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730221b - Lecture BG 02.09-13 - Auckland

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


evam uktvā hṛṣīkeśaṁ
guḍākeśaḥ parantapaḥ
na yotsya iti govindam
uktvā tūṣṇīṁ babhūva ha

(BG 2.9)

(Sañjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Kṛṣṇa, "Govinda, I shall not fight," and fell silent.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your coming here and participate in this great movement. So this evening I shall present before you topics between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. I think most of you know the Bhagavad-gītā. The subject matter of Bhagavad-gītā is talking between Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna. Kṛṣṇa was driver of the chariot. Both of them were in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He played just like an ordinary human being as friend of Arjuna. And when Arjuna was little disturbed . . . because this battle was arranged between two parties of cousin-brothers. And when Arjuna saw the other party, all his relatives, family members, so he hesitated to fight, and there was some argument. Kṛṣṇa said that "You are a kṣatriya. You are king. It is your duty to fight."

According to Vedic system, there should be four classes of men: the brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, social order; and spiritual order: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa. This is perfect system of human civilization. So I shall briefly describe. Brāhmaṇa is compared with the head. Just like you have got your body. In the body there are different departments: the head department, the arms department, the belly department and the leg department. So to maintain your body fit, you must have all these four departments rightly working. Your brain must work very nicely, your arms must work very nicely, although also the digestive system, intestines, stomach, that must also work very nicely, as well as the legs also must work nicely. Then you are perfectly fit. Similarly, in the social system there must be the head department.

(aside) This child is disturbing.

The head department means the most intellectual part of the society, the most intelligent portion of the society.

In the society there are naturally four classes of men—very intelligent class of men, politicians, mercantile people and ordinary workers—in every society all over the world, all over the universe. You can name them differently, but these four classes are there. That is by nature's system. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13).

(According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.)

By nature's way or by God's arrangement, there are four classes of men. The most intelligent class of men is called the brāhmaṇas. Intelligent means one who knows up to the Supreme Lord. And then next intelligent class: the politicians, administrators. Next intelligent class: the mercantile class, traders. And the fourth-class man means worker. They have no intelligence, but they depend on others for their livelihood. So there are first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class men everywhere, any part of the world.

So the brāhmaṇas' duty is to give education, intelligence, up to the understanding of the Supreme Absolute Truth, Brahman. The Absolute Truth is called Brahman. So one who knows Brahman, or the Absolute Truth . . . knowledge means the end of knowledge should be up to the understanding of the Absolute Truth, the original source of everything. Absolute, not relative. Relative truth, everyone knows, but when one comes to the point of understanding the Absolute Truth, the original source of everything . . . there must be original source of everything. That is Brahman.

Those who have read the Vedānta philosophy . . . the Vedānta philosophy describes Brahman. The first aphorism in the Vedānta philosophy is called athāto brahma jijñāsā. The Vedānta philosophy says that this human form of life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth. One must be . . . human being must be interested to know the Absolute Truth. That is perfection of human life. Because in the cats' and dogs' life . . . unfortunately, at the present moment, people do not know what is the distinction between cats and dogs and a human being. That is another defect of the modern education.

The distinction between cats and dogs . . . they are also living beings. Of course, in some quarter they say that the cats and dogs and lower animals, they have no soul. No. That is not the fact. Everyone has got soul, but the cats and dogs and animals, they are not advanced in consciousness. As soon as there is soul, there must be consciousness. These things are described in the Bhagavad-gītā, and you can perceive also. I am existing in this body; you are existing in your body—how it is known? By the consciousness. If I pinch your body, you feel pain. You pinch my body, I feel pain. Similarly, cats and dogs, they also feel pain or pleasure. So that is the proof of existence of the soul even in cats and dogs and human beings. The only difference is in the human form of life the consciousness is developed.

So developed consciousness means to understand the Absolute Truth. That is the special function of the human being. Therefore the Vedānta-sūtra says, "Now this human form of life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth, what is the original cause of everything." Because there must be some cause. That is education. Just like your appearance is caused by your father; your father's appearance is caused by his father. Similarly you go on researching, his father, his father, his father . . . then ultimately you will come to the original father, whom you call God, Kṛṣṇa, or whatever you call. There must be some original father. So the Vedānta-sūtra explains when the question is that what is the original cause of everything . . . what is Brahman? What is the Absolute Truth? Athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now this human form of life is meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth." What is that Absolute Truth? The next answer is, janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1), means "The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything emanates," or "The Absolute Truth is the original cause of all causes." This is the . . . so this knowledge, anyone who has knowledge, not only this knowledge, absolute knowledge as well as relative knowledge, such class of men is called the brāhmaṇas, the most intelligent class.

The next class is called the kṣatriya. Just like when somebody comes to attack you, first of all your brain gives you dictation, "Now this man is coming to attack you. You spread your hand." So immediately my hand spreads and I want to protect myself. So these are called kṣatriya class, or the armies, from "arm." So next-intelligent class is the government class, administrator class. Then next-intelligent class is third class. First class, brāhmaṇas, second class, the kṣatriyas, and the third class, the vaiśyas, who maintain the society for economic condition, development of economic condition, because we require things to consume to maintain this body. So these are called mercantile class, and the ordinary man who is neither brāhmaṇa nor kṣatriya nor vaiśya, he is called śūdra.

So this is natural, natural division of the society. Unless human being comes to the natural division . . . there is, but sometimes it happens that a śūdra is taking the place of the brāhmaṇa or the brāhmaṇa is obliged to act as a śūdra. Then there is anomaly. There is some chaos in the society. So at the present moment the education department does not distinguish who is a brāhmaṇa, who is a kṣatriya, who is a vaiśya or a śūdra. And because the things have topsy-turvied, there is chaos all over the world, not only here or there, because the division of labor or the division of working has been overlapped.

Now this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for creating some brāhmaṇas, or the most intelligent class of men. There is no hindrance. Anyone can become brāhmaṇa. Just like in education anyone can become engineer, anyone can become medical practitioner or anyone can become lawyer if he takes such education from the very beginning, similarly, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, there are natural division of the society. But at the present moment there is scarcity of brāhmaṇa. Brāhmaṇa means who has got very nice intellectual brain, who can understand the Absolute Truth. He is called brāhmaṇa. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is trying to create some good brains so that he can understand, one can understand what is the Absolute Truth. This is the movement.

So here the same instruction is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, which is spoken by Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So when Arjuna was perplexed whether to fight or not to fight, he was very much perplexed, and he accepted Kṛṣṇa as his spiritual master. Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7):

(Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.)

"My dear Kṛṣṇa, just now we are talking like friends, but this is a very important factor. I have to decide. Now I accept You as my spiritual master, and You give me the right guidance." The whole transaction of the Bhagavad-gītā is based on the talking of Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna only. So when Arjuna decided that "I am not going to fight with my kinsmen, the other side, unless I am convinced that I have to do it," so at that time,

evam uktvā hṛṣīkeśaṁ
guḍākeśaḥ parantapaḥ
na yotsya iti govindam
uktvā tūṣṇīṁ babhūva ha

(BG 2.9)

(Sañjaya said: Having spoken thus, Arjuna, chastiser of enemies, told Kṛṣṇa, "Govinda, I shall not fight," and fell silent.)

Now he simply left his weapons, his arrows and bow. "My dear Kṛṣṇa, I am not going to fight." He left everything and became silent. So at that time,

tam uvāca hṛṣīkeśaḥ
prahasann iva bhārata
senayor ubhayor madhye
viṣīdantam idaṁ vacaḥ

(BG 2.10)

(O descendant of Bharata, at that time Kṛṣṇa, smiling, in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the grief-stricken Arjuna.)

Then Kṛṣṇa was smiling, that "How is that? Arjuna is My friend, he is so advanced, and he has been overcome by this temporary illusion. His duty is to fight, and in the presence of other party he is ready to fight, and this man, My friend Arjuna, is declining to fight." So He was little astonished. Therefore here it is said, prahasann iva, "smiling." Smiling because He thought that sometimes illusion takes place even to a great personality like Arjuna. Therefore He was smiling. So hasann iva.

Then He said, śrī bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān uvāca. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavān. The Bhagavān word is very significant. Bhaga means opulence. Opulence. There are six kinds of opulences we experience. The wealth. If one is very rich, he is called opulent. Aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya. If one is very powerful, he is called also opulent. If one is very wise, he is called opulent. If one is very beautiful, he is called opulent. Similarly, there are six kinds of opulences, and when all these six kinds of opulences are possessed by somebody, He is called Bhagavān, Bhagavān, or God. Opulences, you have got some riches, but you cannot claim that you have got all the riches. The definition . . . there is definition of God given by Parāśara Muni in the Vedic literature:

aiśvaryasya samagrasya
vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayaś caiva
ṣaṇṇāṁ bhaga itīṅganā
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47)

(Full wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation—these are the six opulences of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.)

Who is Bhagavān? Who is God? The person who possesses all the riches, all the strength, all the wisdom, all the beauty, all renunciation, like that. He is called Bhagavān. So there is definition. Nowadays it has become a fashion that so many "Bhagavāns" or "Gods" are coming. But there is definition, there is test, who will be accepted as Bhagavān.

So when Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa, was present, He actually showed by His activities, by His behavior, that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. For example—it may be unbelievable, but these are in the history of Kṛṣṇa—that Kṛṣṇa married 16,108 wives. Now, it is unbelievable. We cannot maintain even one wife. But He maintained 16,108 wives, and each wife had big palatial buildings. This description we have got. So that means so far riches are concerned, Kṛṣṇa showed that there is no second comparison in the whole history of the world that one is maintaining 16,000 wives and each wife has got special palace. These descriptions are there.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and by all the authorities of Vedic knowledge. Formerly, during Kṛṣṇa's time, there were authorities like Vyāsadeva, like Nārada. They also accepted that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And you will find in the Tenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā Arjuna, after understanding Kṛṣṇa, he expressed his opinion: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān puruṣaṁ śāśvatam ādyam (BG 10.12).

(Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.)

He accepted. And he also said that "I am not accepting . . . because it may be said that I am Your friend, so I am accepting You as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but great ācāryas or great stalwart authorities like Parāśara Muni, Vyāsadeva, Nārada, Asita, Devala . . ." He gave evidence.

So Kṛṣṇa is accepted. So far Vedic literature is concerned, the ācāryas are concerned . . . recently, within, say, two thousand years, there have been many ācāryas like Śaṅkarācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, Rāmānujācārya. They have all accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And, say, within five hundred years, Lord Caitanya, He also accepted Kṛṣṇa. By His symptoms, by the historical fact, by the evidence of the Vedas, He is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, when Kṛṣṇa is speaking, the very words are used, śrī bhagavān uvāca. Bhagavān means the Supreme Personality of Godhead is speaking. Uvāca means speaking.

Then our point is that we should have to receive Godhead from the highest perfectional person. Knowledge—our knowledge, your knowledge or anyone's knowledge—we are defect in four principles. Our . . . we commit mistake. Every one of us who are sitting in this meeting, nobody can say that "I have never committed any mistake." That is not possible. We commit mistake, everyone. We commit mistakes and we are sometimes illusioned. Illusioned. That we can make experiment, that every one of us at the present moment is illusioned. How it is? That I have . . . am not this body, but I am accepting this body as "I am." The whole world is—I may say whole world, but at least the majority portion—everyone is under the impression that "I am this body." But I am not this body. I am soul.

That will be instructed in the Bhaga . . . I am not this body. I am soul. I am spirit soul. There are so many evidences. If I am this body, then when the soul is not there, the living entity is not there, the body is simply a lump of matter. That is the difference between a dead body and living body. Living body means that the soul is there, therefore the body is moving. And as soon as the soul is not there, the body is nothing but a lump of matter. I think somebody as my father. I call, "Father," father immediately replies, "Yes, my son." But when the soul of the father is not there, then the father, this body of the father whom I am seeing as father, although he is there, still he cannot reply. This is the distinction.

So Kṛṣṇa is replying that "You are afraid of fighting with your kinsmen, but you are mistaken. You are mistaken." Every one of us is mistaken, because there are four defects in our conditional life. This is our conditional life. So long we are within this body, material body, that is our conditional life. We live under certain conditions. But actually, we are spirit soul, we are part and parcel of God. As soon as we are free from this conditional life, that is our real, actual life. That is called liberated life.

The human form of life is meant for getting this liberation. So long one does not get this human form of life by the evolutionary process . . . there is evolution, from aquatic to birds and beast and then . . . jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi (Padma Purāṇa). First aquatic life, then plant life, tree life, then insect life, then bird's life, then beast life, then human life, then civilized human life. So this is the process of evolution. Now, we are supposed to be civilized human being. This life is especially meant for how to get out of this evolutionary process. How to get out of this evolutionary process. The evolutionary process means transmigration of the soul from one body to another. We do not wish to die, but we have to accept death. This is our conditional stage of life. I do not wish to take birth; still, I am forced to go into the womb of my mother by the laws of nature. After giving up one body I enter another body. And there is no security what kind of body I shall get next. It may be human body, it may be animal, it may be trees or it may be better than human being, because there are three divisions. One division is called demigod, and one division is called the human being. The other division is called lower than the human being. Nṛ-tiryag-deva. Deva means who are very highly advanced in knowledge. They are called devas, and God conscious, Kṛṣṇa conscious, such men. There are different planets also for different kinds of living entities.

So this knowledge is being imparted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not by a person like me or like you who are defective in four principles. That I was going to explain. The four defects are that we commit mistakes, we are illusioned, and our senses are imperfect and therefore sometimes we cheat others. Although I know . . . I do not know a subject matter very clearly; still, I say something as authority. That is cheating. We should not cheat. If we want to give knowledge to the people, we must give perfect knowledge.

So perfect knowledge, how it can come? The perfect knowledge can come from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the process of acquiring knowledge, so far we are concerned. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2).

(This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.)

The knowledge, perfect knowledge, is coming from Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and if we receive that knowledge in cool head and assimilate, then our knowledge is perfect. Just like we are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is perfect knowledge. If you inquire whether I am perfect or my disciples who are preaching this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, they are perfect, we may be imperfect. We are imperfect. We accept we are imperfect. But we are distributing the perfect knowledge. Kindly try to understand. We may be imperfect, but perfection means one who assimilates the perfect knowledge, he is perfect.

I shall give you one example. Just like a post peon delivers you one hundred dollars. The post peon is not rich man. He cannot deliver you the hundred dollars. But he . . . the money is sent by some, your friend. He is honestly carrying that money and delivering you. That is the post peon's business. Similarly, our duty to receive perfect knowledge from Kṛṣṇa and distribute it. Then it is perfect. This knowledge, what we are distributing, it is not that we have created this knowledge by research work or by so many other ways, by inductive process. No. Our knowledge is from the deductive process. Kṛṣṇa said, "This is this." We accept. That is our movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We may be imperfect, but Kṛṣṇa is perfect. Therefore, whatever Kṛṣṇa says, if we accept it and if we . . . not accept blindly, but you can employ your logic and argument and try to understand, then your knowledge is perfect.

So here Kṛṣṇa said, when He saw Arjuna that he was not willing to fight, then Kṛṣṇa said,

śrī bhagavān uvāca
aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
(BG 2.11)

(The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.)

He immediate . . . because Kṛṣṇa was accepted as the spiritual master of Arjuna, He said in a very gentle way, "My dear Arjuna," aśocyān anvaśocas tvam, "you are lamenting for something which is not the subject matter of lamentation." Because Arjuna was hesitating to fight in bodily relationship. He was thinking that he is this body; his other side, the relatives, brothers or nephews or grandfather, the other side, they are also the bodies. Because bodily concept of life, we hesitate. Because every one of us in bodily concept. That is animal life. And so long we are in the bodily relationship . . . dog, he does not know anything else. He simply knows that he is this body. But a human being, by cultivation of knowledge, by logic, by argument, he can understand that "I am not this body."

Therefore a human being says, as soon as you inquire . . . even a child. You ask child, you show him the finger, "What is this?" The child will reply, "It is my finger." The child will never say "I finger." He will say "my." So everything is "mine." "My body," "my head," "my leg." Everything is "mine," but where is the "I"? That should be the inquiry, that "Everything, I am speaking 'mine.' Where is that 'I'?" As soon as we come to this point, "Where is that 'I'?" then our human sense is developed. Otherwise we are in the animal sense of life.

So Kṛṣṇa is, I mean to say, instructing Arjuna that aśocyān anvaśocas tvam (BG 2.11): "My dear Arjuna, you are lamenting on the subject matter which is not the subject matter of lamentation." Aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase. Prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase. "You are talking like a very intelligent, learned scholar." Because in the previous chapter he was arguing with Kṛṣṇa, giving evidences from śāstra on the bodily concept of life. But he does not know the śāstras say, "One who is in the bodily concept of life, he is no better than an ass or cow." That he did not know.

So every one of us, we . . . there are so many big, big scholars. I shall give you one instance. I was talking one big professor who is in Russia, Moscow, Professor Kotovsky. He said, "Swāmījī, after death, everything is finished." That bodily concept of life. Even big, big educationist, big, big doctors, philosophers, scientists, they have got this bodily concept of life. So Kṛṣṇa is first of all trying to remove this bodily concept of life. He said, therefore, aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase (BG 2.11): "My dear Arjuna, you are talking like a very intelligent man, but you are lamenting on the subject matter which is not at all lamentable." What is that? Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ.

Paṇḍitāḥ means one who is learned. This body, either in living condition or dead condition, it is not the subject matter of lamentation. This is the first education of spiritual life, that this body is actually dead body already. So long the soul is there, it is moving. So when the soul leaves this body and accepts another body, the body was already dead, a lump of matter, and now it is left aside, and the soul has gone to another body. So it is a lump of matter at the present moment, then, after death or after leaving, after the soul has gone from the body, it is the same lump of matter. So lump of matter, where is the cause of lamentation or jubilation? It is a lump of matter. This understanding is first required.

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
(BG 2.11)

He said that paṇḍitāḥ, those one who is learned, he does not lament on this lump of matter.

Actually, if you soberly analyze this body, what is this body? Actually, it is lump of matter. It is a combination of bone and blood, flesh, urine, stool, nails and hairs. Otherwise, what you can find in it? Do you mean to say by combining these ingredients, bones and flesh and urine and stool, you can manufacture a very learned scholar? Is there any science that you can manu . . . ingredients . . . if the bodily ingredients is the man, you take this. In a dead body you take all these ingredients, again manufacture a similar man. But that is not possible. That is not possible.

So this is our ignorance. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said that "You are lamenting on a thing which is not at all subject matter. It is a dead matter. It was dead matter, and it will remain dead matter." Just like this apartment. I am living in this apartment; you are living in this apartment. I am not this apartment. When I vacate, when you vacate this apartment, the apartment remains; we go to another apartment. Similarly, it will be explained in the later verses,

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati
(BG 2.13)

(As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.)

Asmin dehe, "In this body, there is the proprietor, the soul." Dehino 'smin yathā dehe. That, on account of the proprietor, he is changing body. Changing body means . . . so long the soul is there. Suppose a child is born. If the child is born dead, then this body will never grow. You can apply any chemicals or any science; the body will remain the same. But so long the soul is there within the body, the child from the babyhood will come to childhood, then childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood. In this way the body will change. We have changed so many bodies, every one of us. I knew . . . I know that I had a childish body, I had a boyhood body, but those bodies are no more existing. But I am existing. Therefore the conclusion should be that I, you, as soul, we are eternal. The body is changing.

This is our disease. Therefore this disease . . . this disease means birth, death, old age and disease. So as soon as you accept this body, material body, you become subjected to the four laws of material nature. These four laws of material nature are that as soon as you've accepted this body, then you must accept death. Anything which is born must meet death also. Birth, death. And in the via media there is old age and disease. This body, I have got, you have got, everyone. There is a death of getting this body, and there will be a death of leaving this body. And between these two deaths there are so many other miserable conditions. They are summarized: old age and disease.

But the real science is that "I am the soul. I am the part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. So Supreme Lord, God, is eternal. I am also eternal." These things are described. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). As God . . . we are as good as God, at least in quality, not in quantity. We are . . . just like a drop of seawater is as good as the seawater in quality—the whole seawater is also salty, and the drop of seawater is also salty—similarly, we have got all the chemical composition, or qualities, of God. Now, God is eternal; therefore we must be eternal. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). After destruction of this body, the soul is never destroyed. This is our real, constitutional position. Then why we have accepted this changing process: birth, death, old age and disease? This is our material life.

So this is the education, that we should understand what is our material life and what is our spiritual life. Spiritual life means sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs 5.1).

(Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.)

Sat-cit-ānanda. Sat means eternal, cit means full of knowledge, and bliss means full of jubilation, ānanda, pleasure. This is our constitution. This is God's constitution. This our constitution. The difference between God and ourself is that God never accepts this material body, but sometimes we, under certain circumstances, we have to accept this material body.

But never mind we have accepted this material body. We can get out of it. And the process for getting out of it is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the science. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means we are teaching people how to get out of this entanglement of birth, death, old age and disease and become as good as God. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is very scientific movement, authoritative movement. So not only it is authoritative; it is accepted by millions and thousands. At least in India there are many. And in the Western countries also, they are also accepting because it is scientific. They are not fools and rascals. So our request is that you don't take this movement as something sentimental, religious faith. No. It is a very scientific, educational movement. Take advantage of it. That is our request.

You can understand this movement by reading so many books. We have got about two dozen books like this. But we have got another, alternative method, which is very simple and easy: you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. If you chant this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, gradually everything will be clear. So we are not selling this mantra; we are not asking any price for it. This Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is open for everyone.

So our request is that there is no loss on your part. You kindly take this mantra and chant. Begin chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Then the result will be, gradually, all the misgivings within our heart will be cleansed. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12).

(Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.)

And as soon as our heart is cleansed, we can understand that "I am not this material body. I am spirit soul. I have got different business. So long I am working for the maintenance of this body. Now I understand that body is my superficial shirt and coat dress." One should not take simply care for the shirt and coat. Any gentleman knows. Shirt and coat, we take care of course, but not that as the self. Similarly, the present civilization is in a shirt-coat civilization, present civilization. They do not know what is there within the shirt-coat. That they are missing. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is therefore very important. The missing point is being presented that you are not this body; you are within this body, spirit soul. You just try to come out of this entanglement of birth, death, old age, and go back to home, back to Godhead.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break)

Madhudviṣa: . . . and she is saying that God is love . . .

Prabhupāda: No, that I explained, that Kṛṣṇa was advising to kill, to fight. That . . . he is explaining that killing of the body is not killing of the soul.

Woman (1): But you can't . . . your body might be an illusion, but to you it's real. And if you abused your life, then that's . . .

Prabhupāda: Fighting is a kṣatriya's duty, you see. Just like I can give you one example: Just like one man is ordered by the state that "This man should be hanged." Does it mean that the state is enemy of this man?

Woman (1): I disagree with hanging completely.

Madhudviṣa: She also disagrees with hanging.

Prabhupāda: You may disagree, but what is the principle? Do you mean to say the state is wrong, the government is wrong?

Woman (1): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Well, that is an individual opinion. But according to śāstra, we have to understand that . . . suppose your dress, something unclean dress, you have got. So if somebody says that "You take out this unclean dress. Get a . . ." so is that very (sic) enimating. Because after all, the soul is within the body. So if the body has become unclean, or some other reason, the body has to be changed, so that is not lack of love. Therefore we have to understand actually what we are. Am I this body or something else?

Woman (1): No, I quite agree that I'm spirit soul. I quite agree with that.

Prabhupāda: Then that's all right. So similarly, when there is duty, when . . . because I have already explained that the kṣatriyas are meant for maintaining the social order, the brāhmaṇa is meant for giving good intelligence, the vaiśyas are meant for maintaining the economic condition. So as the government maintains the force, military police, their business is to chastise. This is required for maintenance of the whole thing. So you cannot avoid this war, fighting, when it is for good cause. We should not be so foolish that war can be, I mean to say, completely abolished. That is not possible. If you want to keep the social order, you must have to maintain the military strength, the police strength, and the court or the university. Everything is required. You cannot neglect one of them. Similarly . . . but if you are afraid of being killed—that is the medicine we are preaching—then you get out of this entanglement. You be situated in your spiritual body. There is no more question of killing. But so long you are in the material world, you have to abide by the rules and regulation of material nature. That you cannot avoid.

Woman (1): Well, certainly I disagree with transmigration. I mean, if you're going to come back a plant or a bee, there's not much point in trying to agree to such a thing.

Madhudviṣa: She says she does not agree with transmigration of the soul.

Prabhupāda: You may not agree. What you are?

Devotee: This lady fluctuates in her mind too much, and there are many other people here who would like to ask questions too. Are there any other questions?

Woman (2): How do you regard suicide, and would there be any exceptional circumstances that might justify it?

Prabhupāda: Suicide is not justified. Suicide is not justified. It is violation of nature's law. Nature gives you a certain type of body to live in it for certain days, and suicide means you go against the laws of nature; you untimely stop the duration of life. Therefore he becomes a criminal. Suicide is criminal even in ordinary state laws. One cannot make suicide.

Woman (3): I understand that Hare Kṛṣṇa is a scientific movement. Do you think that there is a scientific explanation for the way in which personal enlightenment by simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa?

Devotee: The question is that you have said that the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is a scientific movement . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee: . . . and she wants to know if you can offer a scientific explanation how the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra can give a person . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is very easy to understand. Suppose you are sleeping, and if I vibrate some sound, you can hear and can wake up. No other method will act. Suppose you are sleeping. Then I have to call, "Mr. or Mrs. Such-and-such, please get up, get up, get up." You get up. Similarly, at the present moment it is our sleeping stage. Therefore this transcendental vibration will awaken to spiritual consciousness. Just try to understand. When one is asleep, the sound vibration can help him. Similarly, at the present moment, in our material condition of life we are sleeping. This transcendental, spiritual vibration will help you. That is the process.

Man (1): If you follow any one movement, then you automatically close your mind to other things.

Prabhupāda: Your business is how to get success of life. So any method you can accept, but your aim should be one—how to get out of this material entanglement. So here we are presenting one authorized movement, how to get out of this material entanglement. If you have got any other movement or any other idea to get out of this material, that is also accepted. It is not that . . . but so far we know, this movement is the only movement which can get you out of this entanglement. But if you have got any other, alternative movement, we do not grudge. Just like our system is sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6).

(The supreme occupation (dharma) for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.)

We want to teach people to understand himself and to understand God. That is our method.

Man (1): Can I ask one more thing?

Prabhupāda: No. So if you have got any other method to understand yourself and God, you can follow. We have no objection. But our method is that. We want to test that by following some method, either call it religious or cultural, whether you have understood yourself and God. Then it is perfect. Otherwise it is simply waste of time.

Man (1): I also understand that we are not this body, we are spirit, soul. But if it wasn't for your body you are using now, you wouldn't be able to communicate this message to other people. So . . .

Prabhupāda: We do not neglect this body, but we don't identify it. That is our principle. Just like you have got a car. It is helping you to take you from one place to another. You don't neglect it; we maintain the car nicely. But we never identify. Suppose, some way or other, the car is damaged, is lost. Then I do not become overwhelmed, because I know that I am not this car. I can get another car. That's all.

Man (2): Prabhupāda, in quite a few places in your writings you say that of all the billions of astronomical bodies in this universe, that the sun is the only self-luminous one, the only one that gives off its own light. Now, astronomers throughout the world are in universal agreement and teach as an absolutely verifiable fact that there are millions of bodies in our universe that give off their own light, just like our sun does; that our sun is just one of them. Now, on this point your teaching is diametrically opposed to the teachings of all the qualified astronomers in the world, and I would like to know . . .

Prabhupāda: What is that astronomical calculation?

Madhudviṣa: He is saying that this . . . do you understand the question?

Prabhupāda: No. Explain.

Madhudviṣa: He is saying that in your teachings you say the sun is the only self-illuminous body in the universe, whereas the scientists say that there is many millions of stars that are in the sky that are also self-illuminous.

Prabhupāda: No. We say that there are innumerable universes. We say.

Man (2): But in this particular universe, we're talking about.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi.
(Bs 5.40)

(I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman mentioned in the Upaniṣads, being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless, truth.)

Jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. Jagad-aṇḍa means universe, and koṭi means millions. So there are millions and millions of universes, and in each universe there are millions and millions of planets. Yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam (Bs 5.40). And each planet is differently constituted. The atmosphere of each planet is different from another. This is God's creation. Now as there are innumerable universes, there may be innumerable suns also.

Man (2): Yeah, but they say that's in this universe . . .

Prabhupāda: Just try to understand. Because there are innumerable universes, and in each and every universe there is a sun, there is a moon, there is Venus, everything, so under the circumstances, as we accept innumerable universes, automatically we accept innumerable suns. So where is the difference between the astrologer and our . . .

Man (2): The astronomers also accept that there are innumerable universes, and they say that in each one they have millions and millions of self-luminous stars, and in this one also, but you say that in this one there is only the sun.

Prabhupāda: But do you think that I have to accept the astronomers blindly?

Man (2): Well, they say . . .

Prabhupāda: No. Why? Why? If there are innumerable suns, why they are not present at night? Why you are suffering from want of one sun?

Man (2): Because we are much further away from the others than our particular one.

Prabhupāda: No. At least, we are not able to bring them into service. We are depending only on one sun in this universe. You may say there are innumerable suns, but why the astronomers or the scientists could not take advantage of another sun at night? Why it is darkness?

Man (2): Because we're much closer to this one than the others. We're much closer to this one.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is . . . what is that?

Madhudviṣa: He says that the earth is much more closer to this sun than it is to other suns.

Prabhupāda: Anyway, we do not take. But we, according to our Vedic information, this is only one universe, which is within our vision, this sky, the dome. That is one universe. The other universes are outside this universe. That is the Vedic information.

Devotee: Are there any other questions?

Man (3): Each of us have come here tonight sort of looking for a bit of a miracle or a bit of a statement that can stamp us, to hold us, to illuminate us. (devotees laugh) Now, you travel in a spirit. Can you tell us the wonderful feeling of enlightenment to enter this spirit? We don't know how to exactly enter this spirit and travel as you travel.

Prabhupāda: That I am distributing. You chant at home, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, and see the result. (laughter) It is not difficult. If there is no expenditure, there is no loss if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and you see the result at home. You haven't got to travel. You sit down at your home and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Man (3): The word travel . . . illumination. Each of us wants to know that beautiful, glorious feeling and how we gain it.

Prabhupāda: That glorious . . . first of all we must know what we are. The mistake is that we are accepting this body as ourself. I am thinking Indian, you are thinking Australian, he is thinking American, he is thinking Muhammadan, he is thinking Hindu. In this way, because we are thinking different way, we have got difference of opinion. But as soon as we come to the spiritual platform, there will be no more different opinion. That we are trying, that come to the spiritual platform. Then everything will go on. The first lesson of coming to the spiritual platform is to understand that "I am not this body." This the first lesson of spiritual understanding.

Man (4): I've read about Hubbard's Scientology, and a lot of the writings that Hubbard writes sound a lot like the theory of Hare Kṛṣṇa. Is there any parallel at all between the two, or have you taken any opinion on side, both your cases? You know anything about that?

Madhudviṣa: He is saying is there any similarities between the philosophy of Scientology . . .

Prabhupāda: What is that Scientology? I do not know. (laughter) (applause) I do not know. Can you explain what is this Scientology?

Man (4): It's just a teaching that's supposed to be fairly widespread. (laughter)

Madhudviṣa: Yes?

Man (5): Can you give any explanation about the spiritual, around the earth? If they are all luminous?

Madhudviṣa: He wants to know something about psychic phenomena.

Prabhupāda: Psychic phenomena is the subtle materialism. There are two material conditions: one gross condition, one subtle condition. Gross condition is created by the five elements—earth, water, fire, air and ether. And the subtle elements are mind, intelligence and ego, false ego. So all these eight elements, they are material. One section is gross, and another section is subtle. So the psychology means the subtle material elements. It is material; it is not spiritual. It is subtle.

Man (6): At rebirth do we all return as a male if the previous existence was a male, or do we change? (laughter)

Madhudviṣa: He is asking when you take birth again do you take birth as the same sex, or do you change your sex?

Prabhupāda: No, no. Just like you change your body, you change your shirts, it is not necessary that you will get the same type of shirt. No. That you . . . just like if your present shirt you want to change, and you go to the store and you purchase another shirt and coat, that will depend on your choice and the price you can pay. It is not necessarily that you will get the same type of shirt and coat. Therefore, when we change our body, there is no guarantee that we get the same type of body. A male can get a female body. There are many instances like that. And a female can get the male body. A man can get animal body, like that. So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13), echange of body. But what kind of body you are going to change, that will depend on your own work.

Man (7): Is this your last body? If so, how do you know? (laughter)

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Madhudviṣa: He is asking you if this is your last body.

Prabhupāda: I think so. (laughter) Not only I; all of my disciples. They are going to . . . because we are not speaking nonsense. This is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9).

(One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.)

Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ. Anyone who understands Kṛṣṇa factually, the result is tyaktvā deham, giving up this body, he never accepts again material body. He goes back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore, because we are trying to understand Kṛṣṇa, and if by Kṛṣṇa's grace we can understand Him, then we are not again going to accept any material body. That's a fact.

Man (8): I have some sympathy for you, sir, but I think that tonight you have been postulating the old concept that most of our established religions have thrown out, that is that the reward for the miseries of this life lie in the transmigration of one's soul. But . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is actual misery.

Man (8): But, but, but . . . in the West, our theologies have taught us that we no longer believe in heaven, we no longer believe in hell, we no longer believe in a soul. So I think that if you want to generate some sympathy, you had better change your tack. (laughter)

Prabhupāda: No, I . . . if you do not believe, that does not mean the things become null and void. That is not a fact. Suppose a thief does not believe in the prison house. That does not mean the prison house will be closed. A thief may think like that—that is another thing—but the prison house will continue, and as soon as you commit theft, you will be put there. That's all.

Man (8): I think that there is no point in answering a question with a parable. In point of fact, the things you've been postulating tonight is a denial of observable truth.

Madhudviṣa: Of what truth?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Observable truth.

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is truth. (laughter) Anyone who has got eyes to see, he can see the truth.

Man (9): Do you believe in the essential unity of religious paths in such a way that soon people will take to God and yoga?

Madhudviṣa: He said do you believe in any unity between religious paths.

Prabhupāda: Yes, religion is only one. Just like religion . . . our definition of religion is dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19):

(Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.)

"Religion means the laws and the codes given by God." That is religion. Now, God is one. God cannot be two. And what He says, that is also one. So if we accept that one law of God, that is religion. Then there is unity. But if you create your own religion by your imagination, that is another thing. Religion means the laws given by . . . just like state law. State law is acceptable by everyone. I have given this instance: the state law is that "Keep to the right" or "left." Everyone accepts. There is no disunity. So if we actually take the words of God, then there is unity. But if we do not take, if we create our own system of religion, that is a different thing.

Man (9): But this is, in fact, what we do. This is how we exist, by our own government. By no other government, by no other observable government.

Prabhupāda: But the question was unity. If you take only the word and the codes of God, there is unity. Otherwise there is disunity. If you say that "State may say that 'Keep to the left.' I will go to the right," that is your decision. But people accept. This is law. Similarly . . . that is our definition, that "First-class religion is that which teaches its follower how to love God." That is first-class religion. We don't say that Christianity is first class or Hinduism first class, or . . . no. Any religion which teaches or trains one perfectly how to love God, that is first-class religion.

Man (10): Can the human consciousness transcend time?

Prabhupāda: No. Time is unlimited. How you can transcend?

Woman (4): How do you regard abortion? At what stage does the spirit . . .

Prabhupāda: Most abominable.

Woman (4): What stage does the spirit enter into the womb?

Madhudviṣa: What stage does the spirit enter into the womb?

Prabhupāda: Spirit, as it is, spirit—very small. It is mentioned in the śāstra. The dimension of the spirit is one ten-thousandth portion of the tip of the hair—very small particle, smaller than the atom. This atom enters into the father's semina, and the semina is injected in the mother's womb, and then the two seminas, being emulsified, it creates a small body like a pea. And because the spirit soul is there, it develops into body. This is the science.

Woman (5): Are you saying that the mother does not enter or do anything into the spirit of the child?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Madhudviṣa: She is speaking for woman's rights.

Prabhupāda: What is that right? Because you are woman, you have to be pregnant. What is that? How you can avoid it?

Man (3): No, no. It's a serious question. You should answer it. It's a serious question.

Madhudviṣa: She is saying that the woman has nothing to do with the spirit soul.

Prabhupāda: Well, woman herself is a spirit soul. How she can say like that? Everyone is spirit soul, either woman . . . woman and man—this is body. But everyone is spirit soul.

Man (11): I might answer that question for her. You can lead the horse to water but you can't make it drink

Man (3): That's no answer either.

(everyone starts talking)

Devotee: We can chant?

Prabhupāda: Just chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Woman (5): From the father, what about the mother? (end)