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751022 - Lecture SB 05.05.02 - Johannesburg

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

751022SB-JOHANNESBURG - October 22, 1975 - 77:20 Minutes


mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes
tamo dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam
mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā
vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye
(SB 5.5.2)

In continuation of the last verse I recited day before yesterday, the second verse is suggesting how one can be liberated from this material bondage. In the first verse it was suggested that this human form of life is not meant for wasting uselessly like the animals, dogs and hogs. It should be properly utilized. The suggestion was tapa, tapasya. Tapasya means austerity, voluntarily accepting some inconvenience. This is called tapasya. Tapa, one meaning is "disturbances." Suppose I am practiced to some habit. If I am advised to give it up, it becomes little troublesome. For example, if I am habituated to smoke and somebody or higher authority says, "Don't smoke," to give up smoking is little difficult, those who are habituated to smoke. Similarly . . . but according to the doctor's advice if somebody has to give up smoking, he has to. Otherwise his disease may not be cured.

Similarly, our this present position, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1), we are constantly, repeatedly changing body, transmigration of the soul. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). That means we are accepting death. Death means change of the . . . final change of the body. When this body is no more useful to continue, then by nature another body is offered. At the time of death, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram, sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ (BG 8.6)—we create a mental situation. We have got two kinds of bodies: subtle body and gross body. This gross body is made of five gross material elements—earth, water, fire, air, ether. And the subtle body is made of mind, intelligence and ego. When we sleep, the gross body does not work but the subtle body works. We dream therefore. So the . . . at the time of death this gross body is finished, but the subtle body—mind, intelligence and ego—will carry me to another gross body. It will enter into the womb of another mother, and she will create another similar body like the mother, and when it is complete, then it will come out.

So the spirit soul is in this way bound up by the material gross body and subtle body. This is our disease. This is . . . material existence means we are suffering from this disease. So in the first verse it was suggested by Ṛṣabhadeva to His sons, "My dear sons," tapo putrakā. Tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvaṁ yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam (SB 5.5.1). Our position is, as I explained the other day, we are part and parcel of God. So God's existence is sac-cid-ānanda vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1): eternal, blissful, knowledge. So we are part and parcel. Our knowledge, our blissfulness, our eternity may be very small, but we possess the same quality. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). In the Vedānta-sūtra it is said that spirit soul or God . . . God is the supreme spirit, and we are minute. He is vibhu, unlimited; we are aṇu, very small—molecular or atomic. So quality is the same. So our seeking after eternity, seeking after full knowledge and to remain blissful, that is our nature because we are part and parcel of God.

But on account of being covered by these material elements—earth, water, air, fire, ether, mind, intelligence and ego—we are suffering this disease, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). Janma means birth, and mṛtyu means death. As soon as we take birth, it means we must be prepared for death. I am increasing my age means decreasing my age, not increasing. When a child is born, if some friends ask: "When this child is born?" "Now, one week before," that means the child has already died one week. From his duration of life, make one week minus. So we are dying every moment. Mṛtyu, death, is sure. "As sure as death." So . . . but we are not meant for death, neither we are meant for birth. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Na jāyate na mriyate vā: "The spirit soul is never born, neither he dies." Nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaṁ na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). The spirit soul, nitya, eternal; śāśvata, inexhaustible; na hanyate, clearly says, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. So this death is artificial. Therefore we do not like to die. We do not like to be unhappy. We do not like to be without any knowledge. This is our nature. But because this nature is hampered on material condition, therefore the business of the human being is to cure this disease—birth, death, old age and disease. This is the mission of life, not to waste time, not to waste our life, duration of life, just simply jumping like dog and hog. That is not human life. Tapo divyam (SB 5.5.1).

Therefore we have to undergo tapasya. We should not indulge whimsically to anything. That is not human life. Therefore human life, there is need of education; there is need of regularities; there is need of following the instruction of the authorities. That is in human life. Law is meant for the human life, not for the cats and dogs. Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva suggested that, "You practice austerity." Means . . . austerity means, I have already explained, I do not like to do anything, but for curing my this material disease, I have to do that. This is called austerity. The same example: I am habituated to smoke. I don't like. If somebody said: "Don't smoke," it is difficult for me. But I have to do it if I want to cure my disease. This is called austerity.

So according to Vedic system we should be sinless. Unless we become sinless, there is no possibility of understanding God. That is not possible. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām
te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ
(BG 7.28)

"A person who has completely finished the reaction of his sinful life . . ." Yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām. So if we be engaged in puṇya karma, pious activities, then there is no chance of acting impiously. So puṇya-karmaṇām. Yajña dāna tapaḥ kriyaḥ. These are the activities of piety: yajña, performing sacrifice. There are different types of sacrifices mentioned, but in this age it is difficult. Therefore in this age the easiest sacrifice is chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ (SB 11.5.32). This, performing this yajña, saṅkīrtana-yajña, you have to simply agree. Otherwise you have no loss. Simply you have gain. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. We are not asking anybody that, "Give us some fee, some dollars. Then you chant." No. It is free. You can chant—if you like. This is yajña. This is the yajña of this age. Anyone can join. It doesn't matter that this class of men will join. No, anyone—poor, rich, white, black, illiterate, learned—everyone. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana means bahubhir militvā (Śrī Amnāya-sūtra 62). Many people assembled together, when glorifying the Lord, that is called saṅkīrtana.

So this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra means . . . we are preaching all over the world. There is no difficulty. Everyone is joining. Everyone is chanting. So it is not very difficult task. Any can . . . this is yajña. And then dāna. Dāna means charity. So whatever you earn, at least some percentage of your money should be given in charity. The best charity is to give for spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, God consciousness. Kṛṣṇa said, dadāsi yat kuruṣva tad mad-arpanam (BG 9.27): "If you want to give in charity something, please give Me." Kṛṣṇa says, God says. So yajña-dāna-tapaḥ, again tapa, austerity. Yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyaḥ pāvanāni manīṣiṇām. We should not give up this practice, performing yajña, giving in charity and practicing tapasya. This is essential for the human being. This should be practiced as far as possible. So this is called pious activities. So one should be engaged in pious activities. Then there will be no chance of committing sinful activities. In this way, when you are mature, yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpam, no more sinful life, pure life, yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpam janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām, always practicing pious activities, te dvandva-moha-nirmuktā, such person without any doubt, without any duality, can be engaged in the service of the Lord. Such person.

Therefore Ṛṣabhadeva says, tapo divyaṁ putrakā (SB 5.5.1). Putrakā, "My dear boys, My dear sons, don't waste your time like dogs and hogs. Just practice tapasya." Tapo divyam. Divyam. Divyam means for divine purpose, not for manufacturing some weapon for killing thousands of men at a time. This requires also tapasya, very great attention, labor and perseverance. Everything required. That is called tapasya. But not that kind of tapasya, for the inauspicious position of the human society. No. Tapo divyam, for divine understanding. So the benefit will be yena śuddhyet sattvam. Then our existence, the position, existentional position, will be purified. And what will be the result if it is purified? Yena brahma-saukhyam anantam. We are seeking after eternal life, we are seeking after happiness and we are seeking after full knowledge. That will be attained. So tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyet sattvaṁ yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam . . . (SB 5.5.1). That is success of life.

Now in the next verse, how we can practice tapasya, that is recommended here. Mahat-sevām. Mahat sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ (SB 5.5.2). Mahat, great soul. Mahat means great soul. Who is great soul? Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Great soul means who has taken shelter of the spiritual nature. He is great soul. There are two natures: spiritual nature and material nature. We can understand material nature, this body, and the spiritual nature, the soul. And there are two things within our this existence: matter and spirit. Similarly, there are two energies of God. One energy is called material energy, and the other is called spiritual energy. God is appreciated. We can understand God—there is God—by the presence of His energy, just like we can understand there is sun in the presence of the sunlight. Light is the energy of the sun. In the morning, as soon as you see through your door, open window, that there is now light, you can understand there is sunrise. So we can understand the existence of God by the presence of His energy. By the presence of His energy. Just like sun is appreciated by the presence of heat and light, similarly, whatever we see in this world . . . there are two energies working: material energy and the spiritual energy. We can understand there is God. Otherwise wherefrom this energy is coming? As soon as we get heat and light, we understand there is the sun. Similarly, sar Vedam akhilaṁ jagat.

jyotsnā vistāriṇī yathā
parasya brāhmaṇaḥ śaktis
sarvedam akhilaṁ jagat
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.22.52)

What is this world? This world is distribution of the two energies of God, the material energy and the spiritual energy. So mahat means one who has taken shelter of the spiritual energy. He is called mahat, great soul. So far the material energy is concerned, they, generally all living entities who are in this material world, they have taken the shelter of the material energy, 8,400,000 forms of body. But the mahat means one who has taken the shelter of the spiritual energy. So mahat sevaṁ: we have to approach such person who has taken the shelter of the spiritual energy of God. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes. If you want liberation from this bondage—birth, death, old age and disease and so many other things—then you have to execute tapasya under the direction of a great soul, mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimukteḥ, if you want liberation. And tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Yoṣitām. Yoṣitām means . . . yoṣit mean woman.

So this material energy is . . . every energy is woman. The spiritual energy is also woman, material energy is woman. The material energy is tamo, darkness, and the other energy is the light. Therefore Vedic injunction is, tamasi mā jyotir gamaḥ (Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28). Don't remain under this, the darkness, material energy. In the Caṇḍī, those who have read Caṇḍī, ya devī sarva-bhūtānāṁ nidrā-rūpena samāsthitaḥ. The material energy's business is to keep us slumber, in slumber, without any pure knowledge. This is material energy. So if we keep ourself within the material energy, that will lead us more and more in the darkest region of hellish condition of life. Tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Those who are too much materially affected, to associate with such person means you remain within the material energy. And if you associate with persons who are great souls, who have taken the shelter of spiritual energy, your path of liberation will be open. This is the purport. Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ.

And how I can understand who is mahat, or great soul? So that description is given. Mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ: equilibrium. They are kind to everyone. There is no discrimination. Sama-cittāḥ. That means spiritual realization, to see everyone on equal level.

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

In another place it is said, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu (BG 18.54). This is sama-cittāḥ, equally disposed to everyone, not that, "He is American, so I shall be kind to him," or "He is Indian. I shall be kind to him," "He is black. I shall be kind to him." No. Everyone. Pāṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ (BG 5.18). Sama-cittāḥ. This is the qualification of great soul. There is no distinction that, "He is such and such person. Therefore I have no business with him." No. The preaching . . . Kṛṣṇa is preaching to everyone. Christ is preaching to everyone. They are called mahānta. Mahānta means great soul.

So here it is said, mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā, always very peaceful. Prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa śāntā. There is no disturbance. Because he knows himself, he is not disturbed by any material condition. Ahaituky apratihatā. Spiritual advancement of life is never hindered by any material condition. It is not that, "I am under such and such condition. I cannot make any advancement in spiritual life." No. Spiritual advancement is never checked by material condition. Therefore it is said praśāntā. Vimanyavaḥ: "He is never angry. Never angry." Vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ. Su . . . and well-wisher for everyone. That is the vision of mahānta. He is seeing that "Without God consciousness, without his relationship with God, he is suffering." Suhṛdaḥ sādhavaḥ. Sādhava, sādhu. The sum and substance . . . sādhu means saintly person. So who is saintly person? Titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām (SB 3.25.21). Sādhu means, saintly person means, titikṣava, tolerant, tolerant, without being disturbed. Now, in the Western countries Lord Jesus Christ, the tolerant, he is being crucified; still, he is praying to God, "Please excuse them." So of course, his position is different. One should try to become sādhu. Sādhavaḥ. Titikṣava kāruṇikāḥ suhṛdaḥ sarva-bhūtānām. So the sum and substance of sādhu means, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, māṁ ca vyabhi . . . api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). If one is staunchly adhered to the service of the Lord, he is called sādhu, saintly person, sādhava. Mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye. These are the qualification of mahātmā, great soul.

So we have to find out. The Vedic injunction is, "Try to find out such person," that you have to take . . . tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā. You find out such person and associate with him. Try to serve him, praṇipātena, by fully surrender.

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ
jñāninaḥ . . .
(BG 4.34)

So we have to approach such person. As it is described here, mahat-sevām. I have to give my service to the great soul. And these are the symptoms of great soul. So as we are finding out so many things for our satisfaction, so our real business is how to get out of this material disease. And to get out of this material disease, the prescription is given here, mahat-sevām: "Just try to serve a great soul." And who is a great soul? That is described here: mahāntas te sama-cittāḥ praśāntā vimanyavaḥ suhṛdaḥ sādhavo ye.

Then the next verse it is said . . . this is, this sādhu, this mahātmā, generally those who are in the renounced order of life. There are four grades of life: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. The description already given, it is meant for mendicant, who have nothing to do with material affairs or household life, renounced order, sannyāsī. It, that is applicable to them. But another mahātmā also is recommended here:

ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā
janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu
gṛheṣu jāyātmaja-rātimatsu
na prīti-yuktā yāvad-arthāś ca loke
(SB 5.5.3)

Another, that gṛhastha, householder . . . it is not that simply sannyāsī, renounced order, those who have renounced this material connection, they can become great soul. Not necessarily. Even those who are in family life, living with wife, children, friends, they can also become great soul. They can become great soul. So how they can become great soul? Ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā. They are, such gṛhastha, householder, is not exactly meant for "How to get money? How to get money?" No. Their aim is how to get friendship of the Lord. That is their aim. It doesn't matter he lives with wife and children. That doesn't matter. But what is the aim of his life? The aim of his life: mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā. This instruction is given by Ṛṣabhadeva. He is incarnation of God. Therefore He said: "One who is seeking the friendship of Me," or God, kṛta-sauhṛdārthā, "his only business is how to keep friendship with Kṛṣṇa."

Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is a householder, and he is a kṣatriya, royal family, and he was a warrior. He knew how to fight. But his friendship with Kṛṣṇa was very, very intense. Kṛta-sauhṛdārthā. Therefore Kṛṣṇa instructed Arjuna that, "Arjuna, I am instructing this mystery of Bhagavad-gītā unto you." Arjuna might have said that "Why You are giving me instruction? I am neither sannyāsī, nor a very learned scholar in Vedānta or . . . I am gṛhastha, householder, a politician, in royal family. So why You have selected me?" Now, bhakto 'si: "Because you are My devotee." So this is wanted. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si (BG 4.3). Not only ordinary friend; very dear friend. So if you become dear friend like Arjuna of Kṛṣṇa, or God, then in whatever position you remain, you are mahātmā, great soul. That is required. It is not that . . . in the Kali-yuga, in this age, it is very difficult to accept renounced order of life. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended that, "You remain in your position—it doesn't matter—but become a mahātmā, great soul." That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's recommendation. Sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ manobhir prāyaśo jito ajita. The process is how to become mahātmā.

That process is recommended by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Not it is His manufactured process, but it is recommended in the Vedic śāstra. What is that? Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva (SB 10.14.3). The process is: don't try to speculate on God. Give up this process, this bad habit. You cannot speculate. No. Jñāne prayāsa. This is called jñāna. Jñāna means knowledge, acquired knowledge. Everyone is trying to . . . nobody is interested now to understand what is God, but there are some. But they are trying to understand God by mental speculation. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "This practice should be given up, speculation." Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. Just become submissive, namanta eva. Don't think that, "I am very learned scholar. I can manufacture my own way how to find out God," or "I am God," and so on, so on. This practice should be given up. "Just become humble and meek." Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. "Then what shall I do, becoming humble and meek?" San-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām. You try to understand about God from a God-realized person. That you do. That will help you. Sthāne sthitāḥ. There is no need of changing your position. You remain wherever you are. Śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ manobhiḥ. Just lend your this aural reception and try to hear about God from the self-realized person, from mahātmā. Then one day it will become so, that although God is unconquerable, you will conquer Him. Prāyena ajita jito 'py asi. You'll conquer over. God . . . you cannot conquer God, but God agrees to be conquered by His devotee. This is the indirect meaning, to become devotee. This is the way.

And what is the devotional way? Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). Just try to hear about Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord. Śravanam. The first is that you have kindly come here; you are trying to hear. This is very good. This is the beginning of process. Then kīrtanam, śravanaṁ kīrtanam. Whatever you hear, you discuss amongst yourselves. That is called kīrtana. Śravanaṁ kīrtanam viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam. Remember about the topics of God. Śravanaṁ kīrtanam viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanam. There are nine methods. Arcanam, temple worship. So any one of these methods will help you. If you take the nine methods, that is very good. If not, take eight. If not, take seven. If not, take six. Take five, four, three, two. Take at least one. That one is very easy—śravanam. We are opening several centers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Not only we are . . . here are many other centers also to hear about God. That is very essential. Śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam. So this process can be practiced even at home. There is no necessity that you have to change your place, you have to give up your business, you have to . . . occupation, or you have to give up your family relationship. No. You remain in your . . . but practice this śravanam. Just like you are hearing here in this hall, you can do it at home. These books are there. I am speaking from the book. You can speak also from the book, and sit down amongst your family members and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

So the aim should be how to become friend of God. It doesn't matter whether you remain at home or out of home. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, gṛhe bā vanete thāke, 'hā gaurāṅga' bale ḍāke. Either you remain at home or outside home, you chant śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya prabhu nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. This is the process, very simple process. And Hare Kṛṣṇa. And if you want . . . of course, knowledge will come automatically. If your heart is purified by this śravanaṁ kīrtanam method, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), then the heart will be purified. And God is situated within your heart. Then, as soon as your heart is purified, you'll be able to see God within yourself, within your heart. That is called meditation. You see God within yourself and see constantly, "Here is God. Here is Kṛṣṇa." That is meditation.

So premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti (Bs. 5.38). Santaḥ, saintly persons, or mahātmā, they develop by hearing about God constantly. They develop love of God. That is the aim of life. That is the real purpose of human life. Premā pum-artho mahān. Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended that what is the actual benefit of this human form of life: to develop our dormant love for God. That is wanted, not to accumulate money. Nothing will go with us. Everything will remain. The bank balance will remain in the bank, and we have to go, and there will be fight amongst the claimanants. So that will be created. But nothing will go with you. Simply your consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, will help you. At the time of death, if you remember Kṛṣṇa . . . yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram (BG 8.6). Some way or other, if you remember at the time of death Kṛṣṇa, then your life is successful. So it doesn't matter whether you remain outside home or inside home, what is your occupation, but do not forget your real business. This is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. So:

ye vā mayīśe kṛta-sauhṛdārthā
janeṣu dehambhara-vārtikeṣu
gṛheṣu jāyātmaja-rātimatsu
na prīti-yuktāḥ . . .
(SB 5.5.3)

The symptom of a mahātmā, great soul, is described here. What is that? That dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. Those who are simply planning how to keep this body comfortable, that is the material world. Everyone is busy how to keep this body very comfortable, although it is not possible. There are so many disturbances, so many miserable condition, that there is no possibility of keeping this body in comfortable position. That is not . . . that is a fact. But still, we are trying. There they are called deha, dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. Just to make gorgeous arrangement for keeping this body very comfortable, they are called dehambhara-vārtikeṣu. They are simply busy how to keep this body comfortable. To such person, janeṣu dehambhara . . . and gṛheṣu, although he is at home, then . . . jāyā means wife. Jāyā, ātma-jā, the children and rāti, money. These things are required, household. Wife required; children required; money required; place required. So, na prīti-yuktāh. His business is not how to increase money, how to please the, I mean to say, relatives, how to talk with the persons interested in keeping this body. Na prīti-yuktāh. He is not interested with them. Prīti-yuktā yāvad-arthāś ca loke. Simply just be engaged with them as far as your duty. It does not mean that, "I am not attached to my wife; therefore I shall forget my duties to wife and children." It does not mean. Yāvad-arthāś ca loke. "As it is my duty, I must execute, but my main business is how to secure friendship with Kṛṣṇa." Such kind of gṛhastha is mahātmā.

So there are two kinds of mahātmā. One is renounced order. They are preaching all over the world for the benefit of the society. And the gṛhastha, he may not be preaching . . . he can preach. Amongst his relatives, member, children, he can also preach, friends. So preaching cannot be stopped. You do small scale or big scale—the benefit will be śravanaṁ kīrtanam. Just we like are preaching. We are hearing also, and you are chanting also. So this chanting and hearing process should be increased. One should try to become sinless and try to make friendship with God. Then our life will be successful.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (applause) (break)

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Questions, Śrīla Prabhupāda? Does anyone have any questions? (break)

Guest (1): Your Divine Grace BhaktiVedanta Swami Prabhupāda, I saw in the Bhagavad-gītā where the Lord explains to the devotee Arjuna the yoga of His cosmic form. Arjuna, however, visualizes and experiences this cosmic form of the Lord. I would like to know what divine grace did the Lord impart unto Arjuna so that he could visualize the cosmic form of the Lord.

Prabhupāda: God has His form. That I explained the other day. But His form is not like our form. His form is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). His body is eternal, full of knowledge, and blissful. Our this form is not eternal, neither full of knowledge, nor blissful. So it is not that God has no form. When it is described indirectly that, "God has no form," means He has no form like us. Don't think that He has no form. He has no form, material form like us, which is not eternal, not full of knowledge, not blissful. So God has form. So God's form is realized in three different stages. It is said in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate
(SB 1.2.11)

"That Absolute Truth is realized . . . they are one, but realized in three different phases." Just like the example is given, I have given several times, that the sun, the sun globe and the sun god. There is . . . within the sun globe there is sun god. His name is Vivasvān. As you refer to Bhagavad-gītā, in the Bhagavad-gītā you will find the predominating deity, or the president, of the sun globe. His name is Vivasvān. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). Kṛṣṇa says that many millions of years ago He went to the sun globe and He preached this Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god, the president of the sun globe, Vivasvān.

So there are living entities. The sun-god is the living entity. The difference is that the living entities there, the body is made of fire. As our body is made of earth, dirt, their body is made of fire. Therefore they are so glowing, everything. It is a fiery planet, airy planet, watery planet, earthly planet—five elements. So if we cannot imagine that "Because we have got earthly body, there cannot be fiery body," that is our lack of knowledge, poor fund of knowledge. In God's creation there are varieties. So just like we can see in the water there are living entities. Their body is made of different . . . not different, but different proportion of the material elements so they can remain within the water. Similarly, different proportion in every planet . . . in the śāstra we see. It is not that, that all the planets are vacant only. This is not very good idea. Everywhere there are living entities. So all these living entities throughout the whole universe, they are possessing body of the material elements.

But God has no such body. His body is different, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). So that sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ, spiritual body, can be expanded, reduced. Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.20). He can expand this body, spiritual body, bigger than the biggest, and He can reduce the body smaller than the smallest. That is God's body. You cannot do that. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-caya . . . (Bs. 5.35). God is within the atom. How He is within the atom? Then anor anīyāh. He can become smaller than the smallest. He can become the bigger than the biggest. So Arjuna, when he saw the viśvarūpa, He showed him the bigger-than-the-biggest form. But His usual form is two-handed and two leg. Just like it is said in the Bible, "Man is made after the image of God." So God has got two hands, two legs, exactly. But He is the omnipotent, almighty. Our power is limited; His power is unlimited. Otherwise, He has got form.

Woman guest: Your Grace, I would like to know why you call the body, the material world, "darkness" and "diseased." You refer many times . . . (indistinct) . . . to the body as diseased, and darkness is but one aspect of . . . (indistinct) . . . but a different form of energy as the light. And darkness and light are but one of the many aspects of the supreme form of energy.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The question is, why do you refer to the material world as darkness and as a disease?

Prabhupāda: Don't you see darkness? You require light.

Woman guest: Dark, yes, but darkness is but another form of light.

Prabhupāda: Yes, ignorance. Darkness means ignorance. Material life means we do not know things as they are. That is darkness.

Woman guest: You say that in a figurative sense.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The knowledge is not perfect; therefore everyone is in darkness.

Woman guest: But why do you call the body and the spirit . . .? The spirit and the body is polemic of light, of being, the universes.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Woman guest: Polemic. The counterpoint. You have darkness on one side, light on the other. Ignorance, if you want, is this aspect, identify this ignorance as darkness.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I think the question is why do you consider the body as a disease?

Prabhupāda: Because there is birth, death and old age. This is disease.

Woman: But if it's only one form of energy, why, one certain level of energy, and energy never gets lost.

Prabhupāda: No, there are two . . .

Woman guest: Even people die, it surely, sir, is only a different level of energy, a different form of energy. Energy never . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. That I have already explained, material energy and spiritual energy. In the material energy you have got all these birth, death, old age and disease. In the spiritual energy there is no such thing. So we have to go to the spiritual energy.

Woman guest: What do you call disease?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You are eternal spirit soul, and you have to undergo birth and death. That's an unnatural condition, just like a fever is an unnatural condition for a healthy person. That's a disease.

Woman guest: But why should the supreme energy make it a disease? It's been ordained to have that, the form of the body . . .

Prabhupāda: Disease you contact. Nobody forces you to contact disease. When you become diseased, you contaminate some infection, not that anyone forces you to contaminate. So when you come to the material world, it is your own disease.

Woman guest: But it is a disease if you have to be reborn. It's reincarnation then, going to another form of disease again. But you will not . . . haven't attained the spiritual, complete spiritual . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. Then you'll be cured of this material disease. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Any other questions?

Guest (2): You mentioned that one must not speculate about God, and also you mentioned that one must try to be sinless. Wouldn't the idea of sinless be a speculation of God?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Wouldn't the idea of sinless . . .?

Guest (2): Be a speculation of God, if you say that God is . . .

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: You've said, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that one should not speculate about God and that one should be sinless. To be sinless, is that a speculation of God?

Guest (2): Isn't the idea of sinless . . . we are . . . we live in sin. We do not know what sin is. So wouldn't the idea of living without sin be speculation? How do we know what sin is or not sin?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: We live in sin, so is it not speculation to consider a sinless state?

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you speculate, then also you will not be in position to understand what is sin and what is pious. Therefore you have to hear from the authority. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, yajña-dāna-tapaḥ kriya na tyājyam: "These four things should not be given up, performing sacrifices, giving in charity, and practicing tapasya." So you cannot speculate. You take the instruction from authority and try to do it. It is not speculation. It is receiving the instruction from the authority.

Guest (2): But because we do not know what sin is, wouldn't whatever the authority said be purely an idea to us?

Prabhupāda: So they do not know; therefore they must search out if he is serious.

Guest (2): But is there no way of finding out what is good and bad besides obeying guru, and the . . . (indistinct) . . . because to follow the guru would obviously be to create frustration.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Is there some way to find out good without following the rules and regulations laid down by the authorities?

Prabhupāda: No, that is not possible. You cannot violate the rules and regulation. That is not possible.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He says that to follow the rules is to be frustrated.

Prabhupāda: Why frustrated? So many people are following the rules and regulation. What is the frustration?

Guest (2): (indistinct) . . . if you follow rules, then isn't it obvious that you must be frustrated? You want to do something, but the rule says, "No, you must not do it."

Prabhupāda: That is tapasya. I want to do something, but the rule says: "Do not do," so I'll have to do it. This is called tapasya. I have no intention to do it, but because it is ordered by the authority, I have to do it. Just like the law. In the street you find it convenient to go by one side of the road, but the law says: "Keep to the right." So you don't like it, still, you have to go.

Guest (2): (indistinct) . . . apply the standards later on what is good and bad. And to follow those standards means a great frustration. And a great frustration in this life, isn't that . . . (indistinct) . . . in this world?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He says that to follow the rules and regulations . . . these rules and regulations, they have been forced upon us in our upbringing . . .

Guest (2): And also that are forced upon us in any religion.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: And he says also in religion, rules and regulations are forced upon us. And does this not bring frustration because we are doing something we may not like to do? Is that your question?

Prabhupāda: That I have already explained. This is called tapasya. You have to do something which you may not like to do. That is tapasya.

Guest (2): (indistinct) . . . you do not like to do.

Prabhupāda: That is advised: tapo divyaṁ putrakā. Yajña-dāna-tapaḥ kriyaḥ (SB 5.5.1). This is called tapasya. I do not like to do something, but I have to do it because I have accepted somebody as authority. This is tapasya. So this has to be practiced. But it will be easier by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. There will be no . . . just like these boys, European, American boys, they are strictly following the rules and regulation, but it has become not very difficult, very easy, because they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is the only method.

Guest (2): But is not to accept authority, the authority of God, is that not to speculate about God? How do we know . . . how can I accept authority without knowing what God is? As soon as we say, "I know God," then obviously I am speculating . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: His question is, "Is it not speculation to say that one knows God? As soon as he thinks that he knows God . . ."

Prabhupāda: You know also God. You know also God.

Guest (2): No, I don't.

Prabhupāda: No, you are . . . or do you think you are independent of God?

Guest (2): I don't know what God is.

Prabhupāda: No, no, you do not know. Why you do not know? You do not know that you are not independent?

Guest (2): No, I do not know God.

Prabhupāda: But are you not going to die? Can you check your death? You will be forced to die, so how do you say that you are independent?

Guest (2): I haven't died, so I don't know what it is to die. So I don't know . . .

Prabhupāda: He does not know what is the meaning of death?

Guest (2): No. For me, personally, I do not know what death is.

Prabhupāda: "For me" means you are a special person.

Guest (2): Nobody knows what death is.

Prabhupāda: Everyone knows what is death. Everyone is afraid of death. If you do not know, then I do not know whether you are human being or . . . (laughter)

Guest (2): No, because it's speculation about God. We see people die, but if we do not know, if we do not experience with our emotions what . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: So you have to learn it; then you talk. You have to learn it. What you do not know, you have to learn it.

Guest (2): Then how do you learn about God if you do not know what God is?

Prabhupāda: You have to learn it. That I have said. But everyone knows that he is not independent. He is dependent. Just like you are young man. If you say: "I will not become old man," that is false. You will have to become old man. Therefore you are dependent. Why don't you think like that?

Guest (2): I don't say that I won't be.

Prabhupāda: Nobody wants to become an old man, but he is forced to become old man. How do you know that you are independent? You are dependent.

Guest (2): I'm not afraid of becoming old.

Prabhupāda: You may not be, but others are. They do not like to be old man and suffer the old man's position. (break) He says that:

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatiṁ
(BG 9.32)

Striya means woman. So there is no restriction for going back to home, back to Godhead, for anyone, and what to speak of man, woman—anyone. If he wants to go back, there is no restriction. Te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ. This is the difference. For God there is no discrimination. Women, men have equal rights to become godly and back to home, back to Godhead.

Guest (3): Gurujī, I should like to know how you reconcile the void . . . (indistinct) . . . God is infinite, and He is all places, and you said just now that God has form. To have form would mean that He has . . . (indistinct) . . . He is finite . . . and how could you reconcile these two: He is formless, and He has form. He has form and yet infinite? There's confusing . . .

Prabhupāda: The reconciliation I have explained several times. Just like the sun globe, the sun-god and the sunshine. They are one, the light and heat. But still, sunshine is not the sun globe, and sun globe is not the sun-god. This is reconciliation. Anyone can understand. The three things, they are one by heat and light, but at the same time, when the sunshine is within your room it does not mean the sun globe is within your room or the sun god is within your room. This is the reconciliation.

Woman guest (4): Do you believe that Jesus and Buddha and Kṛṣṇa are all manifestations of the same God? Or do you believe Kṛṣṇa is the only . . .?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Do we believe that Jesus and Buddha and Kṛṣṇa are all manifestations of the same God, or do we believe that Kṛṣṇa is the only one?

Prabhupāda: No. They are manifestation of God. That is all right. We say, keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare: "O my Lord Buddha, now you have come as Buddha, but you are the same Kṛṣṇa." We pray like that.

Guest (5): I would like to ask this question. You said that the mere repetition Hare Rāma, Hare Kṛṣṇa helps us along with the path of God realization. Take a simple thing, like assuming I was hungry and I said: "Food, food, food." That will not necessarily fill me. I'll still be hungry. How could the mere repetition of words bring about God realization?

Prabhupāda: "Food, food, food." (laughter) That is the difference between God's name and material name. In the material name, the food, the name of food and actually food—rice, ḍāl, cāpāṭi, food—they are different. They are different. But in the spiritual world, God and His name is the same.

Guest (5): But the significance that we give to the word "food" is the creation of man's mind. The word "God" is also the creation of man's mind. We attach spiritual significance to one word and not to the other. But if you speak of everything emanating from God, that ultimately means everything He is.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So if you become intelligent more, then you'll inquire, "Wherefrom the food comes?" At the present moment you may chant "Food, food, food," and you get food. Then if you are intelligent, you'll inquire, "Wherefrom the food came?" That is the next step.

Guest (5): And I understand food must come from the earth, but the . . .

Prabhupāda: Food is coming from God. That you do not know. You are simply interested with food, but you do not know wherefrom the food is coming. That is your innocence. If you are advanced student, then your next inquiry will be, "Wherefrom the food comes?" Then you'll come to God. At the lower stage you are interested with food, but in the higher stage you'll be interested wherefrom the food comes. That is intelligence.

Guest (5): I'm not denying that one has to go through that stage. The other question I'd like to ask you . . .

Prabhupāda: You want to stay in the food stage, that's all. (laughter) So we are advising go further, more. That is our advice.

Guest (5): (indistinct) . . . in going further. I'd like to know . . .

Prabhupāda: No. This is intelligence. If you are interested in food, that's all right. Everyone is interested in food. The child, he is interested with food only. Anything he gets, he puts into the mouth. He is interested in food. But when he grows up he understand that the food is supplied by the father, by the mother. That is progress of life. If you don't want progress, if you want to remain in the childhood stage, that is another thing.

Guest (5): One other question I have. That is, the question earlier . . . that is the question of authority. We have a spiritual master who takes it upon himself to tell us, the ignorant, what we should do. What things makes the spiritual master realize that he is the one master to show the ignorant that this is the path? Isn't it perhaps too much reponsibility to take it upon ourself, giving oneself this authority? Because as yourself finds out that . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: His question is that . . .

Prabhupāda: God is infinite?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: What is the special quality that makes one a spiritual master to describe the infinite, when God is beyond speculation?

Prabhupāda: God is beyond speculation, that's it. But the spiritual master says what God says. He does not change. That is spiritual master. Just like a child, he asks his father, "Father, what is this?" The father says: "My dear child, it is microphone." So when the child says: "It is microphone," this is correct, although he is child. So spiritual master means he says in toto what he hears from God. That's all. That is spiritual master. He does not make any speculation. That is the qualification of spiritual master. He speaks what he has heard from God. That's all.

Guest (5): But isn't that an assumption also that he has heard from God, not acts from his own conditioning?

Prabhupāda: God cannot be all. God is one. God means He has no equal, He has no . . . nobody above Him. That is God, asamaurdhva. Nobody is more than God; nobody is equal to God. Therefore God is one.

Guest (6): If we assume that the Vedic scriptures are the, well, the realizations of realized souls and that these come from God, we have to work with the assumption that these literatures are actually telling us about God. And if we have to read the literatures and experience these truths, it is not necessarily truth as such, but maybe the condition that we have been rendered to by . . . (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: In the Vedic literature the father, the teacher, the king, they are advised to look upon them as God. This is for the common person. But when he is advanced, then he goes above, that there is God above father, above king, above teacher. So according to the stages, there are different literatures in the Vedic knowledge. Sometimes demigods are also accepted. So they have also got power, but . . . controller, they are also controller, but the ultimate controller is fixed up—īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bs. 5.1). "The supreme controller is Kṛṣṇa." That is the verdict of the Vedas. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat (BG 7.7): "There is no more superior controller or person than Me." So that is Absolute. Everywhere you will find. Suppose if you accept me God, but I am controlled by somebody else, so I am not absolute God. But if you can find out somebody—He is not only controller, but He is not controlled by anyone—then He is absolute God. That is Kṛṣṇa.

Guest (6): Thank you.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)