached to this body, it is busy in bodily comforts. Therefore the real yoga system is to divert the mind towards God, to control the mind from material engagement and divert it to spiritual engagement, or bhakti-yoga. The bhakti-yoga practice are in different nine spheres, that,
This means that first of all we have to hear about God from authorized persons. Then kirtanam. Kirtanam means glorifying the activities of God. Then there are other. These two items are very important, and there are other items also. Smaranam-smaranam means meditation. Vandanam means offering prayer. So smaranam vandanam dasyam arcanam. Arcanam, Deity worship. There are other items also. In this way there are nine items. So if one is interested to understand God, then he must take all these items or some of them or at least one of them.
So the most important item is sravanam, or hearing. If you do not do anything else, if you simply sincerely hear about God, then gradually you will be God conscious. That is also true in the material science. The students go to the school, college, and hear from the professor, and gradually he becomes learned in that subject matter. Especially in this age, sravanam, or hearing, is very, very important. We are therefore opening different centers in different parts of the world, and they are being given the chance of this bhakti-yoga system, sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [SB 7.5.23], like that. So all these devotees present here, they are not Indians. I have not brought them from India; neither I have bribed them here. But by hearing only, they are now coming to God consciousness and devotees. Therefore this sravanam item, or hearing item, is very, very important. So if you all, ladies and gentlemen present here, take advantage of hearing about God from this institution, you will also become God conscious. We have got many sense organs, out of which the aural sense, or the hearing sense, is very important. Therefore, for spiritual understanding, we have to use this ear. So therefore the Vedic literature is called sruti. Sruti means to receive the knowledge by hearing. So our process, or the Vedic process, is that... Satam prasangan mama virya-samvido bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah [SB 3.25.25]. If one lends his aural reception of spiritual knowledge through the authorized person, devotee, then he relishes taste in spiritual life. And when you cultivate that stage, then, gradually, he becomes a devotee, he understands what is God.
Another place, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Brahma recommends,
The fact is God is called Ajita—nobody can conquer Him. But any person who gives up this process of mental speculation—that means "God may be like this. Perhaps God is like this. Perhaps this, perhaps this..." This is called mental speculation. We have to give up this mental speculation. Jnane prayasam means endeavor in mental speculation should be given up. One should submissively approach the spiritual master. Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva. Namanta eva means submissively offering respect, obeisances. And after that, if you hear from the self-realized soul, jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva san-mukharitam. San-mukharitam means self-realized soul. From his mouth one has to hear. Bhavadiya-vartam. In this way, although God is never conquered by anyone else, still, this man, who has adopted this process, he will conquer God someday. And who can conquer God? Only the devotees. Just like in Vrndavana, the gopis, the cowherd boys, mother Yasoda, father Nanda and all of them, even the cows and calves, they conquered God, Krsna. So this is the science of God, and we have got all these books translated into English, and other things are being translated in other languages. So we shall request you to understand, to hear about God. Then some day will come—you will understand what is God, what is your relationship with Him, and you will act accordingly. Then your life will be successful.
So the boys and girls who are now being initiated, they are entering the path of understanding God in this way. So there are some regulative principles. I think you have explained to them that no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. God is pure. He is the purest. Therefore if we want to approach God, we must be pure. Just like without high temperature, nobody can enter into the fire, similarly, God is the topmost temperature. We must acquire that temperature; then we can enter into the kingdom of God. So if you want to increase the temperature, you cannot pour water again on it. Just like if you have got wet wood, you cannot burn it very nicely, but if you collect dry wood, you can ignite very easily. So our material life is now saturated with all kinds of sins. The four pillars of sinful life are these: illicit sex, meat-eating and intoxication and gambling. So if we stop these voluntarily, this is called austerity, austerity, tapasya. Austerity means voluntarily accept some painful condition. So those who are habituated to all these things, namely illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling, to give up these habits, it may become little painful in the beginning. But if you practice and pray to Krsna that He will help, it is not difficult to give up these habits. And as soon as you give up this wetting process, the sinful life, then immediately you become fifty percent purified to approach God. Then, by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, you make further, further, more and more progress. And when you are completely free of all sinful reaction, then you understand God and you love him. In the contaminated stage, you are trying to love so many things, but you are frustrated. So if you can love God, then you will never be frustrated and your loving desires will be fulfilled. That is Krsna consciousness movement. We are teaching all our students how to love God. That's all right.
So now you can go with your other function. (end)

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