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Evening Darsana

July 11, 1976, New York
Prabhupada: "I take away as death." Whatever they are accumulating, everything will be taken away at the time of death. They are simply collecting, accumulating, discovering, forgetting that everything will be taken away at the time of death. Discover something which can check death, there will be no more death. That is real discovery. What do you think?
Indian man (1): It's a question to think about.
Prabhupada: Because whatever we are discovering, it will be taken away by death. So discover something which will stop death. And that is real discovery.
Indian man (1): But don't you think it will be a bad thing, because there are some bad people in the world, like Hitler and Stalin and others, they may be the first people to use the technology to prolong their life?
Prabhupada: The thing is, bad or good, everyone will be taken away by death. Is it not a fact? Hitler is no longer existing, neither Stalin nor Gandhi. Gandhi was supposed to be very good man. He's also taken by death, and Hitler is also taken by death. And Stalin also taken. And I'll also, you will be also. So death will take away everyone. There is no doubt about it. Therefore discover something which will stop death. That is real discovery.
Guest (1): Srila Prabhupada? Which is the most important chapter of the Bhagavad-gita?
Prabhupada: Every word is important.
Devotee: Jaya.
Prabhupada: Every word. Beginning from dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta yuyutsavah [Bg. 1.1], every word.
Guest (1): Every one.
Bali-mardana: Every word.
Guest (1): Every word.
Prabhupada: And that will give you guidance. Read Bhagavad-gita as it is, word for word. But don't misinterpret and spoil. The rascals misinterpret and spoil the whole Bhagavad-gita. That is the difficulty(?). You cannot misinterpret Bhagavad-gita. Then it will be spoiled. If you get Bhagavad-gita as it is, you are benefited. And if you misinterpret, then you spoil. So generally they misinterpret. Everyone speaks on Bhagavad-gita, but he misinterprets.
Guest (1): You've made it very clear, Prabhupada. I want to thank you for that. I like your purports as much as Krsna's actual words, because now I can understand it.
Prabhupada: Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Otherwise, for the last so many yearsI am speaking in Western countriesso many swamis, so many yogis come, they speak on Bhagavad-gita but misinterpret. So not a single devotee was there. And now Bhagavad-gita is presented as it is, and so many devotees are coming.
Guest (1): Now we can understand it.
Prabhupada: You could understand long ago, but difficulty is we accept this misinterpretation, spoiled understanding of Bhagavad-gita. Just like this gentleman was speaking he did not like Krsna, he told me.
Bali-mardana: He did not like Krsna.
Prabhupada: They'll read Bhagavad-gita, and they'll not like Krsna. This is their reading of Bhagavad-gita.
Indian man (2): They don't want to read it yet.
Prabhupada: (Hindi) Now all Indians, they should take Bhagavad-gita as it is and make their life fruitful. The Europeans and Americans, they are taking. Why Indians are not taking?
Indian lady: Is it because the Indians think that they know much about Bhagavad-gita? Being born a Hindu, they might think they know the religion, but not very much. They are not Krsna conscious at all.
Prabhupada: But if he knows everything, he does not know Krsna? How he knows everything if he does not know Krsna? If you think that you know everything, then you must know Krsna. But if you do not know Krsna, then what do you know? Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. If you simply know Krsna, then you know everything. And if you know everything and you do not know Krsna, then you are rascal, that's all. Mudha. That is the test. If you know everything but do not know Krsna, then you are a rascal. And if you know Krsna, then you know everything automatically.
Indian lady: I think they think they know it, but I'm sure they are not aware of it.
Prabhupada: If they know Krsna, why they do not come to the Krsna's temple?
Indian man (2): Quite a number of them come here. I remember the days when I used to be the only Indian in the temple, seven, eight years ago.
Prabhupada: Even though they are not coming, they should now come, and we can open many other temples if you come. We can maintain many other temples. You come and take advantage of it. Why you are losing your own culture? That is foolishness. You are Indians and you do not know Krsna. That is not a very good credit.
Indian man (2): Remember when we were building our altar? Remember last year when I talked to you? We were building altar, and actually I went to every Indian, and myself and the president of that temple, we begged everything we can do possible... And we wanted to collect almost ten thousand dollars, we couldn't even collect five thousand dollars, and most of them were making between fifteen and thirty thousand dollars. Some of them in fact gave us pennies.
Prabhupada: Just see.
Indian man (2): And they took us one Bhagavad-gita. We gave them Bhagavad-gita and they gave us some pennies.
Bali-mardana: Not a very good trade. (laughter)
Prabhupada: This is not good report.
Bali-mardana: Praghosa, he gets at least ten dollars in laksmi.
Indian man (2): It's difficult to collect money from the Indians. That is my experience, and I...
Bali-mardana: Because they are thinking of rupees. (laughter)
Prabhupada: That means they do not like Krsna.
Indian man (2): I don't know. Somehow or other, I myself am totally confused about Indian community in this country. I have no comments to make, but I found out that they are the least charitable community among all communities. I lived in Canada almost ten years, and I found out other communities are very charitable. Even if you go to other community, at least they will give something, but Indians...
Prabhupada: (Hindi) Every Indian should come to the temple and become a devotee.
Indian man (1): I think more and more people are really coming to the temple and becoming part of it, as I think most of the devotees around here know, in the last few years. Everybody I know of...
Prabhupada: "More and more coming" means not all are coming. (laughter)
Indian man (1): All of them would be the desirable thing.
Prabhupada: What is the objection?
Indian man (1): There are so many other temples. Hindu temple, Sindhu(?) temple... There's organization of community of Indians, they are trying to develop their own.
Prabhupada: There is Radha-Krsna Deity?
Indian lady: Yes.
Indian man (1): There is Gita temple, there's a Sindhi temple.
Prabhupada: Without Krsna? Gita without Krsna?
Indian man (1): It is a temple, everybody facing their back towards Krsna and chanting about what was happening in the town.
Bali-mardana: They have Krsna murti, but when he went there everyone had their back to the murti.
Indian man (1): And they were chanting, not chanting, talking about what was going on in the town.
Bali-mardana: Social, for social reasons.
Prabhupada: That means they do not know Krsna.
Indian man (1): But here you can only talk about Krsna, so they don't want to come.
Indian man (2): If you want to talk to them about Krsna you'll lose a friend.
Indian man (1): Right away.
Indian man (2): Right away. So either make friends with Krsna, or make friends with that guy.
Prabhupada: That is not very good. That means they have fallen from their culture. They have lost their culture.
Indian man (1): Some of them in fact enjoy eating hot dogs and hamburgers. They said, "Oh, I have been eating vegetables for ages. Now I have come here to eat hot dogs and hamburgers." That is their comment. They have done totally,
Prabhupada: What is this hot dog?
Hari-sauri: It's meat, sausage.
Guest: Together with other poisons.
Radhavallabha: Made from cows. [break]
Prabhupada: Some prasadam? Oh, they have taken prasadam.
Indian man (2): Want something to eat?
Bali-mardana: Someone is making them some little prasada?
Hari-sauri: There is some prasadam to distribute.
Prabhupada: (Hindi) And they talk of Bhagavad-gita and keeping Krsna background? Somebody says?
Bali-mardana: Yes. Mostly they don't even talk of Bhagavad-gita, they talk about social things, but Krsna they keep to the back. They have named the place Gita Mandira. Gita Temple. But they do not discuss Gita, just for show.
Prabhupada: That is the disease. Even Mahatma Gandhi, he was talking of Krsna, Bhagavad-gita, but throughout his whole life he never established a temple of Krsna, although his photograph you'll find with Bhagavad-gita. This is the calamity.
Indian man (1): In the last days Mahatma Gandhi kept saying rama rama, rama-nama is the only way chanting... One of his article he says there is no other cure but to chant the name of the Lord.
Prabhupada: Mahatma Gandhi would have preached Bhagavad-gita, the world would have taken very seriously, because he was respectable.
Bali-mardana: You wrote him to preach Bhagavad-gita.
Prabhupada: Yes. (Hindi) The four things Krsna wants, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. He charges four thing: to think of Krsna, to become His devotee, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto, mad-yaji... Find out this verse. Here is Bhagavad-gita. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65].
man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah
[Bg. 9.34]
"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: Charges four things, He wants: to always think of Him, become His devotee, worship Him, mad-yaji, and offer obeisances unto Him. Therefore this temple is there. These four things can be done even by the child. So why don't you do it? And the guarantee is that if anyone does like that, he goes back to home, back to Godhead. Every one of you should come to the temple, always think of the Deity, and if possible chant His holy name and offer Him some worship and obeisances. That will make you perfect. New York is such a big city, there are so many Indians, they should come. Where is the difficulty, to become a thinker of Krsna, always thinking, man-mana? The Deity is there. As soon as you come, you get some impression of the Deity. So if you think of the Deity, where is the difficulty? (Hindi) Can anyone say that there is difficulty in thinking of Krsna? And as soon as you think of Krsna, you become a devotee, immediately. And as soon as you become a devotee, you'll offer something for worship. And at the end of worship, you offer your obeisances. There is no need of education or Vedanta knowledge. Vedanta knowledge means this, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Four things. Anyone can do. And practically see. These foreigners, ten years, five years ago they did not know what is Krsna, and because they are following this man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah, they are now advanced devotees. So why Indians are lacking? Hmm? What is the objection?
Guest (1): Simply our hearts are caked with dust.
Prabhupada: Therefore we shall keep it dusty. If our heart is full of dust, cleanse it. That is intelligence. What is this, "My heart is dirty, let it be kept as dirty"? No, if it is dirty, cleanse it. It is the duty of every Indian to understand Krsna and preach Krsna consciousness movement to others. That is real Indian business. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission, that every one of you become Krsna conscious and preach this Krsna consciousness to others who are unaware of Krsna. That is the injunction; that is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. He said bharata-bhumite manusya-janma haila yara [Cc. Adi 9.41]. Anyone who has taken birth in India as a human beingnot as dogs manusya, manusya means humanhis duty is to become Krsna conscious and preach to the other people for welfare activities. Bharata-bhumite manusya-janma haila yara [Cc. Adi 9.41]. We should mark this point, manusya-janma. He's not requesting the cats and dogs. So in other words, that those who are not taking, Indians... Bhagavad-gita is known to everyone, every Indian knows. But if he does not preach this Krsna consciousness, then he is not to be counted as human being. Because He says manusya-janma haila yara. If we claim to be human being, born in India, it is our duty to understand the value of life from Bhagavad-gita and preach this cult to others to do real welfare activities. This is the duty of every Indian. Why Indians are lacking in their duty? They do not understand Krsna and they do not understand how to do good to others. Now whatever is done is done. It is time, now that Krsna consciousness movement is here, the temple is here, you come, you understand the whole philosophy and distribute. That is your duty. In New York City we can open many temples, provided you come.
Guest (1): Srila Prabhupada, how does it feel to be back in New York again?
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Guest (1): How does it feel to be back in New York?
Prabhupada: Yes, I feel very much pleased, because I came here alone, without any shelter, I was loitering on the street.
Guest (1): Ten years ago, wasn't it?
Prabhupada: Yes, in 1965. Then in 1966 I established this institution in a storefront on the Second Avenue. That is the beginning. I never thought we shall be able to possess such a big building.
Guest (1): You've done so much in that short time.
Prabhupada: I have not done, Krsna has done.
Guest (1): Krsna has helped you to do it.
Prabhupada: That I was speaking, that if we become sincere to Krsna, Krsna can give us all opportunities. He's all-powerful; He can do that. (aside:) Those who are going, give them. Those who are going, you can give one. Na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah. Do you read all these verses, those who are reading Bhagavad-gita?
Guest (1): Just in progress.
Prabhupada: This verse is very important.
Every one of you is reading our Bhagavad-gita As It Is?
Guests: Yes.
Prabhupada: Is there any question about?
Guest (1): Is there any question about Bhagavad-gita?
Prabhupada: No, as you are reading Bhagavad-gita, is there any doubt, question?
Radhavallabha: Srila Prabhupada wants to know if anyone has questions.
Prabhupada: There is nothing doubtful; everything is very plain. But we, by our rascaldom, we make it doubt. By our rascal interpretation. Everyone can understand. Just like dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta yuyutsavah [Bg. 1.1]. The Kuruksetra is dharma-ksetra. Still Kuruksetra is there in India, and it is dharma-ksetre. People go there for performing religious ritualistic ceremonies. So where is the difficulty to understand? And five thousand years ago the Kurus and Pandavas, they assembled there for fightingthat is clearly stated, dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre samaveta yuyutsavah [Bg. 1.1]. Who were they? Mamakah pandavas caiva: "My sons and the sons of Pandu," Kuru-Pandava. So where is the difficulty to understand? But by misinterpretation they'll write volumes of books and spoil the whole thing. This is going on. This business should be stopped. Then we will be benefited. Everyone is misinterpreting. Is it not a fact they are misinterpreting? What do you think?
Devotee (1): So many intelligent people, they are going to Transcendental Meditation simply because it's costing money. They want to pay. My sister, her husband, they are intelligent people, but they are simply...
Prabhupada: So intelligent that they cannot understand Bhagavad-gita. What kind of intelligence is that, the plain thing in the Bhagavad-gita, they cannot...
Devotee (1): Very bad intelligence.
Pusta Krsna: Mayayapahrta-jnanah [Bg. 7.15].
Prabhupada: Yes. So-called intelligent, they are not intelligent. They have lost their sense by the influence of maya. Even big, big men, they say that Krsna, this Krsna is not God. "The God Krsna is different" and so on, so on. Do they not say like that?
Indian man (3): I wanted to ask you a question. While talking to some of the European people, when we say that Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that asked him to fight, kill his own relatives and friends and not to bother about the consequences of the action. Now this statement sometimes is difficult for people of the West to understand, where they say before you do any action you should know the consequences and then only take action...
Prabhupada: That is the only statement in the Bhagavad-gita? There is no other statement?
Indian man (3): There is, but...
Prabhupada: So you have captured that only.
Indian man (3): Not I, I'm talking discussion. In a discussion it's difficult to convince people of the West, what is to answer to that?
Prabhupada: But if you know Krsna, that He is God, then whatever He speaks, it is all right. Just like Arjuna, he accepted Krsna, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. So he said, sarvam etad rtam manye yan mam vadasi kesava [Bg. 10.14]. Find out this verse. So "Whatever You say, I accept it as truth." That is understanding of Bhagavad-gita. If you have understood Bhagavad-gita, then you should have understood that whatever Krsna has said, that is truth. Read that.
Prabhupada: Translation.
Hari-sauri: "O Krsna, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me."
Prabhupada: That's all. That is understanding. Arjuna is not a fool. He said, "Whatever You have said, I accept them as truth." That is real understanding. But as soon as you make amendment, then you have not understood Krsna. Sarvam etad rtam manye yan mam vadasi kesava [Bg. 10.14]. There are so many rascals, they think "I don't believe in this, I don't believe in this." That is not understanding of Bhagavad-gita.
Indian man (3): Does it mean that before we, or anybody, before he at all...
Prabhupada: Before he, if... First of all he must know what is Krsna. Then he will understand that what is Krsna. That he will understand from Bhagavad-gita by this beginning. And at the end Krsna is accepted as the Supreme Lord. So if you know that Krsna is Supreme Lord, then whatever He says is correct.
Indian man (3): That means the first thing is to accept Krsna as God, and then...
Prabhupada: Not blindly.
Indian man (3): Not blindly.
Prabhupada: Not blindly. But you must know... Just like if you accept the government, and the government orders, "This man should be hanged," you have to accept it. You cannot protest that "The government has ordered this man should be hanged. It should be protested." And who will care for your protest? Government is government. You cannot criticize. You may criticize on account of your less intelligence, but government order is all. Is it not? If government orders that "This man should be hanged," can you say anything against it? It will not be accepted. Similarly, if you know that Krsna is the Supreme Lord, then as Arjuna said, sarvam etad rtam manye yan mam vadasi kesava [Bg. 10.14]. Param brahma param dhama pavitram [Bg. 10.12]. Unless you understand Krsna and Krsna's personality, you will try to weight the strength of His words, the value of His words. But if you understand other statement... Just like Krsna says mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7], "I am the supreme authority." So if He is the supreme authority, then whatever He has said, it is all right. But if you have doubt about He's supreme authority, then you will find out His fault. That is the defect. So if Krsna says that "I am the supreme authority..."
If you understand that Krsna is the supreme authority, then you will understand that whatever He has said, that is absolute. Now if we become doubtful, that is on account of our less intelligence. Why you are questioning this, that Krsna... What you are question?
Indian man (3): I said that, as an Indian, suppose I try to speak about Gita or philosophy of Hinduism to people in the neighborhood, either in the office or elsewhere, especially with the Europeans, it becomes a point for discussion where it becomes difficult to convince as to why a person should take action without knowing the consequences or even with knowing that the consequences are going to be bad. For instance, Arjuna had to kill his relatives. If he knows that if he's going to do it, or if somebody, for instance, in a war, he knows that his friends are on the other side, he may find it hard to shoot at them...
Prabhupada: So why Arjuna did later on?
Indian man (3): Because I think he took God's...
Prabhupada: Because he was fool in the beginning, and after understanding Bhagavad-gita he became intelligent. Why don't you take in that way? In the beginning, he was rascal. Therefore he needed instruction of Bhagavad-gita. And when he understood Bhagavad-gita, what did he say? Nasto mohah smrtir labdha. Find out this verse. Nasto mohah, "Now my illusion is over." Smrtir labdha tvat prasadan madhusudana.
nasto mohah smrtir labdha
tvat prasadan mayacyuta
sthito 'smi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava
[Bg. 18.73]
Prabhupada: Sthito 'smi gata-sandehah. "Now all my doubts are over. Now I shall kill." Why did you not say this to your European audience?
Indian man (3): Because I don't know the Gita myself that good.
Prabhupada: Then why do you preach? First of all know, then preach. If you did not know, you should not preach. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara [Cc. Adi 9.41]. First of all make your life perfect, then try to make others perfect. Don't cheat others. So when Arjuna actually became intelligent, he said sthito 'smi gata-sandehah karisye vacanam tava. This is understanding. "Yes, now I am situated in my proper understanding, I shall carry out Your order."
Guest (1): Srila Prabhupada, I heard on one lecture tape, you mentioned your Guru Maharaja has said that in the morning he had to beat the mind into submission. How can we do this?
Prabhupada: Practice this. Your mind, when he says something hodgepodge, just beat him with shoes. Just to bring him in order. Here is the real understanding, that
nasto mohah smrtir labdha
tvat prasadan mayacyuta
sthito 'smi gata-sandehah
karisye vacanam tava
[Bg. 18.73]
This is Krsna consciousness. Whether you are prepared to act according to the direction of Krsna, then your life is successful. Otherwise you are in darkness. So as Arjuna, he was in the darkness... He's ksatriya. The fight was arranged between the two sections of the family, Pandavas and Kurus, and when he was to fight actually with his family members, he became bewildered, that "Krsna, what is this? I'll have to kill my family members." So then he became His disciple, that "I am ksatriya, it is my duty to fight. Now I am hesitating." Karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah [Bg. 2.7]. "I'm just deviating from my duty, so Krsna, I accept You as my guru-kindly give me instruction." So that Bhagavad-gita was given instruction... [break] He agreed, "Yes, now my illusion is over, I shall fight." This is understanding of Bhagavad-gita. If you follow Arjuna as he understood, then your understanding of Bhagavad-gita is perfect. If you do not understand, then you have not understood what is Krsna's speaking and what is Bhagavad-gita. Yes?
Indian man (4): Swamiji, in Bhagavad-gita we can see that Krsna said to Arjuna that "I will not fight for you, but I'll only drive your chariot." Why He refused to fight? Why He didn't fight?
Prabhupada: That is, because it was fight amongst the family members. So He was also related with the Kuru family. His aunt, Kunti..., Kunti was married to the Pandavas. So the family members may not think that He's partial, so He divided Himself into two. His soldiers one side, and He Himself one side. And Arjuna and Duryodhana were present, requesting Him to take their side. So Krsna said that "We are all family members, so I divide Myself into two-My soldiers and Myself. So if you want, you take Me or My soldiers, as you like, but if you take Me, I say I'll not fight." So Duryodhana thought that "Krsna will not fight and He's prepared to give me soldiers," he took the soldiers, and Arjuna said, "No, I want You." So this was the division. So in the beginning He said that "Even if I go to one side, I'll not fight." So how He could fight? Not that He was not a fighter, but because He promised that "The side which will accept, I'll not fight." But He did not say that "I'll not give you instruction of fighting." That is Krsna. (laughter)
Indian man (3): He took the chariot wheel when Bhisma pitamaha was coming to Arjuna. Is that a fight?
Prabhupada: Yes, that is another instance, that for His devotee He can break His promise also. That is Krsna. Arjuna... Duryodhana complained to Bhismadeva, that "My dear grandfather, because you have affection for Arjuna and others, you are not fighting properly according to your strength." So at that time Bhisma saw that "This man is doubting about my sincerity." So he wanted to show his power, so he said, "All right." He knew everything, he was a great devotee of Krsna, so he promised to Duryodhana, that "Tomorrow I shall fight in such a way that either Arjuna will die or Krsna will have to break His promise." So he fought in such a way that Arjuna was practically vanquished. At that time, Krsna took the wheel of the chariot and came before Him, that "Bhisma, you stop this fight, otherwise I'll kill you." So Bhisma said, "Yes, I am stopping my fight, because You have broken Your promise, that's all." This is the dealing between God and His devotee. There is competition of devotional service. There are so many things. But on the whole, Krsna is the Supreme Lord, the supreme authority; His instruction is final, and anyone who can understand this, his life is successful. Therefore our request is that don't make unnecessary useless interpretation. You take Bhagavad-gita as it is and act accordingly, your life will be successful. This is our mission. That is Krsna consciousness movement. But if you cannot understand Bhagavad-gita, we can try to explain before you what it is. Hare Krsna. (guests coming in or leaving)
Indian man (2): There are many swamis coming from India nowadays, and they are trying to establish, some of them like Ganapati temples or the Lord Siva temples, and so forth, and trying to confuse Westerners, especially Americans, because most of them, they do come to America. Being Indian, how we can help about this confusion?
Prabhupada: You take Bhagavad-gita as standard. Who is the Hindu or Indian there who can refuse the authority of Bhagavad-gita? So you present them Bhagavad-gita as it is, then it will not happen. I don't think any Indian or any Hindu can deny the authority of Bhagavad-gita. Is there anyone?
Devotee: No.
Prabhupada: Then you present them. That is, I have taken, that this is the summum bonum of Indian culture, Bhagavad-gita. Bhagavad-gita is accepted all over the world as the greatest book of knowledge, so take this standard and preach, and people will be enlightened, without misinterpretation.
Guest: Here's a swami, Swami Krishna-prema Idavatakar from Gorakhpur Vinodiya from Calcutta.
Indian lady: Swamiji, I made this for you.
Prabhupada: Oh, thank you very much. Very nice. He has come here? Let him come.
Indian lady: Hare Krsna.
Prabhupada: Thank you.
Indian man (5): Swami? I have one question which is widely discussed everywhere, that eating of meat is sin. Now we see that while for our survival, while walking, while working we kill so many things, knowingly or unknowingly, is it not sin that?
Prabhupada: (Hindi) (to swami guest) Ayi. Give him asana. Ayi Jaya. (Hindi) What is that question? Just try to understand.
Devotee (2): Why is meat-eating sin?
Hari-sauri: He said he can understand meat-eating is sin, but when we are doing our ordinary work and normal functions, aren't we killing so many other things? So is that sin or not?
Prabhupada: Yes. That is also sin. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, that whatever you eat, bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat [Bg. 3.13]. Anyone is cooking something, meat or vegetables, for his own eating, he is eating only sin. It is not that the vegetarians are not sinful and the meat-eaters are sinful. Everyone is sinful if it is not cooked for Krsna. It is not that we are propagating that you become vegetarian. We are propagating that you become Krsna consciousness. That is our propaganda. But because we are trying to become Krsna conscious, we offer something to Krsna. Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. So not patram puspam, whatever within this group available, fruits, flowers, grains, milk, so we offer to Krsna. Yajna. Yajnarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah [Bg. 3.9]. If you do not perform yajna, then you will be bound up by the resultant action. So this is yajna, to offer to Krsna. Yajna means to satisfy Visnu. Visnu-aradhyate. Yajna means satisfy Krsna. But if you don't Krsna's prasadam, then you are sinful. Not that if you become vegetarian, then you are not sinful. Not that. Because you have to eat something. Jivo jivasya jivanam. Either you eat vegetable or meat, you have to eat something. So somebody prefers eating animals, and somebody prefers eating vegetables, but all of them have got life. Therefore you cannot kill any life. So if you eat for yourself, then you are simply eating sin. Bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat. But if you take Krsna prasadam, then if there is any sin, it goes to Krsna, you take pure prasadam. And Krsna is apapa-vidham. So our duty is to worship Krsna and offer Him so many nice thingsfruits, flowers, grains, milk, milk preparation. We are doing that. You are taking prasadam. So that is our business. Is it clear, your answer?
Indian man (5): Yes.
Prabhupada: We are interested in eating Krsna prasadam. If Krsna says "Give Me meat," we shall give Him. But He does not say. He says patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati [Bg. 9.26]. Meat-eating is sinful, that's a fact, amedha, tamasika, but if you remain in the darkness of ignorance, you cannot improve your spiritual life. Tamasika. It is described in the Bhagavad-gita, rajasika, tamasika, sattvika. Therefore we should eat sattvika, and that is also after offering to Krsna. Then we are free from all sinful reactions. And if you want to implicate yourself in sinful activities, then you can eat whatever you like. But either you eat meat or vegetables, if it is eaten for my satisfaction of the tongue, you become implicated in sinful activities, and you have to suffer the reaction. The animal you are killing, he'll kill also you next life. Then you become bound up.
Indian man (6): I have one question. Though there is mention, in earlier times, we see also used to eat meat.
Prabhupada: When?
Indian man (6): Asvamedha-yajna, all these things, and before that...
Prabhupada: That is now prohibited.
If you refer to sastra, the sastra says in Kali-yuga these should be avoided. At that time, when there was asvamedha-yajna, gomedha-yajna, that was not for eating. That was to prove the strength of Vedic mantra, how the animal was put in the fire and again gave him a new life. So where is that Vedic chanter, Vedic brahmana, yajnika brahmana? There is no such things, powerful brahmana. Therefore it is to be avoided. And that was not for eating purpose. To put one old animal in the fire and again he comes back with new life, that was the purpose. This question was raised by Chand Kazi to Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Mahaprabhu challenged him, that "What is this your religion, you are killing your father and mother?" So he referred to this, that in..., "Formerly they were sacrificing cows in Your sastra." So Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained that sacrifice was not meant for eating. That was meant for renovating new life. That is not for eating.
Indian man (6): Another question comes. Why, how the caste system has crippled our society so much, was accepted by...
Prabhupada: Wrongly, wrongly. Krsna says, catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. So according to quality and work... That is fact. If you have got engineering qualification and if you can work as engineer, people will call you engineer-saheb. Is it not? So there may be a class of engineer, but that depends on quality and work. But if you have no quality, no work, how you become engineer? If you have no qualification of becoming an engineer, and you do not work, you work as a clerk, and if somebody addresses you "Engineer-saheb," he is a fool, you are a fool. (laughter) So if he's not a brahmana, if you call him a brahmana, then you are fool and he is also fool. So that is going on, fools' paradise. A rascal who is not in qualification a brahmana, if he's addressed and given honor of a brahmana, he's sees, "Oh, for nothing I am getting this honor, that's right, very nice." And who is giving him honor as brahmana, he's also rascal. But it is not that. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. Not by birth. One must acquire the quality of a brahmana.
He must be truthful, he must be self-restrained, self-controlled, full of knowledge, very simple. All these qualifications, when he acquires, then he becomes a brahmana.
Indian man (6): No, even in Ramayana and Mahabharata we find this kind of, Ekalavya was discriminated, Karna was discriminated...
Prabhupada: Because he was not accustomed to the practice of brahmana. One must be brahmana by practice; that is wanted.
Indian man (6): This is kind of discrimination though.
Prabhupada: Hmm?
Indian man (6): This is kind of discrimination though.
Prabhupada: Yes. Krsna says mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah [Bg. 9.32]. Never mind if he's born in low-grade family, but he's eligible to go back to home, back to Godhead. Te 'pi yanti param gatim. Do you mean to say unless one becomes a first-class brahmana he can go back to home, back to Godhead? No, that is not possible. So, kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah sudhyanti [SB 2.4.18]. The purificatory process... Just like these Europeans, Americans, they are being recognized as brahmanas because they are pure devotees. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. He says krsna-bhajane nahi jati-kuladi-vicara [Cc. Antya 4.67]. Krsna-bhajane, if one becomes Krsna conscious, there is no such discrimination, even if you make that, because as soon as you become Krsna conscious, you become the best brahmana. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. He immediately becomes on the brahmam platform. And brahmana means one who knows brahma. Brahma janati iti brahmana. So every devotee, if he's purely engaged in devotional service, he's more than brahmana. And so-called brahmana, without Krsna consciousness, that is not recognized. Avaisnavo gurur na syad vaisnavah sva-paco guruh. If a dog-eater, candala, he has become a Vaisnava, he can be guru. But a brahmana, sat-karma-nipuno vipro mantra-tantra-visaradah, avaisnavo gurur na syat. If he's expert, Vedic chanting and everything, mantra-tantra-visarada, but if he's not a Vaisnava, he cannot become guru. So according to our Caitanya Mahaprabhu's... That is actually according to Vedic injunction. If you understand Krsna, then you become more than a brahmana. Try to understand Krsna, and then your life is successful. And Krsna is being distributed by Lord Krsna. Not only He's giving Krsna, He's giving krsna-prema, krsna-prema-pradaya te krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah [Cc. Madhya 19.53]. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is so kind, merciful, He's not only giving Krsna, He's giving krsna-prema, which is very, very rare. (converses in Hindi with Indians for some time)
Indian man (4): Prabhupada? Buddha was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the incarnation of Krsna, right? Then why he has preached the impersonal form of God?
Prabhupada: That is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. You have got Srimad-Bhagavatam here? Find out that, when Lord Buddha appeared, that verse. Sammohaya sura-dvisam [SB 1.3.24]. His propaganda was to cheat the atheist class of men. Atheist class of men, they did not recognize existence of God, so He became one of them. Sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatam. This atheist class, they were killing animals in the name of yajna like anything. So yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati [Bg. 4.7], so He came as Buddha to stop this animal killing. His real business was stop the animal killing, that these rascals are going to hell in the name of religion, so at least stop their activities of animal killing. So therefore he started the mission, ahimsa paramo dharma: "Don't kill animals." But in the Vedas there is recommendation, in the yajna, as you were saying, that there is..., animal killing is recommended. So people presented that "Here is animal killing recommended in the yajna." Therefore he denied the authority of Vedas. Nindasi yajna-vidher ahaha sruti-jatam sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatam. So this Buddha incarnation is cheating the atheist class of men. He said that "Don't kill animals. If you are killed you feel pain. Why you should kill animals?" That was his mission, to stop animal killing, sinful activities. So what was your question?
Indian man (4): I just asked why he has preached impersonal form of God.
Prabhupada: Yes, because they were all godless, so he said, "There is no God, but you stop this animal killing." That was his mission. And he said, "There is no God, but whatever I say, you accept." So they agreed. But he is God. That is cheating. Superficially he said there is no God, but he is God. Somehow or other, if people stop animal killing and accept Lord Buddha, then he becomes at least one step forward to God realization. So in a cheating process he made good to others.
Prabhupada: Translation.
Dhrstadyumna: "Then in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theists."
Prabhupada: To delude them. Read the purport.
Dhrstadyumna: "Lord Buddha, a powerful incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, appeared in the province of Gaya (Bihar) as the son of Anjana, and he preached his own conception of nonviolence and deprecated even the animal sacrifices sanctioned in the Vedas. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared, the people in general were atheistic and preferred animal flesh to anything else. On the plea of Vedic sacrifice, every place was practically turned into a slaughterhouse, and animal killing was indulged in unrestrictedly. Lord Buddha preached nonviolence, taking pity on the poor animals. He preached that he did not believe in the tenets of the Vedas and stressed the adverse psychological effects incurred by animal killing. Less intelligent men of the age of Kali, who had no faith in God, followed his principle, and for the time being they were trained in moral discipline and nonviolence, the preliminary steps for proceeding further on the path of God realization. He deluded the atheists because such atheists who followed his principles did not believe in God, but they kept their absolute faith in Lord Buddha, who himself was the incarnation of God. Thus the faithless people were made to believe in God in the form of Lord Buddha. That was the mercy of Lord Buddha: he made the faithless faithful to him. Killing of animals before the advent of Lord Buddha was the most prominent feature of the society. They claimed that these were Vedic sacrifices. When the Vedas were not accepted through the authoritative disciplic succession, the casual readers of the Vedas are misled by the flowery language of that system of knowledge. In the Bhagavad-gita a comment has been made on such foolish scholars. The foolish scholars of Vedic literature who do not care to receive the transcendental message through the transcendental realized sources of disciplic succession are sure to be bewildered. To them, the ritualistic ceremonies are considered to be all in all. They have no depth of knowledge. According to the Bhagavad-gita, the whole system of the Vedas is to lead one gradually to the path of the Supreme Lord. The whole theme of Vedic literature is to know the Supreme Lord, the individual soul, the cosmic situation and the relations between all these items. When the relation is known, the relative function begins, and as a result of such a function the ultimate goal of life of going back to Godhead takes place in the easiest manner. Unfortunately, unauthorized scholars of the Vedas become captivated by the purificatory ceremonies only, and natural progress is checked thereby. To such bewildered persons of atheistic propensity, Lord Buddha is the emblem of theism. He therefore first of all wanted to check the habit of animal killing. The animal killers are dangerous elements on the path of going back to Godhead. There are two types of animal killers. The soul is also sometimes called the animal, or the living being. Therefore both the slaughterers of animals as well as those who have lost their identity as the soul are animal killers. Maharaja Pariksit said that only the animal killer cannot relish the transcendental message of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if people are to be educated on the path of Godhead, they must be taught first and foremost to stop the process of animal killing as above mentioned. It is nonsensical to say that animal killing has nothing to do with spiritual realization. By this dangerous theory many so-called sannyasis have sprung up by the grace of Kali-yuga to preach animal killing under the garb of the Vedas."
Prabhupada: Now there are so many rascals in this dress of sannyasi, they are eating meat. That is going on. They say, "What is the wrong of eating meat? Can eat." They eat meat. Then?
Dhrstadyumna: "The subject matter has already been discussed in the conversation between Lord Caitanya and Maulana Chand Kazi Shaheb. The animal sacrifice as stated in the Vedas is different from the unrestricted animal killing in the slaughterhouse."
Prabhupada: There, your question.
Dhrstadyumna: "Because the asuras, or the so-called scholars of Vedic..."
Prabhupada: Now you were referring to the Vedic principle, but that does not mean you have to open slaughterhouse. But these rascals are opening slaughterhouse. You think it is Vedic principle? Suppose it is recommended that animals should be sacrificed in the Vedic ritualistic ceremony. Does it mean that you shall open regular slaughterhouse? Just as the Christians say that Jesus Christ ate fish, therefore they are right in opening big, big slaughterhouse? Maybe Lord Jesus Christ ate fish in some awkward circumstance, but that does not mean that he is recommending to open slaughterhouse. In the Ten Commandments he says, "Thou shalt not kill." When there is absolute necessity, there is no other food, that is another thing, but if there is sufficient other foodstuff, why should you kill? They are not even human being, those who are animal killers. Vina pasughnat [SB 10.1.4]. Those who are animal killers, they are not even human being, what to speak of religious system. Nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad bhavausadhac chrotra-mano-'bhiramat ka uttamasloka-guna [SB 10.1.4]. If you are animal killer, your God consciousness is finished. You'll never be able to understand what is God. Then your life is finished. This life is meant for understanding God, and if you are animal killer, then your God understanding is finished.
Guest (1): May I ask a question, Prabhupada? Something that I've wondered about, perhaps you could explain it briefly. I believe that Krsna is the Supreme God, so don't get me wrong, but since you mentioned Christ, was he an incarnation of Krsna? Was Jesus Christ sent here by Krsna from...
Prabhupada: He says that he is son of God; that is accepted.
Guest (1): Krsna was Christ's father then.
Devotee: Yes.
Prabhupada: No, Krsna is father, and Christ is the son.
Guest (1): I understand it now. I just wondered.
Prabhupada: He said "I am son of God." Yes.
Guest (1): And when he spoke of his father in heaven, he was speaking of Krsna.
Prabhupada: That is, yes.
Guest (1): I understand. It all fits together now.
Indian man (7): Swamiji, how could you convince these Christian people that Christ was the son of God, or Krsna was the...
Prabhupada: Christ says himself that "I am the son of God." (laughter)
Indian man (7): Many Christians, they do not...
Prabhupada: Many Christians also... There are so many Christian editions. That is another thing.
Bali-mardana: We have accepted.
Prabhupada: But all these Christians, they all my students, they are coming from Christian. How they accept Krsna as the father?
Guest (1): Prabhupada, did Christ return to the spiritual planets then, when he left the earth, to be with Krsna?
Prabhupada: He is coming from spiritual planets. He is authorized representative of Krsna, we accept him as saktyavesa-avatara. So I was invited in some priestly meeting in Melbourne, they asked me the question, "What is your opinion of Christ?" So I said "He's our guru." (laughter) Actually, we accept him as our guru. He's preaching God's message; he's Vaisnava. Anyone who accepts God, he's Vaisnava. He was explaining kingdom of God, God. So according to time, circumstances, audience... Now we can just imagine what kind of people he had to deal with, that his commandment is "Thou shall not kill." Then understand how much they were accustomed to killing. So what kind of men they were? And not only that, in spite of hearing his instruction "Thou shall not kill," they killed him first. So what kind of men they were, just imagine. He said, "Thou shall not kill," and they decided, "We shall kill you first." So this class of men he had to deal with.
Guest (1): What would happen to the people that killed Christ on the cross? Very bad, it seems.
Prabhupada: :Christ cannot be killed, but they killed themselves.
Devotee (3): So we read that Christ said "I and my father are one," so they say therefore Christ is Krsna, so therefore Krsna can't be God.
Prabhupada: "One" means in quality. And in the Vedic literature we say aham brahmasmi. That means we are one in quality. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma. So now we are material-bhutah, jiva-bhutah. When we realize that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul, I am part and parcel of God," that is brahma-bhutah. Then bhakti begins.
Then he enters into Vaikuntha, after Brahman realization. So Lord Buddha's finished?
Prabhupada: Go on, finish it.
Dhrstadyumna: "The animal sacrifice as stated in the Vedas is different from the unrestricted animal killing in the slaughterhouse. Because the asuras or the so-called scholars of Vedic literatures put forward the evidence of animal killing in the Vedas, Lord Buddha superficially denied the authority of the Vedas. This rejection of the Vedas by Lord Buddha was adopted..."
Prabhupada: Just like, you said that in the Vedas there is animal killing, therefore... [break] That was not killing. So, instead of wasting his time he said "I don't care for your Vedas. It is my order that you stop if you love me." You cannot open slaughterhouse giving reference to the Vedas, or any sacrifice either. The Jews, and everyone, the Muhammadans, they also make sacrifice. One day in the year they sacrifice. It's not that they recommend open a slaughterhouse. This is all nonsense, raksasa. That sacrifice also recommended in this sense, that you cannot stop animal killing, there will be a class of men who will eat meatto give them some concession. So this is recommended, "All right, if you want to eat meat, you sacrifice." Amongst the Hindus, just like Kali-puja, Durga-puja, the animal eaters, they are given this concession, that "If you want to eat meat, you just worship Goddess Kali," and this goddess Kali-worshiping is recommended on the amavasya, the dark moon night, one day in a month, at the dead of night. So if one goes on eating meat in this way, one day in a month and dead of night, then he'll automatically give it up. "So much botheration, better give it up." Actually deny. "Yes, you can eat once in a month at the dead of night, when everyone will sleep, nobody can hear the screaming of the animal..." These are the recommendations. That is indirectly denying. If one is intelligent, he'll accept it, "Why so much botheration for eating meat? Better give it up."
Indian man (4): Srila Prabhupada, there are so many gurus...
Prabhupada: We are not talking of so many gurus, we are talking of real guru, that's all, real guru. Real guru is he who talks in disciplic succession of Krsna. Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh [Bg. 4.2]. That is guru. The bumifor(?) guru is no guru. Avaisnavo gurur na syat. Anyone who is not Vaisnava, he's not guru. First, He says in the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavan, ya idam paramam guhyam mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati [Bg 18.68]. Find out this. He is guru, who is preaching what Krsna has taught, he's guru. Not that anyone and everyone becomes a guru. If you want to be cheated by such rascal guru, that is your business, but who is guru, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Anyone who preaches the teachings of Krsna, he is guru. Caitanya Mahaprabhu also says amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. "You become a guru on My order." "How shall I become guru? I have no knowledge." Oh, you don't require any knowledge to manufacture. Yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. "Simply repeat the instruction of Krsna, you become guru." Everyone can become. The instruction is there. Krsna says sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. We say the same thing. Not that "I have become Krsna, not..." We say "Surrender to Krsna." Then you become guru. Krsna's instruction, not to become Krsna. If you want to become Krsna, then you are not guru, you are cheater. Suppose you are working for master. If you say "My master has fixed up this price; you cannot change it," then you are honest salesman. And if you place yourself that "I am the master," then you are cheater. The cheater cannot be teacher. Teacher is he who simply teaches what Krsna has said, that's all. He is teacher. That is not difficult. Anyone can do it. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. Whomever you meet, you simply speak to him the instruction of Krsna. Then you become guru. And if you don't say that, if you manufacture your own words, then you are cheater, you are not teacher. The so-called gurus, they're cheaters. They want to become Krsna. Therefore they are cheater. And it is very easy thing if you cheat people, that "You take this mantra and you become God." Is it so easy thing to become God? But they want to be cheated. "Purchasing mantra, I shall become God." They want to be cheated. They do not think that "Whether I can actually become God." They do not take the weight of His existence. Hare Krsna. Time? So what is the time now?
Pusta Krsna: Eight o'clock, Srila Prabhupada.
Devotees: (Offer obeisances)
Prabhupada: Prasadam. (Hindi for a few seconds) (end)

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