710922 - Conversation - Nairobi
Prabhupāda: Somewhere in the world somebody will say it is half-past twelve, somebody will say half-past seven, somebody will say . . . so many, twenty-four hours. So the sun is the same one, but in one place they will say it is half-past six, in another place it is half-past seven. How it is going on? In our calculation this sun, as you have seen, this half-past five sun, you cannot make it half-past eight. But it is half-past eight also . . .
Prabhupāda: . . . at the same time.
Prabhupāda: So if it is possible for an ordinary material thing like that, why it is not possible God, the Absolute, to become a child and a youth at the same time, simultaneously? Why is it not possible? Your question is how God became child. So my answer is God is child and youth at the same time. That is God . . . (indistinct)
Guest: And I agree God is in children and in . . .
Prabhupāda: Not in children. God is child Himself and youth Himself at the same time. It is not that . . . I am not saying that sun is revealed this time. Sun is there in the sky. But still the times are different.
Guest (2): That means that God can reveal Himself in many different forms.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is explained in the Vedas: advaitam. Advaita means one. Dvaita means dual. But He is advaita. He is one. Acyuta, infallible. Advaitam acyutam. Anādi: He has no beginning. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam (Bs. 5.33). Still He has got millions of forms. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ. Purāṇa means the oldest. Because everything has come from God, then God must be oldest.
Just like you have come from your father, your father must be older than you, your grandfather must be older than him. Similarly, if God is the original person, then He must be the oldest. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyaṁ purāṇa-puruṣaṁ. Purāṇa, the oldest. Nava-yauvanaṁ ca: and at the same time He is youthful. Just like in Kṛṣṇa book, you see. He is fully youth, although He is the oldest. Advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam.
Guest: Which is . . . who is Kṛṣṇa . . . (indistinct) . . .? Who is Kṛṣṇa . . . (indistinct) . . .?
Guest (2): Oh, the one in blue. And the other one?
Prabhupāda: Rādhārani—His consort. Consort.
Guest (2): Consort.
Prabhupāda: His pleasure potency.
Guest: So you think Kṛṣṇa is a living God?
Prabhupāda: God is always living.
Guest: He is in this world, not in another special place?
Prabhupāda: In another place also. That is God.
Guest: Another place also?
Prabhupāda: Just like you are sitting. You are not in your office, not your home, but God can be here and everywhere. That is God. Just like the sun is here, and ten thousand miles away you ask somebody, he will say: "Yes, the sun is here." How it is possible? But it is fact. It is shining here, and the Western countries in Europe you ask, "Where is the sun?" they will say: "Yes, here." How it is possible?
At noontime in your country, ask anyone five thousand miles away, ten thousand miles away, like that, "Where is sun?" And they will say: "It is on my head." How it is possible? So if it is possible for a material thing, how much it is greatly possible for God. He is the Supreme. That is knowledge.
Guest: Is God having a material construction?
Prabhupāda: No. That is the difference. Material world you have got material construction. You cannot be simultaneously here and in your office.
Guest: So the material construction . . . I mean is my body is materially constructed. That is what I am referring to. And I was asking whether God . . .
Prabhupāda: God's body is not materially constructed. Your present body is materially constructed. Therefore I say that you are covered by the material body; but you are not material. These things are explained in the Bhagavad-gītā very nicely.
Guest: But if Kṛṣṇa is God, how it is that His humans have a material construction of the body?
Prabhupāda: Just to make your seeing possible. Just like, here is God—Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. He is God, but because we cannot see God, He has kindly appeared just suitable for my seeing. That is His mercy.
Guest: And is He actual to be photographed?
Prabhupāda: Why not?
Guest: Because He is photographed here.
Guest: And not only that. Here, I realized . . .
Prabhupāda: That I have already explained. God can appear in different places, because He is omnipotent, all-powerful. Because you cannot see God with your eyes; therefore He appears before you in such a form that you can see Him. Just like the whole world, you cannot see some . . . (indistinct) . . . If there is a map you can see here is London, here is Germany, here is river. You can see the river in the map. The map is made in such a way that it is possible to see the whole world on your hand. Is it not?
Then God cannot make Himself easily accessible to you by His mercy? Then what is His all-merciful? If He appears to be visible by you, it can be fault on the part of God? That is . . . (indistinct) . . . He appears in a form so that you can see, you can render your service. God is everywhere; that's all right. But unless He appears before you in a form, how you can render your service? So just like post office box, mailbox. So it is post office? The mailbox, you put your letter on the street.
Guest (2): A part of post office. All post office property.
Prabhupāda: No, it is post office, practically. Because you are putting your letter there, it is going to the destination.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, if the post office gives you some facility to become a small post office, so why God is unable to become small so that you may render your service? Why you say that He cannot? That is God is under your law, that He cannot. If you say: "Ah, here is a small box; it cannot be post office. Post office is very big," is that very good argument? So if it is possible how the post office, why it is not possible for God to become just in the form you can handle? It is God's mercy, but He accepts everything what you serve. This is called omnipotency.
Bhagavad-gītā describes. He says that, "I have got My hands everywhere. I have got My eyes everywhere. I have got My legs everywhere." Simply you have to catch where is God's hand, where is God's legs. Just like electricity is everywhere. The electrical appliance has captured the electricity. Similarly, God is everywhere; simply you have to know the art how to catch His legs, His legs and hands.
Guest: As if you have just come to the . . . at least we are thinking something about God. Had we not tried ourselves, we would have not been here.
Prabhupāda: So you try to understand there is a big science of God, bhagavat-jñāna, bhagavat tattva. That is explained preliminarily in Bhagavad-gītā. You try to understand. You'll understand what is God.
Śyāmasundara: What is the relationship of Jesus Christ?
Prabhupāda: That is different. Jesus is the son of God. He says, "I am son of God." So we accept him as son of God.
Guest: It now appears that we are going to concentrate on serious studies. And we have misunderstood Kṛṣṇa before. Not now. Now we have accept Kṛṣṇa as God Himself. Particularly . . . (indistinct) . . . and myself, I did not understand Kṛṣṇa as God before. I took Him just as the Christians take Jesus in the Christian religion. So I took Kṛṣṇa as, well, something like the . . . (indistinct) . . . as the Christians, in the Hindu religion. Now . . . this means now we are going to concentrate on Kṛṣṇa Himself, and then will that also carry you the all knowledge of the Hinduism and all these things? State religion?
Prabhupāda: Well, our religion is Kṛṣṇa consciousness: to understand Kṛṣṇa. And to understand Kṛṣṇa means to understand everything. In course of understanding Kṛṣṇa, you will understand everything.
Guest: And does it mean that I have to understand, say, all about other, say, say like the Śiva or the Durgā, and all these . . .?
Prabhupāda: Yes. If you understand Kṛṣṇa . . . just like if you understand what is milk, you can understand what is milk products. Lord Śiva is said in the Vedic language, just like curd.
Prabhupāda: Curd, yogurt. What is this yogurt? It is milk. Is it not? Is it not? Similarly, the description of Lord Śiva is there in the Vedic literature:
- kṣīraṁ yathā dadhi vikāra-viśeṣa-yogāt
- sañjāyate na hi tataḥ pṛthag asti hetoḥ
- (Bs. 5.45)
Kṣīraṁ means milk. As it is combined with some sour chemical it becomes curd—dadhi. Dadhi, yogurt. It has no other source. Similarly, when Lord, the Supreme Lord, generates this material world, He is called Lord Śiva. Therefore just like yogurt is milk, but milk is not yogurt, similarly Lord Śiva is Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa is not Śiva. Or Kṛṣṇa is Lord Śiva, but Śiva is not Kṛṣṇa. You can understand easily also, just like your body is your father's body, but you are not your father's body. So you will understand all these things. If you try to understand Kṛṣṇa only, then you will become fully aware of everything. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Guest: Does the word Kṛṣṇa got particular meaning, the word Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Yes, Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. All-attractive. When one becomes attractive . . . Have you got any idea what are the qualification of attraction? Now, suppose you are president. If president comes here, everyone will stand up—attraction. Why? What is the qualification?
Guest: Well, it goes from . . . sort of a . . . (indistinct) . . . called greatness.
Prabhupāda: Yes. He has got some great power within the state. Therefore power is one of the qualification of attraction.
Śyāmasundara: He is famous.
Prabhupāda: He is famous. That is quality of attraction. If he is not beautiful . . . but God is beautifuller; therefore there is attraction. A president may be president in his country, but he'll never be a wise man. But God is wise. God is fully wise, God is fully beautiful, God is fully strong, God is fully rich, God is fully renounced. This is God's creation, but you cannot see God personally here throughout the whole universe.
How . . . (indistinct) . . . so He has created . . . we are after a little more piece of land and fight, and God has created so many planetary systems, and He doesn't care for it. Just see how much renunciation. If I create a small house like this, I become so much attached that I can sacrifice my whole life for this. But God has created the whole universe—ananta-koṭi, innumerable universes—and He has no attachment for them. That is called renunciation.
So who can be more than God a renounced person? Who can be richer person? Who can be powerful person? Asamordhva. Another name of God is Asamordhva—nobody is equal to Him, nobody is greater than Him. That is called asamordhva—ūrdhva means greater; asama means equal . . . sama. Sama means equal. Sama means negative, none. Asama, "non-equal." Amordhva, not for them. Everyone is under Him. It may be Lord Śiva, it may be Lord Brahmā, it may be Lord Viṣṇu even—everyone is under Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
- kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
- (BG 7.7)
You'll find in this Bhagavad-gītā: mattaḥ—"above Me"; para-taram—"greater." Mattah-parataram; na anyat—"nothing else." Nothing else is greater or equal to Kṛṣṇa. Then how Lord Śiva can be equal to Kṛṣṇa? Nobody can be equal to Kṛṣṇa. That is God: nobody is equal to Him, and nobody is greater than Him. "God is great" means that nobody is greater than Him.
So you have to find out who is that person who is greater than everyone. And that is Kṛṣṇa. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Paramaḥ means supreme; īśvaraḥ means controller. You are also controller. You are in your office, you are controlling your assistants, some clerk. Is it not? So you are controller, every one of us, controller.
But we are not absolute controller. I am controller, but I have got another controller over me. In this way go on studying: controller, controller, controller, controller, and you come to the Supreme Controller—that is God. He controls everyone, but nobody controls Him. That is God.
Guest: And is this the only time that the Kṛṣṇa has revealed Himself to man? I mean, from our present books we know when Kṛṣṇa was born, and so we know that God as Kṛṣṇa revealed Himself to man. Was that the only time, or has He ever revealed Himself before?
Prabhupāda: Before. Many, many times.
Guest: And after?
Prabhupāda: After also. Just like the sunrise was many, many times before my birth, and it will continue to rise after my death.
Guest: And after this?
Prabhupāda: I am simply a small fragment in this creative world world. What is my identity, say for fifty years, sixty years, hundred years? But we get from the history twenty thousand years ago, at the time of sunrise such-and-such things happened. So sun was rising twenty thousand years before my birth, so similarly the sun will continue to set or rise twenty thousand years after also. So God appears like that. He has got a particular time to appear in this universe. That is also stated in the śāstras:
- ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ
- (BG 8.17)
In Bhagavad-gītā you'll find.
So everything is there in śāstra. You have simply to know it. That's all. Nothing is to be concocted or manufactured. Everything is there. All answers are there. Simply you have to find out. You have to make your questions, and you will find your answers in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just Kṛṣṇa says, in the First Chapter you'll find, when Krsna says to Arjuna that, "I spoke this philosophy to sun-god some millions of years ago," so Arjuna inquired from Kṛṣṇa, "Kṛṣṇa, You are my friend. You were born; You are contemporary. How is that? How can I believe that You spoke to sun-god millions of years ago?"
So Kṛṣṇa answered, "Both you and Me took birth many, many times, but you have forgotten. I have not forgotten." That is Kṛṣṇa. You cannot say what you were in your previous birth. That is living entity. But Kṛṣṇa can say, many millions of His births or appearances before, what He was doing, exactly at what time. That is Krsna.
Guest: And how old was Kṛṣṇa, say, when He died?
Prabhupāda: He died at the . . . not died. Nobody dies. You also do not die. Nobody dies. So He left this world at the age of hundred and twenty-five years.
Guest: Did He have any family?
Guest: And was He . . . was it correct that God could have family attachments in this world?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Śyāmasundara: Is it correct that God should have family attachments in this world?
Prabhupāda: Why not? Why God should be bereft of His family attachments?
Guest: Well, taking into consideration that we are all His children, was it necessary for Himself to have, say, a particular family as we are having our families? Because we are human beings, and He Himself is God.
Prabhupāda: He is playing the part of a human being. You should remember that. He is not human being, but a foolish man takes Him as a human being. I have already told you that God appears in a form so that we can transact with Him—we can talk with Him, we can mix with Him. Unfortunately, as soon as He does so, I take Him as one of us. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā (BG 9.11). Mūḍhā means rascals, asses. "They deride upon Me because I play with them as human being."
- avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
- mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
- paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
- (BG 9.11)
"Without knowing the background of My past . . ." When we accept Kṛṣṇa as one of us, then we become mūḍhā, rascal, because we have no full knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. How we can have full knowledge of Kṛṣṇa? But by His causeless mercy He comes before us just like ordinary human being, but at the same time He keeps His position as God. Kṛṣṇa, when He was amongst the human society, He kept His position as God, but He played as a human being. Just like when He was a boy of seven years old He lifted the hill with the little finger of His left hand, Govardhana Hill.
Guest (2): Still He is there. Still He is there, with His left finger, holding up like this.
Prabhupāda: Still. So although He was playing as a human child, He kept His godly power intact.
Guest (2): (indistinct) . . . could afford just like a forest. When we go there, still you know some ladies are putting red marks here. When they go on the hill, just they put like this red mark even now, today. Even today, if you go to India you will find that place. . . . (indistinct) . . . is there in the forest.
Prabhupāda: So God, although appears before us as a human being, we should not . . . those who are in the knowledge of God, they will know that He is playing as human being, but He is God—by His action, by His education, by His knowledge, by His beauty, by His richness, by His everything. Just like the Bhagavad-gītā spoken by Kṛṣṇa. This book Bhagavad-gītā is read not by the Hindus or Indians but all over the world, very seriously, because it is the knowledge given by God, and the people are interested.
Guest (2): (Hindi)
Prabhupāda: No, but we have to study both paths . . . (indistinct) . . . just like God comes before us as a human being, but He is not a human being. He is God. And when necessary He shows His godly form.
Guest: What is the difference between the . . . you know, it's now coming to picture, or it is just beginning to picture to me that God is being divided by mankind in one way or another. There are denominations combining God as one in three . . . the Trinity, they call it?
Prabhupāda: The God . . . the humankind is dividing amongst themselves.
Guest: They are dividing God . . .
Prabhupāda: But why the human being is dividing amongst themselves? "You are African, I am Indian, he is American, he is this . . ." Why they are divided? Why they are dividing this humankind? Why don't you answer this? The human society, why they are dividing the humankind, that, "Here is Asians," "They are Africans," "They are Europeans"? Why they are dividing?
Guest: Well, they are divide partly . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Somehow or the other they are dividing. Is it not? Some way or other they are dividing.
Guest: They are dividing.
Prabhupāda: So that is their business. They are . . . (indistinct) . . . therefore they divide God. (laughter) Therefore when one does not divide: paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). When they become without any division, that is knowledge. That is real knowledge.
Guest: Is Kṛṣṇa the very, very, very God? The very, very, very God?
Prabhupāda: First of all your answer is why God is divided. Try to understand. That a human being, his . . . (indistinct) . . . is to divide; therefore he has divided God. God is not divided.
Guest: I have understood . . . (indistinct) . . . is Kṛṣṇa the very, very God human beings believe in? Be he a believer or not, but he knows that is one very, very God, living God?
Prabhupāda: Who knows that there is a God? Who knows?
Prabhupāda: Man. Yes. So there is a God. That's nice. There must be God. Just like we are sitting in this room, we know this room has a proprietor, this house has a proprietor. We are in Africa we know that this Africa is the property of the African people. So there is a president. Similarly, this whole universe, why there is not a president and proprietor? What is the difficulty to understand? It is simply bigger.
Just like this neighborhood is bigger than this room, and this your Nairobi city is bigger than this neighborhood, and the country is bigger than Nairobi. Similarly bigger, bigger, bigger, but in each and every this identity, there is a person, proprietor. So why not of this big, gigantic universe there is a proprietor? Why not? How can you deny it, there is God?
You cannot know Him . . . I am a foreigner; I have come to your country. I do not know what is your president, but I know there must be a president or a king. Similarly, we may not know who is the proprietor of this universe—there must be a proprietor. That is to be concluded. There must be. That is God consciousness. It is not necessary that I must be acquainted with the president of Kenya, but I must know that there is a president. Similarly, it is not necessary that you have to meet God, but by your logical conclusion you must know that there is God.
Now if you become fortunate, then you can know Him and see Him personally. And if I get the facility, I can see your president and talk with him personally, although ordinarily it is not possible; it requires some process—to go to his secretary, write him letter, I have to wait for the time. But it is not impossible. Similarly, God is there. You can see Him. You can talk with Him. But you have to take the process. That process is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Guest: Therefore the most popular thing, idea, was . . . or, my question was based on how God came to have children, and He's the creator? Or is it not believed that we were created by God?
Prabhupāda: But wherefrom this belief comes, first of all?
Guest: Well, it is a very, indeed, as when one comes to fail . . . (indistinct) . . . but where we came from as human beings?
Prabhupāda: Yes. There must be a source . . . (indistinct) . . . that is the idea. That is explained in Vedānta-sūtra. When you enquire about Brahma, atātho brahma-jijñāsā—when a person becomes inquisitive to understand what is the Absolute Truth—the answer is immediately janmādy asya yataḥ: the Absolute Truth is that from which everything is emanating.
So the Absolute Truth is the father of everything. So that is natural conclusion, that just like my existence at the present moment is due to my father; my father has created. So my father's existed, his father did. So go on researching: you will find the Supreme Person. That is God.
Guest: There must be somebody in the beginning.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Otherwise how it is possible?
Guest: But it is difficult to know when was the beginning.
Prabhupāda: That we do not require.
Guest: But as a human being . . .
Prabhupāda: Just like you know surely that you had a grandfather, a great-grandfather, but you do not require to know when your great-grandfather was born. There is no need. But it is a fact that because you are, because your father is, because your grandfather is, there must be a great-grandfather. There is no need of "When my great-grandfather was born?" You need not waste your time in that way.
Guest: But we know when Kṛṣṇa was born?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa is born every day, everywhere. That I already explained. Just like the sun: the sunset and sunrise is going on every minute.
Guest: Are His sons living still in the world still—children He left here?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Guest: (indistinct) . . . offspring now?
Prabhupāda: Do not say that God is dead. God disappears.
Śyāmasundara: He is asking if . . . are His descendants still on this planet?
Prabhupāda: Yes, we are all descendants; we are all sons of God.
Guest: Are we the offsprings of the . . . of Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Originally, as spiritual sparks, we are part and parcel of God. That part and parcel of God, a small spark of spirit, is changing bodies. Therefore on the change of body we are making history. Born in, 1870, but died in 1907. But the spiritual spark is changing from body to body, as you have changed already in so many bodies.
You were a little body like this. So where is that body? That body is not existing, but you had this body. That you can experience. You had a boy's body, playing very nicely. You can remember. But where is that boy's body? So from childhood you got a boyhood body, then you got a youthhood body; you will get an old body.
The body is changing every moment. That is death—birth and death. Similarly, when this body will be finished it is called death. But this body is finished, but you take another body. Just like you have already taken from babyhood body to childhood body, childhood body to boyhood body. Similarly, when this body is finished, you take another body. That is transmigration of the soul.
So the soul is the same. By changing body we are creating the so-called history: 1857 and 1907 and so on, so on, so on. This is a bodily history. Therefore, because Kṛṣṇa has got no material body, therefore He is eternal. He has no past, present and future.
Guest: Swāmījī, if he says that way, that we are the children of the earth . . . (indistinct) . . . which is from Kṛṣṇa, then the world at present must be a different one. That means there might not be America, Africa, India, or anything like that. It will be one place, and then . . .
Prabhupāda: Actually this is our creation. This earth, earthly planet, is one. Actually, when Kṛṣṇa was here, even up to five thousand years ago, the whole world was called, that is known as Bharata-varṣa, even from historical point of view. And it was being ruled by one king, from Hastināpura—five thousand years ago. Gradually the world has separated.
Guest: How it is possible that Africans, Americans and Indians, they are children of the same God, or same . . .?
Prabhupāda: It is our common home. Kṛṣṇa consciousness will teach us this, that this world is one home for the human beings on this planet. We are all God's children. Everyone has got the right to live at the cost of God. But we have divided. But at that time there will be no necessity of passport or immigration and citizenship. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice. Simply you have to come to that knowledge . . . (indistinct)
Just like India, as it is twenty years ago, there was no Partition. How the Partition has come into existence? Divided. Similarly, the whole world was one; gradually it has divided—for want of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If we know Kṛṣṇa, if you know that this planet is Kṛṣṇa's, we are all Kṛṣṇa's children, the animals are also Kṛṣṇa's children, then if you want something to eat . . .
At the cost of its father the animal is living on the grass. So I have no right to kill him. He is my brother. He is living by God's grace. God has given some food—God has given him grass. God has given you grain. The animal does not take the grain, he takes the skin only. God has ordered in that way, that "Here is grain. You take the grain and you let the animal take the skin. And live peacefully." Why you are going to eat the animals? This is God consciousness.
And because we are not in God consciousness, clear, therefore we are thinking, "The animals are meant for my eating." And the animal is thinking in another way. I am thinking "Indian," and you are thinking "African"—because there is no God consciousness. And as soon as we come to God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa conscious, then, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- (BG 18.54)
At that time you can see all living entities are parts and parcel of God, you are God's . . . Godbrothers.
That is the position at the stage of brahma-bhūtaḥ stage, when you understand yourself, what you are. When you understand that you are not African, when I understand I am not Indian, when I understand that I am not this body, I am not this mind, I am pure soul, then that is called brahma-bhūtaḥ stage. Because the spiritual spark is brahma.
Now our concept of life is this body, material concept of life, jīva-bhūta: I have become this African, I have become Indian, or I have become this dog, I have become this cat, I have become this king. Like that. This is jīva-bhūta. Just like you have got white shirt, you have got black coat, he has got blue coat and so on. But we are not concerned with the coats and shirt. We are concerned with as human being, as spirit soul. That is perfect stage . . . that is pure stage.
- tat-paratvena nirmalam
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
When one is devoid of all designations . . . these are all designations—"I am African," "I am Indian," "I am European," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian"—these are all designations. So when we become free from all designations, then we are pure, and in that pure state we can understand what is God. So God is pure, and when you become pure you can understand what is God. So we have to adopt this purificatory method. That is all. Then you will come to that stage.
Guest: And "Kṛṣṇa" is another name . . . can one translate the word "Kṛṣṇa" with another name of God?
Prabhupāda: Yes. It can be. God has many qualities. God is full of all qualities, so you select one quality, and you name God in that way. Kṛṣṇa is all-perfect because He comprehends all ideas, all at once. Therefore this is the perfect name of God. Just like God is called Govardhana-dhārī. Because He has the quality to lift the Govardhana Hill, He is called Govardhana-dhārī. God is called Nandanandana—the son of Mahārāja Nanda. So what is that reason? The reason is that He appeared as son of Nanda Mahārāja; therefore He is called Nandanandana.
So all the names of God, they are defined according to His qualities. But He has got all the qualities. So any name which is indicating to the quality of God, that is God's name. But this name "Kṛṣṇa" is prime, because it includes all the qualities. Therefore "Kṛṣṇa" is the original name. Suppose you name one God's name. Have you got any idea of God's name? Do you know any name of God?
Prabhupāda: Mungu. What is the meaning of this Mungu?
Prabhupāda: God is addressed Mungu Just like Kṛṣṇa name has meaning—all-attractive. So what is this word meaning of Mungu?
Brahmānanda: Literal meaning.
Prabhupāda: Literal meaning.
Guest: Literal meaning?
Guest: When there is Mungu, that means the almighty God.
Prabhupāda: That's it. So because God has got all power, therefore you call Mungu. This is God's name. That is all right. God has all power. He is almighty, all power. Therefore if Mungu means "almighty," then it is God's name.
Guest: Now you say we don't die, we go . . . (indistinct) . . . we don't die is what you are saying. Then why do we have to get this changing of bodies?
Prabhupāda: That is another question. This is nice question. Actually, we don't require to change bodies. We don't require. But we are put into certain conditions that we have to change our body. That is material life. In the material life, in the material existence, we have to change bodies, because we have got different desires, different consciousness.
Now why there is fight between one nation to another nation, one body to another's body? Because they have got different consciousness. Is it not? I have got a consciousness, you have got another consciousness. Therefore I don't agree with you, you don't agree with me, and ultimately we fight.
Similarly, because we have now come to this material world for enjoying this material world, under different consciousness we are given different bodies. God is so kind, "All right; please enjoy." Just like a tiger, he wants to enjoy fresh blood immediately. So God has given, "All right; you take this body. You can enjoy." So God is very kind. As we want to enjoy differently, He gives us different bodies. Therefore we have to withdraw all these desires. We have to simply desire God, or Kṛṣṇa. Then you get godly body. That's all.
Guest: Has that been proved?
Guest: How? How is it proved that people don't die and . . .?
Prabhupāda: That I already have said, that you have changed your childhood body. There is no . . . that body is gone. You cannot find out where is that body, but you know that you were a child in a different body. Therefore you are eternal, although your body is gone.
Guest: But from my childhood to where I am at the moment, I changed when I was seeing almost. But then . . .
Prabhupāda: Your body is no longer existing, but still you are seeing; therefore you are eternal.
Guest: But the most surprising thing is the change that comes all of a sudden to an individual, and then that body is . . .
Prabhupāda: That is just by law. You do not know the law, how it is changing, how it is transforming—that is your ignorance. But it is taking place, that's a fact. Because you are ignorant of certain process, that is not your knowledge. You should know how it is being changed. Similarly, just like you are in now this shirt and coat, when you go at home, then . . . (indistinct) . . . like this, now you are in this apartment and you go another apartment, does that mean that you are finished? You are somewhere.
Similarly, when you give up this body you'll take another body. One may not know what kind of body he has taken, but he has taken a body. Exactly just like if you go from this apartment room, it is a fact that you have gone to another apartment. But I may not know to which apartment you have gone. But this is a fact, that you must have gone to another apartment.
Guest (2): Unless one has got a total spiritual knowledge, or say . . .
Prabhupāda: This is not very advanced knowledge. You are in the apartment of a small body, now you are in different body.
Guest: It is just like when we were children, or say in that form, what clothes we were putting on we cannot recall now, because we have changed so many times.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But you were a child, that is a fact. Similarly, you may not recall what you were in your previous body, but you were. That is a fact.
Guest: If I go back to another question: You were saying, sir, what do you call it, the world, about five thousand years ago, the world was one. All people were ruled by one king . . .
Prabhupāda: That you can understand from history, Mahābhārata. The history is there. There is a history called by the name Mahābhārata. Mahā means greater; bhārat means this planet. That you can understand from that book. There is a history; there is Purāṇas. You can understand. As you understand history by reading history, similarly you can understand all these things by reading all these books.
Guest: If I could try to depart a little, because I am confused a little bit by the Bible or by this religion about God or . . .
Prabhupāda: That is your selection. But Bible may be two thousand years old, but before two thousand years, what was the situation you cannot say. You cannot say that before two thousand years there was no existence . . . (indistinct) . . . that you cannot say. So if the human society was still there, so what was their religion, what they were doing? There must be some history. And that history is Mahābhārata.
Guest: Are we classified by that . . . (aside) What is it called?
Guest: . . . Kṛṣṇa, when this has started?
Prabhupāda: But it is never started. Kṛṣṇa is always, just like the sun is always.
Guest: The world was there . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: You can say: "Since the material world was started, this classification started." The material world means it has got a date of starting. But before this starting of material world, the spiritual world was there. Just like you are now constructing African state, but that does not mean Africa did not exist before your construction work. Africa was still existing before your independence, before your calling this name or that name.
Guest: And what is the purpose of man living in this world?
Prabhupāda: That I have already explained. Because he wanted to enjoy. There are so many species of life in your country: there are tigers, there are lions, there are elephants—and you are there, we are here. We have got different purposes. I have come here with a different purpose. I have come also to Africa, but my purpose is different. And the lion is also here in Africa, but his purpose is different.
Guest: I think I have to put my question in a different way.
Prabhupāda: Because you have got a certain type of desire, you are sent here.
Guest: But let's say from the God's point of view, what is the purpose of man to live in this world?
Prabhupāda: Because he wanted to live here. God is so kind. Just like a father, his one son is living there, and his one son has left home, but father does not like it. Father is saying: "You are doing this, I don't like it." This is happening. Similarly, you are all sons of God. You liked it, "All right," so the father, "You do it. Enjoy it."
Guest: But is it the will of God that man should live in this world in this way?
Prabhupāda: No. God does not say that, "You live in this world." God comes here, rather, to call you back to home: "Don't live in this world. You are always suffering. Please come to Me."
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja
- (BG 18.66)
God does not like that you should be here.
Guest: But even the rich people are dying, they are not suffering. What sort of suffering are you referring to?
Prabhupāda: Your idea is that rich people does not suffer?
Guest: Rich people?
Prabhupāda: Your idea is that rich people do not suffer?
Guest: Well, that's what I'm asking.
Prabhupāda: No, everyone suffers. Here, the rich or poor, or the animal or the man or the demigod or the . . . everyone suffers.
Guest (2): Suffering could be different . . .
Prabhupāda: Suffering is the meaning of this material world.
Guest: I see.
Prabhupāda: You may suffer in one way, I may suffer in another way, but nobody is free from suffering. That's a fact.
Guest: Well I'm referring to the common suffering by the most people, when . . .
Prabhupāda: The common suffering is birth, death, old age and disease. The animal is suffering from this, you are suffering from this, I am suffering from this, he is suffering from this—birth, death, old age and disease. When these four problems can be solved by scientific advancement, then you have gained something. But that is not possible. You cannot stop birth, you cannot stop death, you cannot stop disease, you cannot stop old age.
Guest: That is in everything . . . (indistinct) . . . any life.
Prabhupāda: That is real suffering. It may be manifested in different way, just like you have got some disease, but symptoms are different. Sometimes you think that, "My . . . I am feeling headache," sometime feeling pain somewhere. But disease is the one. Similarly, here the material disease is birth, death, old age and disease. So these four miserable conditions are manifested in different ways. So when you come . . . when you become purified from this material consciousness, then you become again to your original position, eternal position, na jāyate na mriyate vā (BG 2.20), never dies, never takes birth.
Śyāmasundara: There is a state free from this suffering?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As you become perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you are free from all these things.
- tat-paratvena nirmalam
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
You become purified.
Guest: But still when you become, say, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, what I understand, that suppose we feel as if we are this coat, if we realize Him, and we feel happiness . . . (indistinct) . . . everything, but still our body, physical body, it still remains old or it grows old.
Prabhupāda: That's fine. But you are not this body.
Guest: That we understand.
Prabhupāda: You are not growing old. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So long you are identifying with this body, you are thinking, "I am African," "I am American," "I am Indian . . ."
Guest: And everything goes wrong.
Prabhupāda: Everything will be . . . if you are completely in understanding that "I am not this body," then you are no longer African or born Indian, no more Hindu, no more Muslim; you are spirit soul, ahaṁ brahmāsmi—"I am Brahma." And as soon as you come to that state, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā: immediately becomes joyful. That is required. We are searching after joy. (aside) Aiya. So that is required: to be purified.
- tat-paratvena nirmalam
- hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
- sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
As soon as you are purified, free from all designations . . . at the present moment the disease is I am feeling, I am identifying with my designation. That is my disease. I am thinking, "I am Indian"; somebody is thinking that he is Hindu; somebody is thinking that he is European, somebody African, Asian. But these are all designations. So actually when we become designation-free, that is called brahma-bhūta stage. And that is the stage of ānanda. Ānanda, or pleasure. Ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12).
Every living entity or God is ānanda-maya. Just like you see Kṛṣṇa's picture is ānanda-maya: He is enjoying. Here is the picture. He is enjoying. He is playing flute with the company of Śrīmatī Rādhārani. He is enjoying. He is young man. This is the real form of God—ānanda-maya. God hasn't got to till the ground for eating or make any business or any profession. So you can get also the same position along with God. You can go to Kṛṣṇa also, dance with Him, enjoy with Him. Ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt. By nature God and the living entities are enjoying, joyful.
So unless you come to that position of joyfulness . . . you must know that if you are diseased, you cannot enjoy life. If you are suffering from fever, I may offer you very nice, palatable dishes—you cannot enjoy it. Similarly, so long you are not in that ānanda-maya position, you cannot enjoy life.
- sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad
- . . . atīndriyam grāhyam
- (BG 6.21)
That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. The highest standard of happiness can be enjoyed by your spiritual senses, not by these blunt material senses.
So you have to be purified from this blunt material consci . . . that you can feel. Just like when you are freed from feverish condition, you can enjoy these same foodstuffs so nice, "Ah, now I will enjoy." So here we are not enjoying. We are trying to enjoy, because we have got the enjoying spirit, but due to our diseased condition we are not enjoying. Everything is detestful, confused, frustrated. But we are by nature joyful; therefore we are trying to see, "Where is enjoyment? Where is enjoyment? Where is enjoyment? Where is enjoyment?" But I am keeping myself in diseased condition. How he can enjoy?
Guest: That's true.
Prabhupāda: So one has to be freed from the diseased condition, and then he can enjoy. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement—to make people free from the diseased condition of life.
Guest: But I think you'll still allow me to say that I haven't got, well, clear answer to the question I was aiming to ask you. See, the thing is that: taking the fact the God is great, and He can do anything that He wants, now, my question would be: we see that we are going in this world, we die, and we come back through reincarnation and all these things, and when you are here we have got different, er . . . we are not all equal, some are rich, some are poor . . .
Prabhupāda: Because of this diseased condition of life.
Guest: Now my real question is this: God could see that there is no question of a source to be born into this world, material, and all these things, and so if He did not do that . . . God is present in the . . . (indistinct) . . . human being process and all these things. What is the purpose of God? Not making us live that we are . . .
Prabhupāda: The purpose of God is that He enjoys.
Guest: And suppose I am not enjoying?
Prabhupāda: But you do not. You do not like. Just like God says:
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja
- (BG 18.66)
But you do not do that.
Guest: Does it mean that there is no enjoyment . . .
Prabhupāda: First of all, God wants that you enjoy. But He says, just like the father says the son that, "Why are you suffering? Come to me. I shall give you all protection." But the son does not do it. So what the father will do?
Śyāmasundara: In other words, there's free will.
Prabhupāda: Yes. God can do it by force, but He does not do it, otherwise what is the meaning of free will? He has given you free will. Or God is free, therefore you are part and parcel of God; therefore you have got free will. And if you are killed with that free will, then what is your value? Then you become a stone.
Guest: And then is it true that some people are born lucky and some are born unlucky?
Prabhupāda: "Lucky" means just like here we are sitting so many: somebody's income is hundred, somebody's is a thousand, somebody's is lakh. He has made his fortune. That is there. God has nothing to do with that. He has worked hard, he has got. That's all. Just like you, African nation, now you are trying to develop your country so you be also as rich as the Europeans and others. That will depend on your work.
So these varieties of work will not solve your material question: birth, death, old age and disease. You will never be happy. That is the position. You may be as rich as the Americans or the Europeans, but that does not mean that you will be free from all disturbances. Therefore in our philosophy these are simply waste of time.
Just like the British Empire was created—the Africans were being ruled by the Britisher as India was being ruled by the Britisher. They thought, "We have created very nice situation." But our view: they simply wasted their time. Where is that British Empire? Lord Clive is standing now . . .
(aside) What is that road?
Śyāmasundara: St. James Park.
Prabhupāda: St. James Park. There is a stone statue. But he might have taken the birth as a dog. What this statue will help him? Nothing. But that is all: attraction. "Let me become a big statue in the park." (laughter) And that is called māyā.
Guest: We know that all the God has got no beginning and no end. What is the beginning of mankind?
Prabhupāda: What is the beginning of mankind?
Guest: (indistinct) . . . take my own self.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Beginning is the same. Creation, when this material world was created, your body was also created.
Guest: And what is my beginning?
Prabhupāda: That you may know. I cannot say.
Devotee: Could be anything. (laughter)
Guest: But you were existing.
Devotee: Could be any form.
Prabhupāda: And what business I have got to "What is the beginning?"
Guest: Yes, I am asking myself, because I don't know what was my beginning.
Prabhupāda: Beginning . . . in the beginning you have got some body. There are 8,400,000 species of life, body. So you have taken your beginning in any form of these bodies, and you are enjoying this material world.
Guest: Then how many incarnations do I need to take . . .
Prabhupāda: There is no need. Unless you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, this process will go on unlimitedly. And if you want to stop this repeated birth and death, then you understand Kṛṣṇa. Just like Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- janma karma ca me divyam
- evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
- tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
- naiti . . .
- (BG 4.9)
"One who understands Me really, he only does not take birth again after quitting this body." Then where does he go? Is he finished? No. Mām eti: "He comes to Me." So you have to finish this business of repeated birth and death in millions and trillions of species of life by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by understanding Kṛṣṇa. Then your life is perfect. Otherwise you are spoiling your life.
Guest: If by understanding Kṛṣṇa then I don't need to be born again, is it true that those people, or these beings, who are angels are the ones who have understood Kṛṣṇa, or what?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is a fact.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They are not angels? They have got their spiritual form, and they enjoy. Kṛṣṇa says, mām eti: "He comes to Me." Then he enjoys with Kṛṣṇa. Just like Kṛṣṇa is playing with His cowherd boys, His gopīs and so many. He has got His paraphernalia.
Guest: And what work do they do, these angels? What work do they do?
Guest (2): What work do angels do?
Prabhupāda: Angels are like you. They are little enjoying, but better. Just like Europeans. They may be enjoying a better material life, in the nice dress, or nice form. That's all. They are like that. But it is not that they are free from birth, death, old age and disease.
Śyāmasundara: He was asking that when we become liberated from . . . when we go to Kṛṣṇa, do we become angels?
Prabhupāda: The angel is just like here, a beautiful man is called angel, but that does not mean he does not die or he does not suffer.
Guest (3): "Angels" in the accepted sense of the term are something superior to mankind.
Prabhupāda: Yes, they are superior. Many. In other planetary system there are many superior beings. They are living ten thousands of years. Just like you are living for hundred of years, and the ant is living, say, four hours. So you are superior to the ant.
Guest (3): But that is not the eternal form?
Prabhupāda: No. Either you die after hundred years or hundred millions of years, you die. That is not eternal life. Brahma dies, you cannot calculate even his one day.
- ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ
- (BG 8.17)
Sahasra-yuga—forty-three lakhs, forty-three hundreds of years . . . hundred thousands of years, they are multiplied by one thousand. That becomes Brahma's twelve hours. Then add another twelve hours, that becomes Brahma's one day. Similarly, thirty days; similarly twelve months. In this way he lives also hundred years, but his hundred years and your hundred years, different. But he also dies. He also dies.
Guest: Now one time you were calling this word "die." You are talking about the body changing.
Prabhupāda: "Die" means change of body.
Guest: Is it His will that we all mimic Kṛṣṇa . . . we call it Kṛṣṇa? Is it His will that we die or we have that change, or we even have existed?
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is by the will of Kṛṣṇa.
Guest: And why?
Prabhupāda: Why? Because you wanted it. That I have already said. You wanted to become an ant; Kṛṣṇa has given you the body of ant.
Guest: Is He not kind?
Prabhupāda: Huh? He is kind. Because you wanted, and He gives it. He is very kind.
Guest: No, but if this is His will, to bring the disease upon man . . .
Prabhupāda: No. You wanted a life which is full of these miserable condition—birth, death, old age and disease.
Guest: And is He going to change everybody, I mean, through death?
Prabhupāda: Not death. Death is not the solution. The solution is you become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Yo jānāti tattvaṁ (BG 4.9)—one who knows Kṛṣṇa. To know Kṛṣṇa, that is solution. Death—everyone is dying.
Guest: But is He going . . . well . . . will mankind get finished in the world?
Prabhupāda: That is not possible, because everybody is not becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. Therefore . . .
Guest: There could be many who desire to live here.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Many. Everyone has right to. Otherwise why we are preaching Kṛṣṇa . . . to become Kṛṣṇa consciousness and they are not becoming? Why? They want to live here and become kicked by this miserable condition of life. That is their desire. We are speaking everyone that, "You become Kṛṣṇa conscious. You try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Your all problems are solved." But they do not do it. What Kṛṣṇa will do?
Guest: So let me say then that by understanding Kṛṣṇa as the cause of Godhead, the same type of saying in the . . . well, say similar saying in the Christianity, that those who are . . .
Prabhupāda: So we don't say that Christianity or Hinduity. We say try to understand God. You understand it through Christianity or through Hinduity or any nonsense thing. You try to understand. And if you can understand, then we take that process of religion first class. It doesn't matter whether you understand God through Muhammadanism or Christianism or Hinduism or Buddhism. It doesn't matter. You try to understand God. And if you have understood God through your process of religiosity, then your religion is first class. Otherwise you have simply wasted your time.
Just like so many businessmen there are. Somebody is doing some kind of business, another body is doing another kind of business—but the aim of business is to earn some money. Then if one has not earned money, and he has done business, then what is the use? You may do any business, but you earn money—phalena paricīyate—and you have become rich, then I can say: "You are successful businessman." It does not mean that you have to do this business or that business. Any way you do business, you earn some money, then you are successful. That is material calculation.
Similarly, you accept any religion—it does not matter—but you understand what is God. If you do not understand, then you are wasting your time under the stamp of so many religions. And if you are serious to understand God, then you should take such kind of religion which helps you to understand God. That is your business.
Guest: The day before, you said about eating meat or killing animals. Now is it then wrong to . . . eating meat? Or if it is wrong, is there any particular meat or particular animal that is prohibited to be eaten?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You are some creation of God, so you have got your own food. The tiger has got his own food. If you offer a tiger, a lion, a nice plate of fruits and vegetables, he won't touch it. Why? Because he has been allotted a certain type of food. Similarly, you have got a certain type of food to eat. If you violate the rule, then you disgrace God's regulation, and you become rejected, criminal.
Guest: This means that the all animal has a . . .
Prabhupāda: Your business . . . human being's business is to understand God, to become . . . to realize himself as His servant of God. So your business is to accept eating what God desires. Because just like our position, we Kṛṣṇa conscious people, we eat something which is taken by, accepted by, Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa says that, "Give Me patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ" (BG 9.26), vegetables, fruits.
So we offer Kṛṣṇa grains, fruits, vegetables, and we take it. If Kṛṣṇa says that, "You give Me meat," then we shall offer Him meat and take it. But because we are Kṛṣṇa conscious, we cannot take anything which is not eaten by Kṛṣṇa. That is our vow. So we have no quarrel with vegetarians. But if you want to be Kṛṣṇa conscious, you must take kṛṣṇa-prasādam.
Guest: Another question . . .
Prabhupāda: Another thing is that if you are God conscious, if you know that every living entity is God's son . . . God says, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7).
- sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
- sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ
- tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma
- ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
- (BG 14.4)
He is the father of all living entities. Then you will see that, "Every living entity is my brother. How can I cut throat of my brother?" That is called consciousness. If you are really God conscious, if you think that God is the father of all living entities, how you can say that He is not father of the cats and the dogs and the cows and the . . . He is father of everyone.
He is in different dress. Because you are in different dress, in black dress, is it the right of the white man to cut your throat? No. The God conscious . . . as soon as people become God conscious, "Oh, he may be in black dress, I may be in white dress—but he is also son of God, I am also son of God. He is my brother." This is God conscious.
This is lacking. Therefore I am treating somebody lower than me and somebody higher than me—due to want of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is lacking. I have got many Africans my students, of course American Negroes. They are equally living, chanting, dancing with these white boys. They have forgotten that "He is black and he is white," because they are not in the platform of this bodily concept of life. They are mixing. There are so many young girls, they are mixing, but there is no sex . . . (indistinct)
So this is training, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Then everything comes to perfect. And as soon as we speak from the platform of bodily concept of life, there will be no adjustment. It is impossible. Forget it. You may have United Nation and other things, but the controversy and the differences will go on. It is not possible. This is the only solution, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just try to understand, those who are intelligent. Political, social, religious, cultural—all solution is included in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply you have to try to understand it, how it is so. That's all.
Guest: And what is the minimum qualification?
Prabhupāda: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all.
Prabhupāda: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Guest: That is the name of, "Almighty" all the time.
Prabhupāda: Not "Almighty"; simply Hare Kṛṣṇa. Go on the street and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, just as we do. These boys, you see how they are chanting—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Do it. What is the difficulty? You can do it and begin immediately the process. But you will not do it. What can I do? The process is not at all difficult. Anyone can take to it. But you won't do it. That is the determination. So what can be done?
Śyāmasundara: Can we have some kīrtana, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Yes. The process is very simple and can be accepted by anyone. But they will not accept it. What can be done?
Guest (2): Main thing is because they do not know it. They don't know it. Not convinced by . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore I say come to class; try to understand. Then you will do it.
Guest: Yes. A further question then: The fault is this. The questions might be based on their rules, you know, how they know about spiritual knowledge. So that's why sometimes we have to ask you some further questions.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. You are welcome. You are welcome to ask questions.
Guest: Taking the first, that we all live according to God's will, and again we find if you try to tell others, say we Africans, if we try to speak with our friends and try to introduce another understanding of God as presented apart from what we have understood it from Christianity point of view . . .
Prabhupāda: Don't go any point of view. Try to understand God philosophically. Don't be designated. Again you become designated.
Guest: My question was this now: what answer could you give to a person who asks you that what wrong a person might have done to make him be born deformed, right from his mother's stomach, say? He didn't get accident during his other life, then was born deformed . . . (indistinct) . . . of the sort.
Prabhupāda: Desire. Desire. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.
- yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
- tyajaty ante kalevaram
- (BG 8.6)
At the time of death, what you are desiring, you get the body next.
Guest: I think there is nobody who can desire to be crippled, so that they will be born again as a cripple.
Prabhupāda: Cripple may be due to father and mother's diseased condition. That is all right.
Guest: Suppose there was no disease?
Prabhupāda: Suppose there was . . . naturally, then nobody comes crippled. There are rare circumstances where the child is born crippled.
Guest: Why does this disease have the tendency to have its effect on the child?
Prabhupāda: Because the child gets the body from the father and mother.
Guest: And who suffers? Not the parents.
Prabhupāda: Therefore that can be understood that a white man's child is white, and a black man's child is black, because due to his body.
Guest: If one is . . . if one died and is born again, do you mean that he has lived in this world before?
Prabhupāda: Well, you may live in this world, in other world. There are so many worlds.
Guest: But does one know where he lived in the world?
Prabhupāda: Yes. This world is made of this matter. So anyone who lives, he lives in the matter. Either I live in the water or in the sky or on the land. They are all matter: earth, water, air, fire. Everywhere you live, you live in the matter.
Guest: I mean does one experience the change?
Prabhupāda: No, no. He forgets. He forgets. That is another gift of God. Suppose one has taken the birth of a hog, and last birth he was a king. If he remembers that, "I was king," then his life will be horrible. Therefore he forgets.
Guest: But what does it mean?
Prabhupāda: Yes, God gives him this forgetfulness.
Guest: You mean Kṛṣṇa has got a store of lives? When religious people come back to the world as animals or . . .
Prabhupāda: They become according to their desire: animal or man or demigod or . . . there are 8,400,000 species of life. So as he desires, he gets the body.
Guest: But has He got a store, to keep all these lives?
Prabhupāda: No. The store is this matter. Your desire develops this body. Just like if you have got store of rice, dhal, butter, ghee, you can prepare so many foods. So the store is these five elements: earth, water, air, fire, ether. And from this store you makes different bodies. That's all.
Guest (2): Do you develop immediately your material body, or material for leaves? Or you stay for some time . . .
Prabhupāda: It takes a process. It takes a process. When you desire something at the time of death, so you are transferred to the semina of the father, similar father, and he injects the semina in the womb of the mother, and the mother supplies the material, she develops the body. That is the process. Your desire. When you desire a type of condition to take birth either as European or African or a cat or a dog or a human being or demigod, that is your desire.
Guest (2): Swāmījī, how far does actions comes into effect?
Prabhupāda: That is your desire. If you desire to have a body, so according to the body, you act. The body means your action.
Guest (2): Some people say that suppose somebody is doing, I mean, is committing sins and all this, killing others, or giving pains to others, this and that way, then when he takes next birth depends upon his present actions.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Your desire . . . at the time of death you get a desire, a mental condition, according to the acts you have done throughout your whole life.
Guest (2): Because desire can be a different thing, isn't it?
Prabhupāda: No, not different. Generally you desire as you are accustomed to desire. Generally you desire. And similarly, if you become accustomed to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you will desire Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Guest: So according to the explanation, your explanation, there is a conclusive evidence that man has not started from a particular soul, which was at that time . . . (indistinct) . . . man is started from an unknown place.
Prabhupāda: Mind is flickering. So you change your mind, you change your body.
Guest: And where did this man come from? Because it is very funny. Everything that lives . . .
Prabhupāda: How you know where everything comes from?
Guest: . . . must have a beginning and an end.
Prabhupāda: The things are there, and they are all coming from God. That's all. You should understand like that. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Everything is coming from God.
Guest: But I'm driving at . . . how did God deal with the formacies of the first person? How did He construct the first person?
Śyāmasundara: How did Kṛṣṇa create the persons, person?
Guest: What was in the beginning. He says . . .
Prabhupāda: Beginning was Kṛṣṇa. Because Kṛṣṇa is the beginning of everything.
Guest: Yes. But how did He get man into the world?
Prabhupāda: How did he get . . .?
Devotee: Man. Human beings.
Guest: Were there human beings before, or what was in the form before human beings? Some people said that we were from . . .
Prabhupāda: No. Always the 8,400,000 species of life are there. As soon as creation is there, the 8,400,000 species of life also created, according to the . . . the living entity, they are in this created . . . in this material world, since time immemorial. So one creation is not the only one creation. Creation is . . . the material world is, it is created, and again it is vanquished. Everything.
Guest: Five things were existing first, could we say?
Prabhupāda: No. Nothing existed. Nothing existed. These . . . existed . . . simply existing God. God was there. Then from His energy, so many things came.
Guest: We can say that . . . say this book . . .
Prabhupāda: I am the author of this book. I existed, so I have written this book. Not that it has come into existence.
Guest: Then God must be very wonderful!
Prabhupāda: He is certainly He's wonderful; otherwise how He is God?
Guest: Because we are using the shape from time to time, and these formacies, and we are failing to know how He has brought man into the world.
Prabhupāda: God's . . . you mean it is a form? (aside:) What is his question?
Guest (2): He says that God must be wonderful because we cannot understand His form, because sometimes we think in this way.
Prabhupāda: Why we cannot understand? God, when God says: "Here I am," why you cannot understand?
Guest: Well I don't understand Him, because He hasn't revealed this to man when He created us. This is where my problem is, you see. Because we come from the mother, we are born and die.
Prabhupāda: You are part and parcel of God. Just like the sun: as soon as the sun is there, the sunshine is there. The sunshine is not created in another time. Try to understand this.
Prabhupāda: Sunshine is not created. As soon as there is sun, there is sunshine. That means sunshine is always with the sun. So you are part and parcel of God. God is existing everlastingly. You are also existing everlastingly. But this sunshine, when it is covered by cloud, it becomes dark. Similarly, when you are covered by maya, you forget God. That is a fact. Otherwise you are existing with God always. Therefore you have no birth and death, originally, as spirit soul.
Your birth and death is due to this covering of matter. When you are covered by certain type of body, you think, "I am this African." Again when you are covered by some other body, you think, "I am this." You are thinking like that, but you are always different from this body. You are existing with God, but you have forgotten. Forgetting God, you think you are African, I think, "I am Indian," he is thinking European. That you have to change. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Guest: When I met the scientists last, they gave me a very perplexing idea.
Prabhupāda: What do they know? First of all, what do they know? Why he shall not give perplexing ideas?
Guest: They gave me a perplexing idea, because they told me man came from the waters.
Prabhupāda: Hmm? Wherefrom the water came?
Guest: Man developed it from . . .
Prabhupāda: Wherefrom the water came?
Guest: Water? That was made by God.
Prabhupāda: Then God . . . it comes to God. What is the use of the scientist? Why don't you go to God directly?
Guest: I am talking in terms of the origin of man, what they idea . . .
Prabhupāda: That may be. That may be. So first there was ether. Creation, process of creation, is first there was ether, and then there was air, then there was fire, then there was water, then there was earth. This is the process of creation.
Guest: Let me ask another question. I asked it before. You said that one is in, something, in and out, within and without. Which one of these is found more valuable by Kṛṣṇa?
Guest (2): He says, by Kṛṣṇa, the one who is inside or the one who is without?
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is without and within.
Guest: No, I mean to me, if I am within and without.
Prabhupāda: Within you are real, your real self, spirit. Therefore within, you are important.
Brahmānanda: We are within . . .
Brahmānanda: . . . but Kṛṣṇa is . . . Kṛṣṇa is within and without.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is within and without. He is both. He is Absolute. He is Absolute; therefore He has no within and without. We are relative. We are now in the material world; therefore there is within and without. And when you become simply spirit soul, then there is no within and without.
Guest: And is there a time that the soul has to stay in the spiritual world . . .
Prabhupāda: So long we have got the desire to enjoy this material world, yes, we remain here.
Guest: But what I mean is when we die.
Prabhupāda: You die with your desire. That does not mean end of material life. You take another body—according to your desire.
Guest: But my question is this: how long do we stay before we come back again?
Prabhupāda: As soon as you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Guest: There is no specific time . . .
Guest (2): No. His question is this: Suppose we die. Now the soul, the soul doesn't take another birth?
Prabhupāda: He has to take birth.
Guest (2): He has to take birth.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So long he is desiring, he is dying with some desire, so he has to take birth.
Guest: If he has no desire, then . . .
Prabhupāda: That is Kṛṣṇa conscious. He has no desire means that he is Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Guest (2): But then after some time if he desires again, then he can come back?
Guest: But is there any period that one has to stay in the spiritual world because he's born?
Brahmānanda: (aside) We need to close the curtains, because the insects are coming in. The insects are attracted by the light. (discussion about closing curtains)
Prabhupāda: Desireless—sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ (CC Madhya 19.170). When you become desireless, that is your freedom. Desireless means not to desire to lord it over the material world. Now we are desiring how to lord it over the material world. Somebody tries to be a very big businessman, somebody is trying to be a minister, somebody is trying to be this and that.
Always they are being conducted by the desire. When that desires will be purified, that "I shall simply serve God, or Kṛṣṇa," then you are purified. Otherwise you'll have to take that particular type of body to fulfill your desire.
Guest (2): I see the point, you know. I am . . . I am in such, I mean, going to ask again the question: Now when . . .
Prabhupāda: (devotee enters and Prabhupāda acknowledges) All right. Wait. I am coming. Our philosophy begins higher up, because physical training of the body, but we say: "You are not this body."
Guest (2): That's the main thing.
Prabhupāda: Yes. How physical training of the body will help you? It will help you, just to concentrate the mind. Nothing more than that. So what is your last question?
Guest: When you decided to pay us a visit, I believe you knew that you are coming to meet different minds. In other words, I believe this way, and you believe the other way around. Now what is your intention? Is it to teach us primarily knowledge of these all . . . (indistinct) . . .?
Prabhupāda: Therefore there is training. We have got a different mind, like a child has got a different mind, but the teacher trains him to a certain type of thinking. He wants to play. The child wants to play, but the teacher trains him to study. The mind is changed. The child's mind, when he comes to his school, he's always thinking of playing. But the teacher gradually trains him to read, and he learns A-B-C-D and other books, and he becomes educated.
So you may be of different mind, but if you are trained up, you'll take to education and you pass the examination(?). That's all. You have to agree to take the training. That's all. Then everything will be all right. That is called initiation. You voluntarily accept a person who will teach you. That is required. That is the Vedic injunction: tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). In order to be trained up in the transcendental science, one must accept a bona fide teacher.
Guest: But is it . . . should we be correct if we say the name Kṛṣṇa is the name that God is known to us?
Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa, I have already explained, Kṛṣṇa is the name of God. Because Kṛṣṇa, this very word suggests "all-attractive." If God is not all-attractive, then how He is God? If God is attractive to a certain class of men or certain class of living entity, then how He can be God? Therefore this is the perfect name of God—"all-attractive."
Guest: Otherwise He has got thousands of names.
Prabhupāda: Thousands of names. God has thousands and millions of names, according to His quality. So He has got unlimited quality; therefore He has got unlimited names. But this is the perfect name, because it comprehends all the qualities—"all-attractive."
(pause) So we shall . . . later on.
Guest: We can do the kīrtanas and . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. (break) (end)