720414 - Lecture at Town Hall - Auckland
Prabhupāda: So Śrīman Hanumān-prasāda Gosvāmī, he has spoken something about Kṛṣṇa's representative. So naturally, question may be raised that how I became Kṛṣṇa's representative. Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago. I am recently born, say, seventy-six years ago. How I became Kṛṣṇa's representative, this question may be raised.
But the answer is also there, ready. We have got a disciplic succession: from Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā; from Brahmā, Nārada; from Nārada, Vyāsadeva; from Vyāsadeva, Madhvācārya; from Madhvācārya, so many disciplic succession. Later, five hundred years ago, Mādhavendra Purī, in the line of Madhvācārya. Then his disciple, Īśvara Purī; his disciple, Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya, we consider Him Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He also accepted a spiritual master, Īśvara Purī. So Lord Caitanya is everyone's spiritual master, but for the sake of formality, He also accepted a spiritual master so that others may learn that this is essential.
In the Vedic scriptures, Kathopaniṣad, it is said, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Upaniṣad, whatever is spoken in the Upaniṣad, that is gospel truth. That is the system of understanding transcendental knowledge, veda-pramāṇa, evidence from the Vedas. According to Vedic system, amongst the learned scholars, if one presents Vedic evidences, then his position is strong. Just like in law court, two lawyers are arguing. One lawyer who quotes from the law book various bona fide quotations, the judgment is given in his favor because that is authorized.
Similarly, a Vedic statement is accepted in Indian spiritual society. There are hundreds and thousands of men who are still dedicated. Practically the whole population of India, they are dedicated to spiritual life. Perhaps you may not know, but anyone who has taken birth in India, he has got a natural inheritance of spiritual life. Unfortunately, at the present moment the leaders are under wrong impression that in India, being too much spiritually inclined, its material advancement has been checked.
But material advancement does not become hampered by spiritual knowledge. That is a wrong impression. Rather, if you become spiritually advanced, your material necessities will be very nicely adjusted. That is the injunction, Bhagavad-gītā, yuktāhāra-vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhi-hā (BG 6.17). Yoga. Spiritual life means yoga. So yogic life can be very nicely successful if you adjust your material necessities of life. If you become extravagant so far your material necessities of life is concerned, then you cannot make successful in yogic life.
So there are so many rules and regulations. Those who are interested in yoga, you will find in the authorized books, yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ: "The aim of yogic power, yogic success, is to control the senses." Our senses in this material world have been described as venomous serpents. Indriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭala. Kāla-sarpa, cobra, black cobra. So these indriyas are like that. Indriya means senses. As soon as touches, immediately it makes him poisonous. And that is the cause of our material conditional life. The more we are indulging unrestrictedly in sense gratification, we are becoming more and more entangled.
Therefore those who are very much addicted to the bodily necessities of life, for them this haṭha-yoga system . . . haṭha-yoga system means yama, niyama, aṣṭāṅga-yoga. It is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Yama, niyama, āsana, prāṇāyāma, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, pratyāhāra, samādhi. These things are in the aṣṭāṅga-yoga. The first thing is yama-niyama. One must have regulated life. That is called yama-niyama. Then practice āsana. There is mechanical process of sitting which will help you, concentration of the mind, āsana. Then praṇāyāma, concentration of the mind. Then meditation.
So meditation is not so easy thing. Unless you practice the preliminary necessities of meditation, you cannot concentrate. Even if you sit down closing your eyes, either you will sleep or you will think of other things which are more important, you think, more important in your life. So the yoga system is practically not very helpful. Helpful means we cannot execute this system very nicely.
So this paramparā system, the subject I was discussing, that how I become the representative of Kṛṣṇa, it is not very difficult. Everyone can become a representative of Kṛṣṇa, provided he exactly presents what Kṛṣṇa says. That's all. Just like a peon: he is also representative of the postal department, ordinary peon. How he becomes representative of the whole postal system? If he delivers your letter or money order without mishandling it, as it is. You have . . . some friend has sent you some money order. He gives you the paper, you sign, and he pays you. But if he pilfers the method, then he is no longer representative. He becomes thief, rogue.
So representative of Kṛṣṇa is also in the same way. If you present Kṛṣṇa's word as it is, without pilfering, without any adulteration, then you become Kṛṣṇa's representative. There is no difficulty. But, unfortunately, people want to show their scholarship that, "I understand Bhagavad-gītā from this angle of vision." Why should you try to understand Bhagavad-gītā from a different angle of vision? The first preference should be given to the author. The author has given you some knowledge, so he has got some particular aim and objective. So why should you change that? You have no right to change that. If you want to speak something from your side, you write your own book. Why should you take advantage of the popular book of Bhagavad-gītā and misrepresent it? That is the fun. You see?
There are about six hundred different types of editions commenting on Bhagavad-gītā. But according to Bhagavad-gītā, all these six hundred edition in different . . . studied from different angle of vision, they are all absurd and nonsense. It is very difficult. People have been misled by these so-called commentaries. There is no need of unnecessarily commenting on certain things. There is no necessity. Commentary or interpretation required when things are not very clear. Then you can suggest, "The meaning may be like this." But when the things are clear, why should you comment?
There is no necessity of comment. Just like, for example—this is also from Sanskrit scholar's examples—that gaṅgāyaṁ ghoṣapalli. Gaṅgāyam: "On the Ganges there is a neighborhood which is known as Ghoṣapalli." Now, this statement is in your front. So one may question that "The river Ganges is water. How there can be a neighborhood which is known as Ghoṣapalli? On the water, how there can be a quarter or neighborhood of human habitation?" You can question that. Gaṅgāyaṁ ghoṣapalli. Then the interpretation should be, "No, not on the Ganges. 'On the Ganges' means 'on the bank of the Ganges.' " This interpretation is nice.
When one cannot understand clearly, there is interpretation. But when the matter is clear . . . just like sunlight. The sunlight, sunshine, does it require your lamp to show the sunlight? The sunlight is itself so illuminous that everyone can understand, "This is sunlight." If somebody brings some lamp, "I will show you the sun," sun is already visible. Why your lamp is required? So these unauthorized commentators, they bring some lamp to show the sunlight of Bhagavad-gītā. That is their business. Therefore people have been misled. There is no question. Just like in the beginning Bhagavad-gītā says:
- dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
- samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
- māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
- kim akurvata sañjaya
- (BG 1.1)
This is very clear. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre. Kurukṣetra is a place which is still a place of pilgrimage. The Hindus, those who are followers of Vedic rites, they go there. They perform religious rituals. And there is Vedic injunction, kuru-kṣetre dharmam ācaret, dharma yajet, like that, that "If you want to perform some religious rituals, better go to Kurukṣetra."
So Kurukṣetra is from the Vedic age. Millions of years, from time immemorial, it is a dharma-kṣetra. And still it is there. There is a station, railway station, called Kurukshetra near Delhi, about hundred miles away from Delhi. So these are facts. Why there should be interpretation? These are facts. Why there should be . . . it is clear. Dharma-kṣetra is . . . Kurukṣetra is dharma-kṣetra, and historical fact is māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva, yuyutsavaḥ (BG 1.1).
Two groups of cousin-brothers, they wanted to fight to settle up. Formerly the war was declared—the leader of the war, if he is killed, then the other party is victorious. Not that unnecessarily killing the civil citizens. No. This was nonsense. If there was fight between two kings, the citizens, they were unaffected, not that there is fight now between two parties, there is immediately siren, (imitates siren:) kaw, kaw, kaw, kaw, now bomb and the civil . . . the most uncivilized way of war.
In those days—those days means at least five thousand years ago—they selected a place and, "Let us fight and decide our fate," kṣatriyas. Why the public should suffer? So in this way Kurukṣetra was selected to fight between the two parties. And still it is existing. It is a great field. And dharma-kṣetre . . . just try to understand that there is no need of our imperfect comments on the Bhagavad-gītā. That is my point. So dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā yuyutsavaḥ. Yuyutsavaḥ. This yuyutsavaḥ word is now used in Japanese language also. That artificial fight, what is called? Yuyutsavaḥ?
Prabhupāda: Yuyutsavaḥ, it is called yuyutsavaḥ. So yuyutsavaḥ means when two parties are fighting, they are called yuyutsavaḥ, "Desiring to fight, they prepared." So actually these two groups of brothers, cousin-brothers, they assembled there for fighting to decide their fate. So everything is clear. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre samavetā, assembled, yuyutsavaḥ, for fighting. And who are they?
It is the question of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the father of the Duryodhana, and he is asking his private secretary, Sañjaya. Sañjaya was relaying the fight in the battlefield, and Dhṛtarāṣṭra was blind. Just like television. So he was seeing the fight from the heart. It means there is still more finer science, that you don't require machine to see it by television, what is going outside; you can see within your heart. So this Sañjaya was seeing the battle, and he was relaying to Dhṛtarāṣṭra.
So point is that every word of Bhagavad-gītā, that is fact, historical, and very nicely composed and spoken by the greatest authority, Kṛṣṇa, who is accepted by all parties as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are parties of spiritual life in India. Just like Śaṅkarācārya's party, they are coming from very old time. I am speaking of the recent, modern age, say, within two thousand years. Modern means within two thousand years. Śaṅkarācārya age is about one thousand, five hundred years.
Similarly, Rāmānujācārya about eleven hundred years; Madhvācārya about seven hundred years. In this way there are, they are coming from that paramparā system. One paramparā system is coming from Brahmā. Another paramparā system is coming from Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune. Another paramparā system is coming from Lord Śiva. Another paramparā system is coming from the Kumāras—they were unmarried, brahmacārīs, sons of Brahmā.
So those paramparā system, line of disciplic succession, are still existing in India. Practically India's spiritual life is still being controlled by these lines of disciplic succession. So all these ācāryas, according to the Vaiṣṇava ācārya . . . Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, there are four ācāryas: Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka and Viṣṇu Svāmī. And those who are not Vaiṣṇavas, impersonalist, they are represented by Śaṅkarācārya.
Even Śaṅkarācārya, from whom we differ in philosophical discussion . . . not very much different—so far the procedure is concerned, the regulative principles are concerned, they are all the same. The only difference is that Śaṅkarācārya's sampradāya, they take the ultimate Absolute Truth as impersonal, and we Vaiṣṇava, we take the Absolute Truth as person. But Śaṅkarācārya, in his later stage, he also admitted in a different way. He said in his last prayer to the Supreme Personality of Godhead:
- bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ mūḍha-mate
- samprāpte sannihite kāle marane na hi na hi rakṣati ḍukṛñ-karaṇe
So he said to his disciples, "You foolish, mūḍha-mate . . ."—mūḍha-mate means "you rascals and fools"—"you just take to Govinda. You just worship Govinda, personal Govinda." Bhaja govindam, three times. Three times means he is giving stress. Bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ mūḍha-mate: three times. Prāpte sannihite kāle marane: "When your death will be near, at the point of your death," na hi na hi rakṣati ḍukṛñ-karaṇe.
Ḍukṛñ-karaṇe means a grammatical jugglery that, "This word should be interpreted like this. This word should be interpreted like this." So, "This fight of interpretation will not save you. Better from the very beginning you worship Govinda. That will save you." This is his instruction. Bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ bhaja govindaṁ mūḍha-mate.
And so far we are concerned, Vaiṣṇavas, we all accept govinda ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi, Govinda, the Supreme Person, the original Personality Godhead, govindam.
- īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- anādir ādir govindaḥ
- (Bs. 5.1)
The summum . . . the cause of all causes, the supreme controller, is Kṛṣṇa. And that Kṛṣṇa consciousness we are presenting all over the world. And this Hanumān Gosvāmī has given me the credit that I am representing Kṛṣṇa.
So it is not very ordinary job, neither ordinary position, but it is not difficult also. The difficulty is when I adulterate and misinterpret Kṛṣṇa's words. Then it is difficult. Otherwise, if I say . . . the same example: like a peon, if I present your friend's letter without any correction, then I have done my duty. That's all. So it is not difficult. Anyone can deliver a letter to you. It does not require any educational qualification. Simply he must be honest not to alter the text of the letter according to the peon's whims. That much we are doing. Therefore I am representative. Try to under . . .
And anyone can do this. In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7): "My dear Arjuna, I am the Supreme. There is no better, no more anyone superior than Me." That's all right. We accept that. Now, you can say, "How we accept?" I accept because it is Vedic injunction. That is the process of Vedic injunction: you have to accept without argument. Just like for practical life I will say some examples, that cow dung.
In India, cow dung is accepted as very pure. So in one place of the Vedic injunction you will find that, "Any stool of animal is impure." That's a fact. Everyone knows. Even your own stool, what to speak of other animals'—impure. But in another place says: "Exception is given to the cow's stool, cow dung. That is pure." It is so pure that if you apply on some impure place, it becomes pure. That's a fact.
In India still, especially in villages, they mop the floor with cow dung, and it is so nice and so fresh. You can try. Here also there are cows. You take cow dung, and you can see how it is antiseptic. We are actually doing in America in our New Vrindavan. We are maintaining cows there, protecting cows, because cow protection is one of the item for Kṛṣṇa consciousness people. Especially Kṛṣṇa is worshiped:
- namo brahmaṇya-devāya
- go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
- jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
- govindāya namo namaḥ
- (CC Madhya 13.77)
He is immediately referred that, "You are brahmaṇya-deva go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, the benedictor of the cows and the brahmins." Why? Jagad . . . "Next, You are benedictor to the general people in the world. First the go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca." Why? Why Kṛṣṇa should be especially interested with go and brāhmaṇa? These are things.
Now, when Kṛṣṇa was child, He was crawling. This is His pastime. By crawling He used to go to the cowshed and catch one calf's tail, and the calf will drag Him and smear His body in cow dung. He enjoyed it. So cow dung is actually so pure. You can test it. One chemical analyzer in Calcutta, Dr. Lal Madhav Ghosh, he tested. He found all antiseptic properties, although it is stool.
So that is the nature of Vedic injunction. You accept it. You are benefited. You save the time. Whatever is stated in the Vedas, if you accept, that you don't require to make research how to find out God or how to find out yourself. Everything is there, simply if you accept it. Not blindly. If you want to test it, you can test. Just like this cow dung: in the Vedas it is said it is pure, but if you want to test chemically, you will find it pure. That is Vedic injunction.
Therefore our Vedic injunctions are very supreme evidence, Veda-pramāṇam, śabda-pramāṇam. There are three kinds of evidences. First evidence is direct perception—I see personally. And then historical evidence, and then śabda-pramāṇa. Śabda-pramāṇa means evidence from the Vedas. Out of three kinds of evidences, the śabda-pramāṇas, or the evidences received from the Vedas, that is accepted. So for spiritual advancement especially we have to accept the Veda-pramāṇa, or evidences given in Vedic literature.
So this disciplic succession, as Gosvāmī Hanumān-prasād said, that is essential. That is the Vedic injunction. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). This word abhigacchet, it is a form of verb which is used where the sense is "You must! You must!" There is no exception. You cannot say that "I may go to a spiritual master or I may not go. I can study at home." No. You must.
Just like in modern age also, if you actually interested to be recognized as educated, you must get your admission in a recognized school or college and take degree. Then you will . . . if you study at home, you may be very great scholar, and if you say that you have passed M.A. examination, nobody will care for you. Similarly, if you actually want to be advanced in spiritual knowledge, then this is the injunction: tad-vijñānārtham.
Tad-vijñānārtham means . . . vijñāna means science. Spiritual knowledge is also a science. It is not sentiment; it is science. Now, if you like, you can make research work whether this is fact. Just like this cow dung. You may think that, "This is contradiction. In one place it is said that stool of an animal is impure, now here it is again said that cow dung is pure. It is contradiction." So if you like, you can make analysis. But you accept the Vedic injunction as it is—you save so much time, that's all, and immediately become advanced.
Therefore the Veda says that in order to learn that spiritual science, you must approach a person, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva (MU 1.2.12), who is guru. Guru means spiritual master. And who is spiritual master? Who abides by the disciplic succession. He does not change. He does not interpret. He presents things as they are. Just like we are doing. We are presenting Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa says that . . . for spiritual realization, He says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). Kṛṣṇa says that, "Always think of Me." Man-manā. Man-manā means "about Me." Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ: "You just become My devotee."
So we are teaching our students in that way, how to think of Kṛṣṇa always. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (break) . . . walk on the street, and if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you remember Kṛṣṇa. There is no tax for it. There is no loss for it. Suppose if you are free, traveling on the bus or on the train, you have got time.
So instead of reading so many news from the newspaper, if you utilize . . . the newspaper means the repeated thing. Every morning you see something: "Somebody has stolen, somebody has killed, some political leaders have bluffed you," and so many things, the same thing, repetition of the same.
This is also repetition, Hare Kṛṣṇa, but by this repetition, you enlighten your spiritual life. And by that repetition, you simply waste your time, that carvita-carvaṇānām. So after reading your newspaper, you throw it away. It has no . . . after one hour of its publication, it has no value. But this Bhagavad-gītā, it was spoken five thousand years ago, still they are being read with respect and honor. So this kind of literature should be read, not a literature which is printed and you read and glance over and throw it away.
So that is man-manā, thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. Kṛṣṇa says: "You become My devotee." Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ mad-yājī (BG 9.34): "You worship Me." Māṁ namaskuru: "Offer your obeisances unto Me." Now, all these item, there is no expenditure, and anyone can do. Even the child can do. What is the difficulty? Factually our children, Kṛṣṇa conscious children, do that. The father, mother offers obeisances, and the child imitates—he also offers obeisance, bows down. So this offering obeisances to Kṛṣṇa will not go in vain. It will have effect.
So it is inexpensive. It is very simple, without any loss. Suppose you have got a picture of Kṛṣṇa and you simply think of the picture, man-manā, and you offer a little lamp, a little incense, and if you don't offer, if you simply offer your respect, what is your loss? Is there any loss? (break) We are all businessmen. We calculate everything in terms of loss and profit. So there is no loss. That's a fact.
But if there is any profit, why don't you try it? If there is any profit . . . there is profit. These boys, these European and American boys who are with me, there are hundreds and thousands of them . . . they have sacrificed their life. Unless there is some profit . . . they are not fools. They are not coming of foolish parents or foolish nation. Unless there is some profit, how they are doing? There must be some profit.
So without any investment of your money, without losing your time, if you get some spiritual profit, why don't you take this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement? That is our plea. We are imploring everyone. If you think that there are many objection, "If I keep one picture of Kṛṣṇa or I offer Him something, fruits and flowers," all right, don't do that. But what is the objection if you chant? You have got freedom, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." That's all right, simply Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
The point is that we are teaching Bhagavad-gītā as it is; therefore I am representative of Kṛṣṇa. If you do that, you become also representative of Kṛṣṇa. So it is not very difficult. Don't think it is a very hard job: "Oh, Kṛṣṇa is so great personality, God, and how one can become His representative?" No. Anyone can become His representative, provided he follows the Kṛṣṇa's instruction. That's all. Anyone. Actually they are doing that. They are representative. Not only I, but they are also. Every one of our members, they are Kṛṣṇa's representative.
They are not trying to malinterpret. As there are so many so-called scholars . . . when this verse is translated and commented upon by big scholar . . . I do not wish to utter his name. He is very big man, but now he is living dead. Because he has committed so many offenses, now he is living, but he has lost his memory. Very recently I went to see him. He cannot . . . he is like that. So all his intelligence is finished. So nature is so strong that you can malinterpret, but nature is so strong that one day he will make you forget everything, brain paralysis. So how you are going to interpret the powerful nature? That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- mām eva ya prapadyante
- māyām etāṁ taranti te
- (BG 7.14)
Daivī hy eṣā. You cannot surpass the stringent laws of material nature. That is not possible. Practically, the modern so-called scientific world, they are trying to conquer over the laws of nature. That is not possible. You forget that. Peacefully forget that. It is not possible. You will never be able. Because we believe in the words of Vedic scripture, daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā, you cannot conquer over the laws . . .
(break) ". . . conquer over the laws of nature, then my liberation is stopped. How it will be possible?" Yes, you can do that. Kṛṣṇa says, mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te: "Anyone who fully surrenders unto Me, he can overcome the stringent laws of nature." See practically. The laws of nature, the āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunam . . . (Hitopadeśa).
Apart from other laws of nature, I become hungry; I require to eat something. I require to sleep. I require to have some sense gratification. So these are laws of nature. But people who are accustomed to bad habits, it is very difficult to overcome them. But those who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are actually overcoming the stringent laws of nature. These are practical.
So our becoming the representative of Kṛṣṇa is not very difficult job, because we do not misinterpret the readings of Bhagavad-gītā. We accept them as it is. If there is some doubt . . . there cannot be any doubt. It may be due to my poor fund of knowledge I cannot understand it—that we should admit. The lines, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, they are as perfect as anything. But if I cannot understand it, that is my lack of knowledge, my poor fund of knowledge. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has suggested, or ordered, in this Bhagavad-gītā:
- tad viddhi praṇipātena
- paripraśnena sevayā
- upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ
- jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
- (BG 4.34)
Because there may be some difficulty. Just like here Kṛṣṇa says that gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ (BG 2.11). He is ordering completely that the subject matter of this body is not very important thing. The most important thing is to understand about the spirit soul which is within the body. But at the present moment the whole world is giving simply stress on the body. Just like last night there was question, that to serve the humanity. Yes, serve the humanity . . . is it not a service to the humanity to give real knowledge?
But the service to the body is not neglected. Just like we are giving this knowledge to the world, it does not mean that we are starving, or anyone who comes to us, he will starve. In our Māyāpur center daily one hundred men are being fed. And in our Bombay center . . . similarly, in our Los Angeles . . . in all centers our temple is open. Any man can come and eat and live with us.
Here also, we have opened temple. We invite anyone. If one person thinks that he is in scarcity or he has no . . . I don't think in your country such person is there. But still, if there is, he is cordially invited, "Please come and live with us. We shall supply all, everything, necessities of life." But you shall have to live with us as we live. That's all. That is the only condition.
So there is no scarcity if we believe in Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then there will be no scarcity. Actually there is no scarcity. You have been already informed that we have got ninety-five centers, and we are spending seventy to eighty thousand dollars per month. But we have no fixed-up income. We are traveling all over the world with party.
You can imagine, this is very expensive job. But Kṛṣṇa is supplying us all our necessities. Why not? If you are serving for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, why He will not supply you? Kṛṣṇa is supplying food to everyone, those who are not devotee, and why not to the devotees? What we have done? Those who have denied the existence of God, they are also being fed by Kṛṣṇa, or God. And we are preaching the glories of God. Why we shall be in want? That is not possible. And actually we are not.
So this is not very important subject matter. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says automatically if you take care of the spiritual side of your existence, the material side of your existence will be automatically taken care, automatically. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ (BG 2.11). The so far the body is concerned, either it is dead . . . dead, so far dead body is concerned, everyone knows that now it is useless. But even the living body's function, that is also useless. Because, after all, it is useless. It is useful so long the spirit soul is there. Therefore the spirit soul is important, not this body.
So actual knowledge means to understand what is the spirit soul, what is its nature, what is its necessity, how it is living, what is the ultimate goal. So many things are there. But unfortunately, there is no educational institution. We are trying with little effort to give this education to the people. It is essential, because Kṛṣṇa says, gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca. So far material part of our existence is concerned, there are so many institution, or so many government, they are taking . . .
Just like take for example, hospital. There are hundreds and thousands of hospital, but where is the hospital for treating the spirit soul? They have no knowledge. They have no knowledge even, what to speak of hospital. This is the hospital. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness temple is the hospital for the diseased spirit soul. And everyone is diseased. Come to this hospital. We shall take care of you and cure your material disease.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotee: Before you have the opportunity to ask Śrīla Prabhupāda any questions, we'd just like to tell all of you that we have opened a temple now in . . . (break)
Guest (1): Prabhupāda, in the Christian faith there is the idea that God made it possible for life to be created. He made it possible for the processes of the universe to continue. Is this the same with Kṛṣṇa? Does He make it possible for these things to happen, or does He make them happen, or does . . .? Does He create the universe?
Prabhupāda: What is that question?
Śyāmasundara: Does Kṛṣṇa create the universe, or does He just make it possible to be created?
Prabhupāda: No, the universe, this material world, is created by God. That's a fact. But if the question is that whether God has created this body for suffering in this material world, that is not God's creation; that is our creation. Just like the government creates the prison house. That does not mean that government wants that somebody should be criminal and fill up this prison house. It is a freedom to the citizens. Government creates university also, or government creates prison house also. But it is your freedom. You make your choice: either you go to the university or you go to the prison house. It is your choice.
Just like government opens some liquor shop, gives license. That does not mean that government is encouraging drinking. The liquor shop is there. Those who are drunkard, they can go. That's a facility. That's all. Otherwise, that is not encouragement. Similarly, the . . . when God created this material world—I think in your Bible also it is said that the Adam and Eve, the forbidden apple—that means He made some rules and regulations, "Do this; do not do this." And if you do this, then what is not sanctioned, then you suffer. God forbade not to eat the apple—I do not know actually—but by the request of Eve, Adam ate it, and he became conditioned.
Similarly—it may be story—but the fact is that God created this world. That's a fact. And He created the rules and regulation also. That is called Vedic knowledge. And in the Vedic knowledge there are injunctions, "You do this; you do not do this." If you follow the Vedic knowledge, then you have come to this world for enjoyment, so your regulated enjoyment will satisfy your senses, at the same time, you will be able to go back to home, back to Godhead, again. But if you do not follow the regulative principle, if you simply try to enjoy, exploit this material world, then you will be implicated.
So in the beginning you may come in this material world as Brahmā, and gradually, by your propensities, you may glide down to become the insect of stool. That is . . . that responsibility is yours, ours. That is not God's responsibility. You can elevate yourself. Just like at the present moment we have got this human form of body. We can hear the instruction of God, and we can again elevate. That is possible. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- janma karma me divyaṁ
- yo jānāti tattvataḥ
- tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
- naiti mām eti kaunteya
- (BG 4.9)
Therefore, as we are representative of God, we are canvassing door to door, "Please become Kṛṣṇa conscious and make your life successful." That's all. Now it is up to you to take it or reject it. That is your business. Our business is to canvass. The representative goes to secure business door to door. Somebody purchases, somebody does not. So that is not the representative's concern. Similarly, our concern is that we shall dedicate our life to preach this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world. Now it is up to you to accept it or not to accept it.
Guest (2): How do you relate Christ with Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Christ has already explained that he is son of God. And Kṛṣṇa, we accept He's God.
Guest (2): What does Kṛṣṇa say?
Woman guest (1): Your Divine Grace, I would like to ask you, I know that Kṛṣṇa is very merciful, and He has allowed us many, many births. Do we take these births in a human form all the time, or perhaps do we take a birth in perhaps an ant or a rat or a dog, or will it always be in the human form if we believe in Kṛṣṇa consciousness now?
Prabhupāda: If you believe Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even if you are not successful to finish the business of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this life, next life your birth is guaranteed as human being, either in a very rich family or in a very pure family. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo sañjāyate (BG 6.41). Yoga-bhraṣṭaḥ. Just like every one of us, we are trying to be successful in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Suppose that due to some reason we fall down. There is possibility because māyā, illusory nature, is very, very strong. So we may become victim. So there is no . . . this question was raised by Arjuna, and it was replied by Kṛṣṇa.
So there is no question of ruin. A person who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness . . . everyone should try to finish this business. Why one should wait for another life? We have got this opportunity. Let us finish. And what is the difficulty to remain always thinking of Kṛṣṇa? Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ (BG 8.6). And the process is very simple. That I already explained: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So adopt this process. Then your . . . in this life you get Kṛṣṇa.
But even if you are not successful, then a Kṛṣṇa conscious person is guaranteed next life human form of life, and that is also either in very rich family or . . . Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe (BG 6.41). Śucīnām means very pure family, and śrīmatāṁ means śrī-mat, fortunate, rich. Śrī means riches, and mat means possession, one who possesses. There are so many suffix. So anyone who takes birth in rich family, he should remember that, "Kṛṣṇa has given me this chance that I have no material problem. So I have got enough time. Let me chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma . . ." And so far pure family is concerned, suppose one is born in a nice brahmin family, a Vaiṣṇava family, he gets chance immediately by his father's example, by his mother's example, by his family tradition. So naturally he gets the chance.
Just like our children. These boys and girls who are married, they have got children. They are getting chance from the very beginning. The Śyāmasundara's daughter, Sarasvatī, she is wonderful girl. She is a child, but she never goes outside the spiritual consciousness. She makes her ārati. There are many boys. There is one boy, "D.D.D.," I call him. He is always engaged in making ārati, in worshiping Jagannātha. His father sent him some toys. He did not take it. So I asked him, "Why you are not taking the toys?" And he said, "It is māyā." (laughs)
So you can train your children from the very beginning and make his life . . . that is the duty of father and mother. The Vedic injunction is: one should not become a father, one should not become a mother, unless they can help the child from the imminent danger of death. So who can save? Unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, nobody can escape the cycle of birth and death. Nobody can. This is the only process if you want to stop. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). After giving up this body, there is no more birth in the material world. You get immediately transferred to the spiritual world, and you get your eternal, blissful knowledge life.
Woman guest (2): . . . (indistinct)
Śyāmasundara: What is that?
Woman guest (2): Would you teach that you've been first master on this?
Devotee: She's asking if you are the first master, what you are teaching.
Prabhupāda: No. We have already explained. From Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the first teacher of this Kṛṣṇa philosophy. So we are taking it, carrying the same instruction.
Devotee: She wants to know if you're the first to come to New Zealand.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. This is first time I have come to New Zealand. So thank you very much. Now have saṅkīrtana. (break)
Guest (1): . . . views of Kṛṣṇa towards Westerners and drugs, especially by the young?
Devotee: "What is the views of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in regard to the people using drugs for spiritual enlightenment?"
Prabhupāda: That is not very palatable. Kṛṣṇa does not allow drugs in our movement. No. Kṛṣṇa says:
- yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
- janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
- te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā
- bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
- (BG 7.28)
One cannot take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness unless he is completely washed of all sinful activity. So we forbid four things, because they are pillars of sinful activities: illicit sex life, intoxication, meat-eating and gambling. Unless one gives up these four sinful activities it is not possible to approach Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa clearly says in the Bhagavad-gītā, yeṣām anta-gataṁ pāpam. Pāpam means sin. One who has finished the sinful activity. And these are four pillars of sinful activity.
So we have to voluntarily give up these habits. That is called austerity, penance. The human life is meant for austerity and penance, not for increasing the items of our sense gratification. That is animal life. Human life is meant for restraint. Laws are for the human being. When you go to the street—"Keep to the left"—this law is meant for human being, not for the dog. The dogs can go from left to right; he has no punishment. But if you go from left to right, violating the rules or violating the color, symbol, signal, then you will be immediately arrested, because you are human being.
So all the laws or injunctions are for human being. So human being, human life, is very responsible life. As you cannot violate the state law, similarly, you cannot violate the laws given by God. That is called dharma. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Religion means the laws of God. If you violate, then you are punished. That's all.