Room Conversation

December 20, 1976, Bombay
Prabhupada: Imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1]. "This science of Bhagavad-gita, I spoke to the sun-god millions of years ago." By the calculation it is forty millions of years ago. Now who will believe that, that Krsna spoke this Bhagavad-gita forty millions of years ago to the sun-god? Hm? Who will believe that? They'll say mythology. So where is the faith in Bhagavad-gita and faith in the words of Krsna? Understanding Hamlet without Hamlet. (distortion) You cannot make your interpretation that whatever is written there, I take instead of..., I take... (coughing) That is not the way of understanding Bhagavad-gita. Then from the very beginning you'll spoil it. Then what is the meaning of preaching Bhagavad-gita? If you do not accept the direction of the author, then what right you have got to say that you have understood Bhagavad-gita?
Guest (Indian man): Could it be that there may be different interpretations?
Prabhupada: No, that is not possible. That is not the process. You cannot interpret Bhagavad-gita. If you want to preach Bhagavad-gita, you must preach what Krsna has said. If you have got a different philosophy, you can say differently. You don't cheat people that you take Bhagavad-gita and interpret in your own way and cheat others and be cheated yourself. You cannot do that.
Guest: Well, for example, Tilak Maharaj...
Prabhupada: Tilak may be, Gandhi may be, whoever may be. But the point is that you have to understand Bhagavad-gita according to the direction of the author. Because you are Mr. Tilak or Mr. Gandhi, you can do everything on Bhagavad-gita...
Guest: No no, that is not the idea. But there are different type slokas.
Prabhupada: Now how you have got a different types of... Just like the Bhagavad-gita begins, dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta yuyutsavah [Bg. 1.1]. So dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre, how you can interpret in a different way? Kuruksetra is already there. But how you can interpret, "Kuruksetra means this, Kuruksetra means that?" You cannot interpret.
Guest: Yes, but who is decided what exactly the meaning...
Prabhupada: Exactly the meaning is there.
Guest: Literal, literally.
Prabhupada: Literally, yes. The thing is the interpretation is required when you cannot understand. If, if I say, "This is a stick," everyone knows it is a stick. So I say, "Here is a stick." So if you say, "No, I do not accept it is stick." So what is that interpretation? Everyone knows it is stick. Similarly, Kuruksetra means that the place, still existing. And in the Vedic sastra it is ordered, kuruksetre dharma yajayet. You go... From time immemorial it is a place of pilgrimage. Even Krsna, during solar eclipse, Krsna with His family, He came there, Jagannatha. The ceremony is there, Ratha-yatra. Because Krsna, Balarama and Subhadra came in the same chariot. That is being performed. So Kuruksetra, dharmaksetra, at least five thousand years ago the system was that people used to come to Kuruksetra as a place of pilgrimage, dharmaksetra. And Kuruksetra, the place is there. And the the two family members, the Kurus and the Pandavas, they fought. The Battle of Kuruksetra took place. These things are evident. Then why there is need of interpreting? That is the first point.
Guest: Those points are very clear.
Prabhupada: Every point is very clear. In the Bhagavad-gita, every point is very clear, unless you interpret it in the wrong way. ("Krsna Meditations" is recorded on this tape also, making it indistinct)
Guest: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: But how it can be called? If you interpret in your own way, interpret in your own way, interpretation, then where is Bhagavad-gita? Best thing is that take Bhagavad-gita as it is. Then there will be (indistinct). Why you should interpret? You have no right to interpret on the words of Bhagavad-gita?
Guest: But Swamiji, you have also given so much (indistinct). That is interpretation.
Prabhupada: No, that is not interpretation. That is explanation. Interpretation, if I change Kuruksetra into something else, that is interpretation. That is wisdom. That is wisdom.
Guest: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: No, I mean to say instead of collecting so many hundreds and thousands of literature on the Bhagavad-gita, why not take Bhagavad-gita as it is? What is the difficulty? Kuruksetra is this position is fact. Mahabharata, Mahabharata means greater India. And that is, it is itihasa. It is called itihasa. Itihasa, if you don't believe that there was a battle in the Kuruksetra... But that is the fact. It is the history. Then how you can finish (?) Bhagavad-Gita? Every point of Bhagavad-gita, it is clear. It is clear. There is no need of interpretation. That is the first thing. If you interpret you spoil the whole thing. Because interpretation is required when the things are not clear. If everything is clear, why should you interpret?
Guest: No, it is explanation I think.
Prabhupada: Explanation, you cannot explain that Kuruksetra means this, dharmaksetra means this, Pandava means this. Why?
Guest: No, no.
Prabhupada: Take Sanskrit. Take Sanskrit. Dharmaksetre kuruksetre. do not interpret to any other language. Take Sanskrit. Kuruksetra is clear, dharmaksetra is clear, Pandava is clear. Then why should we interpret? Why not take the particular verse. Everything, when there is a (indistinct), then please do not try to cut, or (indistinct) your (indistinct). If there is... (indistinct) ...but by translating the whole thing you mistake then what is the use of such translation? (indistinct)
Guest: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: Yes. Then you first of all learn Sanskrit, then you (indistinct). If there is (indistinct). This practice should be stopped. If you want to preach Bhagavad-gita, and if you want to preach your own philosophy through Bhagavad-gita, don't do this preaching. You preach your philosophy, your (indistinct). You can preach any philosophy you like, but don't take Bhagavad-gita and (indistinct) on it. (?) That is my (indistinct). That is being done. That is being done. So therefore, instead of studying, collecting so many literatures, why not take Bhagavad-gita as it is and preach? And as evidence to prove he is (indistinct) ...all over the world. Before me for 200 years there was preaching of Bhagavad-gita. Not a single person became... It is the history of (indistinct). Now you see thousands. Why? Because there is no interpretation. There is no interpretation. Krsna says, "I am the Supreme." Mattah parataram nanyat [Bg. 7.7]. We are presenting, "Here is God." You are searching after God, Krsna, and they are accepting. They do not (indistinct), what is Krsna. What is this? How they are accepting? Because it is the real thing, there is no interpretation. They are not Hindus, they are not born in India. How they have come to Krsna consciousness? They have given up bad habits, no illicit sex. Because you cannot understand Krsna unless you are free from all sinful activities. Anyone who is sinful, he cannot understand Krsna. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg. 7.15]. We test him. We test like this, that Krsna says this, that anyone who does not surrender to Krsna as the Supreme Lord, he is under the four groups: duskrtina, mudhah, naradhamah, mayayapahrta-jnana. That's it. We are fools and rascals, we have no such education. But we take Krsna's word that "Here is a fool, here is a sinful man, here is a naradhamah, here is mayayapahrta." So unless you stick to this point, that we shall preach Bhagavad-gita (indistinct) then there is no meaning of it. You are misled, you will mislead others. But if you take Bhagavad-gita as it is, as Krsna said, then... If you are not prepared to do that, then however (indistinct) interpretation, thousands of literatures, the result is (indistinct). This is practical.
Guest: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: If there is no reason then why there are so many interpretations of Bhagavad-gita?
Guest: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: (Hindi back and forth)
Indian lady: (Hindi)
Prabhupada: So many (indistinct), that's all right, But if you want to preach Bhagavad-gita, you have to do like that.
Indian lady: (Yelling)
Prabhupada: (angry) I don't say Caitanya, I say Krsna. Why you misunderstand? Don't talk like that. I don't say that. Why you have misunderstood? Don't disturb in that... I don't say Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Why you are bringing Caitanya? You are saying. I say what Krsna says, you do that.
Indian lady: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: So why you shall go to so many leaders? Why not go to the supreme leader, Krsna?
Indian lady: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: If you explain, that is another... But interpretation.
Guest: That is the basic...
Prabhupada: That is already there. What Krsna says, you say.
Guest: No, that is all right. Not to go further. As an organization we want to know your views on those points.
Prabhupada: Now what is the first point?
Jagadisa: "To collect all available materials and survey all institutions in India and abroad who are doing work based on Bhagavad-gita so that we will have completely up to date library."
Prabhupada: So I say what is the need of collecting? What Bhagavad-gitas you have got?
Guest: For information.
Prabhupada: Information... Bhagavad-gita, take information from Bhagavad-gita. What others have said you have nothing to do.
Guest: Now for example, we should have literature on Gita.
Prabhupada: Then there will be no limit. There are so many, 600,000 interpretations. Then your life will be spend (indistinct) for collecting.
Devotee: If I want to go to Bombay, I must have the correct timetable. Not a false timetable.
Prabhupada: Therefore I say, what Krsna directs, evam parampara praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. Parampara means to hear the truth from the spiritual master. You take this. Krsna... Arjuna accepted, when he was puzzled whether to fight or not to fight, he accepted Krsna as guru. Sisyas te 'ham. "Now I don't want to talk or argue with You," because as soon as you become a sisya you have to accept the statement of the guru. That is the relationship between guru and sisya. You cannot talk with guru from the same level. Whatever guru says you have to accept. Otherwise don't accept guru. Don't make a fashion of taking guru just like you keep a dog. Guru, first of all you have to select. Tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya [Bg. 4.34]. You have to select such a person where you can fully surrender. So Krsna is accepted by Arjuna like that. Sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. First of all. "I have surrendered to you." This is the first instance (instruction?). That means whatever He says, and at last He says, sarvam etad rtam manye yad vadasi [Bg. 10.14]. This is... Not that you make cut cut.(?) That is the process. Here is the parampara. Krsna is speaking Arjuna and Arjuna is accepting, sarvam etad rtam manye yad vadasi [Bg. 10.14]. This is... Not that you make cut-cut (?). "Whatever You have said." Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. "You have said that You are the Supreme, param brahma. I accept it." This is parampara. So we have not seen Krsna talking, but the words are there. So Arjuna has accepted Krsna as the param brahma. How we have change of, "Krsna is..."? So first of all we have to accept by the parampara system. Sa kaleneha yogo nastah parantapa. That parampara is now gone, Krsna says, therefore I am speaking to you again age-old-system. Not that new. Purana. And now you take. How Arjuna is accepting? Arjuna said, sarvam etad rtam manye [Bg. 10.14]. (Hindi) That is not Bhagavad-gita understanding. You take parampara system, you try to understand Krsna as Arjuna has understood. That is bhakti. Otherwise it is (indistinct). There is no meaning. But if anyone has accepted the parampara system as Arjuna has understood then he can speak on Bhagavad-gita. Otherwise he has no right to speak anything. That is parampara.
Guest: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: But All India conference, it is not for mass understanding. Krsna said yad yad acarati sresthah. Sresthah means the leaders of society. Rajarsayo. Not ordinary persons. Raja, he must be just like Maharaja Yudhisthira, Maharaja Pariksit, Lord Ramacandra, Maharaja Ambarisa. They are rajarsi. They are saintly persons, but they are governor. Such persons should understand. Yad yad acarati sresthah tad tad evetaro janah [Bg. 3.21]. If the srestha person understands Bhagavad-gita, it is not for the mass of people. Because
You cannot make a mass meeting and pass resolution and you'll understand Krsna. It is not like that. Workers must be also very sresthas, not ordinary workers. He must understand Krsna. Then he can... It is not foolish, what kind of (indistinct). So if you want to prove Bhagavad-gita, find out the sresthas of the country, sit down. Not that at mass conferenceyou bring meeting (?) And preaching. Select! If you understand then you can preach. But if you do not understand what is Bhagavad-gita, how to understand Bhagavad-gita, what is Krsna... And Krsna says that
So to understand Krsna is not so easy job. First of all one has to become siddha. And not only you become siddha, yatatam api siddhanam [Bg. 7.3], even one is siddha it is very difficult for him to understand-tattvatah. What Krsna means, to understand, it is not so easy job. And again He said, He explains that bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. Only the devotees can understand. It is not the business of the karmis, jnanis, yogis. He has strictly specified-bhaktya. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si. When He wanted to instruct Arjuna... Arjuna was a householder, a ksatriya, not even a brahmana, not a Vedantist. The question may be why He selected Arjuna to preach Bhagavad-gita which is so (indistinct) and (indistinct). That Krsna says bhakto 'si. "Without being bhakta nobody can understand Me." And again He confirms, bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. If we interpret Bhagavad-gita in a different way, karma, jnana, yoga, you'll never get Krsna. So these things are there. So to understand Bhagavad-gita one has to become a devotee, pure devotee. Not because he's learned scholar, he's a big politician or a big yogi or big jnani. Because He plainly says, bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah [Bg. 18.55]. If you do not understand Krsna, tattvatah, what He is, then it is natural he'll interpret in his way, his own philosophy. That is not (indistinct). If you take jnana, yoga, karma, or other.... But it is not possible. You have to receive it through the parampara system. The parampara system is clear. As Arjuna understood, you have to take it. And if you preach, that will be effective. I...
Guest: (indistinct)
Prabhupada: If you say my idea then I become one of you. (laughter) So I don't want that. I say I am foolish man. I have no idea. Whatever Krsna says, that is idea. Just like a child, he speaks the words of the father. If the father... The child asks,"Father, what is this?" The father says, "This is a stick." So if the child says, "That is a stick," so that is correct. He may be a child. Because he repeats the words of the father... (Hindi) If the people are fools and rascals, then other will be fool and rascal. Sva-vid-varahostra kharaih samstutah purusah pasuh [SB 2.3.19]. (Hindi) If you accept Krsna as the Supreme then where is the question of interpretation? (Hindi conversation) But who accepted? This is a fact. You try to understand that before me for 200 years so many swamis, yogis were there. Not a single man became Krsna conscious. (Hindi conversation) He is not teacher he is cheater. Why should you change Krsna's words? That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu, yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Don't manufacture. What Krsna has said, you say. Just as a child he can say, "This is a stick." "How you have learned?" "Father said." That's all. (Hindi) I started this business with forty rupees. (laughter) (Hindi) Yes when I went to New York they allowed me only forty rupees. (Hindi to end)

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