740619 - Conversation - Germany
(Conversation with Professor Durckheim, Dr. P. J. Saher and Professor Porsch)
Professor Durckheim: . . . and to write books, and people came, and today we have there what you would call a little āśrama, mostly about fifty, sixty persons living there, coming, going; no patients, just people who try to discover their real self, nothing else.
Professor Durckheim: That's our work we are trying to do.
Prabhupāda: So Absolute Truth is realized in three aspect: brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). Some realize the Absolute Truth as impersonal Brahman, others realize the Absolute Truth as localized Paramātmā, situated in everyone's heart, and the final realization is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we are cultivating the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). So which aspect you are cultivating: the Paramātmā or the impersonal Brahman or the Personality of Godhead?
Professor Durckheim: You can't help cultivate all three in the long run.
Prabhupāda: No, all three are one.
Professor Durckheim: I beg your pardon?
Prabhupāda: All three are one. But it is the angle of vision only. Just like a mountain—somebody from distant place looking, hazy clouds, something. The mountain is the same, but from long distance one realizes as hazy cloud. Little more nearer, they realize something green. And if somebody goes in the mountain, he realizes the mountain and the animals and the residential place—everything. The objective is the same, but the angle of vision different. So in India—or everywhere—some realizing the Absolute Truth as impersonal, without any variegatedness.
Professor Durckheim: As Buddhists do.
Prabhupāda: Buddhists, they, I think, they . . . yes, you are right, impersonal. But their philosophy is to stop all kinds of realization, nirvāṇa. Realization they do not want. They want to stop realization.
Professor Durckheim: To stop the?
Prabhupāda: Realization. To become zero. Is not that?
Professor Durckheim: To become? I didn't understand.
Professor Durckheim: Zero, yes. Well, zero from the point of view of view of the old ego it's zero, but this zero is everything from . . . (indistinct) . . . from the point of view of the natural ego it's zero and once you touch it, it's the plenitude, everything. It's beyond something and everything, as far as I understand it.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is beyond. That beyond is realized, as I explained to you, in different angle of vision. Some, impersonal, without any variety; and some, localized Paramātmā; and some, the Supreme Being. As you are sitting, I am sitting, we are talking, so the Absolute Truth is a person, Supreme Person, Supreme Being, and we approach Him, talk with Him, sit with Him, play with Him. That is Kṛṣṇa realization. First of all, negation of the material varieties, then impersonal realization, then localized realization, then personal realization. Just like a diseased man: first of all cure, then healthy activities.
A diseased man has got activities. He also eats, he also sleeps, he also evacuates, but all troublesome. Therefore, being disgusted, he wanted to make everything zero. But if he hears that again sleeping, again eating, again evacuating in healthy life, he thinks it is something like his diseased condition. But healthy life is different from diseased life. So some philosophers, they are trying to negate this diseased condition only, without any realization of healthy life. So I think Buddha philosophy is called nirvāṇa, negation of this diseased condition of life, pains and pleasure. Am I right or wrong?
Professor Durckheim: You are certainly right. We see the . . . it is a big . . . in our work, as I see it, to realize that what from one point of view seems too bad, bad, for instance, illness or dying, what the natural ego does not like, if you goes through, it's also the threshold to quite a different reality.
Prabhupāda: Yes, different it is. The same example as I gave you: in diseased condition the reality is something, and healthy condition, the reality is something else. But if we compare the reality of healthy life with the realities of diseased life, that will be a misconception.
Professor Durckheim: The dead. Person who is dead.
Prabhupāda: We take this body—dead always. This body is actually dead. Just like this microphone is made of iron. It is iron. When it is working, responding, at that time also it is iron. And when it is out of order, does not work, it is also iron. Similarly, this body is working on account of the living force within. When the living force is out, it is called dead. But actually it is dead always. The living force is the important thing. That is making him alive. Actually, alive or dead, it is dead matter. But the living force is the active principle. That is distinguishing this body as dead or alive. But factually it is dead always.
That is the beginning of instruction, Bhagavad-gītā: "Arjuna, you are lamenting for this body, but the body is dead." Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase (BG 2.11). So unless we know that . . . (aside) Don't make cut-cut. The dead body is not the subject matter of study, either it is in working order or it is in dead order. The subject matter of study is the active principle which makes the dead body moving. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. (aside) Read that portion.
- śrī bhagavān uvāca
- aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
- prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
- gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
- nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
- (BG 2.11)
Translation: "The Blessed Lord said, While speaking learned words you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead."
Prabhupāda: What is your opinion about this?
Professor Durckheim: May I ask a question? How do you teach your disciples to become aware of this force which is no matter but makes matter alive?
Prabhupāda: That active principle, life, or living soul.
Professor Durckheim: Yes, how do you make them . . .
Devotee: How do you teach them?
Professor Durckheim: . . . teach them to become aware of it? You see, now I listen, and that is, if you like, first a philosophy which contains the truth. I don't doubt it. But how to make feel?
Prabhupāda: It is very simple thing. Just like a body is moving, and body is not moving. So there is an active principle which makes the body moving, and when it is absent, it is not moving. Now, the question will be, "What is that active principle?" Athāto brahma jijñāsā. First of all let him distinguish what is the difference between this dead body and living body. If a student is un . . . aware of it, he can see that on account of the active principle, the body is changing, the body is moving, and in the absence of the active principle, neither the body changes, neither moves. Just like in our childhood we used to think that the gramophone box, there is a man, and he is speaking from the box. This is a childish suggestion only, but similarly, anyone can think that within this body there is something which is making the body moving. It is not very big philosophy.
Professor Durckheim: No, that's quite clear.
Prabhupāda: Anyone can understand. So our students are taught on the principle of Bhagavad-gītā that the body is always dead. The body is simply just like a machine, a big machine. This machine, it is dead, but as soon as I push the button it works. Similarly, the body is dead, but within the body, the life or the active principle, so long it is there, it is responding. Just like we are talking, I am asking my student, "Come here," he comes. But as soon as the active principle is out, I will ask him for thousands of years, "Come here"—he will not come. It is very simple to distinguish. Now, what is that active principle, that is a separate subject matter to understand. And that is the beginning of spiritual knowledge. This is our learning.
Professor Durckheim: May I ask a question still? It is quite clear for our rational mind: I can understand there is a dead body, and there must be something in him, enough to make it alive. Now, the conclusion, let's say there are two things, that my question was how he becomes aware in himself as an experience, not as conclusion. Because I realize that on the inner way it becomes important more and more to feel deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper realities. That's why in my little work I make a distinction between the body you have and the body you are. The English language says . . . talks about "somebody" and "something." "Somebody" means a person. So the body you are. It's the whole of the gestures wherein you express and you present and you miss or you realize your real self. So the body you are. Usually if you go to a doctor he sees only the body you have. He tackles it like a machine. If somebody with shoulders like this, he says: "Well, you must make exercises . . ." If somebody comes to me with shoulders like this, I say, "The body you are, you have no confidence in life. So get an attitude of confidence." So he gets to know the body he is, not only the body he has, which doesn't at all touch at your wisdom.
Prabhupāda: No, as I say, the active principle . . . I am also the active principle, that active principle. As I say, the dead body and the living body, difference is, when the active principle is not there, it is dead body. Similarly, I am also the active principle. So 'ham. So 'ham, "I am the same active principle." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am Brahman. I am not this material body." That is self-realization. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54): "When one is self-realized, then he is jolly," prasannātmā. He is never morose. He is jolly. Na śocati na kāṅkṣati: "He has no lamentation, no hankering." Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu: "He is equal to everyone—man, animal and everything." And mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām (BG 18.54): "Then devotional life begins." So without self-realization, there is no question of devotional life. Or those who are engaged in devotional service, they are all . . . just like these boys, my students, they are trained up how to be always in devotional service. So one who is engaged in devotional service, he is supposed to be already self-realized, because he has understood "What I am." Yes. And then he sticks to devotional service. Otherwise, he cannot. If one thinks, "I am this body," then he cannot be engaged in devotional service, or he cannot stick. He knows that, "I am part and parcel of God, so my duty is to serve God." This is self-realization. And then he engages himself in devotional service.
Professor Durckheim: I say, Master, that when you say he knows, you don't speak about this knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Which knowledge?
Professor Durckheim: You came already . . . you say: "Believe, and by this know that I am participating in the great divine person." And yet I didn't experience it.
Prabhupāda: Why not experience? He knows that, "I am that active principle." Everyone knows that, "I am not this body." When I say: "This is my finger," I don't say "I finger." So "I," what "I am"? That realization, self-realization that, "I am part and parcel of God," so that he knows that, "I am part and parcel of God. So therefore my duty is to serve God." So they are engaged in serving God.
So this serving God, or devotional service, is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā . . . (aside) Find out that verse, that:
- māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
So unless one is self-realized, he cannot be engaged in the service of the Supreme Self. Ordinarily, a master and a servant, a servant knows that "I am engaged by the master. He is giving me food, he is giving me shelter—he is giving me everything for his serving." So he is careful in his service. This is a material example. Similarly, self-realization, ultimately, as I told you, that first impersonal Brahman, then localized Paramātmā, and then the yogīs, they realize the localized Paramātmā. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1). The yogīs, they observe the Supersoul within himself, and they meditate upon Him. (aside:) What is that verse?
- māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
Translation: "One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman."
Prabhupāda: This is our process.
Professor Durckheim: A long way to get there.
Prabhupāda: And the process is going on. The chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, by this process they fully realize that the master, the Supreme Being, and engages himself always. These European, American boy, they are all educated. Not . . . in your country, of course, the young men . . .
Professor Durckheim: They are educated too.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So they are always engaged in devotional service. So unless there is some realization, how they can engage their time in this way? (break) "You are human being. You can eat. I have given you fruits. I have given you vegetables. I have given you food grains. I have given you milk, very nutritious, palatable, containing all vitamin A, B, C, D. And why should you kill animals? Why should we give trouble to the others?" This is self-realization, that "Here is another self. The same active principle is working there. The body is different. Why shall I kill him?" So they have realized it. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Equal vision to all living entities that the self, that active principle, is working in the fish, in the insect, within the tree, within the plant, within the animals, within the birds and within me. This is self-realization. That active principle is soul, and the soul is migrating from one body to another as you are migrating from childhood to babyhood, babyhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood. So the soul is the same, the body is different. The body is material and the soul is spiritual. When one comes to this understanding, that is self-realization.
Professor Durckheim: Well, may I put a question, Master? On the way there should be progress, inner progress. How to realize that there is a progress? I would say one thing is very important. There are three sufferings in the world of mankind: fear of annihilation, despair if you are taken by something which is absurd, and loneliness, if you are alone. These three sufferings in the world for the natural being. I realize that you make a decisive step on your inner way when you feel life in the very moment when you have to die, when you feel the great meaning in the very moment when you are just having despair, and when you feel the great love of the person God exactly while you are lonely in the world. And I have realized that we are now in a very decisive moment in the Western world because for the first time in the history of mankind, the Western people, in Europe and the States, start to take seriously certain experiences, inner experiences, where this truth is revealed. In all times, as far as I see, the great condition of the East, they knew about those experiences where death loses its terrifying character and becomes the threshold to some bigger life. And I always see with also my disciples, as soon as they learn to go through some kind of death, they awake on a new level. So I will say if people are in my place and after a week they still sleep very well, then I have made a mistake. About that sleep, just to realize something in overcoming their usual needs, their usual fears, their usual habits, in order to touch inwardly another level, and then suddenly they realize there is some quite different principle at work as they see usually in their natural mind.
Prabhupāda: So that different principle, for a devotee, is already realized. Because a devotee never thinks of this body that, "I am this body." He thinks "I am . . ." ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am spirit soul." So without that realization, there is no question of devotional life. So that is first understood. That instruction is being given by Kṛṣṇa to Arjuna that, "You are considering very seriously on this body, but a learned man does not take this body very seriously, either dead or alive." That is the first realization. So everyone in this world, they are concerned with this body, dead or alive. When alive, they take care of the body in so many ways, and when dead they erect big statue upon it. So that realization is this body. When it is alive, very nicely dressed, nicely groomed, nicely everything on account of this body, and when dead, then again the statue, the tomb, that's all, but missing the active principle. He is taking care of this body even after death by erecting very nice memorial, but he has no knowledge where the active principle has lost. That is ignorance.
Professor Durckheim: When I was a young man, I was four years in the World War.
Prabhupāda: Four years.
Professor Durckheim: Four years. Forty-eight months almost in the foremost front. And I was one of the two officers . . .
Prabhupāda: In First World War? First World War?
Professor Durckheim: World War I, 1914 to 1918.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Professor Durckheim: And I was one of the two officers who were not wounded in my regiment. And there I met death again and again. And I saw people just killed next to me. Suddenly it was out. It was just only, as you say, the body without soul. But I realized also, in myself, that when death was near and you had accepted death, accepted to die, then you realized something which has nothing to do whatsoever with death.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is self-realization.
Professor Durckheim: So this marked me very much. It's the very beginning of my inner way, these four years of World War.
Prabhupāda: There is a verse, nārāyaṇa-parāḥ sarve na kutaścana bibhyati (SB 6.17.28). If one is God-realized soul, he is not afraid of anything. Svargāpavarga-narakeṣv api tulyārtha-darśinaḥ. So actually, if one is self-realized, he is no more fearful or concerned with the bodily necessities of life. That is liberation. Just like as you mentioned sleeping. Sleeping also, a bodily necessity. When you are tired, you sleep. That is bodily necessity. But it is not spiritually necessary. About the Gosvāmīs it is said, nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau: "Conquered over sleeping, eating, mating." That is also one of the symptoms of self-realization. These things are necessities of the body. So the more one is advanced in self-realization, these things will be minimized: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. And gradually it will come to nil, because this is bodily necessities. Self, the active principle, that is different. The active principle, necessity is different. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness. But these are bodily necessities: eating, sleeping, mating. So, so long this body is there, of course, we must eat, we must sleep. That is required. But the more we advance, these necessities diminished. Yes. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt (SB 11.2.42). Then sleeping will be considered a waste of time. A self-realized man goes to sleep, he thinks that, "I am going to waste so much time, because still I am subjected to the necessities of this body." He regrets.
Professor Durckheim: The progress of self-realization is a sequence of experiences, isn't it, of inner experiences?
Professor Durckheim: The progress of self-realization is a progress of inner experiences.
Professor Durckheim: And I do believe that at the actual moment still, the treasure in the European peoples, the different peoples who went through the war, through concentration camps, through battlefields and bombing nights, are hidden in their hearts certain moments when death was near and they were wounded and nearly torn in pieces. Because they had a certain experience they survived. And again and again, when I give a lecture, I have two or three people waiting, telling me, "Now you just reminded me an experience long ago, ten days ago, two months ago, when I thought I was a little bit crazy, and now I understand it has been the experience, perhaps the most important of my life, on which I should have built my future inner way." And these experiences are still there. And once people understand, they don't need a war and a battleship and a concentration camp and a bombing night to take serious certain inner experiences when they are suddenly are touched by this divine reality, and they suddenly feel that this bodily existence is not lasting at all.
Prabhupāda: That's it. That we can experience every night.
Professor Durckheim: Yes, exactly.
Prabhupāda: When you dream, my body is left on the bed and I go somewhere. That we experience, that I am separate from this body. At that time I forget my this body is lying down on the bed. I am acting in a different atmosphere. So, and again, in daytime, I forget that at night I was in a different body, and I went to such-and-such place or on the sky I was flying. I forget. At night I forget this body and at daytime I forget that body. But I am existing. Therefore I am not this body. I am existing in this body and that body, but that body I have forgotten, and this body I forget. So this is a structure on my mind only. Actually, I am different from the mind. And that is self-realization. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā: indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ (BG 3.42). (aside) Find out this verse. Manasas tu parā buddhir buddhes tu yaḥ saḥ. That's it. It is in the Third Chapter, I think.
- indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
- indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
- manasas tu parā buddhir
- yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ
- (BG 3.42)
Translation: "The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he, the soul, is even higher than the intelligence."
Prabhupāda: This is description.
Professor Durckheim: May I put a question, sir, to the question of time, the meaning of time? I think there are two ways to look at time and to look at eternity.
Prabhupāda: Time is eternal. Time is eternal, but we calculate time, past and present and future, according to my temporary material existence. Just like a small ant—the ant's past and present is different from my past and present.
Professor Durckheim: Is different from . . .?
Prabhupāda: My past and present. I am a human being. I live for hundred years. So my past and present is different from the ant who lives for, say, a few hours.
Professor Durckheim: Is different from?
Prabhupāda: From the ant, a small living entity. And similarly, Brahmā, his past, present is different because he has done millions and millions of years as one day. So the time is eternal, but according to our condition, occupying the time and space, we calculate past and present and future. Otherwise time itself is eternal.
Professor Durckheim: Well, now I question you. You see, talking about eternity, there are two meanings or concepts at the same time. The one is that the finite life is going on infinitely, infinity, millions of year. That is one way to think about eternity.
Professor Durckheim: But there is another one.
Prabhupāda: Eternity means, we say, no beginning, no end. That is eternity.
Professor Durckheim: Isn't there also this other one, when, for instance, Christ says: "I am before Abraham was"? This "I am." There is one kind of eternity which has nothing to do with past and future at all, which is beyond past and future.
Prabhupāda: Past and future is concerned with this body.
Professor Durckheim: Is concerned with this body. It is concerned, exactly, with this body and with this ego, with regard to which there is a "before" and an "after," an "up" and "down." And if you take away this ego, what's there? What's left?
Prabhupāda: That is pure ego. Now I am born Indian, say, seventy-five years ago, or seventy-eight years ago, and I have got this Indian body, I have got this false ego that, "I am Indian, I am this body." This is misconception.
Professor Durckheim: That is one way to look at time. But it's not the . . .
Prabhupāda: Time is there, but because I have got this temporary body, I am thinking past, present, future. The temporary body will be vanished. I shall get another temporary body. Then again my begins past and present. So therefore this is called illusion. Time is eternal. It has no beginning, no end, but we transmigrate from one body to another. We are calculating, miscalculating, past, present, future.
Professor Durckheim: Yes, time has no beginning and no end. But time in this second sense has nothing to do with beginning and end.
Prabhupāda: It has no end . . . beginning, no end. The beginning and end is of this body. And in relationship with this body, we are calculating past, present, future.
Professor Durckheim: But without this body, you wouldn't become conscious of what is beyond body.
Prabhupāda: I am conscious always. Just like in sleep, I am getting different body, but still I am conscious. And daytime, that sleeping body is gone; still, I am conscious. That consciousness is impure on account of our contact with this temporary body. So when you come to the pure consciousness, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Professor Durckheim: But as an experience, the pure consciousness as an experience has to have a background which is not pure consciousness. Otherwise it could become . . .
Prabhupāda: No. Pure consciousness is actually you are. Just like water. Water is pure. When it is comes from the sky, it is clear crystal water. But as soon as it touches the ground, it becomes muddy. Similarly, we soul, spirit soul, we are pure. As soon as we come in contact with this matter, material existence, we become impure. And there are three stages of impurity: goodness, passion and ignorance. So all of them are impure. Unless one comes to the spiritual consciousness—he may be a very nice man—he is infected with the impurity of goodness. He is thinking, "I am very big man. I am very . . ." That is also impurity. And another man does not know what he is, just like animal, all the animals. That is also impurity. When both of them will come to the clear consciousness that "I am part and parcel of God; my duty is to serve God," that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So long he identifies with this material consciousness, he is impure. Just like people are fighting, "I am German," "I am Englishman," "I am this," "I am that," "I am black," "I am white," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am śūdra"—so many designation. These designations are impurity. Just like sometimes the artists, they manufacture some statue naked. In France I saw, naked. They take it this naked statue is pure art, not dressed. Similarly, when you come to the nakedness of spirit soul without this designation of this body, "I am American," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," that is purity.
Professor Durckheim: But the meaning of the impure is to be the background of the consciousness of the pure without any experiencing the suffering in the impure.
Prabhupāda: The consciousness is covered by impurity, just like your health is covered by disease, and the symptom is fever. But that is a covering. That is not your healthy state. Similarly, my consciousness, when I think that, "I am American," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," "I am that," that is impurity. And when he thinks that, "I am neither German, neither American, nor this nor that—I am part and parcel of God," that is pure consciousness.
Professor Durckheim: But in order to get there, to feel that one is neither this nor that, one must have suffered by first having thought that one is this or that.
Prabhupāda: That suffering is just like you suffer in the dream. You are attacked by a tiger. There is no tiger. Actually there is no suffering. But on account of ignorance, you are thinking, "The tiger is eating me."
Professor Durckheim: Yes, but this is a very good example, because the dream of the tiger comes very often. And it always means that you are pursued by some of your inner instincts, yourself. So you discover in the image of the tiger something which is not right in yourself.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that experience is also material.
Professor Durckheim: Yes, exactly.
Prabhupāda: That is not spiritual experience. That experience is going on continually so long we are materially attached. Because in the material world we are constantly changing our body. Your experience in childhood is different from the experience at this time. So as we are changing our body, we are getting different experiences, and all those experiences are photographed within the mind. And they sometimes come out and make an intermixture, and we see dream and so many contradictory things. This is going on, mental speculation. That is hovering on the mental plane. That is not spiritual plane. That, it is stated:
- indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
- indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
- manasas tu parā buddhir
- buddhes tu yaḥ parataḥ saḥ
- (BG 3.42)
So we have to transcend the platform of intelligence also. Then we come to the platform of spiritual realization. That is instructed in the Bhagavad-gītā. (aside) What happened to your eyes?
Devotee: I was cut.
Devotee: I was in an automobile accident.
Haṁsadūta: But he's all right.
Prabhupāda: Others also?
Haṁsadūta: No it's. It's just a cut here.
Prabhupāda: So our real business is how to become free from all these designations. Yes. Then we come to real consciousness. That real consciousness is that, "I am eternal. God is eternal. I am part and parcel of God. My duty is to serve God. And now I am serving also. I am not free from service, but I am serving under designation." Just like you went to fight because you designated yourself that, "I am German." This is an example that, "I must fight, give service to my country." Somebody is thinking, "Give service to my community" or "to my family." Or if there is nobody else, at least "to my dog." So this is going on. So we have to close all these designations and become pure and serve God. And that is self-realization.
- tat-paratvena nirmalam
- hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
- sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
Just like the Arjuna. Arjuna was put into the ba . . . you have read Bhagavad-gītā, I think, this Bhagavad-gītā?
Professor Durckheim: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So he was thinking in terms of designation that, "I am . . . I belong to the same family. The other side, they are my cousin-brothers. They belong to the same family. So why shall I fight? Let them enjoy." From material point of view it is very good man. But Kṛṣṇa condemned him. Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādān (BG 2.11): "You are talking very high words, but you are fool number one." That is the first thing, because he was talking on the platform of this bodily concept of life. But after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, when he understood that, "I am not this body; I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. My duty is to obey the orders of Kṛṣṇa," then he fought. Superficially, he remained the same soldier. But in the beginning he was a soldier for his designation of this body, and later on, he became a soldier to carry out the order of the Supreme. That is the difference. So when we act to carry out the orders of the Supreme, that is self-realization, not for this body.
Professor Durckheim: No.There is only one way to world peace: through self-realization of those who are responsible.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Self-realization, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that one should understand that, "I am not enjoyer. Nobody is enjoyer." That is false. They are trying, endeavor, for enjoying this world, and that is false. Real enjoyer is the Supreme Lord. We are trying to occupy this land, that land. "This is Germany," "This is England," "This is France," "This is India," "This is my land, worshipable. Land is worshipable. It is my land." But he should know that no land belongs to us. Everything belongs to God. And this is a fact. The land is not created by us. The ocean is not created by us. Then why should we claim, "This is German ocean" and "This is English ocean"? This is all false imagination. So when it comes to this understanding that, "Nothing belongs to us . . ." The United Nation, they are fighting for the last twenty years, but they are fighting on the false ground, because everyone is thinking, "This land is mine. I must protect it." So they have no self-realization, and there is no peace.
Professor Durckheim: As soon two, two men who are realized, there is no war. There is a very wonderful story. When the Emperor of Japan took over the leadership again after having been for six hundred years only the high priest, now he wanted to be again the emperor. And he was submitting one dainu after the other one. Only one resisted, in Tokyo. General of Tokyo did not submit to the emperor and didn't allow anybody to come in to negotiate. So the emperor was very troubled. He said: "Should I burn down Tokyo? I wouldn't like to do it." And then his young sword(?) master asked him—he was a realized man—"Do you permit me to just ride in this town and see the great general?" And he said: "Yes, you know the guards do not permit." "Let me do." He sat on horseback and just rode through. The guards, like this, let him pass. He announced himself to the great general. General said: "Yes, with him I am going to talk." And the general himself, being a self-realized man, said: "Well, all right." In twenty minutes things were in order, and they submitted gently, and without a single shot, peace was established. Because two men of a high level of self-realization met.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So that is our point, that if we understand, every one of us realize, that we are all servant of God or sons of God, that everything belongs to God, so we can use our father's property for our maintenance as much as we require, not more than that. So if we think like that, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and there will be no more war, everything peaceful.
Professor Durckheim: In my work I always feel the great difficulty again and again, sir, and is always there. It's a great difference to believe that you are the son of God and to feel it and to experience it. As long it's only a belief, it's well-meaning doing. How to prepare the conditions by which disciples might feel it? That's all of my daily work.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like . . . it is very simple thing. Just like if I say . . . suppose you have not seen your father—you are posthumous child—but you must believe that there is father. Without father there is no possibility of my existence. That is belief. And in the Christian . . .
Professor Durckheim: Experience it.
Prabhupāda: This is experience. The Christian people, they go to church: "O God, give us our daily . . . father, give us our daily bread." So there is the supreme father. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. (aside:) Find out this:
- sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
- sambhavanti mūrtayo yāḥ
- tāsāṁ mahad yonir brahma
- ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
- (BG 14.4)
Kṛṣṇa says, God says: "I am the seed-giving father of all living entities in different forms of life."
Professor Durckheim: There is one difficulty in the Western part of the world which might not be so great in the Eastern part. If . . . I realize in Japan, when they talk about father and mother, especially also mother, it was all something to be loved, to be grateful, to submit. In our countries now, the father is generally the one who does not understand anymore his son, and the son has to get rid of his body father in order to be able to realize himself. So very often the main obstacle in our youth is the image of mother and father, because they have never understood their children. So the word father for many people in the Western part of the world . . .
Professor Durckheim: Is a misunder . . . is something not very agreeable. It's all the authority like this, the not understanding, the not loving, the authority. You see? There are so many fathers who say in their family, "I don't know what you are talking about freedom. In my house everybody can do what I like." So they are very much under this spell today. So I just say this because it's very funny also in this trend of development of religion of today. I have to very much . . .
Prabhupāda: It is not religion; it is fact. It is not . . . religion is sometimes explained as sentiment, but this is fact, that father and son . . . without father there is no existence of son, and without son there is no meaning of father. This is science. This is not religion. Yes. This is science. As soon as you speak of father means he must have a son. Or more son. And as soon as a son, he must have a father. So this is a question of "must," not sentiment.
Professor Durckheim: It is one of the great phrases of the Gospel of St. John which the church forgot, that Christ always says: "I am the son of God, and you are my brother. You are sons of God just as I am."
Prabhupāda: Yes. But they do not agree now. Just see. Everyone is son. Now we say that . . . the Christians, so-called Christians, are so ignorant, as soon as you say: "Everyone is son," they rebel, "No. Christ is the only son." And you say that Christ said that, "I am the son, and you are also sons." This is the fact. Kṛṣṇa says that, "All living entities are My sons." That is the fact. He is the supreme father. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ. (aside) Read that śloka.
- sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
- mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
- tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
- ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
- (BG 14.4)
"It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father."
Prabhupāda: Just see.
Professor Durckheim: Wonderful.
Prabhupāda: Material nature is the mother. Material nature gives the body. But the soul is part and parcel of God. A soul is given, impregnated, in the material nature, and they come out in so many species of life. How easily it is explained. So self-realization we explain that samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, equality to all living entities. But because they have no spiritual knowledge, they think that humanitarian work means to give all facilities to the human being, not to the animals. We are talking of nationalism. "National" means anyone who has taken birth in that land. That is the definition of national. But they are taking care of the human being who has taken birth in that land, but poor animals, they are being slaughtered. This is their nationalism. So all . . . everything is going wrong account of wrong conception of life. And that wrong conception of life is that, "I am this body." But when we understand that, "I am not this body, I am the active principle within this body," then this misconception will go out. That is the beginning of spiritual realization, or self-realization.
Professor Durckheim: And this understanding has to be an experience.
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is experienced, but on account of his foolishness he is thinking otherwise. He knows that, "I am not this body. I am now in this body of an old man, but I was not in this body, say, fifty years ago. Therefore I am not this body, that body or this body. I am different from the body." This is very easy experience. I am existing. I understand that I existed in a baby's body, I existed in a child's body, boy's body. So I have now changed so many bodies. Therefore I am not this body. Just like you dress. You are now in black coat, and next moment you can be in other color. But you are not this coat; you have changed the coat. Similarly, I have changed the body, but I am not this body. This is self-realization. First of all let me know that, "I am not this body, I am living within this body." You are not this coat. If I ask you, "Mr. Black Coat" that is my foolishness. You are neither black coat or white coat. And that is self-realization.
Professor Durckheim: And yet isn't there difficulty? You can already have understood very well that you are not the body, but as long, for instance, as you have still fear of death, you didn't understand by experience. As soon as you understood by experience, you have no fear of death because you know that you can't die.
Prabhupāda: So experience is received by higher knowledge. Experience means higher knowledge. Just like a child . . .
Professor Durckheim: Experience means . . .?
Prabhupāda: Higher knowledge. Higher knowledge.
Professor Durckheim: As soon as you have the experience, you get the higher knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So the more you are highly elevated in knowledge, your experience is perfect.
Professor Durckheim: I would like to say the other way around: As more as you are advanced in experience, the more you have higher knowledge.
Prabhupāda: But experience, it may be slow. But higher knowledge you can get immediately.
Professor Durckheim: Yes. Like flash.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like Kṛṣṇa says . . .
Professor Durckheim: When it's awakening.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa says that you are not this body. So instead of my experiencing for years and years that, "I am not this body," we take the knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the perfect, and my experience is now received.
Professor Durckheim: Yes, I understand.
Prabhupāda: Therefore Vedic instruction is tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). In order to get first-class experience of the perfection of life, you must approach guru. That is the Vedic injunction. Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. Now, Who is guru? Whom shall I approach? So the next line explains that approach such guru, śrotriyam, who has heard from his guru perfectly, that guru. Who had no chance of hearing from perfect guru, he is not guru. This is called guru-paramparā, disciplic succession. I hear from a perfect person, and I distribute the knowledge the same way, without any change. So Kṛṣṇa gives us knowledge in the Bhagavad-gītā. We are distributing the same knowledge. It is not by our . . . (aside) Water is not required. Water I don't want. There is water. Yes.
So I am always inexperienced, because my power of understanding is very little. Therefore I must get experience from a person who is perfect. Then my experience is perfect. Just like a child does not know what is this. He asks his father, "What is this, father?" Father says, "My dear child, it is microphone." The child knows it, "microphone." That knowledge is perfect, although his capacity is imperfect. A child is imperfect, but because he gets the knowledge from the perfect father who knows what it is, when he speaks "a microphone," he speaks rightly. This is perfect process of knowledge. You approach the perfect person and get knowledge, and that is your perfect experience. Personally, I may be, you may be not perfect. But because I get the knowledge from the perfect, my knowledge is perfect. This is our process.
We are getting knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the most perfect. Or you get knowledge from Jesus Christ, that is also perfect, because the source is perfect. I am taking knowledge from God, and you are taking the knowledge from the son of God, who has come directly from Him, the same. So . . . but we have to receive knowledge from the perfect not by ascending process, experiencing failure, experiencing failure, experiencing failure. Not like that. That will take long time. But if you actually want to be perfect, just approach the perfect, take knowledge from him, and you become perfect. That is the injunction. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). This is . . . evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. (aside) Find out this verse, Fourth Chapter.
- evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
- imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
- sa kāleneha mahatā
- yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
- (BG 4.2)
"This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science, as it is, appears to be lost."
Prabhupāda: That's it.
Professor Durckheim: Absolutely, that's it. But I realize that since about twenty, thirty years there is a big awakening in the Western part of the world. Science and the technique coming out of science, which was invented to liberate the human being, right do exactly the contrary. People become more and more slaves of that organization which they created for their freedom.
Prabhupāda: (chuckles) Yes.
Professor Durckheim: You see? And today we realize the only thing, the only possibility not to be crushed, is to adapt themselves to the technical world, and in adapting themselves to the technical world, they become themselves little wheels of the big machine and stop to be human beings.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Professor Durckheim: Now this is going so far today that now suddenly something is awakening. They have said no. And this kind of rebellion in our Western, as you know better than I do, in our Western mankind . . . and they say: "Well, after all . . ." You see, science, they say: "Whatever you are feeling here, it is only subjective. The only thing which counts are the objects." Now, today, mankind has awakened and said: "No, I am not subjected. I am a subject. I am a person. So you are quite right to eliminate me if you want to make an atomic bomb or I don't know what, a technical thing. But you want to guide me, you have to do away with scientist's spectacles and look at me with the eyes of the real self. Otherwise you won't see me." So this is the turning point today where we are.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But this is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam five thousand years ago. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31): "These rascals, they do not know what is the aim of life."
Professor Durckheim: No, nothing.
Prabhupāda: Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatim. Their aim of life is God realization, but they do not know that. And why they do not know that? Bahir-artha-māninaḥ: "They are thinking by these external features of the material nature they will be happy." That is very, quite visible in the Western countries. They are thinking that by constructing big, big, high skyscraper building their civilization is advancing, or machine, or technology. But they do not know this is not the aim of life. Real aim of life—to understand God. And na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā. Durāśayā means something, utopian hope, which will be never fulfilled. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Piling up simply bricks and stone, they are thinking, "In this way we shall be happy." That is durāśayā. That is never to be fulfilled. And then how this society is being led? Andha. The leader is a blind man. The so-called scientists, technologists, philosophers, others, they do not know what is the aim of life. He is a blind man, and he is trying to lead other blind men. This is the position. So if a blind man tries to lead other blind men, what benefit they will get? Because they do not know what is the . . .
Professor Durckheim: They won't move at all, blind . . .
Prabhupāda: No. Therefore they are being frustrated.
Professor Durckheim: There is a change today. The other day, a little while ago, I gave a conference. There were about a thousand doctors, physical medical doctors and psychotherapists assembled, and I told them, "Today be careful. There are two sufferings in the world. The one suffering is suffering because of lack of being efficient in the world. And they are going to look for the medical doctor or the psychotherapist in order to repair them, to repair their machine in order to be efficient. But there is another suffering, the suffering of not being one with the divine self in ourselves. And this is something quite different. Then you doctors have to be quiet and to discover in yourself something like a guru who answers this question, which has nothing to do with efficiency in the world." Oh, they were very, you see, became nervous about this question.
Prabhupāda: Now, the efficiency, just like medical treatment. If you know what is the end . . . Āyurvedic treatment it is called nidāna, nidāna, or diagnosis. First of all, before treating a patient you first of all diagnose what is the disease. Then you can give the proper medicine. But these people do not know how to diagnose. The diagnosis is that they must realize the Supreme. That is the disease. Because they have forgotten the Supreme, they are suffering. The symptoms are different. But they are treating only for the symptoms, not for the root cause. And this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to treat the patient from the root cause. They have forgotten God. Let them remember God. Then everything will come into . . .
Professor Durckheim: There is no disease of the human being which the animal has not, which has not this source. Any kind of human malady and disease which is reserved to the human being has always this source of being separated from the innermost reality.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not only that. The other than . . . lower animals—birds, beast and other—they have no problem. And we have created so many problems. They have no eating problem. Thousands and thousands of sparrows are here. They have no problem of eating. They are very nicely jumping, flying, eating.
Professor Durckheim: And eating each other without complex.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And they have problem. They are killing only. The human society, they should be advanced so much that even the birds, they have nothing to kill for their eating. They have got sufficient food. And we are advanced human being, we are killing for eating instead of God giving us so much food, enough food. And they are still puffed up with advanced civilization. They have no even human feeling. These poor cows, they are giving us milk, the most nutritious food, and we can prepare so many nice, nutritious foodstuff. So let them live. And if I want to eat at all, let it die; then we shall eat. Why kill it? So they have no common sense even. And they are leading the sinful life; still, they are very much proud of their civilization. And they are suffering periodical wars—war number one, war number two, war number three. This number will increase. Not only . . . without war, thousands of children are being killed within the womb. This is going on. If you kill, then you be killed. This is nature's reaction. You will be killed within the womb. You will never see the sunlight. Again you die, again enter another womb and again be killed. This has increased in modern society. Even the father, mother does not want to see the child living, "Kill him." And a few days, few years after, we shall kill each other.
So they are not afraid of any sinful life. You see? The nature will not tolerate. Kṛṣṇa will not tolerate. God will not tolerate, because God claims, "I am the father of everyone." So suppose if a very intelligent son kills another son of the father, he is not intelligent, will the father be very happy? A father is father for the intelligent son and the fool son. But if the intelligent son thinks that, "The fool son is useless. Let me kill him," the father will not be satisfied. So God is the supreme father, and He will never tolerate that, "Because you are intelligent, you are allowed to kill another unintelligent living being." No. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā (ISO 1): "Whatever foodstuff I have given to you, you eat then, live, and be God conscious." The animals, they are not coming to eat your foodstuff, your fruits. They are, rather, producing milk not for drinking themselves. They are giving you, and you have no obligation? The milk produced by the cows, it is taken by the human being. They do not drink it. So they are giving milk.
And after death, you are taking their skin. So every way they are serving. The stool, cow dung, we have stacked here. I have seen. They are also fertilizer. In so many ways they are giving you service, and you are killing the poor animal. What is the human civilization? Therefore Lord Buddha wanted to stop animal killing first. When there was too much animal killing, the incarnation of Lord Buddha was there to stop animal killing. Buddhism, there is no animal killing, although they are now killing animals. But originally Buddha religion means nonviolence. Also Lord Christ also said: "Thou shall not kill." And Kṛṣṇa says ahiṁsā. So in no religion unnecessary killing of animal is allowed. Even in Muhammadans, they are also . . . Kurvāni. Kurvāni means they can kill animals once in a year in the mosque. So everywhere animal killing is restricted.
Professor Durckheim: May I put one question to this? How do we know that the plant, the flowers and so on do not suffer when we take them away?
Prabhupāda: No, they have also sensation. They have sensation when you pluck it. That is proved by scientist . . .
Professor Durckheim: That's what I mean.
Prabhupāda: . . . Dr. Jagadish Chandra Bose. The trees have got sensation.
Professor Durckheim: So that's what I mean. So if we kill plant or tree . . .
Prabhupāda: No, we don't kill. You take the fruits.
Professor Durckheim: We cut it.
Prabhupāda: Yes, cutting is not allowed unless it is absolutely necessary.
Professor Durckheim: For eating vegetables, for instance, you need it.
Prabhupāda: Yes. No, that is the law of nature, that every living being is eating another living being. That is stated in the Vedic śāstra:
- ahastāni sahastānām
- apadāni catuṣ-padām
- nunam mahatāṁ tatra
- jīvo jīvasya jīvanam
- (SB 1.13.47)
That "Those who have no hands"—that means animals—"they are food for the animal who has got hands. And those who have no legs, they are food for the four-legged." Just like grass has no leg, but it is a food for the cows and the goats. Apadāni catuṣ-padām, nunam mahatām tatra, "Then one who is powerful, very powerful . . ." Just like tiger, he jumps over another animal. So because the other animal is weak and this animal is strong, so in this way the feeding is going on, one living being for the other. But when you come to the . . . that is nature. The tiger will never eat grass. But we human being, we eat grass, goat, cows and everything. Because advanced, so-called advanced.
But our foodstuff is to accept the remnants of foodstuff which is eaten by Kṛṣṇa. That is our philosophy. Kṛṣṇa-prasāda. Just like in this temple, we don't eat anything. Neither we eat grass, neither we eat animals. We eat kṛṣṇa-prasāda. So Kṛṣṇa says that, "You give Me these foodstuff." Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). So we are not eating on the material platform. We are eating on the spiritual platform. Because we are eating, if there is anything sinful, that is Kṛṣṇa's. We are taking His remnants of foodstuff.
So this is our philosophy. We don't advocate vegetarianism or nonvegetarianism. We advocate, "Eat Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, the remnants of foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa." This is our philosophy. And apart from this philosophy, because one living entity is food for another living entity, it does not mean that I shall eat my children also. There is discretion, that human being, they should offer these fruits, vegetables, milk as it is prescribed in the śāstra, to God, Kṛṣṇa, and take. That is human civilization. Not for the satisfaction of the tongue we have to maintain big, big slaughterhouse and eat them. No, that is not human civilization. The main business of the human society is to understand God, and as soon as he understands God, he understands that every living entity is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Then how we can eat? That because Kṛṣṇa eats, Kṛṣṇa allows, then we eat. So responsibility is Kṛṣṇa's. This is our philosophy. Yes.
Haṁsadūta: There are many guests downstairs, some professors. We were wondering if you would like to lecture this evening.
Prabhupāda: No, let them come here. (break) We are publishing all these books, what is spoken by Kṛṣṇa or His representative. We don't speculate, because already there is so much profound knowledge given by Kṛṣṇa and His representative. There is no necessity of researching. If we simply take advantage of things which are already there, we become perfect.
Professor Durckheim: I see.
Prabhupāda: I have published about fourteen books like this.
Professor Durckheim: Incredible. Incredible. What a thing!
Prabhupāda: (guests enter) Hare Kṛṣṇa. You can put this side.
German devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, these gentlemen are professors from the Theological Philosophical University. And this is Doctor Saher. He is the leader of the Society of Yoga and Integral Philosophical Studies in Germany.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is very fortunate to see so many big men at a time. (laughter and indistinct background comments) So we were also talking to this doctor about this philosophy, how human civilization should be conducted. (devotee translates into German for guests) I was explaining to Professor that at the present moment . . . not at the present moment; always in this material world, we do not know what is the goal of life. We have got different philosophies, different mode of life, because we do not know what is the goal of life. If the goal of life is . . . (break) . . . then everything is solved. Now it is very good fortune that you are all present. What is the goal of life? That is my submission. Human life is there, human intelligence is there. So what is the goal of life to achieve? The goal of life cannot be different. That is one. That is, we take from Vedic literature, this goal of life is to understand what is God. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). That is one. (aside) You serve it out.
So we are missing the point, that we do not know what is the goal of life. Different persons, different philosophers, they have got different proposition of the goal of life. Similarly, different politician also. But we think the goal of life is one: to understand God. Then everything is solved. Self-realization. (pause) And we are writing all these books. These books will be finished in eighty volumes. And already we have published fourteen volumes only. And small books also, many, about two dozens. But our only writing is the goal of life: Kṛṣṇa.
Professor Durckheim: May I come back once to my question, Master, the relationship between belief and experience? Because this is a great question for us today, especially also in the religious circles, and theologians, the priests and the monks.
Prabhupāda: No, believe the authority. That is the . . . that is better than experience.
Professor Durckheim: Yes. And that is what in our country is . . . I have very much to do with people who are living in monasteries or churches and so on.
Prabhupāda: (aside) Please come here so that he'll not be disturbed. You come here. Belief . . .
Professor Durckheim: They realize that now belief, which is not faith, has to be, well, renewed by real experiences. And, you see, we have so many priests today who say they can't pray anymore. They lost the connection because of so much formalism and so much traditional beliefs. And they are looking for a new source and new beginning in their hearts. And they don't believe what you tell them; they just want to feel it, to experience it. And there is a big change today in this direction, and there is a . . . big movements. You see all these trends today to learn meditation. It's only one longing to feel something and not only to believe. (to guest) That is the situation now very much in Germany, isn't it so?
Dr. P. J. Saher: Yes, it is.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So thing is that . . . first thing is that you have to believe, but whom to believe? If the person whom I believe, if he is perfect, then my belief is perfect. And if I believe a person who is not trustworthy, then there is no meaning of this belief. Therefore we have to find out the person or the statement which are to believe. That is accepted in the Vedic culture, that the knowledge in the Vedas, that is perfect. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). If one is perfect in Vedic knowledge—Veda, Veda means knowledge, perfect knowledge—so that belief is perfect. Just like we are believing Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the perfect, the supreme perfect. So far we Indians are concerned, there are ācāryas, just like Śaṅkarācārya, Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya. Actually, these ācāryas are controlling the Indian culture. So all of them are unanimous to believe Kṛṣṇa, the supreme perfect person.
Professor Durckheim: May I ask a question, Master? You see, the belief, the understanding, is always depending on the level of the one who wants to understand, and that's the level of our quite natural, normal mind of the usual general person. And there is another level, where certain experiences open the door to some deeper consciousness. And, as you know, one of the key words of the Christian religion is, in the Gospels, that you have to turn around, to make annoia, to pierce through a certain skin to get quite another level.
Professor Durckheim: And from this level the heaven opens to those who didn't understand what the heaven means. They thought it was behind the clouds. You see, there is a natural way to look at God, and this natural way to look at God is lost as soon as people go through the rational mind. And then there is no other way out but to have a personal, initiated experience. We talk about initiation when people are capable to go through a certain death and to discover another level, and only . . . and so, the great wisdom which you are talking about, I am sure that it also touches people on two levels. There is the ordinary man, and he might believe, but there is a deeper level, where things start to change yourself, to transform yourself in deeper experiences.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is . . . that is the beginning of instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā. (indistinct background comments) The beginning of knowledge . . .
German lady: Excuse me. Would you please explain for some people who don't speak English here, in German, because we don't know all of your words?
Professor Durckheim: Yes, but I didn't want to interrupt the Master.
Prabhupāda: No. I have no objection if somebody translates into German.
Haṁsadūta: Vedavyāsa can translate. (German)
Professor Durckheim: Do you permit me to repeat it in German? For those who are present here?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes.
Professor Durckheim: (German) (break)
Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa begins the first understanding:
- dehino 'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
Yes. What is the translation?
Satsvarūpa: "As the embodied soul continually passes in this body from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."
Prabhupāda: And now . . .
Haṁsadūta: (to devotee) You want to translate? Translate.
(devotee translates into German from this point)
Prabhupāda: Yes, translate. This is the basic principle of knowledge that, "I am not this body, I am the active principle within this body." Then further knowledge can be understood. This is the beginning of knowledge that, "I am not this . . ." At the present moment everything . . . that I was explaining to the professor, that we are accepting this body as self, and self-interest means this bodily interest.
(aside) Explain this. (German translation) So the whole trouble is on the platform of this misconception that, "I am this body." Therefore Kṛṣṇa begins from this platform—what is knowledge? First of all one must know that, "I am not this body." When he understands this basic principle of knowledge, then further knowledge can be advanced. That is explained very nicely step by step in this book, Bhagavad-gītā.
Professor Durckheim: May I ask a question? If you give us this wisdom, don't you meet now in the Western world an opposition from the Christian side, where the key word is that this faith becomes a body, this faith becomes flesh?
Prabhupāda: That's all right. We accept it.
Professor Durckheim: The incarnation. How do you understand incarnation? (repeats in German)
Prabhupāda: Now, this question, that spirit develops the skin, you said?
Professor Durckheim: Spirit? You see I have very often . . . I saw the difference.
Haṁsadūta: The spirit becomes the flesh.
Professor Durckheim: The spirit becomes flesh.
Prabhupāda: That's it. So this we can experience, that as soon as the spirit is entered into the womb of the mother, they develops skin, and the child develops body. So this is very practical, that first of all, not that simply by sexual intercourse a child is born. Then every time sexual intercourse would have caused pregnancy. No. Unless the spirit soul is there, there is no question of developing body. Therefore it is natural that the spirit soul creates this flesh and bone and other things and develops into body. There is no difficulty to understand it.
Dr. P. J. Saher: Yes, but I think the professor was asking how in our time in the case of a word, as far as spirit becoming flesh, not in the face of an ordinary child. (to professor) I think I have understood your point?
Professor Durckheim: Yes, in principle. You see sometimes, it seems to me—I might be wrong—that there is one difference between Eastern wisdom and Christian way to think, that whereas in the Eastern way, we have to become rid of our body, to be liberate from our body, whereas Christian sense means to realize the spirit within the body. (repeats in German)
Prabhupāda: Now, what is our suffering?
Professor Durckheim: I am sure it can be reconciled, but I am interested to know how do you see this question.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. That everyone can understand. It is very easy. Now, just like we have already heard from Bhagavad-gītā that I am the spirit, I am within this body. So my sufferings are on account of this body. This is a fact. Because I have entered into this body, material body, there are my sufferings. Therefore my business should be how to get out of this body. Is it clear or not?
Professor Durckheim: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So this incarnation means I am spirit soul, I have entered this body. Now I can, next life, I can enter into another body. It may be dog's body, it may be cat's body or it may be king's body. So the standard of suffering is there either in the king's body or in the dog's body. And the standard of sufferings is enunciated: birth, death, old age and disease. These are our sufferings. So in order to get out of these four kinds of sufferings—there are many kinds; these are the main kinds—we have to get out of this body. That is the problem.
Professor Durckheim: Through many lives.
Prabhupāda: Many life or this life. In this life you understand that, "My sufferings are due to this body. Then how to get out of this body?" If you acquire this knowledge, you know the tricks, then you get immediately.
Professor Durckheim: May I say that way, that you say, if you, for instance, or I want to go out of this body, it doesn't mean that I will have to kill my body, but to realize that my spirit is independent from my body.
Prabhupāda: No, no. There is no question of killing. You be killed or not killed, you have to go out of this body and accept another body. That is nature's law. That you cannot avoid. It is not necessarily that first of all you have to be killed. No.
Professor Durckheim: No. Certainly not. But I have tried to become independent from my body.
Prabhupāda: Yes, you can become.
Professor Durckheim: (translates question into German)
German lady: Have you got some points in common with the Christian?
Professor Durckheim: Lady says that there are some common points with the Christians, who also certainly want to become independent from this body, which wants material life only.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It doesn't matter whether it is Christianity or Hinduism or Muslim or . . . knowledge is knowledge. Wherever knowledge is available, you must pick up. So knowledge . . .
Vedavyāsa: I think I should translate, Prabhupāda. (German)
Prabhupāda: Now let us explain, that knowledge has no color. Knowledge is knowledge. It doesn't matter whether Christianism or Hinduism or Muhammadan. Now, this is a knowledge, that every living entity is imprisoned within this body. This knowledge is equally good for Hindus, Muslim, Christian or everyone. There is no question of Christianism or Hinduism. The soul is imprisoned within this body, and the problem is birth, death, old age and disease on account of this body. But we want to live eternally, we want full knowledge, we want full blissfulness. To attain that goal of life, we must get out of this body. This is the process.
Professor Durckheim: (translates) (break)
Vedavyāsa: (translating question) . . . stress on this point, that we are existing in a body but we should accept our existence as human being.
Prabhupāda: Existence as human being you want? So do you think human being is existing in this body is perfect? (Vedavyāsa translates questions and answers from this point)
Dr. P. J. Saher: No, I don't say it is perfect. (German)
Vedavyāsa: So he says yes, he accepts that our life now is not perfect, that we are conditioned. But he says we shouldn't construct an ideal human being, but we should accept our life as it is now.
Prabhupāda: No, no. The thing is that you are not perfect. Therefore the ideal should be how to become perfect.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Vedavyāsa: So he asks, "How to become perfect: as human being or as spirit?" Because he sees now only human beings. So this is the problem, how to become perfect as human being, not as spirit.
Prabhupāda: Why you are sticking to human being although it is imperfect? Why you are sticking to human being?
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Prabhupāda: You are accepting this human being is not perfect, and still, why you are sticking to this imperfect life? Now, in what way you like this human form of body? What is the purpose?
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Vedavyāsa: So he says his body is just an instrument of communication, and through this body he can communicate with other people.
Prabhupāda: So this is also possible by the birds and beasts. They also talk, "Kichu, kichu, kichu, kichu."
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Vedavyāsa: He thinks there's a great difference between the talking of birds and bees and our talking.
Prabhupāda: Why difference? They are talking in their community; you are talking in your community.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Haṁsadūta: No, he has said a very good point. He said there is a difference, because an animal has no self-consciousness. He does not understand what he is in essence.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the real point.
Dr. P. J. Saher: I communicate myself, but . . .
Prabhupāda: That is the real point, that you can try to understand what you are. The birds and beasts, they cannot understand. That is the difference. So our human effort should be utilized for that realization, not to act like birds and beasts. Therefore the Brahma-sūtra, Vedānta-sūtra, instructs in the beginning, athāto brahma jijñāsā: "This life is meant for inquiring about the supreme spirit, or Absolute Truth." That is the aim of this life, not like birds and beasts, simply talking and eating and sleeping, but extra responsibility, extra intelligence is there to understand the Absolute Truth. (aside) You take the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto, first part, yes. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ.
Satsvarūpa: It's not here. First part is not here.
Prabhupāda: No. First of all find out from the index this verse, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ.
Prabhupāda: No. First of all find out from the index this verse, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ. Kāmasya nendriya-prītir lābho jīveta yāvatā, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā yaś . . . Kāmasya nendriya-prītiḥ (SB 1.2.10). Have you found?
Satsvarūpa: Yes, but I . . . it's two. Chapter Two, verse 10. But the verse is not here. It is in the first volume. That book is not here.
Devotee: Someone is bringing.
Prabhupāda: So he has gone?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is explained, that how this human form of life should be utilized, these necessities of life, not for to complete the necessities. Necessities of life, they are already supplied by God. Just like the birds and beasts, they are getting their necessities of life. They have no organization or no business, no factory, but they are getting their necessities of life. So Bhāgavata says: "This is not the problem, to acquire only the necessities of life. The only business is to inquire about the Absolute Truth. That is human life." (aside) Read this verse.
- kāmasya nendriya-prītir
- lābho jīveta yāvatā
- jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā
- nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ
- (SB 1.2.10)
Translation: "Life's desires should never be aimed at gratifying the senses. One should desire to live only because human life enables one to inquire about the Absolute Truth. This should be the goal of all works." (Vedavyāsa translates into German)
Prabhupāda: Te . . . what is that? Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā: inquiring about the Absolute Truth, that is the only business of human being.
Professor Durckheim: Now may I put a question? Just I think there is one way to reconcile. This was given just now as a Christian view, or of the other side, as far as the body is concerned, because I think there are three consciousness, conscience of body. The one looks only at health, the second one only of beauty, but the third one, we are never talking about, has to look to transparence of our body consciousness, to become transparent in a way that in our body and through our body we might look for the Absolute Truth.
Professor Durckheim: That this goes together. (translates into German)
Prabhupāda: Yes. So the thing is that if my life is based on false conception that, "I am this body," so the bodily appreciation of beauty or any other thing, that is also false. That is also false. If I am not this body, then anything conceived in relation with this body, that is false.
Professor Durckheim: (German)
Vedavyāsa: He says that usually we see the body in connection with beauty or health. But there is another possibility, to use the body as a transparent medium to conceive the Absolute Truth.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is explained here, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. That means with this body you should not waste your time like the birds and beasts, but utilize it for inquiring about the Absolute Truth. That is reality.
Dr. P. J. Saher: Not only to the Absolute Truth, but to communicate together. Think of the smiling of a child, its first communication between man. It's not only the body as instrument for the eternal truth, but under, among us.
Prabhupāda: So that you have to learn, how with this body you can utilize your energy to understand the Absolute Truth and reestablish your relationship with the Absolute Truth.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Vedavyāsa: So he asks, is it a waste of our energy if we try to do good for others, if we smile and be kind . . .
Prabhupāda: But you cannot do good to others, because you do not know what is good. (laughs) You are thinking of good in terms of your body, but body is false; therefore your conception of goodness is also false.
Dr. P. J. Saher: I cannot accept that the body is false.
Prabhupāda: No, no. I withdraw that word "false." But it is not you. It is false in this sense, that you are accepting this body yourself, but that you are not. Just like . . .
Dr. P. J. Saher: I think so. I live my identity with the body.
Prabhupāda: With the body. But the body is false, false in this sense, that you are not this body.
Dr. P. J. Saher: I am only . . .
Prabhupāda: You are simply . . . just like I am occupying this apartment, but I am not this apartment; I am different from this apartment. This is understanding. So if you take interest of the apartment and you forget yourself, that is false. If I simply decorate this body, as the apartment, and I don't eat myself, then what is the . . . (chuckles) This is false attempt, that we are trying . . . this is called . . . in the Bhāgavata it is said that aprāṇasya hi dehasya mandanaṁ loka-rañjanam. Now, this body, just you or I, everyone, we are nicely dressed. But if the life is gone from the body, if you dress the body, is that very good intelligence? You have understood? That I am dressing . . . so long my life is there, I am dressing very nicely this body, but when the body is dead, if you dress the body or somebody or your relative dresses nicely, it is very good intelligence?
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German) (break)
Vedavyāsa: . . . example of this comparison with a room and the body is not very good because, he says . . .
Prabhupāda: But because he does not know that he is not this body.
Vedavyāsa: Yes, but he says because if we go out of the room, the room remains as it is, but if we go out of the body, the body doesn't remain. So he says there must be an intimate connection between the soul and the body.
Prabhupāda: No, "remains" means in the same way. Just like if I leave this room and it remains here, in a few years' time it will be destroyed. Similarly, if you leave this body, in a few hours . . . it is a question of hours and years. (break)
Vedavyāsa: . . . saying that this body is . . . the soul is eminent.
Prabhupāda: The soul is different from the body.
Vedavyāsa: Yes, but at the same time, he says there must be a very intimate connection of . . . actually a oneness of body and soul. That is what is now.
Prabhupāda: No, no.
Dr. P. J. Saher: As long as we are alive.
Vedavyāsa: "As long as we are alive we are . . ."
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is not oneness. Just like this room is important so long I am living. Otherwise it has no importance. (break) . . . soul is gone from the body, even the body is very dear, I throw it away.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Vedavyāsa: He doesn't want to separate.
Prabhupāda: But you must separate. (laughter) As soon as your death comes, your body will be kicked out by your relatives.
Professor Durckheim: I think the difference is now just one, that Sir . . . (indistinct) . . . spoke about our lifetime, that during our lifetime there is an intimate unity between life and soul, as we experience it, and he now has no doubt that the soul is something different of the body, and when soul goes out, there is no life anymore. (German)
Professor Porsch: May I please add one thing. Perhaps it makes a difference if the person thinks, "I am the spirit. I have a body," or he thinks, "I am a body, and I possess a soul." That is an important point.
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. That is his mistake, that he is body and he possesses soul. But not that. He is soul; he is covered by this body. Another example: Just like your coat. So long you use it, it is important. And if you don't use it, it has no importance. But if he takes coat is very important . . . important . . . it is important, so long you use it. But if you don't use it—it is torn—you throw it away. You take another coat.
Professor Porsch: Can we not also say that self and not-self must separate, either in death involuntarily, or through destiny.
Prabhupāda: Must separate. Must separate.
Professor Porsch: Either through death or destiny.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is called death. You separate from this body; you accept another body. This period is called death. So the body which you occupied previously, that is false now. Now the body which you have occupied now, that is important now. So you are giving stress on the body, which I am changing after few years. That is the problem, misunderstanding.
Professor Durckheim: (German) I think it would be important for us all to know what you would say to the question, "How to realize the last truth, and what do you mean by 'realize the eternal truth'?" (German)
Dr. P. J. Saher: I would like very much of . . . (German) (break)
Vedavyāsa: He said that in the Bible it is said that our aim should be to know the father.
Dr. P. J. Saher: Not only the aim, but the life consists in this, to know the father, God, by this . . . by His son.
Professor Durckheim: Real life consists . . . (indistinct) . . . father by his son. That's a saying of the Gospels. That is exactly what you say, that real life, real eternal life, means nothing but to recognize the father in the son.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is real business. And we have created so many unnecessary, superfluous business. We have set aside the real business, to know the father. And that is the mistake of this civilization.
Dr. P. J. Saher: Back to your question.
Haṁsadūta: Professor Durckheim's question was, very simply, "What is our way or what is our method to realize the highest truth, the absolute truth?" What is our process?
Professor Durckheim: Because we would learn what's your way.
Haṁsadūta: What is our process?
Prabhupāda: The simplest method is to associate with the Father, or the Absolute Truth, by association. This association can be possible. God, His name, His form, His pastimes, His abode, His paraphernalia, everything is God, because absolute. First of all you should understand this Absolute Truth. Just like here in the relative world the name of a person is different from the person. But in the absolute world the name and the person the same. So we are teaching or preaching this, that you chant the holy name of God, you associate immediately with God. And if you associate immediately with God, then gradually you become godly. The example is, just like you put one iron rod in the fire: it becomes warm, warmer, warmer and, at last, red hot. When it is red hot, it is no longer iron rod, it is fire. Similarly, if you simply associate with God, then gradually you become godly, or all the qualities of God. Then you understand God and your life becomes perfect. (break)
Professor Durckheim: . . . holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Holy name of God.
Professor Durckheim: Of God.
Prabhupāda: If you don't like to chant "Kṛṣṇa," you chant in your own way. But chant the name of God. If you know the name of God, chant it. If you do not know, then take it from me. (laughter) We are recommending to chant the holy name of God. If you know, you chant that name, and if you don't know, then take it from me. (break) . . . explained by Caitanya Mahāprabhu that God has many thousands of name or God has no name. No name means He has . . . He has got so many thousands of millions of name that you cannot say: "This is only God's name." This is one sense. But how God names are understood? The God names are understood by His action. Just like we say: "Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. God is all-attractive. God is attractive for the Hindus, for the Muslim, for the Christians, for everyone. Therefore, being all-attractive, there's a Sanskrit word of all-attraction, Kṛṣṇa. This is the explanation of the attribute of God. Similarly, if you've got similar name which explains the attributes of God, that is also God's name. I think you said the Lord Jesus Christ said: "God, hallowed be Thy name."
Satsvarūpa: The Lord's Prayer, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name."
Prabhupāda: So He has name. You find out what is His name and chant it. And if you do not know, then take it from us. That is all. He has name. He has name. He's not without name.
Professor Durckheim: (explains in German) (break)
Vedavyāsa: He says from the Old Testament when Jesus said: "Hallowed be Thy name," so he didn't say a particular name because, he says, God has actually no name, because if we . . .
Prabhupāda: So how He can be no name? He says: "Hallowed be Thy name." He has name. Therefore he says like that.
Vedavyāsa: But there's no name in the Bible . . .
Prabhupāda: That doesn't mean . . . he might not have mentioned or you have not noted. But when he says: "Hallowed be Thy name," there must be the name. Therefore I said if you do not know the name, you take it from us. That is intelligence. Why should you say that there is no name? He said: "Hallowed be Thy name." There must be name, but you do not know it.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German) (break)
Vedavyāsa: He thinks that it's purposely done not to say the name of God, to . . .
Prabhupāda: Because there is name, you find out.
Vedavyāsa: He said that when it says: "Hallowed be Thy name," it's meant in this way: that there's no mention of a particular name to be respected . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. So that we say, that God has no particular name. But according to His action, His name is done. Just like "Kṛṣṇa." "Kṛṣṇa" is not the name. Kṛṣṇa means all-attractiveness.
Professor Durckheim: Just as Buddha is not a name.
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Because he's man of knowledge, therefore he's called Buddha.
Dr. P. J. Saher: The one who has reached . . .
Prabhupāda: Buddha. Buddha means one who has perfect knowledge.
Professor Durckheim: Buddha is not a name of somebody. Yes.
Prabhupāda: Just like you say: "Hallowed be thy name, president." President. Now the president has a name, but you do not know. But the president must have a name.
Professor Porsch: Has the name a special, esoteric meaning? And is the technique of chanting the name . . . has this a special hidden purpose that the unenlightened . . .
Prabhupāda: No, not hidden but open, because Absolute is not different from His name. Therefore when you chant the name of the Absolute, that means you associate with the Absolute. And as soon as you associate with the Absolute, you become purified.
Professor Porsch: Like iron in fire.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that's right. (break) . . . the Vedic injunction:
- harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam
- kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
- (CC Adi 17.21)
For your perfection you simply chant the name of the Lord, harer nāma, harer nāma. Harer means "Of the Lord," and nāma means "name." Thrice. Just like we give stress three times, "You do it. You do it. You do it." This is a good stress. Similarly, the śāstra says, harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma, nāma eva kevalam: "Simply chant the Lord's name," kalau, "in this age of Kali." Nāsty eva, nāsty eva, nāsty eva gatir anyathā. "There is no other alternative for self-realization, no other alternative for self-realization." Therefore stress should be given for everyone to chant the holy name of the Lord. Kali means the age of quarrel. The age of quarrel. This age is simply for fighting and quarreling. They're not interested to understand the Absolute Truth, but they're interested in fighting and quarreling. Therefore this age called Kali. Kali means fighting.
Professor Porsch: Will you please be so kind as to further elucidate your technique of that one chants the name of God, and will you please be so kind as to elucidate further in some particular way or what comes (German), what should be done in addition to that, or how it is, how it is formulated in the, in the total, in that complete system of your relevant teachings?
Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the bhakti-mārga, means the first thing is śravaṇam, hearing. Just like these books are being written to give chance people to hear. That is first business. If we don't hear about God, we simply imagine something . . . no. We must hear about God. We are publishing eighty books like this, simply to hear about God. Then when you hear perfectly, then you can describe to others. That is called kīrtanam. Śravaṇam, kīrtanam. And when the process goes on, hearing and chanting or describing—kīrtanam means describing . . . just like our this whole Society is hearing from these books, and they're going out to describe. This is called kīrtanam. Then, by these two process, hearing and chanting, you remember, smaraṇam. That means remembering, you always associate with God.
Professor Porsch: So at all times, "Remember Me."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam (SB 7.5.23). Then worshiping the Deity, to offer flowers to the lotus feet of the Lord, to garland, to dress, pāda-sevanam; arcanaṁ vandanam, offer prayer; dāsyam, serve. In this way, there are nine different processes.
Professor Porsch: We have a similar thing in the Christian in relation to (German).
Prabhupāda: Yes. Christian method, the offering prayer. That is bhakti. That is bhakti. (break) Kali-yuga means fight. Nobody is interested to understand the truth, but they'll simply fight, "In my opinion, this." I say: "My opinion, this." You say, "His opinion." So many foolish opinions, and fight within themselves. This is the age. No standard opinion. Everyone has got his own opinion. Therefore there must be fighting. Everyone says: "I think like this." So what is your value, your thinking like that? That is Kali-yuga. Because you have no standard knowledge. If a child says the father, "In my opinion, you should do like this," is that opinion to be taken? If he does not know the thing, how he can give his opinion? But here, in this age, everyone is prepared with his own opinion. Therefore it is fight, quarrel. Just like the United Nation, all the big men go there to become united. But they're increasing flags, that's all. Fighting. It is a society of fighting only. The Pakistan, the Hindustan, the American, the Vietnam . . . it was meant for unity, but it is rendered into fighting association, that's all. Everything. Because everyone is imperfect, and he wants to give his perfect knowledge.
German lady: Do you mean the Kali-yuga exists all the time?
Prabhupāda: No. This is the period when foolish men have developed . . . (break) Instead of making solution, the fighting increasing. Because they have no standard knowledge. Therefore this Brahma-sūtra says that you should be eager to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Now the answer, next quote, is that Brahman, or the Absolute Truth, is that from which, or from whom, everything has come. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Now you find out where is the . . . everyone is trying to find out what is the ultimate cause. That should be the aim, that if you follow these philosophical quotes, then your fighting will stop. You'll be sober. This verse also, tattva-jijñāsā. Tattva-jijñāsā means to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Sit down, because there should be a class of men, very intelligent class of men in the Society who are discussing about the Absolute Truth, and they will inform others, "This is Absolute Truth, my dear friends, my dear . . . you do it like this." That is wanted. But here everyone is absolute truth. That is fighting.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German) (break)
Vedavyāsa: . . . this was the always the desire of mankind and to find . . . he says the kings should be wise, and the wise men should be kings.
Vedavyāsa: So he said that this was always the desire, but . . .
Prabhupāda: But thing is that this desire is there everywhere. But whose desire is standard? That should be understood. Everyone is desiring, but whose desire is to be followed? What is the actual, factual desire? That is to be understood. Unless you do not know what is the standard of desire, then this fighting will go on. You desire in one way; I desire in my way.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German) (break)
Vedavyāsa: . . . saying that knowledge is important also . . .
Prabhupāda: No, no. Knowledge, that is described. Knowledge is according to the quality of the person. If the man is a debauch, what is the value of his knowledge? We cannot take up the knowledge that's given by a debauch. The perfect human being is described, śamo damas titikṣā, ārjava. (aside) Find out.
German lady: (German)
Vedavyāsa: She says that we cannot have heaven on earth.
Vedavyāsa: We cannot have heaven on earth simply by our desiring it.
Prabhupāda: No. Just like there are intelligent class of men, they sit together. They do not fight. Still you can mend, because the example is there. But that requires qualification. Therefore what is that qualification?
- śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
- kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
- jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
- brahma-karma svabhāva-jam
- (BG 18.42)
Prabhupāda: Hmm. Translation?
Satsvarūpa: Translation: "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, calmness, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness, these are the qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work."
Prabhupāda: That is the qualities of the highest intelligent class of men. So if you do not find such qualities, how his knowledge should be perfect? These are the qualities.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Vedavyāsa: He doubts that everyone is convinced about that.
Prabhupāda: Eh? Eh?
Vedavyāsa: He's doubting if we should convince them of that.
Prabhupāda: Well, who is not self-controlled, he'll not be convinced, because he'll think that he's rebellious, "I can do anything what I like. I can eat whatever I like." Now how he will like this idea of self-control?
Professor Durckheim: But one question, you see. These virtues have been always asked for by Christian churches also, exactly the same.
Prabhupāda: Everywhere it is.
Professor Durckheim: But then today we realize that the virtues are on one level with the vices. But there's something different. If you pass through the ascetic step you get somewhere, you see, where we can understand, for instance, if Christ says: "Let the dead bury their dead." A phrase like this appeals to a different level. So I think as long as you . . .
Prabhupāda: No. It is not different level. The advice is given according to the time, person. So if people follow Lord Christ and, I mean to say, instruction, that is also perfect. But they do not follow.
Professor Durckheim: They do not . . .?
Prabhupāda: They do not follow.
Professor Durckheim: Sure.
Prabhupāda: That's it. Otherwise, either you follow Bhagavad-gītā or Bible as they are, then you become gradually perfect. The difficulty is they do not follow. And still they're claiming, "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am this," "I am that." Rubber stamp. No qualification, but rubber stamp. This is the defect.
Professor Durckheim: (German) (break)
Vedavyāsa: . . . qualifications on the material platform.
Prabhupāda: First of all acquire this material qualification. Then talk of spiritual. Just like I think in the university, if one wants to learn about law, he must be graduate first of all.
Professor Porsch: In India. Yes.
Prabhupāda: So you, first of all become graduate, then talk of law books. Similarly, you first of all become a brāhmaṇa, then you understand about Brahman, Absolute Truth. Without becoming brāhmaṇa, how you can understand? (break)
Satsvarūpa: (reading from Bhagavad-gītā) ". . . three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me, and although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable." (German translation) (break)
Professor Durckheim: Your message, I think, will be very much appreciated by the youth of today in the Western part of the world who says to the adults, "You have educated us to go to maintain our position in the world, to do something useful for the community and to behave nicely. But you never . . . but you never asked us who we are and who we should become . . . (indistinct) . . ." This is the problem.
Prabhupāda: That is the beginning of our talk, that you are spirit soul.
Professor Durckheim: I beg your pardon.
Prabhupāda: You are spirit soul, not this body. That is the beginning of our talk.
Professor Durckheim: (German)
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Vedavyāsa: He said that your answer that we are not this body, that we are spirit soul, it is not our real answer to our actual problem.
Vedavyāsa: He said what you said, that we are fleeing, fleeing from the actual problems which we have now . . .
Prabhupāda: Actual program, the actual program is there.
Dr. P. J. Saher: I would like another question. The difference, it seems to me, I know. (German)
Prabhupāda: (knock on door) Later on. Later on. (break)
Vedavyāsa: He's speaking of the gradual process of self-realization. First of all . . .
Vedavyāsa: We are speaking of the gradual process of self-realization, first adopting these brahminical qualities and going further and further. So he asks if he's missing . . . if it's not possible to become illuminated at once by God's grace, to become converted without undergoing these . . .
Prabhupāda: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That will do. Yes. You haven't got to undergo this or that. Simply chant and it will . . . you'll become perfect. So easiest. But still they will not accept. That is the difficulty. When you give the easiest way, they won't accept. Easiest way is we are recommending chant the holy name of God. So do it. (German comments) Not that you chant the name of Kṛṣṇa. You have got your name of God, you chant that. Begin that.
(break) Then how can I help you? There is name. You do not know. So our recommendation is—not my recommendation; from the Vedic literature, authoritative recommendation and the Bhagavad-gītā—satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ (BG 9.14). Everything is there. You begin. Therefore I said in this age so many things is impossible to be done. But you begin chanting the holy name of God. Where is the difficulty?
Dr. P. J. Saher: To know the name. Because I . . .
Prabhupāda: To know. Why you are doubtful? There is name. If you do not know, take it from us. (chuckling) Why you deny that?
Dr. P. J. Saher: There's thousands and millions of . . .
Prabhupāda: That's all right. Here is one name. Why don't you take it?
Dr. P. J. Saher: No. I said millions of names. I'm looking for the name and . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. But if I've given you the name, why don't you take it?
Dr. P. J. Saher: Because I'm not convinced that is the right name.
Prabhupāda: That is your misfortune. (everyone laughs) That is your misfortune. Yes.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Prabhupāda: How can I help?
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Prabhupāda: You do not know the name. If somebody is informing you, "Here is the name," he still will not take, that is your misfortune. What can be done? A misfortunate man cannot be helped. That's right. So here is the authority: satataṁ kīrtayanto mām.
- satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
- yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
- namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
- nitya-yuktā upāsate
- (BG 9.14)
"Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion."
Prabhupāda: Just see.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German) (break) . . . and when I was in Africa I saw the people are looking for the name, and chanting like you chant. But they have a complete different idea of thought. My question is, how can I know what is the right thing? From where do you know this?
Prabhupāda: But, as a human being you can study what you have seen in Africa and where you are seeing here, there's much difference.
Dr. P. J. Saher: I mean, my question only, I saw singing the people . . .
Prabhupāda: No, just like these boys and girls, they are coming from Jewish group or Christian group. They have not come from India. Now how they're chanting and enjoying you can see.
Dr. P. J. Saher: No, I mean the intention was the same. They're looking for truth.
Prabhupāda: Phalena paricīyate. You have to see the resultant study.
Professor Porsch: I was quite surprised.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And ask them to induce to chant any other name. They'll not do that. Phalena paricīyate, you have to study by the result of the activity, not theoretical.
Dr. P. J. Saher: Yes. That would be the criterion for me.
Dr. P. J. Saher: Yes, that's the same what the Christian criterion is, when St. Paul speaks. They had the same . . .
Prabhupāda: No. We say that you follow Christian principle, you become perfect. But the difficulty is nobody follows anything. He follows his own opinion, that's all. "In my opinion." What you are, your opinion? That is the difficulty. (aside) Yes, you can take. (guests taking prasādam)
Vedavyāsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, in the Bible there are a lot of statements regarding chanting, instructions that people should chant the holy name of God. Like in the Old Testament it says from the morning to evening you should chant the holy name of God.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the business in this age: chant the holy name of God.
Professor Durckheim: Whatever you do, do in the name of Jesus Christ, the Bible . . .
Prabhupāda: That's all right. You take this in the name of Jesus Christ.
Haṁsadūta: Prabhupāda, would you like to take your prasādam now?
Prabhupāda: Not now. Later on. The simplest method—chant the holy name of God. That's all.
Professor Porsch: And should this chanting be loud? Or can it also be half loud, whisper or silently, mentally? Does it play any difference? Does it make any difference?
Prabhupāda: If you chant loudly, then others can hear. They also take benefit.
Vedavyāsa: Shall I translate?
Vedavyāsa: Shall I translate?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Even the birds and beasts, they will hear and be benefited.
Professor Porsch: (German)
Prabhupāda: Therefore loud chanting is recommended, so that even the birds, beasts, trees, plants, they can hear.
Professor Porsch: I seldom saw so many happy faces as today, this evening, below (in temple room).
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the case. In America also the ladies and gentlemen ask them, "Are you Americans?" Because they do not see Americans with such nice face. (chuckles) One Christian priest—I was going from Los Angeles to Hawaii—so he came to talk with me. He inquired, "Swāmījī, how is that your disciples look so bright?" He inquired. Yes.
Professor Porsch: Without drugs.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And one Christian priest, he showed one pamphlet that, "These boys, they're our boys, but before this they're not coming to the church. They do not want to ask anything about God. Now they're mad after God. How is it?" He admitted, "They're our men." And I give you another example. In our Los Angeles temple—this was a church, big church, but it was not going on; it was being closed. And it was sold to us. And now you go and see there is daily thousands of . . . the same men, the same place. The crowd is so . . . why? I have not brought all these men from India. Just judge. Unless it is something sublime, how they're accepting it? And they're all young boys. Not that they have become old, therefore they're seeking after God. (everyone laughs) And young men have got so many aspirations—they go to the restaurant to smoke, to enjoy girlfriend, boyfriend, these . . . they have given up everything.
Professor Durckheim: And they are working in the Society. They are working . . .
Prabhupāda: We are working. We are writing these books and selling them. That's all. This is our work.
Professor Durckheim: I see.
Prabhupāda: We have no other . . . even in the Indian Parliament, the question was raised that "How is that this international society is spending lavishly? What is their income? There is a rumor that Americans are sending these CIA . . ." What is this? (laughter) Rascal people, they think the CIA has come to dance and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (everyone laughs) So, of course the reply was given that "We have no information that these people are CIA, but we know that they are maintaining themselves by selling their literature and public contribution." That's all. And we have got 102 centers like this. This is not very . . . if you go to our Los Angeles center, New York center and other, Vṛndāvana center and Navadvīpa center, not less than 200 men are there, always. And we are providing with their food, shelter. We give education to their children. We are getting them married. We don't allow these boys to live as friends. No. "You get yourself married." Yes.
Dr. P. J. Saher: (German)
Prabhupāda: Here is a girl, Kausalyā. I picked her from Hawaii. Now you can ask what she was and what she is now. Now she's married, she's happy, she has everything there. Life is there. (pause) Hare Kṛṣṇa. So I think you are all learned gentlemen, you should give us support and cooperate with this movement. It is very nice movement. That is my request to you.
Satsvarūpa: May we take your leave, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: No. You sit down. I have no need . . . I can talk all night. (devotees laugh) Because it is Kṛṣṇa's talk, that is your . . . (indistinct) . . . already. Satataṁ kīrtayanto mām. Why do you stop? Satatam. Go on, continuous. What is that? Satatam means?
Prabhupāda: Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ, namasyantaś ca mām . . . (BG 9.14).
Professor Porsch: In what way can we support, or cooperate with your movement? In what way can we offer optimal benefit to your movement?
Prabhupāda: That is a simple thing. You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all.
Professor Porsch: No. I mean in a further, in an extended way. For example . . .
Haṁsadūta: Yes. We have got a Life Membership program which can be . . . (indistinct) . . . can participate in that way.
Prabhupāda: You can become a Life Member and read all these books and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There is no loss. Suppose you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa; there is no material loss on your part. But if there is any gain, why don't you take it?
Professor Porsch: No, my question was perhaps a little . . . not quite clear. Many of us here, myself felt, represent not only our personal selves but are here on behalf of certain institutions, and we are active in some form or other of public service, these gentlemen probably also. And in what way, for example, would we serve your movement by giving a clear explanation about the aims of your activity, for example, removing prejudices and supporting Sanskrit studies and the better distribution of the Bhagavad-gītā in this form, in such ways, perhaps?
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are writing these books for distribution.
Professor Porsch: Yes. Yes. Yes, I've already suggested that one.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And they are not manufactured knowledge. They are standard knowledge, Vedic knowledge, I am explaining for understanding of the people in general. Each word is being explained.
Professor Porsch: Yes, good for what is . . . I was very . . .
Prabhupāda: Here is my Dictaphone. I am sitting here. So as soon as I stop talking, I shall write immediately. At night also, I get up at two o'clock, one o'clock, and write these books.
Haṁsadūta: Prabhupāda came to United States in 1965, and this movement was started in 1966, '67, and since that time, he has published about twenty books like this, including Bhagavad-gītā, Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
Prabhupāda: And what is the number of books sold last year?
Satsvarūpa: Four million.
Prabhupāda: Four million copies.
Professor Porsch: May I please put a question before I forget. I heard from our . . . or I read in the invitation that this center is not only a center as such, but something more. It should also be an āśrama and also a first university in the tradition of the ancient times.
Professor Porsch: A kind of a university of . . .
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Yes.
Professor Porsch: Like Indian and allied sciences, Vedic sciences.
Prabhupāda: My idea is that all our centers should be self-supported. We do not like that idea that for your support you have to go hundred miles to get your bread. That is a very dangerous drawback. You produce your food locally and then support yourself. The main problem is what to eat, where to sleep. So we get some place and support ourself by producing our own food. We have already begun in New Vrindaban, New . . . West Virginia, Virginia. And similarly in other centers we are producing our food, grains—grains, vegetable, fruits and milk. That is sufficient. But we don't kill any animal. That we don't do.
Professor Porsch: But will this center also be a kind of a place of learning for Sanskrit studies and allied topics?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Professor Porsch: Yes. That is important.
Prabhupāda: We are educating our children in Dallas. We have got very good institution, Sanskrit and English, and they are reading these books. That is sufficient. If they read these books, all different department of knowledge will be acquired. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). Yes.
Professor Porsch: Thank you.
Prabhupāda: (aside) You can play a little record. Last night . . .
Haṁsadūta: This morning's recording?
Professor Porsch: May I please ask, are there also room for physical yoga exercises while chanting of the God's names?
Prabhupāda: Yes, but we are exercising by dancing.
Professor Porsch: Yes, of course. (tape of Prabhupāda singing is played)
Prabhupāda: Make little louder. (tape of Prabhupāda singing prayers to the six Gosvāmīs plays) What are these pictures?
Haṁsadūta: These are pictures of our Society's activities in the temples.
Professor Porsch: Very constructive and very . . . so much success in a relative very short time, if you began in 1966.
Professor Porsch: And during the Bangladesh crisis you also . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes, anyone came, we feed. That much . . . there were many refugees, so we fed them.
Professor Porsch: But that automatically answers the question of the gentlemen also, the body in the service of other people, you see . . .
Prabhupāda: No, we give food. Anyone come and take food. Here also; there is no question of Bangladesh. Let anyone come and take food. In our Māyāpur center we especially give food distribution on Saturday and Sunday. At least five thousand people come. So all humanitarian work is included.
Professor Porsch: Included.
German lady: Thank you very much.
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Thank you. (some guests leave) So now we have come to Germany. You cooperate and make it a great success for the general benefit of the whole humanity. We have got arts, music, literature, culture, food—everything.
Professor Porsch: I think it will also help to quite a considerable extent for the removing of prejudices and for a better understanding of . . .
Prabhupāda: No, this is the only platform where all people, all religion, all culture can unite. This is the only place, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We practically see how they are becoming successful. In Africa also, within the villages they are responding.
(break) . . . distinction.
Devotee: (showing Śrīla Prabhupāda's books) This is German. This is in Spanish, Chinese.
Professor Porsch: (indistinct) . . . Chinese.
Prabhupāda: Japanese also. And Hindi.
Devotee: Italian, French. Hindi also we have. Bengali, Gujarati.
Professor Porsch: But I also noticed on the faces of the devotees downstairs that many or several faces were, we would say in the West, sublimated, that the facial features showed that a certain form of sublimation had taken place. (German)
Prabhupāda: Even children are learning how to dance, how to offer obeisances, how to chant, how to clap. They are also learning, small children.
Professor Porsch: And I think that it comes at the right time so that people may not be misled into juvenile delinquency, all of those "Easy riders" and motorcycles and adolescent criminality. They find creative outlets for their energies also as a by-product, not a main aim . . .
Prabhupāda: No. We are teaching . . . of course, we do not defy this modern advance of material civil . . . we don't say that. But this is our main business, that is, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā, to inquire about the Absolute Truth.
Professor Porsch: So can you not say that this knowledge is an ātma-vidyā, that we are trying to come to the knowledge of the ātman?
Professor Porsch: Ātmā, self.
Prabhupāda: Oh, ātmā, yes. Tattva-jijñāsā means ātma-jijñāsā.
Professor Porsch: That is why it is also correct to translate the term kṛṣṇa-arjuna-saṁvara as a kind of metaphysical knowledge, philosophical knowledge.
Prabhupāda: (aside) No, not now. No, not now. No, whole knowledge. Metaphysical, physical—everything is there.
Professor Porsch: In the Gītā it also, a verse that, "Four kinds of persons seek Me."
Prabhupāda: Ah, yes. Catur-vidhā bhajante mām (BG 7.16).
Professor Porsch: "The man who seeks knowledge."
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, catur-vidhā. And similarly, there are four kinds of rascals. Catur-vidhā. No. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). Everything is there.
Professor Porsch: But, perhaps, that could be also a question, that Graf Durckheim has in mind, I think, perhaps, when he asked the question about belief, etc. Perhaps he also thinks that we are living in a period of . . . where, because of the technological construction of society, rational knowledge is appreciated and, for example, ten years ago non-rational knowledge in Germany, actually, or in Europe was highly suspected. We had lived through a period of positivism, and we were . . . people in our universities even wanted to abolish the word consciousness. They even wanted to abolish the word psychology on the basis, on the presumption that there is no such thing as a (German).
Professor Durckheim: But this time is over.
Professor Porsch: Yes, yes, yes.
Professor Durckheim: The modern times are not modern anymore.
Professor Porsch: I agree with you, but just think how the world was only a few years ago.
Professor Durckheim: Yes. And especially if you talk about the rational spirit, the really German tradition is the irrational.
Professor Porsch: Yes, yes. I agree.
Professor Durckheim: So now this is coming back now, rediscovering their own past slowly.
Prabhupāda: So long they do not come to the standard platform, they will accept this sometimes and that sometimes. This will go on. Changing.
Professor Porsch: No, but I meant it differently. Can it not be that average man in the street . . . I don't mean . . . yes, of course, it was in the Germany. Man in the street now is infected from the . . .
Professor Durckheim: Absolutely, yes.
Professor Porsch: And he thinks that in order to give a rational presentment, (German). (break)
Professor Durckheim: . . . I realize that the closer members engaged, really, in this work of distributing books and chanting, wearing the white robes and shaving the heads, they are the closer participants, I suppose. And then have you also members of your movement which are simply in their work, in the community, in the world? Or is . . .
Prabhupāda: No, we invite everyone.
Professor Durckheim: You invite. But as far as members are concerned, to become a member of your movement . . .
Haṁsadūta: Yes, we have people in all walks of life. For example, we have the Ober-(German) from Baden Wurttemberg, he is a Life Member. And all people . . .
Devotee: We have doctors, lawyers . . .
Professor Durckheim: He's simply a member?
Haṁsadūta: Yes. He is a member, he supports the movement, he follows the principles himself, he appreciates the philosophy, but he has his responsibility in the society. He acts as a member of the society and here as a member. But his lifestyle is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (end)