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750126 - Conversation with Children - Hong Kong

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

750126CD-HONG KONG - January 26, 1975 - 18:12 Minutes

Prabhupāda: Try to answer, children? Do you know what is Kṛṣṇa? Who can say? You say something about Kṛṣṇa?

Girl: The Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. So, what does He do? Tell something about Kṛṣṇa. You have read Kṛṣṇa book? Huh?

Boy: He was given many names.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. Many names everyone has got. But what is the difference between your many names and Kṛṣṇa's many names? Just like your father calls you by some name and mother calls you by some name; friends calls you. So you have got also many names. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa has also many names. But what is the between. . . What is the difference between your name and Kṛṣṇa's name? Can anyone say?

Girl: Each of Kṛṣṇa's names has a meaning behind it.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Girl: Each of Kṛṣṇa's names has a meaning behind it.

Prabhupāda: Every name has got some meaning. That is not… The difference is that Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name, the same thing. Just like if you want water, if you simply say, "water, water, water," that substance, water, is not there. Try to understand this. The water, liquid substance, that is different from the name water. Anything you take. Just like here is rose. So if you simply chant, "rose, rose, rose," there is no rose. Rose is different from the name rose. Similarly, in the material world anything you take, the name is different from the substance, whereas in case of Kṛṣṇa, the name Kṛṣṇa and the person Kṛṣṇa, the same thing. Just like we are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, the holy name of Kṛṣṇa—that means immediately Kṛṣṇa is on your tongue. He is dancing on your tongue. This is the difference.

Therefore, immediately we chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa means immediately we get in contact with Kṛṣṇa or in association. Just like we are sitting together. Similarly, as soon as you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, immediately Kṛṣṇa is with you. Immediately. Kṛṣṇa is with you always. Still, particularly, tatra tiṣṭhāmi nārada yatra gāyanti mad-bhaktāḥ (Padma Purāna). And that is a fact. If you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, that means you directly associate with Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa being the Supreme Spirit, para-brahma, then, although we have got this material body, still, by association with Kṛṣṇa we become spiritualized. Just like you take one iron rod and put into the fire, the rod becomes warm. At last the rod becomes red hot. So when the iron is red hot, you put in touch with anything else, it will burn. It is no more iron rod. Although it is iron rod, but because it was in touch with fire, now it has attained the quality of fire. Similarly, if you always remain in touch with Kṛṣṇa by chanting His holy name, then you become spiritualized.

Therefore, chanting of His holy name is very important. Kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ (Śikṣāṣṭaka 3). Caitanya Mahāprabhu advises that you should chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra always, twenty-four hours; then you will remain in touch with Kṛṣṇa, just like the iron rod in touch with the fire. And gradually, as the iron rod turns to be fire, similarly, constantly in touch with Kṛṣṇa means you become Kṛṣṇa-ized, the same quality. That is wanted. We are now covered by material things. Inside we are there. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Inside we are spirit soul. Outside… Just like inside your coat you are there, but the coat is outside. When the coat and shirt is taken away, then you are clothed in your original body. Similarly, as soon as these material coverings are taken away, then we are spirit soul.

We have to attain to that stage. That is perfection of human life: to get out of this material covering. To get out of this material covering means you get your original spiritual body and you become eternal, blissful, ānanda-mayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). We are seeking after ānanda, everyone. We are dressing, we are talking, we are going here and there. The real purpose is how to become happy. That happiness, ānanda, is being hampered on account of this material covering. That we do not understand in this stage. In this stage also… There are three stages: goodness, passion and ignorance. In the ignorance stage, it is almost like dull matter or animals. In the passion stage, there is both propensity for enjoyment. And in the goodness stage, we can get some glimpse of light of our spiritual existence. Therefore, we have to come to the platform of goodness to understand the spiritual values of our life.

This platform of goodness is described in the Bhagavad-gītā. That is qualified brahminical stage. Not a brāhmaṇa born in the family and doing all nonsense. No, not like that. A quality brāhmaṇa. Quality brāhmaṇa means one who is truthful, one who is self-controlled, one who has controlled his mind and senses, one who is very tolerant, one who is very simple, no duplicity, one who is very, very advanced in knowledge. And not only simply one knows, but the things are practically behaved. Just like I may know, you may know, a brāhmaṇa means truthful. It is not simply to know truthful but actually to become truthful. That is called vijñānaṁ. As some of you who are studying science, the scientific knowledge means you should know theoretically what is water—a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. But you must know how to prepare, mixing the two chemicals, hydrogen, oxygen. That is called vijñāna. Jñāna means simply theoretical knowledge, and vijñāna means practically to know, experimental knowledge.

So these are the qualification of brāhmaṇa: jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.42). So when you are on this platform, pure light, full of knowledge, then you will be able to understand what is God, what is Brahman. And this will be very easily done if you simply hear the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). You become purified. In this way, as soon as you become purified—even not fully purified, say fifty percent purified—then you are immediately situated on the modes of goodness. That purification can be possible, nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā, by associating with devotees and understanding the subject matter stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in the Bhagavad-gītā. We are having so many centers all over the world just to give chance to the people to understand the subject matter of the Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So in this way one becomes purified and happy. Evaṁ prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ (SB 1.2.20). This bhagavad-bhakti-yoga, by practicing bhagavad-bhakti-yoga, one becomes prasanna-mana, very happy mood. Then he will be able to understand, bhagavat-tattva-vijñānaṁ mukta-saṅgasya jāyate (SB 1.2.20).

So from the very beginning of your life, as Prahlāda Mahārāja did, kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha (SB 7.6.1). He was five years old, and from the beginning of his life he was Kṛṣṇa conscious, and he used to teach Kṛṣṇa consciousness among his class friends. Prahlāda Mahārāja, in the school, he would preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness amongst the small children. So try to follow, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Follow the footprints of great personalities like Prahlāda Mahārāja, Dhruva Mahārāja. They were child; still they become topmost devotees. There are many others. The Kumāras, they were very topmost devotees. So of course it requires little endeavor. Prahlāda Mahārāja's father was a demon, number-one atheist. Still, Prahlāda Mahārāja had the chance to hear Nārada Muni while he was within the womb of his mother. Nārada Muni was instructing his mother, but Prahlāda Mahārāja within the womb of his mother heard everything from Nārada Muni. So before coming out of the womb of mother he understood the Bhāgavata philosophy. So from the very beginning of his life he was bhāgavata. Bhāgavata means devotee.

So we can follow Prahlāda Mahārāja, Dhruva Mahārāja. Of course, it requires the help of the parents. Otherwise, if we practice bhāgavata-dharma or bhakti-yogam from the very beginning of our life, it is successful life. Fortunately, we had the good opportunity of learning bhāgavata-dharma from our very childhood. My father was a devotee, and he trained us. So it is the duty of all parents to train the children in the bhāgavata-dharma. Then life is successful. Otherwise life is not successful. There is every chance of falling down. Falling down means life is meant for elevation to the platform of spiritual life. And if we do not do that, then we fall down to the animal life. There are many species of life. You have seen in your front. One may become cats and dogs also. There is a great science, but people have no knowledge, neither in the school, colleges these things are taught. Neither do they know, the so-called teachers and educated persons. They do not know.

So as far as possible, try to understand this Kṛṣṇa philosophy and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra whenever you have got time. I think you have got enough time. That is my request. That we are preaching all over the world.

Thank you very much.

Devotee: Jaya Prabhupāda. (end)