710626 - Press Conference - Paris

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Go-previous.pngConversations by Date, 1971
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



710626PC.PARIS - June 26, 1971 - 68:43 Minutes



(translated into French throughout)

Prabhupāda: The original consciousness is that I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Just like at the present moment we are thinking, "I am Frenchman," "I am Englishman," "I am Indian," "I am American." Just like there are different consciousness, but the original consciousness is "I am Kṛṣṇa's." So the present civilization is missing a very important point. They are accepting this body as the self, but actually this is not the fact. I am spirit soul. I am Brahman, or part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa.

So this Movement is reviving the original consciousness. And by missing this consciousness—"I am the spirit soul"—I am transmigrating from one body to another. Today I am a Frenchman, but tomorrow I may be something else. There are 8,400,000 species of life. I can . . . After quitting this body I can be transferred to any one of the species of life. That point we are missing. So this process is to get out of the designation. Just like I am spirit soul, but due to my this body, I am thinking I am Indian. So this designation has to be changed. Then we are purified.

We are engaged in some sort of service, every one of us, but that service is now being rendered within that designation. But when we are freed from the designation, when we are purified, then our service to Kṛṣṇa becomes bona fide, and that is the real standard of peace.

So this chanting process is purifying process to become freed from this designation. Just like all these boys, some of them coming from America, some of them from England, some of them from India, some of them from France or Germany, but they have forgotten that they are German or American or Indian or something else. They are always thinking, "I am Kṛṣṇa's." This is freedom from designation.

So the peace formula as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, it is said that when one understands that Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth, Supreme Personality, is the supreme enjoyer, He is the supreme proprietor and He is the supreme friend, if we understand these three items, then there is peace immediately.

The original Sanskrit words in this connection are as follows:

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁśāntim ṛcchati
(BG 5.29)

This śāntim means peace. Actual peace can be achieved when one understands these three things only—Kṛṣṇa the supreme enjoyer, Kṛṣṇa the supreme proprietor and Kṛṣṇa the supreme friend.

So we are teaching these three things to the world. That is our business. And the process is very simple. The process is simply chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. If we continue chanting, it has got some spiritual value; then we cleanse our heart from all dirty things. Except Kṛṣṇa consciousness, any other consciousness is dirty—that is material, contaminated consciousness.

So by chanting this mantra . . . Just like in India, still there are many snake charmers. They, by chanting mantra, they cure snake-bitten cases, although they're fatal. Of course they are now dwindling, but there are still. So if it is possible materially, then spiritually there is great possibility. And it is recommended in the śāstras, and actually it has happened.

By chanting this mantra, simple mantra, without any education, without any philosophical knowledge, simply if we chant, your heart will be cleansed of all dirty things and you'll understand that you are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, and you will understand that He is the supreme enjoyer, He is the supreme proprietor and He is the supreme friend. And as soon as you understand these three things, you are in peace.

This word man, man means mind. Man-tra—tra means deliverance. So mantra means which delivers from our mental platform. Every one of us are now hovering either on the bodily platform or on the mental platform, subtle. Mental platform is subtle, and bodily platform is gross. But beyond this mind there is intelligence, and beyond intelligence there is soul. So by this mantra we, I mean to say, cross over the mental platform, intellectual platform, and come directly to the spiritual platform. And as soon as we come to the spiritual platform and we understand our relationship with Kṛṣṇa, or God, then we are in peace.

(Prabhupāda explains to the translator: "Delivered from the mental platform.") I think this is the explanation. Now if there is question.

Translator: (translating questions from audience for Prabhupāda) You said that there's 8,400,000 species of living entities. He would like to have an explanation of it.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi (Padma Purāṇa). There are nine lakhs. Nine lakhs means . . . ten millions, one lakh?

Śyāmasundara: Nine hundred thousand.

Prabhupāda: Nine hundred . . . Yes. Nine hundred thousand species in the water. Aquatic animals, yes. Nine hundred thousand aquatic animals, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi. Sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati—sthāvarā means the trees, plants which cannot move, they stand up; they are twenty hundred thousand. Sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ. Kṛmayo means insects. They are eleven hundred thousand species.

Then after insect life there is birds, pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam—there are ten hundred thousand species of life, birds. Birds. Then there are beasts, thirty hundred thousands of beasts. And there are four hundred thousand species of human beings, out of which the civilized form of human being are very few.

And this civilized form of life is especially meant for self-realization. This is a chance given by the nature to understand yourself. But if we don't understand—miss this point—again we go into the cycle of different species of life.

Just we can imagine if we get next life like a tree, we have to stand up for ten thousands of years. So we should be very careful not to miss this opportunity of getting civilized form of life, and try to understand what I am. All the śāstras, Vedas, they are meant for human being, not for the cats and dogs. If you don't take advantage of this great knowledge, then you are following the suicidal policy.

Yes?

Question: (translated) What do you mean by 400,000 forms of human beings?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there are so many species of human beings—in the jungles, uncivilized. Gradually they come to the civilized form. Not that every human being is complete in knowledge. There are so many species of human being, they are not in knowledge; they are in the darkness.

Therefore according to Vedic civilization there are four divisions. The most intelligent class of men, they are called brāhmaṇas; and the next intelligent class of men are called the kṣatriyas; and next the vaiśyas; the next, śūdras; and all others, they are caṇḍālas. This is according to the knowledge, advancement of spiritual knowledge, this division.

(break) But everyone can be elevated to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nobody is barred or checked from . . . for coming to the highest position. And this process, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is to bring everyone to the highest platform of understanding.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo śūdrā tathā vaiśyās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim
(BG 9.32)

Kṛṣṇa says that anyone can come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus elevated to the highest perfection of life. So it is the duty of persons, especially that is ordered by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu that Indians, they should purify first their life and then distribute this knowledge, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all over the world.

Question: (translated) What is our position in relation to . . . our spiritualism, in relation to Christian monks and Christian spiritualism, and how is it generally, the relationship between them?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Christian religion teaches that God consciousness. Lord Jesus Christ preached God consciousness. He represented himself as son of God. So we agree to this principle. There is no controversy. Yes. Anyone who teaches God consciousness, we agree with the principle. Muhammad also, he preached God consciousness. So we welcome. There maybe some difference of process—that does not matter—but we test a religion by the results how people are becoming God conscious, that's all.

According to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said,

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati
(SB 1.2.6)

It is said that that is first-class religious principle which teaches devotion to the Supreme Lord without any motive and without being hampered by any material condition. God consciousness is not such a thing that if a man is materially poor he cannot advance. Everyone can advance. Nothing material can check God consciousness, and any religion which teaches this principle, that is first class.

Question: (translated) Do you think that the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has anything particular to say to the society today?

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are saying that—I began—that unless you come to the point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you cannot be happy. Kṛṣṇa . . . when I say "Kṛṣṇa" it means God, God consciousness. You may say in another name; that does not matter. When I speak of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa means God, the Supreme Lord.

So unless we are conscious of the Supreme Lord . . . In other religions they say "God is great," but how God is great? What is the name of God, and what other things? Just like if we know somebody, we must know very particularly what is his name, where is his residence, what does he do—so many things. Simply an idea of God is great, that is good, but how great He is, that is a science. That we have to learn from Vedic literature.

(break) . . .malinterpretation. Then we can understand the science of God very clearly. So we are teaching our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement on the basis of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. (break)

Question: (translated) One thing we're doing . . . We should think of people are very confusing in the idea of reincarnation. So how can you say that human intelligence and . . ., a human being and human intelligence can reincarnate in a vegetable form or an animal form?

Prabhupāda: Well, all these description of different types of living entities . . . They are living entities; they have got simply different form. Just like we are sitting, so many ladies and gentlemen, we have got different dresses, but we are all human being. Similarly, all these description of species of life, they are all spiritual sparks, but according to their karma they have got different bodies.

Some of them are trees, some of them are aquatics, some of them are human beings, some of them are greater than them, some of them lower than them. So there are innumerable, uncountable different types of living entities, and they are having their different bodies according to the mentality at the time of death.

This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke
tyajaty ante kalevaram
(BG 8.6)

At the time of death, the subtle mentality which you develop, it is just like the air carries the flavor; similarly, that mental idea is being carried by the subtle mind, intelligence, and you are given chance of a particular body by which you can enjoy that mental position.

So unfortunately, although it is a great science, throughout the whole world there are so many universities, they are neglecting this science. That is the defect of modern civilization. The transmigration of the soul, it is a great science, but because they cannot tackle this matter, they will avoid it. That's a great risky civilization. That's all.

So the higher intelligence of human being is especially given to understand this science. But they are neglecting this science. They are busy with eating, sleeping, mating and defending, which is the business of the animals—they are also busy with eating, sleeping, mating and defending.

Question: (translated) What is the ideal of the . . . ideal result of the transmigration of the spirit soul?

Prabhupāda: The idea is to save yourself. Suppose I am now very happy Frenchman, but if next life I get another life, degraded life, then what is my position? Therefore one should understand; one should prepare his next body in this life. Just like a student studies very carefully to prepare his next life, similarly, this human form of life should be prepared to get next life.

Next life, permanent life, that is possible. Permanent life—if you transfer yourself in the spiritual world, you get permanent life, full of knowledge, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha: eternal life full of knowledge, full of pleasure, full of bliss. You should try for this. Human life is meant for that purpose; otherwise you are missing the chance.

Question: (translated) Should we do this with material support or without material support?

Prabhupāda: No. It has nothing to do with material support. Without any material support one can execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Question: (translated) Therefore there exist a class of superior beings, spiritual, who are existing.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Question: (translated) He's saying maybe this is what the Christians call angels.

Prabhupāda: Yes. As soon as you become God conscious, that is the position of angel. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā—the exact verse is like this:

māṁ ca vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
(BG 14.26)

This brahma-bhūyāya means angels. They are not in this material world; they are transcendentally situated. Brahma-bhūyāya kalpate—anyone who is engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in devotional service,

māṁ ca vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān sama

He is above the three modes of material nature. Angel means those who are not affected by the modes of material nature. That is the position of angel.

The example can be given, just like in any state there are two department—civil department, criminal department. Those who are not criminals, they are not under the control of the criminal department. Similarly, those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, they are not controlled by the modes of material nature.

So those who are not criminal, they are not controlled by the criminal department. So therefore, although the material nature, the laws are very stringent, still those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, for them there is no such thing as law.

(break) . . . in the Bhagavad-gītā:

mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etāṁ taranti te
(BG 7.14)

"Those who are surrendered to Me, they have already transcended the position of being controlled by material nature."

Question: (translated) Can you explain why this Kṛṣṇa consciousness has so much success among young people . . . (indistinct) . . .?

Prabhupāda: Not only young people. Old men are reluctant, and they are easily taken. If old men take, they will be also successful. It is not restricted to the younger generation—to everyone. But the younger generation, they are receptive; they are blank slate. The old men, they have got so many hodgepodge in their mind; therefore they cannot take easily. That is the difficulty. They have to forget all hodgepodge things, then they have to take. So the process of forgetting is there, but here they are new heart, and they see very nice thing, they accept it.

So anyone can take it, and anyone will be benefited. There is no such thing that it is meant for such-and-such class of men. No. There is no such thing.

Question: (translated) These young people . . . The second question was: These young people have come searching. And why are they searching? Why are these young people searching?

Prabhupāda: Well, they are searching because they are frustrated by seeing their parents' life, by their guardians' life. They are frustrated. So that is a good sign. One who is frustrated, he can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness very quickly. I was just coming from Moscow. There are many young Russians, they are also very much prepared to take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But there is so many restriction. We cannot preach very freely; that is our position.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is now experimented that this movement can be accepted by anyone, any part of the world, and whoever takes it, he will be happy. That's all.

(aside:) That gentleman, he wants . . .

Question: . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: His idea is to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa. Punaḥ punaḥ means "again and again," and that we are preaching. And Kṛṣṇa also is speaking the same thing. Kṛṣṇa says, "Surrender unto Me."

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
(BG 18.66)

And we are teaching that "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." Therefore in one sense we are representative of Kṛṣṇa. Just try to understand: Kṛṣṇa says, "Surrender unto Me." We also say, "Surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." So there is no change of words. But anyone who changes the word, he is not representative.

Just like if somebody says . . . Suppose I say, "Give me a glass of water." And if my disciple says, "Give a glass of water to Prabhupāda," the order is the same. But if somebody says that this Prabhupāda's words, "Give me a glass . . ." "me" can be changed to "milk," that is bogus. That is going on. It should be . . . Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement should be strictly on the principles of Kṛṣṇa's desire.

That was executed by Arjuna. He changed his own principle for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. He did not want to fight; therefore Bhagavad-gītā was explained to him, and later on, when Kṛṣṇa enquired, "What you have decided?" he said, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73): "Yes, I shall now fight." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One has to change his concocted ideas and surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That will benefit; otherwise not.

Question: (translated) Are there other names than Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there are many thousands and millions of names, but "Kṛṣṇa" is the chief name. (break)

Question: (translated) He'd like to know if there is actually a living representative of Kṛṣṇa here. And how do you become . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, all of us living representative of Kṛṣṇa, because we are speaking what Kṛṣṇa says. Don't you understand? Kṛṣṇa says, "Surrender unto Me," and we are saying, "Surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." Therefore we are representative. I will give you one example. Just like a businessman sends his representative to sell some particular thing, and the canvasser says, "Please purchase this thing."

Therefore he is real representative. We don't say that "Surrender to Kṛṣṇa" or "Surrender to somebody else" is the same. No. We don't say like that. And how . . ., why we say that, we can support. That is our position. Therefore we are representative of Kṛṣṇa.

Translator: (asks Prabhupāda to explain what he said)

Prabhupāda: If somebody says "Why you are asking to surrender to Kṛṣṇa," then that we can explain that. We have explained how to surrender to Kṛṣṇa in twelve voluminous books, four hundred pages each. So if anyone wants to understand full philosophy, science, why one should surrender to Kṛṣṇa, there are so many books. But if somebody is fortunate, he can accept our word and surrender to Kṛṣṇa by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is easy and sublime.

Question: (translated) Can you arrive at Kṛṣṇa consciousness without having any love for humanity?

Prabhupāda: It is the only process how to love humanity. It is the only process. When Rupa Goswami met Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he designated Him namo mahā-vadānyāya (CC Madhya 19.53): "The greatest benefactor," kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te, "by Your distributing Kṛṣṇa consciousness." So to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the greatest welfare activity in the whole human society.

Question: (translated) Do you consider celibacy as superior to being married in our spiritual order?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Celibacy, that is the Vedic system. First of all students are taught not to live by theoretical—by practical. The students were living in gurukula to learn brahmacarya, celibacy, and if the master saw that he is complete in celibacy, he would not allow him to marry. But if he sees that he has got tendency to enjoy this material life, he says that "You go home and get married."

The idea was to avoid sex life. But if one cannot, then next automatically he is married. Not illicit sex life. That is most sinful life. Unrestricted sex life is visible just like the hogs, they have got unrestricted sex life; the monkeys. But that is not human life. Human life, even there is necessity of sex life, that should be regulated and restrained. That is human life.

Question: (translated) Do you think marriage is necessary?

Prabhupāda: Not necessary, but one who cannot avoid sex life, for him it is necessary.

Question: (translated) He's saying that do you mean you can have children and not be married?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Question: (translated) Does that mean you can have children but not be married?

Prabhupāda: (laughter) No, no, no. (laughs) No, no, no. Bachelor, that is not a wanted. Bachelor, that is not wanted. Children must be bona fide; otherwise they will be called varṇa-saṅkaraḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, when there are varṇa-saṅkara, illegitimate children, the whole world becomes hellish.

Question: (translated) He would like to know the means that we use every day, practical means that we use to attract people to our Movement.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We do our own duty, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Those who are kindly attracted we welcome; otherwise we go on doing our duty.

Question: What is the difference between our teaching and the teachings of Maharishi?

Prabhupāda: I do not know about Maharishi. We know about our own business. That's all.

That's all right. Thank you very much. (cut) (end)