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760810 - Conversation B - Tehran

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

760810ED-TEHRAN - August 10, 1976 - 197:30 Minutes

Atreya Ṛṣi: . . . about Gandhi.

Prabhupāda: This Indira Gandhi?

Atreya Ṛṣi: No, Mahatma Gandhi. When I was in America three months ago, this was in a magazine, a new study. And it was very interesting because it showed that how subconsciously this man was very much, very much affected by sex, influenced. After I read it, I understood your comments a lot better, because it was a very frank study of details of his life and . . .

Prabhupāda: You sit down, I'll show you. Like this. (referring to massage)

Nava-yauvana: I should sit in front here.

Atreya Ṛṣi: No, you stand and do it. Do it but do it strongly. Or you can do it like this, just comfortable. Comfortable. He was used to getting massage from woman.

Prabhupāda: Acchā?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, this is known. He used to have women devotees who . . .

Prabhupāda: No, it was known to everyone. And that was remarked that his granddaughter, I mean granddaughter-in-law, he was always accompanied, resting his head on their shoulder, he was walking. That was remarked by . . .

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, but they were not his granddaughter, his relative, and it was the wife of a relative. And he believed in honesty.

Prabhupāda: He was very sexually inclined. That is written by him. While his father was dying, he was engaged in sex with his wife.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Exactly. That is right. And therefore he felt very guilty toward sex. He was artificially depressing it. Therefore this article was pointing out that in his old age he was getting his satisfaction in a perverted way.

Prabhupāda: By touching their body.

Atreya Ṛṣi: That is right. And at night he would sleep with them in the same bed.

Prabhupāda: Acchā?

Atreya Ṛṣi: He would get shivers. He would get shivers, and as a result of the shiver he would be covered with this woman. And her husband will object. Her husband would say: "Gandhijī, why do you have to do this?" You know? He would say: "You can see that I have no sexual inclination. This I want to do to prove that I have no sexual inclination."

Prabhupāda: To show transcendental.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, but he was cheating himself. He was sincere, but he was completely misguided, Śrīla Prabhupāda, it seems from that article.

Prabhupāda: Harāv abhakta. So our formula is harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad guṇāḥ (SB 5.18.12). If one is not devotee, he has no good qualifications.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, and he suffered all his life. He wanted good qualification, but he was concocting. He was taking some from śāstra and he was concocting some. Because he did not understand the śāstra properly, he rejected some of it.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Because he did not have the blessing of Lord Caitanya, he did not understand it, so he rejected some of it, and as a result he was concocting. When he went to Africa, to South Africa, he started the movement there, this nonviolence . . .

Prabhupāda: Therefore it was failure.

Atreya Ṛṣi: It was a failure.

Prabhupāda: Twenty years he tried, it was failure.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes. It was actually a very frank article, and after I read it . . .

Prabhupāda: Who wrote it?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Somebody by the name of Mehta. He was obviously a very great scholar, because this magazine is very first class magazine. It's not a cheap magazine. And it was written very nicely. Somebody by the name of Mehta. He's a Dr. Mehta. In the New Yorker magazine, New Yorker.

Prabhupāda: He has written one book, My Experiment With Truth, that truth is truth, but it is very . . . (indistinct) . . . thing. That means he did not know what is truth.

(devotees chant japa) (long pause—child says haribol)

Prabhupāda: He says "Haribol"?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes.

Child: Haribol! Haribol! Haribol! Haribol!

Prabhupāda: Haribol! Haribol! Haribol! (devotees chant japa)

Child: Haribol! (child makes sounds for some time)

Prabhupāda: Let him play.

Dayānanda: (to child, who is still chanting haribol) Are you chanting?

Prabhupāda: Europe begins from Turkey?

Atreya Ṛṣi: From here?

Prabhupāda: No, Europe.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes. Europe has small portion in Europe . . . Turkey has a small portion in Europe and a large portion in Asia Minor. Anatolia.

Prabhupāda: And Russia also?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Russia is also above Turkey. Parts of it is in Europe, part of it is in Russia . . . is in Asia.

Jñānagamya: Devotees are doing very well in Moscow, Prabhupāda? Is that right? They are distributing books there?

Prabhupāda: It is not very good. But they have got some orders.

Nava-yauvana: So when we preach to people we should first convince them that God is the supreme controller, the supreme proprietor. Then further understanding can come.

Prabhupāda: Yes, there is a supreme controller. That you have to admit. You are not independent. Why they foolishly think independent? What is the reason they're foolishly thinking independent? What is their independence? Nobody is independent. So why they are foolishly thinking independent? You first challenge them. They are not independent. Are they independent? So why they foolishly declare independent?

Jñānagamya: They are ignorant.

Prabhupāda: So that is the position. Then? They are in ignorance, and they are leading the society as scientist, philosopher, politician. That is misleading. They cannot go even freely in the so-called moon planet excursion or Mars. Still, they are declaring independence. What is their independence?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Rascaldom.

Nandarāṇī: If someone accepts his dependence on God, then what is the second step? In preaching, so someone has accepted, "Yes, we are dependent on God," but actually they have no knowledge who God is.

Prabhupāda: Then give them knowledge from Bhagavad-gītā. If you accept dependence on God, then you take instruction from God, how you'll be happy. Just like the child. The child knows he's fully dependent on parents. So he's fully obeying the orders of the parents, then he's happy, naturally. The father, mother, knows how to take care of the child and they're happy. And by nature they're dependent on father and mother. So they are happy. Mother says: "My dear child, sit down." He will sit down. By nature.

Dayānanda: But some people are sectarian in their idea of God.

Prabhupāda: What is sectarian? Every sect the child is dependent on the parents. What do you mean by sectarian? Does it mean the Hindu child does not depend on the parents; the Muslim child depends on the parents? Everyone depends on the parents. Either he may be Hindu child or Muslim child or Christian child, that is the nature of the child. Similarly, you may be Hindu, you may be Muslim, you are dependent on God. This is a fact. What is sectarian? Can the Muslims say that "No, no, we are not dependent on God"? Can the Christians say like that? We have to take the general condition: everyone is dependent on God. Where is the question of sectarian? Now this cloud . . . it is clouded, everybody is expecting some rain. Does it mean the rain is Hindu rain or Muslim rain or Christian rain? Dependent on cloud. Everyone is expecting rain, it doesn't matter whether he's Hindu, Muslim or Christian. Why they declare independence? Hmm?

Jñānagamya: They say independence means you don't need anything.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Nava-yauvana: He's trying to define independence, and he said independence means you don't need anything.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Atreya Ṛṣi: If you have no needs. Independence means that you have no need for anything else.

Prabhupāda: No, even if you have needs, if you can supply need, your needs you can supply yourself, then you can call independent. But that is not the position. You cannot get the supplies independently. Why you are expecting cloud? Because if there is rainfall, there will be vegetation. Then you will be able to grow food. So you are dependent. Independently you cannot create cloud. So where is your independence? Every step, you are dependent. Independently you cannot create cloud. So where is your independence? If every step, you are dependent, why do you declare independence? What is this foolishness? What is their answer?

Hari-śauri: Well, they think they have some independence because they have to make so many decisions about how to live and how to operate society.

Prabhupāda: He'll answer for them. (talking about child) Law of gravitation. What is your independence? Are you independent?

Atreya Ṛṣi: There are all sorts of rascals, Śrīla Prabhupāda. One kind of rascal is the mūḍha kind, who likes to enjoy. He thinks he is independent.

Prabhupāda: That is also dependent.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, but he thinks, "I can eat chicken or eggs or fish."

Prabhupāda: That's all right, that is dependent. Wherefrom the chicken comes?

Atreya Ṛṣi: From the fields.

Prabhupāda: Fields? No, it comes from the chicken.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Well yes, from the chicken, yes.

Prabhupāda: So therefore he has to depend on other chicken. (laughter) Where is his independence?

Atreya Ṛṣi: But I can kill them and eat them.

Prabhupāda: That means if there is chicken you can kill. If there is supply of chicken, then you can kill. Otherwise, where is the opportunity of killing and eating?

Jñānagamya: You cannot kill all the chickens.

Prabhupāda: No, even they kill—they are killing—but killing facility will be there if there is chicken. Just like a tiger in the jungle. They are very expert, but they do not get food daily. Because the other animals, they also know, that part of the jungle there is tiger. They avoid going there. So he doesn't get daily food. He kills one animal and keeps it hidden and takes little, little. He cannot . . . they are always hungry, although they have got good strength. But where is the opportunity? And there is one small animal, he's called feow. As soon as the tiger gets out to find out some prey, this small animal warns, "feow." The other animals will understand the tiger is coming. So despite getting good strength, good jaws, good nails, there is no food. He's dependent. If God supplies him, then he'll get opportunity. Otherwise, these nails and jaws and strength are useless.

Atreya Ṛṣi: But if I have good intelligence, I can make many machines and put many eggs in them and have all the supplies of chicken that I want.

Prabhupāda: That also that I have already explained: you depend on another chicken's egg. You cannot manufacture the egg. That is my challenge, that you manufacture the egg by chemical combination and put into the machine. That you cannot do. Another living chicken must lay down the egg, then you can reclaim. You're dependent. Where is your independence? Everywhere you are dependent. How you declare independence? Where is your independence?

Dayānanda: They think that the countries that have the materialistic advancement or scientific advancements, that they are very well situated.

Prabhupāda: Well, scientific advancement, all this nonsense you can say. Just like Iran. God has given the oil underneath the ground, you are so proud. But if God would not give you the oil, then you starve in the desert. Then talk of improvement, nonsense. You're dependent on the oil. That is given by God. By God's grace, you have got some stock of oil, and there is good demand for oil, then you are proud of making advancement. But depending on the oil. The oil is supplied by God. You're dependent. Where is your independence? When the oil is finished, then your all pride is finished. Where is your independence?

Dayānanda: But we do not believe in God, and still . . .

Prabhupāda: Do or do not believe in God, but you are not independent, that's a fact. You don't believe or believe, it doesn't matter. But you are dependent. You are not independent.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, we are dependent on nature.

Prabhupāda: That's all right, but you cannot say that you are independent. That is the point that we are discussing. You call nature, I call God; it doesn't make any difference. But you are dependent on something else. You can call it nature, but nature is also God's nature. Anyway, accept nature. So:

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
kartāham iti manyate
(BG 3.27)

So take it, nature; nature is acting in her own way. So nature is not your father's servant. So how do you declare independent, that I am everything? Even if you accept nature, you are not independent. That's a fact.

Atreya Ṛṣi: But I am not independent, but I am more dependent on my intelligence.

Prabhupāda: What intelligence? If dependent, what is the meaning of intelligence?

Dayānanda: Yes, I'm depending on my own intelligence to utilize everything for advancement, for my comfort and my strength and food.

Prabhupāda: Yes, everything, if there is no everything, then what is the meaning of intelligence?

Dayānanda: But I may develop more intelligence to create what I lack.

Prabhupāda: That is theory. That is not fact.

Dayānanda: But I'm saying that from the . . . (break)

Prabhupāda: . . . by your intelligence. That is given by nature or God, whatever you say. That is not in your intelligence.

Hari-śauri: God may have given us all the basic things, but it's taken man's intelligence to make the . . .

Prabhupāda: That is all right, but if God has given you so many basic things, then you can use your intelligence. Otherwise, your intelligence . . . there is a story that one man was asked by his friend, "Have you got intelligence?" He began to search out here. So, "What is this?" He said, "Intelligence means when there is money here. Otherwise, I am, even though I have got intelligence, useless." You can utilize your intelligence provided you have got the means. Intelligence also you cannot utilize properly if there is no supply.

Hari-śauri: Actually, Svarūpa Dāmodara pointed out when we were in Washington that most of these big, big men, they admit that they don't know where their inspiration comes from; it just comes. Just like that Mozart or one of those composers. He just used to write the music, but he had no idea where it was coming from. He did not think it out.

Prabhupāda: And that is the answer in the Bhagavad-gītā: mattaḥ. Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). So intelligence also comes from God. Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca.

Atreya Ṛṣi: One of the questions Iranians ask a lot is that if He is giving us the intelligence, why doesn't He give us enough intelligence so that we could be God conscious?

Prabhupāda: Yes, He's giving. Read the Bhagavad-gītā. But you rascals don't accept, what can be done? God is personally coming to give you intelligence, take this intelligence. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham (BG 4.7): "I come when there is no intelligence. When you are all rascals, I come to give you intelligence. But you don't take, what can I do?" That is God's mission, that "These rascals, without properly being guided they'll go to hell. Let Me give them some intelligence." That is Bhagavad-gītā. That is Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna is . . . kārpaṇya doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ: "I have become confused, so give me intelligence." Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). He's taking intelligence, how to tackle the situation. He was confused. He was to fight as a kṣatriya, but he saw that the persons with whom he has to fight, they are all family members. So what kind of fight is it? Who is fighting with family members? That was his confusion. Suppose we are Kṛṣṇa conscious Society. Then if we declare fight amongst ourselves, is that very intelligent? So actually the Kurukṣetra battle was like that. Some intrigue of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, that his son will occupy the throne, that was the cause of fight. So Arjuna thought that "My uncle may be intriguing person. He has brought this disaster, fight amongst the family members, so why shall I do it? Better let them enjoy. They are also family members. Why this unnecessary fight?" He was reasonable. He was not unreasonable—very good man that, "After all, they are also our family members. Let them enjoy. Why there is unnecessary fight amongst family members?" He was not a coward, but he's good, reasonable man that, "We are all brothers. They want to rule over. Let them rule over. Why fight?" Sometimes it is misunderstood, Kṛṣṇa is misunderstood, that Arjuna is such a nice man, he didn't want to fight, and Kṛṣṇa's inducing him, "Yes, you must fight." It is puzzling. God is inducing a good man to fight, who does not want to fight. It is really puzzling. Is it not?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Arjuna is a good, nice man that, "After all, it is family property. So other brothers, they want to rule it over. Let them do it. I shall better beg only. Why shall I kill them?" It is a good proposal. Very nice gentleman's proposal. And Kṛṣṇa said: "No, you must fight." So that Kṛṣṇa's position is very awkward, that He'll induce such a good man to fight. So superficially one can criticize, "How is this? What kind of God you have got, Kṛṣṇa, that He induces a very nice gentleman to fight in the family?" Superficially, it is like that. But they do not know that this is foolishness, to deny the order of Kṛṣṇa. So who can understand this philosophy? Unless one is a great devotee of Kṛṣṇa, he cannot understand. From superficial angle of vision, Kṛṣṇa is inducing a nice gentleman to fight, and we are worshiping that Kṛṣṇa? So it is very puzzling. "Your God is like that? What kind of God you have got, inducing gentleman to fight amongst families?" They can criticize like that.

Jñānagamya: We have to say what kind of family has he got.

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. Superficially, this is the position. But still Arjuna says that, "You instruct me." He doesn't give up. He doesn't reject Kṛṣṇa that, "Kṛṣṇa, I am such a gentleman. I do not wish to fight. You are inducing me to fight, I don't want Your guidance." No. Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi mām (BG 2.7)—"I surrender unto You." And therefore Arjuna is so great. He's not so-called gentleman; he is devotee. What was your question? Why God does not come to instruct us? Who said? You told me. It was your question?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, why doesn't He give us enough intelligence . . .

Prabhupāda: He's giving intelligence. But if you don't accept, what can be done? He has come Himself, and He's giving intelligence. You take it and be happy. But if you don't take it, what God can do?

Hari-śauri: Then your argument that I have no independence, that's not correct.

Prabhupāda: No. You have got independence—little independence.

Atreya Ṛṣi: You have freedom to choose intelligence or be a rascal.

Prabhupāda: You have got independence to misuse your independence. That independence you have got. You have been given intelligence. Now you have got . . . because you have got intelligence, little independence, you can misuse that. Just like you are all my secretaries. So I give you some independence. You can misuse it. So that misuse is wrong. Then you'll become unhappy. Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). Says. He doesn't force you—you must do it. You do it. That means independence. Now it is your choice. (indistinct aside) You have got independence of misusing it. So independence is a quality inherent in living beings, because he's part and parcel of God. The quality of the father is inherited by the son, even physically. Similarly, you have . . . God is fully independent, you have got little touch of independence. Now that independence is properly utilized when you carry out the order of God. That is proper. Ordinarily, every country is independent. Does it mean that he is cent percent independent? No. Then why there is police department? Similarly, we are part and parcel of God. We have got little independence. But if we misuse it, then we shall be punished. So there is no question of independence. Independence, little; that is interdependence, not independence. Why they declare independence? That is their foolishness.

Hari-śauri: It's always very relative.

Prabhupāda: Not absolute.

Hari-śauri: No.

Prabhupāda: Absolute independence, God. Even if you have got little independence it is relative, under conditions.

Nandarāṇī: And the purpose of śāstra is to direct this minute independence so that it is not misused?

Prabhupāda: Just like in your state, you are independent citizen, but you must be guided by the laws. If you violate the laws, immediately you will be prisoner. The śāstra is like that, laws. You have little independence, you can utilize it fully, under the laws. As soon as you violate, you are immediately put into suffering. It is like that. Because you are a citizen of an independent country, America, doesn't mean that you can do whatever you like. But you do according to the laws of the country.

Dayānanda: Śrīla Prabhupāda, you were talking about dharma, following dharma and Krsna says: "Give up dharma", you were talking the other morning on the walk about dharma, and dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra (SB 1.1.2).

Prabhupāda: Dharma means what God says, that is dharma. But you have created your own dharma. You give up that dharma.

Hari-śauri: He's not referring to sanātana-dharma.

Prabhupāda: Law given by the state, that is law. If you create a law at home, that is not law. So dharma means what is ordained by Kṛṣṇa, God, that is dharma. And other things, that may be temporary. You can create some laws within your family, but that is not generally applicable to others. But when it is given by the government, that is real law. That is applicable to all people. When you go out to the street, you have to abide by the laws of the state, the light. As soon as there is red light, you have to stop. At home you may not make such rules and regulations. But that is within your home, that is not generally. Similarly, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66) means what you have made at your home, concoction, give up all these dharmas. Here is the real dharma: mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. That is dharma. Everyone has to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, or God. And that is real dharma. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Dayānanda: Śrīla Prabhupāda, is that what it means in the Bhagavad-gītā when Kṛṣṇa says that we have to go śruti-vipratipannā, we have to go beyond just hearing about these different . . .?

Prabhupāda: Find out that verse.

Dayānanda: (mumbling)

śruti vipratipannā te
yadā sthāsyati niścalā
samādhāv acalā buddhis
tadā yogam avāpsyasi
(BG 2.53)

Prabhupāda: Read loudly.

Dayānanda: "When your mind is no longer disturbed by the flowery language of the Vedas, and when it remains fixed in the trance of self-realization, then you will have attained the divine consciousness."

Prabhupāda: So ritualistic ceremonies, Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Everywhere there are some ritualistic ceremony. So when you go above this . . . just like Kṛṣṇa says in another place, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (BG 15.15). By performing the Vedic ritualistic ceremony, the ultimate goal is to understand Kṛṣṇa. So if you understand Kṛṣṇa, then you may not perform this ritualistic ceremony, because you have come to the objective. Not before that. That is sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). Vedic ritualistic ceremony is that if you perform this yajña, then you go to the heavenly planet and there you'll get so long life, ten thousands of years, you get nice woman, and so on, so on. So many things. So people are after that, karma-kāṇḍa. So this karma-kāṇḍa is required so long one is unaware of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When one understands this karma-kāṇḍa elevation is not the aim of our life, our real aim of life how to go back home, back to Godhead, then these things are not required. Just like we have no ritualistic ceremony, we have simply devotional service. We have no ritualistic ceremony. There are so many things ritualistic. And we are performing only this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, mahā-mantra.

Therefore the smārta brāhmaṇas, they misunderstand. They do not admit that they have become elevated. The Jagannātha temple does not allow. But when one becomes a pure Vaiṣṇava, then tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā (SB 3.33.7), he has performed all the ritualistic devotion. Therefore he has come to the right point: simply devotional service. There are many statements in the śāstras, that when you come to the devotional platform, you haven't got to perform these ritualistic ceremonies. Because the end of ritualistic ceremony, you have come to the point. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: dharmaḥ projjhita kaitavo (SB 1.1.2). Kaitava means cheating. Cheating type of dharma is rejected here. This karma-kāṇḍa, by performing some ritualistic ceremony you may go to a heavenly planet, but what benefit you will have? That one has to understand. You can enjoy there materialistic . . . highest type of materialistic civilization, means eating, sleeping, mating. These things you can get. But you have to come back again. Kṣine punye martya-lokaṁ viśanti (BG 9.21). So what benefit there is? No benefit. Just like in British period, some Englishman was made viceroy of India. Then after five years they sent to London, again with his bag, marketing in the street. This has been seen practically. Lord such-and-such, he's traveling in a third-class compartment with a bag for marketing. But so long he was viceroy, oh, so much honor, so much prestige. So where is that prestige now? These ritualistic ceremonies are like that. For some years you become viceroy, and then again fall down. That is your Nixon. What is the position of Nixon now? He is ordinary man. That's all.

Harikeśa: He's making a lot of money from his book.

Prabhupāda: That is, everyone will read, but he's not in that position of president. Money, there are many merchants that make more money than Nixon. That is not the criterion. That position. So it is like that.


Prabhupāda: So what is Mr. Ali's . . .? Any question?

Ali: Sorry, I can't . . .

Atreya Ṛṣi: Would you be more comfortable inside, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: No, I am quite all right. If you want to go, I shall go.

Atreya Ṛṣi: If we have more people, if the more people come, then we'll go inside.

Prabhupāda: More people is there?

Hari-śauri: No, he's saying if.

Atreya Ṛṣi: If they come.

Prabhupāda: All right.

Hari-śauri: Prabhupāda was wondering if you had any questions.

Ali: All right. I was thinking about the material platform which you mentioned last night, and I could not figure out how vast this platform is, what does it consist of, how do we define this platform. Is nature materialism? I mean, there are many things which are obvious, such as money, greed, etcetera. But how about nature, love?

Prabhupāda: We have got three platforms, generally. Material platform divided into two—gross and subtle—and there is spiritual platform. The body is material platform, divided into two, gross and subtle. And then if you are fortunate enough to come to the spiritual platform, then your life is successful. So the karmīs generally . . . just like we see in the city, they are all busy, working very hard. They are on the gross material platform. And then next class, just like scientist, poet, philosopher, they are in the subtle platform. And above them, there are persons who are simply interested in spiritual understanding. They are on the spiritual platform. So according to the platform, there are thoughts and activities also. Your question is what is about these so many things. So first of all you have to understand in which platform he is situated. Then his activities are ascertained. If you are in the material platform, doing some business, making some profit, and if you bring there question—"What is this, use of material profit? This body is temporary. Why I am . . ."—then your material activities will be finished. So we have to understand first of all what is our actual objective. And then if we stand in that platform, then our life is successful.

Ali: Does this mean that a person should totally detach himself from the world, from his surrounding?

Prabhupāda: That you cannot do. Just like we are, although we are interested fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it doesn't mean that we do not live in a house, we do not eat, we do not use motorcar, we do not use typewriter, Dictaphone. We are using everything, but the purpose is different. We are traveling and paying heavily to the air companies. Whenever I travel, at least five, six men go with me, and one round trip world travel means . . . sixteen thousand dollars or sixteen hundred dollars?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Sixteen thousand. About five, six people, one round trip is about twelve thousand dollars.

Prabhupāda: So twelve thousand dollars means about more than one lakh of rupees. So we are spending that, but not for any other purpose than for Kṛṣṇa's service. Anywhere we speak we are talking only Kṛṣṇa, trying to push on Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is our business. So the platform is different. Eh? Externally, one can see, they are also spending so much money for traveling, they are living in a nice house and they have some nice car, how you say. But the consciousness is different. Another example in this connection, that I am sitting on this chair and there is a bug also. He is also sitting on this chair. But that does not mean the bug and myself equal. The bug's business is different, my business is different. But superficially, if one sees that "The bug and Swāmījī's on the same chair, therefore they're all equal?" that is not the fact. Similarly, we may be using all these material things, but we have no material business. We have simply spiritual business.

Ali: It is living in the material world without become attached to it.

Prabhupāda: No, we have no attachment. We can sit down in this nice building, we can sit down anywhere. We are not attached to this building; we are attached to push on Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is our business. And unconditionally we can push on Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ahaituky apratihatā. It is not that if we don't get a nice building as Atreya Ṛṣi has supplied, then we cannot push on. No. That is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just like I began this movement underneath a tree in New York, Tompkinson Square. What is that?

Devotees: Tompkins Square Park.

Prabhupāda: I used to sit down there. There was no mṛdaṅga. A small dundubhi. And I was chanting three hours—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. And people used to come.

Nava-yauvana: In a very bad neighborhood. Very low class neighborhood.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Low class, high class, we don't mind. We chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, that's all. That 26 Second Avenue was also not very good neighborhood.

Jñānagamya: It's the worst place in the country. (laughter) But you made it the best.

Prabhupāda: But I did not know. Mukunda suggested this is good place. All right, live here. And actually happened to be good place. Gradually, all my disciples came. So I had no disturbance. I was living in the Bowery Street, and on my door these bums were lying with urine and wine bottles and everything. Still, they were so respectful. When I'll come, "Yes, you can enter. Please come." (laughter) I had no quarrel with them. They were very kind. They welcomed me, they opened the door, "Please go." They also knew that, "He's a harmless man." So, platform, if you remain on the spiritual platform, this material condition cannot hamper you. Ahaituky apratihatā (SB 1.2.6). Then yenātmā suprasīdati, in that condition you can execute. First of all, we have to ascertain on which platform we shall stand. And if you want to stand on the spiritual platform, nothing can check it. That is not conditioned. So why not stand directly to the spiritual platform and make your life successful? That is our preaching. People in general, they do not know the importance of the spiritual platform. Therefore they prefer to stay in the material platform. They have no sufficient education.

Ali: Why couldn't spirits grow without taking this body? Why couldn't spirits grow in the spiritual world without taking this material body.

Prabhupāda: You can go. It is your punishment. The material body . . . if one thinks in the prison house, "How one can live without prison house?" that is his misconception. Generally, one is expected to live outside the prison. But because that person is in the prison house since a long time, he cannot think that without prison house one can live. That is misconception. He has no idea of spiritual life, therefore he's thinking like that. Real business is how to get out of the prison. But he's thinking just the opposite way that, "If I do not remain in the prison, how can I eat?" A thief is thinking that, "I'm living here very comfortably, without stealing. I'm getting food and shelter. And if I go outside, I have to steal again." So it is good life? That is due to ignorance. There is very good life without the prison house. That he does not know. He does not know that there is a spiritual world where a spirit soul can live very comfortably, meeting God every day, talking with Him, dancing with Him. That he has no idea.

Ali: How can a spirit become so ignorant?

Prabhupāda: On account of no education. Therefore we are giving education. Because they are in gross ignorance, they require education. Therefore this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, educational.

Atreya Ṛṣi: In the beginning, how does the spirit become ignorant, falls into ignorance?

Prabhupāda: He's not . . . just like in the same question, a criminal, if you say: "In the beginning, how he became criminal," is that very intelligent question? What do you think? A prisoner, criminal, is living in the prison house since a long time, and if you raise this question, "In the beginning, how he became a criminal," is that very intelligent question?

Atreya Ṛṣi: No, but not everyone is prisoner.

Prabhupāda: No, this question. Even anyone can become criminal, any moment. There is no question of beginning. At any moment you can begin. You are honest gentleman, very good. You are working in a nice spot. At any time, any moment, you can become a criminal and go to prison house. That is . . . you are prone to. As soon as you misuse your little independence, you become a criminal. That is the difficulty. You have got some independence. As soon as we misuse that independence, immediately we are criminal, go to prison house. Daivī hy eṣa guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). You cannot cheat material nature. Immediately she captures. Kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vañcha kare pasate māyā tare japati 'dhare. That beginning is possible at any moment. You haven't got to trace out the history. Even if you are very honest, you can become subjected to these criminal laws at any moment. You are prone to that. So there is no use wasting time how it was begun. You are criminal. Now make your treatment that you may not become criminal again. If you go to a doctor, you have got some sickness, and if the doctor inquires, "How it began?" So how it began? What business . . .? "Now I have got sickness, you treat me. That's all. What is the use of wasting time how it began? Some way or other, it has begun. Now I've come to you, make treatment." That's all. Why should we waste our time to find out the history how it began? That beginning can be possible at any moment. As soon as we misuse our little independence, immediately the beginning is there. A criminal means one who has violated the laws of the state. That is a fact. So when that violation began, so that is not very important thing. You have violated, you are in the prison house. That's all. That is important thing. (background discussion about candle and finding matches) (break)

Ali: Yes, that's right. My question is answered, but my confusion is still . . .

Prabhupāda: What is that confusion?

Ali: I'm amazed that . . . when someone tastes something, a nice fruit, something pleasant, he remembers, appreciates that, even in material world. How could someone see God and come from a source as powerful, as lovable as that, and then forget? How could he forget so easily and become so badly attached to this materialism? Why is it that we are so far? I know it's in due course to my actions . . .

Prabhupāda: That tendency is here. Because we are very small fragment of spiritual identity, that tendency is there. The example is given, just like fire and spark of the fire. The fire and the spark, the spark is very small, but it is fire. And the big fire, together they look very beautiful. With the fire, when the sparks come—phutt-phutt—so many sparks, it looks very beautiful. But the sparks sometimes fall down from the original fire. Then it is no more fire. It is fire, but it's extinguished; the illumination is over. So we are small particles of God. God is big fire, we are small particles. So we are playing with the big fire very nice, but there is chance of falling down. That chance is there. The big fire does not fall. The big fire is always blazing. But the small fire, although it is possessing the same quality of fire, it may fall down. So we are small particle, very, very small, atomic portion God. Therefore we have got the tendency to be separated from the big fire, and then we begin our material life. Just like another crude example: just like a very rich man's son, he's enjoying life. Sometimes he thinks, "Why not independently live? Why dependent on father?" He goes out and he becomes a hippie. There are many examples. He was living very comfortably, rich man's son, but he left the house of his father and became a hippie. There are many practical examples. Why does he do so? I have seen in Allahabad one big lawyer, very famous lawyer, Ferolal Bannerji. He had two sons. One son became a good barrister like him, and another son became a car-wala, driving a car. The reason was that this son, a car-wala, he fell in love with a low-class woman, and he preferred to remain a car-wala.

Hari-śauri: What is that, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Low-class woman. So she was living in a cottage, hut, cottage. So out of love he also preferred that, "I shall live with her, and I shall drive a car." So that is independence. He preferred. So that discrimination preference is there always. You can prefer a low-grade life out of your discretion. Nobody can check you. And by cultivation of knowledge you can become a big man. The two tendencies are there. There is no stereotyped idea. Otherwise, he has no independence. Who was speaking of that owl? There is an animal, owl. He doesn't like to remain in the sunlight. So that is also an animal. He is also eating, sleeping, mating, but he doesn't like the sunlight. What can you do? So God has given him all facility to remain as an owl, in darkness. That is God's kindness.

Atreya Ṛṣi: So we can fall as far as we want.

Prabhupāda: Fall or rise also. Why do you say fall? You can rise to the highest platform from the fallen condition. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. That you are in a fallen condition, come to the highest platform and talk with God, play with God, dance with God. That is our opportunity. Now it is up to you to take it or not to take it. That is up to you. But our propaganda is this: tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). You simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ tyaktvā deham—this is our propaganda. We are trying to induce people to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then his life is successful. But if you don't try to understand, that is your business. But we are offering that here is a movement, you try to understand Kṛṣṇa. What is the wrong there? But if you don't like, who can force you? We are going country to country, door to door, town to town. What is our business? We are simply requesting that "You try to understand Kṛṣṇa." And Kṛṣṇa says: "As soon as you understand Me, you come to Me." Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti (BG 4.9). Now it is up to you. If you take theoretically, that "If by understanding Kṛṣṇa I can go to the eternal, blissful spiritual life," why not try it? And if you inquire that, "All right, it is very good proposal. By going back to Kṛṣṇa, everything is solved. Yes, I'll go. So what is the method?" Then if I say: "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa," where is the difficulty? Why you are so much determined not to do anything to go back to home, back to Godhead? That is your misfortune. If it is so easy, and if it is the means of solving all the problems, why not try it, "All right, let me try in this life"? Why don't you do it? It is not a very difficult task. If you don't do it, then you are misfortunate. Therefore Caitanya, kono bhāgyavan jīva (CC Madhya 19.151). This is the process to be adopted by the some fortunate persons. But they do not want to become fortunate. They want to remain unfortunate. That is the difficulty.

Ali: So obviously this ignorance follows, even when we leave this body.

Prabhupāda: You leave this body, you accept another body. Tathā dehāntara prāptir (BG 2.13). Just like you have already accepted. When you were a child, this body was not there.

Ali: Does this happen instantly?

Prabhupāda: Not instantly. I mean to say you have changed your body. Similarly, after giving up this body, you'll change to another body. That's a fact.

Ali: And between those gaps, we are sleeping.

Prabhupāda: There is no gap. The nature's law . . . it is said that just like you are walking, step by step, like this, so when you fix up this step, then you take away this step.

Hari-śauri: Example of a caterpillar, how it moves from one leaf to another.

Prabhupāda: Similarly, when you by nature's law when it is fixed up, you'll have to accept this body, then you give up this body, and immediately enter into the womb of the mother to prepare another, similar body like the mother.

Ali: During this transformation, are we still ignorant? During this transformation from body to body.

Prabhupāda: No, he's not ignorant. This body . . . next body is achieved according to the consciousness. At the time of, if you are thinking of something to which you are very much attached, then you get that similar body. If you are thinking of your pet dog, then you get the dog's body. And if you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa, God, then you'll get the body like Kṛṣṇa. That will be decided at the time of your death. Because at the time of death you'll be absorbed with thinking which you have done throughout the whole life. Sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ (BG 8.6). Just like the whole day you are working with some business, at night also dreaming that, subtle body. So you have to train up yourself within this life how to think of Kṛṣṇa. Then there is chance of thinking of Kṛṣṇa at the time of death and go back to home. It is not difficult. Very easy.

Ali: So the ultimate goal is not to come back.

Prabhupāda: No, what is the use of coming here to suffer? Who is happy here? Can you find out anybody who is happy here?

Ali: Not that I've seen.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Ali: Not that I've seen.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Hari-śauri: Not that he has seen. He's not seen anyone.

Prabhupāda: Nobody. Do you think your king, Shah, is also happy? No. His sons, daughters, they are happy? No. He is also anxious how to keep his position, exalted position. He has to makes many plans, satisfy so many ministers, so many . . . so he is also full of anxiety. And a small bird eating some grain here, he's attracted for the grain, but he's looking this way, "Oh, here is a man, here is man. He may not do some harm to me." So everyone is full of anxiety. Sadā samudvigna dhiyam asad-grahāt (SB 7.5.5). Because we have adopted this material life, asad, our mind should always be full of anxiety. Nobody can be free from anxiety. That is not possible. Sadā samudvigna dhiyam asad-grahāt. Because we have accepted this temporary body, we have to be full of anxiety. This is law of nature. And if we act in this life to create another material body, then our all activities are spoiled. Parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam (SB 5.5.5). He did not ask about the constitutional position of himself, he simply engaged himself in dog's place. Then whatever activities he has done, it is simply defeat. Next body what he's going to get he does not know. If you become a minister in this life and next life you become a dog, then what is the benefit? Can anyone challenge this? "No, no, I'm not going to become a dog." Nobody can say. You are going to change the body—tatha dehāntara prāptir. Now what kind of body you'll get, that will depend on nature, not on yourself. If you go to a tailor's shop, so you have to pay for if you want a better garment. Similarly, what kind of body you will get, that will depend on your work. So in this life you may be a prime minister, but if you have worked like menial dogs and hogs, then you are going to get body of a dog and hog. That is nature's gift. You cannot check it. You have no hand on the administration of the nature. That is not possible. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). If you have infected some disease, you must suffer from that disease. This is nature's law. You cannot say: "Although I have infected the smallpox disease, I'll not suffer." No, you have to suffer. Or you have to die of that disease. You cannot check it.

So they do not know how nature is going on. Declaring independence. That is foolishness. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi (BG 3.27). And people are kept in ignorance. There is no school, no college, no institution to give instructions about this science. This is the position of modern civilization. People are kept in ignorance. They got the chance of human body to understand the value of life, but they are not given education by the father, by the guardian, by the king, by the guru. Nobody is giving. Therefore śāstra says you should not become a guru, you should not become a father, you should not become a king unless you are able to save him from these laws of nature, repetition of birth and death. Then you should not become. It's the duty of the guardians to give education to the dependents about the spiritual knowledge. But who is doing that? We are trying our bit because we are ordered by superior that "You do it." So we are trying as far as possible, that's all.

Ali: Is there a time limit for this spiritual growth? Is there a time limit?

Prabhupāda: No, in a moment you can be spiritually enlightened. So why don't you agree?

Ali: What I mean is from the time that you start, has it got deadline or something?

Prabhupāda: Well, starting, just like when there is a seed sown, the starting is there. Now it grows a tree and there is fruit, there is flowers. The fruit is green now. When it is yellow mango and ripe, you can take. The beginning is when you sow the seed. Just like child. The father puts the seed within the womb of the mother. The body begins from that moment, grows and grows. When it is fully grown up it comes out and acts and then walks. So beginning is there. You can begin at any moment. But it is spiritual, it does not take so much time. You should remember, spiritual. Just like speed, there are different kinds of speed—mental speed and physical speed. Physical speed, you have got a very good, nice airplane, still, you have to take twelve hours to reach London. And mental speed, you can immediately, within a second, go to London. And spiritual speed, still more. Kṛṣṇa says, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma mām eti (BG 4.9): as soon as you give up the body you immediately go to Kṛṣṇa. That is spiritual speed. Immediately. Not that so many miles, oh, Kṛṣṇaloka is far, far above this material sky, then spiritual sky. No. The spiritual speed is so high that tyaktvā dehaṁ, as soon as you give up this body, immediately. You can compare material speed and mental speed. Although you haven't got spiritual idea, still, we can at least imagine what is that spiritual speed. The mental speed is so rapid that by this speedy airplane I'll have to take four hours, you can reach there in four seconds by mental speed. That is within our experience. Then we can imagine how speedy is spiritual. It is actually known by education. It is a science. It is not sentiment. And everything is there.

Ali: How do you classify dreams?

Prabhupāda: Dreams is mental, subtle platform. Your gross body is not working, but your subtle mind is working. That's all. It is material.

Ali: The master is usually on a totally different level. It is quite obvious, from the actions, the talks, the understanding and the experience. How close does one, usually one student . . . how close does he get to the master? How closely does he understand the master? Or he could interrelate himself to the master?

Hari-śauri: He's asking how intimate does the connection become between the master and the disciples.

Prabhupāda: Simply by association.

Ali: But whatever you talk about, it comes from experience.

Prabhupāda: It is association. Just like you came yesterday, you have come again. Similarly, if you come again and again, then you become one of them. Association. You understand, then you become one of them. If you remain in touch with the fire, then you become warm, warm, warmer, and then fire. That example I have given you, the iron rod. Put it in the fire, association, it becomes warm, warmer, and one day, iron. After few hours you'll see that the iron rod is red hot. So it is no more iron, now it is fire. Association. By association one can become spiritualized. It is very important. We are opening so many branches all over the world with this purpose, to give the facility of association.

Ali: There are also so many masters now. So many . . .

Prabhupāda: That is your choice.

Ali: True.

Prabhupāda: Just like when you go to the market there are so many shops. Now it is your choice from which shop you have to purchase. First of all, you must know what is your need. If you want gold, and if you go to the cigarette shop, "Give me gold," then what benefit you'll get? He'll give you a cigarette and he'll cheat you, "Here is gold."

Atreya Ṛṣi: Śrīla Prabhupāda, is it possible to sit inside?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Atreya Ṛṣi: There are seven, eight people.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Atreya Ṛṣi: You can continue the discussion inside. (break)

Prabhupāda: . . . a small child, he does not know what is the meaning of bowing down. But he's doing it. This is association. But he's getting benefit. Not that because he does not know, he's not getting benefit. He's getting benefit.

(sounds of guests entering) (pause)

Prabhupāda: Put chair on that table. Yes. You can put this light off to that side.

Hari-śauri: Over there? On the desk?

Prabhupāda: Anywhere. Or down, keep it down. (speaks in Hindi to guests, asking where they come from)

Atreya Ṛṣi: Mr. Sharma is a devotee. He's a wonderful person. He's taken to spiritual life and very serious about it. Mr. Sahani is also very serious, he's . . .

Prabhupāda: No, every Indian is a devotee. This is the privilege of taking birth in India. There is . . . naturally he's devotee, and if he takes little education, take advantage of the Vedic instructions, then his life is successful. In the śāstra it is said even the demigods, they desire to take birth in India because this facility is there in India. This facility . . . the land is so sanctified that anyone who takes the body from this land, he's born sanctified. Now, if he further takes advantage of the Vedic knowledge, then his life becomes successful. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission is that anyone who has taken birth in India, make his life successful and then preach this knowledge to the outside world. The exact word:

bhārata bhūmite manuṣya janma haila yāra
janma sārthaka kari 'kara para-upakāra
(CC Adi 9.41)

Outside India they are in darkness. So it is the duty of the Indian to make his life perfect and spread his spiritual knowledge to the outside world. That is real welfare activity in the human society. That we are trying to do. Unfortunately, they have not taken very seriously what glorious activities for India we are doing. They do not understand.

Mrs. Sahani: Excuse me, does that mean that people from other religions, they . . . it is not possible for them to achieve the highest perfection of life?

Prabhupāda: It's possible. If you take advantage of the highest college, then you become . . . there is possibility of becoming highly educated. You cannot become highly educated sitting down in a dark room. That is not possible. Is it possible? You have to associate, take admission in the society where people are actually highly educated. The advantage is there, the possibility is there, but you have to take it.

Mrs. Sahani: From their own religion also.

Prabhupāda: Why you bring in religion? We are talking of knowledge.

Mrs. Sahani: Knowledge is there in all the religions.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Religion is now misunderstood. Religion is described in the dictionary, "a faith." So faith . . . your faith may be something, my faith may be something; that is not religion. Religion is described in the Vedic literature, "the law given by God." That is religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). So, just like law means the order given by the state, similarly, religion means the order given by God. So if you do not know what is God, what is His order, then what is your religion? Do you believe it or not? If you do not know what is God, if you do not know what is His word or what is His order, then where is your religion? If you do not know what is the government and if you do not know what is the government's order, then where is the question of law-abiding? Religion means, according to Vedic description . . . just like Kṛṣṇa said, mām ekām śaraṇaṁ vraja. This is religion. Sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66): "Give up all this nonsense. Surrender unto Me." So what is the objection? Religion is one: surrender to God. So where is the objection? And God says that "You surrender to Me." So where is the objection? So religion cannot be two. Religion one: surrender to God. If I say, "You are Muslim, you surrender to God," do you have any objection? If I say to a Christian, "You surrender to God," will he have any objection? Therefore religion is one. There cannot be two religions. Why you are bringing other religions? There is no question of other religions. Religion is one. You accept it?

Mrs. Sahani: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Nobody should have any objection. And if you do not surrender to God, then what is the meaning of your religion? It is bogus. That is the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: dharmaḥ projjhita kaitavo 'tra (SB 1.1.2). Here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam all this bogus type of religion is rejected. And what is that bogus type of religion? Bogus type means which religion does not know who is God and how to love Him. That's all. Do you agree or not?

Mrs. Sahani: Yes, I agree.

Prabhupāda: So religion cannot be two; religion one. God is one, and to offer our submission to Him, that is religion. Simple thing. And God comes personally to demand this. Sarva dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). This is religion. Now say what is your objection about this religion.

Mrs. Sahani: No objection at all. Religion means surrender to God. That's called real religion.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is religion. And that is first-class faith which teaches how to surrender to God. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6).

Mrs. Sahani: This is the highest knowledge.

Prabhupāda: That is highest knowledge. It doesn't matter whether you are Muhammadan, Christian or Hindu or this or that. Whether you know God and you have fully surrendered to Him, then it is perfect. Otherwise, it is simply waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevamalam. If you simply perform the ritualistic ceremonies very strictly, but you have no idea of God, you have no knowledge how to love Him, it is simply waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam.

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
(SB 1.2.8)

You are very religious, very nice, but are you interested with God or dog? "No, I am interested with dog." Then what is religion? Religion means you must be interested with God. That is religion. What is the report? How much they are interested now?

Nava-yauvana: Forty million pounds.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Forty million pounds are being spent in Germany to take care of dog. This is advancement of civilization.

Mrs. Sahani: And how to surrender to God? How to do this?

Prabhupāda: Simply surrender to God immediately. He says, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66).

Mrs. Sahani: For a layman who doesn't know anything about things.

Prabhupāda: People do not know. Therefore God comes personally to teach you. Why don't you take the teaching? Why don't you take? Kṛṣṇa is coming personally and teaching you. Why don't you take the teaching? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ (BG 18.66). Why don't you become fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa?

Mrs. Sahani: Yes, but for, you know . . .

Prabhupāda: That is another thing.

Mrs. Sahani: Someone has to create interest first, and then people will take the teaching.

Prabhupāda: That is conditional. But He wants unconditional surrender. That is religion. Of course, if you cannot surrender unconditionally, then you at least practice. That is also instructed: man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). At least think of Kṛṣṇa, man-māan. What is the difficulty if you think of Kṛṣṇa? What is the difficulty? Is there any difficulty?

Mrs. Sahani: You first have to surrender to God.

Prabhupāda: Eh? No difficulty. If you chant Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, where is the difficulty? That is man-manā. Apply your mind to Kṛṣṇa. Where is the difficulty? The difficulty is that we'll not do it. That is our determination. We shall do everything, but not this. That is the difficulty. Otherwise, there is no difficulty. Everyone will teach about Bhagavad-gītā. So many things they will speak, but nobody speaks that you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Rather, they will say Kṛṣṇa is fictitious, there was no Kṛṣṇa, there was no . . . they mislead, that's all. And he becomes a big scholar. The more he deviates you, misguides you, he becomes a big scholar. This is going on. Is it not? There are so many scholars, politicians, philosophers, they are talking of Bhagavad-gītā. Nobody is talking that Kṛṣṇa . . . surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Am I right or wrong? They'll say: "We have got different meaning of Kṛṣṇa." Now, this is the position. Why different meaning of Kṛṣṇa? All the sages, all the saintly persons, they have accepted Kṛṣṇa. Just like Arjuna, when he understood Bhagavad-gītā, he immediately accepted Kṛṣṇa: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). This is understanding of Kṛṣṇa. Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yan māṁ vadasi keśava (BG 10.14): "Keśava, whatever You have spoken, I take it altogether as it is." Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye. All fact. And they are manufacturing some meaning. How they'll understand Kṛṣṇa? This is going on. And our this movement has become little successful . . . people give me such credit, "Swāmījī, you have done wonderful." But I do not know what wonderful. I do not know any magic. I simply say that you accept Kṛṣṇa or Bhagavad-gītā as it is. That's all. That is my magic. And they are accepting it. We are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not make any interpretation that, "Kṛṣṇa means this, Kurukṣetra means this, Pāṇḍavas means this." No. We are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. You have seen our Bhagavad-gītā?

Mr. Sahani: Yes.

Prabhupāda: That's all. (break) Before this, before this movement I started ten years ago, so many svāmīs, philosophers came in the Western country. Not a single person became a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is our challenge. And now you'll find thousands and thousands. Because, what is secret? "As it is," that's all. No change.

Mr. Sahani: But as it is, it is in Sanskrit, and it is very difficult to understand in the . . .

Prabhupāda: Not at all. What is the difficulty? Suppose:

dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya
(BG 1.1)

So dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre. Kurukṣetra is still there, and it is a dharma-kṣetra. From Vedic order, Kurukṣetra is dharma ācaret. Still, people go there by thousands and by millions as pilgrimage. So where is the difficulty, dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre, unless you make difficulty? But as the literature is, dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre (BG 1.1), where is the difficulty to understand it? Kurukṣetra is there, and it is dharma-kṣetra. Where is the difficulty? Unless you make it difficult.

Ali: What is the meaning of "as it is."

Prabhupāda: "As it is" means Kurukṣetra is Kurukṣetra, dharma-kṣetra is dharma-kṣetra. That is "as it is."

Ali: Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa, Pāṇḍava is Pāṇḍava. That is "as it is."

Ali: Kṛṣṇa explains who He is.

Prabhupāda: No, first of all you have to understand. So Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself, "I am this." Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7): "There is no more superior authority than Me." You accept it. Why you accept another authority to understand Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat (BG 7.7). So there is no difficulty as it is. But we create difficulty. If somebody asks me, "Where is your nose?" if I say: "Here is my nose." And if I say, "No here," (laughter) then it is difficulty. If I say directly, "Here is my nose," there is no difficulty. But if I want to do like this, then it is difficulty. There is no difficulty. They have created difficulty. That is our folly. Therefore there is no result. That is the present position, that we have created difficulty in understanding Bhagavad-gītā, and we Indians are now practically out of our own culture.

Mrs. Sahani: Those who don't understand Kṛṣṇa, it's difficult for them.

Prabhupāda: How he will understand? He creates difficulty to understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says: "I am the supreme authority," and the person who heard from Kṛṣṇa, He says paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramam (BG 10.12), he accepts Kṛṣṇa as the supreme authority, Arjuna. And why we deviate? The speaker says that He is the supreme authority, and the listener, Arjuna, accepts Him. Now why we interpret? Boliye Sharma. What right you have got interpretation?

Mrs. Sahani: We interpret it according to our own design.

Prabhupāda: Eh? You cannot. If you have own design, don't touch Bhagavad-gītā. You make your own design and preach otherwise. Why you take advantage of the Bhagavad-gītā? This is criminal. If you have got a different philosophy, you preach. Everyone has got the right. But why you misinterpret Bhagavad-gītā? When you take advantage of the popularity of Bhagavad-gītā and you speak nonsense, that is not good. That has murdered the whole thing. And practically we see that. Bhagavad-gītā as it is, you try to understand, you get the benefit and your life is successful. Besides that, interpretation when it is required. When things are understood directly, there is no question of interpretation. The law of interpretation is like this: when the things are not distinct, then you can interpret in your own way, I can interpret in my own way. But when the things are distinct, there is no question of interpretation.

Mrs. Sahani: If that's so, then we don't understand because we don't want to understand.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the folly. You don't want to understand.

Mrs. Sahani: Because we have so many desires, we don't want to surrender.

Prabhupāda: We want to become bigger than Kṛṣṇa, than Arjuna. This is our folly. But the process is, as recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). You have to understand from the higher authorities.

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
(BG 4.1)
evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa
(BG 4.2)

As soon as you give up this line of understanding, then it is lost. Yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. Then you are dealing in not Bhagavad-gītā, something else, something rubbish. Yogo naṣṭaḥ. It is naṣṭaḥ, it is spoiled. As soon as you interpret, it is spoiled. First of all, why you should interpret? If the meaning is clear, there is no chance of interpreting. If the meaning is not clear, then you can interpret. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre (BG 1.1) is clear. Why should you interpret? Boliye Sharmajī. If dharma-kṣetra kuru-kṣetra is clear, why should you interpret? When things are clear, interpretation means you are playing joke. So our this movement presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, so they are being accepted all over the world, and we are getting good devotees, sincere devotees. All parts of the world.


Ali: In choosing a master you mentioned that the choice is yours. But you have to know what you are after. For instance, if you are after . . .

Prabhupāda: Our offer is you surrender to God. Now it is your choice, whether you want to surrender not. That is your business. We are offering everyone that, "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa, or God." Kṛṣṇa also says the same thing, "You surrender to Me," and we are asking, "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." The business is the same; there is no change. As it is. Kṛṣṇa says: "You surrender to Me," we say, "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." There is no difference. As it is.

Ali: My question was how could one choose when he himself is ignorant?

Prabhupāda: By knowledge. Here is knowledge. You have not surrendered to God, you take the knowledge from God that, "You surrender to Me." That is knowledge. Why don't you take it? Where is the question of ignorance? You may be in ignorance, but when the knowledge comes directly that, "You surrender to Me," then you can do it. Just like a man is fallen in a dark well. He's crying, "Save me, save me," and one man drops a rope, "Please catch it, I'll save you." If you don't catch, then whose fault it is? Kṛṣṇa comes directly, paritrāṇāya sādhūnām (BG 4.8), and He says: "Do it." If you don't do it, then whose fault it is? It is your fault. You don't catch it. Kṛṣṇa says: "Here is the rope. Catch it. I shall take it . . . take you out of this well." But if you don't catch it, then whose fault is it?

Mrs. Sahani: Excuse me, once you surrender to God, will you still have to look for an authority to guide you, or Kṛṣṇa helps you to find Him?

Prabhupāda: Yes, Kṛṣṇa is giving direction, but we have no such intelligence. Therefore Kṛṣṇa advises:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

You go to a person who has seen the truth and you understand. Because they are not understanding Kṛṣṇa directly or through the agent, they are misled, they are misinterpreting. That is their folly. They'll not understand Kṛṣṇa directly, neither they'll understand through Kṛṣṇa's agent. Therefore they are misguided.

Mrs. Sahani: Is it possible to understand Kṛṣṇa directly?

Prabhupāda: No. You can if you are intelligent enough. Otherwise, everyone can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He says directly everyone. He's not saying to Arjuna, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66). Why don't you do it? Because you cannot understand. If you understood, you have done it immediately. But you do not understand. Therefore Kṛṣṇa—tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā upadekṣyanti (BG 4.34)—you have to understand through the person who tatva-darśinaḥ, who has seen Kṛṣṇa. Tattva-darśina, not theoretical. You have to approach such person, then he will show you, "Here is Kṛṣṇa." But if you don't follow the instruction in Bhagavad-gītā directly or indirectly . . . Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). If you do not do that, and because you may not understand Kṛṣṇa . . . but Kṛṣṇa also says, tad viddhi praṇipātena . . . you do not go to a seer, then how you'll understand Kṛṣṇa? You do not understand directly or indirectly. Then you are hopeless.

Mrs. Sahani: If you don't understand Kṛṣṇa directly . . .

Prabhupāda: Neither indirectly. If you don't understand directly, you should go to a person who understands Kṛṣṇa. But if you don't do either of these things, then how you'll understand Kṛṣṇa?

Mrs. Sahani: But how to, because in India there's so many . . .

Prabhupāda: Don't talk of India, any place.

Mrs. Sahani: Any place, yes. But how do we be sure that this person knows Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Mrs. Sahani: How can we be sure that this person knows Kṛṣṇa?

Atreya Ṛṣi: How can she be sure that the spiritual master is bona fide?

Prabhupāda: If when you see that he does not speak anything except Kṛṣṇa, that is tattva-darśi. If you are expert businessman in certain line, you have no other business than to talk with on that line. Suppose if you are to purchase some gold, then you have to go to the gold market for dealing with gold. Why should we go to the ice market? That is your ignorance. If you want to know Kṛṣṇa, then you have to know from the persons who are dealing with Kṛṣṇa. That's all. They have no other business. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are dealing with Kṛṣṇa. That's all. We're writing books, so many books for Kṛṣṇa. We are preaching, we are going country to country. We simple deal with Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the movement is known as "Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Somebody suggested me, "Why don't you write 'God consciousness'?" No, if I say: "God consciousness," they'll bring so many gods. It is very simple. If we take it seriously, then benefit is there. But if we hesitate, it is our misfortune.

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

To understand Kṛṣṇa is not a joke. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu—out of millions and millions of persons, kaścid yatati siddhaye, one may try for perfection of life. And yatatām api siddhānām (BG 7.3), and out of many such persons who have attained perfection, kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ, somebody may know. So to understand Kṛṣṇa is not so easy job. But Kṛṣṇa personally comes and teaches about Himself, and still if we do not take, that is our misfortune. If we still interpret . . . misinterpret, rather, then it is our misfortune. What can be done? We should, those who are Indians, Bhāratavarṣī, they have got a particular duty. Bhārata bhūmite haila manuṣya janma yāra (CC Adi 9.41). One who has taken birth as a human being in India, he should make his life perfect and distribute the knowledge. So you are outside India, you make your life perfect and distribute this knowledge. This is the duty of the Indians. Why outside India they should remain in darkness? Distribute the knowledge. But unless you make your life perfect, how you can distribute?

Mrs. Sahani: Takes very long.

Prabhupāda: Eh? Very easy, provided you want to do it.

Mrs. Sahani: But takes long time to surrender to Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: No long time. I say a moment. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66). You do it. You can do it in a moment. But you'll not do it. That is the difficulty.

Mrs. Sahani: Yes, we are doing that.

Prabhupāda: You can do it immediately, but unfortunately you'll not do it. What can be done? There is a story, I may narrate it. One poor man was begging on the street, and Lord Śiva and Pārvatī was passing as ordinary man. So Pārvatī requested Lord Śiva that this poor man, he's asking, he's begging, so requested him, "Why don't you give him something?" And Lord Śiva replied: "Even if I give, he'll not be able to enjoy it. He's so unfortunate." "Oh, that we shall see. Why don't you give?" So Lord Śiva, in a watermelon, gave him, say, one thousand dollars. "You take this watermelon." So he thanked him, and after that he thought, "What I shall do with this watermelon?" So another man came, "Sir, if you take this watermelon and give me one anna." So he gave one anna and he took the watermelon. Because he had no good fortune to take that money within the watermelon. Our fortune is like that. Kṛṣṇa is giving us the final benefit, but we are not taking care of it. This is our misfortune.

Mr. Sahani: It is knowledge, that we don't have the knowledge, or enlightenment that in that watermelon there is something which is worth? Or it is only that we don't want to do it, or we don't want to take the trouble?

Prabhupāda: That chance is there. You can take the watermelon and cut it, but before that doing, if you give it to somebody else, that is your misfortune.

Mr. Sahani: No, fortune is something which we say . . .

Prabhupāda: No, I am talking of misfortune. That the perfect knowledge is being distributed by Kṛṣṇa, but we are so misfortunate we do not take it. That is my point. Kṛṣṇa . . .

Mr. Sahani: Misfortune is again, is not in the hands of you and me.

Prabhupāda: No, misfortune is your creation. Fortune . . . man is the architect of his own fortune. So you can create your fortune and misfortune. That is the world, going on. So many people, they are working, somebody is creating fortune, somebody is creating misfortune. So anyway, when Kṛṣṇa directly is giving you the knowledge, perfect knowledge, why don't you take it? Is it not misfortune?

Mr. Sahani: Well, that probably is ignorance, laziness.

Prabhupāda: That is misfortune. Ignorance means misfortune. The unfortunate persons are those who are ignorant, uneducated. Therefore you have to take education to become fortunate. And that education is being imparted by Kṛṣṇa, but you don't take it. That is misfortune. If you take education from Kṛṣṇa, you become fortunate. So why don't you take it? Kṛṣṇa has said this very thing.

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
(BG 7.15)

These are the classes. One who does not take the advantage of Kṛṣṇa's instruction, he's immediately grouped in these category: duṣkṛtina, mūḍhā, narādhama, māyayāpahṛta-jñānā, āsuraṁ bhāvam. Kṛṣṇa says personally. One who does not take to Kṛṣṇa's instruction, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66), then how he's grouped? He's grouped:

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
(BG 7.15)

He has grouped. Duṣkṛtina means he has got intelligence, kṛti. Kṛti means one who has got intelligence, merit. But his merit is being utilized for sinful activities, duṣkṛtina. If merit is used for good work, that is called sukṛtina. And if the merit is used for manufacturing something harmful to the human society, then it is duṣkṛtina. Merit is there. A thief, rascal and cheater, he has got good merit, but he's using it for bad purpose. They are duṣkṛtina. Why he has become so? Mūḍhā. Because he does not know his interest, ass. The example is ass, mūḍhā. The ass does not know his interest. He is loading tons of cloth for others' interest, for a morsel of grass. And the rascal does not know he can get grass anywhere. Why he is taking so much trouble? Muḍḥā. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino, narādhamāḥ. And this human life was meant for understanding this, nara, but he has misused the life's asset. Narādhamāḥ, lowest of the mankind. How it happened? They are so educated. Māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. Their education has no value. Why? Āsuraṁ bhāvam, don't care for Kṛṣṇa, don't care for God. "We are everything. We are God." This is going on. Māyayāpahṛta-jñānā āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ. These are descriptions in the Bhagavad-gītā.

catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ
sukṛtino 'rjuna
arthārthī jñānī jijñāsur
(BG 7.16)

Everything is explained there. If somebody comes to Kṛṣṇa even with material motive, ārto arthārthī . . . there are four classes of men: ārto, arthārthī, jñānī, jijñāsur. So jñānī, for the sake of knowledge, tries to understand what is God, what is Kṛṣṇa. Jijñāsur, inquisitive, actually what is Kṛṣṇa. And those who are less than them, when they become distressed, artha, or in need of money, they pray to Kṛṣṇa. Still, they have gone to Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are called sukṛtinaḥ. And one who has not gone to Kṛṣṇa, simply speculating, that description: māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. These things are there.

Mr. Sahani: Māyā is also very attached to everybody. It still can be jijñāsur and jñānī? Maya ke bandhan me rehte hue bhi jijnasur aur gyani ho sakte hain? (Even when we are in the clutches of illusion can we be inquisitive and knowledgeable?)

Prabhupāda: No. Maya ka bandhan choot ja raha hai jab Krishna ko surrender karenge. (The ties of illusion are cut when we surrender to Kṛṣṇa.) Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te. Your first business is to surrender. Then māyā will not touch you.

Mrs. Sahani: Kṛṣṇa says that not even a leaf moves without His desire, and this present life is . . . (indistinct) . . . of our past life.

Prabhupāda: Yes, you have to take sanction. You have to take sanction because Kṛṣṇa is the supreme controller. If you request repeatedly, "Kṛṣṇa, I want to steal something," so Kṛṣṇa will say, "No, no, don't do it. It is not good." But . . .

Mrs. Sahani: But bhakti . . .

Prabhupāda: It is not bhakti, it is a common affair. You want to do some . . . just like a thief. A thief steals very privately. Why? Because Kṛṣṇa says: "Don't do it." But he does, still. So Kṛṣṇa says always good things, but you don't care for it.

Mr. Sahani: But when, as said, that no leaf moves without the intentions of Kṛṣṇa, what does that thief . . .

Prabhupāda: Without hearing the good advice of Kṛṣṇa, he does it at his risk. That's all. He'll be arrested, he'll be put into jail. That's all. He'll suffer. But Kṛṣṇa gives him good counsel, "Don't do it." Mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca (BG 15.15). He's situated in every heart, but if you persist to do something, He gives, "All right, do at your risk. What can I do?" You suffer. That independence you have got. Just like State. State does not advise anyone that, "You become a criminal." But when he becomes criminal, then he's put into jail. State says: "Everyone go to the university, be educated." But if you make your choice, go to the prison house, you can make your choice. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says everyone, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65). But if you make your choice to go to hell, what can He do?

Mrs. Sahani: This means that we have the freedom.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, you have got little freedom. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: "You do it." He does not force. He can force you. He's all-powerful. But He does not force. He gives you the chance, "Do it, you'll be happy." If you don't do it, that is your choice. Yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). Eh? (aside) Find out this verse, yathecchasi tathā kuru. Kṛṣṇa gives Arjuna the freedom, "Now I have given you all instruction, now make your choice." Yathecchasi tathā kuru. "Whatever you like, you do."

(devotees trying to find verse)

Prabhupāda: What is the difficulty? Could not find? Ask somebody else.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Hari-śauri's trying.

Prabhupāda: Why don't you ask Pradyumna?

Hari-śauri: He's downstairs somewhere.

Prabhupāda: But downstairs, he cannot come!

Hari-śauri: Well, I tried to look it up in the index.

Prabhupāda: Index is not there. It is in the middle, yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). Index you'll find only the beginning. Just after . . . just before the verse sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66).

Hari-śauri: Oh. Iti te jñānam . . .

Prabhupāda: Ah, iti te jñānam.

Hari-śauri: . . . ākhyātaṁ guhyād guhyataraṁ mayā vimṛśyaitad aśeṣeṇa yathecchasi tathā kuru.

Prabhupāda: "I have given you knowledge, confidential, more confidential, most confidential. Now you consider, you deliberate upon this and do whatever you like." And what Arjuna replied? Naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā tvat-prasādan keśava. Find it.


naṣṭo mohaḥ smṛtir labdhā
tvat-prasādan mayācyuta
sthito 'smi gata-sandehaḥ . . .

Prabhupāda: Sthito 'smi gata-sandehaḥ kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73). This is understanding. "Now my illusion is gone," naṣṭo mohaḥ. Smṛtir labdhā. "I am in my original consciousness." So what you'll do? Kariṣye vacanaṁ tava. "You are asking to me to fight? I shall do it." Everything is explained here. Kṛṣṇa gives you freedom, yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). And one who understands Kṛṣṇa, he says, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava. That's it. Not by interpretation, or refuse by interpretation. That is not Kṛṣṇa's . . . kariṣye vacanaṁ tava. This is understanding. Otherwise simply waste of time. Śrama eva hi kevalam (SB 1.2.8). If you like, you can waste your time. And find out this verse, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ (BG 18.69), ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati (BG 18.68). Find that, ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati.

Pradyumna: What's the first word?

Hari-śauri: Jayanam guhyaṁ.

Prabhupāda: Read, after sixty-fourth verse, read all the verses.


sarva-guhyatamaṁ bhūyaḥ
śṛnu me paramaṁ vacaḥ
iṣṭo 'si me dṛḍham iti
tato vakṣyāmi te hitam
(BG 18.64)

"Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit."

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo 'si me
(BG 18.65)

"Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend."

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
(BG 18.66)

"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear."

idaṁ te nātapaskāya
nābhaktāya kadācana
na cāśuśrūṣave vācyaṁ
na ca māṁ yo 'bhyasūyati
(BG 18.67)

"The confidential knowledge may not be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Me."

ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ
mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ
(BG 18.68)

"For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me."

na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu
kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
bhavitā na ca me tasmād
anyaḥ priyataro bhuvi
(BG 18.69)

"There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear."

Prabhupāda: This is decided, that if we present this Bhagavad-gītā as it is . . . ya idaṁ param? What is that? Ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyam (BG 18.68)?


ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ
mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ
(BG 18.68)

Prabhupāda: Asaṁśayāh. So he becomes immediately recognized by Kṛṣṇa. If you preach Bhagavad-gītā as it is, immediately you become recognized. Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ (BG 18.69). So one has to understand it perfectly well and then preach, then his life is perfect. And what Sañjaya says? Yatra yogeśvaro?


yatra yogeśvaraḥ kṛṣṇo
yatra pārtho dhanur-dharaḥ
tatra śrīr vijayo bhūtir
dhruvā nītir matir mama
(BG 18.78)

Prabhupāda: Jaya.

Pradyumna: "Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power and morality. That is my opinion."

Prabhupāda: That's all. So understand Kṛṣṇa like Arjuna. Then Kṛṣṇa is there, Arjuna is there, and all victory is there.

Mrs. Sahani: Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa. Anyone who surrenders to Kṛṣṇa can become Arjuna? Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa, anyone who surrenders to Kṛṣṇa . . .

Prabhupāda: He's like Arjuna. He's like Arjuna. What is Arjuna's qualification? He surrendered, and he says, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73). You become also Arjuna-like.

Mrs. Sahani: And the victory is there.

Prabhupāda: Yes, then victory is there. But if one can avoid Kṛṣṇa or kill Kṛṣṇa, then where is victory?

Mrs. Sahani: Here victory means that . . .

Prabhupāda: Victory, any man you can say victory. Where there is Kṛṣṇa, there is victory.

Mr. Sahani: But we don't want to go and fight like Arjuna, go out and kill people.

Prabhupāda: Why? If Kṛṣṇa orders, you must. Why don't you like? That is your misfortune. What Kṛṣṇa's . . . kariṣye vacanaṁ tava. That is following. You like or may not like. Arjuna did not like to fight. That's a fact. Therefore whole Bhagavad-gītā is spoken to him. Arjuna did not like fighting. But when he understood Bhagavad-gītā, he said: "Yes," kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73). You cannot give your verdict. What Kṛṣṇa says, you have to do it. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You like or don't like, that doesn't matter. Just like a child. He likes or not likes, but what the parent says, he has to do it. That is his success. If the child says: "Father, I don't like to go to school," will the father agree? "No, you must go to school." And if he agrees, that is his benefit. Our liking, not liking, has no value. What Kṛṣṇa likes, we have to do it. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇanu-śīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167), that is bhakti. Bhakti means ānukūlyena kṛṣṇanu-śīlanam. You have to act which is favorable to Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti. You cannot make you choice. What Kṛṣṇa says, you do it. That is bhakti. (break) What is that evil?

Mrs. Sahani: Well, they were not Kṛṣṇa conscious people.

Prabhupāda: Who?

Mrs. Sahani: Kauravas.

Prabhupāda: Kurma?

Hari-śauri: Kauravas.

Mrs. Sahani: They were evil . . .

Prabhupāda: Kaurava, oh. Yes. No, not that they are not Kṛṣṇa conscious—they may be. That's all right. My business is to execute what Kṛṣṇa says. That's all. That is bhakti.

tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
(CC Madhya 19.170)

Anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam ānukūlyena kṛṣṇanu (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.11). We have to act to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti. We cannot make our choice that, "This is good, this is bad." Whatever Kṛṣṇa says is all right. Then it is bhakti. Arjuna proposed that, "Kṛṣṇa, why shall I fight with my brothers? After all, they are my brothers. They are enjoying the kingdom. Let them enjoy. I shall better live by begging. Why shall I fight with them?" It is a very good proposal, very gentlemanlike. But Kṛṣṇa said: "No, you must fight." Kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam anārya-juṣṭam—"You're talking like anārya. Fight." This is the instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā. And when he understood that, "Kṛṣṇa wants it," he said, "Yes"—kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73). "Yes." So we cannot discriminate what is good or bad. We have to act according to the order of Kṛṣṇa. That is wanted. But you cannot do independently also. When Kṛṣṇa orders, you do it. And Kṛṣṇa will order when you are faithful servant. Buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam.

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te
(BG 10.10)
teṣām evānukampārtham
aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
nāśayāmy ātma . . .
(BG 10.11)

This is the process. If we manufacture our own ways, that is nonsense. That will not help us.

Mr. Sharma: When one person surrenders to God, surrenders to Lord Kṛṣṇa, so does māyā automatically vanishes?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa says . . .

Mr. Sharma: If I say, I pray to God, "O Lord Kṛṣṇa, I surrender unto You." So is . . . māyā will not touch me? I will not be affected by this material infection?

Prabhupāda: Yes. If you fully surrender, māyā will not touch you.

Mr. Sharma: How one surrenders? What is meaning of surrender?

Prabhupāda: Surrender as He says, sarva-dharmān . . . you have nothing to do. You have simply to do what Kṛṣṇa says. That is surrender. You cannot reserve anything that, "I do it something for me and something for Kṛṣṇa." That is not surrender. You have nothing to do except what Kṛṣṇa says. That is surrender.

Mr. Sharma: If that is surrender, means I now surrender.

Prabhupāda: Otherwise, it's not surrender.

Mr. Sharma: Only saying is not surrender?

Prabhupāda: You have to act, become active.

Mr. Sharma: So one who has surrendered, what is his thinking, his acting? How he lives in the world?

Prabhupāda: He's active only on Kṛṣṇa's business. That's all. He has no other business.

Mr. Sharma: So he does no other work. He does only what Kṛṣṇa has said.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Mr. Sharma: Preaching and this and that. So it means we people who work . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes, just like we are doing. Kṛṣṇa said that, "Surrender unto Me." And what we are preaching? We are preaching, "Sir, you surrender to Kṛṣṇa." So what is the difficulty? Is there any difficulty? Kṛṣṇa said: "Surrender unto Me." And if I go to you, "Mr. Sharma, you surrender to Kṛṣṇa." So what is my difficulty?

Mr. Sharma: Suppose I want to surrender to God, to Kṛṣṇa. How I will do it?

Prabhupāda: No, no, first of all my position, because I am working on behalf of Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa says: "You surrender unto Me." So if I say that, "Sir, you surrender to Kṛṣṇa," so where is my difficulty?

Mr. Sharma: I see. Yes, I say I surrender to Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: You surrender, not surrender, that is you business. But my business is that I am requesting you that you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. So where is my difficulty? You surrender, not surrender, that is your business. But my business is to canvass, "Sir, you surrender to Kṛṣṇa." So I am representing. And Kṛṣṇa says, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ (BG 18.69). I have to be recognized by Kṛṣṇa. That is my business. So if I do agree, then I become recognized by Kṛṣṇa. You do or not do, that is your business. My only business is to request you.

Mr. Sharma: That I should surrender.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But if you accept it, it is good for you; you don't accept it, that is your misfortune. But my business is finished.

Mr. Sharma: So fortune comes very much into it.

Prabhupāda: Fortune you create. Man is the architect of his own fortune. If you don't accept Kṛṣṇa's advice, then unfortunate. But my business is not difficult. We are simply going door to door and asking, "Sir, you become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa." If he is inquisitive, "How can I become?" "You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." So where is my difficulty? Haven't got to pay you something. I simply carry the message of Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa says, na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kaścin me priya (BG 18.69). "He's My most beloved person, who does this thing." So why shall I give up this simple job and become recognized by Kṛṣṇa? It is very simple thing. That is the advice of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra' ei deśa (CC Madhya 7.128): "All of you become guru and deliver these persons where you live." So "How can I become guru? I have no education, I have no knowledge." No, no. You haven't got to—yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa (CC Madhya 7.128): "You go and simply instruct him what Kṛṣṇa has said, you become guru." So Kṛṣṇa has said, "Surrender unto Me," I say: "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa," I become guru. Even though I am a fool number one, I become guru, because I am repeating what Kṛṣṇa has said. That's all. I don't require any education. Very simple thing. Everyone can become guru if he simply repeats what Kṛṣṇa has said, that's all.

Mrs. Sahani: So this means that to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, the first thing . . .

Prabhupāda: Unless he surrenders, how he can say others to surrender? Unless one has fully surrendered, if he says to others, "You surrender," that has no meaning. He must have surrendered. Then he can say to others, "You surrender." Unless he has surrendered, how he can take up this business, go door to door and say: "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa. You surrender to Kṛṣṇa"? That means he has surrendered. He has no other business. And what I am doing? I am doing the same thing. I have not given any bribe to these Europeans, Americans, or the anyone. No bribe, no show of gold manufacture. I simply say this, "You just become devotee of Kṛṣṇa." That's all.

Mrs. Sahani: Chanting Kṛṣṇa's name is very essential.

Prabhupāda: Very . . .?

Hari-śauri: Essential.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the easiest way. By chanting Kṛṣṇa, you are associating with Kṛṣṇa. Because Kṛṣṇa is absolute, so Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name, no difference. Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa's name, Kṛṣṇa's form, Kṛṣṇa's quality, everything, absolute. So chanting of Kṛṣṇa's name means you are associating with Kṛṣṇa. So if you are associating with Kṛṣṇa, then gradually you become Kṛṣṇa-ite.

Mrs. Sahani: Then He creates the desire to get knowledge.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended, paraṁ vijāyate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. Just like if you remain in touch with the fire, you certainly you become warm. So if you remain always in touch with Kṛṣṇa, then you become Kṛṣṇa-ized. Very easy. You haven't got to the forest or Himalaya or meditate. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is recommended in the śāstra: harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam, kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva (CC Adi 17.21). You cannot perform any severe austerities, penance. Wherever you remain, you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. And you become perfect. If not in one day . . . but you will become, if you continue chanting. And where is the difficulty? Where is the loss? And if there is some gain, why don't you try it? That is intelligence. I am not losing anything by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. If there is any gain, why not chant? Huh? What is the argument not to chant? There is no loss, but if there is any profit, why don't you try to take it? Śāstra recommends. Kṛṣṇa recommends. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ (BG 9.14). Find out this verse. Satataṁ kīrtayanto mām.


satatāṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
nitya-yuktā upāsate
(BG 9.14)

Prabhupāda: This is bhakti. So everything is there. If we don't misinterpret and take as it is, then we'll benefit. That is fortune. If somebody has one lakh of rupees and if he does not utilize it, then he is unfortunate. And if he's fortunate he can utilize it, he can make it millions of dollars. So the knowledge is already there. You haven't got to manufacture or speculate. You take it, you become perfect. We are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we don't manufacture anything. Here is this knowledge, Bhagavad-gītā, just take it. Take Bhagavad-gītā. Already it is there, everything. We haven't got to manufacture something, concoct something. Everything is there. You refer, you get knowledge, and be fortunate.


Prabhupāda: Prasādam?

Atreya Ṛṣi: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda.

(devotees offer obeisances)

Prabhupāda: Cut this fruit and distribute it. Bring one knife.

Atreya Ṛṣi: We have prasādam downstairs.

Prabhupāda: No, bring it here.

Hari-śauri: Do you want to take any . . .

Prabhupāda: I will take little milk.

Hari-śauri: Any puffed rice or anything like that?

Prabhupāda: You have puffed rice?

Hari-śauri: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So puffed rice and milk. Sab cheez bahut sulabh hai agar dhyan se dekhe to ye. (Everything is very easy if we observe it closely.) We are now advertised all over the world, "The beggar's nation." We have got satsampatti, and we are now advertised "beggar's nation." And actually doing that.

Mrs. Sahani: Jo jeev asani se ja sakti hai is maya ke jaal me to usko surrender karne me time to lagta hai. (The soul which can go out easily, we get entangled in illusion and to surrender it takes time.)

Prabhupāda: To maya me phasne ka kya zaroorat hai. (What is the need to get into illusion.) Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te. If you voluntarily become entangled with māyā, that is your business.

Mrs Sahani: Jab jeev me aaya to bahar nikal aata hai. (Whenever it wants, it will come out.)

Prabhupada: Isliye to bahar nikalne ka rasta batate hain. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te. Bhakti kijiye bhagavan me, maya touch bhi nahi karegi. (That is why we teach you the path to come out of illusion. Do devotional service unto the Lord, illusion cannot touch you.) Kṛṣṇa is light and māyā is darkness. So when there is light, there is no question of darkness. Darkness automatically will go. When there will be sunrise in the morning, you haven't got to endeavor to drive away the darkness of night. It will automatically go. Maya ko bhagane ke liye koi alag jatn karne ka jaroorat nahi hai, maya khud hi bhaag jayegi. Jahan savere surya-uday hua wo maya ka jo darkness hai raat wo bhaag jayega, reh nahi sakti. (To remove the illusion, you need not make a separate endeavor, she will go away on her own. When there is sunrise the darkness of the illusion night will go away, she cannot stay.)

Mrs. Sahani: Ban gaya hai darkness me rehne ka. (We have got accustomed to stay in darkness.)

Prabhupada: Han to rahiye darkness me, sab darwaza band karke rahiye. Apko hazaar dapha bol rahen hain azad hone ke liye, darwaza khol dijiye, light ane dijiye, nahi hum idhar hi rehenge, to rahiye, hum kya kare? (So stay in darkness, close all the doors and stay in darkness. I have told you a thousand times to be free from illusion, open the doors, let the light come in but you say we want to stay here, so you stay, what can I do?) Knowledge is already there. Why should you remain misfortunate? Kṛṣṇa says sukṛtino 'rjuna. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino 'rjuna (BG 7.16). Sukṛtino means fortunate. So as soon as you begin Kṛṣṇa bhajana, immediately you become fortunate. Sukṛtino 'rjuna. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino 'rjuna. Sukritino 16 mala karna koi mushkil nahi hai kijiye Krishna bhajan. (Do 16 rounds of chanting, it's not very difficult, do Kṛṣṇa bhajan.) Immediately begin Kṛṣṇa bhajana. Apko iran me kitna din hua hai. aap bhi industrialist hain? Business. Aap, sab business. Aap apna kartavya kijiye, Caitanya Mahaprabhu jaise kehte hain. (How long have you been in Iran? Are you also an industrialist? Business. You are all doing business. You do your duty. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says,)

bhārata bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari 'kara para-upakāra
(CC Adi 9.41)

Bhagavad-Gita padhiye, samajhiye, barabar, ye to apka business hai. (Read the Bhagavad-gītā, understand it, this is your business.) If we don't do it, then we are neglecting your duty. Ab to sab kuch ho gaya, aap kar sakte hain. Ye to sab foreigners, hamare yahan to sab foreigner hain . . . hamara ye movement start karne ke liye . . . India me bhaut mushkil se teen kitab chapa hai . . . (Now everything is over, you can do it. All these foreigners, in our organization everyone are foreigners . . . to start this movement . . . in India hardly three books got published . . .) (eating) What is this? Peach?

Atreya Ṛṣi: It's a kind of peach. It's like peach.

Mr. Sharma: There are many other Indians living in town, so can we arrange one day that you come to town and meet all of them at our place or another place if it is possible?

Prabhupāda: That will depend on . . .

Atreya Ṛṣi: Can they come here? We can arrange for transportation.

Mr. Sharma: That we will try.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Thursday . . . because it's not very easy with the traffic. Thursday we are . . .

Prabhupāda: No, if they arrange meeting, we can go.

Mr. Sharma: And we can have some bhajana at our place, and maybe prasādam.

Mrs. Sahani: Maybe we can keep it on Friday when offices are closed.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Friday Śrīla Prabhupāda is traveling. And Thursday at 11:30 you're going to see that building.

Prabhupāda: I think within so short time it will be possible for holding a meeting, as he said.

Atreya Ṛṣi: For a short time?

Prabhupāda: No, because there are two days only. On Thursday we have got already engagement.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes, we have an engagement for Thursday.

Prabhupāda: Then tomorrow only. So I don't think it will be possible.

Mr. Sharma: Thursday evening it will not be possible?

Prabhupāda: No.

Atreya Ṛṣi: We're going to travel already into town once Thursday.

Mr. Sharma: Oh.

Devotee: Shall we go downstairs?

(background discussion)

Atreya Ṛṣi: We got some Persian puffed rice, they make. Puffed rice.

Prabhupāda: I'll take. You first of all give them.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Jaya. We'll take downstairs.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Atreya Ṛṣi: We'll go downstairs and have prasādam.

Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Prabhupāda. Thank you.

Prabhupāda: All right. Thank you very much for your coming. Jaya. (end)