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with Yoga Student
March 14, 1975, Iran
Yoga Student: ...to chant the names of Nitai-Gauranga before we encourage them so much to chant the maha-mantra?
Prabhupada: No. Why? Now, what is the difference, Nitai-Gauranga and Hare Krsna? Nitai-Gauranga and Hare Krsna, there is no difference. Nitai-Gauranga is also nice. Whatever he finds convenient, let him chant.
Yoga student: This country, which was, once at one time followed the Aryan path of Zoroastrianism, which is now practices primarily Islam although having absorbed many of the original elements in it. Do you have a recommendation as to how people of this country might feel the grace of Krsna, perhaps even within the forms of their own traditional practice?
Prabhupada: What is that traditional practice?
Yoga student: They're in... Apart from Zoroastrianism, the majority of traditional practice now is Islamic of the Shiite sect.
Prabhupada: What is that philosophy?
Yoga student: That involves the prayer of three to five times a day of the Shiist...
Prabhupada: Prayer five times?
Yoga student: Well, it's the Islamic prayer five times a day, but the Shiist compress it to three times. It's the same prayer.
Yoga student: Because they are permitted to say two of the prayers at noon and two of the prayers in the evening at one time, rather than spreading them through the afternoon and the...
Prabhupada: So why they are disobeying the order of Muhammad?
Yoga student: Yes. The... They follow... It's essentially the same practice as the...
Prabhupada: No, you cannot amend on the words of Muhammad if you are a true Mussulman.
Yoga student: I don't think they have to amend it. They're...
Prabhupada: Why? There was five. Why they have made three? That is amendment. You cannot do that.
Prabhupada: What is that?
Atreya Rsi: Ali, the representative of Muhammad.
Yoga student: Hussein is his son. Ali is the cousin and the son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad. But can they feel the grace of Krsna within this framework, within the framework of their dietary laws and their..., in opening up the experience of Krsna to them?
Prabhupada: No, no. If one wants to follow Koran, let him follow strictly that. No halfway mixing.
Yoga student: Then preaching in Iran should be essentially to those people who are fallen away from their traditional path.
Prabhupada: Yes. Everyone is fallen. They are simply amending and concoction. That is not good. Why they should amend? [break] ...himself in what relationship with God?
Yoga student: With God? He presented himself as the last expression of the divine revelation in the West.
Prabhupada: No, what was his relationship? Just like Christ, he presented himself as the son of God. So what is the position of Muhammad?
Yoga student: He presented himself as a man, as considered by Muslims as the perfect man.
Atreya Rsi: The disciple of God.
Yoga student: And he was the perfect expression of the divine manifestation in human terms. He was not a divine figure as Christ or Krsna. He was simply a man, and who was the mouthpiece of the divine word.
Prabhupada: What is the meaning of Allah akbar?
Yoga student: It means God, the greatest.
Yoga student: Yes. Akbar is being the superlative of kabirsh(?).
Prabhupada: And Muhammad is the greatest? No. He is subordinate.
Yoga student: No. And in fact Muslims object to their religion being called Mohammedanism because it implies that they worship Muhammad, whereas in fact they feel that they go straight to God, to Allah, which... and that Muhammad simply was a messenger.
Prabhupada: That's good.
Yoga student: And they regard... They call their religion Islam, which means submission.
Prabhupada: That's very good.
Yoga student: The Muslim is he who submits.
Prabhupada: Then God is the greatest, and we are finite, limited. We are not greatest. And our business is to serve Him. What is that?
Yoga student: Our business is to serve Him. Precisely as was said last night, our business is to satisfy Him.
Prabhupada: That's it.
Yoga student: There is a tradition, and there's a body of forty traditions, which are called the sacred traditions, one of which says that these are the words of God as enunciated through Muhammad, one of them saying that "The more you strive towards Me, the more you love Me, the closer I come to you."
Prabhupada: Oh, that's it. Then the ultimate goal is how to love God.
Yoga student: Yes.
Prabhupada: That is very good. That is our philosophy. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. Prema pumartho mahan. This is the highest goal of life, how one has developed his love for God. And Bhagavata says, "That is first-class religion which trains the followers how to love God and serve Him." That is first-class religion. Then Islam is Vaisnava dharma in a crude form like the Christian. So we can amalgamate them all if they are sane men. I suggested that there are many churches vacant. If they give us these churches we shall install Deity—Gaurasundara, Nitai-Gaura and Panca-tattva—and along with them we shall worship Lord Jesus Christ also. Similarly, we can do Muhammad. There is no harm. But they are against this Deity worship, eh? Mohammedans?
Yoga student: Yes, they are. That sort of expression. And yet, amongst the Sufi poets...
Prabhupada: Deity is also expression, form is also expression, but they do not understand it.
Yoga student: But the Sufis do, because in the Sufi...
Prabhupada: They have got form worship, Sufis?
Yoga student: They don't worship form as such, but they speak of it in the poetry. They say... In one poem of Hafez(?) there's a meeting between Hafez and his spiritual master. And he asks the spiritual master (recites verse in Parsi). He asked, "I asked him, 'What was this current, this chain of idols that we must worship?' And he replied so that my heart might moan, lament about the dark night..."
Prabhupada: "Dog night"?
Yoga student: "...the dark night of ignorance of..."
Prabhupada: Oh, "dark night."
Yoga student: "...separation from God." So that he used the form of expression of worship, the expression...
Prabhupada: Separation, how it is possible? Separation is expressed when there is separation between man to man or man to woman, person. Otherwise what is the meaning of separation?
Yoga student: Separation from one's divine...
Prabhupada: Divine? This means must be person. They do not believe in the Personality of Godhead?
Prabhupada: No, I am not talking of the Sufis. I am talking of the original Islam.
Yoga student: Well, the Sufis claim to be the original Muslims.
Prabhupada: Do the all the Muslims accept them? Then?
Parivrajakacarya: There are about 780 different schools of Islam and different ideas.
Prabhupada: Then? We have to take the original. Otherwise misled.
Yoga student: Well, I think the original path must be found in Sufism because that is the...
Prabhupada: Then, if the original path is followed, why it is named Sufism?
Yoga student: Because there are those who have fallen away from it, just as in...
Prabhupada: Who has fallen, the Islam or the Sufist?
Yoga student: I think the formalists have fallen away, like the jnanis in Hinduism. Just as there's a dispute between the Shaivites and the Vaisnavaites.
Prabhupada: So who are fallen, the original Islam or the Sufist?
Yoga student: The Sufis are the original Islam.
Prabhupada: Sufis? What? I do not follow. Sufis?
Nitai: Sufis are the original...
Prabhupada: Original cult?
Nitai: Yes, that's what he said.
Prabhupada: Before Muhammad?
Yoga student: No, springing from Muhammad.
Prabhupada: Then how you can say it is original?
Yoga student: It is original. All the schools of laws, they've developed...
Prabhupada: No, if is the original, why they named differently?
Yoga student: Because there are those who have fallen away from it, and they are the ones who use this name. The Sufis don't use the name about themselves. It's used by others who wish to...
Prabhupada: What is the meaning of Sufism? Literary meaning?
Prabhupada: Bhakti means to offer service to the Lord. Does it mean?
Yoga student: Absolutely.
Prabhupada: So then if the Lord is to be served, then He must be a person; otherwise where is the question of service?
Yoga student: Well, the Sufis do see that, the personal aspect of the Lord...
Prabhupada: Unless one is person, how can I serve him? I cannot serve the air or the sky. I must serve a person. Love does not exist in the sky or in the air. It must be a person. Man or woman, it doesn't matter. Otherwise where there is love? Whom to love?
Yoga student: The Sufis find love in these figures... For example, the Sufi Ib'n Araby(?), through of the face of a beautiful woman...
Prabhupada: Through the face of beautiful woman?
Yoga student: Yes.
Prabhupada: So there the materialists also find.
Yoga student: That is the material aspect, absolutely.
Prabhupada: Therefore in Islam religion the form is rejected because it will come to that. As soon as they think of form, they think of this material form, beautiful face of woman. That is degradation. Therefore we are strict not to conceive material form. That is Vedic conception. Apani-padah javano grahita: "He has no legs and no hands." This is... means denying the form. And next he says, the Vedas say, javano grahita: "He can accept whatever you offer to Him." That means God has no material form, but He has form; otherwise how He can accept? How He can understand my love? So therefore in the original Islamism the form is not accepted. So that is Vedic description, form and formless. Formless means no material form, and form means spiritual form, simultaneous. Just like I am, you are. I am within the body, but I am not this body. This form not I am. But wherefrom the form of the body came into existence? Because I have got form. The sweater has got hand because I have got hand. The sweater is the covering. If I haven't got form, then how the sweater has got hand, the pant has got leg? So the pant practically is not the leg. The real leg is within the pant. Similarly, this is not my form; this is like pant, leg of the pant or hand of the coat. Real form is within, asmin dehe. That is not material form. If the real form I could see, you could see, then there was no controversy, the spirit. But they cannot see. Therefore they say "formless." If it is formless, then how the outer form comes out? How it can be? The tailor makes the coat because the man has got form. As the coat has got hands, so it is concluded that the man for whom the coat is made, he has got form. How you can say without form? The difficulty is that we can see the form of the coat, but we cannot see the form of the man. That is my defect with the eyes, not that the God is formless. God is not formless.
Yoga student: God is seen in the form of the saints.
Prabhupada: That is another. That is secondary. But God has got form. That is the conclusion. But we cannot see with our present eyes. That is described, atah sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih [Brs. 1.2.234]. By your these blunt senses... The same thing. Just like I see you. What I see you? Your body. You see me—my body. And when the body is there and the soul is not there, then it is lump of matter. You kick it out and nobody will protest. If a dead body you smash with your legs and boots, nobody will say that "Why you are doing this?" But so long the soul is there, if somebody is smashed like that, immediately there will be protest from all side, "Why you are doing this?" So the people have no knowledge about the real form. Therefore they say formless.
Atreya Rsi: When the body changes, Srila Prabhupada, how is it...? When our coat, size of the coat changes because our body grows bigger, the size of the coat is bigger. Shirt is bigger.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is spiritual form. It can take... It can become bigger, smaller, like that.
Atreya Rsi: But the form is the same. [break]
Prabhupada: This has been... Body has been described as the dress. So the form of the dress cannot be there unless there is form of the person who puts on the dress. How can you deny it? Because the dress has got form, the person who puts on the dress must have form. How can you deny this argument? You cannot say "formless." It may be, you cannot see it. That is different thing. But it must be form and individual. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that Krsna says, "Arjuna, you and Me and all these persons who are here, they were existing like that in the past, they are now existing, and they will exist in the same way." Therefore all are individual.
Yoga student: With Krsna can one say that Krsna is the form that presents itself, of Godhead, which presents itself to man, and Bhagavan is the essential aspect?
Prabhupada: Bhagavan? Yes, in the original.
Atreya Rsi: Same as Krsna.
Prabhupada: Just like the sun. Sunshine is very big, and the sun globe is not so big. But which is important, the sunshine or the sun globe?
Yoga student: But it's the glow which reaches man.
Prabhupada: Eh, these are example.
Yoga student: He can't touch the globe because he would be consumed.
Prabhupada: That is another thing, the qualitative change. But it is... There are five elements, so it is made of fire, that's all. As your body is made of earth, that sun globe or the sun-god, the body is made of fire, that's all. There are other planets also; the body is made of air because you do not find more than these five elements, earth, water, air, fire, sky-gross; and subtle—mind, intelligence and ego. So subtle, the same, but gross—somewhere the fire is prominent; somewhere water is prominent, air is prominent; somewhere earth is prominent. So here in this world, in this planet, the earth is prominent.
Yoga student: Distinct from being permanent, the eternal?
Atreya Rsi: Is prominent.
Yoga student: Oh, prominent.
Atreya Rsi: Earth is prominent.
Yoga student: It's the prominent form in this material world.
Atreya Rsi: In this earth, in this planet, earth is the prominent of the five elements.
Prabhupada: Whole world, whole universe, they are made of these five elements.
Atreya Rsi: All the creation, the material creation, is made of five elements.
Yoga student: What is the fifth besides earth, air, fire and water?
Yoga student: Ether. How does ether distinguish...
Prabhupada: The sky. Ether is... Presence of ether by sound.
Yoga student: How is ether distinct from air?
Prabhupada: Ether you cannot feel touch. Air you can feel touch.
Parivrajakacarya: Based on the sense perception. On this planet, the bodies are made of earth. But there are other places, other planets, where the physical body is composed of a different combination. So one is predominantly air, another can be fire, another water, ether.
Yoga student: But is ether a gross element as well?
Atreya Rsi: Ether is space.
Prabhupada: Yes, space.
Yoga student: So in that sense it's a gross element.
Parivrajakacarya: It's perceivable by the senses as sound.
Yoga student: As sound.
Prabhupada: Ether is perceived by sound, air is perceived by touch. Then... Ether, air... Then fire you can see by vision. And then next, water, you can taste, and the earth you can smell. These five senses are there to appreciate these five kinds of elements. All right. Hare Krsna. [break]
Devotee: These are some of my friends here, Prabhupada. This is Kani Faizal(?). He is a director, theater director, and artist. He wants to do a play now from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the story of Prahlada Maharaja.
Prabhupada: Oh. Very good.
Devotee: This is Carlos. This is Ali. I don't know your name.
Prabhupada: So all cultural people. All cultural people.
Prabhupada: Nice. Where is Atreya?
Devotee: He's coming.
Prabhupada: Yes. India... Formerly your country was part of India, and you belong to the same culture. So far I understand, Iran means Aryan? So Aryan culture was practically all over the world. Aryan culture is based on God consciousness. So amongst the Aryans there is some conception of religion, either Christian religion or Mohammedan religion, Buddhist religion, Vedic religion, based on conception of God. So according to time, country, the ways of understanding may be little different, but the aim is God consciousness. That is Aryan civilization. So God is one; God cannot be two. So the features of God or angle of vision of God may be different. So they have been summarized in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. (Aside:) You can come forward. One feature of God is impersonal. Just like the sunshine. Sunshine is spreading all over the universe. It is impersonal. But the quality of the sunshine is heat and light. The heat and light means energy. So as in the material calculation, the heat and light is the cause of all creation. Just like at the present moment there is not sufficient heat; therefore the trees have no leaves. And as soon as there will be little more heat they will be all green. So you can take it that the creation of the foliage is due to the heat. Similarly light. So heat and light is the cause of all this material creation. And heat and light is coming from the sunshine, er, sun. Therefore heat becomes the origin of creation even in this material world. Similarly, there is another light. That is the original light. This is reflection. That is called brahmajyoti, spiritual light. So in this way one conception of God is like that. Another conception of God is: God is situated everywhere. Andantara-stham paramanu-cayantara-stham. Because God is situated within the universe, within the atom, therefore they are existing. Just like the atma, or spirit soul, is situated in you, in me, in everyone. This is called Paramatma feature. And at the ultimate end there is the person, God as person, the Supreme Person, the Supreme Being, a person like you and me—we are person—but He is almighty, all-powerful. This is the conception of Absolute Truth: God, Paramatma, and Brahmajyoti. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. This is the Sanskrit word. He is realized as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. Bhagavan is person; Paramatma is all-pervading, means localized, situated; and Brahman means all-pervading. All together-God. This is the idea. What is your idea of God?
Young man: I find it very difficult to know the difference between truth and illusion.
Prabhupada: God is truth; what is forgetfulness of God, that is illusion. God is truth. Just like the sun is present all the time, twenty-four hours. But we say now there is no sun, at night. But that's not the fact. The fact is the sun is there; I cannot see. That is illusion. Not that God is not there. God is there. As exactly, same example, the sun is there at night, but I cannot see under certain condition. Therefore it is illusion. Our senses are imperfect; therefore sometimes we cannot understand or see God. If our senses are purified, then we can see God every moment. So, what is your idea of God?
Young man: I, I... Something that I see sometimes in everything, the sameness in everything.
Prabhupada: No clear concept.
Young man: I have no clear...
Prabhupada: Yes. The clear conception of God is that originally He is person. Just like the same example, the sun. We can see every day the sun. (aside:) Can you give me that 7-Up? The sun is there always, but at night we cannot see. At night we cannot see. That does not mean the sun is not there.
Young man: But sharpening the senses, how does one sharpen one's senses?
Prabhupada: Senses are imperfect. Just like we are very proud of our eyes to see, but you cannot see what is beyond the wall. Therefore it is conditioned. You cannot see without light. That, how you can be sure that your eyes are perfectly seeing? That is not possible, because the eyes can see under certain condition. So if it is conditioned, then it is not perfect. But the conditioned sight can be purified. Just like one is suffering from cataract. By surgical operation the cataract can be removed and he can see. Similarly, our senses are imperfect. If we purify the senses, then it will be possible to see God twenty-four hours. That purification process is this Krsna consciousness movement.
Young man: Are human beings the only creations that can have Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna consciousness means God consciousness. The cats and dogs cannot be trained up. But a human being can be trained up. Especially the Aryans, they can be trained up. They are advanced.
Young man: More advanced than other races?
Prabhupada: By birth they are advanced. They have got intelligence. But for Krsna consciousness everyone can be purified, even the non-Aryans. It is without any check. Ahaituky apratihata. Apratihata means without any material check. It is not a disqualification that one is not an Aryan, therefore he cannot understand God. No. He can also be trained up. Because it is spiritual, and we are all spiritual identities, so it is not difficult. Even one who is not spiritual at the present moment, but by training he can also become spiritual.
Young man: In other words, one has to make an intellectual effort or at least in order to...
Prabhupada: It is not very highly intellectual. One has to understand first of all that he is not this body. That anyone can understand, that "I am changing my body, but I am there. Therefore I am not this body." Just like a child's coat, when he is young man, that coat does not fit him. So that young man means he has got another body. But the young man knows, he remembers, that he was a child. He was on the lap of his parents or his relatives. So that body is no longer existing. I have got a different body, but I who had the childhood body, I am existing. Is it very difficult to understand, any one of you? The body has changed. That's a fact. But I am the same. [break] What is that?
Devotee: The demands of the body makes it...
Atreya Rsi: The attachment to the body...
Prabhupada: No, attachment to the body is not bad. Just like you have got a nice car. So you have got attachment for it. But you must know that you are not the car. That everyone can... A child can understand. But because I have got attachment for something, it does not mean I am that thing. I have got attachment for so many things. That is natural. Anything I possess, I have got attachment. But that does not mean I am that thing. But here the mistake is that because we have got attachment for the body, I am identifying myself as the body. That is ignorance, illusion.
Young man: Yes, but one is egocentric... My egoism is very close to my body.
Prabhupada: Yes. Everyone says "I am." But the mistake is: he is thinking "I am this body." That... When one is in knowledge, he understands that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul." The "I am" is there. But "I am" is now falsely identified with this body. That has to be cured. Then spiritual knowledge begins.
Young man: When one is aware of that fact, that he is not the body?
Prabhupada: As soon as he come into knowledge.
Young man: But can one be egoistic and be spiritual at the same time, I mean, be proud of himself, not as a body, but proud of his state of the spirit?
Prabhupada: Yes. Now we are bodily busy. Because I am identifying with this body, therefore my misunderstanding is there. But if I understand I am not this body, then my activities will be different. So first of all, you have to understand that I am not this body. That is the beginning of spiritual education. [break] ...with this body, we remain an animal, because animal cannot understand that he is not body. Try to understand that you are not this body. And what is the difficulty? When a...?
Young man: The difficulty is that I fear that if this body leaves me I'll no longer be. That's the difficulty, because it's difficult for me to imagine that when my brain doesn't work, I can't live, if I can live when my brain stops functioning. That's the difficulty.
Prabhupada: Difficulty is not there, but we have to understand from teacher. Just like the many subject of knowledge we do not understand in the beginning, but by hearing from the teacher, gradually we understand. So that teacher must be perfect, in full knowledge, and then we can understand from him. So we accept Krsna. Because He is God, He is perfect. So we receive knowledge from Him, and that is Bhagavad-gita. So knowledge from Krsna or His pure servant, both of them are equal. They can give us that knowledge.
Young man: I'd like to know the relation...
Prabhupada: Paramahamsa? Bring those ice. Put. That's all. Hm?
ramadi-murtisu kala-niyamena tisthan
nanavataram akarod bhuvanesu kintu
krsnah svayam samabhavat paramah puman yo
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
This is in the Vedas, Brahma-samhita. Krsnah svayam sama... Krsna means the original. And He expands in so many forms, ramadi-murtisu: Rama, Nrsimha, Varaha, Visnu, Sankarsana, Balarama—so many thousands. But the original person is Krsna. (Pause) Therefore I asked, "What is the idea of God?" I suppose you are all Mohammedan.
Young man: We were brought up as Mohammedans.
Prabhupada: So what is the conception of God in Islam?
Young man: Even as a Mohammedan, I didn't have very good teaching. My teachers didn't know the Koran very well, and therefore they gave me no concept of God when I was a child. I don't know what the Mohammedan concept of God is.
Prabhupada: Any one of you cannot explain? You have got?
Young man: I think it's the all-powerful one who's omnipotent, the same as in all religions. There is one God.
Prabhupada: So His form... What is the form?
Young man: What is His form? He created the world...
Prabhupada: That is His action. What is His form?
Young man: A heavenly being.
Young man (2): There is no form given for God. It's spiritual.
Prabhupada: The description must be there.
Girl: He's a human being. He's got a human form.
Prabhupada: That I am asking, what is the form?
Young man: Well, the only thing... It just says that He created man after His own image. So...
Prabhupada: That is the Christian idea.
Young man: Yeah. And the...
Prabhupada: The Mohammedan, Islam is also same idea?
Young man: Well, since the Old Testament, part of the Old Testament, is very similar to the Koran, I presume the creation of Adam, that bit, is also taken from the Old Testament. But He is projected as a great judge really, a supreme judge.
Prabhupada: Yes, He must be the supreme judge because He is Supreme Being. So He is not only... Supreme judge means supreme knowledge.
Young man: Yes. Somehow in modern religion they very much emphasize on the fact that He judges. And I could never accept that idea for example, that the Supreme Being judges, because judging is a low activity. It's a... Spiritual people don't judge. So how come...
Young man: Leader.
Prabhupada: They do not judge?
Young man: That's what I thought.
Prabhupada: No, judgment is there everywhere. Unless there is judgment, how you can discriminate, "This is spiritual; this is material"? Judgment must be there for intelligent person. Otherwise how you can distinguish? We are distinguishing every moment—"This is good. This is bad"—in the relative world. So there is judgment. So God—the supreme judge. So as soon as there is question of judgment, then what is our position? There must be good and bad, so that if we have lived a very nice, good life, then by the judgment of God we get better position. And if we have not done so, then you get degraded position. Therefore, for human being it is very sanguine to understand how we are going to be judged by the Supreme. So if we are following the rules and regulation given by God, then the judgment will be better. And if we are not following the laws, the judgment will not be in favor. This is natural to conclude. Then we have to judge what is sin, what is piety, how to be pious, how one becomes sinful. So many things will come.
Atreya Rsi: Do the laws of nature also make distinction, Prabhupada?
Prabhupada: Laws of nature means laws of God. It is executed through the machine of nature.
Atreya Rsi: And that machine also makes distinction, doesn't it?
Atreya Rsi: No judgment?
Prabhupada: The machine... Just like I push certain button, it acts in a certain way. I push another button it acts in another way. Just like computer machine. It is a very complicated machine, but it does not act automatically. One man who knows, he puts the button and it acts.
Young man: If the laws of nature are the laws of God, then how is it that sometimes they're even crueler than the actions..., they are more violent than the actions which ordinary men do, than that of a tyrant or a murderer?
Prabhupada: No, no. Rules, God rules, are perfect, and it is being perfectly done. Sometimes we misunderstand.
Young man: Then how do we take the meaning of earthquakes and natural disasters which could destroy the lives of pure people as well as impure people?
Prabhupada: No, every life is pure. The body is pure and impure. So anyway, after destruction, the life is not destroyed. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. The destruction of body does not mean that the soul is destroyed. No. He gets another body. The body is... one body is destroyed, and he transmigrates to another body. And so far your question about the earthquake, so suppose if there is plane crash, there are many good men, bad men, so everyone is crashed. But the good man gets a good body again; the bad man gets a bad body again.
Young man: The good man gets a better body or a good body?
Prabhupada: Good, better or worst, bad, according to his karma. Just like your shirt. You throw away on account of being old. Now you have to purchase another. But there are many varieties of shirt-coat. As you pay for it, you get. If you can pay nice price, you get silk shirt-coat. But if you cannot, you get ordinary cotton or jute. So your body will be according to your karma, or work. Why the other boys went away? Two, three boys?
Parivrajakacarya: They said they had to go.
Prabhupada: Oh. So these things has to be learned first, that "I am not this body, I am spirit soul. I am changing my body, and this is botheration." So if there is any way to stop this changing, that is required. That... That is possible to be done in this human form of life.
Young man: Is there any chance to understand how the Absolute think?
Prabhupada: Yes, this is the chance, human body. If you want to know, you can know. Here is the chance.
Young man: Is there a way of knowing that the body you inhabited before was of a inferior quality than the one you're inhabiting now, or...
Prabhupada: Inferior quality, just like cats and dog. That is inferior quality.
Young man: Yeah, is there a way of knowing whether you're on the way up or you're falling?
Prabhupada: Yes. You... Just like you infect some disease. Then it is sure that you are going to grow that disease. And if you don't infect, then you don't grow that disease. Do you know this, infection? Disease infection?
Young man: Yes.
Prabhupada: So, if you don't infect a certain disease, then you don't grow it. And if you infect... Therefore you must know or you must know the rules and regulation, how you can save yourself from infection. If you are ignorant and if you infect some disease, epidemic, then you have to suffer. If you remain disinfected, then you don't get inferior body, you get superior body, in other planets. Or you can go back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore I said that this Krsna consciousness movement is for purification so that you may not get infected by the material modes. Therefore we advise our student four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. Plus chanting the holy name of God. Then you remain immune from the infection. And that you will feel practically also, if you adopt the means. Now it is up to us to decide whether I shall continue the life of infection or I shall remain immune from all infection. That is your decision. Better we should remain immune from all kinds of infection, and that is Krsna consciousness. Sa gunan samatityaitan [Bg. 14.26], find out this verse.
mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena yah sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
"One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman."
Prabhupada: This is the way. The purport?
Paramahamsa: "This verse is a reply to Arjuna's third question: What is the means of attaining to the transcendental position?"
Prabhupada: So everything is explained. One has to learn it very carefully.
Young man: If one does not lose one's identity when one is returned to the Godhead, what is the nature of the relationship?
Prabhupada: Servant. God is supreme, we are all subordinate. God is maintaining us just like father maintains. So it is the duty of the son to be obedient to the father, to act according to his order. Then everything is perfect. At the present moment on account of this bodily concept of life every one of us thinking nationality and duty of nation, duty of the community, duty of the family, so many duties. But actually we, being spiritual, our only duty is to serve God. We are serving; everyone is serving. That is our constitutional position, to serve. But at the present moment we are serving maya, illusion, and we have to be trained up to serve the Supreme Being. Then our life is perfect. [break] ...at the present moment, although there are many religious system, they have no clear conception of God, although religion means to approach God. There is no religion throughout the whole world which is not connected with the word God. So religion means to understand God. But if we have no clear conception of God, then the religion is defective. Do you admit it or not? Religion means to understand God or God's laws. That is religion. But if we do not understand what is God, then that religion is also defective. So far our position is, we are approaching directly God through His agent, and our conception of God is there in the temple worship or our working for God. But we have got no vague idea of God. We have got complete idea: Krsna. You want to speak anything?
Young man: What is the Krsna conscious outlook on other world religions?
Prabhupada: They have got simply an idea that there is God, but what is that God, they have no clear conception. Just like I asked, "What is the conception of God in Islam?" You could not give us. You simply described some of His activities.
Young man: That's true.
Young man: All the religions that have been taught to me have not given me a clear view of God, a clear concept. They didn't seem to know it themself.
Prabhupada: No, concept is there as you told me: "The God has made human being after His own image." Then we can get the idea that God is a person like a human being, He has got two hands, two legs, one head, because after His image we have been... Now, if we study ourself and increase that quality... Just like I am. I can eat. I can eat a certain amount of foodstuff, but God can also eat, but He can eat the whole universe. So eating is there. But the difference of eating is there also. I can create one airplane, but God has created very, very big airplanes like these planets, and they are floating in the sky without any power crisis. That is God's creation. Here we are floating the airplane or running the car with the power, petrol, given by God. You cannot manufacture petrol. Just like in your country there is enough stock of petrol. But you have not created it. So who has created? Your creative power is to drill and get the stock. So much creative power you have got. But you cannot create petrol. Then the Americans would not have come here to beg petrol. That is the difference. You can create something by the ingredients given by God. You can create this table. Because wood is given by God, the instrument is given by God, and the intelligence given by God, the hand is given by God, so in this way you create the table. Then whose property it will be, your property or God's property? Whose property? If I give you wood, instrument, your salary, and you create something, the ultimately the thing created, to whom it should belong? To you or to me?
Young man: To you if you're...
Prabhupada: Yes. Therefore everything belongs to God. The petrol belongs to God; the land belongs to God; we also belong to God. But because we have forgotten God, there is crisis. Therefore, if you want peace, then you must accept here this principle that everything belongs to God. That is Vedic information. Isavasyam idam sarvam. Isopanisad. You have read our Isopanisad?
Young man: I have read some of it.
isavasyam idam sarvam
yat kinca jagatyam jagat
tena tyaktena bhunjitha
ma grdhah kasya svid dhanam
[Iso mantra 1]
"Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one must not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong."
Srutakirti:. "Purport." [break]
Prabhupada: This is the summary of God consciousness. (Says something in Hindi)
Young man: And the guru's name is Sri Sri Radha-Govindaji.
Prabhupada: Hmm. You have got a branch here?
Young man: I have been here for about three months. I am trying to lead the practices and the sadhana of the people here and trying to set up a unit here.
Prabhupada: So you follow Vedic principle?
Young man: We follow Tantric principle.
Prabhupada: Tantric. Tantra, there are two kinds of tantras, sattvata, and there are sattvic, rajasic, anything. So your activity is on the material platform or spiritual?
Young man: (Sanskrit). Self-realization and selfless service to humanity. So that's our principles. That's the objective of Ananda-marga philosophy. So that's a subjective approach to objective adjustment, both, side by side.
Prabhupada: What is that ananda?
Young man: Ananda means bliss, infinite happiness.
Prabhupada: Infinite. But what is the platform of that ananda, material or spiritual?
Young man: Of course, ananda means very much spiritual aspect.
Prabhupada: But if somebody wants to derive ananda by sense pleasure, is that spiritual?
Young man: Our practices has...
Prabhupada: Tantra means they want to derive pleasure through the senses. So is that spiritual?
Young man: Our gurudeva says that not only do we do vidya-tantra but both the Tantric practices avidya and vidya has to be practiced. So one has to go beyond...
Prabhupada: Yes, that is spiritual.
Young man: Even after vidya and avidya, you have to be beyond that stage. So our gurudeva teaches both the practices. When the time is proper, he says he will also teach avidya-tantra, avidya sara.(?)
Young man: Avidya
Indian man: Vaiddha and avaiddha. It may be avaiddha.
Indian man: The one which is recognized and the one which is not recognized by the society. That is the (Sanskrit).
Prabhupada: So society recognizes the sense gratification, whether it is bhidheya or abhidheya?
Indian man: What is bhideya or abhidheya?
Prabhupada: Bhagavad-gita says, sukham atyantikam yat tad atindriya grahyam [Bg. 6.21]. Bliss which is supreme, that is to be appreciated by atindriya. Atindriya means beyond the senses. So those who are indulging in senses, the Tantra indulges in senses. Is that spiritual? That is not spiritual. That is material.
Indian man: You have to use the material, all the potential...
Prabhupada: No. Atindriya. You haven't got to use this material [break] ...enjoy the spiritual senses, one has to not only stop, but undergo tapasya, tapo divyam. Just like a man is diseased, he wants to eat, but due to the disease he cannot eat. So first of all, you have to cure the disease, then your eating will be a pleasure. And if you want to eat in the diseased condition, then the taste will not be proper; you cannot eat. A man suffering from jaundice, if you give him sugar candy, he will taste it bitter. The same man, when he is cured, he will taste the sugar candy as very sweet. Tapo divyam yena putraka suddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. You have to purify your existence by tapasya. And tapasya means stops material sense gratification. (Hindi) (Someone enters room) Ah, thank you. So you have translated in Parsi?
Dr. Movebhed: Yes.
Prabhupada: So Bhagavad-gita... Krsna is speaking Bhagavad-gita. What is the position of Krsna? That you have mentioned?
Dr. Movebhed: I have to listen to you.
Prabhupada: Why you shall listen to me? The Bhagavad-gita is there.
Dr. Movebhed: But you are an insider.
Prabhupada: Yes, actually without listening, so many big, big men, they have committed mistake about Bhagavad-gita. Even Gandhi, he says that "I do not believe that there was a person, Krsna, ever living." Just see. What to speak of others. (Hindi) Without listening from the right source, even a personality like Gandhi will commit mistake, what to speak of others. Similarly, Dr. Radhakrishnan has committed so many mistake. So big, big scholars, they're trying to study Bhagavad-gita, but they cannot understand. Therefore Krsna says, tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. You first prepare yourself to surrender, pranipata, pranipata-prakrsta-rupena nipata. Without any reservation, surrender, pranipatena, by the surrendering process, and pariprasnena, by enquiring from the authority. Because it is not very easy to understand Krsna. Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Out of many, many million persons one try to understand, one trying to become perfect, siddhaye. Siddhi means perfection. So yatatam api siddhanam: [Bg. 7.3] "Those who have attained siddhi, perfection, out of many such siddhas," kascid mam vetti tattvatah, "maybe one man can understand Me." The first of all to become siddha. Then, after becoming siddha, one may understand Krsna or he may not. Actually it is very difficult to understand Krsna. But you can understand Krsna if you adopt this process: pranipatena, pariprasnena, sevaya-three things. You have to go to a person where you can surrender, not to a bogus person or one who is not competent to accept your surrender. And then you make question that "Krsna says like this. What is the meaning of this?" Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati... [Bg. 7.3]. And sevaya. Three things required: first of all surrender, and then question, and seva. You cannot question by challenging. You have to render service and surrender. Between the two, pranipata and sevaya, there is pariprasna. Then you will understand. Upadeksyanti tad jnanam jnaninah tattva-darsinah. Tattva-darsi, one who has seen the truth, he can enlighten you. This is the process. Otherwise, even Gandhi, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Vivekananda, all they have committed mistake. Aurobindo. Aurobindo has understood little to some extent, but not fully. But if we are fortunate enough, then we can understand Krsna very easily. What is that? Krsna says, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. "My dear Dhananjaya, Arjuna, there is no more superior truth than Me." So if we accept that, either you say blindly or conscientiously, then that is perfection. Krsna says, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate: [Bg. 7.19] "After many, many births of philosophical speculation, when one actually becomes wise, jnani, jnanavan, full of knowledge, then the result is mam prapadyate: he surrenders unto Me." Why surrender? Now, vasudevah sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]—he understands that Krsna is everything. Sa mahatma su-durlabhah: "Such mahatma is very rare." That I was... we were discussing that there are so many religious system in the world, but hardly they have got any clear conception of God. I have asked so many gentlemen belonging to different types of religion that "What is the clear conception of God?" So may I ask you also what is the clear conception of God?
Dr. Movebhed: I prefer to listen to you.
Prabhupada: But we are speaking the same thing, Bhagavad-gita. We are not manufacturing anything. Clear conception of God you can take from Arjuna. Arjuna associated with Krsna personally. What he says about Krsna and what he understands about God, that you read from the Tenth Chapter. Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan, purusam sasvatam divyam [Bg. 10.12].
Nitai: "Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original. You are the unborn and the all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala, and Vyasa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me."
Prabhupada: Then? Purport? [break] Next verse?
Nitai: "O Krsna, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the gods nor the demons, O Lord, know Thy personality."
Prabhupada: Now here is the Arjuna's understanding, that "I accept You in total." Now some rascals are proclaiming that all the Bhagavad-gitas, they are, most of them are interpretation. But Arjuna says that "I accept everything what You have said." So whom you will accept, Arjuna or some rascal who is speaking that "There are so many interpolation. They can be rejected"? Whom you will accept as authority? Arjuna says that "I accept whatever You have said in toto." If you accept Arjuna because he has heard from Krsna, then you accept Krsna or you understand Krsna.
Dr. Movebhed: I said I think the question you put, the clear concept of Krsna, or God... The God for me is not a conceptual thing. It cannot be subject to concept, and to understand God, you have to identify yourself with the truth, and otherwise it's not the way to...
Prabhupada: No, if you accept Krsna as the teacher, authority, just like Arjuna accepted. Arjuna said, sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam prapannam: [Bg. 2.7] "Now I accept You as my teacher." Sisya. Sisya means disciple. Sisyas te aham: "I am Your now disciple. Don't accept me as Your friend." Friend to friend talk, it is not very serious. So when one is accepted as the master, then you have to accept his statement. There is no question of argument. That is the relationship between guru and disciple. Therefore the process is: before accepting a person as guru, one must study his position. And guru also, before accepting a disciple, must study his position. In this way the relationship between guru and disciple is established. Now, Arjuna is a friend of Krsna, so he has studied Krsna, and therefore he submits, Arjuna, "Krsna, although we are friends, now I accept You as my spiritual master." Sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam prapannam: [Bg. 2.7] "I am now surrendered." "Surrendered" means "As I accept you as my teacher, I'll not argue." So first of all this is required, that before accepting somebody as teacher one must be convinced that "The person whom I am going to accept, my teacher, is perfect." Then the knowledge will be nice. If we approach a perfect person and submissively hear from him, then the knowledge is perfect. So Krsna is accepted as the supreme authority, as Arjuna quoted. What is that?
Prabhupada: Ahus tvam rsayah sarve: "All the rsis, great saintly persons, they have accepted You." And some of them are named: Asita, Devala, Vyasa. They are very great authority, rsis: Vyasadeva, who has compiled the whole Vedic literature; Narada, the spiritual master of Vyasadeva; similarly, Asita, Devala, very, very big, big stalwart, they have accepted. So apart from all these rsis, recently, within, say, thousand years, great acaryas just like Sankaracarya, Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Nimbarka, Visnu Svami, Lord Caitanya, they have all accepted Krsna as the Supreme. And India's Vedic culture is practically dependent on all these acaryas. So we are follower of these acarya, so we accept, following the footsteps of the acarya. Acaryavan puruso veda. One who has acarya, guidance... Just like if anyone is going to be doctor of philosophy, he is guided by three acaryas. That is the system in India. I think the same here, is it not? Anyone who is going to present some thesis, he is guided by three experienced professors, is it not?
Dr. Movebhed: Yes, more or less.
Prabhupada: That is acarya. So acaryavan puruso veda. Without following the acarya, if we simply theorize, that is not good. Just like the same example: if you want to put some thesis, the university regulation is that he must be guided by three experienced professor. You cannot simply put forward your thesis without being guided by the experienced professors. That thesis will not be accepted. Similarly, here Arjuna directly hears from Krsna. So he says that "You are Parabrahma. Now I understand." Now people may say that "You are accepting Him Parabrahma. Where is your authority? You are friend. You can say Parabrahma or anything—out of love. That is not final." Therefore he quotes that... What is that? Ahus tvam rsayah sarve: "All the big, big rsis, they have accepted You." Svayam caiva bravisi me: "And You, the Supreme Person, You are also speaking to me. And so far I am concerned, I have realized now that You are the Supreme Lord, Parabrahma." So if we follow Arjuna, then there is no difficulty. Accept Krsna as Parabrahma. So Arjuna has heard it from Krsna directly. This is the process. Now Krsna says that "I accept your statement in toto." What is that language?
Prabhupada: Sarvam etam rtam manye yad vadasi kesava: "My dear Kesava..." Kesava, the another name of Krsna... "Whatever You have said I accept them cent percent." Sarvam etam rtam. Rtam means fact, truth. This is understanding. So if we accept in that way, then our knowledge is perfect. And if we accept in a different way... Just like Gandhi says that "I do not believe that Krsna ever lived." Just see. He does not believe in the acaryas. All the acaryas, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, they have written big, big comment on Bhagavad-gita, even Sankaracarya. He does not believe anyone. He believes himself. And that kind of belief is not help. And our process is: because Krsna has been accepted by all the acaryas, all the great sages, Arjuna has accepted—we accept, that's all. We have no difficulty. If I am child, I ask my father, "What is this, my father?" The father says, "My dear child, it is called coconut." Then, if I distribute this knowledge, "This is coconut," then my knowledge is perfect. I may not be perfect, but because I have heard it from my father, who is perfect about the knowledge of this fruit, so I have taken that word from my father, and I am preaching, "This is coconut," and this is perfect. So our, this Krsna consciousness movement is like that. We are simply repeating the perfect statement of our predecessor. That's all. So there is no difficulty. We haven't got to write thesis on Krsna. The perfect knowledge is already there. And supported by the acaryas. And we are simply submitting that "This is Krsna. This is God." That's all. All over the world we are placing this statement that "Here is Bhagavad-gita, and Krsna spoke. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is like this. He is the original source of everything." Krsna says, aham sarvasya prabhavah: [Bg. 10.8] "I am the origin of everything." And Krsna also says, "After many, many births one come to this understanding that vasudevah sarvam iti: [Bg. 7.19] 'Vasudeva is everything.' " Krsna says, "I am everything." And when one understands that Krsna is everything, sa mahatma su-durlabhah, that mahatma is very rare. So my point is that simply replacing... not replacing, submitting the same statement as the great saintly person, acaryas have accepted, we are getting the result very nice, instead of theorizing in my own way, although it is not very difficult. Krsna says that "You always think of Me," man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. So we are teaching people the same way, that "You always think of Krsna. Chant Hare Krsna." That is thinking of Krsna. So that is being effective. We are getting good result all over the world. Anyone who is thinking of Krsna, he is becoming Krsna conscious, fully convinced, dedicating his life for Krsna. Nobody can change him. Now any of my students, you ask them to change his position from Krsna consciousness to something else. I don't think they will agree. They are not fools; they are all qualified, educated. They are firmly convinced about Krsna consciousness. And all of them will explain how they are convinced. If you ask them, any one of them will explain. They have not blindly accepted. So this is the process, that if you accept the pure path as accepted by the authorities, then it will be effective. Svayam eva... That is the Vedic principle. Svayam eva sphuraty adhah. Spiritual realization is revealed. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Buddhi-yogam dadami tam yena mam upayanti te. So if we adopt the right principle, then other things will automatically come and help us. And the process is very simple if we accept it. Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah. Find this verse.
"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."
Prabhupada: A simple formula. Anyone can think of Krsna always. Anyone can offer obeisances. Bhava mad-bhaktah. Anyone can serve Krsna. Krsna is open to everyone. So four principle: man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru. Even a child can do that. And by doing these four things he becomes perfect. And the other verse,
mam hi partha vyapasritya
ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah
striyo vaisyas tatha sudras
te 'pi yanti param gatim
It is open for everyone. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah. Even born in low-grade family, it doesn't matter. If he accepts these four principles, te 'pi yanti param gatih, they also become transferred to the supreme goal. And Krsna is not meant for any particular type of men or nation or country. No. Krsna says... Find out this verse, sarva-yonisu kaunteya sambhavanti murtayah...
murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father."
Prabhupada: So He is the father of all species of life, origin. Actually every one of us, we are part and parcel of Krsna. So Krsna is not for a particular person. For everyone. Yes?
Ananda-marga woman: When you asked what is the true form of God, I've seen the true form of God in myself. It's the purest life, it's the life I cannot reach through my mind. And nobody has experienced in material world. I have listened to it. It is a beautiful sound, the celestial music. And you cannot reach it through material world. I've tasted it as the purest water, and it's always inside me. And you can get it in the spring water even. And it is something I cannot reach through my mind because it is beyond my mind. I can reach by surrendering myself, by being a devotee. And I have experienced the true form of God.
Prabhupada: No, what is that form?
Ananda-marga woman: It's the purest light. It's the magnificent light. I have listened to it. It's the music. And I have tasted it.
Prabhupada: No, if you have realized God, you must know what is His form. You must explain.
Ananda-marga woman: The energy of light does take the form of everything which exists. It is the creator of worlds.
Prabhupada: But He has a form.
Ananda-marga woman: He has all the forms. And the purest form, the most beautiful form, has shown itself to me inside of me. It's the light and it's the music and it's the water. I cannot name it Krsna because I do not believe in names.
Prabhupada: Do you know what is the meaning of Krsna?
Ananda-marga woman: I believe Krsna was one form of God. You said something about extension of Krsna. It's the same.
Prabhupada: Krsna means "the all-attractive." As you say that God is so beautiful, so that is, in other words, all-attractive. So if you have realized God, then you have become perfect.
Ananda-marga woman: No.
Ananda-marga woman: Whenever I realize God I receive it through my mind and not perfect. But if I meditate and surrender, then there is no distance between me and God. I reach God and I become one with God. And that's the only time I can call everything true meditation. And that's the only time I experience this life in me. And I cannot talk about it as "me and God" because it was the same as God, because I became one with God. And there was no distance really.
Prabhupada: Then you are God?
Ananda-marga woman: I am not God. I am just... I truly experience this God through me all the time.
Prabhupada: You say that you and God, one, and again you say that you are not...
Ananda-marga woman: If I meditate, then I become surrendered to God. And I'm trying to do that by trying to take this distance away.
Prabhupada: That means when you surrender to God, then you become God, that you are surrendered God, and He is the person to be surrendered. There are two Gods, why not? You say, "I surrender to God."
Ananda-marga woman: I said when I surrender to God...
Prabhupada: Yes, that means God is different from you; otherwise how you can surrender to Him?
Ananda-marga woman: Right. When I am out, off in the world, when my mind is working, then I'm separate from God. I have made myself separate from God by the senses, by my mind, thinking. But then, when I...
Prabhupada: Then you have to accept that you are one and different from God simultaneously. That is the conclusion, that you say sometimes that you are one, and at the same time you say different, therefore the philosophy comes to this point, that you are simultaneously one and different from God.
Ananda-marga woman: The whole thing is that the God is inside of me...
Ananda-marga woman: ...and for me to realize it, to become one with it, to realize it, not to be away from it, I have it...
Prabhupada: Then who will realize? You are different to realize. You say the God is within you. Therefore God is different from you, but He is within you. You require to realize. Therefore you are different from God. Otherwise there is no question of realization.
Ananda-marga woman: You see. What I have experienced, I believe it's my home. I believe it's where I have come from, because it is beyond whatever I have experienced in this worldly life. And so I see that I have a different shape. I have a body and I have a mind which distract me from my true nature, which is God, which is godly and which is beautiful, which is light. But when I surrender myself I become one with it again, I go back home. It is like taking a trip, you know. And you always want to go back home, but you take a trip because there is this wanting to go back home, and it's very beautiful. And this body is like a trip, you know. Taking a body of human being is like a trip. You're going to go back home, and you realize it, and you try to go back home.
Prabhupada: That I can understand, that sometimes you realize that you are one, and sometimes you realize that you are different. That means simultaneously you are one and different from God. This is the conclusion. Acintya-bhedabheda. This is the philosophy, acintya, inconceivable, one and different, one because we are one in quality, and different in quantity. That is our position. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananm. The Vedic information is like that, that He is the Supreme Being amongst all beings. He is also being, we are also being, but He is the Supreme Being. So as being, we are one, but as Supreme and subordinate, we are different. This is the conclusion. As being, living being, we are one. That is not very difficult. Just like in your country the king, the Shah, he is also a being and you are also a being. But he is the supreme being in this country. Although as human being you are equal, but so far his power, his position is concerned, he is different. Similarly, as being, we are one with God, but so far the power and position is concerned, He is too big, the great. We are subordinate. This is our position. That is the right conclusion.
Dr. Movebhed: Is that really the right conclusion?
Prabhupada: Yes, this is the right conclusion, that God is also Supreme Being and we are also being, so as being, we are one, but as Supreme, He is different. That is the right conclusion. You are not Supreme Being. You are being controlled by the Supreme Being. You cannot say that you are independent. Therefore you are not Supreme. You are dependent on Him. Eko hi yasya vidadhati kaman, bahunam vidadhati kaman. He maintains. Just like this coconut. God has given us this coconut fruit to enjoy or to live upon it. But I cannot create this coconut. It is not possible. Therefore, for my maintenance He has sent this coconut. So He is maintainer; I am maintained, although He is being; I am also being. He is maintainer being; I am maintained being. This is the right conclusion. No scientist... He can talk so many things about this coconut, but unfortunately he cannot manufacture this coconut. That is not possible. He can manufacture something subordinate-chairs, table—but not this coconut. Not possible.
Guest: They... some scientists they manufactures this coconut.
Prabhupada: Where is that foolish scientist?
Guest: No, let us see. Someday some scientist manufactures this.
Prabhupada: "Someday"? Where? Where? Where?
Guest: No, I am assuming.
Guest: One day he manufactures that. Then what? All this theory is gone?
Prabhupada: No, we say he cannot.
Guest: No, that is now, today. But you also said we can't...
Prabhupada: That you can say, today or tomorrow, but we know in the history nobody has manufactured in the past, and nobody is manufacturing in the present. How can I believe in the future?
Guest: I think many things that were not done in the past are being done today.
Prabhupada: No. In the past there was winter season. In the present there is winter season. Therefore I can say next January will be winter season. That is nice. But if it is not happened in the past or present, how you can say? That proposition is not accepted. In the past there was birth, death, old age, and disease, in the present there is birth, death, old age, and disease, and in the future there will be birth, death, and old age and disease. This conclusion is all right. In the past there was birth, death, old age, and disease. At the present there is birth, death, and old age, disease. How you can say in the future there will be no birth, no death, no old age...? That proposal is not very sound. You can say whimsically; that is another thing. But factually it is not possible.
Indian man: Guruji, according to the bhakti-yoga, a person starting at least in the elementary way of bhakti-yoga...
Indian man: In the elementary way, if he starts...
Prabhupada: What is that elementary way?
Indian man: Half-heartedly.
Prabhupada: No, no what is that process elementary?
Indian man: In the dvaita way. In the dvaita way, not in the advaita way, assuming that He is different and I am different. That is the elementary way of starting worship.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is always. Why elementary?
Indian man: He is considering in that way.
Indian man: In the beginning it's relatively easy to be...
Indian man: No, what we have understood from the chapters only...
Prabhupada: So what is that? What you have understood?
Indian man: Just surrender yourself first...
Indian man: And then depend upon one God or one Deity in whom you have a sort of immense belief or confidence.
Prabhupada: No, you cannot create God. God is one, already there.
Indian man: No, no, but then I can create in the form of Rama as one.
Prabhupada: That is not creation.
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Indian man: That way.
Prabhupada: That's all.
Guest: Ah, that way. So that way is two devatas, you see.
Prabhupada: Hm, yes.
Indian man: So supposing I start simply chanting Ramesvara...
Prabhupada: Yes, that we are chanting.
Indian man: Any God's name, any divine name...
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Indian man: You see? And then why is it we are again getting breaks now and then and we trace back our steps?
Prabhupada: No, you can... If you are following rigidly, there will be no break.
Indian man: No, but rigidity is again a relative term. Rigidity again... What is rigid?
Prabhupada: No, no, you said that you begin chanting Rama.
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupada: So follow it.
Indian man: Yes, but then there are breaks.
Prabhupada: Why break? If you are serious...
Indian man: I don't get...
Prabhupada: No, no, if you are serious, there will be no break.
Indian man: Ah. Then serious is also...
Prabhupada: Then you are not serious.
Indian man: No, no, no, it is not the question of... No. Excuse me, Guruji, that I am not able to explain to you properly. The point is...
Prabhupada: Then hear me, that if you chant Rama, then gradually you will get attachment for Rama. Then how you can give it up?
Indian man: Ah, that is what I am lacking.
Prabhupada: That means you haven't got the attachment. Your procedure has been failure.
Indian man: Ah, but sir, what is lacking?
Prabhupada: Lacking, there are so many things. But one who is actually chanting Rama, the result will be that he will get attachment. That is the process. Adau sraddha tato sadhu-sangah atha bhajana-kriya, tato anartha-nivrttih syat tato nistha tato rucih tatha asaktih tato bhavah. This will increase. Just like if you have gone to school—you have learned, began to learning—then your learning will increase. And one day you will come to the stage of passing M.A. examination. And if it fails, that mean you did not go to school very seriously. Otherwise the general process is you make progress and come to the standard of passing M.A. examination. Then if you have gone to school and you have not followed the rules and regulations, you have not attended the teacher, the lessons, then you failure. That I am saying, that that is not very seriously taken that "I am going to school. I must learn it." If one is serious, then... That is recommended,
utsahat dhairyat niscayat
sato vrtteh sadhu-sange
sadbhih bhaktih prasidhyati
These are the process. First of all the first process is utsahah, enthusiasm: "I must advance in spiritual life." That is required. And if you are failing enthusiasm, then in the beginning it is failure.
Indian man: No, but then our attention is towards that thing.
Prabhupada: No, there no attention. You have failed. That is the proof that you had no attention.
Indian man: Yes, but then God should help us to keep us...
Prabhupada: God is always helping, but if you do not accept it... God says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You give up all other engagement and take My shelter," but you are not doing that. That is your fault. So it cannot be failure unless you are negligent. You have no utsahah. This is the process. Utsahah dhairyah niscayah tat-tat-karma-pravartanah, sato vrtteh. How these boys are advancing? They have got enthusiasm: "Yes, we must make progress in Krsna consciousness." They have given up everything. They are young men. They have got... Every young man has to satisfy senses in so many ways. But no. They are so enthusiastic, but... For understanding Krsna consciousness they have given up everything. They are Europeans, Americans. They have got so many allurement. But I have told them that "You must give up illicit sex," they have given up; "You must give up meat-eating," they have given up; "You must give up intoxication up to drinking tea and cigarette," and they have given up, these young men. So they are utsahah. There is enthusiasm: "Yes, we must do it." That is wanted, not theoretically on the armchair of devotional service. That will not be successful. Armchair theory will not help you. You must be practical and there must be enthusiasm. Then it will be successful. You are sitting in the same position and you are thinking that you are making progress. That will fail. You have to come out with enthusiasm. Then it will be successful. That is required. Ciram vicinvan. There is a verse,
athapi te deva padambuja-
dvaya-prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam na canya
eko 'pi ciram vicinvan
If you simply speculate, it will never help you. You have to receive the favor of the Supreme Lord by your enthusiasm. Then it will be successful. Simply theorizing, speculation will not... Therefore it is said ciram vicinvan. You can go on speculating for millions and millions of years. It will never be successful. Ciram. Ciram means perpetual. That will not help. This is the process, adau sraddha. By sraddha, "Oh, here is God consciousness, very nice. Let us come and see what they are doing." This is called sraddha, faith, little faith. Then in order to increase that faith you have to associate with the persons who are executing devotional service. That is called sadhu-sanga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]. The devotees are called sadhu. Therefore we are opening centers, why? To give chance people to make association with the devotees. Sadhu-sanga. And then sadhu-sanga, after sadhu-sanga one who has properly made sadhu-sanga, the next stage is bhajana-kriya: how they are executing devotional service. Then anartha-nivrttih syat. Then this anartha. Anartha means unwanted things. Just like illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, these are unwanted things. It is not necessary. People have learned them by bad association. When one has got his wife, why he should indulge in illicit sex? This is sinful. When we have got so many things to eat, why shall I go to kill an animal, eat it? So these are anartha. Anartha means "without any meaning." So these things become vanquished. If one is actually engaged in devotional service, the first symptom will be that he is not interested in things which are unwanted, artificial. These are the stages. Then nistha. Nistha means firm conviction. Then rucih, taste. Then asaktih, attachment. Then bhava, and then prema. So as a student is serious, he gets promotion to next higher class, higher class, higher class, higher class, gradually to the M.A. class. That is natural. But if in the beginning he is not serious, no enthusiasm, then what is the reason that he will be promoted to the higher section? That is not possible.
Indian man: No, enthusiasm is there, but there are breaks.
Prabhupada: Breaks means he is not serious.
Indian man: No, but there may be so many other things over which he has no control.
Prabhupada: Other things, that is anartha. If you are really enthusiastic, these anarthas will be vanquished automatically. Param drstva nivartate [Bg. 9.59]. They are all Europeans, Americans, they are from the childhood accustomed to meat-eating. How they have given up? Param drstva nivartate: they have got better things to eat, therefore they have given up meat-eating. So the rules and regulation are there; if we follow them strictly, then everything one after another will come, the stages.
Indian man: Then it is not necessary that one should join the Krsna conscious movement for that type of helping.
Indian man: That's all.
Prabhupada: That is... Krsna consciousness movement should be associated; otherwise how you can understand Krsna?
Indian man: But this is not the only association where one can go in for...
Prabhupada: This is the only association for understanding Krsna throughout the whole world.
Indian man: But can you prove that?
Prabhupada: Yes. Find out another association like this.
Indian man: No, but then...
Prabhupada: No, you find out another association like this.
Indian man: No, association may not be as pompous as this association is.
Prabhupada: Therefore there is no second.
Indian man: No, no, no.
Prabhupada: You said that association may be as pompous. That means there is no another association.
Indian man: No, pompous is different from the real purpose.
Prabhupada: Then I do not know what is your real purpose. You say, "There may not be. There may be." Again you say...
Indian man: No, Guruji, you yourself have quoted the acaryas.
Prabhupada: So one who is following the acaryas...
Indian man: Were they not Krsna conscious?
Prabhupada: Yes, they say. Therefore I am giving their proof.
Indian man: So that means those mathas also are Krsna conscious.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Indian man: We can join them also.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. That is Krsna conscious.
Indian man: Oh, I thought Krsna conscious only for this...
Prabhupada: No, no, no. Any association which is Krsna conscious, you can join.
Indian man: Thank you for the enlightenment. But I have got one other doubt. You had told that some great scholars like Mahatma Gandhi had confused and they did not believe in the Krsna living, He ever lived, and Dr. Radhakrishnan and another also were not clear in enunciating the theory of Krsna. I would like to know whether Krsna living or not living, is it very important? And will the movement depends upon one Krsna living, positive...
Prabhupada: No, no. No, no. Krsna is never not living—He is living. Otherwise how He can be Krsna? But if you do not know whether He is living or not living, that is your lack of knowledge.
Indian man: Do you believe Krsna...
Prabhupada: No, first of all settle up this one question, that Krsna is always living, and if you do not know whether Krsna is living or not living, then your knowledge is imperfect. Therefore your knowledge will not be accepted, because you are imperfect. That is the point.
Indian man: When we speak of Bhagavad-gita, do we mean...
Prabhupada: You cannot say, "Krsna is living or not. That doesn't matter." No, it matters.
Indian man: It matters.
Prabhupada: Yes. Because Krsna is living but you do not know; therefore your knowledge is imperfect.
Indian man: OK. Taking for granted that is the basis, does this movement believe in Krsna Bhagavata or Krsna who preached Bhagavad-gita, only this much or that much. Krsna Bhagavata...
Prabhupada: You cannot say that Krsna Bhagavata, Krsna as described in the Bhagavata, should be rejected, and Krsna in Bhagavad-gita should be accepted. You cannot say that.
Indian man: No, just I wanted to separate Them together because...
Indian man: Some people take Krsna of Bhagavad-gita. So far as Bhagavad-gita was preached by a philosopher like Krsna, all other things are not so pertinent. But when people associate Krsna with Bhagavata, Krsna of Mahabharata and Krsna of Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavad-gita being a apart from Bharata, if they all take together there's a lot of confusion.
Indian man: Thank you. I know a little about that, but still, if you we take Krsna of Bhagavata, and if you want to say, explain all the things that had happened pertaining to Krsna, it would be very difficult to explain the same thing with Krsna of Bhagavad-gita. That Krsna of Bhagavad-gita will be separate to everybody.(?)
Prabhupada: No, therefore... No, therefore... Therefore we say that first of all you understand Krsna of Bhagavad-gita. That is the ABCD of Krsna. Then you go to Bhagavatam.
Dr. Movebhed: I feel... If I am not wrong, I feel that what others have done, that Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Radhakrishnan, etc., etc., they have taught that Krsna of Bhagavad-gita is very much important for us. Whether He was living or whether He did not live, or anything which was in the name of Krsna, that is quite (sic:) impertinent. We want to have the philosophy of Krsna as enunciated in Bhagavad-gita, is just enough to tell others who are in need of...
Prabhupada: That's all right. But if you do not believe in that person, how do you understand his philosophy?
Dr. Movebhed: That's where... I think I may be wrong. Please correct me if I go wrong. That's where people have taken little, two to three steps, as my friend has told, first advaita. She wanted to have two...
Prabhupada: No, no, why advaita, dvaita? First of all you take the preliminary things, that you are accepting the philosophy of Krsna, Bhagavad-gita, but you have no knowledge of the person who has spoken Bhagavad-gita. Then where is your understanding? You do not understand the person who has spoken the Bhagavad-gita. Then what is the meaning of your understanding Bhagavad-gita?
Indian man: No, we have to try...
Prabhupada: No, no. Try, try, another thing.
Indian man: We have to understand it.
Prabhupada: No, you have to understand it... First of all you have to understand Krsna, the person who is speaking.
Indian man: Oh, you mean Krsna the person you must understand, then Krsna of Bhagavad-gita you must understand.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is the way. You read any book; you learn first of all about the author, his life, his everything.
Indian man: Sometimes we need not...
Prabhupada: No, it is needed. It is needed. No, that is the way.
Indian man: We need not approach the guru. What he speaks that is enough sometimes.
Prabhupada: No, that is the way. You read any book. You try to understand, to know something about the author. That is natural.
Indian man: When He rips up (unclear) partha, that's enough, just we will start out. Then when He say, mam ekam saranam vraja, again we will go to Him. But we need not go through...
Prabhupada: No, no. That is needed. That is needed. That is needed. If you do not understand what is Krsna, when Krsna says, mam ekam saranam vraja, how you will accept it?
Indian man: I will accept, but not as Krsna of Bhagavata. I may not know anything about Him as of...
Prabhupada: No, no, this is not very good theory. You do not know anything about Him, and you surrender to Him. What is this?
Indian man: We may have our own idea.
Prabhupada: No, we don't accept that. If we surrender, we must know Him first of all, what He is. Then we surrender. We are not blind. Suppose you tell me that "You surrender unto me." Shall I do that? Why shall I do it?
Indian man: But...
Prabhupada: No "but." First of all answer this. If I do not know anything about you and you demand from me, "You surrender," shall I do it?
Indian man: I will be knowing what He has preached, if I... That preaching itself is enough and we need not look anything about Him. We can surrender.
Prabhupada: That He preaches...
Indian man: That preaching is enough.
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Indian man: We need not know what He is.
Prabhupada: That's all right. You accept His preaching?
Indian man: If it is accepted, then we can surrender. I was questioning only this point, whether the Krsna of Bhagavata is necessary to accept...
Prabhupada: No, no, set aside Bhagavatam. I have told you that first of all you try to understand Krsna from the Bhagavad-gita.
Indian man: If that is enough, it's enough.
Prabhupada: Enough. But if you say that you don't believe in the Krsna, whether He was living or not, then you have not understood Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: No. He says... He says that mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: [Bg. 7.7] "There is no superior authority than Me." Then if you do not understand what is that Krsna, then how you accept Him as superior authority?
Guest: I think we have to define the concept of God first, and then only...
Prabhupada: No, no, concept of God is there in the Bhagavad-gita.
Guest: What is that concept first, please?
Prabhupada: That He says, mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. God means the Supreme. So He says, "There is no more superior supreme than Me." Then He is God. And if you accept the teachings of Bhagavad-gita, then you have to accept He is God. Otherwise what you have understood, Bhagavad-gita? You have manufactured your own way. He says... If you study Bhagavad-gita, He says, mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. So God means the Supreme. So He says, "I am the Supreme. There is no more superior supreme." Then you have to accept Him God.
Indian man: OK.
Indian man: We have accepted, but Krsna need not be one form as somebody else has written...
Prabhupada: That... Just like... That form is God also.
Indian man: That is also an imagination of Krsna.
Prabhupada: No, no. That form is also God. Accepting your theory that there are many forms of God, so that form is also God.
Indian man: That form, OK, I agree...
Prabhupada: So we accept Him, God, either way.
Indian man: But need not be a definite form. He need not have a definite form.
Prabhupada: No, no, no. There may be different form. But that form is God. Then you have to accept Him God.
Indian man: Yes, OK. And when I say one form, it may be formless also, and I may...
Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, that form is God. You have to accept.
Indian man: OK, I will accept.
Prabhupada: Then if you accept God, the whole thing is finished.
Indian man: We accept God, but just I was telling...
Indian man: No, same thing as that lady was telling, she sees that God is a light.
Prabhupada: Whatever it may be... That we accept. God is light, God... There are many forms, but that form is God.
Indian man: Therefore, definition is "a supreme."
Prabhupada: Yes, that form is supreme. That you have to accept. That you accept. Then there is no quarrel with you. Krsna may have many forms, God may have many forms, but that form is God. That you have to accept. That is understanding of Bhagavad-gita.
Dr. Movebhed: Well, I think, sir, when they say that comment, Radhakrishnan, when they say that, it's not important to know whether...
Prabhupada: But Radhakrishnan says, "It is not to Krsna." When Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], Radhakrishnan says, "It is not to Krsna." Then if he accepts Krsna as God, why does he say, "It is not to Krsna"?
Indian man: This is God. Some may accept Him as Krsna, some may accept Him as some other thing.
Prabhupada: That is accepted. But that form is God.
Indian man: God, he accepts it as God.
Prabhupada: That he does not accept.
Indian man: God, he will say.
Prabhupada: No, no. He doesn't accept that. That is the difficulty.
Prabhupada: And if he has accepted Krsna as God, why does he say "not to Krsna"?
Guest: No, he may not call that Krsna. He will call it "to the Supreme," what you said now.
Prabhupada: Why not Supreme? Then he has not accepted Bhagavad-gita.
Indian man: Guruji, Guruji, even acaryas, Sankaracarya, when he wrote commentaries on Prasthana(?) prayer...
Prabhupada: No. Sank...
Indian man: ...he would think towards his own philosophy.
Prabhupada: No, no. No, no, no. He...
Indian man: Sankaracarya, when he writes on this Bhagavad-gita, he gives...
Prabhupada: Sankaracarya says sa bhagavan svayam krsnah. You refer to the commentary of Bhagavad-gita of Sankaracarya. So in the beginning he says, sa bhagavan svayam krsnah. Narayanah parah avyaktat avyaktad anya-sambhavah. So he has explained. Sa bhagavan svayam krsnah. And what to speak of other acaryas, Ramanujacarya... They accept, all, Krsna. Madhvacarya... They worship Krsna. So Krsna may have many forms, that is accepted. But that form, Krsna, He is God. That you have to accept. You cannot deny that.
Guest: He was asking something. Your question was?
Guest (2): I thought when some people say that it wasn't very important to know whether Krsna was living or not, they talk to Krsna as a historical fact, as an individual, as a person who lived within the framework of time and space. Krsna as an individual, as a historical person, might not even important, as they said Asoka(?) or Christ or...
Prabhupada: (Aside to devotee:) You come here. I do not follow the accent, you hear and tell.
Guest: What would be important was Krsna teachings. One must, could not be confined to any one period of time. He is incarnation of God and somebody who was talking for the truth and in the name of the truth, and... [break]
Prabhupada: ...fact is that if you have got different views about Krsna, then you cannot prove that from the Bhagavad-gita. That you cannot prove. If you take Bhagavad-gita, then you must present it as it is. Don't distort it. You may have got some idea, but you explain that idea in your different book. But don't place it as the explanation of Bhagavad-gita. That is not very good. If you have got different theory, you can write in a different book. But we cannot permit or do not like that as the commentary of Bhagavad-gita you will place something different. That is not very honest. You put your own theory. Why should you try to put your theory through Bhagavad-gita? That we protest. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is. And in the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly said that "There is no superior authority than Me." Therefore He is the God. Mam eva ya prapadyante mayam etam taranti te. Aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]: "I am the origin of everything." And if you have got different idea, that somebody else is the origin, that you can explain differently. But you cannot keep it as explanation of Bhagavad-gita. Then it is distortion, because in the Bhagavad-gita it is said,
He becomes final,
Iti matva: "One who knows this perfectly well that Krsna is the origin of everything, he becomes a devotee." Iti matva bhajante mam budha. Budha mean very learned. Bhava-samanvitah: "Oh, here is the supreme cause, or Krsna." The philosophy means to search out the supreme cause. That is philosophy. Find out the ultimate cause. That is darsana. In Sanskrit it is called darsana, find out what is the supreme cause. So here it is explained, aham sarvasya prabhavah [Bg. 10.8], sarvasya, including whatever you know. Sarvasya means including everything. "So whatever you know, the cause of everything, that cause is also I am." And that is confirmed in the Vedic literature, sarva-karana-karanam [Bs. 5.1].
And the Vedanta-sutra, the Absolute Truth, janmady asya yatah: [SB 1.1.1] "the origin of everything." Now, here it is. Krsna says, "I am the origin of everything." You are making search, but here is the origin here. Now you study Krsna, whether actually He is the origin of everything. At least we know that this universe, the origin is Lord Brahma. But we know that the Brahma is also emanation from Krsna. Brahma's knowledge also comes from Krsna. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Tene brahma hrda adi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah, om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. And Krsna says. Arjuna accepts, sarvam idam rtam manye: "Yes, I accept." So that should be the process of understanding Krsna. If you manufacture your own way, that is different thing. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. All the acaryas... Take all the acaryas. At least in our country we are guided by the acaryas. Take any acarya. They have accepted. Brahma has accepted. So in this way you have to understand. We cannot manufacture our own way.
Guest: There is some our acaryas. How about Christ or Muhammad and Zarathustra, all these people?
Prabhupada: They accept God, that's all. But God is here explained. They cannot give an explicit idea of God. But here is God speaking personally. They have got "There is God," "God is great." That's nice. But who is that God, how He is great, that they have to learn further. Simply a vague idea, that "God is great..." One should know how He is great and who is that great. That is perfection. So that is explained here. They accept God. That is... They are also our brother because they accept God. They are not atheist. Atheists, they don't accept God. "There is no God"—that is atheist. But here they are theist. They accept God. They want to please God. They go to the church, go to the mosque, offer prayer. Prayer is also bhakti, devotional service. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam pada-sevanam, arcanam vandanam dasyam... [SB 7.5.23]. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam..., arcanam vandanam. Vandanam. The Christian way or the Muslim way, to offer... The Muslim offer obeisances and offer prayer. So that is also bhakti. The Christian also do that, so that is also bhakti. And they accept God; we accept God. So there is no difference. But the only point is who is that God.
Guest: They accept as supreme power.
Prabhupada: No, supreme power must be that... Behind the power there must be powerful.
Guest: They say powerful but what about...
Prabhupada: Yes, then we have to know this powerful, not only the power. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram [Bg. 9.10]. In another place, srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva yasya bhuvanani bibharti durga [Bs. 5.44]. Durga is power. Power is in... What kind of power? Srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka. She can create, she can maintain and she can destroy, so powerful. But this power, srsti-sthiti-pralaya-sadhana-saktir eka chayeva [Bs. 5.44], is working just like shadow. Just like here is shadow. I am moving this hand; the shadow is moving. Shadow is not independently moving. Therefore this gigantic power, material energy, is working under the direction of Krsna. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, mayadhyaksena: [Bg. 9.10] "under My superintendence." So we are allured with the power, but who is manipulating this power we do not know. That is God.
Guest: Well, sir, this is a point which I really fail to understand because...
Prabhupada: But that is everyone's dilemma, that "What is this power?" The scientists, the (sic:) physists, they are seeing the power. The power is working and energy is working. But how it is working, that is further enquiry.
Guest: I have three points. First of all I have nothing... I have seen nothing in Bhagavad-gita, although it is a work of the most beautiful of all these books which are attributed to God and are supposed to be speaked in the name of God. It is one of the beautiful book among these (Parsi?). But sincerely there is nothing in Bhagavad-gita about God which you cannot find similar passage, a passage similar to it in Koran or in other teachings. That's my first point. The second point is that if we believe to God and we believe that the God has spoken only through Bhagavad-gita to, thus, a people who live in a given country, then we are going to have a very narrow-minded God who doesn't love all human beings...
Prabhupada: No. No there. Here, here I impress...
Guest: He has bestowed all His love to a given people. And my third point is that if we believe God as a life force or who must be discovered by a human being and the human being who has to proceed toward this truth, then also we have no reason to confine this into one people.
Indian man: Swamiji, I may take your leave.
Prabhupada: (Hindi) Why you are going soon?
Indian man: I have to go still far off.
Guest: So I think what we have in Islam is... They say that the road, the way towards God, the ways are many, as many as the human beings, that is said. So in the number of human beings you have ways towards God. So everybody, each person, has his own way towards God. And it's really hard for me, difficult for me to believe that there's only one way and there is only one book and one school, one way of teaching.
Guest: And when Muhammad said that God is great, he simply said God is great, and he adds nothing to it for somebody who is well acquainted with Islam culture and he who knows well about Koran's teachings, it cannot be understood and accepted. It is the same with somebody who is well acquainted with Christianity and the truth spoken through Christianity. It is the same with the Buddhism or other ways which are designed, which are...
Prabhupada: So your point is that God is understood in different ways. That is not point?
Atreya Rsi: That's one of his points.
Prabhupada: And what is the other point?
Atreya Rsi: That all the scriptures speak of the same truth. Scriptures coming from God speak of the same truth that is in Bhagavad-gita. And all the scriptures give a real path to God, and that there..., as many as individuals as there are, there are ways of getting to God, and that God could not be fair if He just gave one book at one time to one group of people. Being just, He has given the scripture... He should have...
Prabhupada: No, just like dictionary. The small pocket dictionary is also dictionary, and the international dictionary, (sic?) Webs, that is also dictionary. So both of them are dictionary, but they are not equal. One dictionary is meant for children and one dictionary is meant for the higher scholars. So although are dictionaries, they are two kinds of dictionaries.
Guest: Do you know, sir, that it is exactly the same way of thinking which we have in our people who believe to Muhammad? They think that the teaching of Muhammad is the most superior one. And others... Of course, Muslims do believe to others' religions, to Moses, to Christ, and so on. They have the same way of thinking. They think that they are elementary stages...
Prabhupada: The point is... Yes.
Guest: ...and Muhammad's teaching is supposed to be the superior one. So everybody thinks that his way or his way of thinking, his theory, his religion is the most superior one.
Prabhupada: That's all right. That is all right. If you accept progress... Just like you are seeing the sun, I am also seeing the sun, the boy is also seeing the sun, but the understanding of the sun may be different. Everyone is seeing the sun. The objective is the same. But a child's understanding of sun and an elderly man's understanding of sun, a scientist's understanding of sun, or one man who has actually gone to the sun planet, there are different categories. Do you accept or not? The sun is there. God is accepted in every scripture. That is a fact. But in the same way, how far He is understood, that is different. That is different. The same example, that everyone is seeing sun: "Here is sun," there is no doubt. But a child's understanding of sun, his father's understanding of sun, or a scientist's understanding of sun, or a person who has gone to the sun planet, his understanding of sun is different. The objective is the same. And everyone is right. Either you understand fully sun or not, as soon as you come before the sun you get the light. The child is getting the light, the scientist is getting the light, and the ordinary person getting the light. Everyone is getting light, heat and light. But their understanding different, of degrees. [break] ...sun-god or sun, no, we don't say that.
Guest: From what you have said in the answer to this gentleman, I thought you meant, sir, when the only perfect...
Guest: ...teaching about God is provided through the sun.
Prabhupada: No, just like if you want to understand sun, say... what is called? Geography? Then you have to learn from the person who knows geography. You cannot learn from a person who has superficially studied. Then you have to go to the person who knows scientifically, astronomically, that sun is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this planet. You have to go to the astronomer. How far the sun is situated from us? So you have to go to the particular person who knows it. You cannot say that his knowledge and the child's knowledge, who is seeing the sun as a disc is the same. That you cannot say. If you want to know further enlightenment of the sun then you have to go to the person who is studying sun scientifically. So one who has studied the sun scientifically, his knowledge and a casual person seeing the sun, his knowledge is not the same. That you cannot say. Although everyone is seeing the sun, that's all right, but the knowledge of the sun, there are different.
Devotee: That seems to answer all of your three points at once.
Atreya Rsi: One thing here is that we are not talking about religion or designation.
Guest: In that case I think we have no (indistinct).
Atreya Rsi: Yes, it's not a religion.
Prabhupada: No, if you want to study something, and suppose you are sometimes from India, the same subject he's going to study in foreign country, farther enlightenment, it is also not necessary that to study a subject matter more and more, we have to remain in the same jurisdiction. If I am actually anxious to know more and more, it doesn't matter whether I get the knowledge from Mohammedan or Hindu or Christian, it doesn't matter. Knowledge is knowledge. When a student goes from one country to another to get farther enlightenment on a subject matter, he does not think that "I'll have to learn it from here, from my university." For knowledge, progress of knowledge, you can go to any university. Because knowledge must be scientific. It is not restricted within the jurisdiction of a particular university. So, sun we are seeing, everyone, the sun, getting heat and light but if anyone is interested (to) know how the heat is coming, how the light is coming, what is the situation of the sun globe, whether there are living entities or not. They're also subject matter. So if you can get enlightenment of the sun, we should not restrict ourselves that we have to study with this jurisdiction of my university, or my country, or my society. If the knowledge is there, we should be prepared to go forward. Mm.
Lady: If we believe in God as the Supreme Being... I have a question. Why do we wish to God, to Krsna movement in chanting worldly name because the name of God is something which is eternal. If Krs...
Prabhupada: Hold on, then, what is the name of God?
Lady: Right, in Christianity there is write: "In the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God."
Prabhupada: That's all right. But what is the name of God?
Lady: In Islamic religion, they say...
Prabhupada: No, what is the name of God? Islam is the system of religion, but what is the name of God?
Lady: The name of God is something which is always with God, constantly with God...
Prabhupada: That means you do not know that. You do not know that.
Lady: I do know that...
Prabhupada: Then why don't you say?
Lady: ...experience the name of God...
Guest: It's very similar to what we have got in Bhagavad-gita. He says, "You call it Allah..."
Prabhupada: That's all right.
Guest: "...or you call it atman, whatever name you call it, He has all nicest names." So all nicest name are His.
Guest: That's what we have got in...
Prabhupada: Well, I accept, I accept that all the, that's all right, all the nicest name. So Krsna means all-attractive. Is it not very nice? Just reply whether this Krsna name is nice or not?
Guest: Yes, of course. Nobody is against Krsna.
Prabhupada: Then chant it. Then chant it.
Guest: Everybody loves Krsna and...
Prabhupada: No, no, if you accept Krsna name is nice, then chant it.
Guest: I don't think that point is...
Prabhupada: No, you say God has got the nicest name.
Prabhupada: I say...
Guest: But the name is just an indication, the name is something we call it, it is for us to have a word.
Prabhupada: But that I ask you, that what is that name? As I have... We have got the nicest name, Krsna. Now you suggest that this is the nicest name in Mohammedan, Krsna. You say me that.
Atreya Rsi: Allah.
Prabhupada: You say, "What is that name?"
Guest: First of all, this man is talking (indistinct) any difference to call it Allah.
Prabhupada: No, no, I don't make any difference but I want to know, I want to know what is that nicest name. I don't make any difference.
Guest: Well, it's called (indistinct) they call it Allah.
Prabhupada: That's all right. Then our request is that you chant the name of God. So if Allah is the name of God, you chant Allah, don't chant Krsna. We say that.
Lady: The name of God is not something could be spoken to (indistinct), it is unspoken.
Prabhupada: No, we don't accept that. Name means it can be spoken. (guests all speak at once) Not commentary, name means that... When I call you by your name, it is spoken. It is spoken. I know your name... If I say I cannot speak it. (laughter) This is...
Guest: ...is for me to designate me because it is...
Prabhupada: No, you have said that God's name is Allah, that is accepted. Very good. And we request you...
Guest: ...means of communication.
Guest: Just, not that, no, a word Allah is not to God, it is a means of communication.
Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, you have accepted the name of God as Allah, is it not?
Atreya Rsi: But he's saying that their name is material, it's different...
Prabhupada: No, no, then you have no idea of God. God is not material. God is not material.
Guest: Well, you have said though have a lion, lion who lives in the forest and you write lion.
Prabhupada: That is material, that is material.
Guest: What you write here is not the true lion. Is, is a way of communication, you put it here in words.
Prabhupada: Lion is, lion is material, and his name is also material, but God is not material. God is spiritual. Therefore His name is spiritual.
Guest: We accept that.
Prabhupada: As spiritual... (two of the guests speak at once)
Guest: What do you think about the spirit?
Guest (2): Soul, human soul, soul is not material, but when you write it, it's a word, a material word.
Atreya Rsi: Yes, but the name of God, we accept as the same quality as God. If it is a concocted name, then it's not the same quality. But if it is the name of God, given to us by God, or by His representatives, we accept that as good as God and that is the philosophy behind chanting. Otherwise why chant?
Guest: Well, it's a very old teaching. We have got it.
Atreya Rsi: I know you have it, accept it. Accept it. There is no question, just accept it. It doesn't matter if you have got it, or I have got it.
Guest: You attribute some sort of mysterious attributes to word, to certain word.
Atreya Rsi: None. There is only...
Guest: They are created by the human being.
Atreya Rsi: It is not created by human being.
Guest: It is because it does..., it differs from one country to from one language to other language.
Atreya Rsi: God, God has many, many names like it says in Koran.
Guest: Yes, but one name in Turkish when you say Tamgri, Tari (?) in Arabic when you say Allah, in French, in English, in Sanskrit. So these are different words.
Atreya Rsi: Those are names.
Guest: These different things are created by human beings.
Atreya Rsi: We are talking about one name which is to describe the concept of God. When we are also talking about the name of God. When we are talking about the name of God... In other words, if I don't know who you are, I have to ask somebody, "What is his name?" That is your name.
Guest: But my name is my name in Turkey, in English, in Arabic, in anywhere you go.
Prabhupada: That's all right, then let the Turkish chant the name of Turkish name.
Guest: But God, the name is different.
Atreya Rsi: Yes, But if you find what his name is,...
Prabhupada: But the name must be chanted that is our program. It may be Turkish name, it may be Arabic name, it may be Sanskrit name. Whatever he knows let him chant. That is our program.
Atreya Rsi: But the concept of name of God is separate than designation, which you are talking about. Man-made designation. And this concept, if you don't accept this concept, how do you accept the concept of chanting in Islam. These are the points. Bhagavad-gita also. There are so many concepts in there, but we want to interpret them all, we don't want to accept them. We want to accept our mind. Prabhupada, what he has been saying all evening is: "Let's accept Bhagavad-gita as authority. Let's accept Koran as authority. Let's accept an authority." Because we want to go by our senses. We want to go around modern...
Guest: Yes, (indistinct) as authorities.
Atreya Rsi: But let us accept it. Let us accept it. It's not they... I accept them and they are still the victim of my interpretation. If we accept them, what is this? That let's not interpret that God's name is just a designation just like my name. It's just a word.
Guest: Name cannot be perfect(?). Name of name cannot be perfect.
Atreya Rsi: Well, then we are talking about the difference...
Guest: Something is something else.
Atreya Rsi: What is it?
Guest: You are entitled to chant the name of your beloved, that is something else. It does not mean different stages with the name...
Atreya Rsi: But who is this beloved? Who is this beloved? Who is this beloved? Who is this beloved?
Guest: In our case, God.
Atreya Rsi: So this name of God is diff... If God is transcendental, if God is spiritual then how could His name be committed to our relative conceptions. [break]
Prabhupada: ...indicates God, then it is not bad. That is our point. If we indicates to God... Just like Allah. If this name indicates to God, then it is this Allah word as good as God. There is no difference. Namnam akari bahudha nija sarva sakti. The Allah, the conception of Allah means The Great, is it not? So God is Great. So by chanting Allah, I am meaning God, the Supreme Person, so it is as good. And actually in Mosque, they chant Allah-u-akbar, like that, so far I've heard. So that prayer, if it is not God's name, then what is the use of this prayer? That is God's name. Similarly, the Hindus may chant Hare Krsna, they're indicating to the same personality. It may be different language; therefore, it is as good as God because God is absolute. But this, this name is authorize because Muhammad said that you chant, "Allah." So it is authorized, because he is God's representative. Therefore my request is, or our request is that you chant the name of Allah. We don't say that you chant Krsna. You chant the Holy name of God. If Allah is approved name of God, you chant it. That is our request. We don't force you that you chant the name of Krsna. No, we don't say that. If somebody says Jehovah is the name of God, that's all right, you chant Jehovah. Allah is the name of God, that's all right, you do it. We simply request that you chant the holy name of God. That's all. If you have got it, we don't force you that you chant the name of Krsna. That is not our way. We accept: if Allah is God's name, it is as good as the name Krsna. We are not so sophisticated that you have to chant this Krsna's name. No, we say: Harer nama. That is the sastra, harer nama. The name of the Lord. So there are many thousands of names, that's a fact. So you actually chant the name of God. Pick up of the millions of God's name, whatever you like, you pick up and chant. That is our propagation.
harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam
kalau nasty eva, nasty eva, nasty eva gathir anyatha
[Cc. Adi 17.21]
In this age of quarrel and disagreement, God realization is very difficult; therefore, you chant the Holy name of God, then you'll gradually realize Him. This is our program. So we don't force you that you chant this name Krsna. No, sastra says, harer nama, the holy name of God, chant. That is our program.
Lady: Before you ask with something else. I ask, how could you meet the Supreme being by chanting...
Prabhupada: By chanting, yes.
Lady: ...by chanting of worldly name, tuned on prayer...
Prabhupada: That is not worldly name. Why do you mistake that? God's name is not worldly.
Lady: Because if you, if you really know the tuning of God...
Prabhupada: Do you think Allah is wordly name?
Lady: We recognize that it is before Krsna...
Prabhupada: That's all right, you recognize it. Allah, Allah is not worldly name. It is given by the authority Muhammad so you have to chant it, who knows God.
Lady: But he didn't really mean Allah is the name of God.
Prabhupada: If... Why do you say he didn't mean?
Prabhupada: That is you say. Muhammad did not say that "What I say, I did not mean it."
Lady: No, the name of God. He didn't mean Allah.
Prabhupada: You say, you say. Who cares for your word? Muhammad said this is the name of God. We have to accept, that's all.
Lady: So why...
Prabhupada: You cannot say he didn't mean. You are not a private secretary of Muhammad. (laughter)
Lady: So then how do they say that the name of God rests in God.
Prabhupada: No, these things are not accepted.
Lady: Was before God.
Prabhupada: Don't talk childish.
Lady: Was God.
Prabhupada: Muhammad said. That is authority. That we accept. We accept Muhammad as the representative of God. Whatever he says, we accept, that's all. What you meant, that is his business. But he is authority, he said that "This is the name of God. You chant, you pray." Allah or God. That's all. That is authority.
Guest: Is it also good to chant the name of a person who is holy, who is one with God, not the name of God.
Prabhupada: That you have to find out, but here it is already there. Why should do trouble to find out a holy man, another holy man? The holy man says, Muhammad never said that "You chant my name." Then how one can be holy man if he says like that? We have to test whether he is holy man or not. Here is the perfect holy man. He never said that "You chant my name." He said "Chant Allah's name." That is holy man. That is test of holy man. He does not become God, he serves God. That is holy man.
Prabhupada: All right. Take, give prasadam. All right.
Devotee: We have a feast.
Prabhupada: All right.
Devotee: Thank you Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Thank you very much. (devotees pay obeisances, and some guests leave) Jaya, Hare Krsna. Jaya. [break]
Devotee: Jaya, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: We accept Muhammad's authority. That's a fact. He's authority.
Atreya Rsi: Yes, this girl is a follower of Guru Maharaji.
Devotee: (indistinct) this way.
Atreya Rsi: So she thinks she has experience.
Prabhupada: Very nonsense.
Atreya Rsi: She speaks sweetly to attract other people's mind, and when people are not really sincere, they think, "Ah, she has..."
Prabhupada: Some realization.
Atreya Rsi: So many, they don't realize that spiritual life is not so cheap.
Prabhupada: Therefore I said that you, your person cannot (indistinct). So is Guru Maharaji came here?
Atreya Rsi: No, they came.
Devotee: They're his representatives. That's his philosophy that there is no, you cannot speak the name of God. It's too sacred to speak it. You can only feel it inside. And he never... His disciples they look at each other and say, "You can feel the name of God, eh?" And the other one says, "Oh yes," and another one says, "Yes, me too." But actually, they call it the sixth principle.
Prabhupada: But if he says, "No, I don't feel," is that difficulty?
Devotee: Then he'll be cast away.
Atreya Rsi: What they don't have really, is the practice of devotional service. They don't have...
Prabhupada: That is finished, I think. Their propaganda is already finished. Nobody cares for them. How they are...? You can cheat all people for some time, and some people for all time, (laughter) but not all people for all time. That is not possible. This is their policy. Some fruits are there?
Devotee: Yes, Prabhupada. Some juice also.
Atreya Rsi: Shall we make some fresh juice?
Prabhupada: No, no. That's all right. (end)