Lecture , Seattle , 1968-10-02
Prabhupāda: You sit down. [kīrtana]
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇavas and unto the Six Gosvāmīs, including Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the gopīs, headed by Lalitā and Viśākhā.]
śrīmate bhaktisiddhānta-sarasvatīti nāmine
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, who is very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.]
kṛṣṇa-sambandha-vijñāna-dāyine prabhave namaḥ
I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrī Vārṣabhānavī-devī-dayita dāsa [another name of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī], who is favored by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and who is the ocean of transcendental mercy and the deliverer of the science of Kṛṣṇa.
śrī-gaura-karuṇā-śakti-vigrahāya namo 'stu te
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, the personified energy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mercy, who delivers devotional service enriched with conjugal love of Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, coming exactly in the line of revelation of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.]
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto you, who are the personified teachings of Lord Caitanya. You are the deliverer of the fallen souls. You do not tolerate any statement against the teachings of devotional service enunciated by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.]
vipralambha-rasāmbhodhe pādāmbujāya te namaḥ
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrīla Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja [the spiritual master of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī], who is renunciation personified. He is always merged in a feeling of separation and intense love of Kṛṣṇa.]
gaura-śakti-svarūpāya rūpānuga-varāya te
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrīla Saccidānanda Bhaktivinoda, who is the transcendental energy of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He is a strict follower of the Gosvāmīs, headed by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī.]
vaiṣṇava-sārvabhaumaḥ śrī-jagannāthāya te namaḥ
[I offer my respectful obeisances to Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī, who is respected by the entire Vaiṣṇava community and who confirmed the discovery of the place where Lord Caitanya appeared.]
patitānāṁ pāvenebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees who can fulfill the desires of everyone, and they are full of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.]
kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
[O most munificent incarnation! You are Kṛṣṇa Himself appearing as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Śrīmātī Rādhārāṇī, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kṛṣṇa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.]
bhaktāvatāraṁ bhaktākhyaṁ namāmi bhakta-śaktikam
[I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, who is nondifferent from His features as a devotee, devotional manifestation, devotional incarnation, pure devotee and devotional energy.]
gopeśa gopikā-kānta rādhā-kānta namo 'stu te
[O my dear Kṛṣṇa, O ocean of mercy, O friend of the distressed and the source of creation, O master of the cowherd men and the lover of the gopīs, especially Rādhārāṇī, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.]
mat, sarvasva, padām, bhojau, rādhā, madana, mohanau
[Glory to the all-merciful Rādhā and Madana-mohana! I am lame and ill advised, yet They are my directors, and Their lotus feet are everything to me.]
śrīmad, ratna, agāra, siṁha, asana-sthau
śrī śrī, rādhā, śrīla, govinda, devau
preṣṭhā, devī, sevya, mānau, smarāmi
[In a temple of jewels in Vṛndāvana, underneath a desire tree, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my most humble obeisances unto Them.]
karṣan, veṇu, svanair, gopīr, gopī, nāthaḥ, śriye, astu, naḥ
[Śrī Śrīla Gopīnātha, who originated the transcendental mellow of the rāsa dance, stands on the shore in Vaṁśīvaṭa and attracts the attention of the cowherd damsels with the sound of His celebrated flute. May they all confer upon us their benediction.]
vṛṣabhānu-sute devī praṇamāmi hari-priye
[I offer my respects to Rādhārāṇī, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vṛndāvana. You are the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, and You are very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa.]
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
[I offer my obeisances to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa and all others in the line of devotion.]
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
[My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.]
[prema-dhvani] Thank you very much. [devotees offer obeisances]
You have got fan? Fan, fan.
[sings:] Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. [devotees respond three times]
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
Devotees: Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. [respond twice more]
Prabhupāda: So our program is to worship the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement: find out who is the original person. Naturally, everyone is anxious to find out the original person of a family, original person of a society, original person of a nation, original person of humanity... You go on searching. But if you can find out the original person from whom everything has come out, that is Brahman. Janmādy asya yataḥ
The Vedānta-sūtra says Brahman, the Absolute Truth, is that from whom everything has emanated. Very simple description. What is God, what is the Absolute Truth, very simple definition—the original person.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to approach the original person. The original person is not dead, because everything emanates from the original person, so everything is working very nicely. The sun is rising, the moon is rising, the seasons are changing, so..., there is night, there is day, just in the order. So the function of the body of the original person is going on nicely. How you can say that God is dead?
Just like in your body, when the physician finds by feeling your pulse that the heart beating is going on nicely, he does not declare that "This man is dead." He says, "Yes, he is alive." Similarly, if you are intelligent enough, you can feel the pulse of the universal body—and it is going on nicely.
So how you can say God is dead? God is never dead. It is rascal's version that God is dead—unintelligent persons, persons who have no sense how to feel something dead or alive. One who has got the sense to feel how a thing is dead or alive, to understand, he'll never say God is dead.
Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]:
[One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.]
"Any intelligent person who can simply understand how I take my birth and how I work," janma karma... Now, mark this word janma, birth, and karma, work. He never says janma mṛtyu. Mṛtyu means death. Everything that is born, that has death also. Anything. We haven't got any experience which is born does not die.
This body is born; therefore it will die. The death is born with the birth of my body. I am increasing my age, number of years of my age, means I'm dying. But in this verse of Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says janma karma, but never says "My death." Death cannot take place. God is eternal. You are also..., you also do not die. That I do not know. I simply change my body.
So this is to be understood. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness science is a great science. It is stated... It is not a new thing. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā—most of you, you are well acquainted with Bhagavad-gītā—and in the Bhagavad-gītā, it does not accept that after the death of this body—not exactly death; after the annihilation, appearance or disappearance of this body—you or I do not die. Na hanyate. Na hanyate means "never dies" or "is never destroyed," even after the destruction of this body. This is the position.
Now this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we have to understand through the teachings of Lord Caitanya. He is the... Five hundred years ago, He appeared in Bengal, a province of India, and He specifically preached Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. His mission is that anyone who is born in India should take this message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and distribute it all over the world.
To execute that order we have come to your country. So my request is that you try to understand this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement with all your knowledge, scrutinizingly. Don't accept it blindly. Try to understand with your arguments, knowledge, logic, realization—you are human being—and you'll find it sublime, sublime, undoubtedly.
We have published this book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and other books also, many books. So try to read them. And we have got our magazines, Back to Godhead. We are not sentimentalist, that we are simply dancing. The dancing has got great value. That, if you dance with us, you'll feel. It is not that some crazy fellows are dancing. No. The most intelligent persons, they are dancing. It is so nicely made that even a boy like here, he is a boy, he can take part. Universal. Join, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and dance, and you'll realize. Very simple method.
You haven't got to understand any high standard of philosophy or jugglery of words, this or that. Simple thing. What is simple thing? God is great, everyone knows, and we are part and parcel of the great. So when we are combined with the great, we are also great. Just like your body, a small part of your body, a little finger or toe, that is also the same value of the whole body. But as soon as that small part or big part is separated from the body, it has no value. It has no value.
This finger, a very small part of your body. If there is any pain, you spend thousands of dollars. You pay to the physician to cure the pain thousands of dollars, and when the physician says that "This finger has to be," what is called, "dislocated, or cut off, separated, otherwise the whole body will be infected," so when this finger is cut off from your body, you don't care for it.
No more value. Just try to understand. A typewriting machine, a small screw, when it is missing, your machine is not working nicely, you go to a repairing shop. He charges ten dollars; you pay immediately. That little screw, when it is out of that machine, it has not a value even one farthing.
Similarly, we are all part and parcel of the Supreme. If we work with the Supreme, that means if we work in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness, that "I am part and parcel..." Just like this finger is working fully in consciousness of my body. Whenever there is little pain I can feel. Similarly, if you dovetail yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you are living in your normal condition; your life is successful.
And as soon as you are separated from Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the whole trouble is there. The whole trouble is there. So there are many examples we cite every day in this class. So we have to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness if we at all want to be happy and be situated in our normal condition. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
So we are reading the Teachings of Lord Caitanya. We have begun from our last meeting, and we shall again read it.
[aside:] Who'll read? You'll read it? Yes. It was began from page twenty-nine.
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: Twenty-nine? From where we left off? From the beginning of twenty-nine?
Prabhupāda: No, from the end of thirty. Candana, you?
[indistinct comments by devotees]
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: Twenty-nine. But where did you finish reading?
Prabhupāda: Read it anywhere. That's all. Yes.
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: Okay. "In the Bhagavad-gītā we are informed that the constitutional nature of the individual entity is spirit soul. He is not matter. Therefore, as spirit soul he is part and parcel of the Supreme Soul, the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. We also learn that it is the duty of the spirit soul to surrender, for only then he can be happy.
The last instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā is that the spirit soul is to surrender completely unto the Supreme Soul, Kṛṣṇa, and in that way realize happiness. Here also Lord Caitanya in answering the questions of Sanātana repeats the same truth, but without giving him information about the spirit soul which is already described in the Gītā."
Prabhupāda: Yes. The point is that what is the constitutional position of the spirit soul is very elaborately discussed in the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. Now the last instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā, as Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [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 has instructed to Arjuna all kinds of yoga system, all kinds of religious ritualistic process, sacrifice, and philosophical speculation, the constitutional position of this body, constitutional position of the soul. Everything He has described in the Bhagavad-gītā. And at last He says to Arjuna, "My dear Arjuna, because you are My very intimate and dear friend, therefore I say the most confidential part of Vedic knowledge." And what is that? "You simply surrender unto Me." That's all.
People are not inclined to surrender; therefore he has to learn so many things. Just like a child, he has simply a feeling of surrender to the parents, he's happy. There is no need of learning philosophy how to live very happily. The child is completely dependent on the care of parents and he's happy. Simple philosophy. But because we have advanced in civilization, in knowledge, therefore we want to understand this simple philosophy in so many jugglery of words. That's all.
So if you want to learn in jugglery of words, then this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not lacking. We have got volumes of books of philosophy. But if you accept this simple process, that we have to... God is great and we are part and parcel; therefore my duty is to serve and surrender unto God. That's all.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, without discussing all the constitutional position, philosophy, knowledge and so many other things, yoga system, He immediately begins that the constitutional position of the living entity is to serve the Supreme Whole. That is. That is the beginning of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching. That means where the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā ended, Caitanya Mahāprabhu begins from that position.
Yes. Go on.
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: "He begins from the point where Kṛṣṇa ended His instruction. It is accepted by great devotees that Lord Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa Himself, and from the point where He ended His instruction in the Gītā, He now begins His instruction again to Sanātana. The Lord said to Sanātana, 'Your constitutional position is that you are pure living soul.
This material body is not the identity of your real self, neither is your mind your real identity, nor your intelligence, nor is false ego the real identity of the self. Your identity is that you are the eternal servitor of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.' "
Prabhupāda: Now here is some important points, that in our self-realization, those who are grossly on the material platform, they think that this body, "I am this body. I am this body." Body means the senses; therefore my satisfaction means the satisfaction of the senses—sense gratification. This is the grossest form of self-realization. This body is also self. The body is self, the mind is self and the soul is also self. Self, the synonym. The body and the mind and the soul, both se..., three of them are called self.
Now in the grossest stage of our life we think that this body is the self. And in a subtler stage we think that the mind and the intelligence is the self. But actually, self is beyond this body, beyond this mind, beyond this intelligence. That is the position. Those who are grossly on the bodily concept of self-realization, they are materialist.
And those who are on the concept of mind and intelligence, they are the philosophers and poets. They are philosophizing or giving us some idea in poetry, but their conception is still wrong. When you come to the point of spiritual platform, then it is called devotional service. That is being explained by Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: " 'Your position is that you are transcendental.' "
Prabhupāda: Transcendental. "You are beyond." This is explained in Bhagavad-gītā:
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
buddhes tu yah paratas eva saḥ
[The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.]
First of all, you realize this body. Body means the senses. But when you go further, we see the mind is the center of these sensual activities. Unless the mind is sound, we cannot act with our senses. So indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ. So transcendental to the senses, mind is there, and transcendental to the mind, there is intelligence, and transcendental to the intelligence, there is soul. That we have to understand.
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: " 'The superior energy of Kṛṣṇa is spiritual in constitution, and the inferior energy..., external energy is material. You are between the material energy and the spiritual energy, and therefore your position is marginal. In other words, you belong to the marginal potency of Kṛṣṇa. You are simultaneously one with and different from Kṛṣṇa. Because you are spirit, therefore you are not different from Kṛṣṇa, but because you are only a minute particle of Kṛṣṇa, you are therefore different from Him.' "
Prabhupāda: Now here is one word used, "marginal potency." Marginal potency, the exact Sanskrit word is taṭasthā. Just like at the end of the land, the sea begins. So there is a marginal land. Just you go on the coast of the Pacific beach, you'll find some land. Sometimes it is covered by water and sometimes it is open land. This is marginal. Similarly, we spirit soul, although we are constitutionally one with God, but sometimes we are covered by māyā and sometimes we are free. Therefore our position is marginal.
When we understand our real position, then... The same... Just like the same example, try to understand, that on the beach you will find a certain portion of land which is sometimes covered by water, and again it is land. Similarly, we are sometimes covered by māyā, the inferior energy, and sometimes we are free. So we have to maintain that free state. Just like in open land, there is no more water. If you come little far away from the sea water, then there is no more water; it is all land.
Similarly, if you keep yourself from the material consciousness, come to the land of spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you keep your freedom. But if you keep yourself on the marginal position, then sometimes you'll be covered by māyā and sometimes you'll be free. So that is our position.
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: "This simultaneous oneness and difference always exists in the relationship between the living entities and the Supreme Soul."
Prabhupāda: Now this simultaneously one and different, just take the same example, land. Somebody says, "Oh, I saw that portion is water." And somebody says, "No. I saw that some portion is land." So simultaneously one and different. Simultaneously one and different.
Our position is... Because we are spirit soul, and Kṛṣṇa, God, is spirit. He is whole spirit, and I am particle of that spirit. Just like sun, the sun globe and the sunshine, molecules of shining particles, they are also sunlight. The combination of those atomic particles of sunshine giving us the sunshine rays.
So we are also shining just like the particles of the sun globe, but we are not equal to the complete sun. The glowing particles, molecules of the sunshine, is not equal in quantity with the sun globe, but in quality it is the same. Similarly, we living entities, we are minute particles of that supreme spirit soul, Kṛṣṇa, or God.
Therefore we are also shine. We are of the same quality. Just like a small particle of gold is gold. It is not iron. Similarly, we are spirit soul; therefore we are one. But because I am minute... Just like the same example: The marginal portion being very small, it is being sometimes covered by the water. But the large portion of the land, that is without any water.
Similarly, māyā can cover the minute particles of the spirit soul, but māyā cannot cover the Supreme Whole. Just like the same example, the sky, the sunshine. The sunshine, portion of the sunshine, is covered by cloud. But if you go by aeroplane, jet plane, above the cloud, you'll find the sunshine is without any cloud. The cloud cannot cover the whole sun. Similarly, māyā cannot cover the Supreme Whole; māyā can cover the small particles of Brahman.
The theory, the Māyāvāda theory that "I am now covered by māyā. As soon as I am uncovered, I become one with the whole..." We are one with the whole in the same way. Just like the sunshine and the sun globe, there is no difference in quality. Wherever there is sun, there is sunshine, but the small particles, the molecules of the sunshine, are never equal to the complete globe sun. That is being described by Caitanya Mahāprabhu in this chapter.
Tamal Kṛṣṇa: "The living entity is just like a molecular part of the sunshine, whereas Kṛṣṇa is compared to the blazing shining sun. Lord Caitanya compared the living entities to the blazing sparks from the fire and the Supreme Lord to the blazing fire of the sun. The Lord cites in this connection a verse from Viṣṇu Purāṇa in which it is stated that everything that is manifested within this cosmic world is but an energy of the Supreme Lord.
For example, as the fire emanating from one place exhibits its illumination and heat all around, so the Lord, although situated in one place in the spiritual world, manifests His different energies everywhere."
Prabhupāda: Now, this is very simple. Try to understand. Just like this fire, this lamp, is located at a certain place, but the illumination is distributed all over this room, similarly, whatever you see, display of this cosmic manifestation, they are display of the energy of the Supreme Lord.
The Supreme Lord is situated in one place. That we cite in our Brahma-saṁhitā: govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. He's a person. Just like your president, Mr. Johnson, he's sitting in his room in Washington, but his power, his energy, is acting all over the state.
If it is possible materially, similarly Kṛṣṇa, or God, the Supreme Person, He is situated in His place, abode, Vaikuṇṭha or kingdom of God, but His energy is acting. Another example, the sun. The sun is...., you can see sun is located at a certain place, but you see the sunshine is overflooding the whole universe. The sunshine is within your room.
So similarly, whatever you are using, you yourself also, we are all display of the energy of the Supreme Lord. We are not different from Him. But when the cloud of māyā, or illusion, covers my eyes, we cannot see the sun. Similarly, when the material concept of life covers me, we cannot understand what is God. We say "God is dead." So we have to uncover our eyes from this illusion. Then you'll see directly God: "Here is God." Yes.
In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said,
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[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.]
That Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is Śyāmasundara. Śyāmasundara. Śyāma means blackish but very, very beautiful. That beautiful person, Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, is being observed and seen by saintly persons always.
Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. Why they are seeing? Because their eyes have been cleared by the ointment of love of God. Just like if your eyes are defective, you apply some ointment, some lotion from the physician, and your eyesight becomes clear and bright, you can see things very nicely.
Similarly, when your these material eyes will be ointed [sic] with love of God, then you'll see God, "Here is God." You will not say "God is dead." And that covering has to be moved, and to move that covering you have to take this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Thank you very much. [devotees offer obeisances]
So any question?
First of all from audience. We invite questions. If you have any question, doubt, about the statements, you can inquire. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā [Bg. 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.]
Everything, if you are serious to understood, we should submit our doubtful questions and then understand. You see.
Young man: Does one attain a consciousness that is beyond words? Or, I dare say, is there a communication that is not the word itself but perhaps a vibration, which is much like sound or sound itself, perhaps reaching for the oṁ?
Is there a communication, something understood between you and myself, myself and my brother, others, all of us? Is there an experience, perhaps, where we're... Does it sound like "dong," "aung"? Is there something else beside the verbal, talk?
Prabhupāda: Yes, this Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Young man: Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Young man: Could you elaborate? Could you tell me how this can be? How it can be all the time? Rather than to be a man, rather than to have to talk English alone or other languages? How to talk that one language?
Prabhupāda: Well, sound can be vibrated in any language. It doesn't matter that Hare Kṛṣṇa can be sounded in Sanskrit only. You can sound it in English tone also: "Hare Kṛṣṇa." Is there any difficulty? These boys, they are also sounding in Hare Kṛṣṇa. So there is no difficulty. It is the sound that matters. It doesn't matter who is sounding.
Just like in piano, if you touch, there is "tung." It doesn't matter whether an American is striking or an Indian striking or a Hindu striking or Muslim striking, the sound is sound. Similarly, this piano, Hare Kṛṣṇa, you just touch it and it will sound. That's all.
Young man (2): Do you sit and meditate alone? What do you do with your mind as it wanders? Do you think of something? Do you put it on something, or do you let it wander by itself?
Prabhupāda: First of all let me know what do you mean by meditation?
Young man (2): Sitting alone quietly.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Sitting alone quietly.
Prabhupāda: Sitting alone quiet. Is it possible? Do you think it is possible?
Young man (2): If you listen to your own mind.
Prabhupāda: Then mind is always acting.
Young man (2): It chatters to you.
Prabhupāda: How can you sit, silent mind? Mind is always acting. Is there any experience that mind is not acting when you sit silently? When you sleep, the mind is acting. You are dreaming. This is the action of mind. So when do you find that your mind is silent?
Young man (2): That's what I was trying to ask you.
Prabhupāda: Yes. [chuckles] So therefore mind is never silent. You have to engage your mind to something. That is meditation.
Young man (2): What do you engage it to?
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is Kṛṣṇa. We engage our mind to Kṛṣṇa, the beautiful Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only simply engaging the mind, but engaging the mind in action with the senses. Because mind is acting with our senses. Your mind said, "Let us go to that newly started ISKCON Society," so your legs carried you here.
So mind... Thinking, feeling, willing, these are the functions of the mind. So mind thinks, feels, and they works. So you have to fix up your mind not only thinking of Kṛṣṇa, but also working for Kṛṣṇa, feeling for Kṛṣṇa. That is complete meditation. That is called samādhi. Your mind cannot go out. You have to engage your mind in such a way that the mind will think of Kṛṣṇa, feel for Kṛṣṇa, work for Kṛṣṇa. That is complete meditation.
Young man (2): What do you do with your eyes? Close your eyes?
Prabhupāda: Yes, eyes are one of the senses. Mind is the general sense, and under the governor general, there are particular commissioners or subordinate officers. So the eyes, the hand, the leg, the tongue, ten senses, they are working under the direction of the mind. So mind is expressed, manifested, through the senses.
Therefore unless you engage your senses in the same way as your mind is thinking, feeling, there is no perfection. There will be disturbance. If your mind is thinking of Kṛṣṇa and your eyes are seeing something else, there will be disruption or contradiction.
Therefore under the... You have to first of all fix up your mind in Kṛṣṇa, and then all other senses will be engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti.
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]
[“’Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one’s senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord.’]
Hṛṣīka. Hṛṣīka means senses. When you engage your senses in the service of the master of the senses... Kṛṣṇa is called Hṛṣīkeśa, or the master of the senses. Master of the senses means, try to understand, just like this hand. The hand is working very nicely, but if the hand is paralyzed or Kṛṣṇa withdraws the power, then your hand is useless. You cannot restore it. Therefore you are not master of your hand. You are thinking falsely that "I am master of my hand." But actually, you are not master. The master is Kṛṣṇa.
[aside:] I'll answer...
Therefore, when your senses will be engaged in the service of the master of the senses, that is called bhakti, devotional service. Now the senses are engaged in my designation. I am thinking that "This body is meant for the satisfaction of my wife or my this or that," so many things, "my country, my society." This is designation.
But when you come to the spiritual platform, you understand that "I am part and parcel of the Supreme; therefore my activities should be to satisfy the Supreme." That is bhakti. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170], being liberated from all designation. When your senses are purified, and when that senses are engaged in the service of the master of the senses, that is called acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
What is your question? So meditation, the engagement of mind, should be in that way. Then it will be perfect. Otherwise, the mind is so flickering and changing that if you don't fix up at a certain point... Fix up means... The mind is want to do something, because the symptom of mind is thinking, feeling and willing. So you have to train your mind in such a way that you will think of Kṛṣṇa, you'll feel for Kṛṣṇa, you'll work for Kṛṣṇa. Then it is samādhi. That is perfect meditation.
Young man (2): How does one train the mind?
Prabhupāda: This is the training. You just engage yourself in activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is practical. Just like chanting: the boy of ten years old, he's also engaged. His mind is concentrated on the vibration "Hare Kṛṣṇa." His other senses, legs or hand, they're working, dancing. So in this way we have to practice our mind, our senses always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
That will make you perfect. And that is possible by everyone. You don't require to sit down at a place to artificially meditate upon something. As soon as you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, immediately your mind is diverted, immediately you remember of Kṛṣṇa, instruction of Kṛṣṇa, work of Kṛṣṇa, everything. That requires practice.
Young man (2): Since you are a ray of the sun, so to speak...
Young man (2): ...could you think of yourself? And when you think, you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Why not? I am individual... Although I am small, but I am individual. I have got all the powers of thinking, feeling, willing. We are doing that. We are individual. You have come here by your individual will. Nobody has forced you. If you like, you can go. Somebody comes here, somebody never comes, somebody comes daily. Why?
Even you are small, you have got individuality. Even in this conditioned state, you are so free, so much free. And when you are unconditioned, purely spirit, you do not know how much freedom you have got. It doesn't matter you are small, but you are a spiritual spark.
Don't you see that a small spiritual spark which no physician, no medical science has still discovered, where is the soul, but the soul is there. That is a fact. As soon as the soul is gone from this body, it is useless. Find out what is that important particle. That is not possible, because it is so small that your..., with these material eyes or microscope or any scope you cannot find out.
Therefore they say there is no soul. But they cannot explain what is gone. Even that small particle of spiritual soul is so powerful that as long as it is within this body, it keeps it fresh, nice, beautiful. And as soon as it is gone, immediately it becomes to decompose. Just see. Just like a drug, injection. A little, one grain, it keeps fit. It is something like that, it is so powerful. You do not know what is the power of that soul. That you have to learn. Then that is self-realization.
This meditation process, sitting in a silent, I mean to say, silent place, is recommended in the grossest stage of bodily concept of life. Let one thing, meditate, "Am I this body?" then make analysis. You'll see, "No. I am not this body. I am different from this body." Then further meditation: "If I am not this body, then the bodily actions, how it is being done?" It is being done for that presence of that small particle, myself. How the body is growing? Because on account of presence.
Just like this boy, this boy has got a small stature of body. Now, this boy will grow a very stout and strong body in his young age, as at the age of twenty-four years. Now, this body will go; another body will come. How it is being possible? On account of presence of the small particle of the soul. But if that particle of the soul is taken away or gone away, this body no more will increase or change.
These are the subject matter of meditation. But when you come to the point of understanding that "I am not this body. I am spirit soul," then the next stage will be, "What is the function of the soul?" That function of soul is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, working in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So in the present age one has to take directly to the function of the soul; then other things will automatically come. It is not possible at the present moment that you can go to a secluded place and peacefully sit there and meditate upon... It is not possible in this age. It is impossible. If you try artificially, it will be failure.
Therefore you have to take this process,
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Cc. Ādi 17.21]
[”’In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.’]
In this age of Kali, there is no other alternative for self-realization than this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is the practical, real fact.
Madhudviṣa: Is there any way for a Christian to, without the help of a spiritual master, to reach the spiritual sky through believing in the words of Jesus Christ and trying to follow his teachings?
Prabhupāda: I don't follow.
Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Can a Christian in this age, without a spiritual master, but by reading the Bible and following Jesus's words, reach the spiritual...
Prabhupāda: When you read Bible, you follow spiritual master. How can you say without? As soon as you read Bible, that means you are following the instruction of Lord Jesus Christ; that means you are following spiritual master. So where is the opportunity of being without spiritual master?
Madhudviṣa: I was referring to a living spiritual master.
Prabhupāda: Spiritual master is not the question of... Spiritual master is eternal. Spiritual master is eternal. So your question is, without spiritual master. Without spiritual master you cannot be, at any stage of your life. You may accept this spiritual master or that spiritual master. That is a different thing. But you have to accept.
As you say that "by reading Bible," when you read Bible that means you are following the spiritual master represented by some priest or some clergyman in the line of Lord Jesus Christ. So any case, you have to follow a spiritual master. There cannot be the question without spiritual master. Is that clear?
Madhudviṣa: I mean, like, we couldn't understand the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā without your help, without your presentation.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, you have to understand Bible with the help of the priest in the church.
Madhudviṣa: Yes. But is he receiving a good interpretation from his disciplic succession or his bishop? Because there seems to be some kind of a discrepancy in the interpretation of the Bible. There's many different sects of Christianity that interpret the Bible in different ways.
Prabhupāda: Of course, there cannot be any interpretation in the Bible. Then there is no authority of Bible. If you interpret something... Just like "Call a spade a spade." So if you call something else, that is a different thing. He's not spiritual master. Just like this is watch. Everybody has called it watch, and if I call it spectacle, then what is the value of my being spiritual master? I'm misleading. [laughter] It is watch, that I must say.
So when there is misinterpretation, he's not a bona fide spiritual master. He's not spiritual master, what is called a bona fide. If I want to teach you how to see this watch, I can say that "This is called watch and this is called hand and this is called time indication; this is, this called...," so that is nice. And if I say that "Everybody says it is watch. I say it is spectacle," then what kind of a spiritual master I am? Reject him immediately. That intelligence you must have, who is a pseudo spiritual master or real spiritual master. Otherwise you'll be cheated.
And that is being done. Everyone is interpreting in his own way. The Bhagavad-gītā, there are thousands of editions, and they have tried to interpret in their own way, all nonsense. They should be all thrown away. Simply you have to read Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Then you'll understand. There is no question of interpretation. Then the authority is gone.
As soon as you interpret, then there is no authority. Law book. Do you mean to say in the court if you say before the judge, "My dear lord, I interpret this passage in this way," will it be accepted? The judge will at once say, "Who are you to interpret? You have no right." Then what is the authority of this law book if everyone comes, "I interpret in this way"?
And interpretation, when required? When a thing is not understood. If I say, "It is watch," and if everyone understands that "This is watch, yes," then where is the opportunity of interpreting that "This is spectacle"? If anyone can understand the clear passage... Just like in the Bible, "God said, 'Let there be creation,' and there was creation." Where is the question of interpretation? Yes, God created. You cannot create. Where is the opportunity of interpretation?
So unnecessary interpretation is not required, and that is not bona fide, and those who are interpreting unnecessarily, they should be rejected immediately. Immediately, without any consideration. God said, "Let there be creation." So there was creation. Simple thing. Where is the question of interpretation? What can be the interpretation here? Suggest that this can be interpretation.
Am I right? In the beginning of the Bible it is said like that? "God said, 'Let there be creation,' and there was creation." So what is your interpretation? Tell me what is your interpretation. Is there any possibility of interpretation? Can any one of you suggest? Then where is the opportunity of interpretation? One can explain. That is different thing. But the fact that God created, that will remain. That you cannot change.
Now, how that creative process took place, that is explained in Bhāgavatam: First of all, there was sky, then there was sound, then there was this, that. This is the process of creation. That is another thing. But the fact, the primary fact that God created, that will remain at any circumstances.
Not the rascal scientist says, "Oh, there was a chunk and it is split up, and there was these planets," "Perhaps this," and "Likely this," all this nonsense. They'll simply interpret, "likely," "perhaps." That is not science—"likely," "perhaps." Why perhaps? Here is clear statement: "God created." That's all. Finish.
Mahāpuruṣa: Prabhupāda, is there any contradiction, because Lord Jesus Christ and Lord Caitanya both appeared in the Kali-yuga, and Lord Jesus Christ said that "The only way to God is through me. Just believe in me or surrender to me," and Lord Caitanya taught that hari-nāma is the only means of spiritual realization in this age?
Prabhupāda: So where do you find the difference? If Lord Jesus Christ says "Through me," that means he's representative of God, and hari-nāma is God. So either through the representative of God or God, the same thing. God and God's representative, there is no difference.
Even in these ordinary dealing, if I send some representative, if he signs something on my behalf, I have to accept that, because he is my representative. Similarly, God has to be approached through God or through His representative. The same thing. Only the difference may be of understanding.
Because Lord Jesus Christ spoke to a society that was not very much advanced. You can understand that such a great personality, God conscious person, was crucified. Just see the condition of the society. In other words, they were low-grade society. So they were not able to understand the whole philosophy of God.
That is sufficient: "God created. Just take it." They were not intelligent to understand how the creation took place. Had they been intelligent, they would not have crucified such a great personality like Jesus Christ.
So we have to understand what is the condition of the society. Just like in the Koran it is said by Muhammad that "From this day you have no sex intercourse with your mother." Just find out the condition of the society. So we have to take account of the time, circumstances, society, and then preaching. So to society like that, it is not possible to understand the high philosophical things as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.
But the primary fact, the authority is God, that is accepted both in Bible and Bhagavad-gītā. The Bible begins, "God is the supreme authority," and Bhagavad-gītā concludes, "You surrender." Where is the difference? Simply the description is according to the time, society and place and people. That's all. They are not Arjuna. You see?
So the things to be understood by Arjuna is not possible by the persons who had crucified Lord Jesus Christ. You have to study in that light. The same thing: a dictionary, a pocket dictionary, child's dictionary, and the dictionary, international dictionary, both of them dictionary, but the value is different.
That dictionary is meant for a class of children, and that dictionary is meant for high scholars. But none of them you can say it is not dictionary. That you cannot say. Both of them are dictionaries. So we have to take consideration of the time, place, persons, everything.
Just like Lord Buddha, he simply said that "Stop this nonsense animal killing." That was his propaganda. They were so low-grade people, simply taking pleasure in animal killing. So in order to elevate them, Lord Buddha wanted to stop this nonsense: "Please stop killing." So in every time a different representative of God or God comes to teach people at different circumstances.
So according to the circumstances there may be some difference in explanation, but the primary factor remains the same. Lord Buddha said, "All right, there is no God, but you surrender to me." Then where is the difference? That means one has to accept the authority of God, either this way or that way.
Bīrabhadra: Um, when Lord Buddha was here, did he sit down and meditate?
Bīrabhadra: Well, I thought that in this age you can't meditate. But Lord Buddha, who was God's son, he meditated.
Bīrabhadra: But that wasn't the age of Kali?
Bīrabhadra: It was?
Bīrabhadra: Then how can you meditate?
Prabhupāda: Very good. [much laughter] Therefore we are better than Buddha. We say meditation is not possible. Do you see? Do you understand now? Lord Buddha said, "Meditate," but the followers of the Lord Buddha could not. They failed. We are giving new light, that "Meditation will fail. You take this."
Is that clear?
Prabhupāda: Yes. If somebody has said you something, and if you are failure, then I say, "You don't do this. Take this. It will be nice." So just like you are a child, you cannot meditate, but you can dance and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Lord Buddha knew that they cannot meditate. You are a very intelligent boy.
But in order to stop their nonsense, he simply said, "Sit down. Meditate." That's all. [laughter] Just like a naughty boy, he's creating mischief. His parent says, "My dear John, you sit down here." He knows that he cannot sit down, but for the time being he'll sit down.
The father knows that "He'll not sit down, but at least for the time being let him stop these mischievous activities."
All right. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [devotees offer obeisances] Chant.