Room Conversation — March 14, 1975, Tehran

Paramahaṁsa: These are some of my friends here, Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Paramahaṁsa: This is Kani Faisal. He is a director, theater director, and artist.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Paramahaṁsa: He wants to do a play now from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,

Prabhupāda: Oh?

Paramahaṁsa: …the story of Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Prabhupāda: Very good.

Paramahaṁsa: This is Carlos. This is Ali. I don’t know your name.

Masud: Masud.

Paramahaṁsa: Maslud. And [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: So all cultural people. All cultural people.

Paramahaṁsa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Nice. Where is Ātreya?

Paramahaṁsa: He’s coming.

Prabhupāda: Yes. India… Formerly your country was part of India, and you belong to the same culture. So far I understand, Iran means Āryan? So Āryan culture was practically all over the world. Āryan culture is based on God consciousness. So amongst the Āryans there is some conception of religion, either Christian religion or Muhammadan religion, Buddhist religion, Vedic religion, based on conception of God. So according to time, country, the ways of understanding may be little different, but the aim is God consciousness. That is Āryan civilization.

So God is one. God cannot be two. So the features of God or angle of vision of God may be different. So they have been summarized in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. [aside:] You can come forward. One feature of God is impersonal. Just like the sunshine. Sunshine is spreading all over the universe. It is impersonal. But the quality of the sunshine is heat and light. The heat and light means energy. So as in the material calculation, the heat and light is the cause of all creation. Just like at the present moment there is not sufficient heat; therefore the trees have no leaves. And as soon as there will be little more heat they will be all green. So you can take it that the creation of the foliage is due to the heat. Similarly light. So heat and light is the cause of all this material creation. And heat and light is coming from the sunshine, er, sun. Therefore heat becomes the origin of creation even in this material world.

Similarly, there is another light. That is the original light. This is reflection. That is called brahma-jyotir, spiritual light. So in this way one conception of God is like that. Another conception of God is: God is situated everywhere. Aṇḍāntara-sthaṁ paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. Because God is situated within the universe, within the atom, therefore they are existing. Just like the ātmā, or spirit soul, is situated in you, in me, in everyone. This is called Paramātmā feature. And at the ultimate end there is the person, God as person, the Supreme Person, the Supreme Being, a person like you and me—we are person—but He is almighty, all-powerful. This is the conception of Absolute Truth: God, Paramātmā and brahmajyoti. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. This is the Sanskrit word. He is realized as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. Bhagavān is person; Paramātmā is all-pervading, means localized, situated; and Brahman means all-pervading. All together—God. This is the idea. What is your idea of God?

Guest (1): I find it very difficult to know the difference between truth and illusion.

Prabhupāda: God is truth; what is forgetfulness of God, that is illusion.

Guest (1): You told me once.

Prabhupāda: God is truth. Just like the sun is present all the time, twenty-four hours. But we say now there is no sun, at night. But that’s not the fact. The fact is the sun is there; I cannot see. That is illusion. Not that God is not there. God is there. As exactly, same example, the sun is there at night, but I cannot see under certain condition. Therefore it is illusion. Our senses are imperfect; therefore sometimes we cannot understand or see God. If our senses are purified, then we can see God every moment. [pause] So, what is your idea of God?

Guest (1): I, I… Something that I see sometimes in everything, the sameness in everything.

Prabhupāda: No clear concept.

Guest (1): I have no clear…

Prabhupāda: Yes. The clear conception of God is that originally He is person. Just like the same example, the sun. We can see every day the sun. [aside:] Can you give me that 7 Up? The sun is there always, but at night we cannot see. At night we cannot see. That does not mean the sun is not there.

Guest (2): But the senses, sharpening the senses. How does one sharpen one’s senses?

Prabhupāda: Senses are imperfect. Just like we are very proud of our eyes to see, but you cannot see what is beyond the wall. Therefore it is conditioned. You cannot see without light. That, how you can be sure that your eyes are perfectly seeing? That is not possible, because the eyes can see under certain condition. So if it is conditioned, then it is not perfect. But the conditioned sight can be purified. Just like one is suffering from cataract. By surgical operation the cataract can be removed and he can see. Similarly, our senses are imperfect. If we purify the senses, then it will be possible to see God twenty-four hours. That purification process is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Guest (1): Are human beings the only creations that can have Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means God consciousness. The cats and dogs cannot be trained up. But a human being can be trained up. Especially the Āryans, they can be trained up. They are advanced.

Guest (1): More advanced than other races?

Prabhupāda: By birth they are advanced. They have got intelligence. But for Kṛṣṇa consciousness everyone can be purified, even the non-Āryans. It is without any check. Ahaituky apratihatā. Apratihatā means without any material check. It is not a disqualification, that one is not an Āryan, therefore he cannot understand God. No. He can also be trained up. Because it is spiritual, and we are all spiritual identities, so it is not difficult. Even one who is not spiritual at the present moment, but by training he can also become spiritual.

Guest (1): In other words, one has to make an intellectual effort or at least in order to…

Prabhupāda: It is not very highly intellectual. One has to understand first of all that he is not this body. That anyone can understand, that “I am changing my body, but I am there. Therefore I am not this body.” Just like a child’s coat, when he is young man, that coat does not fit him. So that young man means he has got another body. But the young man knows, he remembers, that he was a child; he was on the lap of his parents or his relatives. So that body is no longer existing. I have got a different body, but I, who had the childhood body, I am existing. Is it very difficult to understand, any one of you? The body has changed. That’s a fact. But I am the same. [break] What is that?

Paramahaṁsa: The demands of the body makes it…

Ātreya Ṛṣi: The attachment to the body…

Prabhupāda: No, attachment to the body is not bad. Just like you have got a nice car. So you have got attachment for it. But you must know that you are not the car. That everyone can… A child can understand. But because I have got attachment for something, it does not mean I am that thing. I have got attachment for so many things. That is natural. Anything I possess, I have got attachment. But that does not mean I am that thing. But here the mistake is that because we have got attachment for the body, I am identifying myself as the body. That is ignorance, illusion.

Guest (1): Yes, but one is egocentric… My egoism is very close to my body.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone says “I am.” But the mistake is, he is thinking “I am this body.” That… When one is in knowledge, he understands that “I am not this body; I am spirit soul.” The “I am” is there. But “I am” is now falsely identified with this body. That has to be cured. Then spiritual knowledge begins.

Guest (3): When one is aware of that fact, that he is not the body?

Prabhupāda: As soon as he come into knowledge.

Guest (3): But can one be egoistic and be spiritual at the same time? I mean, be proud of himself, not as a body, but proud of his state of his spirit?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now we are bodily busy. Because I am identifying with this body, therefore my misunderstanding is there. But if I understand I am not this body, then my activities will be different. So first of all, you have to understand that “I am not this body.” That is the beginning of spiritual education. [break] …identify with this body, we remain an animal, because animal cannot understand that he is not body. Try to understand that you are not this body. And what is the difficulty? When a…?

Guest (3): The difficulty is that I fear that if this body leaves me I’ll no longer be. That’s the difficulty. Because it’s difficult for me to imagine that when my brain doesn’t work, I can’t live, that I can live when my brain stops functioning. That’s the difficulty.

Prabhupāda: Difficulty is not there, but we have to understand from teacher. Just like the many subject of knowledge we do not understand in the beginning, but by hearing from the teacher, gradually we understand. So that teacher must be perfect, in full knowledge, and then we can understand from him. So we accept Kṛṣṇa because He is God, He is perfect. So we receive knowledge from Him, and that is Bhagavad-gītā. So knowledge from Kṛṣṇa or His pure servant, both of them are equal. They can give us that knowledge.

Guest (1): I’d like to know the relation…

Prabhupāda: Paramahaṁsa? Bring this ice. Put. That’s all. Hmm?

Guest (1): I’d like to know the relation between Viṣṇu and Kṛṣṇa, how Viṣṇu became Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Being, and He has got many expansion. So Viṣṇu is also expansion.

rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan
nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kintu
kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.39]

This is in the Vedas, Brahma-saṁhitā. Kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ sama. Kṛṣṇa means the original. And He expands in so many forms, rāmādi-mūrtiṣu: Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha, Viṣṇu, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Balarāma—so many thousands. But the original person is Kṛṣṇa. [pause] Therefore I asked, “What is the idea of God?” I suppose you are all Muhammadan.

Guest (2): Yes. We were brought up as Muhammadans.

Prabhupāda: So what is the conception of God in Islam?

Guest (2): Even as a Muhammadan, I didn’t have very good teaching. My teachers didn’t know the Koran very well, and therefore they gave me no concept of God when I was a child. I don’t know what the Muhammadan concept of God is.

Prabhupāda: Any one of you cannot explain? You have got?

Guest (2): I think it’s the all-powerful one who’s omnipotent, the same as in all religions. There is one God.

Prabhupāda: So His form… What is the form?

Guest (2): What is His form? He created the world…

Prabhupāda: That is His action. What is His form?

Guest (2): A heavenly being.

Guest (3): There is no form given for God. It’s spiritual.

Prabhupāda: The description must be there.

Girl: He’s a human being. He’s got a human form.

Prabhupāda: That I am asking, what is the form?

Guest (2): Well, the only thing… It just says that He created man after His own image. So…

Prabhupāda: That is the Christian idea.

Guest (2): Yeah. And the…

Prabhupāda: The Muhammadan…, Islam is also same idea?

Guest (2): Well, since the Old Testament, part of the Old Testament, is very similar to the Koran, so I presume the creation of Adam, that bit, is also taken from the Old Testament. But He is projected as a great judge really, the supreme judge.

Prabhupāda: Yes, He must be the supreme judge because He is Supreme Being. So He is not only… Supreme judge means supreme knowledge.

Guest (2): Yes. Somehow in modern religion they very much emphasize on the fact that He judges. And I could never accept that idea, for example, that the Supreme Being judges, because judging is a low activity. It’s a… Spiritual people don’t judge. So how come…

Prabhupāda: Spiritual…?

Guest (2): Don’t judge.

Prabhupāda: They do not judge?

Guest (2): That’s what I thought.

Prabhupāda: No, judgment is there everywhere. Unless there is judgment, how you can discriminate, “This is spiritual; this is material”? Judgment must be there for intelligent person. Otherwise how you can distinguish? We are distinguishing every moment—“This is good. This is bad”—in the relative world. So there is judgment. So God—the supreme judge. So as soon as there is question of judgment, then what is our position? There must be good and bad, so that if we have lived a very nice, good life, then by the judgment of God we get better position. And if we have not done so, then you get degraded position. Therefore, for human being it is very sanguine to understand how we are going to be judged by the Supreme. So if we are following the rules and regulation given by God, then the judgment will be better. And if we are not following the laws, the judgment will not be in favor. This is natural to conclude. Then we have to judge what is sin, what is piety, how to be pious, how one becomes sinful. So many things will come.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Do the laws of nature also make distinction, Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Laws of nature means laws of God. It is executed through the machine of nature.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: And that machine also makes distinction, doesn’t it?

Prabhupāda: No.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: No judgment?

Prabhupāda: The machine… Just like I push certain button, it acts in a certain way. I push another button, it acts in another way. Just as computer machine, it is a very complicated machine, but it does not act automatically. One man who knows, he puts the button and it acts.

Guest (2): If the laws of nature are the laws of God, then how is it that sometimes they’re even crueler than the actions…, they are more violent than the actions which ordinary men do, than that of a tyrant or a murderer?

Prabhupāda: Rules, God rules, are perfect, and it is being perfectly done. Sometimes we misunderstand.

Guest (2): Then how do we take the meaning of earthquakes and natural disasters which could destroy the lives of pure people as well as impure people?

Prabhupāda: No, every life is pure. The body is pure and impure. So anyway, after destruction, the life is not destroyed. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. The destruction of body does not mean that the soul is destroyed. No. He gets another body. The body is…, one body is destroyed, and he transmigrates to another body. And so far your question about the earthquake, so suppose if there is plane crash, there are many good men, bad men, so everyone is crashed. But the good man gets a good body again; the bad man gets a bad body again.

Guest (2): The good man gets a better body or a good body?

Prabhupāda: Good, better or worst, bad, according to his karma. Just like your shirt, you throw away on account of being old. Now you have to purchase another. But there are many varieties of shirt-coat. As you pay for it, you get. If you can pay nice price, you get silk shirt-coat. But if you cannot, you get ordinary cotton or jute. So your body will be according to your karma, or work. [pause] Why the other boys went away? Two, three boys?

Parivrājakācārya: They said they had to go.

Prabhupāda: Oh. So these things has to be learned first, that “I am not this body; I am spirit soul. I am changing my body, and this is botheration.” So if there is any way to stop this changing, that is required. That… That is possible to be done in this human form of life.

Guest (3): Is there any chance to understand how the Absolute thing?

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the chance, human body. If you want to know, you can know. Here is the chance.

Guest (2): Is there a way of knowing that the body you inhabited before was of a inferior quality than the one you’re inhabiting now, or…

Prabhupāda: Inferior quality, just like cats and dog. That is inferior quality.

Guest (2): Yeah, is there a way of knowing whether you’re on the way up or you’re falling?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You… Just like you infect some disease. Then it is sure that you are going to grow that disease. And if you don’t infect, then you don’t grow that disease. Do you know this, infection? Disease infection?

Guest (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: So if you don’t infect a certain disease, then you don’t grow it. And if you infect… Therefore you must know, or you must know the rules and regulation, how you can save yourself from infection. If you are ignorant and if you infect some disease, epidemic, then you have to suffer. If you remain disinfected, then you don’t get inferior body, you get superior body, in other planets. Or you can go back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore I said that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for purification so that you may not get infected by the material modes. Therefore we advise our student four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. Plus chanting the holy name of God. Then you remain immune from the infection. And that you will feel practically also, if you adopt the means. Now it is up to us to decide whether I shall continue the life of infection or I shall remain immune from all infection. That is your decision. Better we should remain immune from all kinds of infection, and that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān [Bg. 14.26], find out this verse.

māṁ ca’vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena yaḥ sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
[Bg. 14.26]


māṁ ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
[Bg. 14.26]

“One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.”

Prabhupāda: This is the way. The purport?

Paramahaṁsa: “This verse is a reply to Arjuna’s third question: What is the means of attaining to the transcendental position?”

Prabhupāda: So everything is explained. One has to learn it very carefully.

Guest (2): If one does not lose one’s identity when one is returned to the Godhead, what is the nature of the relationship?

Prabhupāda: Servant. God is supreme; we are all subordinate. God is maintaining us just like father maintains. So it is the duty of the son to be obedient to the father, to act according to his order. Then everything is perfect. At the present moment, on account of this bodily concept of life, every one of us thinking nationality and duty of nation, duty of the community, duty of the family—so many duties. But actually, we being spiritual, our only duty is to serve God. We are serving; everyone is serving. That is our constitutional position, to serve. But at the present moment we are serving māyā, illusion, and we have to be trained up to serve the Supreme Being. Then our life is perfect.

[break] …at the present moment, although there are many religious system, they have no clear conception of God, although religion means to approach God. There is no religion throughout the whole world which is not connected with the word God. So religion means to understand God. But if we have no clear conception of God, then the religion is defective. Do you admit it or not? Religion means to understand God or God’s laws. That is religion. But if we do not understand what is God, then that religion is also defective. So far our position is, we are approaching directly God through His agent, and our conception of God is there in the temple worship or our working for God. But we have got no vague idea of God. We have got complete idea: Kṛṣṇa. You want to speak anything?

Guest (4): What is the Kṛṣṇa consciouses outlook on other world religions?

Prabhupāda: They have got simply an idea that there is God, but what is that God, they have no clear concept. Just like I asked, “What is the conception of God in Islam?” You could not give us. You simply described some of His activities.

Guest (4): That’s true.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest (3): All the religions that have been taught to me have not given me a clear view of God, a clear concept. They didn’t seem to know it themselves.

Prabhupāda: No, concept is there as you told me: “The God has made human being after His own image.” Then we can get the idea that God is a person like a human being, He has got two hands, two legs, one head, because after His image we have been… Now, if we study ourself and increase that quality… Just like I am. I can eat. I can eat a certain amount of foodstuff, but God can also eat, but He can eat the whole universe. So eating is there, but the difference of eating is there also. I can create one aeroplane, but God has created very, very big airplanes like these planets, and they are floating in the sky without any power crisis. That is God’s creation. Here we are floating the airplane or running the car with the power, petrol, given by God.

You cannot manufacture petrol. Just like in your country there is enough stock of petrol. But you have not created it. So who has created? Your creative power is to drill and get the stock. So much creative power you have got. But you cannot create petrol. Then the Americans would not have come here to beg petrol. That is the difference. You can create something by the ingredients given by God. You can create this table. Because wood is given by God, the instrument is given by God, and the intelligence given by God, the hand is given by God, so in this way you create the table. Then whose property it will be: your property or God’s property? Whose property? If I give you wood, instrument, your salary, and you create something, the ultimately the thing created, to whom it should belong? To you or to me?

Guest (3): To you if you’re…

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore everything belongs to God. The petrol belongs to God; the land belongs to God; we also belong to God. But because you have forgotten God, there is crisis. Therefore, if you want peace, then you must accept here this principle that everything belongs to God. That is Vedic information. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam, Īśopaniṣad. You have read our Īśopaniṣad?

Guest (2): I have read some of it.

Prabhupāda: Here is the Īśopaniṣad. Show him. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam. Read that verse.


īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam
[Īśo mantra 1]

“Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one must not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”

Prabhupāda: Explanation.

Śrutakīrti: Purport… [break]

Prabhupāda: This is the summary of God consciousness. [Hindi]

Ānanda-mārga man: I am from Ānanda-mārga, and my name is Ācārya Sveta-kirtu Brahmacārī.

Śrutakīrti: His name is Ācārya Sveta-kirti Brahmacārī.

Ānanda-mārga man: Sveta-kirtu Brahmacārī

Śrutakīrti: Sveta-kirtu Brahmacārī

Prabhupāda: Suta-kirtu.

Ānanda-mārga man: Sveta.

Prabhupāda: Sveta.

Ānanda-mārga man: And the guru’s name is Śrī Śrī Ānandamurti.

Prabhupāda: Hmm. You have got a branch here?

Ānanda-mārga man: I have been here for about three months. I am trying to lead the practices and the sādhana of the people here and trying to set up a unit here.

Prabhupāda: So you follow Vedic principle?

Ānanda-mārga man: We follow Tantric principle.

Prabhupāda: Tantric. Tantra, there are two kinds of tantras—sattvata, and there are sattvic, rajasic, anything. So your activity is on the material platform or spiritual?

Ānanda-mārga man: It’s actually… Our motive is…, our objective is ātmā mokṣa [Sanskrit].

Prabhupāda: Ātmā…?

Ānanda-mārga man: [Sanskrit] Self-realization and selfless service to humanity. So that’s our principles. That’s the objective of Ānanda-mārga philosophy. So that’s a subjective approach to objective adjustment. Both, side by side.

Prabhupāda: What is that ānanda?

Ānanda-mārga man: Ānanda means bliss, infinite happiness.

Prabhupāda: Infinite. But what is the platform of that ānanda—material or spiritual?

Ānanda-mārga man: Umm… Of course, ānanda means very much spiritual aspect.

Prabhupāda: But if somebody wants to derive ānanda by sense pleasure, is that spiritual?

Ānanda-mārga man: Our practices has…

Prabhupāda: Tantra means they want to derive pleasure through the senses. So is that spiritual?

Ānanda-mārga man: Our Gurudeva says that not only do we do vidyā-tantra, but both the Tantric practices avidyā and vidyā has to be practiced. So one has to go beyond…

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is spiritual.

Ānanda-mārga man: Even after vidyā and avidyā, you have to be beyond that stage. So our Gurudeva teaches both the practices. When the time is proper, he says he will also teach avidyā-tantra, avidyā-sāra.[?]

Prabhupāda: Abhidheya.

Ānanda-mārga man: Avidyā

Indian man: Vaiddha and avaiddha. It may be avaiddha.

Prabhupāda: “Late”?

Indian man: The one which is recognized and the one which is not recognized by the society. That is the [Sanskrit].

Prabhupāda: So society recognizes the sense gratification, whether it is bhidheya or abhidheya?

Indian man: [to Ānanda-mārga man:] What is vidyā or avidyā, explain in more details to us.

Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā says, sukham ātyantikaṁ yat tad atīndriya grāhyam [Bg. 6.21]. The bliss which is supreme, that is to be appreciated by atīndriya. Atīndriya means beyond the senses. So those who are indulging in senses, the Tantra indulges in senses. So is that spiritual? That is not spiritual. That is material.

Ānanda-mārga man: You have to use the material, all the potential…

Prabhupāda: No. Atīndriya. You haven’t got to use this material senses. It is completely spiritual. Just like at the present moment, on account of being covered by the matter, I am using the senses covered by matter. It has to be uncovered; then the pure senses will come. So that uncovering means negation. If anyone wants to enjoy spiritual senses, then he has to control this material senses. That is the yoga system. Yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ. By yoga practise, one controls the material senses. And when the yoga is complete, then the activities of the spiritual senses begins. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā. Brahma-bhūtaḥ means the material sense gratification stopped. That is,

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
[Bg. 18.54].

So after the activities of the material senses stopped, then the spiritual senses begins to work. So when from that spiritual senses we derive bliss, that is wanted. That is real ānanda. [break] …enjoy the spiritual sense one has to not only stop, but undergo tapasya, tapo divyam. Just like a man is diseased, he wants to eat, but due to the disease he cannot eat. So first of all, you have to cure the disease, then your eating will be a pleasure. And if you want to eat in the diseased condition, then the taste will not be proper; you cannot eat. A man suffering from jaundice, if you give him sugar candy, he will taste it bitter. The same man, when he is cured, he will taste the sugar candy as very sweet. Tapo divyaṁ yena putrakā śuddhyed sattvam [SB 5.5.1]. You have to purify your existence by tapasya. And tapasya means stops material sense gratification.

[Dr. Movebhed enters room] Aiye. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Ah, thank you. So you have translated in Farsi?

Dr. Movebhed: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So Bhagavad-gītā… Kṛṣṇa is speaking Bhagavad-gītā. What is the position of Kṛṣṇa? That you have mentioned?

Dr. Movebhed: I have to listen to you. [laughs]

Prabhupāda: Why you shall listen to me? The Bhagavad-gītā is there.

Dr. Movebhed: But you are an insider. [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Yes, actually without listening, so many big, big men, they have committed mistake about Bhagavad-gītā. Even Gandhi, he says that “I do not believe that there was a person Kṛṣṇa ever living.” Just see. What to speak of others. Aiye. [Hindi] Without listening from the right source, even a personality like Gandhi will commit mistake, what to speak of others. Similarly, Dr. Radhakrishnan has committed so many mistake. So big, big scholars, they’re trying to study Bhagavad-gītā, but they cannot understand. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 4.34]. You first prepare yourself to surrender, praṇipāta, praṇipāta, prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa nipāta. Without any reservation, surrender, praṇipātena, by the surrendering process, and paripraśnena, by enquiring from the authority. Because it is not very easy to understand Kṛṣṇa. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Out of many, many million person one try to understand, one trying to become perfect, siddhaye. Siddhi means perfection. So yatatām api siddhānām [Bg. 7.3]: “Those who have attained siddhi, perfection, out of many such siddhas,kaścid māṁ vetti tattvataḥ, “maybe one man can understand Me.” The first of all to become siddha. Then, after becoming siddha, one may understand Kṛṣṇa or he may not.

Actually, it is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa. But you can understand Kṛṣṇa if you adopt this process: praṇipātena, paripraśnena, sevayā—three things. You have to go to a person where you can surrender, not to a bogus person or one who is not competent to accept your surrender. And then you make question that “Kṛṣṇa says like this. What is the meaning of this?” Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati… [Bg. 7.3]. And sevayā. Three things required: first of all surrender, and then question, and seva. You cannot question by challenging. You have to render service and surrender. Between the two, praṇipāta and sevayā, there is paripraśna. Then you will understand. Upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ jñāninaḥ tattva-darśinaḥ. Tattva-darśi, one who has seen the truth, he can enlighten you. This is the process. Otherwise, even Gandhi, Dr. Radhakrishna, Vivekananda, all they have committed mistake. Aurobindo. Aurobindo has understood little to some extent, but not fully. But if we are fortunate enough, then we can understand Kṛṣṇa very easily. What is that? Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. “My dear Dhanañjaya, Arjuna, there is no more superior truth than Me.”

So if we accept that, either you say blindly or conscientiously, then that is perfect. Kṛṣṇa says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]: “After many, many births of philosophical speculation, when one actually becomes wise, jñānī, jñānavān, full of knowledge, then the result is māṁ prapadyate: he surrenders unto Me.” Why surrender? Now, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]—he understands that Kṛṣṇa is everything. Sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ: “Such mahātmā is very rare.” That was, I was…, we were discussing that there are so many religious system in the world, but hardly they have got any clear conception of God. I have asked so many gentlemen belonging to different types of religion that “What is the clear conception of God?” So may I ask you also what is the clear conception of God?

Dr. Movebhed: I prefer to listen to you.

Prabhupāda: But we are speaking the same thing, Bhagavad-gītā. We are not manufacturing anything. Clear conception of God you can take from Arjuna. Arjuna associated with Kṛṣṇa personally. What he says about Kṛṣṇa and what he understands about God, that you read from the Tenth Chapter. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam [Bg. 10.12].

Nitāi: “Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahmān, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original. You are the unborn and the 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.”

Prabhupāda: Then? Purport? [break] Next verse?

Nitāi: “O Kṛṣṇa, I totally accept as truth all that You have told me. Neither the gods nor the demons, O Lord, know Thy personality.”

Prabhupāda: Now here is Arjuna’s understanding, that “I accept You in total.” Now some rascals are proclaiming that all the Bhagavad-gītās, they are, most of them are interpretation. But Arjuna says that “I accept everything what You have said.” So whom you will accept: Arjuna, or some rascal who is speaking that “There are so many interpolation. They can be rejected”? Whom you will accept as authority? Arjuna says that “I accept whatever You have said in toto.” If you accept Arjuna because he has heard from Kṛṣṇa, then you accept Kṛṣṇa, or you understand Kṛṣṇa.

Dr. Movebhed: I said I think the question you put, the clear concept of Kṛṣṇa, or God… The God for me is not a conceptual thing. It cannot be subject to concept, and to understand God, you have to identify yourself with the truth, and otherwise it’s not the way to just…

Prabhupāda: No, if you accept Kṛṣṇa as the teacher, authority, just like Arjuna accepted. Arjuna said, śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]: “Now I accept You as my teacher.” Śiṣya. Śiṣya means disciple. Śiṣyas te aham: “I am Your now disciple. Don’t accept me as Your friend.” Friend to friend talk, it is not very serious. So when one is accepted as the master, then you have to accept his statement. There is no question of argument. That is the relationship between guru and disciple. Therefore the process is: before accepting a person as guru, one must study his position. And guru also, before accepting a disciple, must study his position. In this way the relationship between guru and disciple is established. Now, Arjuna is a friend of Kṛṣṇa, so he has studied Kṛṣṇa, and therefore he submits, Arjuna, “Kṛṣṇa, although we are friends, now I accept You as my spiritual master.” Śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]: “I am now surrendered.” “Surrendered” means “As I accept You as my teacher, I’ll not argue.” So first of all this is required, that before accepting somebody as teacher one must be convinced that “The person whom I am going to accept as teacher is perfect.” Then the knowledge will be nice. If we approach a perfect person and submissively hear from him, then the knowledge is perfect. So Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the supreme authority, as Arjuna quoted. Then? What is that?

Nitāi: Āhus tvāṁ ṛṣayaḥ sarve.

Prabhupāda: Āhus tvāṁ ṛṣayaḥ sarve [Bg. 10.13]: “All the ṛṣis, great saintly persons, they have accepted You.” And some of them are named: Asita, Devala, Vyāsa. They are very great authority, ṛṣis: Vyāsadeva, who has compiled the whole Vedic literature; Nārada, the spiritual master of Vyāsadeva; similarly, Asita, Devala, very, very big, big stalwart, they have accepted. So apart from all these ṛṣis, recently, within, say, thousand years, great ācāryas just like Śaṅkarācārya, Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Nimbārka, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Lord Caitanya, they have all accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme. And India’s Vedic culture is practically dependent on all these ācāryas. So we are follower of these ācārya, so we accept, following the footsteps of the ācārya. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. One who has ācārya, guidance… Just like if anyone is going to be doctor of philosophy, he is guided by three ācāryas. That is the system in India. I think the same here, is it not? Anyone who is going to present some thesis, he is guided by three experienced professors, is it not?

Dr. Movebhed: Yes, more or less.

Prabhupāda: That is ācārya. So ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Without following the ācārya, if we simply theorize, that is not good. Just like the same example: if you want to put some thesis, the university regulation is that he must be guided by three experienced professor. You, we cannot simply put forward your thesis without being guided by the experienced professors. That thesis will not be accepted. Similarly, here Arjuna directly hears from Kṛṣṇa. So he says that “You are Parabrahma. Now I understand.” Now people may say that “You are accepting Him Parabrahma. Where is your authority? You are friend. You can say Parabrahma or anything—out of love. That is not final.” Therefore he quotes that… What is that? Āhus tvāṁ ṛṣayaḥ sarve: “All the big, big ṛṣis, they have accepted You.” Svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me: “And You, the Supreme Person, You are also speaking to me. And so far I am concerned, I have realized now that You are the Supreme Lord, Parabrahma.” So if we follow Arjuna, then there is no difficulty. Accept Kṛṣṇa as Parabrahma. So Arjuna has heard it from Kṛṣṇa directly. This is the process. Now Kṛṣṇa says that “I accept your statement in toto.” What is that language?

Nitāi: Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye [Bg. 10.14].

Prabhupāda: Sarvam etaṁ ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava: “My dear Keśava…,” Keśava, the another name of Kṛṣṇa, “whatever You have said, I accept them cent percent.” Sarvam etaṁ ṛtam. Ṛtam means fact, truth. This is understanding. So if we accept in that way, then our knowledge is perfect. And if you accept in a different way… Just like Gandhi says that “I do not believe that Kṛṣṇa ever lived.” Just see. He does not believe in the ācāryas. All the ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, they have written big, big comment on Bhagavad-gītā, even Śaṅkarācārya. He does not believe anyone. He believes himself. And that kind of belief is not help. And our process is: because Kṛṣṇa has been accepted by all the ācāryas, all the great sages, Arjuna has accepted—we accept, that’s all. We have no difficulty. If I am child, I ask my father, “What is this, my father?” The father says, “My dear child, it is called coconut.” Then, if I distribute this knowledge, “This is coconut,” then my knowledge is perfect. I may not be perfect, but because I have heard it from my father, who is perfect about the knowledge of this fruit, so I have taken that word from my father, and I am preaching, “This is coconut,” and this is perfect.

So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is like that. We are simply repeating the perfect statement of our predecessor. That’s all. So there is no difficulty. We haven’t got to write thesis on Kṛṣṇa. The perfect knowledge is already there, and supported by the ācāryas. And we are simply submitting that “This is Kṛṣṇa. This is God.” That’s all. All over the world we are placing this statement that “Here is Bhagavad-gītā, and Kṛṣṇa spoke. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is like this. He is the original source of everything.” Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]: “I am the origin of everything.” And Kṛṣṇa also says, “After many, many births one come to this understanding that vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]: ‘Vasudeva is everything.’ ” Kṛṣṇa says, “I am everything.” And when one understands that Kṛṣṇa is everything, sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ, that mahātmā is very rare.

So my point is that simply replacing…, not replacing, submitting the same statement as the great saintly person, ācāryas have accepted, we are getting the result very nice, instead of theorizing in my own way, although it is not very difficult. Kṛṣṇa says that “You always think of Me,” man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. So we are teaching people the same way, that “You always think of Kṛṣṇa. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.” That is thinking of Kṛṣṇa. So that is being effective. We are getting good result all over the world. Anyone who is thinking of Kṛṣṇa, he is becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, fully convinced, dedicating his life for Kṛṣṇa. Nobody can change him. Now, any of my students, you ask them to change his position from Kṛṣṇa consciousness to something else. I don’t think they will agree. They are not fools; they are all qualified, educated. They are firmly convinced about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And all of them will explain how they are convinced. If you ask them, any one of them will explain. They have not blindly accepted. So this is the process, that if you accept the pure path as accepted by the authorities, then it will be effective. Svayam eva… That is the Vedic principle. Svayam eva sphuraṭy adhaḥ. Spiritual realization is revealed. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ yena mām upayānti te [Bg. 10.10]. So if we adopt the right principle, then other things will automatically come and help us. And the process is very simple if we accept it. Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. Find this verse.


man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ
[Bg. 18.65]

“Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.”

Prabhupāda: A simple formula. Anyone can think of Kṛṣṇa always. Anyone can offer obeisances. Bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. Anyone can serve Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is open to everyone. So four principle: man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru. Even a child can do that. And by doing these four things he becomes perfect. And the other verse,

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye ‘pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdrās
te ‘pi yānti parāṁ gatim
[Bg. 9.32]

It is open for everyone. Māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye ‘pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ. Even born in low-grade family, it doesn’t matter. If he accepts these four principles, te ‘pi yānti parāṁ gatiḥ, they also become transferred to the supreme goal. And Kṛṣṇa is not meant for any particular type of men or nation or country. No. Kṛṣṇa says… Find out this verse, sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ…


sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
[Bg. 14.4]

“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. So He is the father of all species of life—origin. Actually every one of us, we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is not for a particular person. For everyone. Yes?

Girl [follower of Guru Maharaj-ji]: When you asked what is the true form of God, I’ve seen the true form of God in myself. It’s the purest life. It’s the life I cannot reach through my mind. And nobody has experienced in material world. I have listened to it. It is a beautiful sound, the celestial music. And you can reach it through material world. I’ve tasted it as the purest water, it’s always inside me. And you can get it in the spring water even. And it is something I cannot reach through my mind because it is beyond my mind. But I can reach by surrendering myself, by being a devotee. And I have experienced the true form of God.

Prabhupāda: Now, what is that form?

Girl: It’s the purest light. It’s the magnificent light. I have listened to it. It’s the music. And I have tasted it.

Prabhupāda: No, if you have realized God, you must know what is His form. You must explain.

Girl: The energy of light does take the form of everything which exists. It is the creator of worlds.

Prabhupāda: But He has a form.

Girl: He has all the forms. And the purest one, the most beautiful form, has shown itself to me inside of me. It’s the light and it’s the music and it’s the water. I cannot name it Kṛṣṇa because I do not believe in names.

Prabhupāda: Do you know what is the meaning of Kṛṣṇa?

Girl: I believe Kṛṣṇa was one form of God. You said something about extension of Kṛṣṇa. It’s the same.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa means “the all-attractive.” As you say that God is so beautiful, so that is, in other words, all-attractive. So if you have realized God, then you have become perfect?

Girl: No.

Prabhupāda: No?

Girl: Whenever I realize God I receive it through my mind and not perfect. But if I meditate and surrender, then there is no distance between me and God. I merge God and I become one with God. And that’s the only time I can call everything true meditation. And that’s the only time I experience this life in me. And I cannot talk about it as “me” and “God” because it was the same as God, because I became one with God. And there was no distance really.

Prabhupāda: Then you are God?

Girl: I am not God. I am just… I truly experience this God through me all the time.

Prabhupāda: You say that you and God, one, and again you say that you are not…

Girl: If I meditate, then I become surrendered to God. And I’m trying to do that by trying to take this distance away.

Prabhupāda: That means when you surrender to God, then you become God; that you are surrendered God, and He is the person to be surrendered. There are two Gods. Why not? You say, “I surrender to God.”

Girl: I said when I surrender to God…

Prabhupāda: Yes, that means God is different from you; otherwise how you can surrender to Him?

Girl: Right. When I am out, off in the world, when my mind is working, then I’m separate from God. I have made myself separate from God by the senses, by my mind, thinking. But then, when I…

Prabhupāda: Then you have to accept that you are one and different from God simultaneously. That is the conclusion, that you say sometimes that you are one, and at the same time you say different; therefore the philosophy comes to this point, that you are simultaneously one and different from God.

Girl: The whole thing is that the God is inside of me…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Girl: …and for me to realize it, to become one with it, to realize it, not to be away from it, I have it…

Prabhupāda: Then who will realize? You are different to realize. You say the God is within you. Therefore God is different from you, but He is within you. You require to realize. Therefore you are different from God. Otherwise there is no question of realization.

Girl: You see, what I have experienced, I believe it’s my home. I believe it’s where I have come from, because it is beyond whatever I have experienced in this worldly life. And so I see that I have a different shape. I have a body and I have a mind which distract me from my true nature, which is God, which is godly and which is beautiful, which is light. But when I surrender myself I become one with it again. I go back home. It is like taking a trip, you know. And you always want to go back home, but you take a trip because there is this wanting to go back home, and it’s very beautiful. And this body is like a trip, you know. Taking a body of human being is like a trip. You’re going to go back home, and you realize it, and you try to go back home.

Prabhupāda: That I can understand, that sometimes you realize that you are one, and sometimes you realize that you are different. That means simultaneously you are one and different from God. This is the conclusion. Acintya-bhedābheda. This is the philosophy: acintya, inconceivable; one and different. One because we are one in quality, and different in quantity. And that is our position. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānaṁ [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. The Vedic information is like that, that He is the Supreme Being amongst all beings. He is also being, we are also being, but He is the Supreme Being. So as being, we are one, but as Supreme and subordinate, we are different. This is the conclusion. As being, living being, we are one. That is not very difficult. Just like in your country the king, the Shah, he is also a being and you are also a being. But he is the supreme being in this country. Although as human being you are equal, but so far his power, his position is concerned, he is different. Similarly, as being, we are one with God, but so far the power and position is concerned, He is too big, the great; we are subordinate. This is our position. That is the right conclusion.

Dr. Movebhed: Is that really the right conclusion? Then, is that really the right conclusion?

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the right conclusion, that God is also Supreme Being and we are also being, so as being, we are one, but as Supreme, He is different. That is the right conclusion. You are not Supreme Being. You are being controlled by the Supreme Being. You cannot say that you are independent. Therefore you are not Supreme. You are dependent on Him. Eko hi yasya vidadhāti kāmān, bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. He maintains. Just like this coconut. God has given us this coconut fruit to enjoy or to live upon it. But I cannot create this coconut. It is not possible. Therefore, for my maintenance He has sent this coconut. So He is maintainer; I am maintained, although He is being; I am also being. He is maintainer being; I am maintained being. This is the right conclusion. No scientist… He can talk so many things about this coconut, but unfortunately he cannot manufacture this coconut. That is not possible. He can manufacture something subordinate—chairs, table—but not this coconut. Not possible.

Indian man (2): They… Some scientists manufactures this coconut.

Prabhupāda: Where is that foolish scientist?

Indian man (2): No, let us see. Someday some scientist manufactures this.

Prabhupāda: “Someday”? Where? Where? Where?

Indian man (2): No, I am assuming.

Prabhupāda: Assuming.

Indian guest: One day he manufactures that. Then what? All this theory is gone?

Prabhupāda: No, we say he cannot.

Indian man (2): No, that is now, today. But you also said we can’t…

Prabhupāda: That you can say, today or tomorrow, but we know in the history nobody has manufactured in the past, and nobody is manufacturing in the present. How can I believe in the future?

Indian man (2): I think many things that were not done in the past are being done today. [break]

Prabhupāda: No. In the past there was winter season. In the present there is winter season. Therefore I can say next January will be winter season. That is nice. But if it is not happened in the past or present, how you can say? That proposition is not accepted. In the past there was birth, death, old age and disease, in the present there is birth, death, old age and disease, and in the future there will be birth, death and old age and disease. This conclusion is all right. In the past there was birth, death, old age and disease. At the present there is birth, death and old age, disease. How you can say in the future there will be no birth, no death, no [indistinct]. That proposal is not very sound. You can say whimsically—that is another thing—but factually it is not possible.

Indian man: Gurujī, according to the bhakti-yoga, a person starting at least in the elementary way of bhakti-yoga…

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Indian man: In the elementary way, if he starts…

Prabhupāda: What is that elementary way?

Indian man: Half-heartedly.

Prabhupāda: No, no, what is that process elementary?

Indian man (3): In the dvaita way. In the dvaita way, not in the advaita way, assuming that He is different and I am different. That is the elementary way of starting worship.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is always. Why elementary?

Indian man (3): He is considering in that way.

Indian man: No, no. Assuming there had been, supposing bhakti-yoga…

Prabhupāda: Bhakti-yoga… First of all try to understand what is bhakti-yoga.

Indian man (3): In the beginning it’s relatively easy to be…

Prabhupāda: No, no. Explain what is bhakti-yoga.

Indian man (2): No, what we have understood from the chapters only…

Prabhupāda: So what is that? What you have understood?

Indian man (2): Just surrender yourself first…

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Indian man (2): And then depend upon one God or one Deity in whom you have a sort of immense belief or confidence.

Prabhupāda: No, you cannot create God. God is one, already there.

Indian man (2): No, no, but then I can create in the form of Rāma as one.

Prabhupāda: That is not creation.

Indian man (2): No, not creation, but I can have my own concentration in the Rāma-mūrti.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right.

Indian man (2): Instead of Kṛṣṇa mūrti, I can…

Prabhupāda: That’s all right.

Indian man (2): That way.

Prabhupāda: That’s all.

Indian man (2): Ah, that way. So that way is two devatās, you see.

Prabhupāda: Hmm, yes.

Indian man (2): So supposing I start simply chanting Rāmeśvara[?]…

Prabhupāda: Rāma.

Indian man (2): Rāma or Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that we are chanting.

Indian man (2): Any God’s name, any divine name…

Prabhupāda: Hmm. That’s nice.

Indian man (2): You see? And then, why is it we are again getting breaks now and then and we trace back our steps?

Prabhupāda: No, you can… If you are following rigidly, there will be no break.

Indian man (2): No, but rigidity is again a relative term. Rigidity again… What is rigid?

Prabhupāda: No, no, you said that you begin chanting Rāma.

Indian man (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: So follow it.

Indian man (2): Yes, but then there are breaks.

Prabhupāda: Why break? If you are serious…

Indian man (2): I don’t get…

Prabhupāda: No, no, if you are serious, there will be no break.

Indian man (2): Ah. Then serious is also…

Prabhupāda: Then you are not serious.

Indian man (2): No, no, no, it is not the question of… No. Excuse me, Gurujī, that I am not able to explain to you properly. The point is…

Prabhupāda: Then hear me, that if you chant Rāma, then gradually you will get attachment for Rāma. Then how you can give it up?

Indian man (2): Ah, that is what I am lacking.

Prabhupāda: That means you haven’t got the attachment. Your procedure has been failure.

Indian man (2): Ah, but sir, what is lacking?

Prabhupāda: Lacking, there are so many things. But one who is actually chanting Rāma, the result will be that he will get attachment. That is the process. Ādau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅgaḥ atha bhajana-kriyā, tato anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭha tato ruciḥ tathā āsaktiḥ tato bhāvaḥ [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. This will increase. Just like if you have gone to school—you have learned, began to learning—then your learning will increase, and one day you will come to the stage of passing M.A. examination. And if it fails, that mean you did not go to school very seriously. Otherwise the general process is you make progress and come to the standard of passing M.A. examination. Then if you have gone to school and you have not followed the rules and regulations, you have not attended the teacher, the lessons, then you failure. That I am saying, that that is not very seriously taken that “I am going to school. I must learn it.” If one is serious, then… That is recommended,

utsāhāt dhairyāt niścayāt
sato vṛtteḥ sādhu-saṅge
sadbhiḥ bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
[Brs. 1.1.11, NoI 3]

These are the process. First of all the first process is utsāhaḥ, enthusiasm: “I must advance in spiritual life.” That is required. And if you are failing enthusiasm, then in the beginning it is failure.

Indian man (2): No, but then our attention is towards that thing.

Prabhupāda: No, there no attention. You have failed. That is the proof that you had no attention.

Indian man (2): Yes, but then God should help us to keep us…

Prabhupāda: God is always helping, but if you do not accept it… God says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]: “You give up all other engagement and take My shelter.” But you are not doing that. That is your fault. So it cannot be failure unless you are negligent. You have no utsāhaḥ. This is the process. Utsāhaḥ dhairyaḥ niścayaḥ tat-tat-karma-pravartanaḥ, sato vṛtteḥ. How these boys are advancing? They have got enthusiasm: “Yes, we must make progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” They have given up everything. They are young men. They have got… Every young man has to satisfy senses in so many ways. But no. They are so enthusiastic, but… For understanding Kṛṣṇa consciousness they have given up everything. They are Europeans, Americans. They have got so many allurement. But I have told them that “You must give up illicit sex,” they have given up; “You must give up meat-eating,” they have given up; “You must give up intoxication up to drinking tea and cigarette,” and they have given up, these young men. So they are utsāhaḥ. There is enthusiasm: “Yes, we must do it.” That is wanted, not theoretically on the armchair of devotional service. That will not be successful. Armchair theory will not help you. You must be practical and there must be enthusiasm. Then it will be successful. You are sitting in the same position and you are thinking that you are making progress. That will fail. You have to come out with enthusiasm. Then it will be successful. That is required. Ciraṁ vicinvan.

There is a verse,

athāpi te deva padāmbuja-
dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi
jānāti tattvaṁ na cānya
eko ‘pi ciraṁ vicinvan
[SB 10.14.29]

If you simply speculate, it will never help you. You have to receive the favor of the Supreme Lord by your enthusiasm. Then it will be successful. Simply theorizing, speculation, will not… Therefore it is said, ciraṁ vicinvan. You can go on speculating for millions and millions of years. It will never be successful. Ciram. Ciram means perpetual. That will not help. This is the process, ādau śraddhā. By śraddhā, “Oh, here is God consciousness, very nice. Let us come and see what they are doing.” This is called śraddhā, faith, little faith. Then in order to increase that faith you have to associate with the persons who are executing devotional service. That is called sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 22.83]. The devotees are called sādhu. Therefore we are opening centers, why? To give chance people to make association with the devotees. Sādhu-saṅga. And then sādhu-saṅga, after sādhu-saṅga, one who has properly made sādhu-saṅga, the next stage is bhajana-kriyā: how they are executing devotional service. Then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Then this anartha. Anartha means unwanted things. Just like illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication, these are unwanted things. It is not necessary. People have learned them by bad association. When one has got his wife, why he should indulge in illicit sex? This is sinful. When we have got so many things to eat, why shall I go to kill an animal, eat it? So these are anartha. Anartha means “without any meaning.” So these things become vanquished. If one is actually engaged in devotional service, the first symptom will be that he is not interested in things which are unwanted, artificial. These are the stages. Then niṣṭhā. Niṣṭhā means firm conviction. Then ruciḥ, taste. Then āsaktiḥ, attachment. Then bhāva, and then prema. So as a student is serious, he gets promotion to next higher class, higher class, higher class, higher class, gradually to the M.A. class. That is natural. But if in the beginning he is not serious, no enthusiasm, then what is the reason that he will be promoted to the higher section? That is not possible.

Indian man (2): No, enthusiasm is there, but there are breaks.

Prabhupāda: Breaks means he is not serious.

Indian man (2): No, but there may be so many other things over which he has no control.

Prabhupāda: Other things, that is anartha. If you are really enthusiastic, these anarthas will be vanquished automatically. Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate [Bg. 2.59]. They are all Europeans, Americans. They are from the childhood accustomed to meat-eating. How they have given up? Paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate: they have got better things to eat; therefore they have given up meat-eating. So the rules and regulation are there. If we follow them strictly, then everything one after another will come, the stages.

Indian man (2): Then it is not necessary that one should join the Kṛṣṇa conscious movement for that type of helping.

Prabhupāda: You cannot understand. I have said sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 22.83].

Indian man (2): That’s all.

Prabhupāda: That is… Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement should be associated; otherwise how you can understand Kṛṣṇa?

Indian man (2): But this is not the only association where one can go in for…

Prabhupāda: This is the only association for understanding Kṛṣṇa throughout the whole world.

Indian man (2): But can you prove that?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Find out another association like this.

Indian man (2): No, but then…

Prabhupāda: No, you find out another association like this.

Indian man (2): No, association may not be as pompous as this association is.

Prabhupāda: Therefore there is no second.

Indian man (2): No, no, no.

Prabhupāda: You said that association may be as pompous. That means there is no another association.

Indian man (2): No, pompous is different from the real purpose.

Prabhupāda: Then I do not know what is your real purpose. You say, “There may not be. There may be.” Again you say…

Indian man (2): No, Gurujī, you yourself have quoted the ācāryas.

Prabhupāda: So one who is following the ācāryas…

Indian man (2): Were they not Kṛṣṇa conscious?

Prabhupāda: Yes, they say. Therefore I am giving their proof.

Indian man (2): So that means those maṭhas also are Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Indian man (2): We can join them also.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That is Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Indian man (2): Oh, I thought Kṛṣṇa conscious only for this…

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Any association which is Kṛṣṇa conscious, you can join.

Indian man: Thank you for the enlightenment. But I have got one other doubt. You had told that some great scholars like Mahatma Gandhi had confused and they did not believe in the Kṛṣṇa living, He ever lived, and Dr. Radhakrishnan and another also were not clear in enunciating the theory of Kṛṣṇa. I would like to know whether Kṛṣṇa living or not living, is it very important? And will the movement depends upon one Kṛṣṇa living, positive…

Prabhupāda: No, no. No, no. Kṛṣṇa is never not living—He is living. Otherwise how He can be Kṛṣṇa? But if you do not know whether He is living or not living, that is your lack of knowledge.

Indian man: Do you believe Kṛṣṇa…

Prabhupāda: No, first of all settle up this one question, that Kṛṣṇa is always living, and if you do not know whether Kṛṣṇa is living or not living, then your knowledge is imperfect. Therefore your knowledge will not be accepted, because you are imperfect. That is the point.

Indian man: When we speak of Bhagavad-gītā, do we mean…

Prabhupāda: You cannot say, “Kṛṣṇa is living or not. That doesn’t matter.” No, it matters.

Indian man: It matters.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because Kṛṣṇa is living but you do not know; therefore your knowledge is imperfect.

Indian man: Okay. Taking for granted that is the basis, does this movement believe in Kṛṣṇa Bhāgavata or Kṛṣṇa who preached Bhagavad-gītā, only this much or that much? Kṛṣṇa Bhāgavata…

Prabhupāda: You cannot say that Kṛṣṇa Bhāgavata, Kṛṣṇa as described in the Bhāgavata, should be rejected, and Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā should be accepted. You cannot say that.

Indian man: No, just I wanted to separate Them together because…

Prabhupāda: Why?

Indian man: Some people take Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā. So far as Bhagavad-gītā was preached by a philosopher like Kṛṣṇa, all other things are not so pertinent. But when people associate Kṛṣṇa with Bhāgavata, Kṛṣṇa of Mahābhārata and Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavad-gītā being apart from Bhāgavata, if they all take together there’s a lot of confusion.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa of Bhāgavata and Kṛṣṇa, Mahābhārata—the same.

Indian man: Thank you. I know a little about that, but still, if we take Kṛṣṇa of Bhāgavata, and if you want to say, explain all the things that had happened pertaining to Kṛṣṇa, it would be very difficult to explain the same thing with Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā. That Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā will be separate to everybody.[?]

Prabhupāda: No, therefore… No, therefore… Therefore we say that first of all you understand Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā. That is the A-B-C-D of Kṛṣṇa. Then you go to Bhāgavatam.

Indian man: I feel… If I am not wrong, I feel that what others have done, that Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Radhakrishnan, etc., etc., they have taught that Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā is very much important for us. Whether He was living or whether He did not live, or anything which was in the name of Kṛṣṇa, that is quite impertinent. We want to have the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa as enunciated in Bhagavad-gītā, is just enough to tell others who are in need of it.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. But if you do not believe in that person, how do you understand His philosophy?

Indian man: That’s where… I think I may be wrong. Please correct me if I go wrong. That’s where people have taken little, two to three steps, as my friend has told, first advaita. She wanted to have two…

Prabhupāda: No, no, why advaita, dvaita? First of all you take the preliminary things, that you are accepting the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavad-gītā, but you have no knowledge of the person who has spoken Bhagavad-gītā. Then where is your understanding? You do not understand the person who has spoken the Bhagavad-gītā. Then what is the meaning of your understanding Bhagavad-gītā?

Indian man: No, we have to try…

Prabhupāda: No, no. Try, try, another thing.

Indian man: We have to understand it.

Prabhupāda: No, you have to understand it… First of all you have to understand Kṛṣṇa, the person who is speaking.

Indian man: Oh, you mean Kṛṣṇa the person you must understand, then Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā you must understand.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the way. You read any book; you learn first of all about the author, his life, his everything.

Indian man: Sometimes we need not…

Prabhupāda: No, it is needed. It is needed. No, that is the way.

Indian man: We need not approach the guru. What he speaks, that is enough sometimes.

Prabhupāda: No, that is the way. You read any book. You try to understand, to know something about the author. That is natural.

Indian man: When He rips up [indistinct] pārtha, that’s enough, just we will start out. Then when He say, mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, again we will go to Him. But we need not go through…

Prabhupāda: No, no. That is needed. That is needed. That is needed. If you do not understand what is Kṛṣṇa, when Kṛṣṇa says, mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja, how you will accept it?

Indian man: I will accept, but not as Kṛṣṇa of Bhāgavata. I may not know anything about Him as of…

Prabhupāda: No, no, this is not very good theory. You do not know anything about Him, and you surrender to Him. What is this?

Indian man: We may have our own idea.

Prabhupāda: No, we don’t accept that. If we surrender, we must know Him first of all, what He is. Then we surrender. We are not blind. Suppose you tell me that “You surrender unto me.” Shall I do that? Why shall I do it?

Indian man: But…

Prabhupāda: No “but.” First of all answer this. If I do not know anything about you and you demand from me, “You surrender,” shall I do it?

Indian man: I will be knowing what He has preached, if I… That preaching itself is enough, and we need not look anything about Him. We can surrender.

Prabhupāda: That He preaches…

Indian man: That preaching is enough.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right.

Indian man: We need not know what He is.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. You accept His preaching?

Indian man: If it is accepted, then we can surrender. I was questioning only this point, whether the Kṛṣṇa of Bhāgavata is necessary to accept…

Prabhupāda: No, no, set aside Bhāgavatam. I have told you that first of all you try to understand Kṛṣṇa from the Bhagavad-gītā.

Indian man: If that is enough, it’s enough.

Prabhupāda: Enough. But if you say that you don’t believe in the Kṛṣṇa, whether He was living or not, then you have not understood Bhagavad-gītā.

Indian man: I know the living Kṛṣṇa will come in Bhagavad-gītā, I hope.

Prabhupāda: No. He says… He says that mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]: “There is no superior authority than Me.” Then if you do not understand what is that Kṛṣṇa, then how you accept Him as superior authority?

Guest (5): I think we have to define the concept of God first, and then only…

Prabhupāda: No, no, concept of God is there in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Guest (5): What is that concept first, please?

Prabhupāda: That He says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat [Bg. 7.7]. “God” means the Supreme. So He says, “There is no more superior supreme than Me,” then He is God. And if you accept the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, then you have to accept He is God. Otherwise what you have understood, Bhagavad-gītā? You have manufactured your own way. He says… If you study Bhagavad-gītā, He says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya. So God means the Supreme. So He says, “I am the Supreme. There is no more superior supreme.” Then you have to accept Him God.

Indian man: Okay.

Prabhupāda: Then?

Indian man: We have accepted, but Kṛṣṇa need not be one form, as somebody else has written…

Prabhupāda: That… Just like… That form is God also.

Indian man: That is also an imagination of Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: No, no. That form is also God. Accepting your theory that there are many forms of God, but that form is also God.

Indian man: That form, okay, I agree…

Prabhupāda: So we accept Him, God, either way.

Indian man: But need not be such a definite form. He need not have a definite form.

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. There may be different form, but that form is God. Then you have to accept Him God.

Indian man: Yes, okay. And when I say one form, it may be formless also, and I may…

Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, that form is God. You have to accept.

Indian man: Okay, I will accept.

Prabhupāda: Then if you accept God, the whole thing is finished.

Indian man: We accept God, but just I was telling…

Indian man (2): No, same thing as that lady was telling, she sees that God is a light.

Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be… That we accept. God is light, God… There are many forms, but that form is God.

Indian man (2): Therefore, definition is “a supreme.”

Prabhupāda: Yes, that form is supreme. That you have to accept. That you accept. Then there is no quarrel with you. Kṛṣṇa may have many forms, God may have many forms, but that form is God. That you have to accept. That is understanding of Bhagavad-gītā.

Dr. Movebhed: Well, I think, sir, when they say that comment, Radhakrishnan, when they say that, it’s not important to know whether…

Prabhupāda: But Radhakrishnan says, “It is not to Kṛṣṇa.” When Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], Radhakrishnan says, “It is not to Kṛṣṇa.” Then if he accepts Kṛṣṇa as God, why does he say, “It is not to Kṛṣṇa”?

Indian man: This is God. Some may accept Him as Kṛṣṇa, some may accept Him as some other thing.

Prabhupāda: That is accepted. But that form is God.

Indian man: God, he accepts it as God.

Prabhupāda: That he does not accept.

Indian man: God, he will say.

Prabhupāda: No, no. He doesn’t accept that. That is the difficulty.

Nitāi: He says, “It is not to Kṛṣṇa.”

Prabhupāda: And if he has accepted Kṛṣṇa as God, why does he say “not to Kṛṣṇa”?

Guest (5): No, he may not call that Kṛṣṇa. He will call it “to the Supreme,” what you said now.

Prabhupāda: Why not Supreme? Then he has not accepted Bhagavad-gītā.

Indian man: Gurujī, Gurujī, even ācāryas, Śaṅkarācārya, when he wrote commentaries on Prasthāna-traya…

Prabhupāda: No. Śaṅk…

Indian man: …he would think towards his own philosophy.

Prabhupāda: No, no. No, no, no. He…

Indian man: Śaṅkarācārya, when he writes on this Bhagavad-gītā, he gives…

Prabhupāda: Śaṅkarācārya says, sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ. You refer to the commentary of Bhagavad-gītā of Śaṅkarācārya. So in the beginning he says, sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ. Nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ avyaktāt avyaktād anya-sambhavaḥ. So he has explained. Sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ. And what to speak of other ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya… They accept, all, Kṛṣṇa. Madhvācārya… They worship Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa may have many forms. That is accepted. But that form, Kṛṣṇa, He is God. That you have to accept. You cannot deny that.

Guest (5): He was asking something. Your question was?

Iranian man: I thought when some people say that it wasn’t very important to know whether Kṛṣṇa was living or not, they talk to Kṛṣṇa as a historical fact, as an individual, as a person who lived within the framework of time and space. Kṛṣṇa as an individual, as a historical person, might be very important, as they said Aśoka or Christ or… [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: [aside to devotee:] You come here. I do not follow the accent. You hear and tell.

Iranian man: What would be important was Kṛṣṇa teachings. One must, could not be confined to any one period of time. And incarnation of God and somebody who was talking for the truth and in the name of the truth, and then he will not be one with him [indistinct]… I think this is the [indistinct]…[break]

Prabhupāda: … is that if you have got different views about Kṛṣṇa, then you cannot prove that from the Bhagavad-gītā. That you cannot prove. If you take Bhagavad-gītā, then you must present this, as it is. Don’t distort it. You may have got some idea, but you explain that idea in your different book. But don’t place it as the explanation of Bhagavad-gītā. That is not very good. If you have got different theory, you can write in a different book. But we cannot permit or do not like that as the commentary of Bhagavad-gītā you will place something different. That is not very honest. You put your own theory. Why should you try to put your theory through Bhagavad-gītā? That we protest. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly said that “There is no superior authority than Me.” Therefore He is the God. Mām eva ya prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “I am the origin of everything.” And if you have got different idea, that somebody else is the origin, that you can explain differently. But you cannot keep it as explanation of Bhagavad-gītā. Then it is distortion, because in the Bhagavad-gītā He said,

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate

He becomes final,

iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ
[Bg. 10.8]

Iti matvā: “One who knows this perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa is the origin of everything, he becomes a devotee.” Iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā. Budhā mean very learned. Bhāva-samanvitāḥ: “Oh, here is the supreme cause, or Kṛṣṇa.” The philosophy means to search out the supreme cause. That is philosophy: find out the ultimate cause. That is darśana. In Sanskrit it is called darśana, find out what is the supreme cause. So here it is explained, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ. Sarvasya, including whatever you know. Sarvasya means including everything. “So whatever you know, the cause of everything, that cause is also I am.”

And that is confirmed in the Vedic literature, sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
[Bs. 5.1]

And the Vedānta-sūtra, the Absolute Truth, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]: “the origin of everything.” Now, here it is. Kṛṣṇa says, “I am the origin of everything.” You are making search, but here is the origin here. Now you study Kṛṣṇa, whether actually He is the origin of everything. At least we know that this universe, the origin is Lord Brahmā. But we know that the Brahmā is also emanation from Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā’s knowledge also comes from Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya [SB 1.1.1]. And Kṛṣṇa says. Arjuna accepts, sarvam idam ṛtaṁ manye: “Yes, I accept.” So that should be the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa. If you manufacture your own way, that is different thing. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. All the ācāryas… Take all the ācāryas. At least in our country we are guided by the ācāryas. Take any ācārya. They have accepted. Brahmā has accepted. So in this way you have to understand. We cannot manufacture our own way.

Guest (5): There is some our ācāryas. How about Christ or Muhammad and Zarathustra, all these people?

Prabhupāda: They accept God, that’s all. But God is here explained. They cannot give an explicit idea of God. But here is God speaking personally. They have got “There is God,” “God is great.” That’s nice. But who is that God, how He is great, that they have to learn further. Simply a vague idea, that “God is great…” One should know how He is great and who is that great. That is perfection. So that is explained here. They accept God. That is… They are also our brother because they accept God. They are not atheist. Atheists, they don’t accept God. “There is no God”—that is atheist. But here they are theist. They accept God. They want to please God. They go to the church, go to the mosque, offer prayer. Prayer is also bhakti, devotional service. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam, arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ… [SB 7.5.23]. Śravanaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇam…, arcanaṁ vandanam. Vandanam. The Christian way or the Muslim way, to offer… The Muslim offer obeisances and offer prayer. So that is also bhakti. The Christian also do that, so that is also bhakti. And they accept God; we accept God. So there is no difference. But the only point is who is that God.

Iranian man: They accept as supreme power.

Prabhupāda: No, supreme power must be that… Behind the power there must be powerful.

Iranian man: They say powerful, but what about…

Prabhupāda: Yes, then we have to know this powerful, not only the power. That is stated in the Bhagavad… Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg. 9.10]. In another place, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir eka chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā [Bs. 5.44]. Durgā is power. Power is in… What kind of power? Sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir eka. She can create, she can maintain and she can destroy—so powerful. But this power, sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir eka chāyeva1, is working just like shadow. Just like here is shadow. I am moving this hand; the shadow is moving. Shadow is not independently moving. Therefore this gigantic power, material energy, is working under the direction of Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa [Bg. 9.10]: “under My superintendence.” So we are allured with the power, but who is manipulating this power we do not know. That is God.

Iranian man: Well, sir, this is a point which I really fail to understand because, well…

Prabhupāda: But that is everyone’s dilemma, that “What is this power?” The scientists, the physists, they are seeing the power. The power is working and energy is working. But how it is working, that is further enquiry.

Iranian man: I have three points. First of all I have nothing… I have seen nothing in Bhagavad-gītā, although it is a work of the most beautiful of all these books which are attributed to God and are supposed to be speaked in the name of God. It is one of the beautiful book among these set of books. But sincerely there is nothing in Bhagavad-gītā about God which you cannot find similar passage, a passage similar to it, in Koran or in other teachings. That’s my first point. The second point is that if we believe to God and we believe that the God has spoken only through Bhagavad-gītā to, thus, a people who live in a given country, then we are going to have a very narrow-minded God who doesn’t love all human beings…

Prabhupāda: No. No, there… Here, here I impress…

Iranian man: He has bestowed all His love to a given people. And my third point is that if we believe God as a life or force which must be, must be discovered by a human being and the human being who has to proceed toward this truth, then also we have no reason to confine this into one people.

Indian man: Swāmījī, I may take your leave.

Prabhupāda: Ācchā. [Hindi] Why you are going soon?

Indian man: I have to go still far off.

Prabhupāda: Oh, all right. Jaya. Jaya.

Iranian man: So I think what we have in Islam is… They say that the road, the way toward God is…, the ways are many, as many as the human beings, that is said. So in the number of human beings you have ways towards God. So everybody, each person, has his own way towards God. And it really struggle hard to me, that’s difficult to me to believe that there’s only one way and there is only one book and one school, one way of teaching.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Iranian man: And when Muhammad said that “God is great,” he simply said “God is great,” and he adds nothing to it for somebody who is well acquainted with Islam culture, and he who knows well about Koran’s teachings, it cannot be understood and accepted. It is the same with somebody who is well acquainted with Christianity and the truth spoken through Christianity. It is the same with regards to Buddhism or other ways which are designed, which are just leading human beings who [indistinct] into one truth.

Prabhupāda: So your point is that God is understood in different ways. That is not point?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: That’s one of the points.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: That’s one of his points.

Prabhupāda: And what is the other point?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: That all the scriptures speak of the same truth. Scriptures coming from God speak of the same truth that is in Bhagavad-gītā. And all the scriptures give, give paths to God, and that there as many as individuals as there are, there are ways of getting to God. You had one more point?

Devotee: The second point? Why does God confine His teachings to one people at one time?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, and that God could not be fair if He just gave one book at one time to one group of people. Being just, He has given the scripture… He should have…

Prabhupāda: No, just like dictionary. The small pocket dictionary is also dictionary, and the international dictionary, Webs [Webster’s], that is also dictionary. So both of them are dictionary, but they are not equal. One dictionary is meant for children and one dictionary is meant for the higher scholars. So although are dictionaries, they are two kinds of dictionaries.

Iranian man: Do you know, sir, that it is exactly the same way of thinking which we have in our people who believe to Muhammad? They think that the teaching of Muhammad is the most superior one. And others… Of course, Muslims do believe to others’ religions, to Moses, to Christ, and so on. They have your, the same way of thinking. They think that they are elementary stages…

Prabhupāda: The point is… Yes.

Iranian man: …and Muhammad’s teaching is supposed to be the superior one. So everybody thinks that his way or his way of thinking, his theory, his religion is the most superior one.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. That is all right. If you accept progress… Just like you are seeing the sun, I am also seeing the sun, the boy is also seeing the sun, but the understanding of the sun may be different. Everyone is seeing the sun. The objective is the same. But a child’s understanding of sun and an elderly man’s understanding of sun, a scientist’s understanding of sun, or one man who has actually gone to the sun planet, there are different categories. Do you accept or not?

Iranian man: Yes, of course.

Prabhupāda: The sun is there. God is accepted in every scripture. That is a fact. But in the same way, how far He is understood, that is different. That is different.

Iranian man: Completely different. Yes.

Prabhupāda: The same example, that everyone is seeing sun: “Here is sun,” there is no doubt. But a child’s understanding of sun, his father’s understanding of sun, or a scientist’s understanding of sun, or a person who has gone to the sun planet, his understanding of sun is different. The objective is the same. And everyone is right. Either you understand fully sun or not, as soon as you come before the sun you get the light. The child is getting the light, the scientist is getting the light, and the ordinary person getting the light. Everyone is getting light, heat and light. But their understanding different, of degrees. So… [break] …understand God or sun, no, we don’t say like that.

Iranian man: From what you have said in the answer to this gentleman, I thought you meant, sir, when the only perfect…

Prabhupāda: No.

Iranian man: …teaching about God is provided through this sun.

Prabhupāda: No, just like if you want to understand sun, say… What is called? Geography? Then you have to learn from the person who knows geography. You cannot learn from a person who has superficially studied. Then you have to go to the person who knows scientifically, astronomically, that sun is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this planet. You have to go to the astronomer. How far the sun is situated from us? So you have to go to the particular person who knows it. You cannot say that his knowledge and a child’s knowledge, who is seeing the sun as a disc, they the same. That you cannot say. If you want to know further enlightenment of the sun then you have to go to the person who is studying sun scientifically. So one who has studied the sun scientifically, his knowledge, and a casual person seeing the sun, his knowledge is not the same. That you cannot say. Although everyone is seeing the sun, that’s all right, but the knowledge of the sun, there are different.

Devotee: That seems to answer all of your three points at once.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: One thing here is that we are not talking about religion or designation.

Guest (2): In that case I think we have no differences.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, it’s not a religion, our religion.

Prabhupāda: No, if you want to study something, and suppose you are sometimes from India, and the same subject he’s going to study in foreign country, farther enlightenment, so it is also not necessary that to study a subject matter more and more, we have to remain in the same jurisdiction. If I am actually anxious to know more and more, it doesn’t matter whether I get the knowledge from Muhammadan or Hindu or Christian. It doesn’t matter. Knowledge is knowledge. When a student goes from one country to another to get farther enlightenment on a subject matter, he does not think that “I’ll have to learn it from here, from my university.” For knowledge, progress of knowledge, you can go to any university. Because knowledge must be scientific. It is not restricted within the jurisdiction of a particular university. So sun we are seeing, everyone, the sun, we are getting heat and light, but if anyone is interested [to] know how the heat is coming, how the light is coming, what is the situation of the sun globe, whether there are living entities or not… These are also subject matter. So if you can get enlightenment of the sun, we should not restrict ourselves that we have to study with this jurisdiction of my university or my country or my society. If the knowledge is there, we should be prepared to go forward. Hmm.

Girl [follower of Guru Maharaj-ji]: If we believe in God as the Supreme Being… I have a question. Why do we wish to God, to Kṛṣṇa movement in chanting worldly name, because the name of God is something which is eternal. If Kṛṣ…

Prabhupāda: Hold on. Then, what is the name of God?

Girl: Right, in Christianity there say: “In the beginning was the word. The word was with God, and the word was God.”

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. But what is the name of God?

Girl: In Islamic religion, they say…

Prabhupāda: No, what is the name of God? Islam is the system of religion, but what is the name of God?

Girl: The name of God is something which is always with God, constantly with God…

Prabhupāda: That means you do not know that. You do not know that.

Girl: I do know that…

Prabhupāda: Then why don’t you say?

Girl: …we experience the name of God…

Guest: It’s very similar to what we have got in Bhagavad-gītā. He says, “You call it Allah…”

Prabhupāda: That’s all right.

Guest: “…or you call it ātman, whatever name you call it, He has all nicest names.” So all nicest name are His.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Iranian man: That’s what we have got in other teachings. No special name.

Prabhupāda: Well, I accept, I accept that all the… That’s all right, all the nicest name. So Kṛṣṇa means all-attractive. Is it not very nice? Just reply whether this Kṛṣṇa name is nice or not?

Guest (5): Yes, of course. Nobody is against Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Then chant it. Then chant it.

Guest (5): Not everybody loves Kṛṣṇa and…

Prabhupāda: No, no, if you accept Kṛṣṇa name is nice, then chant it.

Guest (5): Well, I don’t think that point is…

Prabhupāda: No, you say God has got the nicest name.

Guest: Yes.

Prabhupāda: I say…

Guest (5): But the name is just an indication. The name is something we call it; it is for us to have a word.

Prabhupāda: But that I ask you, that what is that name? As I have… We have got the nicest name, Kṛṣṇa. Now you suggest that this is the nicest name in Muhammadan, Islam. You say me that.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Allah.

Prabhupāda: You say what is that name.

Guest (5): First of all, this doesn’t make it any difference to call it Allah.

Prabhupāda: No, no, I don’t make any difference, but I want to know, I want to know what is that nicest name. I don’t make any difference.

Guest (5): Well, it’s called…, well, they call it Allah.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. Then our request is that you chant the name of God. So if Allah is the name of God, you chant Allah, don’t chant Kṛṣṇa. We say that.

Girl: The name of God is not something could be spoken to man’s mouth. It is unspoken.

Prabhupāda: No, we don’t accept that. Name means it can be spoken. [guests all speak at once] Not commentary, name means that… When I call you by your name, it is spoken. It is spoken. I know your name. If I say I cannot speak it… [laughter] This is…

Guest (5): …is for me to designate me because it is…

Prabhupāda: No, you have said that God’s name is Allah, that is accepted. Very good. And we request you…

Guest (5): Just as a means of communication.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest (5): Just, not that, no, a word Allah is not to God; it is a means of communication.

Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, you have accepted the name of God as Allah, is it not?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: But he’s saying that their name is material; it’s different…

Prabhupāda: No, no, then you have no idea of God. God is not material. God is not material.

Guest (5): Well, you have said, though, have a lion, lion who lives in the forest, and you write “lion.”

Prabhupāda: That is material. That is material.

Guest (5): What you write here is not the true lion. Is, is a way of communication, you put it here in words. Lion is something else.

Prabhupāda: Lion is…, lion is material, and his name is also material. But God is not material. God is spiritual. Therefore His name is spiritual.

Guest (5): We accept that.

Prabhupāda: As spiritual… [two of the guests speak at once]

Iranian man: What do you think about the spirit?

Guest (5): Soul, human soul, soul is not material, but when you write it, it’s a word, a material word.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, but the name of God, we accept as the same quality as God. If it is a concocted name, then it’s not the same quality. But if it is the name of God, given to us by God or by His representatives, we accept that as good as God, and that is the philosophy behind chanting. Otherwise, why chant?

Guest (5): Well, it’s a very old teaching. We have got it.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: I know you have it; accept it. Accept it. There is no question, just accept it. It doesn’t matter if you have got it or I have got it.

Guest (5): You attribute some sort of mysterious attributes to word, to certain word.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: None. There is only…

Guest (5): They are created by the human being.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: It is not created by human being.

Guest (5): It is, because it does…, it differs from one country to…, from one language to other language.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: God, God has many, many names, like it says in Koran.

Guest (5): Yes, but one name in Turkish when you say Tamgri, Tari[?], in Arabic when you say Allah, in French, in English, in Sanskrit. So these are different words.

Prabhupāda: But…

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Those are names.

Guest (5): These different things are created by human beings.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: We are talking about one name which is to describe the concept of God. When we are also talking about the name of God… When we are talking about the name of God… In other words, if I don’t know who you are, I have to ask somebody, “What is his name?” That is your name.

Guest (5): But my name is my name in Turkey, in English, in Arabic, in anywhere you go.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right, then let the Turkish chant the name of Turkish name.

Guest (5): But God, the name is different.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes. But if you find what his name is…

Prabhupāda: But the name must be chanted. That is our program. It may be Turkish name, it may be Arabic name, it may be Sanskrit name. Whatever he knows, let him chant. That is our program.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: But the concept of name of God is separate than designation, which you are talking about, man-made designation. And this concept, if you don’t accept this concept, how do you accept the concept of chanting in Islam? These are the points. Bhagavad-gītā also. There are so many concepts in there, but we want to interpret them all; we don’t want to accept them. We want to accept our mind. Prabhupāda, what he has been saying all evening is: “Let’s accept Bhagavad-gītā as authority. Let’s accept Koran as authority. Let’s accept an authority.” Because we want to go by our senses. We want to go around modern…

Guest (5): Yes, impose them as authorities.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: But let us accept them. Let us accept them. It’s not they…, I accept them and they are still the victim of my interpretation. If we accept them, what is this? That let’s not interpret that God’s name is just a designation just like my name, it’s just a word.

Guest (5): Name cannot be different. Name of name cannot be different.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Well, then we are talking about the difference…

Guest (5): Chanting is something is else.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: What is it?

Guest (5): You are entitled to chant the name of your beloved, that is something else. It does not give it a different status with the name…

Ātreya Ṛṣi: But who is this beloved? Who is this beloved? Who is this beloved? Who is this beloved?

Guest (5): In our case, God.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So this name of God is diff… If God is transcendental, if God is spiritual, then how could His name be committed to our relative conceptions? [break]

Prabhupāda: …indicates God, then it is Godless. That is our point. If it indicates to God… Just like Allah. If this name indicates to God, then it is this Allah word as good as God. There is no difference. Nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktiḥ [Śikṣāṣṭaka 2]. The Allah, the conception of Allah means “The Great,” is it not? So God is great. So by chanting Allah, I am meaning God, the Supreme Powerful. So it is as good. And actually in mosque, they chant Allah-u-akbar, like that, so far I’ve heard. So that prayer, if it is not God’s name, then what is the use of this prayer? That is God’s name. Similarly, the Hindus may chant Hare Kṛṣṇa; they’re indicating to the same personality. It may be different language. Therefore, it is as good as God because God is absolute. But this, this name is authorized because Muhammad said that you chant “Allah.” So it is authorized, because he is God’s representative. Therefore my request is, or our request is that you chant the name of Allah. We don’t say that you chant Kṛṣṇa. You chant the holy name of God. If Allah is approved name of God, you chant this. That is our request. We don’t force you that you chant the name of Kṛṣṇa. No, we don’t say that. If somebody says Jehovah is the name of God, that’s all right; you chant Jehovah. Allah is the name of God; that’s all right, you do it. We simply request that you chant the holy name of God. That’s all. If you have got it, we don’t force you that you chant the name of Kṛṣṇa. That is not our way. We accept: if Allah is God’s name, it is as good as the name Kṛṣṇa. We are not so sophisticated that you have to chant this Kṛṣṇa’s name. No, we say harer nāma. That is the śāstra, harer nāma: the name of the Lord. So there are many thousands of names, that’s a fact. So you actually chant the name of God. Pick up of the millions of God’s name, whatever you like, you pick up and chant. That is our propagation.

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva, nāsty eva, nāsty eva gathir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]

In this age of quarrel and disagreement, God realization is very difficult; therefore, you chant the holy name of God, then you’ll gradually realize Him. This is our program. So we don’t force you that you chant this name Kṛṣṇa. No. Śāstra says, harer nāma, the holy name of God, chant. That is our program.

Girl: Before you ask with something else, I ask, how could you reach the Supreme Being by chanting…

Prabhupāda: By chanting, yes.

Girl: …by chanting of worldly name, tuned on prayer…

Prabhupāda: That is not worldly name. Why do you mistake that? God’s name is not worldly.

Girl: Because if you…, if you really know the tuning of God…

Prabhupāda: Do you think Allah is wordly name?

Girl: We recognize that it is before Kṛṣṇa, before Allah…

Prabhupāda: That’s all right, you recognize it. Allah, Allah is not worldly name. It is given by the authority, Muhammad, so you have to chant it, who knows God.

Girl: But he didn’t really mean Allah is the name of God.

Prabhupāda: If… Why do you say he didn’t mean?

Girl: Because…

Prabhupāda: That is you say. Muhammad did not say that “What I say, I did not mean it.”

Girl: No, the name of God, he didn’t mean Allah.

Prabhupāda: You say. You say. Who cares for your word? Muhammad said this is the name of God. We have to accept, that’s all.

Girl: So why…

Prabhupāda: You cannot say he didn’t mean. You are not a private secretary of Muhammad. [laughter]

Girl: So then how do they say that the name of God was in God…

Prabhupāda: No, these things are not accepted.

Girl: …was before God…

Prabhupāda: Don’t talk childish.

Girl: …was God.

Prabhupāda: Muhammad said. That is authority. That we accept. We accept Muhammad as the representative of God. Whatever he says, we accept, that’s all. What he meant, that is his business. But he is authority. He said that “This is the name of God. You chant, you pray, Allah-u akbar.” That’s all. That is authority.

Guest (6): Is it also good to chant the name of a person who is holy, who is one with God, not the name of God?

Prabhupāda: That you have to find out, but here it is already there. Why should do trouble to find out a holy man, another holy man? The holy man says Muhammad never said that “You chant my name.” Then how one can be holy man if he says like that? We have to test whether he is holy man or not. Here is the perfect holy man. He never says that “You chant my name.” He said, “Chant Allah’s name.” That is holy man. That is test of holy man. He does not become God; he serves God. That is holy man. [pause]

Devotee: [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: All right. Take, give prasādam. All right.

Devotee: We have a feast.

Prabhupāda: All right.

Devotee: [indistinct], Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: Thank you very much. [devotees pay obeisances; some guests leave] Jaya, Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. [break]

Devotee: Jaya, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: [laughs] We accept Muhammad’s authority. That’s a fact. He’s authority.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Yes, this girl is a follower of Guru Maharaj-ji.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Devotee: [laughing] [indistinct]

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So she thinks she has experience.

Prabhupāda: That is nonsense.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: She speaks sweetly to attract other people’s mind, and when people are not really sincere, they think, “Ah, she has…”

Prabhupāda: Some realization.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: So many, they don’t realize that spiritual life is not so cheap.

Prabhupāda: Therefore I said that you, your person cannot [indistinct]. So is Guru Maharaj-ji came here?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: No, they came.

Devotee: They’re his representatives. That’s his philosophy, that there is no…, you cannot speak the name of God. It’s too sacred to speak it. You can only feel it inside. And he never… His disciples, they look at each other and they say, “You can feel the name of God, eh?” And the other one says, “Oh, yes,” and another one says, “Yes, me too.” But actually, they call it the sixth principle.

Prabhupāda: But if he says, “No, I don’t feel,” is that difficulty?

Devotee: Then he’ll be cast away.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: What they don’t have, really, is the practice of devotional service. They don’t have…

Prabhupāda: That is finished, I think. Their propaganda is already finished. Nobody cares for them. How they are…? You can cheat all people for some time, and some people for all time, [laughter] but not all people for all time. That is not possible. This is their policy. Some fruits are there?

Devotee: Yes, Prabhupāda. Some juice also.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Shall we make some fresh juice?

Prabhupāda: No, no. That’s all right.

Devotee: They’re having their kīrtana in the temple now, just? [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Hmm. [end]

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