Bhavan’s Journal, Answers to a Questionnaire 2

Type:
Various
Date:
June 30
Year:
1976
Place:
New Vrindavan

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: …for answers to these questions. 

Prabhupāda: What they will answer? What do they know? All rascals. 

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Śrīla Prabhupāda, you speak perfectly. 

Prabhupāda: The scientist agrees? [laughter] 

Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Śrīla Prabhupāda, I have spoken to Tamāla Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja today about the… [break] 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: This is question number eight for this Bhavan’s Journal, Bombay. We’ve covered the first seven questions. The eighth question, Śrīla Prabhupāda, is “In the Kali-yuga, bhakti has been described as the most suitable and easiest of paths for God realization. Yet how is it that Vedāntic teachings, with their accent on jñāna, are being given the pride of place by noted savants, or knowers?” 

Prabhupāda: The so-called Vedāntists are bluffer. They do not know what is Vedānta. But the things are going on that people want to be bluffed, and the bluffers take advantage of it, and therefore… Veda means knowledge, and anta means end of knowledge. That is the combination of Vedānta. So in the Vedānta the beginning is, Vedānta-sūtra, athāto brahma jijñāsāḥ: “Now, in the human form of life, they should inquire about the Absolute Truth.” That is the Vedānta philosophy. And what is that Absolute Truth? Sūtra means in aphorism, in small words, a big philosophy is given. That is called sūtra. A little link. So Vedānta-sūtra begins when one is inquisitive to understand the Absolute Truth. That is called Vedānta-sūtra. And it is answered, first question is now about brahma-jijñāsa, inquisitive, inquiry about Brahman. So Brahman is, in nutshell, described: “Brahman means the origin of everything.” Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.1

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.
. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 15.15

I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
. All the Vedas, all the book of knowledge, their business is how to search out God. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ. 

So the whole Vedānta is description of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But because in this Kali-yuga people will not be able to study Vedānta nicely on account of lack of education, therefore Vyāsadeva personally wrote a commentary on the Vedānta. That commentary is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhāṣyaṁ brahma-sūtrānam. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the real commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra written by the author himself. The Vedānta-sūtra is also given by Vyāsadeva, and under the instruction of Nārada, his spiritual master… [aside: Get this light on.] …he wrote commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. That is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also begins with the same aphorism, janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś ca artheṣu abhijñāh sva-rāṭ [SB 1.1.1]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.1

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.
. So actually, Vedānta-sūtra is explained by the author of the Vedānta in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So some rascals, without understanding Vedānta, without reading the commentary, natural commentary of the Vedānta-sūtra they are posing themselves as Vedāntist. That means they are misguiding people. And because people are not educated, they’re accepting these rascals as Vedāntists. Actually, the so-called Vedāntists, they are bluffers. They are not Vedāntists. They do not know anything of the Vedānta. That is the difficulty. Otherwise, what is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that is real Vedānta. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, jīvasya tattva-jijñāsa. That is Vedānta-sutra-bhāṣya. Find out this verse. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Kamasya nendriya pritir labho jiveta yavata jīvasya tattva [SB 1.2.10]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.10

Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.

Prabhupāda: Find out. 

Hari-śauri: You know the number? 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That’s in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, First Canto. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ. Like that. So actually Vedānta-sūtra is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and if we take Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the real explanation of Vedānta-sūtra, then we understand what is Vedānta. And if we take the shelter of the so-called bluffers, then that is not Vedānta. People do not know anything, and they can be bluffed and cheated by anyone. That is the… And now they should learn from this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement what is Vedānta and what is the explanation of Vedānta. Then they will be benefited. If we take Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as the real commentary on Vedānta-sūtra, then we’ll find that in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. In this Kali-yuga, which is the ocean of all faults, there is one benediction, opportunity. What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet [SB 12.3.51]. One can become liberated simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This is real Vedānta. And actually it is happening. So they want to be misguided. And there are so many bluffers, they misguide them. What can be done? Otherwise Vyāsadeva has given already what is Vedānta-sūtra explanation. This is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Let them read the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. They will understand what is Vedānta. [break] 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Is that to say that the conclusion of the Vedānta-sutra and the conclusion of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is one and the same—bhakti? 

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Bhāṣyaṁ brahma-sūtrānam. This is the real commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. And it begins with Vedānta-sutra. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś ca [SB 1.1.1]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.1

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.
. Find out this. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: 

kāmasya nendriya-prītir
lābho jīveta yāvatā
jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā
nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ
[SB 1.2.10]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.10

Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works.

“Life’s desires should never be aimed at gratifying the senses. One should desire to live only because human life enables one to inquire about the Absolute Truth.” 

Prabhupāda: But that is the Vedānta-sūtra, athāto brahma jijñāsā. Here it is same thing explained, that don’t be entrapped with these temporary bodily necessities of life, sense gratification. You must inquire about the Absolute Truth. In the next verse it is explained, vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam [SB 1.2.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.11

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.
. Tattva. Tattva means truth. The truth is explained by the tattva-vit, one who knows the truth. How? Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. He is explained as Brahman, as Paramātmā, and as Bhagavān. This is Vedānta-sūtra. Now one should learn what is Bhagavān, what is Brahman, what is Paramātmā. In this way one should make advancement of his spiritual consciousness. That is the purpose of Vedānta-sūtra. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Can I ask another question, Śrīla Prabhupāda? 

Prabhupāda: Hmm. Yes. The Vedāntists, they have come from the impersonal explanation of Śaṅkarācārya, Śārīraka-bhāṣya. But they simply give stress on the Śārīraka-bhāṣya, but there are other bhāṣyas. Bhāṣyas means commentary. And the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the natural commentary by the author himself. Besides that, there are Vedānta-bhāṣyas written by the Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī and all the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas. Unfortunately, they do not care to read all these Vedānta-bhāṣyas. They simply take Śārīraka-bhāṣya and become impersonalist and call themselves as Vedāntist. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: What is the reason for that? 

Prabhupāda: Reason means people do not know. They cheat. Suppose I present something, a misconception, and if there are others also who can speak something on the… There are two lawyers: one is speaking one point of law, another lawyer is speaking. So if you take one side only, then how you will understand? So they are simply reading this Śārīraka-bhāṣya. They are not reading other bhāṣyas, just like the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is natural. And they are cheating people. That’s all. Why there are two lawyers? Two opposite parties, there are two lawyers. One lawyer says “This law is like this,” and the other party says, “No, it is this.” And the judge is there; he will take what is the real meaning. But this interpretation is required when things are not clear. 

Now, the Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.1.1

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.
: “The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything comes in, emanates.” Now, here is… In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa said that ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate [Bg. 10.8]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 10.8

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.
, clearly, that “I am the origin of everything, and everything comes from Me.” So why don’t you take it? Why simply you remain theoretically understood that Absolute Truth is that from which everything emanates? But when the Absolute Truth comes before you and says that “I am the origin of everything. Everything comes from Me,” why don’t you accept Kṛṣṇa as Absolute Truth? Why do you take the so-called impersonalist view only, that God has no form? Here is God speaking, person. Why don’t you take it? If you want to be cheated, then who can stop you? Here Kṛṣṇa says, sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo [Bg. 15.15]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 15.15

I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
. Find out this verse. Sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca… 

Hari-śauri: Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo… 

Prabhupāda: Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo vedānta-krd veda-vid eva cāham. Read it. 

Hari-śauri: 

sarvasya cāham hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
[Bg. 15.15]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 15.15

I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.

Prabhupāda: Vedānta-kṛd: “I am the compiler of Vedānta.” Why these rascals do not take who compiled Vedānta? Vyāsadeva is the incarnation of God. He compiled Vedānta. Why he does not take the original Vedāntist? Here it is clearly stated, vedānta-kṛd. Read the purport. 

Hari-śauri: Translation: “I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me comes remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta and I am the knower of the Vedas.” 

Prabhupāda: So they do not go to the compiler of Vedānta. They go to a rascal. So how they will understand Vedānta? Suppose I have written this book. If you cannot understand something, if you come directly to me, that is real. Why do you go to a rascal who has nothing to do with this book? If some rascal claims that “I am Vedānti,” so your description should… Why shall I not go to the real compiler of Vedānta? Why shall I go to a rascal? That means they are rascals. They are being cheated. Let them take to Bhagavad-gītā and let them take to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—they will understand Vedānta. They’re real Vedāntist. But these rascals, they’re avoiding Bhagavad-gītā and avoiding Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and claiming themselves as Vedāntist. So if you go to a cheater you’ll be cheated. That is your business. Read the purport. 

Hari-śauri: “The Supreme Lord is situated as Paramātmā in everyone’s heart, and it is from Him that all activities are initiated. The living entity forgets everything of his past life, but he has to work according to the direction of the Supreme Lord, who is witness to all his work. Therefore he begins his work according to his past deeds. Required knowledge is supplied to him and remembrance is given to him, and he forgets also about his past life. Thus the Lord is not only all-pervading, He is also localized in every individual heart. He awards the different fruitive results. He is not only worshipable as the impersonal Brahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the localized Paramātmā, but as the form of the incarnation of the Vedas as well. The Vedas give the right direction to the people so that they can properly mold their lives and come back to Godhead, back to home. The Vedas offer knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva is the compiler of the Vedānta-sūtra. The commentation of the Vedānta-sutra by Vyāsadeva in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam gives the real understanding of the Vedānta-sūtra. The Supreme Lord is so full that for the deliverance of the conditioned soul, He is the supplier and the digester of foodstuff, the witness of his activity, the giver of knowledge in the form of Vedas, and as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the teacher of the Bhagavad-gītā, He is worshipable by the conditioned soul. Thus God is all-good, God is all-merciful. Anantaḥ praviṣṭaḥ śaṣṭa janānam. The living entity forgets as soon as he quits his present body, but he begins his work again initiated by the Supreme Lord. Although he forgets, the Lord gives him the intelligence to renew his work where he ended his last life. 

So not only does a living entity enjoy or suffer in this world according to the dictation from the Supreme Lord situated locally in the heart, but he receives the opportunity to understand Vedas from Him. If one is serious to understand the Vedic knowledge, then Kṛṣṇa gives the required intelligence. Why does he present the Vedic knowledge for understanding? Because a living entity individually needs to understand Kṛṣṇa. Vedic literature confirms this. Yo’sau sarvair vedair gīyate. In all Vedic literature, beginning from the four Vedas, Vedānta-sūtra and the Upaniṣads and Purāṇas, the glories of the Supreme Lord are celebrated. By performing Vedic rituals, discussing the Vedic philosophy and worshiping the Lord in devotional service, He is attained. Therefore the purpose of the Vedas is to understand Kṛṣṇa. The Vedas give us direction to understand Kṛṣṇa and the process of understanding. The ultimate goal is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vedānta-sūtra confirms this in the following words: tat tu samanvayāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.4]. One can attain perfection by understanding Vedic literature, and one can understand his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead by performing the different processes. Thus one can approach Him and at the end attain the supreme goal, who is no other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this verse, however, the purpose of the Vedas, the understanding of the Vedas and the goal of the Vedas are clearly defined.” 

Prabhupāda: He clearly says, vedānta-kṛd: “I am the compiler.” So why one should go to learn Vedānta from others? 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: How does bhakti tie into the Vedāntic…, the conclusion of Vedāntic knowledge, or wisdom? He says here that bhakti is the most suitable and easiest path for God realization. This is proclaimed. But the Vedāntic teachings… He says in the Vedāntic teaching the stress is on jñāna. Is that a fact? 

Prabhupāda: Jñāna, what is jñāna? Jñāna means… That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.19

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
. So unless one surrenders to Kṛṣṇa, there is no jñāna. This is all nonsense. And they’re passing as jñāna. There is no knowledge at all. Vedānta means the ultimate knowledge. So ultimate knowledge, the subject matter of ultimate knowledge is Kṛṣṇa, God. So if one does not know who is God, who is Kṛṣṇa, then where is knowledge? This is fact, the knowledge. But if a rascal claims that “I am man of knowledge,” then what can be done? Knowledge is explained, that when one understands that Kṛṣṇa is everything—vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.19

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
—when one understands that Vasudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is everything, then that is knowledge. Before that, there is no knowledge. It is simply misunderstanding. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.11

Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.
. One may begin with impersonal Brahman by the speculative method, or one can realize the, what is called, Paramātmā, localized aspect. That is the secondary stage. The final stage is understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam [Bg. 15.15]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 15.15

I am seated in everyone's heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
. That is. That is the final knowledge. 

But if you do not understand Kṛṣṇa, then where is your knowledge? Knowledge, half-way knowledge, is not knowledge. Complete knowledge. That complete knowledge is possible, as it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante. Those who are striving to acquire knowledge, such persons, after many, many births, when actually, by the grace of God and by the grace of His devotee, he comes to the knowledge, then he agrees, “Oh, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.19

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.
, everything is Kṛṣṇa.” Sa mahātmā, that mahātmā, great soul, is very rare to be found. Sudurlabhaḥ. Durlabhaḥ means very rare to be seen, but the word is used sudurlabhaḥ, “very, very rare.” So you cannot find such a mahātmā who understands clearly Kṛṣṇa. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye, yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin… [Bg. 7.3]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 7.3

Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.
. Siddha means liberated. So one may become liberated even, that… But from that liberated position again he falls down unless he understands the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa. Aruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adho ‘nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ [SB 10.2.32]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.2.32

[Someone may say that aside from devotees, who always seek shelter at the Lord's lotus feet, there are those who are not devotees but who have accepted different processes for attaining salvation. What happens to them? In answer to this question, Lord Brahmā and the other demigods said:] O lotus-eyed Lord, although nondevotees who accept severe austerities and penances to achieve the highest position may think themselves liberated, their intelligence is impure. They fall down from their position of imagined superiority because they have no regard for Your lotus feet.
. Unless he comes to the final understanding of the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa, he’ll fall down. 

Therefore so many Vedāntists, they first of all, they give up this world, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: this world is false. But again they come down and they become busy in doing some philanthropic work, opening hospitals… Why? If the world is false, why you are coming down again on this platform? That means they could not get any substance by their so-called renouncement of this world. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa, for going to that platform of siddhi, liberation, they had to undergo so much difficulties and austerities, but still, even going there… Just like these people are going to the moon planet and… Actually whether they have gone or not, that is a doubtful thing. But the thing is, why they are coming down again? That is our challenge. If you have gone to the moon planet, then colonize there. But why you have come down again and do not talk anything about? What do you think? 

Brahmatīrtha: Well, I couldn’t say. They’ve been there, they say. 

Prabhupāda: They say; you believe. But we are common man, layman, we say that if you have gone there, why you do not live there? 

Brahmatīrtha: Yes, they just bring back rocks to show us, “We have rocks here.” 

Prabhupāda: If there is rock, if there is sand, then why don’t you colonize there? What is their answer? If there is same sand, same rock there, then why not… [break] …some money and can bring some sand and bluff people that “We have gone to moon planet.” And people are satisfied. They’re paying for another excursion, to the Mars. This is going on. If you have gone there, there is land. If you fly in the sky and if you get a land, then you can stay there. And because you cannot stay there, you come back again. So their… The Māyāvādī’s position is there, āruhya kṛcchreṇa param: they merge into the impersonal Brahman, but there is no place to stay; they come down again to this material world. You may go many thousands and millions of miles in the sky, but you want to stay somewhere. But if you cannot get any place to stay, then again you come to this Moscow and New York. So our enquiry is that “If you have gone there, then why don’t you stay there?” What is the answer? Hmm? Kīrtanānanda Maharaja? 

Kīrtanānanda: They say the atmosphere is not suitable. 

Prabhupāda: Then why, rascal, you go there? [laughter] And spend so much money, rascal? You could not understand the atmosphere is not good for us, go there and spend so much money? 

Brahmatīrtha: They impress the people. 

Prabhupāda: That means they are bluffer, and they bluffing the all fools and rascals. That’s all. He could not understand before going there, before spending so much money, the atmosphere is not good? 

Hari-śauri: But without personal, direct experience, they… 

Prabhupāda: For your direct whims you have to spend so much money? The people are so befooled they do not challenge them. Yes. Everyone knows, suppose one is coming to the Western country, Europe and America, we knew it, that it is cold country, we must take proper dress. And we have come and we are staying. So this is knowledge. So if you do not know what is the atmosphere there, why do you spend so much money? And again you are going to the Mars. Are you fixed up what is the position there? Then you’ll again bring something, some dust and rock. [laughter] And this business will go on at the expense of the… You can do. You have got money. You can do that. But we are Indians; we are coming from poor country. If you spend so much money for nothing, that is very…, not very palatable for us. If one tenth of the expenditure you would have given to us for spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement… No. Not a single paisa they will give. And they’ll spoil money for going to the moon planet and bring some dust. That’s all. Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja is struggling to construct a small residential quarter here, and he has to beg, he has to collect, he has done. Why the government does not pay? “Here so many people are living. Let them live comfortably.” But they’ll spend this money, millions of dollars, and to bring some dust. Is that very sane government? And people are so fool that they do not challenge the government, “Why you are spending for nothing?” They can do that. They brought back Nixon. Why not stop this unnecessary expenditure? Hmm? Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja? 

Kīrtanānanda: It makes perfect sense, Prabhupāda. 

Prabhupāda: Yes. For nothing. And it is sure certainly, you can write down, their Mars going also will be failure. Let it, you take in writing. I may die. I am old man. Take it down: It will be failure. I told ten years before that “It is childish.” One press reporter inquired in San Francisco, “What is your…” “No, this is childish, wasting money.” The reporter came to see me in Los Angeles. He remembered that. If you want to spend for nothing like that, you can do that. You have got money. 

Brahmatīrtha: If you say to a politician, “Give Śrīla Prabhupāda money…” Like I said to one man running for governor of this state, I said, “Why can’t you help the community in New Vrindavan?” 

Prabhupāda: Oh, you said? 

Brahmatīrtha: He cited to me so many rules and regulations. They’re not interested. They’re interested in pleasing themselves. A man runs for government, his whole position to run for governor is to please himself so that he can become rich. 

Prabhupāda: That’s it. Here, you are right. Sense gratification. Nobody wants to do anything. Nixon captured the presidential post for his own satisfaction. And when the people found that “Here is a trick,” they agitated and got him down. So this is the difficulty, that andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās te ‘pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ [SB 7.5.31]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigŚrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.5.31

Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.
. We are blind, and we are being guided by blind men. So the result is catastrophe. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Can I ask another question, Śrīla Prabhupāda? Question number nine: “Is a guru essential to one to enter the spiritual path and attain the goal? And how does one recognize one’s guru?” 

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is explained, that guru is necessary. In the Bhagavad-gītā, when Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna were talking as friend, there was no conclusion. The talking was going on, but no conclusion was made. Therefore Arjuna decided to accept Kṛṣṇa as his guru. Find out this verse: kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ. 

Hari-śauri: 

kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ
pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ
yac chreyaḥ syān niścitaṁ brūhi tan me
śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam
[Bg. 2.7]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 2.7

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

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

Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore guru is necessary. Everyone is perplexed. Nobody can decide himself. Even a physician, a medical man, when he is sick, he does not make his own treatment. He calls for another physician because he is sick; his brain is not in order. How he can prescribe the real medicine for himself? That is natural. So similarly, when we are perplexed, bewildered, we cannot make any solution, at that time the right person, guru, is required. It is essential. You cannot avoid it. So in our present existence we are all perplexed. Arjuna is representating the perplexed position of the materialistic person. And we are actually all perplexed. So under the circumstances, to give us real direction a guru is required. Now, here is the example that Arjuna decided Kṛṣṇa as guru. He did not go to anyone else to accept as guru. The explanation is there. 

Hari-śauri: Purport? You want the purport? 

Prabhupāda: Find out: na hi prapaśyāmi, “Without you I don’t find anybody…” 

Hari-śauri: 

na hi prapaśyāmi mamāpanudyād
yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām
avāpya bhūmāv asapatnam ṛddhaṁ
rājyaṁ surāṇām api cādhipatyam
[Bg. 2.8]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 2.8

I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to destroy it even if I win an unrivalled kingdom on the earth with sovereignty like that of the demigods in heaven.

“I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to destroy it even if I win an unrivalled kingdom on the earth…” 

Prabhupāda: No. There is another verse that “Without You I do not find anyone else who can give me real…” 

Hari-śauri: [aside:] You know that one? 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: No. 

Devotee: The doubt when… The fallen yogī. “Who else can…?” I think so. 

Hari-śauri: I’ll look it up in the… 

Prabhupāda: In the, is the… There is… What are you finding? 

Hari-śauri: I’ll look it up in the Sanskrit index. 

Prabhupāda: What is the śloka? The śloka I do not remember exactly, but there is continuation. You read the whole thing. What is that chapter? 

Hari-śauri: This is Chapter Two. 

Prabhupāda: Begin it. 

Hari-śauri: Start at the beginning of the chapter? 

Prabhupāda: Um, hmm. 

Hari-śauri: “Seeing Arjuna full of compassion and very sorrowful, his eyes brimming with tears, Madhusūdana, Kṛṣṇa, spoke the following words.” 

Prabhupāda: One translation of every verse, go on, read it. 

Hari-śauri: “The Supreme Person Bhagavān said: My dear Arjuna, how have these impurities come upon you? They are not at all befitting a man who knows the progressive values of life. They do not lead to higher planets, but to infamy. O son of Pṛthā, do not yield to this degrading impotence. It does not become you. Give up such petty weakness of heart and arise, O chastiser of the enemy. Arjuna said: O killer of Madhu, Kṛṣṇa, how can I counteract with arrows in battle men like Bhīṣma and Droṇa, who are worthy of my worship? It is better to live in this world by begging than to live at the cost of the lives of great souls who are my teachers. Even though they are avaricious, they are nonetheless superiors. If they are killed, our spoils will be tainted with blood. Nor do we know which is better: conquering them or being conquered by them. The sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, whom if we killed we should not care to live, are now standing before us on this battlefield. Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me clearly what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me. I can find no means to drive away this grief which is drying up my senses. I will not be able to destroy it even if I win an unrivalled kingdom on the earth with sovereignty like the demigods in heaven. Sañjaya said: Having thus spoken, Arjuna the chastiser of the enemies told Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, I shall not fight, and fell silent. O descendant of Bhārata, at that time, Kṛṣṇa, smiling in the midst of both the armies, spoke the following words to the griefstricken Arjuna.” 

Prabhupāda: That’s all. So he has said already that “I do not find any other means to pacify me, and You are the only…” The purport is that Arjuna is accepting Kṛṣṇa as guru to instruct him how to get relief from the perplexed position. So in this sense the real guru is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is guru—not only for Arjuna, for everyone. So if we take instruction from Kṛṣṇa and abide by that order, instruction, then our life is successful. That is our mission. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means accept Kṛṣṇa as guru. We don’t say… [to devotees still looking up verse:] Don’t divert your attention. We don’t say that “I am Kṛṣṇa.” We never say that. We simply ask people that “You abide by the order of Kṛṣṇa.” Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 18.66

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.
, and we say that “You surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Give up all other ideas of so-called dharma or religiosity.” The same thing. But we don’t say that you or me, “I am the authority.” No, we don’t say that. We say, “Kṛṣṇa is the authority, and you try to understand Kṛṣṇa.” This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Therefore the question is guru. 

So here, from the behavior of Arjuna, we see that guru is necessary. Arjuna was talking with Kṛṣṇa as friend, but Arjuna saw that “This is…, there is no good talking like this. We can continue talking… Because we are equal status. Kṛṣṇa is my friend. I am also His friend. So He’s answering; I am giving something. If this talking will go on, there will be no fruit.” Therefore he said, “Now, Kṛṣṇa, I am become Your disciple.” Disciple means there is no argument. Whatever the guru will say, you have to accept. That is disciple. That is final. There is no argument. So Arjuna put him into that position, that “I cease to talk with You on equal level of friends. Now I accept You as guru.” Therefore the guru is necessary, undoubtedly, because every one of us in perplexed position. But who is guru? Guru means Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa’s representative. And all others are bogus. If one does not say on the standard of Kṛṣṇa, then he’s not guru; he’s a bogus. In that way everyone can become guru. I have got some opinion, I can say. But unless… Just like a lawyer is he who follows the standard law. If a lawyer says that “I have manufactured own my laws,” so who will hear him? And what will be the use of becoming lawyer? No. You have to follow the standard law. Then you are a lawyer. And a big lawyer means who knows the standard law very well. Similarly, guru is Kṛṣṇa, and guru is necessary. But one must surrender to Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa’s representative. Then he will be successful. 

So, so far… Now, one can say that Kṛṣṇa is not present. But Kṛṣṇa is not present, how you can say? Kṛṣṇa’s instruction is there, Bhagavad-gītā. How you can say that Kṛṣṇa… Absolute means the Supreme Lord is not different from His words also. The words of Kṛṣṇa and the Kṛṣṇa, they are the same. That is Absolute Truth. In the relative world the words “water” and the substance water are different. If I am thirsty, if I simply chant “water, water, water,” my thirst will not be satisfied. I require the real water. That is relative world. But in the spiritual world… Just like we are chanting Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. If Kṛṣṇa is different from Hare Kṛṣṇa, then how we are satisfied chanting whole day and night? This is the proof. The ordinary thing, if you chant “Mr. John, Mr. John,” after chanting three times you’ll cease. But this Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, if you go on chanting twenty-four hours, you’ll never be tired. This is the spiritual, Absolute Truth. That is practical. Anyone can perceive. 

So Kṛṣṇa’s present by His words, by His representative. Why don’t you take? You have to take guru. Why do you go to the pseudo guru who will mislead you? Why don’t you take to the real guru? That is your mistake. Therefore you are now disappointed. Now you are in doubt whether guru is needed. Yes, guru is needed, but you go to the real guru. That is instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just find out this verse: 

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti tad-jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 4.34]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 4.34

Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: “Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” 

Prabhupāda: So this is guru. What is that? One who has seen the truth. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. 

Prabhupāda: So one who has seen… Just like Arjuna has seen Kṛṣṇa. That’s a fact. He was talking. Now that if you take instruction of Arjuna, then you understand. So what is the instruction of Arjuna? Find out in the Tenth Chapter. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: 

arjuna uvāca
paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam
ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum
[Bg. 10.12]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 10.12-13

Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.
āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve
devarṣir nāradas tathā
asito devalo vyāsaḥ
svayaṁ caiva bravīṣi me
[Bg. 10.13]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 10.12-13

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

“Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier.” 

Prabhupāda: And that Vedānta-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsaḥ. Now here Arjuna is experienced, “You are the Supreme Brahman.” So he has seen the Supreme Brahman. So you make Arjuna guru, Kṛṣṇa guru. Arjuna is representative of Kṛṣṇa, friend of Kṛṣṇa. So why do you go to a bogus guru? You must be cheated. Guru is essential. It is necessary. But take the real guru. But if you go to the bogus guru, you must be disappointed. For your treatment you need to go to a physician. That’s all. When you are diseased you cannot say, “No, no, I don’t want to…” It is necessary. But go to the real physician. Don’t go to a cheater. He has no knowledge in the medical science, and he places himself as “I am physician, M.D,” then you’ll be cheated. The guru is necessary, that’s a fact. But go to the real guru. Who is real guru? Real guru is Kṛṣṇa or one who has seen Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna. Take them. Then you’ll be benefitted. And if you go to a bogus man who does not know Kṛṣṇa, who does not know what is Kṛṣṇa’s instruction, then you must be cheated. So the answer is guru is absolute necessary. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. This is Vedic injunction, that one must go. But he must go to the real guru. And who is real guru? Who knows Kṛṣṇa. Take, for example, Arjuna, how he studied Kṛṣṇa. And he says, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma [Bg. 10.12]plugin-autotooltip__small plugin-autotooltip_bigBhagavad-gītā As It Is 10.12-13

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

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

Prabhupāda: Arjuna is rectifying this because people may say, “Arjuna was Kṛṣṇa’s friend, he is accepting Him as guru.” No, Arjuna says, “Not only I, but other authorities, they also accept.” So it is…, everything is clear, that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He should be accepted as guru or His representative should be accepted guru. Then it will be… So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that we are presenting Kṛṣṇa as the supreme guru. You take instruction from Him and be benefited. But one who is carrying this message, he is also authorized. Just like one money order, it is coming through the post office, but an ordinary peon is handing over the money order. But he is representative of post office. Actually, the money order is being delivered by the post office, general post office. But it is coming through an ordinary peon. But because he is authorized to deliver you, he is also post office. He’s as good as the post office. Just you have got a letter box, a small box, but if you put your letter there, your letter will surely go ten thousand miles away. Therefore, although it is a small box, you don’t think it is small box; it is whole post office. Similarly, anyone who is carrying the message of Kṛṣṇa, don’t think that he’s ordinary man. If you imitate one box like that post box and put your letter, for thousand years it will lie down there, because it is not authorized. So if somebody says this small box, red box, is as good as the post office, one may say, “Huh, this is small box. How it can be as good as the post office?” But you see. You post your letter, it will go. Therefore, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ. Guru is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Why? Because he is presenting the words of Supreme Personality of Godhead without any deterioration. Therefore he is so honored. So therefore the conclusion is guru is necessary, and guru is he who is representative of Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise he’s bogus. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: What about these so-called gurus that take a little bit here and a little bit there? 

Prabhupāda: So-called gurus. They are so-called gurus. They are not gurus. That is already explained. If one does not speak what Kṛṣṇa speaks, he is not guru. If you accept so-called guru, that is your misfortune. What can be done? 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Some of them will say some things that Kṛṣṇa says, but they’ll take from other places also. What is the position of such persons? 

Prabhupāda: He’s most dangerous. He’s most dangerous. He is opportunist. He’s finding out customer, something here… According to the customer he is giving something, as the customers will be pleased. So he is not guru; he’s a servant. He wants to serve the so-called disciples so that he may be satisfied and pay him something. He’s servant. He’s not guru. Guru is the master. You cannot disobey guru. But if you become a servant, you want to please the disciple by flattering him to get his money, then you are not guru, you are servant. Just like a servant pleases the master. He’s not guru; he’s servant. So our position should be servant, yes, but servant of the Supreme. So guru means heavy. You cannot utilize him for satisfying your whims. That is not guru. 

[pause] 

Prabhupāda: Now? What other question? 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It’s about eight o’clock, Śrīla Prabhupāda. Should we go on? 

Prabhupāda: No. Tomorrow. 

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Tomorrow evening. [devotees offer obeisances] [break]