710923 - Conversation - Nairobi
(Introduction) Evening. September 23rd. Continuation of questions by African intelligence)
Prabhupāda: . . . yesterday? Hmm?
Śyāmasundara: (to guest) . . . yesterday you asked a question. Do you remember? "What is our beginning?" Is that it? "Why are we existing?"
Prabhupāda: Hmm? What is that question?
Śyāmasundara: (to guest) You ask.
Prabhupāda: That I have already answered, that there is no beginning, because we are part and parcel of God. God is ever-existing; therefore His parts and parcels are also ever-existing. There is no beginning. The . . . we are taking into account of beginning because we have got this material body. The material body has beginning, just like this material body is taken into account when it is born. But the spirit soul is ever-existing. The beginning is, means, the beginning of this material body. The spirit soul has no beginning, no end.
Just like in this present life you can realize that, as I explained yesterday, that you had a body of babyhood, then you had a body of boyhood, now you have got a body of youthhood. The body is changing, but you are the same. You can remember when you were playing with other children in your childish body. The same you, who is still existing in this body, he was in that childhood body. Similarly, when you get old, old means your body gets old. Just like I have got. I am old man; I can remember my childhood, I can remember my youthhood.
So this soul is existing, but the body is changing. Therefore this soul existed before getting this body, and soul continue to exist after annihilation of this body. Is it clear? Therefore the soul is ever-existing—there is no beginning, no end. The end and beginning is calculated in terms of this body, material body. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly stated there that this change of body is going on, so when this body will be changed, tathā dehāntara-prāptir (BG 2.13): āntaram, another. After giving up this body, the soul gets another body, dehāntaram.
Dhīras tatra na muhyati: those who are sober, those who are educated, intelligent, they do not bewilder. They know that this soul has now left this body and it has gone to another body. Just like if I leave this apartment, any one of you will understand that I have gone to another apartment. Does not . . . because I have left this apartment, it does not mean that I am no longer existing. This is the position of the soul.
We can experiment, or verify, this knowledge even in this life. The same example: I was existing in my childhood body, I was existing in my boyhood body, I was existing in my youthhood body. The body is changing, but I am there. So I will exist when this body is changing. Is there any difficulty to understand?
Guest: (indistinct) . . . so one who then exists when the body is dead . . . (indistinct) . . .?
Śyāmasundara: He is asking if God still exists.
Prabhupāda: Exists in exactly the same way. When your childhood body is no longer, how you are existing?
Guest: . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Well, after all, at the present moment you haven't got your childhood body. Similarly, when you will not have this body, why not another body? What is the difficulty? You have got experience in this life that you were existing in your body when it was baby. Just like this child: when he will grow up, the father, mother will not cry or lament, "Oh, where is my son? Where is my son?" He knows that "My son has got another body, but he is existing." Therefore the very word is used, dhīras tatra na muhyati. Dhīra. Dhīra means those who are sober, cool-headed. Dhīras tatra na muhyati.
Exactly the same example, that this so many children there are, so when they will grow up the mother will not lament. The mother knows that, "My child is there—the body has changed." Another example can be given that if somebody has seen a child, say a one-year-old child, and he is absent . . . it is my practical experience—one of my Godbrother, he left home when his child was one year old, and then after twenty-five or thirty years, his boy came to see him—he could not recognize him. Why? There is change of body. One had to introduce his son, "This is your son." "Oh!" (laughter) (laughs) Similarly, we are changing bodies, but the same son he could not recognize.
There were many instances. Just like there is a story of Sohrab Rostam. You know? The father killed his boy. They did not know they are father and son, and they fought, and when the boy was killed, then his father knew, "Oh, he is my son!"
(aside) Aiye, aiye, bhaite (Come in, have a seat)
The body is changing, but the soul is there. Why Rostam lamented for killing his child? Because he could not recognize that "He was my child. I could not . . ." because he was long, long away from home. So he killed his child.
This is very simple fact; try to understand. This is the first beginning of spiritual education. Unless one understands that spirit soul is everlasting, nityaḥśāśvato 'yaṁ, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre . . . (BG 2.20) That is the description in the Bhagavad-gītā, that the spirit soul is eternal; it does not annihilate after the annihilation of this body. And this spirit soul has no beginning. The spirit soul is part and parcel of God. As God is ever-existing, similarly, the spirit soul is ever-existing. Just like as the sun is existing, the sunshine is also existing.
The example of the spirit soul is like the molecular parts in the sunshine. The sunshine is combination of so many atomic shining particles. This is natural. They are different. The sun-shining particles, they are different. But because they are combined together . . . Everything is atomic combination—in water also; in land also—similarly, the sunshine is combination of molecules, shining molecular parts. So as the sun is existing, the sunshine is also existing. Similarly, as God is existing, the part and parcel of God, shining particles, spirit souls, they are also existing. They are also existing.
So clear this part. Any one of you, first of all clear this part. That is the first stage for advancing in spiritual education. What is the difficulty in understanding?
Guest: The only difficulty . . . I, when I die, when I die and . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: You don't die. That is my proposition.
Guest: My form dies.
Prabhupāda: Form, yes!
Guest: Eh . . .
Prabhupāda: Just like if you change this dress.
Guest: Now the soul will be given to somebody else, probably. Is that what you say?
Śyāmasundara: The soul will be given to somebody else? After using this body, the soul is given to somebody else?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Somebody else . . . that I have already explained: karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa, jantur dehopapattaye (SB 3.31.1). According to your karma, according to your pure desire—karma means desire—at the time of your death, if your desire will create a situation, mental situation. Just like a businessman, always thinking of his business, a thief is always planning how to steal; a professor is always thinking how to make a solution of the mathematic problem. Everyone has got different consciousness. So at the time of death, the consciousness created by you by your present activities will carry you to similar bodies.
The example is given, just like air flowing through a rose garden, it carries very nice flavor. Similarly, the air passing through filthy place, it carries very bad smell. Is it not? Eh? Similarly, the mind, intelligence and ego is very subtle, subtler than the air. It carries a certain consciousness, and that creates another body. The soul is carried by that consciousness and put into the womb of a particular type of mother through the semina of the father, and the soul grows body in the womb of the mother. Just like a tiger grows the tiger body, a man grows a man's body, the hog grows the hog's body. The body is grown in the mother's body, and when it is complete it comes out and becomes this body.
Therefore this human form of life is a chance to understand his real position. In other lives other than human form of life, they are coming by nature's law, by evolution, transmigration—evolution, Darwin's theory of evolution. But the process of evolution are just like there is evolution in human life. There are 4,000 species of human life. They are 8,400,000 species of different forms of life, so other than human beings, there are 8,000,000 forms, and in the human form of life there are 4,000 human species of life. Therefore we find so many varieties; the two bodies will never coincide exactly, the different forms of life.
So when one comes to the human form of life, never mind whether he is highly advanced civilized life or uncivilized life, the human form life has got a special privilege to understand his position. It doesn't matter whether he is European or American or Indian or brahmin or śūdra—these are of course bodily differentiation—but the human consciousness is there. Therefore if we utilize this human consciousness and try to understand our constitutional position, "What I am?" and if I can understand that I am spirit soul, part and parcel of God, then my life is perfect.
So this understanding, this education, is not hampered. It is not that only the Indian brahmins will be able to understand and not the Africans will be able to . . . able to understand. No. Everyone will be able to, because that human consciousness is there. So my request to you African people is that you are now a growing nation; you try to grow from the solid basic principles of life, understanding, that spiritual understanding. Then your life will be very much successful; you will be an example in the world.
At the present moment people are degrading, degrading in this sense: that instead of understanding his spiritual basis of life, they are understanding on the material . . . (indistinct) . . . which is known. He is not this body, but we are trying to adjust things on this bodily concept of life. The United Nations, they are trying to adjust things, but the basic mistake is there, that all the people are simply assembled there, they are in bodily concept of life, therefore they cannot make any solution. And actually that has happened. They are trying for so many years, but because they are in bodily concept of life, according to Bhāgavat they are all asses:
- yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke
- sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ
- yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij
- janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ
- (SB 10.84.13)
Persons, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke . . . kuṇape: this is a bag of three elements, kapha, pitta, vāyu. According to Āyurveda, this body is developed on three material principles: kapha, pitta . . . pitta, vāyu, air. Kapha, pitta, vāyu. The Āyurvedic treatment is on these three principles. Their method of treatment is they can feel the pulse, and by the beating of the pulse they can understand how these three elements are working.
And on that principle immediately there are formulas in the Āyurveda that if the pulse is beating like this, then the position of the body is like this. So they will enquire from you the symptoms, and if you say "Yes," immediately they will prescribe medicine. That is Āyurvedic medicine.
So this body, you may not understand what is kapha, pitta, vāyu, but we can understand it very easily that if you dissect this body you will find some mucus, some blood, some muscles, some bones and so on. Does it mean that I am a combination of bones, muscles, blood, urine and stool? As such intelligence is coming from bones and biles and urine and stool? No. Therefore anyone who is accepting this body as the self is an ass. Can you combine intelligence by combining the stool, urine and blood and bones and biles and mucus? Can you make a human intelligence? Is it possible?
Guest: No, I don't think.
Prabhupāda: That is not possible. They are scientists, but if you analyze this body you will find all these things. So if these biles and the bones and the stool and the urine and blood can be found outside also, so if you combine them and produce an intelligence like a great scientist or great . . . (indistinct) . . . that is not possible. Therefore Bhāgavat says, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13): if we accept this combination of these three dhātus as self, then we are nothing but ass.
Therefore the first spiritual understanding is that we should try to understand that, "I am not this body." That is Vedic education: ahaṁ brahmāsmi, just to understand that, "I am not this body, I am spirit soul. I am Brahma." And when you come to that understanding, then you actually become happy: Na śocati na kāṅkṣati, brahma-bhūtaḥ (BG 18.54). When you come to that understanding of spirit soul, then there is no more lamenting and no more hankering.
We are embarrassed by two things—what we haven't got we are simply hankering after it. Just like you African people or Indian people, they hankered after independence. They got independence—India has got independence—but where is the happiness? It is simply . . . (indistinct) . . . simply hankering. So, so long you shall be in bodily concept of life, these two things—hankering and lamenting: hankering after something which we do not possess, and lamenting after something which you have lost.
So as soon as you come to the spiritual understanding, there is no more hankering and lamenting. This is the science. Na śocati na kāṅkṣati. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu: at that time one can see all people, all living entities, equally—universal brotherhood. That is the real platform. So they are trying to establish the universal platform . . . brotherhood on the platform of these asses' understanding: "I am this body." But how the asses can make universal brotherhood? Is it possible? No. They cannot do. Asses are asses. Sa eva go-kharaḥ. Kharaḥ means asses. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape.
First of all, first education should be that . . . therefore our students formerly were sent to gurukula to have this spiritual understanding, brahmacārī that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul." So where is the soul's activity? Perhaps throughout the whole world the activity of soul can be seen in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement: no bodily activity. This boy, Brahmānanda Swami, his father has got very lucrative manufacturing concern.
He is manufacturing the plastic boxes, very profitable business. But he has left . . . his eldest son, very beloved son, pet son, but he has left. Why? Because he has come to the spiritual understanding. He has understood that, "I have nothing to do with this material engagement."
So unless people come to the spiritual understanding, there is no question of United Nation. It is simply bluff, or impossible. It is not possible. The first education is to know yourself, what you are: ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am the spirit soul. I am not this body."
So it is clear that you are existing, your body is changing. Similarly, when this body will be changed, you will exist. What is the difficulty in understanding this simple fact? I am existing after changing so many bodies in this life—I was a child, I was a boy, I was a young man, so I am now an old man—so when I give up this body, why shall I not exist? What is the difficulty to understand? This is first understanding.
Śyāmasundara: If my real identity is spirit soul, what do I look like? What do I really look like?
Prabhupāda: That you can understand by an analogy. You look like with two hands and two heads, er, two legs and one head. Unless you have got a head, you have got two hands, you have got two legs, how this body has developed with hands and legs? This body is called dress. Just like if you go to a tailor, he immediately measures your hands and legs and makes your coat and shirt.
Similarly, unless you have got hands and legs and head, how this head and legs and hands have come out? Is it very difficult to understand what is your form? You can understand your form by the form of your dress. If this body is dress, then from the form of the dress you can understand your whole form.
Śyāmasundara: Hmm. But very small?
Prabhupāda: Certainly. That is also described, that is one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair.
- śatadhā kalpitasya ca
- jīvo bhāgaḥ sa vijñeyaḥ
- sa ānantyāya kalpate
- (CC Madhya 19.140)
Ānantyāya: many, innumerable, unlimited number. Sa ānantyāya kalpate.
- nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām
- eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān
- (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13)
These are Vedic injunctions. As you have got a spiritual body, very small, similarly the Personality of Godhead, He has got a spiritual body. (aside) You are going?
Brahmānanda: . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: All right. So there's no difficulty . . .
Prabhupāda: . . . to understand your form. You are not formless. That cannot be.
Śyāmasundara: So this spirit spark, this very small spark, has form?
Prabhupāda: That spirit spark is in the microbic germ and in the elephant also.
Prabhupāda: They have got different bodies, but the same spirit soul is there.
Guest: Now which one of these two, body and spirit, makes probably good or bad activities? Is it the bodies or souls?
Prabhupāda: Good or bad activities, there you have to follow. Just like in your state there is law book, and the law book it is said: "You do not do this. You do this." If you're doing . . . just like you are marking in your railway department, so there are . . . what do you call? Regulative books?
Prabhupāda: Regulation books. So if you follow the regulation, that is good. If you don't follow the regulation, that is bad. That is the standard of good and bad. So as you have got in the railway department some regulative principles, so why not in the big, gigantic universal state some principles which is given by God?
Therefore in the Bhāgavat it is stated, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ (SB 6.3.19). Religion means the regulative principles given by God. You cannot manufacture religion. Religion means regulative principles given by God—that is religion. Mr. Patel, is that all right? "The regulative principles given by God is religion." Is there any defect in the definition?
Guest: I don't understand that.
Prabhupāda: Just like you have got regulative principles given by your railway authorities, is it not?
Prabhupāda: Similarly, the regulative principles which are given by God, that is called religion.
Guest: Which are these?
Guest: Which are these?
Prabhupāda: That you find from the religious book. Just like the Christian religion books, the regulative principles is given, Ten Commandments: "Thou shall not kill." But if you are killing, then you are not Christian. You are violent, you're becoming sinful.
Guest: Is this also, I mean, a material given in Kṛṣṇa's book or philosophy?
Prabhupāda: In any book or philosophy. We are not bringing . . . religion means the regulative principles given by God. That is religion. Any religion you take—Christian religion, Hindu religion, Muslim religion—there are regulative principles. So if you follow the regulative principles, then you are following the, I mean to say, orders of God, then you are religious.
So religious . . . different types of religions are created according to time, circumstances and people. Just like in Christian religion the first commandment is "Thou shall not killing." "Thou shall not kill," that means it was preached among certain classes of men who were engaged in matters of killing. Is it not?
Prabhupāda: Otherwise why it is commanded, "Thou shall not kill"? So there are different classes of men; therefore we find different types of religion. Where there are men very highly advanced, who have nothing to do with killing, their instruction is different. Their instruction is: "Just try to understand that you are spirit soul, you're not this matter." And one who cannot understand this principle, the primary moral principles are taught, "Thou shall not kill," "Thou shall not . . . (indistinct) . . ." "Thou shall not . . ."
So this is also religious principle; that is also religious principle. Just like in pocket dictionary, this is called also dictionary, and the Webster's International Dictionary is a very big volume—that is also dictionary. But that dictionary is meant for a class of men and this dictionary is meant for another class of men. But both of them are dictionaries. Similarly, the different types of religious system is due to different types of men. But when you actually come to spiritual understanding, then you have to understand yourself, self-realization: that you are not body, you are not matter—you are spirit soul.
Guest (2): . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: First of all just try to put some question. Let us try to understand this.
Śyāmasundara: (to guest) Weren't you asking also that which of these two creates good and bad activities—the body or the soul?
Guest: What I don't understand, actually, is that whether it is the body which makes bad activities or good activities, or is it the soul itself which decides to make these good activities or bad activities?
Prabhupāda: The body is the instrument. Just like if I want to drink this water, so this tongue is the instrument to taste it. And when I taste this water, my thirst is immediately gone. So tongue is the instrument for tasting this water. Similarly, if I want . . . if I desire some particular type of enjoyment, Kṛṣṇa, or God, gives me a type of instrumental body, and I shall enjoy. The body is the instrument. The Sanskrit word is called karam. Karam. Karam means doing. Karaṇeṇa. Karaṇeṇa means by the instrument, by the bodily instrument.
So you are given. God is so kind that if I want, if I desire to enjoy something . . . I shall give you another example. You find that the hog, it eats, it eats stool. But it has got a different type of mouth. A tiger has got different type of mouth; a human being has got a different type of mouth—so different instrumental body. That body is offered by superior management, daiva-netreṇa. Daiva means superior, or godly; netreṇa, "by supervision." You are not the maker of your body. Is that right?
Guest: . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Your body is made different, my body is made different, his body is different. Therefore I am not the maker of the body. I can desire that I want to enjoy this type of facility, and God gives you a type of body to enjoy that facility.
Guest: So should one believe then that one is born a thief, is born a murderer, is born good? The soul, is he so envious, born all these way?
Prabhupāda: The soul is always good, but, just like the example is, just like fire and the sparks of the fire: fire is also fire, and the small sparks of the fire, they are also fire. Is it not? Fire . . . you have seen sparks of fire?
Prabhupāda: Are they not fire?
Guest: No, not.
Prabhupāda: But sometimes they fall out of the fire, and when it is out of the fire, it is no longer fire; it is extinguished. Is it not? You have seen in so many fireplace a phut! phut! There are so many sparks. And as soon as the spark out of the fire it is extinguished. A minute before it was fire, but as soon as it falls down, separated from the fire, it is no longer fire. It is fire, but the potency of fire, illumination is gone.
Similarly . . .
(aside) Come on.
Similarly, we are also fire, but as soon as we have separated from God, our that fire quality, illuminative quality, is lost, the spiritual illuminative quality. But it can be revived if that spark, that particle of coal or carbon, if it is again put into the fire it will be fire. It will become fire.
So by our desire to lord it over the material nature we have come in this material world, and God has given us facilities, that "You enjoy this material world to your best capacity." And we are doing that. That is hard struggle for existence. But we are not happy.
Guest: Even if as you say that you have . . . I have a soul, and after having a soul like Russian, American and Dutch, now why didn't we have, I mean, all these different, different minds, or divisions . . . varieties and divisions . . .
Prabhupāda: Different minds, that the constitution of mind. Just like my . . . you are sitting here, but others, they left. The mind dictated, "Oh, what is the use of sitting?" They cannot utilize the situation. So that is the business of the mind: accepting and rejecting. We sometimes accept something which we like, and we sometimes reject if we do not like. That is the way of mind. Mind's constitutional position is like that: accepting and rejecting. And that we are doing. We are accepting so many things and rejecting again. This acceptance and rejection is going on perpetually, being controlled by the mind.
But when you become controller of the mind, then your life is successful. That is called in Sanskrit word svāmī, gosvāmī. At the present moment we are being controlled by the senses and the mind, and when you become actually the controller of the mind and senses . . . Just like a gentleman has got good business, and he has given all power to the manager.
The manager has become so powerful that he is trying to control over the master. But if the master becomes strong and controls over the manager, then it is nice. And if the master becomes indolent and is controlled by the manager, then it is dangerous.
So at the present moment in our material existence we are being controlled by the manager—mind.
Prabhupāda: That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, that you can make your mind friend and enemy. If you can train your mind, it becomes your friend so that you can come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and become liberated. And if you train your mind in such a way that it becomes your enemy, it drags you to the hell. Therefore the yoga system is an attempt to control over the mind. Yoga indriya-saṁyama (BG 4.27). Yoga means to control over the mind and senses. That is yoga.
By bodily exercise there is process, mechanical process, to control over the body and the senses, because our this tribulation, this condition, material condition, is due to my mind. I am desiring in different way. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ (SB 7.5.30). Adānta, adānta means uncontrolled; go, go means indriya. Therefore gosvāmī. Go means senses, one who has become the master of the senses. He is called gosvāmī or svāmī. The sannyāsī is called svāmī because he is supposed to have control over his mind and senses.
Because we are being driven to the hellish condition: adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ. Tamisraṁ means in the darkness of material body; adānta, adānta means uncontrolled. At the present moment I am so . . . I am put under the control of the mind. I cannot control it. Therefore the mind is dragging me to the darkest region of this material existence. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ, punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām. And what I am doing? Repeating the same thing—chewing the chewed, punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām.
- matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
- mitho 'bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
- adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
- punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
- (SB 7.5.30)
So if we study all these statements in the Vedic literature then we come to the light. These are the facts. So human life is meant for this purpose—understanding. It is not meant for imitating or being carried off by the propensities, like the animals. The animals have no other business than how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sense enjoyment and how to defend. That is animal life. Animals are very much busy, "Where is eating? Where I shall eat? Where I shall . . .? Where I can stay? So how can I defend? How can I mate? How can I have sex life?" These are the complete occupation of the mind and senses of the animals.
But in the human form of life there must be something extra; therefore we find in human society there is some attempt for understanding God, and that is called religion. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). The Vedas are giving instruction. But what is the purpose of Vedas? The purpose of Vedas is to understand God, athāto brahma jijñāsā (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.1), the Vedānta-sūtra, first verse.
The human body should be utilized properly. It is a chance, otherwise, which glides down again into the circle. If we remain in the circle . . . just like this morning I was explaining, there is a circle; it begins from here. So you are advancing, you are advancing, but if you remain in the same circle, that means advancing means again come to the same point.
So by evolutionary process, from aquatics to plant life, to plant life to insect life, from insect life to bird's life, from bird's life to animal life, from animal life to human life, from uncivilized life to civilized life—this is called progress. But if the progress is in the same line, then again you become animal, punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām, again repeating, chewing the chewed. Again you become aquatics, again you become trees, again you become insects. This is going on.
So this is a chance. Human form of life is a chance to get out of this circle of repetition of birth and death, jarā-maraṇa-mokṣāya. Jarā-maraṇa-mokṣāya (BG 7.29). This is human life: to get out of the circle. We are advancing—that's all right—advancing the same. The circle means advancing the same. Just like in the world, around the world, if you go eastward, eastward, eastward, again you come to the west. That is not advancing, that is simply taking labor. Advancing means how to get out of this repetition of birth and death. That is advancing.
Guest: I have a question.
Śyāmasundara: He has a question.
Guest: I have a question. It has been said by others anyway, and excuse me to mention other religions, but when one is becoming Christian, the aim, after all, you be going in heaven, or if he is bad he will be probably in hell. Now this is the aim or . . . (indistinct) . . . of getting to . . . becoming a good Christian. What is the idea of Kṛṣṇa's philosophy?
Śyāmasundara: (explaining) What is the idea of Kṛṣṇa philosophy? Just as the Christians believe that you go to heaven or hell after this life, what is the idea in Kṛṣṇa philosophy?
Prabhupāda: Yes, the same philosophy. Kṛṣṇa says: "Come to Me," we take it as heaven. But if you do not go to Kṛṣṇa, then go to hell. The same thing I was explaining, that this human form of life is the point where you can go to hell or heaven. If you actually make progress, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9), Kṛṣṇa says that, "After giving up this body you don't come again to this material existence, but you come to Me." Material existence means repetition of birth and death. So that is hell. And if you go back to home, back to Godhead, just like, then you'll get free from this repetition of birth and death.
Because the Christian idea—either you go to hell or to heaven—that is not bad, that is all right. It is your choice, either you remain in the cycle of birth and death or you get out of it, go back to Godhead. That we are preaching, our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So there is no difference. It may be in different words, but there is no difference. It is the fact that this human form of life is a chance to get out of this birth and death or going gliding down to hellish life. Now you may have a very nice body, but what is your next life? You do not know.
Therefore you have to know, "Now I have got this human form of body, I have got higher consciousness to understand, so I should understand what is my heaven and what is my hell—how I go to hell and how I go to heaven." So that statement is nice, the Christian, but is it said that either you go to hell . . .
Guest: Or heaven.
Prabhupāda: Or heaven. That's nice.
Guest (2): Swāmījī, there's another thing, according to him, or what I understand also, that they said that heaven is somewhere up and hell is somewhere down, like that.
Prabhupāda: That is also . . .
Guest (2): But according to what you have said just now, we can take it also this way, isn't it, that suppose we, we just become with Kṛṣṇa by our thinking our thoughts even at present, and the pleasures we get, can that be heaven?
Guest (2): Because . . .
Prabhupāda: Those who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness . . .
Guest (2): Yes.
Prabhupāda: . . . they are not in this material world. Just like we are—we are not in Kenya; we are with Kṛṣṇa.
Guest (2): Yeah.
Prabhupāda: So therefore we are in Vṛndāvana.
Guest (2): We are in heaven, isn't it?
Guest (2): And those who are suffering, those who haven't got ideas of Kṛṣṇa, or say those who are having some sort of . . .
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa, or God, is all-pervading, so as soon as you take Kṛṣṇa consciousness, immediately you are in Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- māṁ ca vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena ya sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
Kṛṣṇa says, māṁ ca vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena, "unadulterated bhakti-yoga." So one who is engaged in unadulterated bhakti-yoga—avyabhicāreṇa means unadulterated, pure bhakti-yoga—such persons, māṁ ca avyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena ya sevate. Sevate means offering service. So that person, guṇān samatītyaitān . . .
Samatītya means completely being liberated from these three modes of material nature—goodness, passion and ignorance. Then what is his position? Brahma-bhūyāya kalpate: he is in the transcendental platform of spiritual understanding.
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
- (BG 18.54)
As soon as one becomes in the transcendental platform of brahma, then his signs are that he is no longer lamenting and no longer hankering, and he is equal to everyone:
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
Such person is eligible to enter into devotional service, or after these stages, one is elevated to the devotional service. And what is the effect of devotional service?
- bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
- yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
- (BG 18.55)
"He understands Me by this devotional service," bhaktyā. It doesn't say by knowledge, by speculation, by philosophical speculation, or by karma or by jñāna or by yoga, but He says particularly bhaktyā. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. What kind of understanding? Yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ, "as I am actually."
So if you want to understand God, what He is actually, then you have to understand Him through bhakti. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. And when he understands fully, tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā, "after understanding Me fully in full knowledge," viśate tad-anantaram, "he enters in the spiritual world." And as soon as you enter into the spiritual world, that is your normal life.
If you don't enter into the spiritual life, if you remain in the material life, then you will have to accept one body after another, go on, continuing. Bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate: once he appears and again he disappears. And that is called saṁsāra, or repetition of birth and death. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving persons a real light, so that he can stop this repetition of birth and death and can go back to home, back to Godhead.
Śyāmasundara: You said that God cannot be approached except through bhakti.
Śyāmasundara: What does that mean, bhakti?
Prabhupāda: Bhakti means devotion. There are nine kinds of bhakti:
- śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
- smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
- arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
- sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
- (SB 7.5.23)
This śravaṇaṁ . . . just like you are patiently hearing, this is bhakti. If you don't do anything—if you simply patiently hear and try to understand—your life is successful. You don't require any education. God has given you these ears, but you must hear from the real person. If you hear from others . . . because without bhaktyā, nobody can give you. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti.
Unless you become bhakta, you cannot understand God. And if you do not understand God, then what is the use of hearing from you? Therefore so many nonsense are coming. They have no information of God; there is no benefit. But because these boys, these European boys and the American boys, are hearing from the right source, they are getting immediately the profit. Because God cannot be understood without bhakti.
So people hear from a pure bhakta, then you understand God. It doesn't matter what is your stage, but if you simply give patient hearing, śravaṇaṁ, then kīrtanaṁ. And as soon as you . . . just like these boys, they have heard—now they have come out for kīrtanaṁ, for glorifying the Lord. There he is the son of a businessman, and I told him that, "Take the business of Mr. Sharma." He denied. (laughter) He denied. He has no more taste any more. Just see, a young boy, a businessman's son, an American boy, a rich man's son. Why? Bhakti pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt (SB 11.2.42).
This is the test of bhakti, that he has no more any interest. Viraktir anyatra syāt: immediately there will be detestful, "What is this nonsense?" Just like a hungry man: if you give him food he will eat, but when his hunger is satisfied he will say: "No more. No, I don't want." So bhakti is like that, true bhakti, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. If you understand God then you say: "Oh, no more I am interested in the material . . ." This is going on.
Just like there is the case of Dhruva Mahārāja. Dhruva Mahārāja, he was very much eager to have the empire of his father, and he wanted, he wanted to please God to get this benediction. But when by his penance and austerities he saw God, he said: "Oh, I am fully satisfied. I don't want anything." Svāmin kṛtārtho'smi varaṁ na yāce (CC Madhya 22.42; Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 7.28): "My dear Lord, I am completely satisfied."
Spiritual understanding means complete satisfaction. You come to a stage where you become completely satisfied. Na śocati na kāṅkṣati: there is no more hankering, no more lamenting, no more this. But if you do not educate people to the spiritual understanding, this hankering and lamentation will continue.
I give you one example, very practical example: just like our Indian people came to Africa that, "We go to Africa; there is very good field of business." They are hankering. And now there are some inconveniences, they are lamenting. Their input ever improved, their hankering is fulfilled, but now they are lamenting that, "We have to leave because we are not citizen." Also they have riches, they have everything—so once hankering, and then lamenting, and more lamenting then hankering. (laughs) This is going on. Just like pendulum, tock-tock-tock-tock. (door opens)
Therefore Kṛṣṇa says . . .
(aside) Aiye . . . that, "Don't remain in this platform of hankering and lamenting. Come to a platform where there will be no more hankering and lamenting."
- sarva-dharmān parityajya
- mām ekaṁśaraṇaṁ vraja
- (BG 18.66)
So that is the business of human form of life: to stop this business of hankering and lamenting. The material life means the hankering and lamenting—once hankering and then lamenting. (pause) (aside to guest) Wherefrom you are coming?
Devotee (2): We met this gentleman today . . .
Devotee (2): . . . at a real estate agent's office.
Prabhupāda: I see. So you invited him.
Devotee (2): Yes.
Guest (3): First time . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Very good. You try to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy. Lord Caitanya's mission was that in every part, in every corner of the world this philosophy must be spread. So we are trying to spread this philosophy. You take advantage of it; try to understand it and then take it. That is our mission.
Guest: Just I have got a question.
Guest: Taking into account that we are not these bodies but a soul, what is the . . . what do we understand or say when we dream? I might dream now about probably . . . (indistinct) . . . what can we learn from that, as far as the soul is concerned?
Śyāmasundara: What is dreaming? How does that relate to the soul?
Prabhupāda: Dreaming is hallucination. You see? It is the business of the mind. The mind is creating some other body. Just like you are thinking that you have got a body flying in the sky. So even in dream you forget that you have got real body or another body, which is lying on the bed.
So it is a scientific fact—the mind creates by different desires, different types of body—that's a fact—and we forget the previous body. Just as dream, when you are dreaming, you forget that you are lying on the bed, you are active in a different way. So similarly, we had our past body, but we have forgotten it, as soon as . . . death means forgetfulness. We forget our past, everything—that is death.
Prabhupāda: That is death. When dreaming we are also forgetting this body, but because it is not death we are coming back again this body, and in early in the morning we rise up, we catch up our duties, "Oh, we have to do this, I have to go there," and so on. But at night when dreaming you forget everything.
Prabhupāda: So this dreaming is another sample of death.
Guest: Sample of death?
Prabhupāda: Death. And as you are dreaming at night, as this is night dream, this our material life is day dream. It is also dream. Because what we create in the dream, that does not exist. Is it not a fact?
Prabhupāda: It exists for a few minutes only. So this dream also exists for a few years, that's all. This is also dream, it is simply for few years. But the who is dreaming, that is spirit soul. So we have to understand and come to that spiritual platform. That is your real business—not dreaming, either night or day. That is not your business.
Just try to understand. As dreaming at night is for a few minutes—five minutes, ten minutes or half an hour utmost, then it breaks—everything is lost—similarly, this material life is also dreaming for years, say for fifty or sixty or say hundred years, any, everything, mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham (BG 10.34). Mṛtyuḥ means taking away everything what you have created by dreaming.
As soon as this body is changed, you forget everything, that I was Mr. Such-and-such, I was African, I was American, I was this or that, black or white—everything forgotten, finished. So this is also dreaming. And as in dreaming sometimes we see the tiger has attacked me at night, or a goat has come and is crashing me, and so many things, and crying—sometimes it happens. But as there is no goats, no tiger, still you dreaming that there is goat, there is tiger, similarly in this way, in this life also, we are thinking, "He is my enemy; he is my friend," this is also dreaming.
Prabhupāda: Nobody is your enemy; nobody is your friend. We have created by dreaming. So we have to get out of this dreaming at night and day and come to the Kṛṣṇa platform. Then our life is successful.
Guest: I have got another question. You said that man has got a mind that is higher than animals; that is why a man tries to think more about God. Then why is it possible that man should be born, say, as a dog in the next life or something of the sort? Okay, so he has passed to this level of animal and has come to, I mean, the soul has come to the human society . . .
Guest: . . . what is the purpose of him going back to the animal kingdom?
Prabhupāda: Because if you . . . if you live like animals, then you go to animals again. If you live like man, then you keep yourself man. And if you think like God, then you go to God. That is your business.
- ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
- tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
- mama vartmānuvartante
- (BG 4.11)
(aside) Read the verse of this.
So if you simply live a life like animal, then you go to the animal kingdom. If you prepare your life like human being, you remain here in a human society. If you prepare your life godly, you go to God. What is the difficulty? So that is the best benefit, you can prepare your life godly and go back to Godhead. This is a chance only. Just like you were in school: if you educate yourself nicely, in future you become very happy; and if you spoil your time, don't take education, then you are a loafer.
So this human form of life is a chance—either you remain as human society or you go back to Godhead or you go back to animals. That is your business. Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā (BG 14.18): they are elevated who are in the modes of goodness. Madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ: those who are in the modes of passion, they remain here. Jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā, adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ: and those who make their character jaghanya, most abominable, they go to the animals. What is the difficulty to understand?
It is not stereotype. The soul is described in the Vedic literature as sarva-gā: he can go anywhere. He can go anywhere. Anywhere means he can go up, he can go down, or he can remain as he is, according to his work. Just like even in this life I can become illiterate, I can educate . . . I can become educated, if I try for that. The chance is there.
The government is giving you a chance to everyone, but according to his own desires one is going to the prison house, one is becoming the high court judge. As it is possible in this life, similarly next life also, the same thing. You can elevate yourself to godly position, and you can stay in position what you are, and you can degrade yourself.
Guest: I have got another question. If it is possible for the human soul to remain in the body of an animal, does that mean that the souls are all the same, whether it is created as life in an animal body or in a human being body? Does it mean the souls are the same?
Śyāmasundara: All souls are the same?
Prabhupāda: Yes. All souls are the same. Just like you are soul—you are in a black body; he is a soul, he is in a white body; I am Indian, I am in a different body; but the soul is the same. It is called dress, vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya (BG 2.22). The body is dress. Because you are in white shirt and because he is in blue jersey, it does not mean you are different. You are the same. Similarly, we may have different bodies—a tiger may have different body and the godly man, the saintly man, may have different body—but the soul is the same.
Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.
- brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
- śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
- paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
- (BG 5.18)
Vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇa. According to Vedic civilization the brahmin is highly learned, vidyā-vinaya, and very gentle. He is considered to be the highest in the human society, the brahmin, vidyā-vinaya-sampanne. If we fall, he does not make any distinction.
- brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
- śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
- paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
- (BG 5.18)
That is paṇḍita. That is real learned man.
Guest: I have got another question.
Guest: In the material form we have got a big man, small man, big animals and small animals . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Yes, the spiritual form, there is no such thing.
Guest: There's no big soul and small souls?
Śyāmasundara: No big soul, no small soul—all the same size?
Prabhupāda: Yes, the big soul there is: big soul is God.
Guest: And apart from God?
Prabhupāda: And small soul we are. Both of them, we are souls. The big soul is God. Just like you and me, we are small souls, so we are dominating over this small body, but God, being big soul, He is dominating over everyone. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi, sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata (BG 13.3).
Kṣetra-jña. Kṣetra-jña means the body, one who knows the body. Just like I, I am soul—I know that this is my hand, this is my leg. This is called kṣetra-jña. Kṣetra means this body, and jña means one who knows. So I know everything of my body—not everything practically, but I know when I feel pain or pleasure I can know. But I cannot know what is your pain and pleasure. Therefore you are the master of your body, I am the master of my body. But Kṛṣṇa says:
- kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
- sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata
- (BG 13.3)
"But I am also kṣetra-jñaṁ. I am also present in every body." That is Supersoul, or big soul.
So just like there are two souls: big soul and a small soul. The small souls we are, and big soul is God. Big means all-pervading. God knows what you are thinking, what you are feeling; but I cannot know what you're thinking, what you are feeling. Therefore I am small soul and God is the big soul. Just like I may be proprietor of this house, and you may be proprietor of that house, but the state is proprietor of everything—so there is big proprietor, the king. Similarly we are soul, God is soul, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). Cetanā means living; nitya means eternal. We are all living and eternal. God is also living and eternal, but eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān, but that one maintains all the small.
So God has provided food for everyone, all living entities. There are hundreds and thousands of living entities other than human beings. They have no business, they have no profession, but they have no economic problem. You may have never seen that a bird has died fasting or without food, or elephant has died without food. The elephant eats at a time hundred pounds, but he has got eating arrangement by God. The ant is eating only one grain, and it has got also arrangement.
So eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān: that one God, big soul, He is maintaining all living entities. These are the Vedic injunction. And actually we are being maintained by God. He is supplying rain. From rain there is grain, and you are eating grain—therefore you are living.
Guest: I have got another question.
Guest: If I am not wrong, I think I am most like a chimpanzee and gorillas. They are considered as the . . .
Prabhupāda: They are also supplied food by God. Because I have heard that here in Africa there are gorillas, and where they live there is a kind of tree, and the fruits of that tree is harder than the, I mean to say, iron bullet. (laughter) Yes. The fruits of that tree, the nut, so hard that you cannot break it by hammering. And the gorillas take it, and they chew it, "Very nice!" (laughter) So who has supplied these nuts there where gorillas live? Perhaps you know it, the gorillas in your country, and how in the book that they are supplied with these fruits. Who is supplying the fruits?
Guest: I don't know.
Prabhupāda: That is God. Eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). Kāmān means all things I want. So Kṛṣṇa is supplying, God is supplying. We require sufficient water, so there are oceans, there are seas, stocked, and the water is salty so that it may not decompose. And the sun is engaged to evaporate the water and make it cloud and distribute all over the globe. And it is stored on the mountain, just like tank, and it is coming down like pipe, rivers. Every element is there. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ (ISO 1): everything is being controlled by God.
- pūrṇam idaṁ pūrṇam adaḥ
- pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate
- pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
- pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate
- (ISO Invocation)
Because the arrangement is complete, you see. It requires excessive amount of water. So just see: therefore the water portion is three fourths. Immense water supply, immense air supply, immense light supply, immense food supply—simply you are mismanaging. The birds, bees, animals, they never feel any scarcity of food. That day I was showing the bird was dancing, the monkey—they are jumping from one tree to another, enough food. They have no problems.
Brahmānanda: Except for the monkey-eating birds. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: Eh? Therefore that problem must be there; otherwise how you will understand that this is a miserable place? However you may be very expert in making adjustments to your food supply and everything is there, still there will be trouble. That is called saṁsāra-dāvāna. You cannot be happy here. Whatever you make arrangements you will feel unhappy, unless you come to your senses. This is God.
Guest: I have got another question. What is the difference between a wisdom and knowledge, say as far as the spiritual understanding is concerned?
Śyāmasundara: What is the difference between what?
Guest: Difference between wisdom . . .
Guest (3): Wisdom and . . .
Guest: . . . knowledge, as far as the spiritual understanding is concerned?
Śyāmasundara: What is the difference between wisdom and knowledge?
Prabhupāda: Wisdom is knowledge. There is no difference.
Guest: And which . . .
Prabhupāda: Knowledge is wisdom; wisdom is knowledge. There is no difference.
Guest: Which comes first?
Prabhupāda: Which comes first? It is already existing. Because you are living, there is knowledge. Wisdom you can say is material knowledge, that's all.
Prabhupāda: But wisdom is also knowledge. Just like after experiencing much experience you become very wise. So wisdom you can say is material knowledge. So this is wisdom: to understand that "I am spirit soul. I am part and parcel of God; therefore my duty is to surrender unto God. He is big soul, I am small soul—He is providing me; therefore it is my duty to take shelter of Him." This is wisdom.
- bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
- jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
- (BG 7.19)
"After many, many births of cultivating knowledge, when one actually becomes wise, He surrenders unto Me."
- vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
- sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
- (BG 7.19)
To understand God is everything—that kind of great soul is very rare. So?
Brahmānanda: . . . (indistinct)
Guest: This will be a little bit outside our discussion. I understand that somewhere in the Himalayan mountains in India, there is a valley where the souls of the saints normally meet.
Brahmānanda: He says that somewhere in the Himalayan mountains there is a valley where the saints meet.
Guest: The souls of the . . .
Devotee (2): The souls . . .
Guest: . . . the martyrs and the saints . . .
Prabhupāda: No saintly person will eat meat.
Devotee (2): No, no. Where they will meet, they will congregate together. The souls of the saintly persons will congregate. You understand—it is a place in the Himalayas where the souls of the saintly persons congregate.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is possible.
Guest: . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: That can be possible by the Himalayas. Here it can be possible if you mix together in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You are all good souls—then it would be possible. A saintly person does not mean that he has got something extraordinary. That extraordinary is this wisdom to understand God. That is saintly person. Sa mahātmā, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti: one who knows that God is everything, God is the original cause of everything, he is saintly person.
Śyāmasundara: This way.
Prabhupāda: He is sa-mahātmā. Everything. And what is the business of mahātmā?
- mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
- daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
- bhajanty ananya-manaso
- (BG 9.13)
Mahātmā means he is under the spiritual nature, daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ. And what is the symptom? Bhajanty ananya: he has no more business except serving Kṛṣṇa. He does not want anything more. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha, daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ bhajanty. To keep oneself under the protection of spiritual nature means he becomes liberated; he has no other aim. Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha, daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ.
Guest: I have got another question. This is, or is not so . . . I read in a certain book that a . . . say first of all taking into consideration that life . . . (indistinct) . . . in other planets apart from theirs . . . (indistinct) . . . I read in a certain book that these people, they normally visit earth . . . (indistinct) . . . whether it is true or not I don't know, but I have heard it. . . . (indistinct) . . . (break)
Prabhupāda: . . . residents of those, that planet, they can fly, and they can go from one planet to another. Just like siddha-loka. By mystic perfection in yoga you can do that also. Aṇimā, laghimā siddhi—you become light.
Guest: Now if this, erm, Lord Kṛṣṇa, is He above, you know, the other idols, you worship them, the cows? Is He above them?
Śyāmasundara: Is Lord Kṛṣṇa above all other forms of God?
Prabhupāda: Yes. He is the Supreme God.
Guest: (indistinct) . . . there is, erm, it would appear that there is another God above Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Then He's not supreme. If He is supreme, there cannot be any other God superior to Him.
Guest: In India there are so many gods worshiped . . .
Prabhupāda: Not many. God is one.
Guest: Some people worship them.
Prabhupāda: God means . . . of course, God, God means controller. The controller, everyone offers to the controller, some sort of controller. Just like Mr. Patel, he is controlling his business; he has got many men working under him. You may be an official; so many men may be working under you. I am also a human being, so many of my disciples they are working under me. So if God means controller, then everyone is controller, then everyone is God.
But the thing is that we are not supreme controller. I am controlling my disciples, but if your government says that, "You can't preach here. You go away," I will go. I cannot deny it. Therefore although I am controller, I am not supreme controller. Similarly, Mr. Patel may be controller in his business—hundreds of men working under him—but he's not . . . (indistinct) . . . anyone who finds that he is controller, but he is controlled by somebody else. You take anyone—even your president—he is also controlled by somebody.
So nobody is supreme controller. When it comes to a point who is not controlled by anyone, that is God. That is called supreme controller. He is controlling everybody, but He is not controlled by anyone. There's a test. If somebody comes before you and he says that, "I am God," you test him, "Whether you are not controlled by anyone. If you are controlled by somebody else, then you are not God." But people do not know what is the nature of God. This is the simple nature.
If some rascal comes that, "I am God," so test him that, "Whether you are not controlled by anyone, then you are God; otherwise rascal." That is going on. Every day there is coming out a God. What kind of God he is? We don't accept such rascal as God. God is Kṛṣṇa, because He is not controlled by anybody. That is God. Kṛṣṇa, when He was present, He was never controlled by anyone, but He controlled everyone. That is God.
- mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
- kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
- (BG 7.7)
Guest: So, erm, this word . . .
Prabhupāda: God is the supreme controller. That is the small definition.
Guest: So Kṛṣṇa means God.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. He is supreme controller.
Guest: All-attractive . . . (indistinct) . . . coming from God . . .
Devotee (2): Kṛṣṇa is God.
Guest (2): (indistinct) . . . Kṛṣṇa is another name of God.
Prabhupāda: You try to . . . (indistinct) . . . another name of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa means black.
Prabhupāda: Black, yes. As you are black, similarly Kṛṣṇa is also black, but that does not mean any black man is God.
Guest (2): Swāmījī, can some light be thrown on this thinking? Most of the people over here, they think that when Indians are showing their respect to the cows, some think that they, when they go to the temple, the cows idols are there, they throw milk and all this so many things on there, people think that we are really worshiping them.
Guest (2): So how far the ISKCON thinking is that when we pray to the gorakpur idols, some . . . (indistinct) . . . cow worship . . .
Prabhupāda: Because therefore you have to learn from your spiritual master. You cannot speculate. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Just like you are asking me, you maybe have to learn all these things from your spiritual master. Vedic civilization, those who are following Vedic civilization, they worship cows. That is necessary. The cow produces miracle food, milk. So if you want to have good brain, then you have to take milk.
Guest (2): Good brain?
Prabhupāda: If you don't want to remain dull, then you have to take milk.
Guest (2): Milk.
Prabhupāda: Therefore cow protection is necessary. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ, brāhmaṇa-karma svabhāva-jam . . . er, vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). Those who are mercantile people, their business, according to Vedic . . . kṛṣi-go, agriculture. They should be engaged in agriculture and go-rakṣya, and protection of the cows. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya and vāṇijyaṁ, and trade. That is three kinds of occupation.
So go-rakṣya is the duty of the mercantile people, because without milk and grains, how you can live very decently? Therefore cows' . . . cow protection, go-rakṣya, not tiger-rakṣya. That is not mentioned. Go-rakṣya. There are many other animals—why they are particular about go, cows? That is significant. Because unless we have got sufficient milk supply, you cannot have nourishing food and you cannot develop good brain. Therefore it is necessary.
Guest (2): Most essential; an essential animal. Therefore I . . . more respect with me.
Prabhupāda: In the prayers of Kṛṣṇa it is said, namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.19.65). Why especially the cow's name is there? When Kṛṣṇa, when He was present on this planet, He remained as a cowherds boy in His childhood. He gave protection to the cows. So it is the essential part of civilization.
Guest: He protect the . . . all animals?
Guest: He protected all animals.
Brahmānanda: Are you asking did He protect all animals? The question is did He protect all animals, or just cows?
Prabhupāda: Yes, everyone. Jagaddhitāya.
Guest: All the . . .
Prabhupāda: All the animals, the whole world. But first preferences is to the cows and the brāhmins. Because without brahminical culture and sufficient supply of milk, that is not human civilization.
Guest: In worshiping cows, do you think that there is nothing wrong about it, because Lord Kṛṣṇa does not consider it wrong to worship the cow?
Devotee (2): Kṛṣṇa does not consider it wrong to worship the cow?
Prabhupāda: No, He personally worshiped cow. He showed the example.
Guest (2): He used to take them for grazing, even.
Guest: So the actual, the actual doctrine is that you will not kill a cow?
Devotee (2): The question was would we kill a cow?
Devotee (2): Would we kill a cow?
Devotee (2): Would we?
Prabhupāda: "We" means?
Guest: Kṛṣṇa followers.
Devotee (2): Would the devotees of Kṛṣṇa kill a cow?
Prabhupāda: Who? No devotees of Kṛṣṇa would kill cow.
Devotee (2): A devotee of Kṛṣṇa would not kill a cow.
Prabhupāda: No, they would kill nobody. Kṛṣṇa's devotee would not kill even an ant, what to speak of cow. Cow is most important.
Guest: Then would it be possible for . . . (indistinct) . . . Kṛṣṇa doctrine . . . (indistinct) . . . influence the government not to kill people for their mistakes, but to leave them to God, or leave them to Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: What was that?
Guest: Could you . . .
Devotee (2): Would it be possible to influence the government . . .
Devotee (2): . . . not to kill people for their mistakes, but to leave it to Kṛṣṇa, to leave it to God, to punish those?
Prabhupāda: Well, at the present moment, no government is perfect. But no government is allowed to kill a cow. That's a fact. Why the government kills cows?
Guest (2): If the people accept the proposal . . . (indistinct) . . . and if they are Kṛṣṇa conscious, and if . . .
Prabhupāda: They won't kill a cow.
Guest: They won't kill.
Guest (2): There is no automatically . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: We want that you become all Kṛṣṇa conscious and stop this slaughterhouse.
Guest: You think that, he asked, not to kill a cow, is it accepted everywhere in India?
Devotee (2): Is it accepted everywhere in India?
Prabhupāda: India is also killing cow, because they have degraded.
Brahmānanda: Cow killing is going on also in India.
Guest (2): No, it is not so much . . .
Prabhupāda: No, they're making business, government.
Guest: Hmm, by killing cows? Please tell me . . . (indistinct)
Devotee (3): (whispers) Take prasādam.
Guest: For their milk, yeah?
Prabhupāda: In India there was government, when Mahārāja Parīkṣit was going on his tour, he saw that one man was attempting to kill a cow. He immediately took his sword, "Who are you? You are trying, attempting to kill a cow in my kingdom." That was by cow protection. (aside) I am not going to. Keep it there and if I want, I require . . .
Devotee (2): Keep it in the room.
Woman devotee: Yes, all right.
Prabhupāda: Even we get history during Muhammadan rule there was no slaughterhouse. There was no slaughterhouse. The Muhammadans ruled over India for eight hundred years, but there was not a single slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse was introduced by the British government.
Guest: In India?
Prabhupāda: In India. The Muhammadans sometimes used to kill cow, but that was in the masjid during their Bakrid ceremony. Not daily. That also very secretly. The Muhammadans king, er, emperor, he knew that it would hurt the Hindu sentiment. He did not allow publicly. It was the creation of the British government to encourage, and our leaders, they were made in London, and they advocated, "Yes. Whatever is introduced by Britishers is all right." (laughter)
Guest: I would like to ask another question. The Muhammadans . . . (indistinct)
Devotee (2): He says that other religions have their books. Which book does Kṛṣṇa have?
Śyāmasundara: Ah, he thinks that Kṛṣṇa dreamed of this religion, or it came to Him.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Guest (2): He says that the Muhammadans are having a book like . . .
Guest (4): The Koran was founded by the Bible.
Guest: It was written from the Bible. What book . . . what is the foundation of Kṛṣṇa religion . . .
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Guest (2): He says that Muhammadans, they translated the Bible and then they made the Koran as their holy book, from where they take their all the source of their knowledge and all these things, inspiration. Now the people, the Kṛṣṇa conscious people, from what book do they get their source of inspiration from, which book or . . .
Prabhupāda: Wherefrom the Bible got their inspiration? First of all let me know. As you say that the Muhammadan Koran was taken from Bible. Is it not? Anyway, you say. So wherefrom the Bible was taken?
Guest (2): From where is the Bible?
Guest: The Bible as we read was founded by prophets.
Prabhupāda: Huh? As the Koran has a history, the Bible has a history also.
Guest: So in . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: What is that history? What is that history? Wherefrom the Bible was inspired?
Guest: (indistinct) . . . the disciples, the disciples . . . (indistinct) . . . performance of God . . . (indistinct) . . . different times . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: So similarly, the Koran has been taken from Bible, and the Bible is from the disciples of God . . .
Prabhupāda: . . . then what is the wrong in the Koran?
Guest: No, we wanted to know whether there was . . . (indistinct) . . . how was this thing founded? Where did He get His things from?
Prabhupāda: Religion . . . the original religion is founded by God.
Guest: But what is the root of it?
Prabhupāda: God is the root of it, because God's parts and parcels have come to the material world to enjoy. So God has given that, "All right, you have come here to enjoy. You enjoy in this way, then you will in due course of time, you will again come back to Me."
Guest: So God spoke to what religion?
Prabhupāda: Eh? What? Whom He spoke, that is different thing.
Guest: . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: It is the principle.
Śyāmasundara: He says, did God speak through Lord Kṛṣṇa?
Guest: . . . (indistinct)
Śyāmasundara: No, no. Speak through Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Lord Kṛṣṇa is God himself. Not through, but He is God.
Guest: (indistinct) . . . God.
Devotee (2): No, He is God.
Guest: Oh, He's God, God Himself.
Prabhupāda: That's it.
Guest: . . . (indistinct)
Devotee (2): . . . (indistinct)
Guest (2): Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. God.
Guest: It means that anything that is blessed, anything that is attractive, that is our own God . . . (indistinct) . . . then Kṛṣṇa has got thousands of ladies . . . (indistinct)
Guest (2): Something good or something nice.
Brahmānanda: Śrīla Prabhupāda has not said that. Yes.
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Brahmānanda: The question was that it was said that God has many names; He is unlimited. So the question was, well, does it mean that one can just have any name, and that becomes a name of God? One can make up any name?
Prabhupāda: "Any name" means must have some meaning.
Guest: (indistinct) . . . say if there's something very good. Say you make a watch, which is . . .
Prabhupāda: Not any name is God, but God has many names. Try to understand this.
Guest: Because according to . . .
Prabhupāda: God is unlimited, so He has got unlimited names. But not that any name is God.
Guest (4): That is true.
Prabhupāda: Try to understand this.
Guest (2): Just like sun . . .
Guest (2): Say sun, sun, it was in our language we call it sūrya. Somebody might be calling it something else, but it is the same thing, how one calls.
Prabhupāda: Either you call sun, or sūrya, the object is the same.
Guest (2): The object is the same.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, any name which clarifies God, that is God's name. There is Kṛṣṇa, "all-attractive." If this "all-attractive" name is applicable to God, then it is God's name. Also, kṛṣṇa means "black"; that is another meaning. But if God is not all-attractive, then how He can be God?
Guest: (indistinct) . . . which is attractive, to meet God, love God . . .
Guest: . . . if you give Him a name which is attractive?
Prabhupāda: It is not attractive, but any . . .
Guest: (indistinct) . . .
Guest: (indistinct) . . . the sunshine is not enough. Is there a difference between attractiveness and holiness?
Brahmānanda: Is there a difference between attractiveness and holiness?
Prabhupāda: Well, unless one is holy, how he can be all-attractive? Unholy, how he can be attractive?
Guest: I don't know.
Prabhupāda: Is a rogue attractive?
Prabhupāda: Is a thief attractive?
Guest: Something is there, but it won't last.
Devotee (2): (indistinct) . . . a thief is attractive by his personality, but not by his heart.
Guest (2): So he is not fully attractive.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. But still, you cannot worship a thief.
Guest: No, I don't think I can do it.
Prabhupāda: A thief may be attractive to a certain person, but he is not all-attractive. One who is thief, he can appreciate a big thief. (laughter) That is another thief. But a thief is not all-attractive. Then if a thief . . . if somebody says: "One thief is coming to your home at night," oh, he becomes . . . (indistinct) . . . to your house.
Devotee (3): But Kṛṣṇa can become a thief and be attractive. (laughter)
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is another thing.
Guest (2): . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa . . . Kṛṣṇa is so qualified. Just like the moon. There are spots in the moon—nobody considers about the spots. Everyone takes moon, "Oh, here is moon." Nobody considers. Eko 'si doṣāya, guni sanga parte nirvadyati. Kṛṣṇa has no fault. Even we take it as fault, one who has got many qualities, a little fault even there is, it is not taken account of. Tejīyasāṁ na doṣāya (SB 10.33.29).
Just like the sun: the sun is absorbing water from seas and oceans, and he is also absorbing water from your urine. So nobody is taking account, "Oh, sun is taking water from the urinal." (laughter) Immediately it can purify. By sun's touch the urine becomes pure. Even there is something faulty, by Kṛṣṇa's touch it becomes purified. That is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He is all-attractive.
The same example: the sun is absorbing water from the urinal. Is sun polluted? Can you say: "Oh, the sun has taken water from urine, so it has become polluted"? Can you say that? Tejīyasāṁ na doṣāya. Therefore anyone who is very powerful, he has no fault. Even if you find some fault in him, there is no fault actually. But even if you think that it is fault, it is not taken. Sūrya, by absorbing urine, it is making purified that place. But if you say: "Oh, the sun is evaporating urine—it has become polluted," that is your shortness of understanding. That sūrya is purifying that place, very, very . . . (indistinct)
Guest: How do they appear? . . . (indistinct) . . . came into this world?
Brahmānanda: How long ago did Kṛṣṇa come into this world?
Prabhupāda: Five thousand years.
Guest: Five hundred years.
Prabhupāda: Five thousand.
Guest: Five thousand years.
Prabhupāda: Five thousands of years.
Guest: So two thousand years . . .
Prabhupāda: Three thousand B.C.
Guest: Three thousand B.C. Now if . . . (indistinct) . . . Lord Kṛṣṇa attending the school or any society before He became a God?
Brahmānanda: Did Kṛṣṇa attend any school or any society before He became a God?
Guest: He was born.
Prabhupāda: He was God from His childhood, from His babyhood.
Guest: He was born.
Prabhupāda: Since He was born.
Guest: Like Jesus?
Guest: He is like Jesus?
Prabhupāda: But I don't think Jesus was Christ from the very beginning. He was given the title when he was perfect.
Prabhupāda: He was given the title of Christ when he was perfect.
Guest: When he was baptized.
Brahmānanda: When he was baptized?
Prabhupāda: Well, I don't know much about Jesus Christ.
Guest: But how it is that Lord Kṛṣṇa exists now?
Prabhupāda: Now first of all we are speaking of the philosophy of God. When you understand the philosophy of God, then you can question.
Guest: (indistinct) . . . (break) (end)
- 1971 - Conversations
- 1971 - Lectures and Conversations
- 1971 - Lectures, Conversations and Letters
- 1971-09 - Lectures, Conversations and Letters
- Conversations - Africa
- Conversations - Africa, Kenya - Nairobi
- Lectures, Conversations and Letters - Africa
- Lectures, Conversations and Letters - Africa, Kenya - Nairobi
- Audio Files 90.01 Minutes or More
- 1971 - New Audio - Released in June 2016
- 1971 - New Transcriptions - Released in June 2016