Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 11

Los Angeles, May 16, 1970
Prabhupada: "Only one who can learn the process of nescience and that of transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality." [Iso 11]
So people do not understand what is immortality. They think that it is a vague idea, because no knowledge... So many things... We are very proud of our advancement of knowledge. So many things we do not know, and it is not possible to know even, by our modern experimental knowledge. It is not possible. Therefore, if you want real knowledge, then you go to knowledge. Vedas means knowledge. These Vedas means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jnane. Veda, Veda means knowledge. So if you want real knowledge, then you have to take shelter of these Vedas, Vedic literature, just like Isopanisad. There are 108 Upanisads, out of which, nine are very important. Out of that nine, this Isopanisad stands first, then Taittiriya Upanisad, Mandukya Upanisad, Mundaka Upanisad. So the Upanisad... Upa, upa means nearing. So this knowledge will take you nearer to Krsna. And amongst the learned society, acaryas, the sruti-pramana... Evidence is sruti. Sruti means these Vedas. They are not experimental knowledge. They are not knowledge established by the research work of contaminated, conditioned soul. Contaminated, conditioned soul, their senses are imperfect. They cannot see things as they are. Simply they theorize, "It may be like that." So much they can say. So "It may be like that," that is no knowledge. Knowledge definite. There is no mistake. Conditioned souls, they commit mistake, they are illusioned, they cheat... Cheating means one who does not understand what is Bhagavad-gita but he is writing commentary on Bhagavad-gita. This is cheating, cheating the public. Somebody has got some name, a scholar, and he takes advantage of the popularity of Bhagavad-gita, and he writes some comment. And they claim that anyone can give his own opinion. But that is not the process. You cannot give any opinion. Suppose I am a preacher of Krsna consciousness. How I can give opinion on medical science? That is ludicrous. I can give opinion in my jurisdiction—that's all right—but if somebody asks me opinion about some medical treatment or some legal implication, so what can I do? Similarly, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet [MU 1.2.12].
Tattva-darsinah means one who has seen, one who has realized the Absolute Truth. So you have to go there.
So avidya mrtyum. If you do not go, then you remain in darkness. It is... Vedic injunction is gacchet. This is a verb, form of verb, which says "must." It is not that "Oh, I may accept a spiritual master; I may not. There are books. I shall learn it." No. Therefore the injunction is gacchet. Gacchet means "must go," not that alternative, may go or may not go. No. "Must go." Tad-vijnanartham, in order to understand that knowledge, that science, you must go. Samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham [MU 1.2.12]. Otherwise you remain in avidya. Vidyam avidyam ca: two sides, darkness and light. So you must know two things: what is maya and what is Krsna. Then your knowledge is perfect. Of course, Krsna is so nice that somehow or other, if you surrender to Krsna, then your all business finished. You automatically will learn what is maya if you have got full surrender to Krsna. Krsna will give you intelligence from within. Guru-krsna-krpaya paya bhakti-lata-bija [Cc. Madhya 19.151], Caitanya-caritamrta. "By the mercy of spiritual master and by the mercy of Krsna, one enters into this devotional service." How is that? The mercy is parallel line. If you have not found out a spiritual master, but if you are sincere, then Krsna will take you to a bona fide spiritual master. And if you get a bona fide spiritual master, then he will take you to Krsna. So both things parallel. If you are sincere... Krsna is always sitting within your heart, caitya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. That spiritual master within the heart manifests himself externally as spiritual master. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih **. Saksat, directly, directly representative of Krsna. This is the verdict of all sastras. Samasta. Samasta means all sastra. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva **. And it is not only stated, but it is accepted as such by all great sadbhih, devotees.
So vidya and avidya. We should learn what is vidya and avidya. Avidya means this materialistic knowledge. That is avidya. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has sung, jada vidya sab mayara vaibhava: "Advancement of material knowledge means advancement of maya's jurisdiction." The more you become implicated in material knowledge, entangled, you..., less you can understand Krsna consciousness. People, those who are supposed to be very advanced in material knowledge, they think, "Eh, what is this Krsna consciousness movement?" They have no attraction. Just like some of our Indian boys sometimes come. They have come here to learn technology. So sometimes they question. They are surprised that... They have rejected these things, and they have come here to learn technology. So when they see that Swamiji introduced the things which they have rejected in India, so they are surprised.
So I also came for that purpose, because our modern India has rejected spiritual knowledge. They are thinking that if they can imitate Westernized technology, then they will be happy. This is maya. They do not see that those who are advanced three hundred times more than us in technology, what they have got? They do not see that. India cannot advance in technology like America or Europe at least for three hundred years more, because in these Western countries they have taken this business since a very long time, but Indian culture, beginning from the creation, is spiritual culture. Vyasadeva... Just see Vyasadeva. He is the original guru, spiritual master, of Vedic knowledge. How he was living? In a cottage in Badarikasrama. But just see his knowledge. He has written so many Puranas, and Bhagavata-Purana is one of them. The Vedanta philosophy, Mahabharata, each and every verse if you study, you can study for the whole life. Similarly, in some book he has written 100,000's of verses, not less than 20,000, 25,000 verses. And each verse is so full of meaning that one has to learn it throughout his whole life. This is Vedic culture. There is no comparison of knowledge, not only in spiritual knowledge, in other department also—in astronomy, in mathematics. It is not that in the olden age there were no aeroplanes. We get so many information from Puranas. Their aeroplane was so strong and so, I mean to say, speedy, they could easily reach other planets. Arjuna went to the heavenly planet. So material knowledge, advancement, is not that there was no advancement of material knowledge in the Vedic age. It was there, but they did not take much care of it. They were interested for spiritual knowledge. It is not that material knowledge was not there. It was there. The opulence... That opulence you cannot compare now. Gold, jewels, full—every city, every individual person, and what to speak of kings and rich men. So avidya and vidya. So one should know side by side what is vidya and what is avidya.
So avidyaya, if we advance in avidya, or material science, then we have to repeat this birth and death, birth and... And there is no guarantee where I shall get my next birth. That is not in your hand. You cannot dictate. Now you are happy American, but after quitting this body you cannot dictate, "Please give me again an American body." No. That is not possible. You may get an American body, but you may get the American animal's body. Then you are meant for slaughterhouse. So this material knowledge, this nationalism, this socialism, they are simply spoiling time. Real knowledge is the Vedic knowledge and the knowledge of Krsna. That is real knowledge. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante [Bg. 7.19]. Therefore one who is in real knowledge, after many, many births, he comes to Krsna and surrenders unto Him, vasudevah sarvam iti: [Bg. 7.19] "Vasudeva, Krsna, You are everything."
So that knowledge we are trying to distribute freely, without any charges. So our mission is very great. You should be conscious of this responsibility. We are giving this supermost thing to the human society. So you try yourself to understand thoroughly and distribute. That will make you very much, I mean to say, dear to Krsna. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita, na ca tasmad manusyesu kascid me priya-krttamah: "Anyone who is preaching this Krsna consciousness knowledge, oh, nobody is dearer than him to Me." So if you want to be very dear to Krsna quickly, so you preach this Krsna consciousness movement very nicely.
Thank you very much. (end)

Link to this page: http://prabhupadabooks.com/classes/iso/los_angeles/may/16/1970

If you Love Me Distribute My Books -- Srila Prabhupada