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690222 - Lecture BG 07.01 - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

690222BG-LOS ANGELES - February 22, 1969 - 60:00 Minutes

Prabhupāda: Today we shall begin Seventh Chapter. One hundred and sixty-six.

Devotee: Chapter Seven, Page 166. "Knowledge of the Absolute." One: "Now hear, O son of Pṛthā (Arjuna), how by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full, free from doubt." (BG 7.1) Purport.

Prabhupāda: Arjuna's mother was known as Pṛthā. Pṛthā. Her father's name was Mahārāja Pṛthu. Therefore Arjuna is known as Pārtha. Sometimes Arjuna is addressed as Pārtha. It comes from the meaning, root meaning, of Arjuna's mother's father, grandfather.

Go on.

Devotee: Purport: "In the first six chapters of the Bhagavad-gītā, the living entity has been described as nonmaterial spirit soul who is capable of elevating himself to self-realization by different types of yogas. At the end of the Sixth Chapter it has been clearly stated that the steady concentration of the mind upon Kṛṣṇa, or in other words, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the highest form of all yoga. By concentrating one's mind upon Kṛṣṇa one is able to know the Absolute Truth completely, but not otherwise. The impersonal brahma-jyotir, or localized Paramātmā, is not perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth, because it is partial."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Impersonal . . . just like sunshine and the sun disc and the inhabitants of the sun globe. In one sense, they are one unit. You cannot separate sunshine from the sun disc or the sun disc from the inhabitants or the predominating deity of sun planet. They are all in light, but still there is difference. Sunshine is coming within your room. Although the sun disc and the sunshine is not different, still, when you realize what is sunshine, that does not mean you realize what is the sun disc.

This is very practical. To understand what is sunshine does not mean to understand what is sun disc. You can have some idea: "The sun disc is also light, and it has got heat—it is illuminating." These ideas you can get, but not exactly what is the temperature of that sun disc, how you can live there. There are so many things to learn. Therefore, impersonal Brahman, understanding of impersonal Brahman, is not perfect knowledge.

Exactly . . . knowledge of sunshine is not perfect knowledge of sun. That you can understand very easily. Suppose daily you are having sunshine within your room. Does it mean you know what is sun disc or what is the inhabitants of the sun globe? No. Nobody knows. Similarly, impersonal knowledge of the Absolute Truth is like that. That is not complete knowledge.

Although it is light, sunshine is also light, sun disc is also light, and the inhabitants there, they also must be light. Otherwise, how can they live? They also must be fiery. Because the inhabitants there, they are also fiery. Without being fire, how you can live in fire? Sun is fire; everyone knows it. The temperature is very high. So one, without having a body suitable to that temperature, how they can live there? But there are living entities. That we have got.

Because you cannot live in the water, that does not mean there is no living entity in the water. This is nonsense. So if we similarly conclude, "Because we cannot live in the fire, therefore there is no living entity in the fire," that is nonsense. The exact knowledge is at least to accept this reasoning, that "I cannot live in the water," but if you count the number of living entities within the water, oh, it is far more than living entities on the land, because the water is three-fourths of the globe.

So how many living entities can live on the one-fourth? Naturally the number of living entities is far greater. But if you conclude, "Oh, I cannot . . . if I put into the water I shall die, so there is no living entity within the water," this is nonsense. You don't compare with your situation with others.

That is the mistake of civilization. We think everything in our own standard. Ātmavat manyate jagat.

That is the nature, that ātmavat, what he is thinking of himself, therefore others must be like that. No. Others may be different from you. So similarly you will find so many differences in so many planets. Their habits, their mode of living, civilization, standard of living is completely different. Even in this planet, if we find, the standard of living in America is different from the standard of living in South America or Africa or India, so why not in other planets?

So everything . . . in the Brahma-saṁhitā we understand every planet has a different situation, not that everything of this nature. So it is . . . it is not complete idea. "Because you can know what is sunshine, therefore you can know what is sun-god or sun disc"—no, that can(not) be done. Similarly, because you have some spiritual light, impersonal light . . . what is that impersonal light?

The whole Buddha philosophy, impersonal philosophy, is looking to that impersonal. What is that? That, "Because here in this material world I have got bad experience of this personal existence, therefore I conclude that there must be something impersonal. That is nice." That is thinking in the opposite way.

But that is not actual fact. Just like a diseased person: Lying in one side, he is getting pain. He thinks, "If I lie down on the other side, I will be relieved." That he is thinking. But so long he is diseased, there is no question of relief. He is thinking like that, this way or that way.

Just like in the materialistic way they are . . . their last point of happiness is sex life. That's all. So they have enjoyed sex life in this way; now they are trying to enjoy sex life in that way. But the enjoyment is the same. There is no more enjoyment. That is finished. You can eschew in so many ways, but the result is the same.

Similarly, unless you have got perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth, if you think of the Absolute Truth as something opposite of your present status, that is not perfect knowledge. The impersonal knowledge is like that: something opposite of this material world.

Go on.

Devotee: "Full in scientific knowledge is Kṛṣṇa, and everything is revealed to the person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one knows that Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate knowledge, beyond any doubts."

Prabhupāda: Now, here somebody may say that "This is too much sectarian, that knowing simply Kṛṣṇa, everything is known." Somebody may say like that. But actually this is the fact. The Vedic statement says like that. Tasmin vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3).

If you can understand the origin, person, the original person . . . the Upaniṣad does not say directly, "The original person is Kṛṣṇa," simply because there are so many impersonalists. But the Upaniṣad gives hint that if you can understand the original person, tasmin . . . this is person. Tasmin vijñāte: "If one is able to understand the Supreme Person," sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati, "then everything becomes known."

How? Suppose you want to know . . . say I am a foreigner. If I want to know how this American government is going on, oh, I will have to study so many things. But somehow or other, if I made friendship with Mr. Nixon, the president, and if I sit down with him a few days, oh, everything is known. Is it not? Yes. He will disclose everything, that "My government is going on like this." You know.

So this is a fact. If you try to understand or if you some way or other understand the original person, Kṛṣṇa, then you understand everything. That will be explained here. Simply by knowing Kṛṣṇa, you will understand everything. This wonderful thing is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa and you will gradually understand everything. This is the secret of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that's a fact. Hmm?

Go on.

Devotee: "Different types of yogas are only stepping stones on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who takes directly to Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically knows about brahma-jyotir and Paramātmā in full."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Suppose . . . the same example: If you can understand the sun disc, then automatically you understand what is sunshine. But understanding sunshine, you cannot understand the sun disc. That is not possible. Therefore the origin should be understood. Root should be understood. Then everything will be under . . . that is knowledge. That will be explained in this chapter.

Go on.

Devotee: "By practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga one can know everything in full, namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia."

Prabhupāda: What you have to learn? What is knowledge? Five things you have to learn. What is your experience within this world? You have experience this material nature. You are seeing this. That's a fact. And you are seeing also . . .

(aside) Thank you. Come on.

You are experiencing also the living entities, so many living entities. That's a fact. So material nature is a fact, the living entities, they are also fact, and there is some controller of this material nature and the living entities. That is also fact.

You cannot say that you are the controller or material nature is controller. There is a supreme controller. That is God. That is also another fact. And time. The . . . everything is done within time. Time is also a different . . . relative measure according to the . . . your time is different from the time of another animal or another living entity. Just like Brahmā's time. You cannot calculate one day of Brahmā because your time and his time is different. Similarly, a small microbic animal, his time and your time is different. So he cannot calculate your time. So time is relative.

So time, living entity, this material world and the supreme controller and activities. Every living entities are engaged in some activities. So you have to understand these five things which you are experiencing daily. So if you understand Kṛṣṇa, these five things will be automatically understood, and you will understand everything.

By understanding one, Kṛṣṇa, you understand these five items. And by understanding these five items, you understand the whole thing. That's all. That means you have complete knowledge. So Bhagavad-gītā explains like that. Tasmin vijñāte sarvaṁ evam vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3).

Everything becomes known by understanding the Supreme. That is our program.

Go on.

Devotee: "One should therefore begin yoga practice as directed in the last verse of the Sixth Chapter. Concentration of the mind upon Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme, is made possible by prescribed devotional service in nine different forms."

Prabhupāda: Yes. The instruction is that, "How by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me"—this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness—"with mind attached to Me, you can know Me in full." And if you know Kṛṣṇa in full, you know everything. And you can know Kṛṣṇa simply by your concentrating mind upon Kṛṣṇa. And as soon as you know Kṛṣṇa, you know everything.

Therefore your knowledge is perfect. Is that argument fallacious? You can understand Kṛṣṇa simply by concentrating upon Him. That you can do. Everyone can do that. And as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, you know everything. So why not take this path? Simple. That is full knowledge. That means eternity.

So here it is said, the exact word in Sanskrit is mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ (BG 7.1).

Mayy āsakta: "If you simply become attached to Me," mayy āsakta-manāḥ . . . "Your mind should be so trained that you become attached to Me." This is yoga, because yoga means training the mind. To concentrate the mental focus on Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa, that is the yoga practice.

The pressing of nose or making your head down and legs up, these are means to come to the point of samādhi, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But they are not yoga itself or end. They are means to the end. But here is the end. If you can concentrate your mind on Kṛṣṇa, then you come to the ultimate point.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa said: "Simply by concentrating your mind on Me, you will understand Me perfectly. And as soon as you understand Me perfectly . . ." Of course, we cannot understand God perfectly. That is not possible. He is unlimited, we are not. Still, so far our capacity is concerned, if we can understand Kṛṣṇa, then everything is known to us.

janma karma me divyaṁ
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya
(BG 4.9)

In the Fourth Chapter it is said that, "My appearance, disappearance and activities are all transcendental. Anyone who can understand this transcendental nature of My activities, appearance, disappearance, the result is," tyaktvā deham, "after leaving this body," punar janma naiti, "he does not take birth again in this material world." That is stated in the Fourth Chapter. That means immediately liberation achieved. This is a fact.

This is Bhagavad-gītā study, not that to interpret in your own way. Bhagavad-gītā says like that. Therefore we present Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any nonsense interpretation. There cannot be any chance of nonsense interpretation. You have to take fact as it is; then you study. But they are not inclined to study Bhagavad-gītā as it is. They want to study Bhagavad-gītā as they are. So how you can study Bhagavad-gītā? Your mentality, your situation, is completely different.

So according to his own nature . . . that is also explained, that everyone creates his God, religion, according to his own nature. There are three kinds of men: goodness, passion and ignorance. So those who are in the modes of ignorance, they create their own religion of ignorance; those who are in the passion, they create a kind of religion of passion; and those who are in the modes of goodness, they create their own.

But this system, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is transcendental. It is above ignorance, passion or goodness. Goodness is also material. A material good man does not mean he will be Kṛṣṇa conscious. No. A man may be very pious, moralist, but that does not mean he will be able to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Kṛṣṇa conscious person is above goodness. Yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām (BG 7.28).

But goodness is a qualification to get promoted on the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But goodness is not a means to become Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness . . . to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, the means is Kṛṣṇa only. That's all, nothing else. To become Kṛṣṇa conscious means we have to adopt the Kṛṣṇa means, no other means.

The Kṛṣṇa means is being instructed in this chapter that, "How by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me." That is Kṛṣṇa con . . . the means and the end, the same. If you want to come to the end of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you have to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

The first stage is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and the last stage is also Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The difference is one stage is immature, and the other stage is mature. When it is mature, then you taste it nicely. Just like mango. In the unripe stage it is mango, and the ripe stage it is mango. But in the ripe stage you taste nicely; in the unripe stage the taste is different.

But if you give time for ripening, then you will taste. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the means of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. No other means can be adopted for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We should know. Therefore it is being taught here that, "How by practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me . . ." You have to think of Kṛṣṇa always.

So therefore our process is how one can think of Kṛṣṇa always. We have so many departments. The idea is how to think of Kṛṣṇa. That's all. That is the yoga. Even in taking prasādam you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa: "Oh, it is very nice. Kṛṣṇa has tasted. It is very nice." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is yoga. Is there any yoga system in the world that you can become a yogī simply by eating?

Is there any yoga system? Just try to understand. Is there any yoga system simply by digging earth for gardening one can become yogī? Is there any yoga system? Here the boys, when they dig earth for planting rose flower for Kṛṣṇa, he is thinking, "Oh, the flower will be nice. It will be offered to Kṛṣṇa." There is immediately yoga.

Just try to understand how nice it is. Whatever you do, if it is done for Kṛṣṇa, then you are in the highest perfectional stage of yoga. And anyone can do it. If Mr. Darwin or Chandramukhi is asked, "All right, you also dig," oh, she will imitate and become yogī immediately. Immediately yogī. Just try to understand. Is there any process of yoga system which can teach even a small child to practice and become yogī? No.

If you ask a child, or even the father does, "You sit down like me, meditate. Press your nose," or this, that, oh, she'll be not . . . cannot do. Unable. Is there any . . . if I say a child, "Oh, my dear girl, my dear boy, please do like this—chant Hare Kṛṣṇa," he immediately do. You see?

So this simple method and the highest method . . . not that we are advertising our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Here the authority, the supreme authority, Kṛṣṇa, says, "Practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me." But if you make your own manufactured meaning of these words and cheat public, that is your business.

Our business is not to cheat. We have to say frankly, "This is the fact," that's all. But you can cheat: "Oh, it is not Kṛṣṇa. It is this and that, so many things. This 'me' means I. 'I' means you are also I. I am also I." They explain in that way. "The 'me,' the word is 'me.' So 'me' is coming from 'I.' So you are 'I,' I am 'I.'

Therefore it is meant 'me' means you think of yourself; I think of myself. Then you become yogī." That's all. And rascal persons will catch this very . . . "Oh, then I am always thinking of me. That's all right. I am a yogī." That's all.

Because the demons and the rascals, they are simply trying to avoid God. So if somebody teaches, "Oh, why you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa? This 'me' means you, I, I, you. That's all," "Oh, that's nice, very nice." The demonic nature is there: "I am God. I am everything."

So we have to become very cautious, you see, because my material existence means I have got the tinge of demonic nature. And as soon as I get some impetus from another demon, I become again demon. Again I demon. And then out of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has distinctly forbidden, māyāvAdi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa (CC Madhya 6.169):

"If you hear the commentary of the impersonalist demons, then your whole thing is spoiled. Your life is spoiled." Go on. Māyāvadi-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa. Sarva-nāśa means you lose everything. And because we do not explain demonic explanation that, "I am God; you are God," people do not like. Just like the other day the question was . . . they explained in different . . . they like that explanation, because demonic.

People are generally demonic, more or less. One may be fifty percent demon, another may be eighty percent demon, but everyone in this material world is a demon. Materialistic means demon. Don't you see the example of Hiraṇyakaśipu? What was his fault? He is called a demon. Why? What was his fault? His fault was to . . . not to accept God.

His small child was devotee. He was thinking of God. And the father was angry, "Why you are thinking of God? Why you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa?" Just see. But materially the father was so powerful that he conquered all over other planets. He was so powerful.

So any materialistic person, if he has got more money, wealth, strength, he is worshiped. So this is demon worship. Demons are generally very powerful. They are so-called educated. They are so-called . . . so many things they have got. But the test is: if he has no Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness, he is demon. That's all. That is the study of demon. Yes.

Go on.

Devotee: ". . . devotional service in nine different forms, of which śravaṇam, hearing, is the first and most important."

Prabhupāda: Yes. There are nine different forms of devotional service:

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(SB 7.5.23)

These nine. So the first principle is śravaṇam, it is said. Śravaṇam means hearing, that's all. The first principle of practicing this yoga, bhakti-yoga, beginning "practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me," this yoga practice begins simply by hearing. You have got these ears.

You simply just lend your ears and you become yogī. And as soon as you become experienced in hearing, you become a preacher—kīrtanam. Immediately. One who has heard nicely, he will try to become a kīrtanīya, or preacher. That is natural. That is natural.

Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam. And śravaṇam means hearing, and kīrtanam means preaching or chanting. Then śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam . . . "Oh, I . . . people are hearing so many things daily. They are going to the college, schools, and the meetings and assembly and association. They are all hearing, śravaṇam. They are practicing yoga?" No.

Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, you have to hear and preach and chant of Kṛṣṇa, nothing more. Not that simply by hearing any nonsense things you become yogī. Here it is said: "Practicing yoga in full consciousness of Me, Kṛṣṇa." So you have to hear of Kṛṣṇa; you have to speak of Kṛṣṇa. Then your yoga practice is nice. It clearly says, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). Not any other way.

There are so many rascals, they say: "You can hear of any demigod, any man. That's all right." No. Any man, any demigod is not Kṛṣṇa. That is misunderstanding. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya-devatāḥ (BG 7.20).

If any person goes to worship any other demigod, he is persuaded by lust. But those who are worshiper of Kṛṣṇa, they are not persuaded by lust; they are persuaded by love. That is the difference. Therefore those who have got lust within their mind, they can worship many other demigods. But those who are freed from all lusty desires, simply wants to love Kṛṣṇa, they can attain this śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, chanting and hearing.

Śravaṇam, hearing. Then? Śravaṇam is the first important part.

Devotee: "The Lord . . ."

Prabhupāda: Eh? That is the . . . if one simply hears, simply by hearing sincerely, seriously, he becomes perfect. It is so nice. If simply people come here and simply hear Bhagavad-gītā and try to understand it, he becomes perfect. But they will not come. As soon as they will hear, "Oh, Swāmījī is preaching that I am not God; God is different," "Oh, don't come here." Finish. I have to flatter him that, "You are God." Then he will come.

His hearing is disturbed, because there is no flattering words. But if he sticks to hearing only, he becomes perfect. But māyā will not allow him to hear: "Oh, please get out. Don't come here." Even our students. They remain here for some time, go away. Māyā dictates, "Oh, why you are spoiling your time?" But the process is very simple, hearing. But māyā will not allow him to accept this simple process.

So one has to become very strong. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14).

One who determines, "Yes, I will hear of Kṛṣṇa, nothing," then māyā cannot do anything. Māyā was defeated. If simply one decides that "I am simply of hear . . . hearing . . . simply I hear of Kṛṣṇa and nothing more," then he defeats the māyā, simply by determination, that's all.

Yes. Next?

Devotee: "The Lord therefore says to Arjuna, tac chṛṇu, or 'Hear from Me.' "

Prabhupāda: Yes. "Hear from Me." And hearing from whom? From a loafer? No. From Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's representative. That will effect. Hearing, there must be hearing process also from the authorized person. Just like if you take electricity, you should take electricity where the electric point is there. Electric is everywhere; that's nice. Everyone accepts there is electricity. But you have to take electricity from the plug where the electricity current is going on. Then you get electricity.

Therefore śravaṇam, hearing, from whom? From Kṛṣṇa or His representative. Then it is perfect. Not from Dr. Radhakrishnan and any other nonsense, because they are not devotee. They are not representative of Kṛṣṇa. What you will derive? You cannot derive any benefit, because there is no electricity. It is simply plug, looking like plug. If you take some white limewater, lime, just like whitewash, it looks like milk, is that milk because it is white? "All is not gold that glitters?"

Therefore you have to seek person from where you have to hear. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12).

Therefore you have to select person from where to hear. That is the . . . either you search out, or by Kṛṣṇa's grace you get a person who is authorized. Then your life is successful. Some way or other, you have to come. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit. He was devotee of Kṛṣṇa from the beginning of his life. Kṛṣṇa send him . . . Kṛṣṇa sent him, Parīkṣit . . . Śukadeva Gosvāmī. "Now Mahārāja Parīkṣit is going to die within seven days. He is very anxious what to do. Please go there." Because Kṛṣṇa is sitting within yourself. As soon as Kṛṣṇa finds that you are very sincere, seeking Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa will immediately give you chance, "Here is chance. Here is chance."

So we have to utilize in that way. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). "Hear from Me." Nobody . . . either you hear from Kṛṣṇa or from Kṛṣṇa's representative. Just like Arjuna is hearing from Kṛṣṇa, and you hear from Arjuna. Then you get the perfect instruction. If you say: "Where is Arjuna? Where is Kṛṣṇa?" but Arjuna's words are there in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa's words are there. So if you take the words as it is, then you hear Bhagavad-gītā. If you change, then you don't hear Bhagavad-gītā; you hear something nonsense. These are very simple things.

So hearing is very important. So "Hear from Me." Nobody can be a great authority than Kṛṣṇa. And therefore, by hearing from Him, one receives the greatest opportunity for progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You hear from Kṛṣṇa as He is speaking. He says that "Practice yoga in full consciousness of Me."

If you do that, then you hear Him. But if you do something nonsense, that is not hearing. That is not hearing. But they will do something nonsense which is not approved by Kṛṣṇa or His representative. That is their disease.


Devotee: "One has therefore to learn from Kṛṣṇa directly or from a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa and not from a nondevotee upstart, puffed up with academic education."

Prabhupāda: Yes. If somebody says: "Oh, I am very good scholar in Sanskrit and English and this language, that language. I can explain. I have read so many books, and I can comment. I can give footnote and waste your time," then "Oh, he is very nice." Simply for wasting time and energy, everyone is ready. And as soon as the right thing is given . . . right thing . . .

If you say: "Oh, you haven't got to go through so many, I mean to say, process. You simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa," "Oh," they'll say: "this is all nonsense. Simply by chanting?" They will not accept. You see? There are many stories in this connection, how people are not accustomed to take things very simply. They want something bombastic. Yes. You see?

Go on.

Devotee: "In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam this process of understanding Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, is described in the Third Chapter of the First Canto as follows, 'To hear about Kṛṣṇa from the Vedic literature or to hear from Him directly through the Bhagavad-gītā is itself righteous activity. And for one who hears about Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is dwelling in everyone's heart, acts as a well-wishing friend and purifies the devotee.' "

Prabhupāda: This is very important. The Bhāgavata statement is there: śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17).

If somebody even does not understand the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā—simply he sticks to the hearing process—then there is the result. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Bhāgavata says: "One who is . . ." Just like these children. Our . . . we have got so many children, devotees here. It is not possible that they are understanding the subtle philosophical statements of Bhagavad-gītā, but because they are sitting and hearing, they are writing. You see? But whatever he writes, it is right. Just take by a practical example.

So this is confirmed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Simply if one sticks to hearing, he may be a child, he may be a boy, he may be a woman or he may be some illiterate man, or anything, less intelligent—it doesn't matter—simply if he hears. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. And Kṛṣṇa is there within your heart. As soon as Kṛṣṇa sees, "Oh, this, this is very nice. He is hearing about Me," He will help you. Immediately. He will cleanse your heart. (break)

Because . . . therefore to hear of kṛṣṇa-kīrtana is also another pious activity. So these boys, when they are going in the street chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, automatically they are giving chance to the people to become pious. Hearing is so important. They are becoming pious. They are purchasing one copy, Back to Godhead. They are nodding, "Yes, these boys are very nice." They are accumulating something spiritual. It is so nice. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). Simply by hearing, chanting, it is pious activities.

So one who is engaged in this pious activity, hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi . . . that one who hears that . . . Kṛṣṇa, understanding that this person is hearing, He cleanses. The chanting process, we have many times discussed, it is the cleansing process. And as soon as the heart is cleansed, one can understand Kṛṣṇa immediately. It is a cleansing process, this hearing process.

Hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi suhṛt satām. He is friend . . . Kṛṣṇa is friend of everyone, but He is a special friend of the devotees. Suhṛt satām. Satām means devotee, and suhṛt means friend. Kṛṣṇa is friend. Just like the same example. Government is taking care of all citizens, but he is taking more care of the civil citizens than the criminal.

The criminal citizens, they are also under the care of the government, but they are not taken so much care as the civil citizens. Similarly, God is taking care of everyone—that's a fact—maybe he is sinful or not sinful. But He takes special care of the devotee. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.


Devotee: "In this way, a devotee naturally develops his dormant transcendental knowledge. As he hears more about Kṛṣṇa from the Bhāgavatam and from the devotees, he becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. By development of devotional service, one becomes freed from the modes of ignorance and passion, and thus material lusts and avarice are diminished."

Prabhupāda: Yes. This will be the result. Tato rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye (SB 1.2.19).

They become diminished. The whole entanglement of our material life is due to our embarrassed by the qualities of ignorance and passion. So by hearing, these modes of ignorance and passion will be diminished. Then we come to the platform of goodness, and then we come to the platform of transcendental understanding.


Devotee: "When these impurities are wiped away, the candidate remains steady in his position of pure goodness and becomes enlivened by devotional service and understands the science of God perfectly. Thus bhakti-yoga severs the hard knot of material affection, and one at once comes to the stage of asaṁśayaṁ samagram, understanding of the Supreme Absolute Personality of Godhead."

Prabhupāda: Asaṁśayaṁ samagram. By bhakti-yoga you can understand the Absolute Truth as He is, and samagram, in full. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. These words are used in . . . asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu (BG 7.1):

"You will understand Me in full, and without any doubt." So one who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he knows God in full and without any doubt. Then the . . . "Therefore only by hearing from Kṛṣṇa or from His devotees in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can one understand the science of Kṛṣṇa." That's all.

Thank you.

Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda? You mentioned that we must know . . . if we know Kṛṣṇa, then we will know these other five things. And if we know those five things, then our lives will become perfect. Can you explain to us what time is?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Explain time?

Prabhupāda: That I have already explained. Time is relative.

(break) Time is eternal. Eternal. But it is . . . just like Brahmā's duration of time. That is . . . according to our calculation, that is eternal, many, many millions of years. But Brahmā is also subjected to birth and death. Although time is eternal, but within this material world we are not eternal, on account of material contamination. But time is eternal. Time is eternal; God is eternal; you are also eternal, living entity.

Simply our work is not eternal. That can be changed. That we are . . . changing our work . . . suppose in this life you are American. Your work is different from the China. But next time, when you change your body to something else, your work changes. In this body you are human being. Next time, if you become a dog or a demigod, then your work changes.

So we are changing our work according to the change of the body. Therefore work is not eternal. So our whole material existence is due to different kinds of work. So if we make the work also eternal, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness activities. Then we come to the eternal. But in the material existence our work is not eternal. We have understood that, "I am not this body" theoretically. If not practically, theoretically, because we have heard from Bhagavad-gītā that:

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
(BG 2.13)

"As the soul is changing the body every moment . . ." And I am not this body. The body is changing.

So body is not eternal, but actually every materialistic person is engaged in the bodily activities. He is acting as American. Why? Because his body is American. He is acting as Indian. Why? Because his body is Indian. He is acting as husband because his body is male. He is acting as wife because the body is female.

You take all activities—it is due to this body. But if the soul is eternal, then one should seek, "Then what is my eternal activities? The body is not eternal; therefore these activities also not eternal. Then what is my real activity, eternal activity?" That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, bhakti.

So this work is not eternal, but if you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Kṛṣṇa conscious activity is eternal. Therefore there is no loss. Even if you cannot complete Kṛṣṇa consciousness activity—that we have already discussed in the last chapter—still, you are not in loss. Whatever you do . . .

sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt
(BG 2.40).

Even it is little done, you get some asset. That will never be lost. Therefore you have to stick to this activity, Kṛṣṇa consciousness activity. Whatever you do, if we can complete, it is very nice. If not, whatever we do, that is not lost; that is eternal. (end)