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730826 - Lecture - London

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

730826LE-LONDON - August 26, 1973 - 37:11 Minutes

(Prabhupāda leads jaya rādhā-mādhava)


oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

Nobody sit backing the Deity.

he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopikā-kānta
rādhā-kānta namo 'stu te
rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi
praṇamāmi hari-priye
vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
śrī-advaita gadādhara
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your coming here and participating with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So you have already some understanding about this movement. Still, as you have kindly come here, I shall try to explain what is this movement.

This movement means that to awaken the original consciousness of the living entity. Living being, or living entity, there are varieties, 8,400,000 varieties. There are nine hundred thousand varieties in the water, and two million varieties as trees and plants. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati (Padma Purāṇa). And then insects, reptiles, there are eleven hundred thousand varieties.

Then there are one million varieties of birds. Pakṣiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam. Then beasts, three million. Three million varieties of animals, beasts, four-legged beasts, and then there are four hundred thousand forms of the human being, out of which the civilized men, they are taken into consideration. All other varieties, they are in the lower grade of life. They cannot understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not possible. It is in the human form of body when the consciousness is developed.

In the tree also, there is consciousness. It is now scientifically proved. When you cut tree or take its leaves, it feels, and that is recorded in the machine. This machine was discovered by Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, a great physicist in Calcutta. So everyone has got consciousness, there is no doubt about it. But the developed consciousness is found in the human being. And the topmost development of consciousness is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore we are appealing to the people in general all over the world that "Now you have got developed consciousness than the lower animals, birds, trees, beasts. Now you develop further so that you can awaken your original consciousness, which is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then your life is successful." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

You have got already consciousness. Just like a child, a boy, has got consciousness. He's sent to school, colleges. He develops his consciousness. He can understand scientific truths, and then he becomes a very big man, or successful man. As there are such consideration in the material world, similarly, the development highest consciousness is spiritual consciousness. That is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Spiritual consciousness should be cultivated, first of all understanding that we are all spiritual being; we are not this material body.

That we have to first of all understand. The material . . . within this material body there is the spirit soul, and that spirit soul, out of ignorance it is desiring material sense gratification; therefore he has to transmigrate into different types of bodies. And as soon as we accept one material body—it doesn't matter whether it is king's body or dog's body, it doesn't matter—because the spirit soul has accepted this material body, he has to undergo the threefold miserable conditions of material existence. This is the problem.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa advises that mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ (BG 2.14). Our material understanding of pains and pleasure—on account of this body. When the body feels cold, we cover. When the body feels very warm, we uncover. The covering and uncovering is due to seasonal changes. Therefore this material world means changing always. It is called jagat. Jagat means always changing. On account of the material world's changing, we feel pains and pleasure on this material body. Kṛṣṇa advises, therefore, that mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ. The material pains and pleasures, they are on account of this body. But we are not this body; we are spirit soul. Our main business is how to elevate the soul to its original position of eternity. That is our problem.

These things are very nicely explained in the book known as Bhagavad-gītā. We are presenting this Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and we hold our class also in this hall daily in the morning. So we invite all ladies and gentlemen to come here and try to understand Bhagavad-gītā. We have got this opportunity of human form of life. We can understand what I am, what you are. We are not this body; we are spirit soul. As spirit soul we are all eternal, blissful and cognizant.

But on account of this material covering we are suffering the material conditions, threefold kinds of miserable life. It is very difficult, little, but this is the problem. We have to understand this; otherwise we are missing the opportunity of this human life. If we neglect, then we are just like animals. The animals have no concern to understand this philosophy of life that, "I am not this body; I am spirit soul. I am encaged. Somehow or other I have to get out of this entanglement and be again reinstalled in my original consciousness and be happy, having eternal life, blissful life and full of knowledge." This is the problem.

But people have become so dull and rascal that they do not even care to understand this philosophy of life that, "I am not this body; I am spirit soul." Actually, even one's daily life, one can understand that he is different from this body. Just like every one of us, we had a child's body, a boy's body, a youth's body. Now I am old man, but I can remember that I had a body, a small body, baby's body. I remember personally when I was six months old I was lying down on my eldest sister's lap. She was knitting. I still remember. So then I got another body, another body, another body, and according to development of body I had different consciousness, just like child's consciousness is different from the father's consciousness.

So we are actually getting different types of body every moment, and the consciousness is changed also according to the body. This is a fact. But I remember that I had such and such body; I was doing such foolish things when I was a child. All these things I remember. Therefore I, the person, the soul, is existing, although the bodies are not existing. This is a fact. Those body—my childhood body, my boyhood body, my youthhood body—they are no longer existing. It is a fact. I have got now a different body, but I remember that I possessed such and such bodies. Therefore the conclusion is that, in spite of change of body, the spirit soul remains the same eternally. Similarly, when I shall change this body, I shall get another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir. That is called transmigration of the soul.

But unfortunately, there is no education on this spiritual knowledge in any school, college, although there are books. They can read, they can understand the constitutional position of the soul, but there is no arrangement. Perhaps this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the only institution which is teaching people that he is not this body; he's spirit soul—he's different from body, and he's transmigrating from one body to another, birth and death. Actually, the spirit soul has no birth and death. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit. The spirit soul is eternal. It does not take birth or it dies. The body is changing. The change of the body is known as birth and death. We are eternal; therefore nobody wants to die, because he is eternal by constitution. He doesn't like to change, but he's forced to change by some power. That is understanding that, "I do not wish to die. What is that force that obliges me to accept death? I do not wish to become old man, but there is a power which is forcing me to accept old age." This is the problem.

Unfortunately, we have given up the real problem of life. We are very much embarrassed with the temporary existence of this body, say for some years, fifty years or hundred years. But as we are eternal, we are not taking care of the eternal soul, what is its need. But when a person is developed, his spiritual consciousness automatically develops. At that time, he is no more satisfied with the comforts of the material body. In the Western country that feeling is now very prominent, because there are so many confused, frustrated young men who are known as hippies.

They are not satisfied with the ways of life as their fathers and grandfathers are living. They are protesting rather. That means there is spiritual starvation. Therefore we see also as soon as some svāmī or yogī comes from India, they flock together. They go there to receive some message, because the hankering is already there, athāto brahma jijñāsā. Now you should take advantage of this hankering and the movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is for your profit. You want something spiritual, and here is the spiritual movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply you have to study this movement very carefully and with intelligence. Then you'll understand that this is the thing we are hankering after. This is position.

So we are opening centers all over the world. In America we have got about fifty centers, and in your Europe we have got about half a dozens or more than, dozen center, including France, Germany, Amsterdam, England and Ireland, Scotland. So this is a new center opened by us. This house has been very kindly given to us by George Harrison. He is a nice boy. He is taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So you have got good facilities now to understand what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So we shall simply request you to take advantage of this center. We are not charging anything. You haven't got to pay anything. If you come in the morning and take part with us, we hold class. We are engaged twenty-four hours in this temple, but especially we hold class in the morning from seven to eight, and other classes, ārātrika also. We perform six times ārātrika, bhoga. We have got twenty-four hours engagement.

So at any time you can come. We have got books. Our program is for publishing sixty books. Now we have already published about twenty books, big, big books, four hundred pages. So if you understand, if you want to understand this movement through philosophy, science and good logic, argument, we have got sufficient stock to convince you how this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is important. But suppose you are not interested in reading or you cannot read, cannot understand philosophy, we have got a very simple method: chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

So either you become a scholar or you become an ordinary man, you can take advantage of this movement, and there is no need of qualifying yourself. We don't say that first of all you qualify yourself, then come here. No. Any condition, even a child can take part. If you come here, you'll see, when kīrtana goes on, even small children, they also take part. It is so nice movement. And by taking part in this movement, automatically you feel some ecstasy, spiritual ecstasy. Then you begin to dance.

We don't ask you to dance, but the chanter automatically dances. These are the spiritual significance of this movement, and anyone is invited. There is no restriction for any caste, creed and color. Because God is one, and everyone, according to our philosophy, every living entity . . . there are, as I have already explained, 8,400,000's different forms of living entities. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, said that, "I am the seed-giving father of all the living entities." So we have no discrimination between even man or animal. Animals are also accepted as the sons of the Supreme. But they are differently dressed. We are simply changing dress. On account of changing dress, we think that we are dying and taking birth. Vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya (BG 2.22). Just this verse we were discussing this morning.

So all living entities are sons of God, Kṛṣṇa. Therefore those who are advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are called paṇḍita, learned. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ. A paṇḍita sees equally everyone.

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(BG 5.18)

That is paṇḍita—when we can see. That is actually spiritual existence.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
(BG 18.54)

A devotee acquires all these qualification. He acquires . . . first qualification: he understands that he is not this material body, but he's spirit soul. That is first understanding. Brahma-bhūtaḥ. And the symptoms of that condition of life that, "I am not this material body. I am spirit soul," na śocati na kāṅkṣati. At . . . in that position, for material gain and loss he's not interested. It is not that a brahma-bhūtaḥ, a spiritually realized person, if he all of a sudden . . . that we have got all of a sudden this nice house. It is £220,000 worth. We do not expect to get such a nice house or such money. But sometimes it comes, actually.

We are maintaining such hundred centers. But they have been given by the public. Kṛṣṇa sends. So because we have got such nice house . . . not that we have got this house . . . of course, we are very much pleased because we are now able to accommodate Kṛṣṇa here, install the Deity and conduct the temple worship. That way we are happy. But not from material point of view, "Now we have got nice house." No. We can lie down on the street.

So na kāṅkṣati. But Kṛṣṇa sends for the facility of our business. Kṛṣṇa gives us all facilities, that's a fact. Although we did not endeavor for constructing this house or so many other houses, but Kṛṣṇa sends us money, Kṛṣṇa sends us the means how to have nice house, how to accommodate the devotees nicely, how to have nice cars also, nice food, everything. There is no scarcity. Don't think that Kṛṣṇa conscious people . . . we have no business. We are not professional men. Still, we are living better than any ordinary man. That is Kṛṣṇa's grace. Kṛṣṇa says, teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ, yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham (BG 10.10). He knows, just like a father knows the innocent child's needs. A small child, innocent child, simply dependent on the father or mother. The father, mother knows what this child requires now for his comfort. So father, mother supplies.

So if you depend on Kṛṣṇa—because He's the supreme father—fully, then all your needs . . . He's already supplying you all the needs of your life. Eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). That is the distinction between God and ordinary being. There are . . . God is also a living being like you and me. He's also a person, as you are person, I am person. But the difference is that one person is providing all the necessities of unlimited persons. And we unlimited persons, we are dependent on God. This is our philosophy. Another philosophy is that everything belongs to God; nothing belongs to us. That's a fact. Therefore as sons of God, everyone has got the right to use father's property. But he should not take more than he needs. That is our philosophy. If one takes more than what he needs, then he becomes a criminal. So similarly, we can live very comfortably on this planet, because this planet belongs to God. We should not designate ourself as "Englishman," as "American," as "Indian," as "African," and fight amongst themselves. We should always know that we are all sons of God. The property is God's. We can use whatever we need by the grace of God—the supply is there; there is no question of scarcity—and thus save your time, be peaceful, and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Thank you very much. (break)

Devotee: You want questions, Śrīla Prabhupāda? (to audience) If you have any questions, you can pose them now, about the subject matter of today's lecture by Śrīla Prabhupāda. If anyone has any questions about the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or our life in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, you can ask them at this time. Any of our guests, if you have anything that you'd like to know . . .

Guest: Yes, we've heard some very interesting things this afternoon. Your spiritual master has just said . . . (indistinct) . . . and that is that one shouldn't take more than one needs. I'd like to ask him how, in your philosophy, you can follow it, level, because people have been cheating it for centuries.

Devotee: The gentleman is commenting that you mentioned in your lecture one should not take more than he needs. How have we determined how much an individual needs?

Prabhupāda: That is not very difficult. Suppose you are eating. You can eat what you can digest. That you know yourself how much you can eat. But if after eating you take bunch of food for stocking at home, that is not allowed. You eat as much as you like. So your needs you can know. You haven't got to take instruction what is your need.

Guest: That is one aspect, but food is only one commodity. The world is very worried about far more than one commodity at the moment. What about all these needs of materials, of raw materials? These are far more important than food.

Devotee: He says that food is only one need of the living being, that there are many other needs in today's society.

Prabhupāda: No. You have got only four needs: you want food, you want shelter, you want sense gratification and you want defense. That's all. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithuna (Hitopadeśa 25). These needs are there even in the animals. They also eat, they also sleep, they have also sex life and they also defend in their own way. So you need these four things. So you can arrange for these four things, but not extraordinarily. People are increasing their needs artificially; therefore they are in trouble. And as soon as there is accumulation of more things . . .

If you accumulate more than your need, I also imitate to accumulate more than my need; there is competition. That competition is going on. And that is the cause of war. Those who are aware of the history, the two big wars in your Europe was started by German people because they are very much envious of the English people. The Germans, they could not do business throughout the whole British Empire. We know, Indians. So they were very much envious of these British people, and therefore they started two big wars, world war.

So if we collect more . . . now the British Empire is finished. So if we collect more, if you want to acquire more, then other becomes jealous. And in this way, our jealousies increase, and that is the cause of war, that is the cause of fight. But if you are satisfied with your minimum or maximum needs, nobody will be jealous. Just like an elephant is eating forty kilos of foodstuff at a time. We cannot eat even one-fourth kilo, but we are not envious of the elephant, because we know he needs to eat so much. Neither the elephant is envious to us. So whatever you need you can collect, you can eat—but don't take more. Then, according to the God's law, you become criminal; you are punishable. That is God's law.

Guest: I'm still not very clear on philosophy. I'm trying . . . (indistinct) . . . God.

Revatīnandana: He is saying philosophically, how have we decided what man's needs are?

Guest: Not only philosophically. Far more importantly . . .

Prabhupāda: It does not require much philosophy; it is a common sense.

Guest: Internationally . . .

Prabhupāda: You eat, I eat. It is a common philosophy. So I must eat what I need and you must eat what you need. That's not a very big philosophical problem. Everyone knows what you eat. But don't eat more. Suppose I can eat so much. And if I eat more, then I get indigestion. That is the punishment of the laws of nature. I get dysentery. Then I'll have to starve for three days because I've eaten more. So yuktāhāra-vihārasya yoga bhavati siddhitaḥ (BG 6.17). In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said if you want to be a yogī or spiritualist, you should not take more than what you can digest, what can you eat. That yuktāhāra.

You can satisfy your hunger, but according to yogic principle, or from health point of view, even if you can eat so much—you can understand that, "I can eat so much"—you should not eat the whole thing. You should eat half. And one fourth you shall fill up with water, and one fourth you should leave vacant so that there may be ventilation, your digestion will be easily done. This is Āyurvedic law.

Even if you think that you can eat so much, you should not voluntarily eat so much. You should eat half, and one-fourth you should fill up with water, and one-fourth you keep vacant for air ventilation. Then there will be no disease. It is hygienic principle. But as soon as you eat more than what you can digest, you become diseased. That means you are punished. Similarly, in every action you can have your portion as you need, but don't take more. Then it is helpful to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Yuktāhāra vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhi (BG 6.17).

Revatīnandana: The gentleman asks: "How do we apply that internationally?"

Prabhupāda: It is a international society. We are picking up men of this mentality, not that the whole world will be followers. That we do not expect. But there are men all over the world who like this movement; therefore we say International Society. And actually it is happening. We are picking up our devotees from all parts of the world, so therefore it is international.

Guest: Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Any other questions?

Prabhupāda: All right, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Please join us Hare Kṛṣṇa chanting. Yes . . . (end)