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760825 - Conversation - Hyderabad

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760825R1-HYDERABAD - August 25, 1976 - 22:30 Minutes

Prabhupāda: I am sitting in this room.

Indian man: Yes.

Prabhupāda: And if by force you drag me away, I shall go to another room. Because I'll have another room. But because you have forcibly driven me away, you are criminal. Similarly, a living entity is ordained to live in a certain body for a certain period. If you kill, that is the interference with his staying there. You are criminal.

Indian man: Yes, that is true.

Prabhupāda: The soul is never killed. Never killed. But because you have forcibly driven away from that body, you become criminal. That is the philosophy.

Indian man: Yes. Now, assuming . . .

Prabhupāda: So you cannot do that.

Indian man: Assuming that, everyone . . .

Prabhupāda: Not assuming. This is the fact. (laughter)

Indian man: No, assuming this end. I am putting a question. Every man who took part in the Kurukṣetra war, assuming that they are to be killed, they are destined to be killed. Then when they are killed, then Kṛṣṇa's argument is the soul . . . the body perishes but the soul is eternal.

Prabhupāda: Soul is eternal . . .

Indian man: . . . the soul. How you are reconciling it if you say that the . . . I mean what a man is different from Kṛṣṇa? Or ātmā is different from Paramātmā? If you say that, then how do you say that ātmā is eternal? And what is the fate of the ātmā?

Prabhupāda: No, ātmā is eternal. That is said, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). Why don't you understand? Ātmā is eternal, God is eternal. But the difference is, next line, eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. That one ātmā, God, He is maintaining others, and the others are being maintained. So how you can make equal the maintainer and the maintained? First of all, try to understand.

Indian man: The question is, even if you take it, advaita philosophy also, there is a . . . the ātmā has to go and merge with the Paramātmā, but they didn't say that they're equal. I don't think even the advaita philosophy also . . .

Prabhupāda: How they can be equal?

Indian man: They cannot be, cannot be.

Prabhupāda: Cannot be, yes. But they say equal.

Indian man: No. They don't say that equal.

Prabhupāda: Yes, he says like that.

Indian devotee: . . . (indistinct)

Indian man: He doesn't say anywhere, also nobody should say that.

Indian devotee: The . . . (indistinct) . . . recently said that.

Indian man: Don't take it from one sentence and try to enlarge it. Take it in the context.

Indian devotee: They always say this.

Prabhupāda: I do not hear. You hear, he hears. If he says something else . . . that . . . this is therefore Caitanya's philosophy is acintya-bhedābheda, that as ātmā, they're equal. Ātmā. But one is Paramātmā, because He is maintainer. Therefore . . .

Indian man: Yes. All the creation, the world, it is one way out of that Paramātmā.

Prabhupāda: Paramātmā. So therefore Paramātmā is the Supreme, and he is subordinate. So how the Supreme and subordinate can be equal?

Indian man: No, they can never be equal. Never be equal and never and . . . no philosophy, even any branch of philosophy, does not say that a human being is equal to . . .

Prabhupāda: No, their philosophy is, as you said, that this subordinate ātmā has forgotten that he is Paramātmā.

Indian devotee: Yes, it is a main point. The seeker has forgotten that he is the sought.

Indian man: He has forgotten means simply the potential that you have within you, you have to realize it and come closer to the Paramātmā. That is what it means . . .

Prabhupāda: If you have got the potency to become Paramātmā, then how you became ātmā?

Indian devotee: Yes.

Indian man: The potential to come near to Paramātmā.

Prabhupāda: Near, that is one thing. You are near to me. That means we are not equal. You are a separate person, I am a separate person.

Indian man: But even what has been told by him, he is Veda, Vedāntī, anybody, he doesn't come to ātmā is going to Paramātmā. He never says that. That mathematic equation . . .

Indian devotee: They say that the ātmā has forgotten. They say that ātmā has come into the clutches of the māyā. When you get rid of the māyā you become Paramātmā.

Indian man: That is not . . . you don't become Paramātmā. You become Paramātmā means that . . . you don't understand Paramātmā. Paramātmā is the Supreme, Supreme Soul. How can you become . . .

Prabhupāda: Then you have to accept Paramātmā and ātmā different.

Indian man: Different, that is true.

Prabhupāda: Then dvaita-vāda. Where is advaita?

Indian man: Even dvaita does not, something different from advaitam, in this particular fundamental. But even advaitam does not say that ātmā is equal to Paramātmā. He never says that. You have māyā. Māyā will be field to you, and that you get rid of that māyā and you try to elevate your soul to the ātmā. And you come, go to the Paramātmā.

Prabhupāda: That is the beginning of spiritual lesson. Because that is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Every one of us, we are identifying with this body. Just like if somebody asks what you are, "I am Mr. Such-and-such, I am Indian, I am this, I am that." He is giving identification of the body. But that he is not. He's not this body. That is self-realization. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā, dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13)—two things—deha, this body, and asmin dehe, there is dehinaḥ, the owner of the body. That is the beginning of spiritual education. Because generally almost 99.9% people, they are thinking that "I am this body."

Indian man: Well, that is true, that is . . .

Prabhupāda: So that is another thing.

Indian man: That attachment to the . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. That attachment or no attachment, he is different from the body. That is the first lesson of spiritual education, that one has to understand that he is not the body. That is Brahman realization.

Indian man: No, after having realized that, we have to discipline ourselves so much.

Prabhupāda: Now that individual soul and the Supreme Soul, Paramātmā, they are also different. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā in the Second Chapter. Kṛṣṇa says: "My dear Arjuna, both you, Me and all these persons who are assembled here, we existed in the past, and we are existing now, and we shall continue to exist." So when they become one? Past, present and future. As they were different persons in the past, they are different persons now, and they will continue to remain different persons in the future. So when they become one?

Indian man: Now we take it, small particles of water makes an ocean.

Prabhupāda: That cannot be. Here Kṛṣṇa says that we shall remain like this in the future.

Indian man: We can't get new to be . . .

Prabhupāda: No, there is no amalgamation. It is clearly stated.

Indian man: Even a drop of water, when you take it from the glass and put it on this one, another drop of water will come, and when you put it in medicine it won't come in water. Like that, ātmā, will it not merge with the Paramātmā?

Prabhupāda: That water is matter, that is not spirit. But we are talking of spirit. You cannot bring matter. No, that analogy cannot be, because similarity. The water is different—matter. And you are talking of spirit souls. Here it is stated that the spirit soul individually, they'll never amalgamate. Acchedyo 'yam (BG 2.24). They cannot be separated . . .

Indian man: Then what is the aim of bhakti if you are not going to merge with Paramātmā?

Prabhupāda: Bhakti . . . you try . . . you read carefully. Because you do not read, therefore . . . nitya-yuktā upāsate. Nitya-yuktā upāsate (BG 9.14). When they come to the point of nitya, there also the upāsana is there. One nitya is worshiping the other nitya. That is nitya-yuktā upāsate.

Indian man: Upāsana . . . upāsana means . . .

Prabhupāda: Upāsana means upāsaka, upāsana and upāsita. Three things. As soon as you bring upāsana, there must be one person who is offering upāsana, and there is a process of upāsana, and the other person accepting upāsana.

Indian man: Then we're assuming that we're . . . actually the idea of śuddha-bhakti is . . .

Prabhupāda: Bhakti means that. Nitya-yuktā upāsana. That's all. Upāsana continues. Here they're upāsana. Here the devotees offering worship to the Deity, it is upāsana. And after being perfect, that upāsana will continue. It will never stop.

Indian man: It will never stop, that's the fact. That is, when a man attains to . . .

Prabhupāda: But Māyāvādī philosophy is that you offer upāsana now, and when you are perfect you become one.

Indian man: Not one. I mean you merge with one. Not you become one. You merge with one.

Prabhupāda: Then there is no advaita-vāda. There is dvaita-vāda. Two. There is no advaita-vāda. If you accept that you remain different, then there is no advaita.

Indian man: We don't dare, do you see, ācchā, at a particular stage you like to merge with Him?

Prabhupāda: Meeting, I am meeting you. That does not mean we have become one. You are meeting me, I am meeting you. So we are different.

Indian man: What is ultimate object of that bhakti?

Prabhupāda: Ultimate object is you are offering this flower—this is bhakti. But you are different than me.

Indian man: That's all right. That is all right. That bhakti, you can call it love, you can call it in various ways. Bhakti means surrender.

Prabhupāda: Bhakti means the process by which Bhagavān and bhakta interact. That is bhakti.

Indian man: That's all? He gains with that interaction?

Prabhupāda: Interaction. That does not mean bhakta and Bhagavān become equal.

Indian man: Bhakta and Bhagavān may not be equal, but even the bhakti-mārga, and we say the Bhagavān Himself declares that, "My bhakta is more superior to Me."

Prabhupāda: That's all right. You say whatever you say, they remain two—different.

Indian man: They may remain two . . .

Prabhupāda: Then that is not advaita-vāda. That is dvaita-vāda. Two, two. Not one. That is dvaita-vāda. That is the point.

Indian man: You mean to say eternally there is a soul and . . . this ātmā and Paramātmā will remain separate?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore the . . . therefore it is said, nitya-yuktā upāsate. Therefore the word is there, nitya-yuktā. Nitya means everlasting.

Indian man: Yes. Everlasting. We will remain separate.

Prabhupāda: Separate. And that is a fact.

Devotee: Mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ (BG 15.7).

Prabhupāda: There are so many things. But here it is said, nitya-yuktā upāsate. Even they come to the platform of nitya, where there is no birth and death—that is nitya, nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaṁ na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20)—even that platform, Bhagavān remains different than the devotee who worships.

Indian man: Eternally?

Prabhupāda: Eternally. That is nitya-yuktā upāsate. There is no oneness. Otherwise why it is nitya-yuktā upāsate? Nityo nityānām. The nityānām, plural number, and nitya, Bhagavān. So nitya-yuktā upāsate.

Indian man: Then if you take the kevala-bhaktas, if you take the life of a bhakta . . .

Prabhupāda: If you take logic, it is stated there in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Indian man: If you take bhakta-vidyā, where so many sayings like Chakubhai and Namdev and all these people. If you take it . . . they had . . . they observed bhakti-mārga from the beginning. That is, they considered Kṛṣṇa . . .

Prabhupāda: No, they have considered that the bhakti-mārga is a means to become one.

Indian man: Means to become one. That's exactly what I mean.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is their version. But that is not the version of Bhagavad-gītā.

Indian man: Yes, it's the only way. Bhakti-mārga is only mārga. It is only way to become one.

Prabhupāda: No. They never become one. Therefore nitya-yuktā upāsate.

Indian man: Then why should we say in our . . .?

Prabhupāda: You can say anything, but that is not accepted. We have to accept Kṛṣṇa's statement. You can say anything.

Indian man: Sir, I am not saying. That is what I am taught.

Prabhupāda: At least, you are saying now. So, then which one you will take? As you are taught, or as Kṛṣṇa said it?

Indian man: Merge with the Lord. Mirabhai, "Merge with the Lord," and Chakubhai, "Merge with the Lord."

Prabhupāda: You bring thousands of examples.

Indian man: Then what is that merging?

Prabhupāda: No, no. You bring thousands of examples, but whether we have to accept them or Kṛṣṇa?

Indian man: I mean the doubt I am having, I mean . . .

Prabhupāda: Then you, you now you just become out of doubt. That . . . just like Kṛṣṇa says in the Seventh Chapter, mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ asaṁśayam (BG 7.1). Here is asaṁśayam. "No doubt." Why you are in doubt? You do not accept Kṛṣṇa. You accept somebody else.

Indian man: Not a question of accepting. We are all ignorant people in the field of . . .

Prabhupāda: Therefore you are in doubt.

Indian man: We are . . . we have . . .

Prabhupāda: No. Therefore you are in doubt. If you want to be doubtless, then you accept Kṛṣṇa. Mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. Āśrayaḥ. Not that equal footing. Mad-āśrayaḥ. Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu (BG 7.1). So you have to accept Kṛṣṇa, if you become . . . if you want to become doubtless. Otherwise, you'll be put into doubt. Here it is said asaṁśayam, "Without any doubt." That is the process. And if you want to remain in doubt, you continue. You accept this man, that man, that man, that man, that man. That is your business. But if you want to be doubtless, then you have to accept Kṛṣṇa.

Indian man: So we say in the bhakti-mārga for eternally the Paramātmā and ātmā will remain separate, separate entities.

Prabhupāda: And that is always. You cannot become one with Him.

Indian man: Then in what levels the man got to remain in a separate entity? Always in the same as bhakta?

Prabhupāda: Nitya-yuktā upāsate. The one is worshipable, another is worshiper. That's all. Nitya-yuktā upāsate. Upāsate means the worshipable is there and the worshiper is there. Then the question of upāsana. If they become one, then where is upāsana?

Indian man: Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling. At one stage . . .

Prabhupāda: But that is not the fact. Here it is said upāsate. Upāsate means he worships. So if he loses his existence, then where is worship?

Indian man: No. Ātman's got to go on practicing and try to become pure and purer and pure, at one stage.

Prabhupāda: Without being pure you cannot go there. There is no question of upāsana.

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

Unless you are completely free from all sinful reaction, there is no upāsana. That is practice. That is practice. Just like neophyte, one is practicing. Just like one student is practicing. That is sa bhakta prakṛta smṛta. This is material. But when you are pakkā, practiced, then you go to the nitya-dhāma. And your business is the same. Here it is practice and there it is permanent. That's all. Nitya-yuktā upāsate. The upāsana continues.

Indian man: That is. Then our object is to get rid of the birth, birth and death, that we want to be eternal. From there you want to get rid of your birth and death. That is birth and death.

Prabhupāda: Birth and death you stop as soon as you give up this material body. Material body, the birth question comes of the material body. And death also material body. Therefore it is clearly said in the Bhagavad-gītā, na jāyate na mriyate vā (BG 2.20).

Indian man: Yes, you are trying to do sādhanas to see what . . .

Prabhupāda: First of all, understand this, that the soul is never born, never dies. But we are seeing birth and death. What is that birth and death? It is of the body. But you are different from the body.

Indian man: Yes, I am different. My soul is different, the ātmā different from the body. That is the foregone conclusion.

Prabhupāda: Birth and death applies to the body, not to the soul.

Indian man: Yes. That, your karmas, you enjoy and suffer according to your karma.

Prabhupāda: That is body, all body.

Indian man: That is body. How long you are going to do that?

Prabhupāda: So long you are not a devotee.

Indian man: I mean even if I am a devotee, I go on doing some sins . . .

Prabhupāda: You become devotee, then immediately transfer to the nitya-yuktā upāsate.

Indian man: Yes, I become a devotee, a true devotee . . .

Prabhupāda: When you become a perfect devotee then you are transferred to the eternal world, and your engagement is upāsana eternally.

Indian man: The eternal world. What is that eternal world?

Prabhupāda: That you do not know? You read, study. Have you studied Bhagavad-gītā? Do you know that there is an eternal world? There is an eternal world. Do you know that?

Indian man: Our śāstras say eternal world . . .

Prabhupāda: Then why do you . . .?

Indian man: Man is eternal world by going and enjoying there in mokṣa there.

Prabhupāda: So that is mokṣa. When you go to the eternal world, that is mokṣa. That is mokṣa.

Indian man: Do you separate the eternal world from the Paramātmā? It is something, a world like our material world that we have got, physical world that we have got, is going to be out of, the eternal world?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). This word is used, sanātana. Sanātana means eternal. There is another world. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ. Find out this verse. Everything is there.

Hari-śauri: We have to start packing up now. It's quarter past six. We have to leave in ten minutes.

Prabhupāda: So now we have to stop. We have to leave. You just refer that verse.


paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo
'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu
naśyatsu na vinaśyati
(BG 8.20)

Prabhupāda: Na vinaśyati. The material world will be finished, and that will remain.

Vāsughoṣa: "Yet there is another nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is."

Prabhupāda: That is sanātana.

Vāsughoṣa: "Kṛṣṇa's superior spiritual energy is transcendental and eternal. It is beyond all the changes of material nature, which is manifest and annihilated during the days and nights of Brahmā. Kṛṣṇa's superior energy is completely opposite in quality to material nature. Superior and inferior nature are explained in the Seventh Chapter." And the next verse?

Prabhupāda: No, that's all right. There is an eternal world, sanātana. That is never annihilated. So when you go to that sanātana-dhāma, God is there, sanātana, and there you live eternally and go on rendering service to God. That is all. There is no question of oneness. The variety is there, but there the varieties are eternal; here the varieties are temporary. That is difference. Everything is explained. So thank you very much.

Devotee: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)