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Evening Darsana

August 9, 1976, Tehran
Prabhupada: Apart from form, we are, when we talk of God, at least we assume that He has form. They are offering prayers. Whom they are offering prayer?
Nandarani: Allah.
Prabhupada: Allah. So if Allah cannot hear, then what is the use of offering prayers? If we are offering prayer, so Allah must hear it. Then He will be pleased upon you. So if He has no capacity to hear, then what is the use of your prayer? This is the logic. He must have capacity to hear what I am offering, prayers, "My Lord, Your Lordship is so great You have created this universe," or "You are maintaining so many...," these things are there. So what is the purpose? That appreciating the uncommon activities of the Lord. This is prayer. What else? What do they mean by prayer? What is the meaning of that prayer?
Nandarani: Their prayers are for glorification of God.
Prabhupada: Glorification means to recite the glorified activities. So He has got activities. Prayers describing the glorified activities. Just like our prayers also. Cintamani-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vrksa-laksavrtesu surabhir abhipalayantam [Bs. 5.29]. The Lord is tending cows and He's surrounded by so many goddesses of fortune, gopis, these things are described. Cintamani-prakara. So the Lord's activities, Lord's place, how He is surrounded by other devotees or servitors, how He is tending, these are prayers. So what is their prayer? Did you try to understand? What do they offer?
Nandarani: Allah allandallah(?) is a common...
Prabhupada: That is their word, but what is the meaning?
Nandarani: "God is great."
Prabhupada: God is great, but how He is great?
Nandarani: That is not emphasized, how He is great, just that He is great.
Prabhupada: Then there is the proof of less intelligence. God is great, very good, but how He is great. What is the conception of greatness. You accept me as a spiritual master, great, so you have got some conception of greatness. That you see in your spiritual master, therefore you accept him. And if you have no conception of greatness, what is the meaning of "He is great"? Therefore the real fact is, in the world there is no religion. They do not understand what is God, what is religion. Traditional, you can say superstition or some idea, actually no clear conception of religion. No idea in the world, except that in this Krsna consciousness movement. All vague ideas. "God is great," that's all. How He is great and worshipable? Who is God? And our ideal is to love God. So if I do not know about God, if I do not know who is God, then where is the question of love?
Nandarani: But their faith is there.
Prabhupada: That is good, but that is called bhakta prakrta smrtah. That is not exactly on the transcendental platform. In the material platform, just appreciating some great power beyond our reach, that's all. Not clear idea. Therefore they are disturbed when they think form. Form means limitation, they think. At least, they should think like that. They do not know. Nobody knows, except in our Krsna consciousness movement. Why we have described about God so many books? But they have this idea. Very poor idea. But they are accepting God is great, that will help in future.
Nandarani: That's elevating them. That faith is elevating them?
Prabhupada: Someday, if they come in contact with a real devotee, they'll appreciate. Just like you are coming. So they have to meet some devotee, then they'll be benefited. With the present idea there will be very slow progress. Practically no progress, but even there is little progress, very slow. So unless they come in contact with a pure devotee... Then...
Hari-sauri: Your books.
Nandarani: If we distribute your books and prasada, then that is as good as them coming to meet you personally.
Prabhupada: No, personally also, you can do. If they come, you instruct them. But the prasadam and book distribution, very important line. If he's intelligent, by reading books will help him. In Europe and America, you have got intelligence. By reading books, they are coming to the sense. And in this part of the world they are not so intelligent.
Nandarani: We find only a very small percentage of the Iranians that can speak English well enough to understand even Isopanisad, which is very simple English, and I give Bhagavad-gitas, I distribute Bhagavad-gita...
Prabhupada: If they understand any book, Isopanisad, if they understand, they will get improvement.
Nandarani: Any book. Some Bhagavad-gitas I do, but it's an exceptional Iranian who can even read the book, what to speak of understand the concepts. Isopanisad is easier for them. We are very eager to translate into Persian.
Prabhupada: Isopanisad.
Nandarani: Isopanisad, yes. I think that will be our first big attempt. Some essays we will try to do. "Who is Crazy?" is very good for them, they appreciate that article, and...
Prabhupada: They appreciate?
Nandarani: Yes, we have explained to some of them the concepts in "Who is Crazy?" and Isopanisad is a good book for them.
Prabhupada: So your daughter is good assistant in the matter of cooking?
Nandarani: Yes, they are both very good in cooking. And they clean the altar and they do some maintenance of the altar and the temple room, and they cook and sew, and I give them class in the morning, Bhagavad-gita in English.
Prabhupada: Yes, teach them personally. That Aniruddha is always chanting Hare Krsna.
Nandarani: They are?
Prabhupada: No, Aniruddha.
Nandarani: Aniruddha, yes. (laughs)
Prabhupada: They are also chanting.
Nandarani: It is good for them here because they can preach. The guests who come, they are very attracted to these little children who can sing so many wonderful songs and read Sanskrit and preach from these heavy philosophical books that the Iranians cannot even understand. So they are learning to preach. I have a Gurukula here for the Indian children. Thirty children I have.
Prabhupada: Oh, very good.
Nandarani: I have class only two days a week because the city is big and I have to go myself and collect them from their homes or meet in one home downtown and the traffic is very difficult, so we only have class two days a week, but I teach Bhagavad-gita and Krsna book.
Prabhupada: They cannot come here?
Nandarani: This, it takes them almost two hours to come from the city to here, so now they are coming here because on Janmastami all thirty of them are putting on a play of Krsna's birth from your Krsna book. So starting Sunday until the 18th, every day I am bringing them here. I'm renting a minibus and getting them from city and bringing them here for play practice. Then on Janmastami we are having four hundred guests from the Indian community, and the children are putting on this "Birth of Krsna" play, and they learn to chant Hare Krsna and play the karatalas. These children are actually like American children; they have no touch with their culture. Most of them don't know Krsna from anyone else. So now I've taught them, just like we had to teach American children. And they like it very much. So they are doing the plays...
Prabhupada: The parents also like it.
Nandarani: The parents love it. The parents are very happy. And they pay some tuition, they pay just fifteen or twenty dollars for a summer session, and their children like it. They come and take prasada, we have long kirtanas. I've taught them to do puja, some aratik for Lord Jagannatha, and they like it so much. Now whenever their parents have their meetings, or whenever they're meeting, their children bring their Deities and they have their own aratiks there, and they chant Hare Krsna. It's very nice.
Prabhupada: That's nice.
Nandarani: Yes, the children like it very much. The parents also, because they don't want to take time to teach their children these things. They are so busy in their businesses.
Prabhupada: They come here for money, at the sacrifice of...
Nandarani: Yes. We have Radha-Krsna Deities here, marble, sixteen inch, I think. They've been here for two years. Nava-yauvana got them in India because he thought that soon they would be able to worship them, but we will never have ten brahmanas here, I mean, it will always be just...
Prabhupada: Not ten brahmanas, at least four, five.
Nandarani: Right. But even so, we could not maintain a standard of six aratiks and six offerings, so we have not installed any Deities.
Prabhupada: No, not necessary now. Now he is trying to purchase another house?
Nandarani: He's trying.
Prabhupada: That house can be completely temple, so that Indians may also come.
Hari-sauri: What if they started to worship Gaura-Nitai? Gaura-Nitai? Because the worship is not so strict as Radha-Krsna, and I know you've said before...
Prabhupada: Yes, Gaura-Nitai can be worshiped twice.
Hari-sauri: Yes, two aratiks a day and kirtana.
Prabhupada: Gaura-Nitai is worshiped simply by kirtana.
Hari-sauri: The problem they have here is because there's no Deities, then things like the practices they have in the kitchen and the general bhakti rules and regulations are a little slack because the Deity's not there. So if they had some Deity, then that will encourage them, mangala-arati at a certain time and like that.
Prabhupada: Atreya Rsi recommending another house.
Nandarani: Yes, we actually want two places because when Iranian businessmen come, we cannot just show them the altar and say, "Here is our program." It must be very careful. And yet when the Indians come we want to have Deities, we want to have kirtana. So we are trying to do two things in one house and it is very difficult. So he wants a separate place for a restaurant, for Deities, for my Gurukula school, a big room for my classroom, and then a separate home when we have some sophisticated guest we can bring them for dinner. But then we have many Indians, we can bring them for Deities. The Indians, they think this is a temple, but because there are no Deities, then they are not inclined to come. They want to see the Deity.
Prabhupada: Indians, they want Deity.
Nandarani: They want to see the Deity.
Prabhupada: Temple means Deity, there must be Deity.
Nandarani: So these Radha-Krsna Deities, we should simply keep until some future time when we might be able to worship Them?
Prabhupada: No, if you can, in a separate house, if you can follow the principles, you can install.
Nandarani: I remember in Delhi when they had only a few devotees, they were having three aratiks a day, a very simple program for Radha-Krsna.
Prabhupada: They can do that, simple, three.
Nandarani: Can it be three, can it be simple?
Prabhupada: Mangala aratik, bhoga aratika and sundara aratik, that's all.
Nandarani: And changing Their clothes every day?
Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Every day.
Nandarani: Bathing and changing of Their clothes and three aratiks. Once we have a separate place and we have devotees to maintain Them. We have been eager to worship Deities, so we planted tulasis, so now we have sixty tulasis, so we are looking forward to worshiping the Deity and having a good program for bhakti.
Prabhupada: Here also you can do, but Atreya Rsi thinks separate building. He thinks like that.
Nandarani: He wants a separate place. Because it is difficult for all of us to do two things. It's very..., it's just very difficult. So having two places would mean we could have one run like a temple and one run like a home. If many devotees come here and wear old clothes and live... Devotees, sometimes they want to dress in old clothes, they want to be very strict, they want to be very austere, but when the businessmen come and they see a devotee with shaved head and old rags on, then they think...
Prabhupada: Shocked...
Nandarani: Yes. "What is this?" you know. So, but at the same time we don't want to always dress very nicely, we want to be devotees.
Prabhupada: We must be clean.
Nandarani: Clean, yes.
Prabhupada: The dress is not important-cleanliness.
Hari-sauri: You can dress in karmi clothes and still be very strict Vaisnava.
Nandarani: Here we wear mostly street clothes, like the Iranians, suits and dresses.
Prabhupada: Just like he is not well dressed, but anyone who will see, he'll immediately find he's cleansed. That is wanted. Cleansed dress. Dress is not important.
Nandarani: I think Atreya Rsi wants two places, one like a home and one like a temple. Those devotees who want to...
Prabhupada: One can become clean with simply loincloth. It doesn't require dress. [break] ...Indian or here?
Hari-sauri: Which climate is better. (laughter)
Nandarani: Well, I like India.
Prabhupada: Come on.
Parivrajakacarya: We've got a couple of guests.
Prabhupada: Hare Krsna.
Nandarani: Thank you.
Prabhupada: Come on, bring. Come here, forward.
Parivrajakacarya: This is Ali. He has helped me translate one article on vegetarianism. He's very qualified in that area.
Prabhupada: Our...He'll understand English?
Parivrajakacarya: Very well.
Prabhupada: Our mission is not to make the nonvegetarian as vegetarian. That will automatically be done. Our mission is to teach people how to love God.
Ali: That's right. I've noticed that. I had that conversation with Maharaja.
Prabhupada: And to love God we must have definite idea of God, our exchange. Just like materially also, if somebody loves somebody, one must know each other. Otherwise where there is question of love? Love means direct contact. So they speak of love of Godhead. Just like the Christian people, they say "Love of Godhead." But they have no idea who is God. So where is the question of love? It is an impractical proposition, love of Godhead. First of all, you must know who is God. If I love somebody, I must know him, what he is. So this is going on. They speak of love of Godhead, but they do not know who is God or what is God. Therefore they are misguided. Simply it is words. There is no practical value. Do you agree with this point or not? If you have no idea of God, if you have no business with God, then where is the question of love? What is the definition of love, huh? What is the definition of love?
Ali: We talk about love, but I think you should personally, an individual should experience. My definition would be, a, uh, unworthy.
Prabhupada: Definition of love, you can explain what is definition of love.
Parivrajakacarya: I can explain the definition of bhakti.
Prabhupada: No, you bring another word. But explain it, what is love. In Vedic language you get every definition. Love means two persons, both of them; beloved and the lover, is it not? The first condition of love means there must be two persons. What do you think? There must be two persons when there is question of love.
Hari-sauri: Yes, it's a reciprocation.
Prabhupada: Ah. Otherwise where is love? What is this? Unless there are two persons, where is the question of love? Try to understand one step by step.
Ali: Does that mean one loses himself? Personality?
Prabhupada: What does he say?
Parivrajakacarya: Does that mean that one loses himself?
Prabhupada: Why? Then where is love? Why shall I lose? I exist, you exist, then there is love. If I am lost, then with whom there will be to love?
Ali: I didn't mean losing the existence, but losing the self-importance.
Hari-sauri: Self-interest.
Prabhupada: Yes. That is very important thing. That is important, yes. But love means two persons, there is exchange. Giving something, taking something, feeding something and to eat something, and speaking everything, no secrecy, and to know everything of the other person. When these things are transacted, then there is love. Dadati pratigrhnati bhunkte bhojayate caiva guhyam akhyati prcchati. If I love you and if I have got some secrecy, I don't disclose to you, that is not perfect love. I must deal with you open-hearted, you must deal with me open-hearted, then there is love. This is one of the basic principles. I shall invite you to eat with me and I shall accept your invitation to eat with me. I shall give you some presentation, you shall give me some presentation. In this way love develops. So if you want to love Krsna, God, then these things must be there. Otherwise, where there is question of love? To appreciate God is great, that is not love. That is simply appreciation. But when we actually give everything to God and take everything from Him, you talk with Him of your mind, He talks with you. You give Him to eat and whatever He gives you eat. In this way there is question of love. Simply appreciation of the greatness of God, that is good, in God consciousness, but that is not love. The love stage is different.
Ali: How can one understand God's love?
Prabhupada: This is the process, I've described. We have got Deity of the Lord, we offer foodstuff prepared very nicely, and whatever leftover is there, we eat. We dress very nicely with flowers, with ornaments; we give Him a nice place to sit down, to sleep. He also looks after our comfort. In this way, exchange of love.
Ali: Just like when there is a mutual understanding, then...
Prabhupada: No, there must be practical display.
Ali: Practical display.
Prabhupada: Yes, simply understanding will not do. That is not love, that is appreciation.
Ali: How can I be practical about something without understanding that thing, because I...
Prabhupada: Understanding, guhyam akhyati prcchati. You try to understand God, and He'll explain what He is. You try to understand.
Ali: But I have been trained through intellect, trying to discern things the way that intellect functions. And I don't have spiritual training.
Prabhupada: That training is given here, spiritual training.
Ali: And therefore, how am I to understand?
Prabhupada: To understand, you have to take the training, spiritual training. You have to understand the words which God wants to let you know about Him. These are spiritual training. Spiritual training means first of all you must have little faith that "I shall be intimately related with God." Unless you have got this faith, there is no question of spiritual training. If you simply remain satisfied, "God is great, let Him remain at His home, let me remain at my home," that is not love. You must be eager to know God more and more intimately. Then the next stage is how to know about God unless you associate with persons who are simply busy in God's business. They have no other business. Just like we are training people, they are simply meant for God's business. They have no other business. How people will understand about God, how they will be benefited, they are simply planning in so many ways. So we have to associate with such persons who are convinced about God and trying to spread His knowledge throughout the world. You have to mix with, associate with them. First of all, you must have faith that, "In this life I shall understand thoroughly about God." Then associate with persons who are busy with God's business. Then you act as they are acting. Then your misconception of material life will be finished. Then you'll have attachment. Then you'll have taste. In this way you'll develop love of God.
Ali: I already have the faith.
Prabhupada: That you have to increase. Simply the preliminary faith, that is very good, but unless that faith is increased more and more, then there is no progress.
Parivrajakacarya: There is danger of losing that faith.
Prabhupada: Yes, if you do not try to make progress and go forward progressively, then there is danger whatever little faith you have got, that will diminish.
Hari-sauri: Your understanding of God tends to remain somewhat theoretical until one actually does something practical. Then it actually manifests as something solid, as a reality.
Prabhupada: Theoretical and practical. Scientific knowledge means both, theoretical and practical. (someone enters) If you like, you can sit down there. I have no objection if you sit down.
Jnanagamya: It is up to you, Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: No, I am... Everyone, you can... Our Krsna consciousness movement is practical. They are fully engaged how to make progressive advance in love of Godhead. They have no other business.
Hari-sauri: Nowadays generally, if someone is very religious and he wants to do some practical action, he usually acts on the social platform.
Prabhupada: No, there, everywhere practical action. Just like all the Muhammadans, they go to the mosque, five times they offer prayer. That is good, very good.
Ali: Even to be attentive, to pay a lot of attention.
Prabhupada: Yes, but that is also good, but if one is twenty-four-hours attentive, that is better.
Ali: But we tend to forget things that we don't see.
Hari-sauri: They don't see God, so the tendency is to forget.
Prabhupada: Why you don't see God? When you see the picture of God, you don't see God? When you see the picture of your father, don't you see your father? You see or not? Suppose you have got picture of your father. When you see the picture, do you see your father or not?
Ali: Well, I see him physically.
Prabhupada: Physical, everything is physical, subtle and gross. Suppose I am seeing you face to face. So I remember your face when you are not here, I am thinking of you, I am not seeing you? This is also physical. I am seeing with the mind, I am seeing with the eyes. So what is the difference between eyes and mind? They are all physical. Why do you take only the eyes as physical, not the mind? There are physical elementsearth, water, air, fire, mind, intelligence, ego. They are all physical. So either see with your eyes or see with your mind, it is physical.
Ali: Is the seeing important?
Prabhupada: No, important. No, because if you have no eyes to see spiritual, you have to see physically, and they are all physical. Either you see with your eyes or touch with your hand or smell with your nose or lick up with your tongue, everything is physical.
Ali: I can feel the presence of the thing dominating things.
Prabhupada: Presence is there, because just like a nice mango. So you cannot appreciate this mango simply by seeing. Natural tendency when you get a good mango, you smell. So why not see? Sufficient? Why you smell? So these are all misconceptions. Different things have to be realized in different processes. Suppose you are a good singer, I see you. So I cannot appreciate simply by seeing you. I shall ask you, "All right, please sing one song." When I hear you, then I shall appreciate. Is it not? So the physical experience by different senses, gross and subtle senses.
Ali: Our senses are imperfect.
Prabhupada: Senses are imperfect always. Therefore we have to develop the perfect senses. That is spiritual. Just like you are working with your hands, this is physical. But this hand is not working. The spirit soul within the body, he is working. As soon as he is out, what is the value of your hand? When the spirit soul is out of your body, then I am asking you, "Mr. Ali, Mr. Ali, get up." Who is hearing? Your ear is there, but you cannot hear, finished. Therefore the spiritual senses, that is real sense. Do you follow what I say? You have got ear, but when the spirit soul is out of your body, in spite of possessing this physical ear, you cannot hear.
Ali: I believe in this one because when I dream...
Prabhupada: No, believe or not believe, these are facts, that physical senses are not absolute.
Ali: That's exactly what I mean. It's so obvious.
Prabhupada: Physical senses not absolute; it is the spiritual senses that acts through the physical instrument and utilize it.
Ali: I feel man has already accepted his physical deficiency. I was just watching Olympic, and it seemed so pathetic, they were just trying to jump higher and higher, and they couldn't do it.
Prabhupada: No, the physical senses are to be spiritualized. You cannot appreciate God by physical senses. But when your physical senses are purified and it is spiritualized, then you can...
Ali: That's exactly what I meant when I said that whatever we see...
Prabhupada: Yes. That is process, how to... Just like iron rod, it is iron rod, but if you put into the process, that means if you put into the fire, a time will come the iron rod will be red hot and it is fire. Similarly, if you engage your physical senses only(aside:) here is candlewhen you engage your physical senses in the service of the Lord, then the physical quality of the senses will be diminished or gone, your spiritual sense activities will begin. This is practical.
Ali: Are we closer to this practicality when we sleep?
Prabhupada: Yes, when you are practiced. Sleep means what you do when you are awakened, the same thing you'll dream, that's all. Physical, I've told you there are two phases of senses. Gross and subtle. When the gross senses are not working, the subtle senses work. Just like you dream, your mind is working. Although your hands and legs are taking rest, but mind is working. That is dreaming. So there are two phases of physical senses, gross and subtle. When the gross senses are stopped, the subtle senses continue to work. And when you are above even subtle senses, that is spiritual. Sometimes we misunderstand subtle senses are spiritual. No. Spiritual senses are different from the subtle stages.
Ali: These are the different stages.
Prabhupada: Yes, of coming to the platform of spiritual senses. And when you come to the spiritual senses, then you can understand God, you can understand your relationship with God, you can talk with God, you can serve God, and so on, so on. The same example, just like iron rod as it is, it is not able to burn anything. But when the iron rod is sufficiently hot, red-hot, touch anywhere, it will burn. Similarly, from this physical platform, if you begin these spiritual activities, then stage will come when you'll act only spiritually, there will be no more material activity. That is the stage of bhakti, that is real platform of bhakti, when one is acting only spiritually, there is no material activity. That is the process. So if we adopt that process, it is possible to come to the platform of spiritual sense activity. That is possible. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. That is purification process. And when one is completely purified, then he acts with his spiritual senses.
Ali: Is it necessary to get to know the true self before knowing God?
Prabhupada: Yes, God means spirit, supreme spirit. If you cannot understand what is spirit, then how you'll understand God? You must know what is spirit, what is matter, and when we have little understanding of the spirit, then we can make progress spiritually.
Ali: How does one get to know the true spirit?
Prabhupada: By knowledge, by knowledge. Just like you are talking. How you are talking? Because the spirit soul is there within you. As soon as it is gone, you cannot talk. Your this body and everything will remain, but you cannot talk, you cannot understand, everything is finished. So this is matter. Body is matter, and the force which is helping you to talk, that is spirit. Now you have to understand it thoroughly.
Ali: Yes, I'm aware of that.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Ali: But I'm also aware that I'm very ignorant.
Prabhupada: No, if you are aware of that thoroughly, then there is no question of ignorance.
Ali: But I feel the presence of the spirit is there.
Prabhupada: Yes, that everyone knows the distinction.
Ali: But, uh, the relativity...
Prabhupada: Yes, so that requires the training and guidance of spiritual master. Therefore called spiritual master. You have to... Just like if you want to be an engineer, you must be trained under some engineer. Similarly, if you want to be trained up spiritually, then you must accept a spiritual master. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: [MU 1.2.12] must, otherwise not possible. Training. So spiritual master trains with these books, and explanation, practical demonstration. In this way the student makes progress spiritually.
Ali: I am a Muslim and I practice dervishism.
Prabhupada: That, that... This is also a misunderstanding. You are thinking you are a Muslim. Why?
Ali: It's just by normal definition.
Prabhupada: Yes, because you are born of a Muslim father or a Muslim country.
Ali: No, no, in fact I didn't believe in religion at all.
Prabhupada: Then you believe, that is also belief. You are believing something is this body, and when this body is left over, then you will believe something else.
Ali: For sure, my belief was disbelief.
Prabhupada: No, I mean to say, belief changes. Belief changes with the change of the body. Just like a man is thinking that "I am Iranian," "I am Indian," so long this body is Iranian or Indian or American. But the body will change. Then he'll think otherwise. So this belief is also temporary. It will be finished with the body. The body is temporary, and the belief, along with the body, that is also temporary. But I am eternal. That is to be understood. That is spiritual knowledge.
Ali: Sure, that is what I am practicing right now.
Prabhupada: Yes, na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. The spirit soul, which is eternal, which is never lost, even by the annihilation of the body, we have to understand about that thing, that is spiritual knowledge. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gita lesson. First to understand what you are, you are not this body. This is spiritual knowledge. When one understands thoroughly that "I am not this body, I am spirit soul," then he is no more Hindu, Muhammadan, or Christian or nothing. He's spirit soul, brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]. That is called brahma-bhutah. At that time, there is no such conception, that "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am this," "I am that." Because he's not body. He's not body. That is pure understanding. And then spiritual knowledge begins. So long I shall think myself as Hindu, Muslim, Christian, there is no spiritual knowledge. That is material knowledge.
Ali: This was just only a presentation of the...
Prabhupada: Yes, presentation. We are everywhere in that platform, but we have to transcend this platform. Then we come to the spiritual platform. Then spiritual knowledge begins. And if we stick to this platform, then there is no spiritual knowledge. That is material knowledge, but try to understand spiritual knowledge. That is the position. To try to understand spiritual knowledge from material platform, but when you actually come to the spiritual platform, then spiritual knowledge is perfect. Just like another example, just like water. Theoretically you learn swimming. That is not swimming. You get into the water and practically learn swimming. Then it is swimming. Theoretical knowledge, that you put yourself in the water, you move your hands like this, move your legs like this, that is good. But it will be... Just like in the airplane before starting, they give so much instruction. It is going on really. But when actually the airplane is danger, that will be practical. Is it not? They are giving so much instruction, who cares for it? (laughter) They're talking and people are hearing. But when it will be practically demonstrated, that is real life. So, spiritual knowledge, understanding theoretically, it is little good, but when it is done practically, then it is reality.
Ali: The way I look at it, it's better to talk about God than to talk about...
Prabhupada: Yes, that is good. One must be serious, that we are talking about God, so what is my God realization? That is nice. Otherwise, if I go on life after life talking about God and there is no God realization... That is going on. Srama eva hi kevalam.
We are talking of God, but instead of loving God, we are loving this body. So that is not practical. That is simply waste of time. Srama eva hi kevalam. If one does not become enthused to love God, then simply talking about God is a waste of time. Srama eva hi kevalam. That is going on all over the world. Somebody's Hindu, somebody's Christian, somebody's Muhammadan, they are going to the church, they are going to the mosque, they are going to the temple, everything is going on, but when you ask whether you love God or dog, he'll say, "I love dog." Practically we see. Everyone is keeping a dog, very favorite pet. And in church, they'll talk of God, but practically they love the dog. Is it not? This is going on, in the name of religion, that's all. Therefore Bhagavata says it is simply waste of time. What is the use of talking God? If by talking of God perpetually you are developing your love for dog, then what is the use? Srama eva hi kevalam. It is simply waste of time. These are all discussed. Regularly going to the church, regularly going to the mosque or temple, but the love is for material things, not for God. How I get money, how I get motorcar, how I get dog, how I get nice wife, how I get nicethe love is here. The example is given, just like a vulture. The vulture goes very, very high, four miles high, five miles. But his business is to find out where there is a corpse, where there is a corpse. Very highly elevated, but business is to find out a dead body. And as soon as he finds it... (hand motion indicating sweeping down) So this is going on. Very religious, very regularly performing religious ceremonies, rituals, but the business is where is a corpse. "Come on, here is some sense gratification." This is going on. If you are talking of God, then you must love God. That is progress. But there is no love of God, there is love of something else, so what is the use of talking about. Hm? What do you think? Is it not waste of time?
Parivrajakacarya: We can always tell by what people are serving, what they really are loving. If they are serving just their body, then no matter what they are saying, we know...
Prabhupada: Srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8]. Officially, God, God, God, but result is dog. Love is there, love is... That is natural. I want to love. Everyone wants to love. But the, unless he loves God, he'll never be happy. So simply talking of love, and if the love is simply transferred to dog, then where is the love of God? So such kind of talking of called srama eva hi kevalam. It is simply waste of time and energy. You must practically come to the platform how to love God. So it is a great science, and it is available for everyone to understand and act. It is a great science, one can take advantage. This is Krsna consciousness movement. It is not a sectarian religious movement, no. It is a science, how to understand God, how to love Him.
Ali: Shouldn't there be a balance between physical existence and spiritual existence? Like between body and spirit?
Prabhupada: Yes. First of all, you must have spiritual understanding, then spiritual study. If you have no spiritual understanding, then why spiritual study? All these scientists, they are trying to understand the spirit soul by material, on material platform. Therefore they are being misled. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita, to distinguish between matter and spirit it is negatively described: nainam chindanti sastrani. Find out. The spirit soul is there which cannot be cut into pieces by any instrument.
Prabhupada: Ah, nainam dahati pavakah. Pavakah means fire. It is never burned into the fire. It is never cut into pieces with instrument or any weapon. So if you study these two points, anything you take, it can be cut into pieces, within our physical experience. And anything within our physical experience, it can be burned. Even the iron, so hot, it can be burned and liquified by proper temperature. Even stone, it can be burned, it can be liquified. The glass, glass is nothing but liquidified stone, everyone knows it. Purified by chemicals, that's all. Then?
Hari-sauri: Na cainam kledayanty apo.
Prabhupada: Anything physical, it can be moistened. You keep in the water, it will be soft. Na kledayanty? Apo?
Prabhupada: And evaporation. Even the ocean can be evaporated by the air. So we have got this experience of the five or eight elements. They are physical because they are subjected to be cut into pieces, to be burned into fire, to be moistened, to be evaporated. But it is, soul is not affected. Then we have to think ofwhat is that. Therefore these scientists, they are puzzled. When the soul goes out of the body, they cannot imagine what thing is missing that the body is dead. Because they have physical ideas. But it is not physical. So everything is described. We have to study thoroughly and apply our brain. The brain must be sharp and finer tissues. Then spiritual understanding will be there. With dull brain, physical brain, we cannot understand. That is not possible. Therefore to spiritualize the brain, the senses, requires a process. Just like to keep a vegetable in frozen condition, it requires a process. Similarly, we have to undergo a process to come to this spiritual platform, to understand the spirit soul, the supreme being, God, and the relationship and the activities. We must adopt the process. And those who are adopting the process, they are making progress. Practical. So it is not impractical. Thousands of these Europeans and Americans, they, say, a few years ago, four, five years ago-say, at most ten years agothey did not know what is Krsna, what is God. But now you ask them, they will explain. They are not foolish, they are not uneducated. So unless they are situated in the spiritual platform, how they are sticking? So there is process, and the process is practical. Anyone who adopts this process, he'll be able to understand. The process is meant for human being. Any human being who adopts this process will understand. So ask any one of them, these European, American boys, "Are you sticking to Krsna consciousness sentimentally or understanding?" Ask them. They will explain, "Yes, understanding." Not blindly. Blindly one cannot stickthat is not possible. No, there is God, there is possibility to come in touch with God, there is possibility to serve Him directly, to see Him face to face, if we adopt the process.
Ali: What I'm practicing now is that I'm battling against my nafsthe commanding self, as it's known in dervishism. And it amazes me, the way it acts, so mischievous, so dishonest, so many faces that I can only catch out very few, very few. It's always a bit late, after anger, I recognize the presence of anger.
Prabhupada: Yes, any process you adopt, it doesn't matter, provided it helps you to the platform of loving God, that is approved. Because without coming to the platform of loving God, you cannot be satisfied. That is not possible. So you can adopt any process, it doesn't matter. If it brings you to the platform of loving God, then you'll be happy. We do not say that this process is bona fide, that process is not bona fide. We say any process you adopt, it doesn't matter, if it helps you to bring to the platform of loving God.
Ali: True, because the road is the same, the goal is the same.
Prabhupada: Yes, that is our philosophy. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhakti... [SB 1.2.6]. Because unless you come to the platform of loving God, then you cannot be happy. And so long we have got the tendency to love something other than God, then we shall not be happy. That is the test.
Ali: What is the purpose of this internal dialogue? Internal dialogue, we talk to ourselves all the time, we can't be silent.
Prabhupada: You talk with whom? There must be second person. When you talk, you are one person, and another person must be there. Who is that other person? With whom you talk?
Ali: With the self.
Prabhupada: Then you are lunatic. Just like a lunatic, he talks alone.
Ali: No, this is silent talk, like the mind, you can't stop.
Prabhupada: No, the idea is when you talk of talking, there must be two. So self, then you have to admit the self becomes two, otherwise there is no talking. This is good, that one is Superself, another is subordinate self. So when the subordinate self is able to talk with the Superself, then he gets right direction, his life is very successful.
Ali: Is the Superself a spirit?
Prabhupada: Yes, when you say self, it is spirit. Spirit, the Supreme Spirit, and the subordinate spirit. The Supreme Being and the subordinate being. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gita. You find out this verse:
sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca
vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta krd veda vid eva caham
[Bg. 15.15]
Hari-sauri: "I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.'
Prabhupada: The Supreme Being, the Supreme Self, is situated in everyone's heart. That is being explained. Go on.
Hari-sauri: "By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed, I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas." Purport?
Prabhupada: Yes, purport. Yes.
Hari-sauri: Purport: "The Supreme Lord is situated as Paramatma in everyone's heart, and it is from Him that all activities are initiated. The living entity forgets everything of his past life, but he has to act according to the direction of the Supreme Lord, who is witness to all his work. Therefore he begins his work according to his past deeds. Required knowledge is supplied to him, and remembrance is given to him, and he forgets, also, about his past life. Thus, the Lord is not only all-pervading; He is also localized in every individual heart. He awards the different fruitive results. He is not only worshipable as the impersonal Brahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the localized Paramatma, but as the form of the incarnation of the Vedas as well. The Vedas given the right direction to the people so that they can properly mold their lives and come back to Godhead, back to home. The Vedas offer knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, and Krsna in His incarnation as Vyasadeva is the compiler of the Vedanta-sutra. The commentation on the Vedanta-sutra by Vyasadeva in the Srimad-Bhagavatam gives the real understanding of Vedanta-sutra. The Supreme Lord is so full that for the deliverance of the conditioned soul He is the supplier and digester of foodstuff, the witness of his activity, the giver of knowledge in the form of Vedas and, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, the teacher of the Bhagavad-gita. He is worshipable by the conditioned soul. Thus God is all-good; God is all-merciful. Antah-pravistah sasta jananam. The living entity forgets as soon as he quits his present body, but he begins his work again, initiated by the Supreme Lord. Although he forgets, the Lord gives him the intelligence to renew his work where he ended in his last life. So not only does a living entity enjoy or suffer in this world according to the dictation from the Supreme Lord situated locally in the heart, but he receives the opportunity to understand Vedas from him. If one is serious to understand the Vedic knowledge, then Krsna gives the required intelligence. Why does He present the Vedic knowledge for understanding? Because a living entity individually needs to understand Krsna. Vedic literature confirms this: yo 'sau sarvair vedair giyate. In all Vedic literature, beginning from the four Vedas, Vedanta-sutra and the Upanisads and Puranas, the glories of the Supreme Lord are celebrated. By performing Vedic rituals, discussing the Vedic philosophy and worshiping the Lord in devotional service, He is attained. Therefore the purpose of the Vedas is to understand Krsna. The Vedas give us direction to understand Krsna and the process of understanding. The ultimate goal is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vedanta-sutra confirms this in the following words: tat tu samanvayat. One can attain perfection by understanding Vedic literature, and one can understand his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead by performing the different processes. Thus one can approach Him and at the end attain the supreme goal, who is no other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this verse, however, the purpose of the Vedas, the understanding of the Vedas and the goal the Vedas are clearly defined."
Prabhupada: Veda means the book of knowledge. So any book of knowledge which gives you direction how to understand God and how to love Him, that is perfect.
Ali: But this knowledge cannot be attained unless we are aware of the spiritual.
Prabhupada: Yes, otherwise... Any knowledge you have to acquire, either from the Supersoul within your self or His representative outside, you have to learn it.
Ali: Why have we chosen this? This seems so irrelevant...
Prabhupada: Rituals are meant for the neophytes who are given education to begin with. But if he's stuck up with rituals, do not make any further progress, then his progress is checked. You have to go, progress, more progress. Instead of having no sense of God, they, if it is prescribed that "Go to the mosque and pray to God, five times," that is good, ritualistic. At least you're accepting there is God, I must offer. Similarly... This is Muslim process. Hindu process, they say go to the temple and see God. And this Christian, go to the church and offer... The subject matter is the sameaccept God. Accept God. But the ultimate, shall we say, goal is not only accept God... They go to God for some material benefit, because they have no other idea. Like the Christians say, "O God, give us our daily bread." I do not know what the Muhammadans say in the prayer. Hindus also, they go to God, "Sir, I am very poor, give me some money," or "I am diseased, please cure me." So these things are the same in different ways according to country and customs. But it is good because they have approached God. That much is good. They are accepting there is God. That much is good. But when he makes further progress, that there is God, what kind of person He is, what is His business, then you make further progress. So these, for the neophyte, these ritualistic formula is good, but he must make further progress. Instead of godlessness, these processes are better. Let him go to the mosque, let him go to the temple, let him go to the church. At least, let him maintain the idea of God. That is the ritualistic. Then there is further progress. One must be interested. But people are losing interest even in the neophyte stage. They're becoming godless. That is going on. So that is very dangerous. Instead of becoming godless, if somebody approaches God, it doesn't matter in some way, some ritual, it is better than this atheist class of men. At least they are accepting God, and if they offer prayers sincerely, God is there within your heart, He'll gradually reveal. The more you become purified, the more He reveals. Then He'll talk with you. So everything depends on the sincerity and seriousness. And if we take these ritualistic ceremonies, "Now I've gone to church or mosque, I have gone to temple, finish. Now let me do whatever I like." Then that is waste of time. Srama eva hi kevalam. That is simply waste of time. That is going on practically. He doesn't want to see "How much progress I have made in the matter of loving God." That he does not inquire. He takes God as order supplier. So "He's supplying my order, that's nice." He'll never learn to supply the order of God. Neither he will come any stage on that platform. The highest stage is to supply the order of God, not make God my order supplier. That is neophyte stage. Just like a small child, he simply wants to take supply from the father. But when the child is grown up and he's educated, he wants to see "How I can supply the order of parents." That is good stage. "My parents have taken so much pain to raise me, now I am educated, now they are old man..." Sentiment, I am speaking, this family sentiment. "I must see my..." (someone enters) Come on. The whole day. That is the stage of love, that "I have taken supplies from my father so long, now I must supply the order of the father." That is the stage of love. I'll not take. I have taken so much, sufficient. Now I'll not take anything from my parents, I shall simply supply what they want. That is good son, loving son. That is perfection of spiritual or religious life, when we love God and we are prepared to sacrifice anything for God. That is perfection. So, whole day you were engaged?
Atreya Rsi: Krsna's mercy, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: That's nice. Here is love of God. Whole day he was engaged to serve God, that is love.
Atreya Rsi: We have a nice building for Krsna, it's very nice.
Prabhupada: Where it is?
Atreya Rsi: It is in the middle of the city. It is the one I was explaining to you the other day. So we went to the notary, and it takes a long time, because it's a lot of red tape. And also the lights went off. The lights went off in the middle of writing the agreement. So now we have the agreement, by your grace, it is nice. If you feel good, maybe you can visit it.
Prabhupada: Yes. Tomorrow morning I'll go?
Atreya Rsi: Well, I would like it when traffic is low, because it's in the city.
Prabhupada: When it is, traffic is...?
Atreya Rsi: It is in the heart of the city.
Prabhupada: No, when the traffic will be low?
Atreya Rsi: Thursday is very good, otherwise... It should be both cool... I mean they're living there, it's not...
Hari-sauri: Six o'clock.
Atreya Rsi: Six o'clock the traffic's heavy.
Hari-sauri: Six o'clock.
Prabhupada: Morning?
Atreya Rsi: Traffic is heavy. Iranians start early in the morning. The best time is Thursday. Thursday the traffic is not heavy. Thursday is nice, we can go there in twenty-five minutes.
Hari-sauri: [break] He says there's a lot of traffic even at six in the morning.
Atreya Rsi: Iranians start work early. Some start at six-thirty.
Prabhupada: Six-thirty.
Atreya Rsi: Yes, this is a very busy city. Some people work two, three shifts.
Prabhupada: Yes, that I can... Always traffic I see.
Dayananda: But there is no work on Thursday.
Atreya Rsi: Thursday is very easy. We can go very fast and come back very fast. I have to call...
Prabhupada: That's all right, make arrangement.
Nava-yauvana: Prabhupada, some people confuse the chanting with the...
Prabhupada: Every people must be confused, because he has no training. Not some people. You say, "All people." Then it is all right.
Atreya Rsi: This is one sort of confusion that he wants to explain.
Prabhupada: You should know everyone is confused. If you have got capacity, then you make him peaceful. Otherwise, you expect everyone is confused. It is a different life. Unless one is very, very fortunate, he cannot understand it. So confusion is natural. There is not the question of some people or other, everyone is confused. They do not know what is spiritual life, what is spirit. Everyone is thinking, "I am this body." So how he'll not be confused? The very beginning is confusion. So long one is confused with this bodily conception of life, he's called in the sastra animal. The animal is always confused. He does not know what is life, what is aim.
yasyatma buddhih kunape tri-dhatuke
sva-dhih kalatradisu bhauma-ijyadhih
yat-tirtha-buddhih salile na karhicij
janesv abhijnesu sa eva go-kharah
[SB 10.84.13]
Anyone who is in the bodily concept of life, he's confused like the animals, cows and asses. That is the general condition. So you should not be surprised to see somebody confused. Because he's in bodily concept of life. Unless he overcomes the bodily concept of life, he'll remain confused. Because he's accepting something which is not. He's practically seeing that he's not body, still he's thinking "I am this body." This is confusion. Practically he's seeing daily that body is there and the spirit soul left the body, now the body has no value, everyone knows it. Still, he's thinking, "I am this body." How much foolish he is. That is confusion. He knows that. He practically sees every day, "My father is gone." "Why your father is gone? He's lying there." "No, no, my father is gone." He's experienced. His father is gone, his brother is gone, his relatives gone, and still he thinks, "I am this body." "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am this," "I am that." This is confusion. So it requires little advancement of knowledge to get out of this confusion. But he is practically keeping himself in this confusion. So not somebody, but everybody.
Atreya Rsi: Practically material life is very confusing, Srila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada: Yes, this is confusion.
Atreya Rsi: One is thinking that one can enjoy and goes after something, and it is not there. Everybody's trying to grab for themselves. Very confusing.
Prabhupada: Therefore the sastra says, yenatma suprasidati.
sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhoksaje
ahaituky apratihata
yayatma suprasidati
[SB 1.2.6]
He is..., everyone is trying to become happy, wants to love somebody, but everything is misplaced. So as long as this activity will be misplaced, he'll never become happy. When it is properly placed, then he'll be happy. The confusion is there. The easiest process is recommended in this age, to chant the holy name of the Lord. Then you'll be gradually purified and you'll understand. You'll be out of confusion. This very easy thing. It is not, we are not recommending that you simply chant the name of Krsna. Krsna is the name of God, but if you think that "Krsna is Indian name or Hindu name, why shall I chant it?" No, you have got your God's name, you chant that. You chant that. We recommend that you chant. God's name must be. Then you'll be purified.
Atreya Rsi: Authorized name of God.
Prabhupada: Yes, name means authorized. Name means authorized. Not fictitious. If you chant fictitious name, that will not be effective. But if you chant real name of God, then you'll be purified. So if you have got name of God, chanting, there is no question of chanting Hare Krsna. You chant. If you have got the name, real name of God, chant it. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah. God is unlimited, therefore He must have unlimited names also. But the name must be God's name; then you chant, you'll be purified. So there is no question of sectarianism in this movement. We are recommending that you chant the holy name of the Lord. Do it. Is there any objection? Suppose you say that you are Muhammadan. If I say you chant the holy name of God, have you got any objection?
Ali: Yes.
Prabhupada: You have got objection?
Ali: Oh, no, no, chanting, I do chant myself.
Prabhupada: Yes, that's all. We are preaching this. We don't say that you become one of us. You chant the holy name of the Lord, that's all.
Ali: There's no such thing as "one of us," "one of you," anyway, because the thing is the same. If one is true (indistinct) there is no difference.
Prabhupada: Then when you are purified, you'll understand what is God, what God wants you to do, what is your relationship with God, so on, so on, so on.
Atreya Rsi: And other devotees of God, you will understand.
Prabhupada: Yes. To understand God means to understand everything.
Ali: Because everything is God.
Prabhupada: Yes. Yasmin vijnate sarvam eva vijnatam bhavanti. This is Vedic instruction. If you simply understand God, then you understand everything. Therefore God says janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah [Bg. 4.9]. "If anyone understands Me factually, then, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], then after giving up this body, he's not going to accept any more material body. He comes to Me." So simply try to understand God. And that is possible simply by chanting the holy name of God. Very easy. It doesn't matter. Either you are Iranian or Indian or, chant the name of, holy name of God. I think there should (not) be any objection for this movement. Eh? What do you think? That's all. We are simply pleading, "My dear sir, please chant the holy name of God." Who will have any objection? Nobody will have any. Do it. There is no confusion. If you are confused, chant the holy name of God, you'll be out of confusion. Tell them like that. Everyone should join with us and preach this cult. This is not a cult, this is a science, that you chant the holy name of God, that's all. You have seen that house? Dayananda, no, was with you? Dayananda?
Atreya Rsi: It happened very quickly this time. We have been looking for a year, over a year. Many hundreds of houses we have seen. But this time, by your mercy, Srila Prabhupada...
Prabhupada: Yes, Krsna's mercy.
Atreya Rsi: You will see it.
Prabhupada: So make arrangement on Thursday. At any time, we shall go.
Atreya Rsi: It is both nice location and a nice small house. We can also get a bigger one nearby, and a bigger one, we can take the whole city.
Prabhupada: (laughs) Later on. Later on. No, we can member anyone, because we are proposing very pure thing, "You chant the holy name of God." Who will object?
Atreya Rsi: You should let Dayananda Prabhu and I live a thousand years. We will buy the whole city.
Prabhupada: I shall go there. I am going. (devotees offer obeisances) So thank you very much. Hare Krsna. Give this one garland to this boy and another to Atreya Rsi. (end)

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