Lecture at Wayside Chapel
Sydney, May 13, 1971
Australian man: Just at this point we'd like to welcome tonight Swami Bhaktivedanta here, as well as all of you who are participating in this Family of Man meeting. The Wayside Chapel, of course, is the home of world religion. As a matter of fact, in three weeks time the Sikh community will conduct their major festival here in this very theater, and everybody is invited to share with the Sikh community on that particular Sunday. So that's part of our program. And therefore it's perfectly natural that this evening we should have in our presence such a renowned world leader of a religious movement, which we have watched with great interest from the Wayside Chapel, and we are very honored that the Swami should be in our presence this evening. And in a few moments time we're going to invite him to speak just as long as he wishes to speak to the whole community which is present. And after that, as usual, in connection with our Family of Man meetings here on Wednesday night, there will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion. I think nothing more needs to be said except to say that we want you to feel very much at home. Everybody here is most anxious to hear what you have to say. The Wayside Chapel originally began... [break]
Prabhupada: So ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to place before you our views on sankirtana movement all over the world. This sankirtana movement, don't take it as a religious movement. As you generally understand in the Western countries, the word religion is used as "a kind of faith." Faith you can change. Today you are Christian; tomorrow you can become Hindu. But religion cannot be changed. What we mean by the exact word, Sanskrit word, corresponding to religion is dharma, d-h-a-r-m-a. That dharma is different thing from the word religion. Religion is generally understood as a kind of faith, but dharma is not like that. Dharma you cannot change. Just like water. Water is liquid. You cannot make it solid. If water becomes solid, then it is not in the natural state. If you can... You can say the water becomes sometimes solid by less temperature under certain condition. But the tendency of water is to become liquid again. Water cannot stand solid for good. This is called dharma, religion. Or, say, take it for example, a stone. Stone is solid. Stone cannot be liquid. If by chemical process you make stone liquid sometimes, as you transform stone to glass, that liquidness of stone is temporary. Similarly, the solidity of water is also temporary. So similarly, our religion, the dharma... Try to understand the word dharma. Dharma is a permanent occupation of a certain thing. Just like sugar. Sugar is sweet. You cannot make sugar as salty. Or pepper is pungent, hot. You cannot make it sweet. So try to understand the word dharma, that it cannot be changed. Similarly, we living entities, we have got a dharma, or religion. That we cannot change. What is that? A living entity is servant. We are all living entities, but we are all servants at the same time. Is anyone here who can say that "I am not servant of anyone"? No. That is not possible. Everyone is servant. Everyone is servant. That is the definition given by Lord Caitanya. Jivera svarupa haya nitya krsna dasa: [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109] "A living entity is eternally servant of God." That cannot be changed. Just like you are citizens of this Australian state, so you must have to abide by the laws of the state. You cannot change it. If you say that "I don't want these laws," you will be forced to abide by the laws. You cannot change it, or you cannot make law at your home. Law is enacted by the government. Similarly, we should understand religion means you cannot change, and it is enacted by God. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. That is the definition given in the Vedic literature.
So this sankirtana movement is meant for purifying our heart. By long association with this material nature, we are thinking that "There is no God," "I have nothing to do with God. I am independent of God." We are thinking like that. But actually this is not a fact. The gross material nature is very strong. It is said in the Bhagavad-gita—those who have read Bhagavad-gita—daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya [Bg. 7.14]. God has got multi-energies, and they are divided grossly into three: the external energy, the internal energy and the marginal energy. The external energy is this material nature, and the internal energy, there is another, spiritual nature. As you see this universe, as far as you can see or imagine, it is covered. This is material energy. Beyond this covering there is another nature. That is spiritual nature. We get this information from the Vedic literatures. Paras tasmat tu bhavo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktat sanatanah [Bg. 8.20]. And we living entities, we are the marginal energies. That means if we like, we can live in this material nature; if we like, we can transfer ourselves to the spiritual nature. The spiritual nature is... It is not in..., what is called, incompatible. Compatible. You can adjust yourself in the spiritual nature, but you cannot adjust yourself in the material nature. Therefore material nature, however you can make your plans for becoming happy, it will be frustrated. Because you do not, you cannot adjust yourself with this material nature. Just like this body. This body is a product of this material nature. Now, however you can take care of this body, however you may go on making this body very strong and stout, still, you cannot maintain it. It will be finished today or tomorrow, or a hundred years after. You cannot protect it. This is material nature. But I have got the tendency to keep my body fit, strong, and eternal. That is my tendency. People are taking so much exercise just to become very strong and stout. But nature will not allow you. However stout and strong you may be, you have to die. You have to give up this body. This body is temporary, but our tendency is to live forever. The scientists are trying how to keep this body fit. One Russian scientist said that "By material science we shall be able to keep this body forever." They may say like that, but in the history we do not find any evidence that anyone has ever been able to keep this body forever, immortal. That is not possible.
But this tendency can be satisfied if you transfer yourself to the spiritual world, because you are marginal. I have already said that we are in a marginal position. If we like, we can keep on this material side of the nature, and if we like, we can transfer ourself to the spiritual side of nature. And what we are? We are also spiritual sparks. Therefore we cannot adjust with this material nature. Our real hankering is how to go to the spiritual nature. But due to our long association with this material nature, we are thinking wrongly that "I am a product of this material nature. I will have to adjust with the elements here, and... But because there is no other way, so as long is possible, let me live comfortably and satisfactorily." This is our nature. But we get information from Bhagavad-gita, by simply doing one thing you can make your life permanent, eternal, and never to die again, or never to take birth again. What is that? That Lord Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that,
Krsna says, "Simply by understanding about My appearance and My activities, janma karma..." Janma means appearance, and karma means activities. Janma karma me divyam: "They are transcendental." Yo janati tattvatah: "If anyone understands in truth," tyaktva deham, "then such person, after giving up this body," punar janma naiti, "do not come to take birth again in this material world, but he comes to Me." Mam eti. And if you come back to Krsna, wherefrom you generated, then you become eternally living, not to come back again in this material world full of miseries and frustration.
So these informations are there, and our propaganda is to train people how to become Krsna conscious, how to understand Krsna in truth so that next life, after giving up this body, you get your original, spiritual body, and you live forever with complete knowledge and blissful life. And to understand Krsna, in this age it is very simple: this chanting process. This chanting process—Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—it is simple. Even a child can chant. We have got experience. When we hold meetings, unless one is very obstinate, he joins and chants Hare Krsna mantra and dances also with ecstasy. He doesn't require to understand what is Hare Krsna mantra, but because it is spiritual vibration, it appeals to the spirit soul, and immediately he become ecstatic. That is the process. So by chanting Hare Krsna mantra, your heart, the mirror of your heart, becomes cleansed so that you can see. Just like mirror, when it is dusty, you cannot see your face nicely, similarly, when our heart is contaminated with the material infection, we cannot understand our real position. But if we chant this Hare Krsna mantra, then it will be possible to understand, to see our constitutional position. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. And bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. If you chant this Hare Krsna mantra, there is no expenditure and there is no less. Just like we requested you while our students were chanting to join with. What was the loss? But if you do not do, then how we can help you? We are not asking you to pay something for chant this mantra. It is free. It is open. You have to simply chant Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna and see the result. Why don't you do that? We are not asking any payment. You are not losing anything. Why don't you make this experiment? But it is our obstinacy. Then what can be done? But if you chant, you will see the result very quickly. Within a week you will see. That is our request. Ceto-darpana-marjanam. If you chant, then the dirty things which have accumulated in your heart since a long association with this material world, that will be gradually cleansed, and you will be able to see what you are.
So without any expenditure, without any loss, if you can see yourself, what you are, why don't you take it? What is the objection? Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. And as soon as you can see, you can have a look upon yourself, immediately the blazing fire of material existence will be extinguished. This material world is supposed to be blazing fire. Blazing fire. It is called blazing fire in the forest. Just like in the forest nobody goes to set fire, but it takes automatically, similarly, in this material world, however you may try to live very peacefully, it will not allow you. There will be some fire. Just like in Pakistan. All of a sudden they separated from India as Muhammadan on the basis of religion. Now they are Muhammadans, of the same religion, but they are fighting. First of all they wanted to save themselves from fighting from the Hindus. Now they are Muhammadan. They are of the same cult, same religion. Still, they are fighting. So you cannot stop this fighting. It will automatically come out. Just like the forest blazing fire. Nobody goes to set fire there, but it takes place. So this world, nature of this world, is like that. However you may be careful, however you may be peaceful, some element there will be who will put you into trouble, into frustration. That is the nature of this material world. Try to understand. But if you understand your constitutional position, what you are, then immediately this blazing fire will be extinguished and real knowledge come out. If you understand your position, then what is your real occupation, real activities, you will understand. Ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Just like the moon rises from a line. On the pratipara (?) day, on the first moon side, you will see just like a line, but gradually it develops, develops, develops, and it becomes a full moon, very beautiful. Similarly, if you chant this Hare Krsna mantra, then your first vision of your self, your constitutional position, will be visible just like a line of the moon. But if you go on continuing, you will find one day it is full moon and brilliant, very soothing, and nectarine. You'll taste your life as very sublime, blissful, and hopeful.
So our method is very simple, and it is very sublime. And it is not that we are dreaming. Practically it is happening in every part of the world. We have got so many branches all over the world, and each and every branch you will find devotees like this. At least twenty-four devotees up to one hundred devotees we have got. In America, my students, these boys and girls, they have been known as "Hare Krsna People," "bright-faced people." You can compare their face with others, how they are feeling happy and blissful. That's a fact. It is not a story. So method is simple: simply chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. So why don't you accept this formula? You have nothing to lose, and there is no loss, but the gain is very great. So our request is that here is a nice place. You assemble here. You chant Hare Krsna mantra and see the result. That is our request. And if you want to know more, if you don't believe that Hare Krsna mantra is powerful, if you want to know about this movement through science, philosophy, logic, we have got ample books. We have got already published at least twelve books, four hundred pages. You try to understand. If you want to understand this movement through science and philosophy, we are ready. But if you take it as a simple method, without any expenditure, without any loss, chant Hare Krsna. Two sides. Any side you can accept. You will be benefited. That is our request. I don't wish to take much of your time, but our method is very simple, and your life will be sublime. There is no loss. The gain is very great. So if you like, you can take it.
Thank you very much. (end)