Lecture , San Francisco , 1968-04-02
[kīrtana] [prema-dhvani] [devotees offer obeisances]
Prabhupāda: ...consciousness movement was started five hundred years before, by Lord Caitanya. This is not a new movement. Practically, it is as old as the creation of this world, but as things change in course of time, so it required rejuvenation. So this movement was rejuvenated about five hundred years ago. Before that, Lord Kṛṣṇa...
You might have heard His name. Most of you have read Bhagavad-gītā, the famous philosophical doctrine of Indian Vedānta philosophy. Lord Kṛṣṇa instructed Bhagavad-gītā in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra five thousand years ago. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means the last instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā.
In the Bhagavad-gītā we find everything complete so far God consciousness is required. The first and foremost qualification to understand the science of God, or to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, is to understand yourself. The first thing is what you are or what I am. In the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra this perplexed question was there before Arjuna.
Arjuna was to fight with his brothers and relatives on the other side, to decide who shall be the emperor of the region. So in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, when he actually came in front of his relatives, he decided so that "It is no good fighting with my relatives and taking the kingdom. Better I shall beg. I don't want this kingdom." That is a very nice proposal, nonviolence, not to fight. But on this point the Bhagavad-gītā, or the science of God, developed from the lips of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa said that "Why you are deviating from your duty? You are kṣatriya. Your business is to fight." Now this term kṣatriya also to be understood. Kṣatriya means one who protects other from being hurt by others. This material world is so made that everyone is prepared to attack another person. And one who protects that person who is attacked, he is called kṣatriya. And the kṣatriyas were in charge of administration.
That means the person who can protect the citizen from being hurt or from suffering, they are called kṣatriyas. So just like it is the duty of the police department or law order department to protect the citizens, and sometimes violence is required, similarly, the kṣatriyas also were meant for that purpose, and they were entrusted with the administration of the government.
So when Arjuna decided not to fight, Kṛṣṇa instructed him this Bhagavad-gītā. It is very interesting. He said that "You do not deviate from your duty. Do not think that you are killing your relative, because you, Me, and all the persons who have assembled in this battlefield, they were existing before, they are existing at the present moment and they will continue to exist. It is simply changing the dress."
That means you, I, or all of us present here, we are all individual spirit souls, and we are present here as in different dress. Similarly, we are present here in this world and in any other world with different kinds of bodies. According to Vedic literature there are 8,400,000's of different kinds of bodies.
So He gave very nice example. If we study this example with little intelligence, we can understand this doctrine of transmigration of the soul very quickly. Lord Kṛṣṇa said,
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
[As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.]
This is Sanskrit language. I'll explain it in English. He said that within this body there is soul, and the body is changing every moment, but the soul is there. He is giving example, just as a soul comes from the womb of his mother with a small body, and that small body changes—it becomes the body of a boy, it becomes the body of a youth, then it becomes the body of an old man, then it vanquishes...
That we have to admit. We may say that the body is growing, but actually, the fact is, body is changing. It is medically admitted that we are changing our body every second. We are changing our blood corpuscles, and therefore a change of the body is taking place, and that is being manifested in a different shape only. Actually, we are changing every moment our body. So the ultimate change, when this body cannot be worked any more, just like a dress, when it is torn, when it is too old, you have to change it, similarly, when this body becomes useless, no more, it cannot be pulled on any more, you take another body.
Tathā dehāntara-prāptir. As we are, in our practical life, we are changing our body every moment, similarly, the last stage of changing this body is called death. Death means, according to Vedic literature, sleeping for seven months. Just as I give up this body, I have to enter into the womb of some kind of mother. These things are explained in the Vedic literatures. I am not manufacturing.
That karmaṇā dehopapattaye. We are preparing our next life, next body rather... Life is continuing. I am eternal. Next body—according to my present one. Just like in this meeting we have got two hundred ladies and gentlemen, but you cannot find out any lady or any gentleman exactly like the feature of the other. Differences. That means different consciousness, different work, and we have got different body.
So according to Bhagavad-gītā, the soul is transmigrating from one body to another, but the soul is eternal and permanent. And there are evolutionary process also. There are 9,000,000 species of life in the water. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati [Padma Purāṇa].
[There are 900,000 species living in the water. There are 2,000,000 nonmoving living entities [sthāvara] such as trees and plants. There are 1,100,000 species of insects and reptiles, and 1,000,000 species of birds. As far as quadrupeds are concerned, there are 3,000,000 varieties, and there are 400,000 human species.]
And the trees and plants are 2,000,000. Similarly, there are reptiles, birds, then beasts, 3,000,000 beast life, beastly life. Then at the end, we come to the form of this human being, and there are 400,000 species of different kinds of bodies. Just like your body in America and our body in India, there is some difference. Similarly, there are 400,000's of human form of life. So this is the process of evolution. And these bodily changes are taking place according to different consciousness. And the highest perfectional consciousness is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When we come to the point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then our life becomes perfect.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is just an endeavor to bring people to the original consciousness. That consciousness is...
[break] And as we are forming our consciousness, so we are changing our body. If we make our consciousness doggish or hellish, then we get the body of a dog or an animal or something like that. And if we make our consciousness godly, then we make our next life as good as God. This is the process.
So we have to... This is the opportunity. The highest intellectual form of human body when every..., the senses perception, sense perception, consciousness, everything is perfect, we have to utilize that for becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, so that our this process of birth and death can be stopped and we get our eternal body. If we practice this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then our next life is as good as Kṛṣṇa, which means that there is no more birth, there is no more death, there is no more disease and no more old age.
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that one who is intelligent, he will see four things before him. You may be very great scientist. You may be very much advanced in material science. You may be able to construct
[break] skyscrapers, and many millions of motorcar, but you have to think whether you have solved the real problem [break]. The real problem of life is birth, death, disease and old age. Not that to live in a high skyscraper our problems of life is solved. No. The problem of life is how to stop these four things: birth, death, old age and disease.
But we have neglected the real problems of life. And we are misusing our intelligence for constructing big buildings and constructing or increasing the so-called bodily necessities of life. The bodily necessities of life are four only. What is that? Eating, sleeping, mating and defending. To maintain this body you require to eat something. Everyone is eating. You are eating, the cats are eating, the dogs are eating, the birds are eating. They have no economic problem. Eating is there already. Have you seen ever that a bird is dying for want of eating, eatables? No. So these things are already arranged. That is no problem. In every form of life your eatables are there by nature's supply.
Similarly sleeping. The bird is sleeping, the dog is sleeping, the cat is sleeping, and you are also sleeping. But you have got a very nice apartment. Does it mean that you have solved the problem of sleeping? No. Then defending. The birds, the dogs, the cats, the animals, everyone knows how to defend in their own way. You go every day in the, what is called, Stowe Lake path. And as soon as you go, the swans immediately jump to the water, because that is their defending.
As soon as they go to the water, they know that "These human beings, they cannot come to the water. We are now secure." So that defending process is there even in the swans, in the birds, in everything. You don't think that because we have manufactured atomic bombs, therefore we have become very good. What is this atomic bomb? Killing. Killing is going on. Have you manufactured anything by which you can save from death?
So our problems of life, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, is to solve these four things: no more birth... Because we are... Always remember that we are all eternal. Just like in this body, beginning from my mother's womb up to this old age, I am the same eternal soul, but my body is changing. So after changing this body also, I shall remain the same. Simply I shall have another body. This plain truth, there is no difficulty to understand.
Now if I am eternal... If I am eternal means no death, no birth, no disease, no old age. That is eternal. So if I am eternal, whether it is possible to get an eternal body? Or eternal happiness? That is the problem of human society. If you can solve that problem, then you be proud of your civilization. Otherwise there is no difference between cats' and dogs' civilization and your civilization. Because you are simply trying to solve the problems of eating, sleeping, defending and mating. But these problems are already solved by nature's law.
So our developed intelligence should be utilized for solving these problems by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are presenting this movement before you, your country, because you are intelligent, you are materially advanced. You are greater than all other countries. Therefore I present this movement, scientific movement, before you. You just try to understand it.
Lord Caitanya's movement... This is Lord Caitanya's movement. And the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta... That is in Sanskrit. We have translated it into English, Teachings of Lord Caitanya. If you like, you can purchase that book. So in that book it is stated that caitanyera dayāra kathā karaha vicāra: "Ladies and gentlemen, you just..., scrutinizingly, [indistinct], you try to understand the mercy of Lord Caitanya, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, how it is solving the problems of our life." Vicāra karile citte pābe camatkāra [Cc. Ādi 8.1].
[I offer my respects to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose desire I have become like a dancing dog and suddenly taken to the writing of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, although I am a fool.]
If you scrutinizingly test it and try to understand this movement, then you'll feel yourself that it is wonderful.
And actually it is wonderful. So... And the process is also very simple. You do not require to be highly educated or philosopher or talented or rich or poor, or black and white. Doesn't matter what you are. It is universal. Any human being with little intelligence, he can understand. And even he does not understand, this process is so nice that if you continue this process for a few weeks, you'll be able to understand.
This chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is transcendental vibration, sound. Sound is the origin of all creation. So this transcendental sound, if you vibrate, you will understand very quickly this philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
And there is no loss on your part. Suppose you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa; you do not lose anything. But if there is any gain, why don't you try it? We simply request you with folded hands that you kindly chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. We are simply requesting you. We're not asking you to pay us something or to suffer something or be educated or be engineer or be lawyer, then come to us.
Never mind what you are. Stay in your position. Simply try to chant these sixteen words, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. You can try for one week. And there is no hard-and-fast rules. You can chant anywhere and everywhere. While walking you can chant, while driving you can chant. Nobody is going to tax, that "You are chanting. Give me this tax." It is very easy.
So kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ [Cc. Ādi 17.31].
[”One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.”]
Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].
[”’Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.’]
If you chant, the result will be that your mind will be cleansed. The whole misunderstanding is that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul. But I am identifying myself with this body—'I am Indian,' 'I am American,' 'I am Christian,' 'I am Hindu.' " These are all your designations. You are spirit soul. Just try to understand that you are spirit soul, and try to understand on the platform of spiritual understanding. A
ll problems will be solved. And so long you are standing on this designated platform—"I am American," "I am Indian," "I am this," "I am that"—there is no solution of problems. Take it for granted. There is no solution of problem. You stand on this platform of spiritual understanding; there will be solution of all problems.
This is authentic, and those who have followed, they have got result. And take it from me that there is no cheating, there is no bluff. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, and see the result practically. With my request, you can chant for one week and see the result. We are always prepared to serve you.
We have got our temple here. Not only here; we have got our temple in Los Angeles, we have got our temple in New York, in Santa Fe, Montreal, Boston, and recently we're trying to open one temple in Buffalo. And two of my students, they have gone to Florida; they are also trying to open. So it is very nice movement, and it is very easy to chant.
Now before me... I am Indian, you are all Americans. This Hare Kṛṣṇa, this vibration may be foreign to you, but there is no difficulty to chant. The words may be in Sanskrit, but it is not difficult to chant. And if you simply chant, you get the result, because it is transcendental vibration.
Just like when television or radio vibration is there, either in India or America, everywhere the vibration is equally beneficial. Similarly, this transcendental vibration is coming down from the transcendental world. It is not material sound. It is not hackneyed. If you chant, if you practice, you'll realize it.
So our request is that without any charges, without any fee, without any bluff, we say that you please chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Thank you very much. [end]