681007 - Lecture - Seattle

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

681007LE-SEATTLE - October 07, 1968 - 72:53 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (kīrtana) Chant. Chant. (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)


(sings) Govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.

cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.29)

Devotees: Govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.

Prabhupāda: So we are worshiping Govindam, the reservoir of all pleasures, Govinda, Kṛṣṇa. And He is Adi-puruṣaṁ, the original person. So govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. Bhajāmi means "I worship," "I surrender unto Him and I agree to love Him." These are the terms offered by hymns by Brahmā.

That Brahma-saṁhitā is a..., considerably a large book. The first verse in the Fifth Chapter (Bs. 5.1), it is said that the Lord, Govinda, He has got His particular planet, which is known as Goloka Vṛndāvana.

It is beyond this material sky. This material sky you can see as far as your vision go, but beyond that material sky there is spiritual sky. This material sky is covered by material energy, mahat-tattva, and there are seven layers of covering of earth, water, fire, air. And beyond that covering there is an ocean, and beyond that ocean the spiritual sky begins. And in that spiritual sky, the highest planet is called Goloka Vṛndāvana.

These things are described in the Vedic literature, in the Bhagavad-gītā also. Bhagavad-gītā is very well known book. There also it is stated,

na yatra bhāsayate sūryo
na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
(BG 15.6)

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that there is another, spiritual sky, where there is no need of sunshine. Na yatra bhāsayate sūryo. Sūrya means sun, and bhāsayate means distributing the sunshine. So there is no need of sunshine. Na yatra bhāsayate sūryo na śaśāṅko. Śaśāṅka means moon. Neither there is need of moonlight. Na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ. Neither there is need of electricity. That means the kingdom of light.

Here, this material world is kingdom of darkness. That you know, everyone. It is actually darkness. As soon as there is sun on the other side of this earth, it is darkness. That means by nature it is dark. Simply by sunshine, moonshine and electricity we are keeping it light. Actually, it is darkness. And darkness means ignorance also. Just like at night people are more ignorant. We are ignorant, but at night we are more ignorant.

So Vedic instruction is tamasi mā jyotir gama. The Vedas say, "Don't remain in this darkness. Just transfer yourself to the kingdom of light." And the Bhagavad-gītā also says that there is a special sky, or a spiritual sky, where there is no need of sunshine, there is no need of moonlight, there is no need of electricity, and—yad gatvā na nivartante—and if anyone goes to that kingdom of light, he never comes back again to this kingdom of darkness.

So how we can transfer into that kingdom of light? The whole human civilization is based on these principle. The Vedānta says, athāto brahma jijṣāsā. Atha, ataḥ. "Therefore you should now inquire about Brahman, the Absolute." "Therefore, now" means... Every word is significant. "Therefore" means because you have got this human body—"therefore." And ataḥ means "hereafter." "Hereafter" means you have passed through many, many lives, 8,400,000 species of life. Aquatics—900,000's.

Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati (Padma Purāṇa). This is the... Darwin has taken the idea of evolution from this Padma Purāṇa. You won't find any philosophy, any doctrine in the world which is not found in the Vedic literature. It is so perfect, everything is there.

So the anthropomorphism or—what is called?—anthropology... Anthropology of Darwin is there in the Padma Purāṇa. It is very nicely described. Darwin cannot explain what are the number of the species of different, but Padma Purāṇa states that there are 900,000 species of life within water, within the ocean. And above the ocean, as soon as the ocean water is dried up, the land is coming out, immediately the vegetation begins. Different types of plants and trees then come out.

So jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati: 2,000,000's, lakṣa-viṁśati, twenty hundred thousand. That is 2,000,000? Anyway... Sthāvarā lakṣa. Sthāvarā means those who cannot move. There are different types of living entities. The trees, the plants, they cannot move. The other type of living entities, just like the birds, the beasts, the human being, they can move.

So sthāvarā and jaṅgama. Jaṅgama means those who can move, and sthāvarā means those who cannot move. The hills, the mountains, they are also amongst the sthāvarās. They are also living entities. There are many hills, they are growing. That means there is life, but in the lowest stage of: stone.

So in this way we are making progress. Sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ: reptiles and worms. Rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ means eleven hundred thousands. Then from reptiles, worms, the wings grow—birds. From wings grow... Then it comes to the bird's life. Pakśiṇāṁ daśa-lakṣaṇam: ten hundred thousands of birds.

And then paśavaḥ triṁśal-lakṣāṇi, four-legged animals, there are thirty hundred thousand. So nine and twenty, twenty-nine, then eleven, forty; then birds, ten, fifty; beasts, thirty, eighty—eighty hundred thousands. And then... Eight millions—and four hundred thousand species of human life. Human life is not in large quantity. Out of that, mostly they are uncivilized, and very few Āryan family.

The Āryan family—the Indo-European family, they are also Āryan—they are very few. The Europeans, they belong to the Indo-European group. The Americans, they also come from Europe. So this group of human society is very few. There are other, many uncivilized groups. Therefore Vedānta says, atha ataḥ: now you have got developed human form of life, civilized life, you have got nice arrangement for your comfortable life.

Especially in America you have got all material comforts. You have got cars, you have got good road, nice food, nice building, nice dress, nice feature of your body. Everything God has given you very nice. The Vedānta advises, "Now you take to..., about the inquiry of Brahman." Athāto brahma jijṣāsā.

This is applicable for everyone, civilized men. I don't speak of the Americans; in Europe, in Asia, anywhere. Āryans means those who are advanced. Non-Āryans means those who are not ad... This is the Sanskrit meaning, ārya. And śūdras... Āryans are divided into four castes.

The most intelligent class is called brāhmaṇa, and the less than the brāhmaṇas, means those who are administrators, politicians, they are kṣatriyas. And next to them, the mercantile class, traders, merchants, industrialists, less than the administrative class. And less than that, the śūdras. Śūdras means worker, laborer. So this system is not new. It is everywhere. Wherever there is human society, these four classes of men are there.

Sometimes I am questioned why there is caste system in India. Well, this caste system is there. It is by nature. Bhagavad-gītā says, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13): "The four classes of men are there. That is My law." How they are four classes? Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. Guṇa means quality, and karma means work. If you have got very nice quality, intelligence, brahminical qualities... Brahminical qualities means if you speak truth, you are very clean and you are self-controlled, your mind is in equilibrium, you are tolerant, and so many qual... You believe in God, you know scriptures practically. These qualities are for the higher class, brāhmaṇa.

The first qualification of a brāhmaṇa is that he's truthful. He'll disclose everything, even to his enemy. He'll never, I mean to say, hide anything. Satyam. Śaucam, very clean. A brāhmaṇa is expected to take bath daily thrice and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Bahyābhyantaram: clean outside, clean inside. These are qualities. So when these opportunities are there, then the Vedānta-sūtra, Vedānta, advises, "Now you begin to inquire about Brahman." Athāto brahma jijṣāsā.

Athāto brahma jijṣāsā. When one has reached to the material perfection, then the next business is to inquire. If we do not inquire, if we do not try to understand what is Brahman, then we must be frustrated. Because the hankering is there, advancement, advancement of knowledge. The theory of advancement of knowledge is that nobody should be satisfied by the knowledge what he already knows. He must know more and more. So in your country in comparison to other country at the present age, you have advanced materially very nicely. Now you take to this brahma-jijṣāsā, inquiry about the Supreme Absolute: What is that Absolute? What I am?

I am also Brahman. Because I am part and parcel of Brahman, therefore I am also Brahman. Just like part and parcel..., a little particle of gold is also gold. It is no other thing. Similarly, we are also particle of Brahman, or the Supreme. Just like the molecules of sunshine, they are also as illuminating as the sun globe, but they are very small. Similarly, we living entities, we are also the same as God. But He is just like as big as the sun globe or the deity in the sun globe, but we are small particles, the molecules of sunshine. This is the comparison between the Supreme and us.

We cannot become the Supreme. At least, we don't find in authorized Vedic literature that a living entity can become as powerful as God. No. It is not possible. God is great. He's always great. Even if you are liberated from the material clutches, still He is great. That is... Therefore this verse, govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. Our perpetual relationship with God is to worship Him, or to serve Him.

That service is very pleasant. Don't take it... As soon as we talk of service, we may think that "Oh, we are suffering here by adopting service." Just like the next..., the other evening one boy was questioning, "Why should we bow down?" I do not know if he's present here. The bow down to surrender to somebody is not bad, but because we are in a different situation, by surrendering to other, it is very uncomfortable.

Just like nobody wants to be dependent on other nation, nobody wants to be dependent on other people. Everyone wants to be independent, because this material world is perverted reflection of the spiritual world. But in the spiritual world, the more you surrender, the more you are servant, you are happy. You are happy.

But we have no such understanding at the present moment. We have no spiritual idea, no spiritual realization; therefore we shudder as soon as we hear that we have to become servant of God. But there is no question of shuddering. It is very pleasant to become servant of God.

You see so many great reformers, they came, they served the mission of God, and they are still worshiped. So to become servant of God, servitor of God, is not very insignificant thing. It is the most important thing. Govindam Adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. But don't accept it. First of all try to understand. Therefore Vedānta-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijṣāsā. Try to understand what is Brahman.

(microphone is making sound) Why this sound?

Try to understand what is Brahman and try to understand your relationship. And then, when you actually surrender, you'll feel your eternal blissful life, full of knowledge. And this is very nicely explained in the Teachings of Lord Caitanya.

In the Bhagavad-gītā also, the same teaching is there, but... We have got two books already published: one, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is; another book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya. So Bhagavad-gītā teaches surrendering process. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). "You surrender unto Me," the Lord says. And the Lord teachings..., Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching is how to make surrender.

Because we have been accustomed in our present conditional life to revolt against surrender. There are so many parties, so many "isms," and the main principle is that "Why shall I surrender?" That is the main disease. Whatever political party is there... Just like the Communist party: their revolt is against the superior authority they call capitalists. "Why shall we..." Everywhere, the same thing is: "Why shall I surrender?"

But we have to surrender. That is our constitutional position. If I don't surrender to some particular person or particular government or particular community or society or something, but ultimately I am surrendered: I am surrendered to the laws of nature. There is no independence. I have to surrender. When there is call of the cruel hands of death, immediately I have to surrender. So many things.

So we should understand... This is brahma-jijṣāsā, that "Why there is the surrendering process?" If I don't like to surrender, then I am forced to surrender. In the state also, if I don't mean to abide by the laws of the state, the state obliges me to surrender by police force, by military force, by so many things. Similarly, I don't want to die, but death forces me to surrender. I don't want to become old man, but nature forces me to become old. I don't want any disease, but nature forces me to accept some sort of disease.

So this surrendering process is there. Now we have to understand why this is so. That means my constitutional position is to surrender, but the present difficulty is that I'm surrendering to a wrong person. When we understand that I should surrender to the Supreme Lord, then my constitutional position is revived. That is my liberty.

I do not know that my position is to surrender, and that surrendering principle is my life, is my happy life. Just like a small child, if he surrenders to the wishes of the parents, his life is very pleasing, very happy. A young girl, if she surrenders to the wishes of the parents, and... That is the system, Vedic system. A woman, by nature, is dependent. Artificially, if woman wants liberty, then his (her) life is unhappy, her life is unhappy.

Therefore Vedic system is... I am not manufacturing; I am speaking authorizedly on the Vedic principle. The Manu-saṁhitā, the law of Vedas, Manu, the master of the humankind, Manu... Manu is the father of the mankind. So he has got his law book. That Manu-saṁhitā law book is still followed in India so far as the Hindus are concerned. So in that book, Manu-saṁhitā, it is stated, na striyaṁ svatantram arhati (Manu Saṁhitā 9.3). He gives the law that woman should not be given independence. Then? What should be the life? The life should be so long she's not married, she must live under the guidance, dependent on the parents. And as soon as she is married, she should live dependent on her husband. And when the husband is gone out...

Because according to Hindu system, the husband does not remain at home for all the days, till death. No. When children are grown up, he gives up wife and children and becomes a sannyāsī, just like I have become. I have my children, I have my grandsons, I have my wife still exist... But I have given up all connection. So how my wife is being maintained? Oh, she has got grown-up children. So there is no anxiety.

So dependence is not bad if there is dependence on the proper place. No father neglects to look after the comforts of an unmarried girl, of his unmarried girls and boys. According to Hindu system, a father-mother responsibility ceases after he gets the children married, either daughter or son. So much obligation. Then they are free. So dependence, I am speaking on the dependence. So dependence is not bad; surrender is not bad. I have seen practically that woman surrendering to the husband... Still there are so many women in India, they are so happy and their life is so glorious.

So we have to learn how things are to be done. Independence, artificial independence is no good always. Practically, we have no independence. I may think of independence, but practically I have no independence; I am servant of my senses. Kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśa (CC Madhya 22.16, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 3.2.35).

We are all serving the senses. So where is my independence? I may declare independence from my father, from my state, from my country, from my community, but I am servant of my senses. So where is my independence?

So we should know our constitutional position, that in all circumstances we are dependent. Therefore the best method of my perfection of life is to become dependent on God, Kṛṣṇa. That is the solution of all problems. And Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that. Try to understand your constitutional position and be surrendered to God, to Kṛṣṇa. Then you'll be happy. Very simple thing. The moment you surrender unto God, immediately you become happy. Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te (BG 7.14).

So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not very difficult either to understand or to execute. Simply we shall be willing to do this. That's all. That willing is in your hand. If you like, you can accept it. Because you have got little independence to accept something or reject something. That independence you have got. And by rejecting something good, we are in distress, and accepting something good, we are happy. So this acceptance and rejection is in your hand.

So here is the offering, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, by great authorities, by Lord Kṛṣṇa, by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and we are humble servants only. We are simply distributing. We have not manufactured a new type of religious sect or method of philosophy. No. It is very, very old system, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Simply we are trying to distribute in a process which can be accepted by the people in general.

So our request to you all who are present here or who are not present here, that you try to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and if you do not understand immediately, if you kindly associate with us, put your questions, try to understand... We don't say that you blindly accept it. Put your question, try to understand, read our literature, and you'll understand. There is no doubt about it.

And you'll take to it. And if you take to it, you'll be happy. In other processes... Just like a political creed. Unless it is nationally accepted... Just like there are so many political parties in every country. Everyone is trying to bring in the forefront the party politics, because the leader cannot be successful unless the whole country accepts his philosophy, his party.

But Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that it does not require that a community or a nation or a family or any group has to accept, then you will be happy. No. Individually, if you accept. If your family does not accept, if your community does not accept, if your country does not accept, it doesn't matter; you will be happy. But if your family accepts, if your community accepts, if your nation..., you will be more happy. So... Because it is absolute, independent, so any person takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness will be happy immediately.

So we invite you. We have got classes, we have got different branches in different cities, we have got books, we have got magazines, and we try to convince you by our morning and evening classes. So my humble request to you all that you try to understand. Caitanyer dayā kathā karaha vicāra (CC Adi 8.15).

We put for your judgment to understand. We put this Kṛṣṇa consciousness before you for your judgment. And if you scrutinizingly see and try to understand, then you'll feel, "Oh, it is so sublime. It is so nice." That is our request.

Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)

So you have got any question, you can put. You have got any question? That girl. Hmm? Anyone, if you have got any question.

Jaya-gopāla: Prabhupāda? You have... How do we explain to impersonalists inductively the existence of the Personality of Godhead?

Prabhupāda: This example I have given you several times. Just like you try to understand the sun. This is daily affair. Now when you try to understand what is this sun, you first of all come to the sunshine, light. If you are covered with cloud and if you have not known what is sun, that is a different thing.

Or even if it is covered, you can go up to the..., over the cloud and see the sunshine and sun. So the cloud is compared with māyā. So sun is compared with the kingdom of God, and the president of the sun planet is God. This is example. God is far away and He's the greatest. He has created so many millions of suns. But I am giving that example.

Now to study the sun, first of all you come to the sunshine. The sunshine is distributed all over the universe, and the sun planet is situated in a localized place. And within the sun planet, there is the predominating deity who is called sun-god. But if you want to study all these things, first of all you come to the sunshine.

The sunshine is impersonal. Similarly, there is a transcendental rays from the planet where Kṛṣṇa, or God, is there. Just a few minutes before, I recited one verse from Bhagavad-gītā that na tad bhāsayate sūryo (BG 15.6).

That means it is illuminating. There is no need of sunshine. Just like this planet is not illuminating; therefore we want light from the sun, from the moon, from electricity. But Bhagavad-gītā says that the planet of the Lord, there is no... Why planet? The sky.

There is no need of sunshine. Every planet in the spiritual world is illuminating. So because every planet is illuminating, the whole spiritual sky is dazzling illumination. So one who approaches that dazzling illumination called brahma-jyotir, they are called impersonalists. Is it clear?

Jaya-gopāla: Yes, this is. But how does one show such an impersonalist with absolute proof logically? I was told Śrīla Bhaktivinoda has such a proof.

Prabhupāda: Apart from Bhaktivinoda, try to understand in your common sense. Yes.

Jaya-gopāla: Yes, I can see this.

Prabhupāda: Just like sun planet, there is sunshine. The sunshine is impersonal, but if you have got power to enter into the sun globe, then you will find there, there are so many persons, they have got fiery body. It is not a fact in other planets there is no life. That is a nonsense.

Every planet there is life, but they have got different situation, different atmosphere. The moon planet is very cold. Even the modern scientists, they agree that the temperature in the moon planet is below two hundred degree zero. So it is very cold. Similarly, sun planet is very hot. Similarly, there are other planets which is made of air, some planets made of water.

These five elements, earth, water, air, ether, this is the..., these are the ingredients of material world. So some planet is made of something, some planet is made of something. But this earth is made of earth only, and water.

So in the sunshine you see, you go by aeroplane, go in the "friendly sky" above the... You see everything impersonal. Simply glaring sunshine, that's all. But that does not mean it is impersonal. There are many planets within the sunshine, millions of planets, but you cannot see.

Similarly, persons who cannot see beyond the brahma-jyotir, the transcendental rays of the spiritual sky, they are impersonalists. They are impersonalists. But one who goes to the transcendental planets, Vaikuṇṭhas, Goloka Vṛndāvana, they see God is there person. As you are person, I am person, you'll find person.

So it is poor fund of knowledge only that these conclude that ultimate Absolute Truth is impersonal. No. Because Vedānta says, Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). The Supreme Absolute Truth, or Brahman, is that from whom everything generates, everything is born.

Now, everything is born, then you have got personality, I have got my personality, everyone has got personality. How you can think of Him that He is not person? We have got experience that a father is person, therefore his son is also person. So if we are born of the supreme father, then if we are person, how He can be imperson? It is simple reason.

But His personality is different, our personality is different. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). His body is different, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. His power is different, His potency is different. Different means that is all spiritual. The difference of spiritual matter we can understand that spirit is the basic principle of movement of matter. Because the spirit soul is within this body, therefore it is moving.

Because the spirit soul is there within this body, therefore it is growing. So spirit soul is the basic principle of all material expansion. Similarly, God being full spirit, whole spirit, He is the basic principle of all cosmic manifestation. But He is person.

These things are there in the Bhagavad-gītā, you'll read. Arjuna says that "It is very difficult to understand Your personality." People are bewildered, but He is person. And in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad and many other Upaniṣad it is said, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13): "He is the chief eternal amongst all eternals." That means we living entities, we are also eternals, but He is the chief eternal. So if we are persons, then He is also person. In the Bhagavad-gītā also, the Lord says that "Myself, yourself, My dear Arjuna, and all these kings and soldiers who have come here, assembled here, they are all persons. They were all persons in the past, they are persons at present, and they will continue as persons in the future." These things are there.

So individual soul or God, every one of us is person. Each and every one of us—person. Imperson is another feature of the person. Just like the same example, just in sun planet there is person, the predominating deity, and his personal effulgence is the sunshine. The sunshine is imperson, but the planet is localized, and the predominating deity is person. The Bhagavata confirms it, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11).

The Absolute Truth is one. Just like the sun, the sunshine and the deity within the sun, that is one unit. But some portion is called sunshine, some portion is called sun planet, some portion is called the deity. Similarly, the Supreme Brahman is one. His person, His localized position and His influence and energy, they are one. This is the śuddhādvaitavāda, pure monism. The Śaṅkarācārya's philosophy is monism, one, and Śrī Rāmānujācārya explains, "Yes, one—unity in diversity."

So this is unity. The sun deity, the sun planet and the sunshine is one unit, but still, there is diversity. The division of the sunshine is different from the sun planet; the sun planet is different from the predominating deity in the sun planet. If you try to understand this way, then you will understand what is Paramātmā, the Supersoul; the individual soul; the impersonal Brahman; the personal Brahman—everything. Is that clear?

So any other question? Yes?

Upendra: Prabhupāda, can you explain mahāmāyā and yogamāyā? Was Arjuna under yogamāyā or mahāmāyā?

Prabhupāda: Arjuna, when he was thinking in terms of his personal sense gratification, he was under mahāmāyā. And when he agreed to execute the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then he's under yogamāyā.

Upendra: How is it Arjuna, if he was eternally liberated...

Prabhupāda: Because he is living entity, he is marginal. There is chance of... Marginal means... I have explained several times: just like the land. Between the ocean and the land, there is a portion of land which is sometime merged within water, sometimes it is land. So a living entity's position is like that, marginal energy.

He may be under the influence of yogamāyā or he may be under the influence of mahāmāyā. When he is under the influence of mahāmāyā, that is his conditional life. And when he is under the influence of yogamāyā, he's free.

Hmm. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.


(kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)

Distribute prasādam. (end)