681009 - Lecture - Seattle
(Redirected from Lecture -- Seattle, October 9, 1968)
Prabhupāda: (kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)
Why don't you sit on the chair if you feel inconvenient? I'm asking you. You can sit down on the chair. That's all right? Hare Kṛṣṇa.
(chants) Govindam adi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.
- cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
- lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
- govindam adi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
- (Bs. 5.29)
So we are worshiping the adi-puruṣa, the first person. Generally, in grammatical knowledge, first person means "I." Here, first person means "the Supreme Lord," adi-puruṣa, the original person; not the first person—original person. The original person is in the original planet. There is the original planet. Just like here the original planet, scientists accept the sun.
Similarly, the sun is also one of the millions of many other suns. There are millions of sun. So sun, in the estimation of this universe, is the original planet. But there are innumerable universes, and in each and every universe there is a sun. So therefore there are innumerable suns and moons. That is accepted by the modern science, and it is stated in the Vedic literature also.
So sun is not the original planet, but the original planet is called Goloka Vṛndāvana. But the sun has similarity. Just like the sun is shining, the shining planet, and on the sunshine there are other planets, they are moving by the heat of the sunshine in their orbit. So similarly, sun is also moving. According to modern science, sun is fixed up, but according to Vedic literature, sun is also moving.
In the Brahma-saṁhitā we understand the movements of the sun:
- yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāṁ
- rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ
- yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro
- govindam adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
- (Bs. 5.52)
The meaning of this verse is that, "I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Govinda, asya ajṣayā, by whose order this sun, which is considered to be the king of all planets . . ." Sun is the king of all planets. That is a known fact. Without sun, all these planets, they cannot live. Without sunshine, their life will be extinct. Therefore sun is described in the Brahma-saṁhitā, rājā samasta-grahāṇām, of all the planets.
And aśeṣa-tejāḥ. Aśeṣa-tejāḥ means unlimited heat, fire. Unlimited fire. Nobody knows what is the source of this fire, but there is unlimited fire. Some ninety-three millions' miles away from this planet, still, the heat is sometimes unbearable. Just see what is the fire. And it is so many times, fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this planet, earthly planet.
So Brahma-saṁhitā says in spite of the sun's so many, I mean to say, high qualification, it is moving under the order of Govinda. Yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro. It has got its own orbit, it is moving, kāla-cakro. Kāla-cakro means limited. Nobody is unlimited. Just like we are also moving within the time limit, kāla-cakra. So the planet, this planet is moving, other planet is moving.
Similarly, sun planet is moving. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam . . . I think if I am not mistaken, the speed of the sun is sixteen thousand miles per second, but it is moving. Sixteen thousand miles per second it is moving. So Brahma-saṁhitā gives us this information.
Yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā. Savitā means the sun planet. Yac-cakṣur eṣa. This savitā, the sun, is considered to be the eyes, one of the eyes of the Lord. In His universal form the sun is considered to be one of the eyes of the Lord, and the moon is also another eye. Take it figuratively or universal form of the Lord, but you cannot escape the seeing power of Govinda.
He is seeing always. There are so many witnesses according to Vedic literature. So we cannot do anything hiding from the eyes of the Lord. He is seeing. He is witness. And that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: upadraṣṭā anumantā (BG 13.23). Upadraṣṭā. Upadraṣṭā means overseer. Overseer.
Now in our childhood . . . not childhood, we were at that time college student, Scottish Churches College in Calcutta. So that is Christian college, Scottish Churches. So we had to read Bible also. There was a Bible class from 1:00 to 1:30. So I remember our professor, he was a great philosopher also, Dr. W. S. Urquhart. He was very nice man, very friendly. So he was explaining from Bible. I do not know . . . that the Christians, they do not believe in karma. Is it a fact? They do not believe in karma?
Govinda dāsī: They have a verse that, "You reap what you sow," which means whatever you do, you receive the reaction of. It's sort of . . .
Prabhupāda: So . . . but karma is accepted? But I do not know. Dr. Urquhart was arguing that, "If I am suffering or enjoying as the effect of my previous life, so who is the witness?" His argument was like this. Just like if I have committed some criminal act, in the court there is need of witness. Then one has to prove that somebody has seen that he has done this. This is simply a legal formality. Who is going to steal while keeping one witness? Nobody's going, but court wants that who has seen that he has stolen.
Anyway, Dr. Urquhart's argument was that, "Who is the witness? I am suffering the reaction of my previous bad or evil activities, but who is the witness?" But at that time we were not so intelligent. We could not answer. But later on, when we were grown up and studied Bhagavad-gītā, then here, in the Bhagavad-gītā, we saw that upadraṣṭā. The Lord is upadraṣṭā, He is witness. Upadraṣṭā. Anumantā. Anumantā means ordering.
You cannot do anything without being sanctioned by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You have no power. Therefore we are, in all respect, we are dependent. That we have got very nice experience. This hand is moving, but if the power is withdrawn, I cannot move my hand. Therefore I am not independent to move my hand.
So upadraṣṭā anumantā. We cannot do anything without being sanctioned by the Supreme Lord. There is an English word that not even a grass moves without the sanction of the Lord. So that is a fact. So how one is doing nice thing and how one is doing evil things if He is the order giver? That is our independence.
We can take sanction from the Lord. If we want to do something evil, I cannot do it without the sanction of the Supreme. Or even if I do something very nice, that also I cannot do without the sanction.
So how the Lord gives such sanction? The sanction is like this, just like a child is crying to get something from the parent, and the parent, being disgusted, gives him something, "All right. Take it." Such kind of sanction. When we do something evil, the sanction is from the Lord, but it is not willing sanction. Against the will of the Lord. And when you do something in cooperation with the Lord, that is called bhakti.
We are doing everything . . . in the material world we are doing everything, all nonsense, for sense gratification. There is also sanction of the Lord, but that is unwilling sanction. But when we execute devotional service, loving devotional service, that is very pleasing to the Lord.
So the bhakti-yoga means acting by pleasing the Lord. That's all. That is the verdict of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You are not forbidden to do this thing or that thing, but you have to see only whether by your action the Supreme Lord is satisfied. That's all. That much knowledge you must have. Then your life will be successful. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavata says:
- ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
- svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
- saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
- (SB 1.2.13)
Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā. This verse was spoken by Sūta Gosvāmī, who was speaking before a very learned gathering at Naimiṣāraṇya. It is the system of Vedic system, that . . . not Vedic system; everywhere, all over the world. Any civilized society there is nice speaker, learned speaker, and many persons hear him.
That is the system from very old time. So Sūta Gosvāmī, he was representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the speaker of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and he was addressing very learned brahmins.
So he's addressing, dvija-śreṣṭhā. Śreṣṭhā means the, I mean to say, picked-up, the topmost of the brahmins. They were topmost of the brahmins; still, they require knowledge. Knowledge is so nice that even if you think that you are very learned, you are well versed in everything, still, you require knowledge. That should be our motto.
Don't think that, "I have finished." Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught this lesson in His life, that He represented Himself as a fool. So everyone should think of himself that, "I am still a fool."
Just like it is said that Sir Isaac Newton . . . he was such a learned man, but he used to say that "I have simply collected a few grains of sand from the beach of knowledge." Knowledge is so vast that his knowledge was simply a few grains of the vast amount of sand of knowledge. So everyone should think like that.
Caitanya-caritāmṛta kar, the author, he says that, "I am lowest than the germs in the stool. I have no knowledge." So the more you become advanced in knowledge, you'll know that how insignificant you are in comparison to the Supreme. Yes.
So although they were learned brāhmaṇas, or dvija . . . dvija means not only brahmins, but the kṣatriyas or the vaiśyas. Kṣatriya means ruling class, administrative class, politicians. They are called kṣatriyas. And brahmins means learned scholar in philosophy, in science, in theology, they are brahmins. And kṣatriyas, and vaiśyas . . .
Vaiśyas means traders, mercantile people. And śūdras means worker, laborer. So the brahmins and the kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas, they are called dvija. Dvija means twice-born. The śūdras, those who are once born simply by the father and mother, they are called śūdras. They are not counted amongst the higher class.
But those who are twice-born . . . that means once born by the father and mother, and the second birth is the spiritual father and Vedic knowledge. Once born by this material bodily father and mother, and the second birth is Vedic knowledge, the mother, and the spiritual master, the father. So that is second birth.
So second birth, those who accept the second birth, they are called dvija, twice-born. So he is addressing dvija. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā: the topmost of the twice-born. Topmost of the twice-born means brahmin also, or these three classes. Take it for granted that the brahmins.
But the next line is, ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ (SB 1.2.13). There are four kinds of classification: the brahmin, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas and the śūdras, and . . . this is called varṇa. And āśrama, āśrama means spiritual situation: the brahmacārī, the gṛhastha, the vānaprastha and the sannyāsī. They are spiritually situated. So anyone, either a brahmacārī or a brahmin or a kṣatriya or anyone, he will fall down in either of these eight divisions of human social order.
So Sūta Gosvāmī said that anyone, that means anyone, must have some occupation. Varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ. If you are engineer, then you have got some occupation. If you are medical man, you have got some occupation. If you are a philosopher, you have got some occupation. If you are laborer, worker, you have got some occupation.
Even if you are a thief, you have got some occupation. So everyone has got occupation. So just see how nice it is. So Bhāgavata says it doesn't matter what is your occupation, but simply try to see whether by your activities or a particular type of occupation you have satisfied the Supreme Lord. That's all. Then:
- ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
- svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
- saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
- (SB 1.2.13)
Hari-toṣaṇam: that your perfection of life will be considered in relation with the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. That you have to learn, how you are satisfying the Supreme Lord.
Now at the present moment, immediately . . . we were, of course, taking Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa was present before Arjuna, so he was receiving direct order, He was speaking directly. But if somebody says that, "How I can know that I am satisfying the Supreme Lord, because the Lord is not directly present before me?" this argument is not a very strong argument. The Lord is present by His words. Just like in your Bible, there are ten commandments.
So if you follow . . . just like the state is present by the law books. If you follow the law, then you are satisfying the state. Just like, "Keep to the right." If you are following the rules, you are keeping your car on the right side, you are stopping when there is red light, that means if you are satisfying the regulation, then you are satisfying the state. Similarly, if you satisfy the regulative principles, then you are satisfying the Lord.
It is very nice. It is very simple thing. But you must try to satisfy. Whether by your work, by your activity, you have satisfied, then your life is perfect. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, svanuṣṭhitasya. It doesn't matter whatever you are doing, but you have to see whether by your action the Supreme Personality of Godhead is satisfied.
Now, to facilitate these activities of the human being, there is spiritual master. Spiritual master is the representative of God. Therefore Vedic literature says, tad-vijṣānārtham. In order to understand whether God is being satisfied or not, tad-vijṣānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12), one must approach a spiritual master in order to know. Because my life is meant for satisfying God, but understanding that God is not present in my front, I cannot see Him face to face, how can I know that He is satisfied or not?
But there are books, scriptures, literatures. Apart from that, the Vedic injunction is that tad-vijṣānārtham. In order to understand whether your action or activities has pleased the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you have to take information from the guru, or the spiritual master. Tad-vijṣānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet. Abhigacchet means "must." And in the Viśvanātha Cakravartī's prayer for the spiritual master, this is also said: yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasāda.
The last version of his prayer is yasya, "whose"; prasādāt, "satisfaction"; bhagavat-prasāda, "the Supreme Lord is satisfied." This is the test. If by your action . . .
Because when you accept a spiritual master, then you have to work under his guidance. There are so many, I mean to say, rules and regulation. But ādau gurvāśrayam (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.74). The first thing is to accept a spiritual master. And if you have got a bona fide spiritual master, then it is to be understood that you have approached God, because he is His representative. And if you act according to his direction, then it is to be understood that you are satisfying the Lord. This is the way, Vedic way.
Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasāda yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. If you cannot find out a bona fide spiritual master or if you cannot satisfy the bona fide spiritual master, then you must know you do not know where you are going. Na gatiḥ kuto 'pi. Therefore Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thakur says, dhyāyan stuvaṁs tasya guṇārṇavasya vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. This is the process.
So we . . . we should make this our goal of life, how to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Govindam adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. This is the real purport. We chant this, that we are trying to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda. Yasyājñayā bhramati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro (Bs. 5.52).
There are so many verses of this govindam adi-puruṣam, the Brahma-saṁhitā. And Bhagavad-gītā also, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also. So there is immense knowledge of understanding. It is a great science, science of God. So if anyone is interested about understanding the science of God, then he should take seriously this movement of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Now one may question, "Why should I be interested to understand the science of God? Why not to understand the science of so many material things? Why one should be . . ." No. This is the necessity. That is the Vedānta's injunction: athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is the opportunity. This human form of life is the opportunity to understand the science of the Absolute. Either you say God or Absolute Truth or the Supersoul, the same thing. But this life is meant for understanding. If we miss this opportunity, we do not know where we are going.
The defect of the modern civilization is they don't care. Hedonism, Cārvāka's theory. There was, long, long before, there was an atheist philosopher. As there are many atheist philosophers nowadays, in former days also. He was known as Cārvāka Muni. According to his opinion, he says that don't care for next life. Don't care. Bhasmī-bhūtasya dehasya kuto punar āgamano bhavet. He says . . . because according to Vedic system, this the body is burned after death. As you bury underground . . .
There are three processes everywhere. Somebody throws away for being eaten up by birds, or somebody puts within the ground, or somebody burns it. So Cārvāka Muni says that "After burning this body, who is coming and who is his responsible? You see. You live merrily as far as possible." Ṛṇaṁ kṛtvā ghṛtaṁ pibet. "If you have no money, then borrow or steal, but live very nicely for sense pleasure." That is Cārvāka Muni's theory, and mostly, at the present moment, that theory is being followed.
But the question is that Cārvāka Muni says there is no next life. What is the proof? Does it mean that his word is proof that there is no next life? Then everyone will say something. Of course, that is being accepted. Anyone discovers or says something nonsense, it is accepted. But the process of Vedic understanding is not like that.
You have to accept knowledge from the authority. Therefore Vedic system has rejected the Cārvāka Muni. He has no authority. He is authority himself. He says that there is no life, but what is the proof? But there are many proofs that there is next life. So who will accept Cārvāka Muni's theory? Nobody. No sane man will accept.
And suppose if there is life. There are two philosophers: one says that there is no life, other says there is life. Now we have to study both, if there is life and if there is no life. But if there is life, the next answer to Cārvāka theory, if there is life, then if I'm working irresponsibly, then I am becoming victim to my next life. So there are . . . but we have to take from the authority.
Just like the Bhagavad-gītā says that na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācin: "The soul is never born and never dies." Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20): "Even after the annihilation of this body there is no destruction of the soul." And soul is migrating in different species of life. So we have to take Kṛṣṇa the authority, Veda-Vyāsa the authority. There are many such authorities. So there is next life. There is no doubt. The practical proof there is . . . and Kṛṣṇa has given many proof. I have spoken in this meeting many times. There is next life.
So we should be responsible. This human form of life should not be wasted simply for sense gratification. That sense gratification facility is in every . . . even in the cats and dogs, there is that facility. By nature it is already arranged. But the special qualification of this human form of life is to know himself, and to try to understand that, "Why I am in miserable condition? Where from I have come? Where I have to go? What is God? What is this world?" This is called Vedānta. Vedānta means to understand all these things.
So Veda means knowledge, and anta means the last stage of understanding. So last stage of understanding is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Vedānta. So our request . . . our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that we are requesting everyone that you do not spoil your life in pursuit of sense gratification like animals, but think that this life is very responsible life.
You try to understand yourself, what you are, why you are put into this miserable condition of material existence, if there is any remedy. There is remedy. So we must take advantage of it and make our life successful.
Thank you very much.
Young man: If our first concern should be to serve God, or Kṛṣṇa, then why should there be a movement . . .
Prabhupāda: Because you do not know.
Young man: Well, you do it . . . you're telling people out of . . .
Prabhupāda: Certainly. Kṛṣṇa also tells. Kṛṣṇa tells. Kṛṣṇa comes Himself.
Young man: But you might get so caught up in the movement that you're forgetting about you're serving God. Is this . . .
Prabhupāda: Why? I am serving God. This movement means I am serving God. What do you mean by serving? If Kṛṣṇa says that, "You obey Me," and if I say that, "You obey Kṛṣṇa," is it not service?
Young man: Yes.
Prabhupāda: If your father says: "My dear boy, you obey me," and if your oldest brother says: "My dear brother, you obey father," is it not service to the father? So we are doing the same business. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66): "You give up all other engagements, just surrender unto Me. I shall give you protection." And we are saying the same thing, that you surrender to Kṛṣṇa and you'll be happy. So we are voluntarily giving service to Kṛṣṇa, therefore it is service.
Preaching work is the best service, if you preach rightly. If you preach wrongly, that is disservice. You have to simply say the same thing as Kṛṣṇa has said. Kṛṣṇa has said that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: "You simply surrender unto Me." So we have to say the same thing, that "You simply surrender unto Kṛṣṇa."
Then it is all right. If I add something by my concoction, then it is not service. If I say: "You don't serve Kṛṣṇa. You serve me. I am God," then I am going to hell. We have to say: "You serve Kṛṣṇa." I have no right to accept any service from you, but I can accept anything on behalf of Kṛṣṇa. That is the spiritual master position.
So what is your question?
Young man: The movement might get in the way of serving Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Yes. It is service of Kṛṣṇa. Because . . . you have understood. What Kṛṣṇa wants, we are preaching the same thing.
Young man: Was there always a kind of a movement?
Prabhupāda: Yes, the movement is always there. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said:
- yadā yadā hi dharmasya
- glānir bhavati bhārata
- abhyutthānam adharmasya
- tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
- (BG 4.7)
He says: "My dear Arjuna, whenever people are misguided and there is too much manifestation of irreligiosity, at that time I appear Myself." So this movement . . . this material world is such that suppose one thing is now set right, but still, the time is so cruel, after some time it will be distorted. This is the way of material existence.
Therefore movement is required. Whenever there is deterioration of the real truth, there is necessity of movement. But the same movement, not a new movement. The movement means God is there, He is great, we are all subordinate—therefore our duty is to abide by the order of God. Then we are happy. The movement is very simple. There is no misunderstanding.
The same movement was preached by Lord Kṛṣṇa. The same movement was preached by Lord Jesus Christ. The same movement we are also preaching. So there is no difference: simply accepting the authority or the greatness of the Supreme Lord and engage ourself. That's it. There is nothing new. You don't try to see something new. It is not new. It is the oldest, because God is oldest, you are oldest, and your relationship is also oldest. Therefore the movement is also oldest.
You cannot manufacture anything new. People are after something new. What new you'll have? Everything is old. The sun is old, the world is old, the moon is old, the atmospheric change is also old, the seasonal change is . . . what is new there? Millions of years ago there was sun, and still the sun is there. At that time the sun was hot; still it is hot.
At that time people were dying, people are still dying. So what is new? It is simply waste of time for manufacturing something new. A concoction. There is nothing new. The old law is doing . . . history repeats itself. That is well known to everyone.
So our movement is not new. It is the same movement, that you accept the supreme authority of God or Kṛṣṇa. That's all. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. But the process adopted is suitable for this time. That is also not new, not manufactured. It is recommended that in this age . . .
Just like during winter season the process is to protect your body from being affected of cold. So that process is not new. Similarly, in this age . . . this age is called Kali-yuga. So it is recommended, kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt (SB 12.3.52), where God realization is only possible by this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Simple process. You come on. Sit down. It doesn't matter what you are, whether you are Indian or you are American or Christian or Hindu, or man, woman, black, white. It doesn't matter. You simply come, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and realize God.
Because in this age very severe method cannot be followed. The people are so fallen that even four principles we have ordered, that "Don't take meat, don't have illicit sex life, don't participate in gambling and don't," I mean to say . . . what is the other?
Govinda dāsī: Intoxication.
Prabhupāda: Intoxication. Oh, it is very difficult. Why they avoid Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Just like our friend Allen Ginsberg, he says: "Swāmījī is very conservative." And so many friends, they ask me, "Swāmījī, why you impose these rules?" You see? The people are so unable. Their inability is so strong that these four principles only . . . you want sex life?
All right. We say that you get yourself married. But that is also difficult. Intoxication? Nobody has learned smoking from the beginning of his life. It is simply by association. So if you associate with us, you'll forget smoking, drinking. It was learned by association, you can forget it by association. No child used to eat meat from the very birth. It was milk.
So this is all artificial, the so-called conventions of human society. Natural life does not allow all these things. So by good or bad association you have acquired so many artificial, I mean to say, habits. So simply by association you can forget also. Then you come to the pure life. And God is pure.
Just like without being heated, you cannot stand in a place which is very heated. The temperature must be the same. This is known to everyone. So God is pure. You cannot approach God being impure. So the whole process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is purificatory process.
Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170). Hṛṣīka, hṛṣīka means senses, and Hṛṣīkeśa means the master of the senses, the Lord of the senses, Kṛṣṇa. So by engaging your senses in the service of the master of the senses, that is called bhakti. Now, how you can do that? Tat-paratvena nirmalam. You have to simply purify. Then it is easily possible. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to adopt the purificatory process, and then you have got natural engagement in the service of the Lord, your life is perfect.
Young man (2): You mentioned that it was natural for a child to drink milk and not eat the meat of an animal. And you stressed natural. Is it natural for a child to grow up and then shave his head and serve God, or is it just a form of socialization?
Prabhupāda: No, it is natural. Because he is fond of his mother, fond of his father. So we should be fond of our . . . the supreme father. That's all. It is natural. No child you can see, he's not fond of his father and mother. When he's grown up, when he associates with his friends, he tries to forget his father and mother. But at the beginning . . . oh . . .
The other day I was citing the example, naturally, our natural affection. Father's affection is there, mother's affection is there, child's affection is there. So father, mother never forgets the affection, but child forgets by bad association. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa does not forget us, but we have forgotten.
So this process is to revive our natural position to love Kṛṣṇa. Now we are unnatural, in unnatural condition, forgetting Kṛṣṇa. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to bring back everyone to his original consciousness, affection, love between the child and the father. And that is the best service to the society.
Suppose a child . . . nobody is greater than God, and we are all children of God. Therefore we are children of the richest man, because who can be richer than God? Who can be powerful than God? And we are sons of God. So . . . but we have forgotten. Just like a boy, from his childhood he has left his home, very rich father. Loitering in the street, he has no sufficient food, sufficient clothing.
So somebody sees, "Oh, this boy belongs to that rich man. He is living in such wretched condition." So the best service to that boy is to bring back to his father. Not that, "My dear boy, I know that you are very rich man's son. You have now forgotten. You have no proper eating. I am giving you a morsel of bread. You eat it." That is also a service. But the best service is to bring him back to his rich father.
Similarly, people are trying to serve the human society by so many morsel of food. That's all. And we are trying to bring back to his father. Therefore Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the best service to the humanity, because his all problem will be solved as soon as he goes back to his father. No more problem. Therefore everyone should take seriously about this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Young man (3): I saw a card last night which said: "The International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc." A friend of mine asked me why the word "Incorporated"?
Prabhupāda: Because you want it.
Young man (3): Pardon?
Prabhupāda: Because you want it incorporated. Your state wants it. Your state means you.
Young man (3): The Washington State government.
Prabhupāda: Yes, government wants it. You cannot be revolting against the government. (chuckling) You have to live keeping pace with the government. We are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That does not mean we shall not use this electricity, we shall not take an apartment or we shall not sleep. Something unnatural we have to do. Why? Everyone abides by the law.
We have to abide by the law. There is no difficulty. And government provides that religious society or this society, they should get themselves incorporated so that it is recognized. In so many activities they want to know whether this society is recognized. So we have to take all these measures. We cannot go out of the purview of the general rules and regulations.
Young man (4): The sādhus in India who have long hair and wander in the woods and stuff, I guess, do they have spiritual teachers? The sādhus in India, the ones who live in the forest and places like that? You know? Wander around . . .
Prabhupāda: Of course, those who are living in the forest, there is no barber. Naturally they have got long hairs. But why the sādhus in the city imitate them? There is no meaning. If a man is living in the forest, there is no facility of the barber, so he can keep long hairs. Why in the city?
Young man (4): No, I didn't mean the hair. I meant does a sādhu who lives in the woods, does he have a spiritual master or . . .
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.
Young man (4): How does he live in the woods without a spiritual master and learn?
Prabhupāda: No. In the woods also there are many saintly persons. People go there, accept spiritual master and live with the spiritual master. But that is not very much convenient in this age. So in this age nobody is going to the forest to find out spiritual master, but the spiritual master has to come and canvass from India to New York. (laughter) This is a different position.
Young man (5): You said that everybody who has laws should live under them. Does an individual have a right to choose his own laws?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like when you go pass "Keep to the right," you have got the right also to go to the left. But as soon as you go to the left, you are criminal. That's all.
Young man (5): But taking one of the commandments of the Christian Bible, "Thou shall not kill," and applying that to a federal law or our American scriptures, there you have two laws that are not stemming from the same law, with different interpretations . . .
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The law in the Bible says: "Thou shalt not kill." But the federal law of the United States says you must go into the Army and kill. So which to follow? There is a difference. They both say opposite things.
Prabhupāda: Yes. The thing is . . . it is very simple to understand that . . . just like a soldier is killing and the state is awarding him medal. And the same soldier, when comes home if he kills somebody, he's hanged. Why? He can say: "When I was in the war field, I have killed hundreds of men and I was given gold medal. And now I have killed simply one man I am going to be hanged? Why?" So it is the cause. If the cause if great, then killing is no sin.
Young man (5): How does one interpret if the cause is great?
Prabhupāda: By satisfy . . . that I have already explained. Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). You have to see whether God is satisfied. That cause is great. Perfection of your activity will be judged whether by your action God is satisfied.
Young man (5): But you say that the way we hear from God is through words. And if these words are printed by the men that are making you fight, that's by the men that are making you fight. I have no assurance that it's the word of God unless every movement is God movement. Therefore . . .
Prabhupāda: No, I don't say this movement or that movement. The general principle is that if you think by certain type of fighting God is not satisfied, then you should not fight. But if in some fighting God is satisfied, then you should fight. We do not say anything outright that this is bad or this is good.
We say, anything that has given satisfaction to God, Kṛṣṇa, that is good. Anything which has not given satisfaction to Kṛṣṇa or God, that is bad. Now you have to judge yourself how Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. That requires training; that requires understanding. But the standard of . . .
The same example, that the same state, the same man, when he was fighting in the battlefield, he was being elevated to higher position, rewarded. But same man coming back from the battlefield, he has killed somebody, some of his neighbor, he's hanged. But the same state is there. The man is there, the action is there, the same, but why the judgment is different? Similarly, we have to satisfy the great, and the greatest of the great is God, or Kṛṣṇa.
If by your action Kṛṣṇa, God, is satisfied, then it is all right. I don't say that this fight is good, that fight is bad. Fight or no fight. Even without fighting, he may be bad. Just like the instruction which we get from Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna was denying to fight and he was considered by Kṛṣṇa bad, because He was not satisfied. This is the evidence. And when Arjuna decided to fight to satisfy Kṛṣṇa, it was taken as good.
So whole thing should be tested, judged, by the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. Saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). The perfection of any action . . . in the material world, "This thing is good," "This thing is bad," that is our mental concoction. Everything is bad here. Everything is bad. We have simply manufactured by our own imagination that, "This is good," "This is bad." But to keep pace with the human society or peace in the human society, there is necessity of doing or adopting something which is approved by somebody, or the state. That is different thing. That is material.
But actually, at the ultimate end, as we have cited the quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, good or bad means satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the Lord. If any action is approved or gives satisfaction to the Lord, that is good. If any action gives dissatisfaction to the Lord, it is bad. That is the general . . . now you have to adopt yourself in the service of the Lord in such a way that you can know that this action is giving satisfaction and this action is not giving satisfaction. Then your life is all right.
Viṣṇujana: Then all our faculties of perception will be purified by adopting this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and we can understand.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means purification of all faculties. Because the faculties work on the basis of consciousness. If your consciousness is pure . . . just like I am seeing. I am not seeing; my mind is seeing. So if my mind is pure, then my seeing is pure. Similarly, if my consciousness is pure, my mind is pure. It is superficial. I am moving my hand. I am not moving; my mind is moving.
So all the senses, ten senses . . . and the central sense is mind. And behind mind, there is intelligence, and behind intelligence, there is consciousness. This consciousness, if purified, then whole thing is purified. If this consciousness is polluted, then the whole thing is polluted. So we have to purify the consciousness. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Viṣṇujana: So then a man who is not . . . does not have a purified consciousness has no way of knowing what is good or bad.
Prabhupāda: No. He is illusioned. Māyā. That is called māyā. He is accepting something bad as good. Just like one is accepting this body as self. The whole world is moving, accepting this body as the self. Dehātma-buddhi. But I am not this body. That's a fact. So it is illusion.
Young man (1): You referred earlier to some proofs of after-life. And I came in late, so I don't know if you've mentioned it earlier, but I wonder are these available in writing in English, and do people here know of them? That is, where would I look at such a thing?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He wishes to see proof of after-life, either in writing or he wants to know if there is something . . .
Prabhupāda: After-life proof?
Young man (1): I'm interested in that idea. What proof is there, and is it available in English so that I could read it and study it and examine it carefully?
Viṣṇujana: Is it available in writing.
Madhudviṣa: He wants to read it in a book, something that explains the validity of the statement that there's an after-life.
Prabhupāda: Read Bhagavad-gītā. You study Bhagavad-gītā, you'll understand everything.
Young man (1): That's sixty-eight volumes?
Young man (1): How many volumes?
Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā is one volume only, eighteen chapters. So it is not very . . . seven hundred verses. You can read it in three days. It is not very difficult. So we have published Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, and I think if you read, you'll get so many nice informations. And after reading Bhagavad-gītā, you read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Then you get further enlightenment. Then you read Teachings of Lord Caitanya, you get further enlightenment. And for general information we have got this Back to Godhead. You can read. So we have got sufficient literatures. It is not that simply we are talking. We are backed by sufficient knowledge and literatures.
Young man (6): It has been suggested that perhaps the battlefield in the Bhagavad-gītā is the battlefield of Arjuna's mind, and Kṛṣṇa is trying to push him to go into battle against the forces of his senses, as characterized by Duryodhana. What do you think about that?
Prabhupāda: That means you think that battlefield is an imagination?
Young man (6): Well, that that . . . the battlefield is symbolic of Arjuna's mind, and that the forces that Kṛṣṇa is . . .
Prabhupāda: Who is Kṛṣṇa? Who is Kṛṣṇa? Suppose Arjuna is talking with Kṛṣṇa. Then who is . . . mind is Kṛṣṇa, you mean to say?
Young man (6): No. I mean to say that if the battlefield is symbolic of . . .
Prabhupāda: What is . . . you give the example, "This is this symbol," "This is this symbol." What is the symbol of battlefield? That you do not know?
Young man (6): Are you saying that it should be taken literally?
Prabhupāda: No, no. What is your idea? You are putting question. Are you clear in your question? Or you are simply questioning without any clear idea? What is your position?
Young man (6): You mean what am I asking?
Young man (6): I'm asking if the battlefield in . . .
Prabhupāda: Why you are asking that? Why that question is in your mind, the battlefield is imaginary?
Young man (6): Because that's what I read, and I wondered . . .
Prabhupāda: That means you are misled. You have not read very nicely.
Young man (6): Don't you think that perhaps it could be symbolic?
Young man (6): Men have written . . .
Prabhupāda: No. Not at all. (laughter) You have to . . . if you present symbolic, then you should give, "This is the symbol of this. This is the symbol of this." What is the symbol of battlefield?
That means you are misled. Don't study all these nonsense. You'll be misled. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. The battlefield, Kurukṣetra—Kurukṣetra. It is dharmakṣetra-dharmakṣetra. Pāṇḍava—Pāṇḍava. We have explained in that way. Not that we have accepted battlefield is this or that. No.
Young man (6): But men have written with symbolism, pointed things out through symbolism all through the ages.
Prabhupāda: No. Why? Do you think any historical fact are symbolism?
Young man (6): Pardon me?
Prabhupāda: If there is historical facts, do you take it as symbolism? Suppose somebody is describing the World War number two. Is it symbolism?
Young man (6): (laughs) Well, I suppose not.
Prabhupāda: Then? So similarly, this Bhagavad-gītā is described in the history of India, Mahābhārata. So how you can take it symbolism? Mahābhārata is the history. Mahā means great; great history of India, Mahābhārata. It is historical fact. How you can take a symbolism? Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā . . .
(break) . . . verse is dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre (BG 1.1).
(break) . . . in the battlefield. That Kurukṣetra is still lying in India from very old time. So how you call it symbolism? And it is dharma-kṣetra. In the Vedic literature the injunction is kuru-kṣetre dharmam ācaret. And still people go to Kurukṣetra for religious, performing religious rituals. Still they go. That Kurukṣetra battlefield is there. It is being treated as the place of pilgrimage. How you can say that it is symbolic?
This is all nonsense. Historical facts is still being, I mean to say, followed. The Pāṇḍavas, that is historical. Still there is one old fort. People say this fort belonged to the Pāṇḍavas, the Indraprastha. New Delhi is called Indraprastha. Everything is historical. How you take symbolical?
Young man (5): Possibly every action is from a law of Kṛṣṇa, and law is that which pleases Kṛṣṇa. And from some act within His mind or within . . . I'm not sure what he was talking of there, because if it was in the mind, it was projected into history to please Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: What is his question?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He says something about Kṛṣṇa has something in His mind; therefore it becomes factual. He projected it from His mind, and thus it became history.
Young man (5): No. No. Not that He projected it, but people trying to please Kṛṣṇa did it through misinterpretation.
Prabhupāda: You have to please Kṛṣṇa.
Young man (5): Yes.
Prabhupāda: Not trying, but if you don't please Kṛṣṇa, then you are in difficulty. That is your position. It is not Kṛṣṇa's interest; it is your interest. Just like if you want to live peacefully, you have to please the state. There is no question that by pleasing the state, by yourself, the state becomes very enriched. It is for your interest.
If you please the state, then you can live very peacefully. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is full in Himself. He's great. He does not require your some action so that He may be pleased. He's pleased already. But if you please Him, then you are happy. That is your interest.
Young man (6): Don't you think that since there are people of different temperaments, different kinds of people, that . . . how should I say it? Don't you think that by denying rāja and jñāna and some of the other yogas that you're denying the infinite aspect of mankind? Don't you think that by asserting bhakti-yoga as the only way that you're saying that . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. Infinite aspect. We are publishing one article, "Dr. Frog." Dr. Frog means . . . perhaps you know, everyone. The frog lives in a well. That is only a few feet. And one, another frog, he's giving information to his friend in the well, "My dear friend, I have seen a vast water, Atlantic Ocean."
But this frog has never seen Atlantic Ocean. He's calculating, "It may be so much big. It may be so much big. It may be so much big." So how this infinity can be calculated by the frog? So those who are calculating infiniteness of this tiny soul, they're all Dr. Frogs. You are not infinite. You are finite. How you can be infinite? You can be infinite only when you dovetail yourself with the infinite. Individually you are finite. That is the position, real position.
In the Bhagavad-gītā in the Fifteenth Chapter . . . you have read Bhagavad-gītā? So did you not read this verse in the Fifteenth Chapter, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loka sanātanaḥ (BG 15.7)? Have you read this? That, "These living entities, they're My parts and parcels, fragmental parts." So you are His . . . God is infinite. You are infinitesimal part and parcel. So how you can be infinite?
Young man (6): I mean that the aspects of . . . well, you said yourself that there are people of many different temperaments, many different kinds of people.
Prabhupāda: But there must be one standard temperament. What is the standard temperament? You may have different views of something, but there must be some standard view. We are not concerned with the different views of different persons. We have to accept the standard view.
Young man (6): What's that?
Prabhupāda: That Kṛṣṇa.
Young man (6): Well, but don't you think that perhaps bhakti-yoga isn't the way for everyone?
Young man (6): That for some people other yogas would apply more to their . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is in the preliminary stage. Just like the same example, that you have to go . . . in New York, that Empire State Building, 102 story. So everyone is going to the top, but somebody has passed ten steps, somebody has passed twelve steps, somebody has passed twenty. But there may be thousands of steps. So one who has gone to the top, he has passed all the steps. Similarly, there are different process of yogas—karma-yoga or jñāna-yoga . . .
They are divided into three. All these three yogas are described in the Bhagavad-gītā, karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga and bhakti-yoga. But you'll find the yoginām api sarveṣāṁ. When yoga is described in the Sixth Chapter, you'll find the Lord says, yoginām api sarveṣāṁ: "Of all the yogic process," yoginām api sarveṣāṁ madgatenāntarātmanā (BG 6.47), "One who has taken Me within himself," śraddhāvān bhajate yo mām, "and with faith and love is engaged in My service, he is first-class yogī."
So the first-class yogī are all these Kṛṣṇa conscious boys and girls. First-class yogī. Because they're always thinking of Kṛṣṇa within. And that is recommended by Kṛṣṇa, the author of all yogic principles. He's called Yogeśvara, the master of all yogic principles. So He said that "Here is a first-class yogī."
Who? "Who is thinking always within himself Me, Kṛṣṇa." Yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā śraddhāvān (BG 6.47): "With faith and love," bhajate, "he's engaged in My service." Sa me yuktatamo mataḥ. "He is the first-class topmost yogī."
So all yogic process must culminate in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So anyone who has accepted Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is supposed to be the first-class yogī. Actually, what is the ultimate end of yoga? The meaning of yoga is "contact." Contacting whom? The Supreme.
Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme. So one who has contacted Kṛṣṇa, he is the highest yogī.
If somebody says that, "I am incarnation of God," then why you cannot say that you are incarnation of God? What is the difference?
Young man (6): Well, I think the difference is that Ramakrishna was accepted in India as . . .
Prabhupāda: No, not in India. Don't say like that.
Young man (6): He wasn't?
Prabhupāda: No. Rāma was accepted as incarnation. Kṛṣṇa was accepted as incarnation. In every home, there is Rāma and Kṛṣṇa worship. Not this Ramakrishna. Neither any ācārya accepts him. If Ramakrishna . . . he said himself that, "One who was Kṛṣṇa, one who was Rāma, I am the same." So his disciple accepted. Vivekananda accepted. But in that way, if somebody dies, he says: "One who was Kṛṣṇa, one was Rāma, I am," his sons accept. That is not the way of. There must be proof.
Kṛṣṇa is accepted by Vyāsadeva, by Nārada, by Caitanya, by Rāmānuja, by so many great scholars, stalwarts. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is accepted by all Indians as God. And He has proved Himself, His activities. There is Vedic proof, scholarly proof, authority proof. There are so many things. And people . . . there are thousands and millions of temple of Kṛṣṇa worship in India, and how many temples they have got Ramakrishna?
Young man (6): Well, Ramakrishna is pretty recent also.
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa, because He's old, therefore people have taken? People forget old things. Why they are adhering the old things? At Vṛndāvana only, one place, there are five thousand temples of Kṛṣṇa. Only in Vṛndāvana. So this is all propaganda. We have to test who is incarnation, who is not, by the authorities.
Young man (6): And who are the authorities?
Prabhupāda: Vedic literatures. Lord Buddha is accepted as incarnation in the Vedic literatures.
Young man (6): What about people that have come since the Vedic literatures?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He says what about people who have come since the Vedic literatures, since the time the Vedic literatures were written. What about them?
Prabhupāda: Vedic literature is not written; it is before the creation. Vedic, Vedas, before the creation. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is statement, tene brahma hṛdā (SB 1.1.1). Brahmā is considered to be the first created living entity, so he learned Vedas from within, from the Supersoul. Tene brahma hṛdā. So Vedic literature is not written at a certain time. It is coming. It is called apauruṣeya. It is not man-made. So you have to study very scrutinizingly, then you will understand.
Thank you for your questions. Now chant.
An incarnation has to be accepted by the evidence of Vedic literature, by his activities, by his features and by authorities. There are so many things. Not that if somebody says: "I am incarnation," and therefore I become incarnation. No. Not in that way.
If somebody comes here and says: "I am President Johnson," so any sane man will accept him simply because he says? And if somebody accepts him blindly, then he's a fool. Oh, he must . . . he says. Let us test whether he is bona fide, his credentials, how he is President Johnson.
So we cannot accept even a man. How can we accept God without credentials? What is the credential of Ramakrishna that he is incarnation of God? These things are to be considered. Not that because Vivekananda accepted, therefore one has to accept. What is the credential? What is the proof? What is the extraordinary work? Lord Rāma is accepted God. There are so many extraordinary work. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as God. He has got so many extraordinary work.
Young man (6): Well, I don't know that much about Ramakrishna.
Prabhupāda: All right.
Young man (5): If we can believe the Beatles, you are not the only wise man to come out of the Indian hills to New York. What do you know of this Maharishi Yogi that has become so world famous, and what could you tell us of his teachings by way of comparison?
Prabhupāda: He's famous amongst the fools. He's not famous for me. (laughter)
Young man (5): Is he famous in India?
Prabhupāda: No. He cheated some fools because they wanted to be cheated. That's all. And he finished his business. After befooling, then he retired. That's all. Because you want to be cheated, some cheap method to become God immediately.
Young woman: Is it better to inquire directly a question to the spiritual master directly, or is it better . . . is it better to wait for the answer to come in an indirect, or in a less direct way? Is it better to . . .
Prabhupāda: No. You should find out a spiritual master. Everyone should find out. That is the injunction of the Vedas. Tad-vijṣānārthaṁ sa gurum eva (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12).
(break) If you are interested to understand the spiritual science, then you must find out. That is your business. All right. It is past ten, uh, nine. No? Yes. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
(kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)
Come here. I'm asking you, come here. Come here. (end)
- 1968 - Lectures
- 1968 - Lectures and Conversations
- 1968 - Lectures, Conversations and Letters
- 1968-10 - Lectures, Conversations and Letters
- Lectures - USA
- Lectures - USA, Seattle
- Lectures, Conversations and Letters - USA
- Lectures, Conversations and Letters - USA, Seattle
- Lectures - General
- Audio Files 90.01 Minutes or More
- 1968 - New Audio - Released in December 2017