Bhagavad-gītā 4.11 , New York , 1966-07-22


ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

[Bg 4.11]

[All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.]

Lord Kṛṣṇa says that "Every man is following My path, indirectly or directly." The supreme position of the Lord is that He is in the supreme absolute position, and every other living being, they are all subordinate. In the Vedic Upaniṣad it is clearly stated,

nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām
eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān

[Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]

[The Supreme Lord is eternal and the living beings are eternal. The Supreme Lord is cognizant and the living beings are cognizant. The difference is that the Supreme Lord is supplying all the necessities of life for the many other living entities.]

This is the natural law in any society, in any community, in any country, even in the animal society. If you go to the forest there are societies of different animal: elephant society, tiger society, deer society, jackal society, wolf society. Even in the birds, you'll find, the birds of the same feather flock together. This is the natural way. You'll find that all the pigeons, they flock together, not the crows and the pigeons flock together. The ducks, they flock together. Similarly, this is the natural way, and there... In every group there is a leader.

So the Supreme Lord, He is called in the Vedic literature that He is the supreme leader. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. Nitya means eternal, and nityānām, that means many other eternals. We are many other eternals. Eka, that one eternal... Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. There are two kinds of eternals. We living entities, we are also eternal, and the Supreme Lord, He is also eternal. So far eternity is concerned, both of us equal on the qualitative nature. He is eternal, and we are eternal. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs 5.1].

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

He is also all pleasure, and we are also all pleasure, because we are all parts and parcel of the same quality. But He is the leader. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān: "That one is maintaining all these many's." We, the living entities, we are many's.

So our position is always subordinate. That is our natural constitutional position. Now, the Supreme Lord's position is the leadership, and our position is subordinate. Now, then what is our duty? Our duty is to follow the leader. And actually we are doing so. We have got... Instead of... We have forgotten that the supreme leader is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but still, for our daily activities we create a leader. We accept some leader and follow his principles.

Just like you have elected your leader as President Johnson, the president of your state. He is supposed to be the leader of your nation, and he is asking you to go to the Vietnam and sacrifice your life. So you are following. So this is the natural position. Even if we do not accept God, if we do not accept the leadership of God, we have to select another leader. We cannot get rid of this principle, that we can live without leader. That is our constitutional position.

So the difficulty is that... Our difficulty is that instead of following the supreme leader, we are creating by mental concoction some leader according to our material conception of life, and we are following. That is our position. So Lord Kṛṣṇa says,

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

[Bg 4.11]

[All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.]

People are actually following the same principle, but the difficulty is that in our this position of lower nature we are following in the manner which will not make us happy and satisfied. Because we are not following the supreme leader, the difficulty. By constitutional position we are to follow a leader, but because we are misled, because we are deluded to follow a leader which is not perfect, therefore our position is always unhappy in spite of following the leadership of a concocted nature.

Therefore the best thing will be to get rid of this concocted position and follow the supreme leader. That is the highest perfection. Just try to understand that I cannot avoid following someone's leadership. That is not possible. Can anyone say that "We can avoid this"? No. We cannot avoid. Even if we don't accept the leadership of God, we have to accept some other leaders. That is our position. We cannot avoid it.

So there is a very nice verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. A brāhmaṇa, he was a family man, just like worldly man, as we are. Now, brāhmaṇas are generally expected to be highly learned, and he was very learned man in Vedic literature. And when he came to his consciousness by reading all this Vedic literature, that "Although I am following the leadership, why I am not happy? Why I am not happy?"... This question should arise in the sane human mind. One should think that "I am following the leadership of somebody, according to my position and according to my circumstances. But still, I am not happy. Why?"

Why we select one leader? The leader should be such a leader that they shall..., he shall make happy and prosperous persons who follow him. That is the question of leadership. But actually, if we think in sober mind and cool head, we can understand that although we are following leadership, may be whatever he may be, still, we are not happy. Now, the brāhmaṇa concluded that "This following leadership is the following leadership of my lust." I select one leader according to my lust. Just like in political parties there are many leaders, but I like some particular type of political pursuit—someone likes Democratic political pursuit; someone likes Congress political pursuit; someone likes Communist political pursuit. So we have got different desires.

So practically, if we study very minutely, then we are not following the leadership but we are following our particular lust. I have got a particular lust within me, and when I find somebody corroborating with that particular lust, oh, I accept him, that leader. That is my position. Therefore I do not follow anyone's leadership, but I follow my own leadership. That is the lust. I want to do..., I like to do something, and if somebody says, "Oh, yes, it is very nice," "Oh, you are my leader. If you confirm my lust, then you are my leader." That is the material leadership.

But the Supreme Lord is not like such... He is not such a leader. He is not going to follow your lust. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find that the Supreme Lord says in the Eighteenth Chapter,

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

[Bg 18.66]

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]

He says, "My dear Arjuna, I have spoken to you all about Bhagavad-gītā. I do not know whether you have understood the whole thing or not, but because you are My friend and I love you and you love Me, I say you the most confidential thing to you. And what is that? You give up everything and just follow Me. You just give up all your concocted things in the mind and just become Kṛṣṇa conscious."

"Oh, I shall give up everything and simply I shall follow You?" "Yes." "Oh, how can I do? I have got so many department of knowledge and department of things. How can I?" No. He says, mā śucaḥ: "Don't hesitate." Then what will be the result? The result will be ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi [Bg 18.66]: "I shall deliver you from all reactions of your sinful acts."

You know, of course, according to Vedic literature... And I don't say about the Vedic literature. That is the injunction of every scripture, either Bible, Koran or any religious scripture, that we suffer due to our sinful actions. And our sinful actions are due to our ignorance. This is the cause.

Now, you will find in the Bhagavad-gītā,

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

[Bg 10.10]

[To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.]

"Any person who is devoutedly is attached to Me and is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious with love and faith, unto him, I give dictation in such a way that he will come to Me." "He will come to Me." How He will give me dictation? Oh, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg 18.61]:

[The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.]

"The Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion, He is situated within your heart." Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati, that we individual soul and the Supreme Soul, both of them are sitting in this tree of body. That is the Vedic injunction. The Veda says that two birds, just like friends, they are sitting on the same tree. One bird is eating the fruit of the tree, and the other bird is not eating the fruit but is simply observing the activities of the other bird. This description we get from Vedic literature.

The bird which is not eating the fruit of the tree, he is the Supersoul. And the bird which is eating the fruit of the tree, he is the soul, individual soul. That is we are. We are sitting in this tree of body, and we are eating. This body means every one of us has got a particular body for particular type of distress or enjoyment. Every living being is responsible for his past act, and he gets a body, either human body or animal body, American body or Indian body or African body. There are different kinds of... I have several times repeated that 8,400,000's of different bodies.

So living entity is... According to his work, he is wandering in this circle in the cycle of different species of life. But the Supreme Lord, He is so kind and so friendly with us that He is also with us. Suppose I am sitting in this bird. As soon as I fly to another... I am sitting in this tree, and as soon as I fly to another tree, the other bird, He also follows me. He also follows me, and sits again in that tree. He is so friendly.

Just imagine how much kind and how much friendly is the Lord. He is always trying to call me back again to Him. We are trying to noncooperate with Him. We are trying to noncooperate, and He is trying to cooperate. He is sitting with me in the same branch, He is witnessing, He is observing, and He is waiting, simply waiting when we shall turn my face, when I shall turn my face towards Him. That is the whole thing.

So here Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa, says, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. He is waiting, waiting when you shall turn, when I shall turn my face towards Him. That's all. He is waiting. Just like... Just you can imagine, just like a father and a rebelled child or insane child. Those who have got... Of course, you are all young men here. Those who are elderly person, they have got experience. If their sons go wrong, how much they are anxious. How much the father is anxious to get his son back again. Back again. That is the natural instinct.

And wherefrom this instinct comes? This instinct comes from the Supreme, because in the Vedānta-sūtra you will find that everything, whatever you are finding in this material world or spiritual world, everything, that has come from the Supreme. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]: "He is the supreme source, fountainhead of everything."

So similarly, whatever we see, paternal affection, conjugal love, friendship or master and servant... There are so many things we are related in this material world. We must always know that all these sentiments, they are coming from the Supreme. So here the paternal affection which we see here or the conjugal love which we see here, that is simply a perverted reflection of the Supreme.

So you just... If we can study this material relationship between one living being to another living being, then if..., a sober student, a philosophical-minded student, can understand what is our relation with God. It is not very difficult to understand.

Now here Kṛṣṇa says, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. He is looking after always, "When the living entity shall turn his face towards Me?" And as we turn our face towards Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Lord, He also responds in proportionately. He also responds proportionately. It is not difficult.

Somebody says, "Can we see God?" Yes, you can see God. But how much prapatti? How much you have surrendered to God? Surrender to God... How much qualification you have acquired for seeing God? Seeing God is not very difficult, but at the same time it is very difficult. Just like if I want to see President Johnson, if I am unknown to him, oh, I will have to take so many formalities. I will have to write to his secretary, and the secretary will give me some time or may not give me some time. So many things. But if you are personally known to President Johnson, you are intimately thick and thin with him, and as soon as you call him, "Mr. Johnson, I want to see you," "Yes, you can come."

So it depends on the thick-and-thin–ship of your relations with Supreme Lord. If you can establish your relationship with the Supreme Lord in love... The Lord does not require our cooperation. He is full in Himself. He does not require my service, but still, if you love Him, then He reciprocates. So our reciprocation with the Lord depends on the proportion of our love, love of Godhead. This love of Godhead can be attained by Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

So ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. A proportionately, as I surrender unto the Supreme Lord... We must always know that our background of relationship is that we are subordinate and He is great. God is great. We cannot be equal with Him. We have to follow. He is the supreme leader. Therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa says that "You give up everything." He is trying to give you leadership. He is prepared to give you all leadership, provided you are prepared to follow His leadership. That's all. Reciprocation. And in proportionately, proportionately as you accept His leadership, He also responds reciprocally. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. As you...

So everything depends on me. I can see God. Just like I am seeing you face to face, you are seeing me face to face, similarly, you can see Kṛṣṇa face to face. Just like Arjuna saw face to face. Why? Because the relationship was so nice that they were in friendly relation. So seeing of God is not very difficult. Simply we have to acquire that qualification.

In the Brahma-saṁhitā—this is another Vedic literature—it is said,

santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

[Bs 5.38]

[I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love.]

Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. Now, we have to prepare our eyes to see God. That's all. Just like we are seeing here a thing, say, suppose a motorcar. A layman is seeing, and another, mechanic, who knows how the motorcar is running, what are the machinery, how it is fitted, he is also seeing. So this layman seeing and the expert seeing is different. The expert mechanic, he can see the car, who has made it, who is the maker and how it is running, and so many things he can see. And layman, he can see just a car. So similarly, to see everything... Just like we are seeing the sun, a child is seeing the sun and a scientist, astronomer, is also seeing the sun. So both seeing are not the same.

So seeing God is not difficult, but we have to prepare our eyes. And how that eyes..., how that eye is prepared, that is stated in the Vedic literature, that if you kindly smear your eyeballs with the ointment of love. There is an ointment. Of course, it is not available in the drug shop. [laughter] You have to prepare that ointment. You have to prepare that eye ointment, love, love ointment. And if you smear with that love ointment your eyes, then you can see Kṛṣṇa always.

santaḥ sadaiva...

[Bs 5.38]

[I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love.]

Sadaiva means always. Always. Not a single moment you are without Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise, do you think that...

Of course, in India we have got many sages, they are living in the jungle, aloof from human society, without any fear, without any caring the animals or for life or fooding. How? Because he is seeing always Kṛṣṇa there, so he has no fear. He has no fear. He is enjoying life there. There are many instances. In our line, one Rūpa Gosvāmī... Rūpa Gosvāmī, he was the prime minister of the then government. Five hundred years before, India was under the Pathan rule, Bengal, and there was a king whose name was Nawab Hussain Shah. Nawab Hussain Shah's prime minister was Sākara Mallika. That Sākara Mallika later on became a great devotee of Lord Caitanya, and his name was transformed into Rūpa Gosvāmī.

So they were coming from very aristocratic family, but they gave up everything and lived at Vṛndāvana, eating only dry bread and whatever nonsense they... They were very rich men, but still, how they could live in such a way? That is described that tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat: "They gave up all aristocratic association just like insignificant." And,

tyaktvā tūrṇam aśeṣa-maṇḍala-pati-śreṇīṁ sadā tuccha-vat
bhūtvā dīna-gaṇeśakau karuṇayā kaupīna-kanthāśritau

[Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ Gosvāmy Aṣṭaka 4]

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvāmīs, namely Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, and Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, who kicked off all association of aristocracy as insignificant. In order to deliver the poor conditioned souls, they accepted loincloths, treating themselves as mendicants, but they are always merged in the ecstatic ocean of the gopīs' love for Kṛṣṇa and bathe always and repeatedly in the waves of that ocean.]

"And they adopted life of mendicant just to show mercy to the fallen souls." But how they lived?

gopī-bhāva-rasāmṛtābdhi-laharī-kallola-magnau sadā
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau

[Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ Gosvāmy Aṣṭaka 4]

"They were merged in the ocean of love of Kṛṣṇa, and they lived so happily."

That is... There is a position like that, that you can forget all these material comforts. But there is no comfort in the material life. It is so-called. It is simply a delusion. We are thinking that we are comfortable. And suppose we are comfortable. How long you shall live in that comfort? That is limited. Either the comfort will leave you or you have to leave the comfort. It may be that your position... The comfortable position which you have created by your monetary strength may be that your monetary strength may go down and you become a pauper. So comfort leaves you. Or if you continue... Even if you continue a comfortable life, then death comes and you leave the comfortable. You go away. So there will be separation, certainly.

Therefore the brāhmaṇa of whose story I was telling, he, when, after going through this Vedic literature, he understood that "I am following the leadership wrongly of my lust. I am not following the leadership of anyone else. It is false. And although I am accepting somebody as my leader, but actually I accept somebody as my leader who corroborates with my lust. Therefore lust created by me is my leader."

So he said, kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśāḥ [C.c. Madhya 22.16]:

[O my Lord, there is no limit to the unwanted orders of lusty desires. Although I have rendered these desires so much service, they have not shown any mercy to me. I have not been ashamed to serve them, nor have I even desired to give them up. O my Lord, O head of the Yadu dynasty, recently, however, my intelligence has been awakened, and now I am giving them up. Due to transcendental intelligence, I now refuse to obey the unwanted orders of these desires, and I now come to You to surrender myself at Your fearless lotus feet. Kindly engage me in Your personal service and save me.]

"Oh, I have followed the leadership of my lust, and in doing so, I am ashamed to, I mean to say, accept it. I agree to accept it, that I have done so many nonsense by the dictation of my lust." Kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśāḥ. When a person is lustful, then he can do any nonsense thing. Lust is so strong. He can do any nonsense. Durnideśāḥ. Durnideśāḥ means the direction which I should not have followed, but being, I mean to say, pressed by my lust, even I followed which I should not have followed.

So he is just studying his own life, that "So far I have followed the leadership of my lust, but the result is that my lust is not satisfied." Teṣāṁ na trapā nopaśāntiḥ. Lust will never be satisfied. "My lust is never satisfied, neither he is giving me release of this slavery of my lust." So he says, "My dear Lord, Kṛṣṇa, I have understood that I have followed the leadership of my lust so long, but the result is that the leader whom I have followed, neither he is satisfied, neither I am satisfied." Neither the leader is satisfied...

Just like, I'll give you a concrete example. In India, I know, Mahatma Gandhi was the leader. But you know that at the last stage he was killed. That means the leader could not satisfy the public, neither public was satisfied with the leader. This is the material leadership. Nobody can... Just like we see so many criticisms of President Johnson. The other day I was seeing in the paper, they have given some caricature. So this is going on. Nobody is satisfied. Kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśāḥ [Cc Madhya 22.16].

I may follow the leadership of my wife throughout my whole life. Now, if I say to my wife, "My dear, I am going to..., for spiritual culture. Please give me leave," "Oh, how can you leave? You have got so many responsibilities. You have this and that. Oh..." So there is no pension. So Kāmādīnāṁ kati na katidhā pālitā durnideśāḥ.

Therefore, if we become saner, then instead of following this material leadership, we may agree to follow the leadership of Kṛṣṇa. Just try to follow the leadership of Kṛṣṇa and make an experiment how you are becoming happy. We have just started this association, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and trying to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you kindly come and take advantage of this opportunity, it will be beneficial for both of us, because we have come here with a mission, and if you cooperate, you will be benefited.

The Bhagavad-gītā is a standard literature. Most of you know this Bhagavad-gītā. But generally, the Bhagavad-gītā is read very superficially, not very critically. We do not understand Kṛṣṇa, the author of Bhagavad-gītā, neither we understand what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, although it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. We read Bhagavad-gītā superficially, not very critically, neither there is any edition so far... Of course, in Sanskrit there are many editions: annotation by Śrīdhara Svāmī, annotation by Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, annotation by Viśvanātha Cakravartī, annotation by Śrī Rāmānujācārya. There are many great scholars. But we have no information of those in the Western countries. You have no information of those scholars.

Ordinary person with some academic career, they think they are very learned, they can comment on Bhagavad-gītā. Oh, that is not possible. That is not possible. The other day we have already discussed that Bhagavad-gītā can be understood by a person who is Kṛṣṇa conscious, nobody else. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam [Bg 4.3].

[That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend; therefore you can understand the transcendental mystery of this science.]

So here is a chance. Now, Kṛṣṇa says that ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. Now the proportionately, if you agree to follow the leadership of Kṛṣṇa, proportionately as you follow, so you become perfect. If you follow one percent, then you become one percent perfect. If you follow twenty-five percent, then you become twenty-five percent perfect. And if you follow cent percent, then you become cent percent. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham [Bg 4.11].

[All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.]

Kṛṣṇa does not interfere with your individual independence. Every living entity has got an independence, minute, because he is also spiritual atom. We are all spiritual atom. That atomic, spiritual atomic force... Just like a material atomic force is so strong, so you can just imagine how strong is spiritual atom. In the modern age, the atomic age, the scientists have discovered the force, the power of material atom. But they have not yet known what is the force of spiritual atom. There is spiritual atom. We are spiritual atom.

The atom is described in the Vedic literature, the form of the spirit which we are actually: keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca [Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9].

[When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts, each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul.]

Keśāgra... Keśa means the hair, the upper portion of your hair. When it is divided into ten thousand part... And just imagine, that one part is the spiritual atom. It is so small, it is so minute, that it is not possible to see with our material eyes. Even the material atom also we cannot see. When the material atoms are combined into six, then you can see floating in the air through the sunshine which is entering your room through the holes of a window. You can see some particles. That small particle, they are combination of six atoms. That particle, when it is divided into six, that becomes the atom. So we cannot see even the material atoms, and what to speak of the spiritual atom.

When a dead man is there, the medical man or every scientist, everyone is sitting. How that spiritual atom is passed from this body, nobody can see. They can simply say, "Oh, now he is gone." Who is gone? Have you seen who is gone? "No." Then what you are seeing? "I am seeing this dead body." So whole life you have seen this dead body. So if I cannot see at the present structure of my body even the spark, material atom, how we can see God, the Supreme Spirit?

So we have to qualify ourselves. So that qualification is, here it is stated, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante. If you try to surrender yourself into Kṛṣṇa consciousness... Just like Kṛṣṇa is canvassing, asking Arjuna, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇam [Bg 18.66]:

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]

"You just try to surrender unto Me, and I shall give you all protection." And just I described a few minutes before that Kṛṣṇa is seated along with you in the same tree of this body. He is just waiting for your voluntary looking unto Him. That's it. He does not press you. He gives you all instruction. Just like Kṛṣṇa gave all instruction of Bhagavad-gītā to Arjuna, but at last, He asked him, "My dear Arjuna, I have given you all instruction. Whether you have understood it? And how you are going to follow? Have you decided to follow Me?"

Just see. He does not say that "I force you to follow." No. He asked him, "Now, have you decided to follow Me?" And He gives him the, I mean to say, full independence—yathecchasi tathā kuru [Bg 18.63]:

[Thus I have explained to you the most confidential of all knowledge. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.]

"Now I have given you all instruction. Now it is up to you. You can do whatever you like."

So our position is always like that. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, or His bona fide representatives who come here, they can force you to go back to Godhead, but they do not do that. They want your voluntary cooperation. Unless you are prepared to cooperate voluntarily, oh, there is no question of my improvement. So we must accept our voluntary cooperation with Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, or His representative who comes before you to canvass, "My dear sir, please be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Please look to the leadership of the Supreme Lord." Now it is up to you.

Now, He says that "Actually they are following my leadership." Because they are servant, they are followers of leader. They are servant of some created leader materially. So that means there is a propensity, that intrinsic background of following some leader, is there. That you cannot avoid. That you cannot avoid. Mama vartmānuvartante manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ. They have to... Every man has to follow the same principle. He cannot go out of it. His constitutional position is to follow a leader. He cannot go out of it. Nobody can go out of it. He has to follow either A, B, C or D or anyone. He has to select.

Just like I'll give you another example. According to Manu-saṁhitā, our Vedic literature, the Manu-saṁhitā says, na striyaṁ svatantratām arhati: "Women should not be given independence," or "Women are not independent." That is a, I mean, a truth, Vedic truth. Now, so far a girl is child, she is dependent on the father, and it is hoped... At least in India we have got this principle. When a girl is grown up, the father gives him..., gives her in charity to a boy to protect her, protect her, give her protection. And similarly, when a woman is grown up, old enough, she becomes protected by the grown-up boys, children.

So this Vedic truth that woman has no independence... She is always under the protection, either under the protection of the father or under the protection of the husband or under the protection of the grown-up sons. That is position. And woman becomes happy in that way. Those who are not following this principle, I think they are not happy. This Vedic principle is truth.

So as the woman or the child requires the protection of somebody, similarly, by nature we are under the protection of some leader. But that supreme leadership is vested in the Supreme Lord. And when we do not accept the leadership of the Supreme, then we have to accept somebody else, A-B-C-D, as our leader, and they will misguide us. Andhā yathāndhair upanīya... How they are misguiding, just try to understand. How our leaders are misguiding us, just try to understand. In the Bhāgavata it is said,

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ

[SB 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.]

"People deluded by the material nature do not know what is the ultimate goal of life. The ultimate goal of life is Viṣṇu." Viṣṇu means self-realization, the supreme soul.

Why they do not know it? Now, durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ: "They have accepted this external, deluded nature as the goal of life." They want to be happy by adjustment of this material nature. This is durāśayā. Durāśayā means... Duḥ means a difficult, a far away. This hope will never be satisfied. They have made it a point to forget God for good, and they want to make it a point that "We shall be happy in this material world by adjustment of our scientific or so-called knowledge."

And the leaders who are leading them in that way, what sort of leader they are? Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ [SB 7.5.31]. Andha, just like a blind man. Sometimes you see a blind man is in this side of the street. He is asking somebody, "Kindly take me to the other side." But if another blind man comes, "All right, I will help you," so what he will help him? The man who wants help to go to the other side, he is seeking for help, and another blind man comes, "All right, I shall help you." So that help is that in the middle of the street they will be smashed. Both of them will be smashed.

So similarly, our leadership is like that. Our leaders, they are compact by the laws of nature, and they are proclaiming that "I am leader." Just like in India or... The late Prime Minister, Shastri, oh, he was leader. He went to, I mean to say, Russia for making compromise with Pakistan. But he did not know that while signing the peace agreement he would be expired. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ: "They are tied hand and feet by the laws of nature; still, they are claiming that 'I am the leader.' "

Suppose if I want to help you, just like the blind man. I must have eyes. Suppose your hands are tied up. If I want to help you, then my hands must be free. But if my hands are also tied up, how can I help you? It is not possible. So I must be a free man to help you. Your hands are tied up by the laws of nature; then I must be a free man. I must be free from the laws of nature; then I can help you.

So Kṛṣṇa is free from the laws of nature. Therefore He can help you. He can, I mean to say, unbind your tightening. Tri-guṇamayī. Tri-guṇamayī means the guṇa. Guṇa means rope, and also the modes of nature. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg 7.14].

[This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.]

So we are all under the stringent laws of this material nature. So if we want to get free, we must accept a leader who is free from this material nature. So Kṛṣṇa is free. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā. The material nature is working under His direction. Mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram [Bg 9.10].

[This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, and it is producing all moving and unmoving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.]

You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā. Material nature is working under His direction. He is not under the direction of the material nature. Therefore He can be our leader, and nobody else can be leader.

So if you actually want... Because by nature we have to follow some leadership, so if we actually want the leadership which will lead us to the perfect goal of life, then we have to follow Kṛṣṇa. That is a fact. If you don't follow, that depends on our discretion. Just like Arjuna. He was asked by Kṛṣṇa, "Now, what you have decided? Are you going to follow Me? Oh, you can do whatever you like. I have told you everything." So Kṛṣṇa is telling us everything in the Bhagavad-gītā. Now it is up to us to accept His leadership or not. If we accept His leadership, then we are free from this material bondage, and if we do not accept, then we can do whatever we... Kṛṣṇa does not interfere with our independence. That is a fact.

Thank you very much. Now if there is any question, you can ask. [break]

You have any doubt in the supreme nature of Kṛṣṇa?

Guest (1): I wish to understand.

Prabhupāda: Uh?

Guest (1): I wish to understand.

Prabhupāda: That we are making discussion. That we are making discussion. Yes. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme by all stalwart past ācāryas. Just like Śaṅkarācārya, a great stalwart scholar. He also accepts Kṛṣṇa: sa bhagavān svayaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ. Oh, he accepts Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Lord. You will find in his annotation of Bhagavad-gītā. Similarly, Śrī Rāmānujācārya, he accepts. And now Lord Caitanya, He also preached this Kṛṣṇa philosophy, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And formerly also, great leaders like Vyāsadeva, Nārada, and even at the present moment all big leaders of India... I am speaking especially of India because this Bhagavad-gītā was first seen in India, in the Indian plain.

Of course, it is not meant for India; it is meant for everyone. Just like the sun rises in the east first, then comes to the west, but that does not mean east has the monopoly of the sun and not the west. Similarly, the sun of Bhagavad-gītā might have arisen in the land of India, but that does not mean that it is the monopoly of India. It is meant for everyone. It is meant for everyone. So it is an accepted authority. So, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc Madhya 17.186].

[Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, ”’Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.’]

So we have to follow great personalities. Yes.

Guest (2): If Kṛṣṇa is the supreme consciousness, then why isn't anything we do or anyone we follow following or doing Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is supreme consciousness. That's all right. But you are not supreme consciousness. You have to follow the supreme consciousness.

Guest (2): But if He is supreme consciousness, everything I do is following that one supreme consciousness. There can be nothing else that exists.

Prabhupāda: No. No. No. We are not following the supreme consciousness. Then we'll have been on the same level. Just like your consciousness and my consciousness is different because we do not follow the supreme consciousness. Therefore your...

Guest (2): The supreme consciousness is all, isn't it?

Prabhupāda: Supreme conscious, yes. Supreme...

Guest (2): Is all, all consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Consciousness is the same, as in the Supreme, so also in you, so also in me. The quality of the consciousness is the same. But your consciousness and my consciousness is different.

Guest (2): But that's all part of the same supreme consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Qualitatively, the one, but at the present moment, because we are materially bound up, therefore we find so many different consciousness. Do you think that your consciousness and my consciousness is the same?

Guest (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: How? Do you agree with me? Do I agree with you?

Guest (2): Er... Not sure we would.

Prabhupāda: Yes. We do not agree. Therefore your consciousness, different; my consciousness, different. When we agree, then it is the same. When we come to the point of agreement, then it is the same.

Guest (2): It's the same, even we disagree.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest (2): It's the same, even we disagree...

Prabhupāda: Disagreement...

Guest (2): ...because disagreement is a part of the same supreme [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: Then you mean to say disagreement, agreement, the same thing?

Guest (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Then I cannot follow you.

Guest (2): That's what I'm trying to understand. The supreme consciousness is all consciousness, even disagreement.

Prabhupāda: Supreme consciousness... Just like you try to understand your consciousness. Are you conscious? You agree?

Guest (2): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Are you conscious what is going on in me? [break] [end]