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730727 - Conversation - London
(Conversation with Sir Alistair Hardy)
Sir Alistair Hardy: (reading from notes) "...answer in Christian terms, but no doubt the same idea could be put into the language of other faiths. It is to bring about the kingdom of God on earth: 'Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.' "
Sir Alistair Hardy: Question six: "How does one achieve that goal?" "By seeking guidance, help, strength, and the power to accomplish one's humble path towards its achievement. By seeking it through prayer, through content, and the power we call God."
Your question seven: "How can Christianity and Kṛṣṇa consciousness cooperate for the general benefit of the British people?" Now here I find this difficult to answer. I say, "I cannot pretend to be able to answer this, for I have no deep knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
On the other hand, I must say that I do not believe that Christianity even in co-operation with Kṛṣṇa consciousness can more particularly benefit the British people than people of other nationalities." I wouldn't like to confine God's power to the British people; I would say to the whole peoples of the world.
Now your last question, I’m afraid I haven’t had time to get typed. It's written...
Prabhupāda: That's all right. That's all right.
Sir Alistair Hardy: …it's written on your copy, but not on...
Prabhupāda: No, I can read it.
Sir Alistair Hardy: I’ve got a pencil copy here.
Prabhupāda: I can read it.
Sir Alistair Hardy: You can read it, can you? Yes.
Prabhupāda: I read it.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Can you read it? Yes. Shall I read it out for the others to hear? Should I read it out? I’ll read it out. The eighth question… I was getting this typed…
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Sir Alistair Hardy: I wrote this. I had it rough... "How is God realized? And what are the different features?" My answer is: "He is realized in the world through the divinely inspired actions of man. The different features are, to mention only some, acts of courage; acts of love, compassion and sacrifice; acts of creation in art, literature, music and science; and on the more personal side, the sense of the numinous experienced in sacred places and situations; the joyous wonder of natural beauty, and, on rare occasions, for those who are so favored, the ecstasy of mystical experience."
Well, those are short answers to your questions in all humility, and I’ve thought over them. You see, I have got a scientific training. I’m not so concerned as you are, perhaps, with the great utterances of the past, because I feel God is living today as much as He was in the past, and while the great words of the great prophets in our own religion, and of Jesus—also to mention the importance of St. Paul and the others—to my mind they are no more important than the manifestations of the will of God and the power of God, the voice of God, the experience of God working now, today.
I think we have got to show the world that we aren’t just living with a religion that is founded simply on the utterances of the past, but what is a living religion that can alter the world and that can be as vital in any country of the world. I want to see something like science. Science, as I have said, is not just confined to one country; it has a universal application.
Sir Alistair Hardy: But I believe a religion that can embrace...
Prabhupāda: That is real religion.
Sir Alistair Hardy: ...the Kṛṣṇa, Christianity, possibly parts of Buddhism and so on, can be brought together to show mankind that here is a living force in the world quite as powerful as the force of atomic energy in science.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Sir Alistair Hardy: That is what I'm trying to do. I’m trying to collect experience that will, I hope, at any rate, begin to convince the intellectual world that here is something that is really vitally important in man's make-up. Something, as I say, as important biologically as sex. Because I think man's whole development has been through the power of God within him.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything which is in God, that is partially represented in man, because..., because every living being is part and parcel of God.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes, that's just what I feel.
Prabhupāda: (aside:) Just find out the..., mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7).
Sir Alistair Hardy: God is partly transcended, but He's inside the self, too.
Prabhupāda: Here is the Bhagavad-gītā verse, in the Fifteenth Chapter, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ.
Revatīnandana: The first part of that statement was that everything that is in God is partly represented in man.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes, yes.
Revatīnandana: That was the first part, wasn’t it?
Prabhupāda: So here that there are, of course, a number of problems of human life. Yes. There are a number of problems. Just like when a man becomes diseased, particular type of disease—suppose he is attacked with, infected with typhoid fever. So he has got so many symptoms, but the diagnosis is, doctor says that he is infected with typhoid fever. Similarly, our one problem is that we do not know what is God.
Why this problem? This human form life is particularly a gift of nature for understanding God, because in the human society, there is attempt to understand God, either through Christian religion or Hindu religion or Muhammadan religion or Buddhist religion. In every civilized human society there is a kind of institution through which they want to know God. Therefore the problem of human life is to know God.
Sir Alistair Hardy: I agree. Yes.
Prabhupāda: There is no other problem. These economic problem, other problems, that is our creation. Actually, they are our artificial problem. Because our…, what is our problem? Eating, sleeping, mating and defending. We have to eat something, we have to live somewhere, we must have our sex life and we must defend. These are four problems of living entity.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes, but I am saying that these which are true as economic problems, those of overpopulation, those of...
Prabhupāda: No. That we do not accept, that there is overpopulation. There is mismanagement.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Well, there is malnutrition, there is...
Prabhupāda: No, that is…, that is our mismanagement. Just like I will say that I have studied all over the world, I have seen, there are immense potencies. In my opinion if we, all nations of the world, as the United Nation, if you have got to really brain, and if we are really anxious to solve the problems, so far overpopulation is concerned, ten times overpopulation as at the present can be provided by the production of the world. Ten times.
Sir Alistair Hardy: But in two or three hundred years' time, if we go on at the present rate, we should have exceeded that ten times.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Another thing is, that is the problem: we do not believe in God. That is the problem.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Well, I agree…
Prabhupāda: No, just try... Just hear me. Because from Vedic injunction we understand, eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13): God alone provides everyone with all the necessities of life. And in your Christian faith also, you ask God, "Give us our daily bread." You accept that God is the supplier. So there is no question of population. The population may increase hundred times what it is now, God is able to provide them. But we do not believe in God. That is our main disease.
That we can see in the jungles in Africa there are hundreds of millions of elephants. Who is supplying them food? They eat at a time tons, and they are also eating. They have no economic problem. Similarly one ant, he wants only a grain of sugar; still it has got problem, where to find out that grain.
So the problem or no problem—because we do not believe in God. We think that we provide ourself. This idea, this atheistic idea, is a problem. That means we do not know what is God, we do not know what is God's potency, we do not know how God supplies us, because we do not know all these things. Why? Because you do not know what is God. We think God an imagination, maybe like us, a little more powerful. No. God, according to Parāśara Muni's definition, that He is completely opulent in riches, in strength, in reputation, in beauty, in knowledge and in energies. He is complete. So if we are sons of God, just like this verse says…
(aside:) Read it.
- mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke
- jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
- prakṛti-sthāni karṣati
- (BG 15.7)
"The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses..."
Prabhupāda: That is the problem: because they have forgotten God. Although they are part and parcel of God, the struggle for existence is there.
(aside:) The purport?
Pradyumna: "In this verse the identity of the living being is clearly given. The living being is the fragmental part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, eternally. It is not that he assumes individuality in his conditioned life and in his liberated state becomes one with the Supreme Lord. He is eternally fragmented. It is clearly said sanātanaḥ.
According to the Vedic version, the Supreme Lord manifests and expands Himself in innumerable expansions, of which the primary expansions are called viṣṇu-tattva and the secondary expansions are called the living entities. In other words, the viṣṇu-tattva is the personal expansion, and the living entities are separated expansions. By His personal expansion, He is manifested in various forms like Lord Rāma, Nṛsiṁha…, Nṛsiṁhadeva, Viṣṇumūrti and all the predominating Deities in the Vaikuṇṭha planets.
"The separated expansions, the living entities, are eternally servitors. The personal expansions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the individual identities of the Godhead, are always present. Similarly, the separated expansions of living entities have their identities. As fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the living entities have also fragmental qualities, of which independence is one. Every living entity has an individual soul, his personal individuality and a minute form of independence.
By misuse of that independence one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated. In either case, he is qualitatively eternal, as the Supreme Lord is. In his liberated state he is freed from this material condition, and he is under engagement of transcendental service unto the Lord; in his conditioned life he is dominated by the material modes of nature, and he forgets the transcendental loving service of the Lord."
Prabhupāda: This is the material problem. As soon as he forgets his relationship with God, he identifies himself with the material world, that "I am a product of this material world," the problem is created. But that is also due to his forgetfulness of God; therefore real problem is that he has forgotten his relationship with God. Other problems, they are subsidiary, by-product.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes, I agree, but don't you think it's possible that some of these other, which are, true, minor problems concerned...
Prabhupāda: The minor problems will be solved if the major problem is solved. Just like if you have typhoid, disease is taken care of. When you are out of typhoid infection, all other symptoms accompanying typhoid fever will automatically vanish.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes, in fact I do say that in my second philosophic aspect of it.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Maybe it is the more important. But it may…, it might be that in the present materialistic phase of the world, these other...
Prabhupāda: Yes, the present materialistic world, the leaders, they do not know what is God. They are, almost all the leaders, they are godless, andhā: they have been described as blind leaders, because they have no knowledge of God. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ (SB 7.5.31). In the Bhāgavata it is said, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ.
They do not know; people in general, they do not know that their real problem is how to approach the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu. And the leaders, so-called leaders, who have created so many problems, they also do not know; therefore the leaders are blind and the followers are blind—so what will be their result? If a blind man leads other blind man...
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes, I would agree. I would agree.
Prabhupāda: So the real problem is, as we emphasize, not whimsically; it is the beginning of the Vedānta-sūtra. The Vedānta-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsāḥ, that this human life is meant for enquiring about the Absolute Truth, God; no other enquiry. But they have rejected this thing. They are embarrassed with the subsequent problems. They do not know the real problem. The real problem is to enquire, "What is God? What I am? What is my relationship with God?" The educational department or advancement of science and education—everything should be employed to solve this problem: that people are now disinterested in the matter of understanding God; they think it is frivolious.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes. I fully agree. I fully agree with you, and...
Prabhupāda: Other problem, as you have mentioned. Therefore we have started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement just to manipulate this problem. People are neglecting. They are not taking very serious attention to understand about God. That is their main disease. And other problems, that is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā:
- daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
- mama māyā duratyayā
- (BG 7.14)
As in this verse it is said that "These living entities, they are part and parcel of Me." So qualitatively God and we living entities, we are one qualitatively. There cannot be any problem. As God has no problem, therefore we have no problem. This is mistaken. We have created problem in our disease condition.
- prakṛti-sthāni karṣati
- (BG 15.7)
As soon as we come into this material world, material existence, to lord it over... They are creating this, all the nations, all these leaders, they are creating problems. Because every nation wants to lord it over the nature. Just like sometimes your people, British people, they wanted to expand their empire, lord it over some... Now the Russians are trying in a different way, the Americans are trying in different way; some times before France tried, Napoleon; sometimes German tried. So they are coming and going. They cannot. It is not possible.
So this endeavor to lord it over the material nature without caring for God, the Supreme Lord, that is real disease; then all other problems come. Therefore if we try to cure the real disease, godlessness, no understanding of God… Just like you have mentioned many times, you have not given any definite idea what is God. In your statement in no place I could find that you have got a definite idea, "Here is God." That there is no such mention. So...
Sir Alistair Hardy: Well, I would say that God, to me, is the manifestation of this divine entity, partly with myself and partly outside, one which we can approach and that gives, as I say, carries...
Prabhupāda: But you cannot give a figure, just like we give figure: "Here is God, Kṛṣṇa, with fruit in His hand. He is so beautiful with a feather, peacock feather, on His head." These are the descriptions in the Vedic... (break)
Sir Alistair Hardy: I can give many figures into which God...
Prabhupāda: But many figures may be, but we have to... If we are serious students, this Vedic literature is the original literature. Other literary figures, they came later on. From historical point of, that everyone will admit. And so far Vedic literature is concerned, it is authoritative not only for the Indians, and other nations also they are also serious student of Vedic literature. Take Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is not only meant for the Indians and Hindus, but in all other countries they have good study of Bhagavad-gītā; they tried to understand Bhagavad-gītā—even the Muhammadans they also; Japan also, I’ve seen, and what to speak of European countries.
Sir Alistair Hardy: You see, I should say the same of Jesus. I should say exactly the same of Jesus as you are saying of your founder.
Prabhupāda: So from historical point of view, if you take history, then Bhagavad-gītā comes first, five thousand years ago, whereas other things… If we take history, maybe two thousand years. So from historical point of view this Vedic literature is most authoritative. Not only from historical point of view; from rational point of view. Just like the Vedānta-sūtra, when it is proposing, athāto brahma jijñāsāḥ, then nobody can defy this proposition that this human life is specially meant for enquiring about the Absolute Truth. Because in other life, lower than human being, the cats and dogs, they have no power to enquire what about…, what is God. They cannot.
Therefore human life, with developed consciousness, it is his only business to know God. So far his economic problems are concerned, that does not depend on his endeavor; it is already there. Just like cat, dog, elephant, serpent, tree, insect, bird, beast—everyone got his food. Why the human beings will not have his food provided by God? Because he has left the idea that "God maintains me"; he's thinking it's his problem. But the other living entities, animals, less intelligent, they have no problem. A small bird, he has no problem; a small insect, he has no problem. But we have created our problem due to godlessness.
Therefore real problem is no knowledge about God. That is the problem of human society, at least at the present moment. Other problems are subsidiary. Because we can study others: birds, beasts, animals, they have no such problem. They do not go to do business or profession or to make factories for their livelihood, but they are getting regularly. But why we should not get? If birds and beasts, animals, ants, they can get without any endeavor their food, so why we shall not get?
We are also one of the living entities, so why should we create problem? This is the... Real problem is godlessness, that we do not depend on God; we depend on our own endeavor, exploitation of the material resources. Therefore we have created problem. Therefore these problems are due to our godlessness. Therefore real problem is to know God—then everything, all problems will be solved.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Yes, I would agree. I would agree.
Prabhupāda: This is not my creation. This is said in the Upaniṣad: yasmin vijñāte sarvam evam vijñātaṁ bhavanti (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). If you understand God, then everything will be understood automatically. Automatically. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evam vijñātaṁ bhavanti. Therefore real problem is how to know God. So everyone, all scholars, all educationists, all thinkers, they should concentrate now to this problem: how people will understand God? That will solve all of their problems.
And we are pushing on this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, with this view, that let people understand what is God; then all other problems will be solved. So far we are concerned, you may take it or not. We have no problems, practically, because we are simply after God. We have no other business, so therefore we think we have no problem, practically. We have got about 102 centers, as big. Now our Los Angeles center... Where is that picture?
Haṁsadūta: Two hundred...
Girl devotee: Mālatī has it. She is getting (indistinct)...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Bring that picture.
Pradyumna: It is not here. She went to get it framed in the city.
Prabhupāda: Oh. That... In each center we have got about 200 devotees—at least 50, minimum 50, highest 200—and we have got 102 centers. And mostly they are not Indians; they are Europeans and Americans, Canadians, whose standard of living is better than the Indians. But we are providing. We are providing them with place, with food, with car, with all comforts. But we have no problems. Kṛṣṇa, God, is providing us. So similarly, if we actually… Actually we have to depend on God. It is artificially we are thinking that we can solve our problems. You cannot.
If you could solve your problem, then nobody would die. You have got the best medicine, best medical health. Why one man dies even after best medicine and best physician? What is your answer? Therefore unless God gives protection, your so-called best physician, best medicine will not solve the problem. It is practical. Now at the present moment we have got the best physician and best medical treatment that nobody should die, so why they are dying? So how can you solve the problem of death?
Sir Alistair Hardy: Well I’m afraid medicine hasn't solved all the problems.
Prabhupāda: Therefore you cannot solve these problems; therefore you have to admit that you cannot... You may be advanced in so many things, but the real problem, as Bhagavad-gītā says, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). Real problem is birth, death, old age and disease. Now you are in a best…, in the midst of the best nation. Now you are getting old; I am also getting old. This is a problem. I don’t want to get old, but it is coming by force and giving me trouble. Now where is the solution of this problem? One is getting disease. Where is the solution of this problem? Nobody wants to die—where is the solution of the problem? So we cannot solve all these problems, it is simply...
Sir Alistair Hardy: One cannot prevent…, one cannot prevent getting old, I'm afraid. (laughs)
Prabhupāda: Therefore this is a problem. And nobody wants to become old, but old age is coming. Old age is coming. So it is not possible the…, the so many problems, material problems that you are facing. That is not possible. Just like this European people, they are facing with war every ten years or every fifteen years—First World War, Second World War—and they are trying to solve it. First of all there was League of Nation, you know that. That failed. Again this United Nation. What they are doing? They cannot solve; it is not possible. That we have to admit, that we have failed to solve all the problems. Then why you have failed? Because there is no God consciousness.
- harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
- manorathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
- (SB 5.18.12)
If one is not a devotee of the Lord, he has no good qualification. He will simply hover on the mental plane: "Ah, let me solve this problem." And when he fails, "All right, let me try this." When he fails, "All right, let me do." This is going on. Where is the solution? There is no solution; simply mental speculation. The so-called endeavor for solving the problems is simply mental speculation. It is not possible to solve without the grace of God.
It is just like nowadays in India, there is great scarcity of rain—not only in India; every part of the world—and it will increase, increase. It is stated in the Bhāgavat that anāvṛṣṭi (SB 12.2.9): for want of rain, for want of foodstuff, and people will be taxed very much by the government. So one side famine and scarcity of rain, and other side government's operation for taxing. In this way people will be faced with so many problems, harassed, that they will give up their hearth and home and go to the forest and mountain, disgusted. Where is the solution to the problem in civilized world? People are being harassed more and more by taxation. Now what if there is no rain? What you could solve? What is in your hand?
Revatīnandana: Just some time back, some people were talking to me about how there was a green revolution in India. The agriculture, they developed new grains and seeds, hybrids, for producing so much grains, and they said, "Now we have this green revolution, it will solve the problems of the underdeveloped countries." Now it is not raining, so there is no green.
Prabhupāda: Therefore you are dependent on rain. So Bhagavad-gītā says, parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ. Parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ (BG 3.14). Unless there is rain, how you can produce grains? It is not possible. So therefore ultimately you have to depend on God.
(aside:) Read it.
- annād bhavanti bhūtāni
- parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
- yajñād bhavati parjanyo
- yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ
- (BG 3.14)
"All living beings subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajña, or sacrifice, and yajña is born of prescribed duties."
Prabhupāda: Where is this attempt to perform sacrifices? That is gone. That is altogether gone. So how you can expect yajñād bhavati parjanyo? These are the nature's law. If you do not admit the favor of the Providence… Yajña means to satisfy the Supreme, Yajña. Kṛṣṇa's another…, God's another name is Yajña. Yajñārthāt. So we should work for Kṛṣṇa, yajñād, yajñād bhavati…?
Pradyumna: Yajñād bhavati parjanyo.
Prabhupāda: Parjanyo. Then there will be regular supply of rain. And in Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's time it is said that parjanyaḥ…, kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ (SB 1.10.4). We get all our necessities of life by this rainfall, and this rainfall is possible when there is performance of yajñā. So we are not following this, so how these problems can be solved? The real problem is therefore godlessness. They are defying God.
They are trying to solve all problems by their so-called advancement of knowledge. But practically we see the so-called advancement of knowledge cannot solve any problems. The same example: that the advancement of knowledge, there is best physician, best medicine, then nobody should die. The death is there, the problem is there—then what is the use of this advancement? Therefore real problem is godlessness: they do not know what is God.
Therefore all our endeavors should be engaged how to understand God scientifically. We do not say that you accept somebody as God blindly. No. That is not our… Try to understand. There is a verse—what is that? No, I forget. That... Idaṁ hi puṁsas tapasaḥśrutasya vā (SB 1.5.22): by austerity, by education, by scientific advancement of knowledge, by everything, try to understand God. If you are scientist, you try to understand scientifically; if you are a philosopher, try to understand God philosophically. Because ultimate goal is God. That is the real problem.
So therefore my request to exalted personalities like you—because you are engaged in religious experience, research—so the research you may do, but real, we are giving the result of the research work: harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā (SB 5.18.12). Everything is there in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Unless there is God consciousness, all such research work will not give us any relief.
So the scientists, the philosophers, the economists or politicians, everyone should concentrate. Let the politician understand politically God. There is everything there answered: how politically the administrative class, they can become God conscious, the members of Parliament—everything is there. Similarly scientists, they can also become God conscious; philosophers, they can become God conscious. So that is required now; otherwise the so-called advancement of knowledge or economic development...
There is no question of economic development, because after all, we are depending. If there is no rain, two, three years, five years if there is no rain, all economic development will be finished. So the rain is in the hands of God. We have to look forward, upward, when the rain is coming. Yajñād bhavati parjanyo parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ (BG 3.14).
Revatīnandana: Even now they are complaining that there is insufficient rainfall in England.
Revatīnandana: They are putting signs on the buses, "Pray for rain." But will they pray to God for rain? They won’t even pray for...
Prabhupāda: Ultimately they have to pray. When there was war, Churchill asked all citizens to go to the church and pray; similarly the Germans also, they prayed. Some of them, after their prayer, when the prayer was not fulfilled, they became atheist. Yes. They have taken God as order-supplier. I declare war without sanction of God, and when there is reverse condition I pray to God, "Save me." Just see. God will not ask, "Did you declare the war consulting Me?" At that time there was no need of God. The politicians, by their whims: "All right, declare war."
Sir Alistair Hardy: The whole of our work is directed towards increasing the knowledge of God.
Sir Alistair Hardy: That is what we are setting out to do…
Sir Alistair Hardy: …by studying the action of God through the highest number of people.
Prabhupāda: So in that endeavor, I think we can help you, if you really serious. We can help you.
Sir Alistair Hardy: I’m hoping later on. But at the moment, we are collecting experiences from the Western world, but I am hoping to collect experiences from the East, too. The present High Commissioner for India...
Prabhupāda: What High Commissioner of India does know?
Sir Alistair Hardy: He's...
Prabhupāda: You have to approach the real person.
Sir Alistair Hardy: But he's very... He is interested in what we are doing.
Prabhupāda: Everyone should be interested. That is official.
Sir Alistair Hardy: He has offered to put me in touch with...
Prabhupāda: If you...
Sir Alistair Hardy: ...a number of people in India, but I...
Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Tad-vijñānā. The Vedic injunction is,
- tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet
- samit-pāṇiḥśrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham
- (MU 1.2.12)
You should approach one who knows. What this commissioner, High Commissioner, this commissioner, the politicians... Useless. I can tell you frankly this is useless attempt.
Revatīnandana: Approaching a politician for knowledge of God.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Oh, no. But he is interested.
Prabhupāda: He is interested; everyone should be officially interested.
Sir Alistair Hardy: But I...
Prabhupāda: What does he know about God?
Revatīnandana: Official interest, he is saying.
Prabhupāda: That is official interest.
Sir Alistair Hardy: I don’t think so. From what...
Prabhupāda: If you are serious about…, about this research work, you should approach somebody who knows God.
Sir Alistair Hardy: Well, he's given a... He gave me a great, er..., manifestation..., er..., manifesto produced by his father, I think, of yoga.
Prabhupāda: What is this yoga? Do you know what is this yoga?
Sir Alistair Hardy: I don’t know what, er...
Prabhupāda: Do you think by such yoga system you can understand God? Are you conversant with the yoga system?
Sir Alistair Hardy: I don’t know. It's not my, er...
Prabhupāda: This is an advertisement yoga, meditation. There is a science, regular science of God. You have to understand by that science. But if you do not know what is that science, it is not possible. Therefore it is a vijñāna. Vijñāna means science. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet samit-pāṇiḥśrotriyaṁ (MU 1.2.12).
The... We have discussed these points in the Bhagavad-gītā. Then the real science, if you want to know God, you have to know from God; otherwise you cannot know God.
Sir Alistair Hardy: That is exactly what we are trying to do, understand, from the manifestations of God in the experience of present-day people. It is just what we are doing.
Prabhupāda: No. Why manifestation? Why not directly from God? Why you are after manifestation? If there is direct you can approach...
Sir Alistair Hardy: I think we are studying directly from God, actually.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If there is that such opportunity, why should you give up? This Bhagavad-gītā is direct experience from God. If you study Bhagavad-gītā carefully, you get direct experience.
Sir Alistair Hardy: I think we can get it, too, from present-day man.
Prabhupāda: Present-day man, that's all right. But one who knows God, that is... You cannot understand the science of God from a storekeeper. That is not possible. He must be well conversant: tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena (BG 4.34). You see, that is direction:
- tad viddhi praṇipātena
- paripraśnena sevayā
- upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
- jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
- (BG 4.34)
Pradyumna: "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."
Prabhupāda: So everything, any scientific method, we have to know from the person who knows it. So why manifestation? Just try to understand directly from God, Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa is accepted by all scholars, all saintly persons, past and present, the Supreme Lord: āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve (BG 10.13).
(aside:) Find out that verse, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12).
So my request is that you try to—you are research scholar—you try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and I can help you, or our students can help you, if there is any difficulty. Here is the science of God; that is a fact.
(aside:) Read it.
- arjuna uvāca
- paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
- pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
- puruṣaṁśāśvataṁ divyam
- ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum
- āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve
- devarṣir nāradas tathā
- asito devalo vyāsaḥ
- svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me
- (BG 10.12-13)
"Arjuna said: You are the supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me."
Sir Alistair Hardy: This is just as Jesus or Paul, or the other Christians, have said just the same thing. I think it is all part of the same..., it's the same manifestation.
Pradyumna: But it's completely valid, whereas…, whereas someone... It depends upon his perception of God, and that has to be measured according to certain standards. You can’t... You have to... You say that someone will say, "Well, I have experienced something of God," but you have to measure his perception by some standard. And the standard that is in these śāstras, or scriptures, is an absolute standard… (break) (end)