Bhagavad-gītā 4.39–42 , Los Angeles , 1969-01-14

Prabhupāda: [aside:] ....the assembled devotees.

Revatīnandana: Chapter Four, verse thirty-nine. [indistinct]

Prabhupāda: Page?

Revatīnandana: One hundred and thirty-one. "A faithful man who is absorbed in transcendental knowledge and who subdues his senses quickly attains the supreme spiritual peace."

Purport: "Such knowledge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be achieved by a faithful person who believes firmly in Kṛṣṇa. One is called a faithful man who thinks that simply by acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness one can attain the highest perfection."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Faith... There are different kinds of faith, but in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the preliminary condition of faith is to believe that simply by serving Kṛṣṇa, everything will be complete. Kṛṣṇe... There is a verse in...

[aside:] It is not working. [taps microphone]

In Caitanya-caritāmṛta there is a verse,

śraddhā śabde viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya

[Cc. Madhya 22.62]

[“Śraddhā is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.]

There are different kinds of activities—karma, jñāna, yoga, especially. Everything, all activities, are grouped under three headings. One is karma, fruitive activities. People are working to get some desired result for sense gratification. That is generally. Everyone is working to get some money, and money means to satisfy my senses, my demands of the senses. This is called karma.

Then, out of many millions of such karmīs, or workers, one is jñānī, or a man in knowledge. When a man comes into the platform of knowledge, when he becomes frustrated by working hard and tasting all results of karma, when one is not satisfied, then he comes to the platform of knowledge. Knowledge means inquiry—"What I am? Why I am frustrated? Why I am confused? What is my position?" That is the platform of knowledge.

So out of many thousands of such persons who have attained knowledge actually, who have understood what is the position of these living entities, brahma-bhūtaḥ, they are called liberated. And out of many thousands of such liberated persons, one can understand what is Kṛṣṇa. This is the position.

So to understand this fact, that simply by engaging oneself into the activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness everything is completely done, this is called faith. Faith, strong faith, unflinching faith. That is the last instruction of Bhagavad-gītā. 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.]

"You give up all other engagement. Simply surrender unto Me." That is knowledge. So one who has attained this knowledge... Now, this is the beginning. This is the stepping stone in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that simply..., one who is firmly convinced that "Simply by executing the duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, my all other functions will be nicely done."

So one has to understand. It is not to be accepted blindly. It is not forced upon anybody. Therefore the Bhagavad-gītā is there. Try it, to understand scrutinizingly, with all your arguments, and you will find it is sublime. It is sublime.

So "A faithful man who is absorbed in transcendental knowledge..." This is transcendental knowledge, that "Simply by discharging my duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all other duties will be performed." Means I will be perfect in fruitive activities, I will be perfect in knowledge, I will be perfect in mystic advancement, and I will be perfect to understand the Absolute Truth. This is called firm, unflinching faith.

Faith..., I do not mean faith by blind faith. This Bhagavad-gītā is not blind faith. Everything is being explained step by step, scientifically, authoritatively. So try to understand. And if you fortunately become faithful, then your life is successful.

Go on.

Revatīnandana: "This faith is attained by the discharge of devotional service, and by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, which cleanses one's heart of all material dirt. Over and above this, one should control the senses. A person who is faithful and controls the senses can easily attain perfection in the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness without delay."

Prabhupāda: Controlling of senses means... That is also knowledge. Because this materialistic life means sense gratification. So we have satisfied our senses not only in this human form of life, but in other forms of life. So when one comes to the understanding that these sense gratification activities are useless, then he can understand. When one understands that "I have tried to satisfy myself in different kinds of sense gratification..."

Just like people are trying the same thing which they have got at home... Just like a naked woman. They are still going to the theater to see naked dance. You see? What is that? They have no idea. The same thing. Punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām [SB 7.5.30].

[Prahlāda Mahārāja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.]

Chewing the chewed, trying to find out in which naked dance there is pleasure. That's all. So when one comes to the knowledge that "I have seen so many different types of naked dance and naked woman. What I have got? What I have gained? What satisfaction is there? Why I am not satisfied?" that is knowledge. That is knowledge.

Just like Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura. You have heard the story of Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura. There are many stories. So he was very much fond of his girlfriend, prostitute. So when one night when he approached there within torrents of rain and with great difficulties, the woman was sympathetic.

She said, "Bilvamaṅgala, you are so much attracted with this flesh and bone. Oh, if you had been so much attracted to Kṛṣṇa, how you would have been." Oh, immediately he turned: "Yes." So he immediately went back and went to Vṛndāvana.

So these are the points of knowledge. You see? One... When one is struck with that knowledge, that "What I have gained? I have tried life after life, hours after hours, days after days this sense gratification. What I have got?" this is knowledge. Then searching begins.

Go on.

Revatīnandana: "But ignorant and faithless persons who doubt the revealed scriptures go to ruin and perish. For the doubting soul there is happiness neither in this world nor in the next."

Prabhupāda: Yes. One who is doubtful, he has neither happiness in this world, and what to speak of the next.

Revatīnandana: "Therefore, one who has renounced the fruits of his actions, whose doubts are destroyed by transcendental knowledge, and who is situated firmly in the self is not bound by works, O conqueror of riches."

Purport: "One who follows the instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā as it is imparted by the Lord, the Personality of Godhead Himself, becomes free from all doubts by grace of transcendental knowledge."

Prabhupāda: Because everything is threadbare explained. You can have answer of all questions from this Bhagavad-gītā, chapter by chapter. Everything is completely answered. Yes.

Revatīnandana: "He, as a part and parcel of the Lord in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is already fully conversant in self-knowledge. As such, he is undoubtedly above the reactions to whatever activities he may carry out."

Verse forty-two: "Therefore, the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Bhārata, stand and fight."

Prabhupāda: The doubt was there in the mind of Arjuna in the battlefield, and there was necessity for preaching Bhagavad-gītā. Go on.

Revatīnandana: "The yoga system instructed in this chapter is called sanātana-yoga, or eternal activities performed by the living entity. This yoga has two divisions of action, called sacrifices. One is called sacrifice of one's material possessions, and the other is called knowledge of self, which is pure spiritual activity.

"If sacrifice of one's material possessions is not dovetailed for spiritual realization, then such sacrifice becomes material. But one who performs such sacrifices with a spiritual objective, or in devotional service, makes a perfect sacrifice.

"When we come to spiritual activities, we find that these are also divided into two: namely, understanding of one's own self or one's constitutional position, and the truth regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One who follows the path of the Bhagavad-gītā as it..., as it is..."

Prabhupāda: "As it is."

Revatīnandana: "...of the Bhagavad-gītā as it is can very easily understand these two important divisions of spiritual knowledge. For him there is no difficulty in obtaining perfect knowledge of the self as part and parcel of the Lord."

Prabhupāda: Because the subject matter of Bhagavad-gītā is to know five things: to know what are these living entities, what is God, what is nature, and what is time and what is work. These five subject matters are there: God, the living entities, the nature, the time and the work. These things are there.

Everyone is engaged in some sort of work, and there is time control. Your life, my life, everyone's life is controlled by time. We have to live for so many years, no more than. So to study time, to study our work, then what is God, what I am, and what is this material nature—these five things are very nicely explained. One has to study. Then one becomes perfect in knowledge, and he can act accordingly.

Revatīnandana: "And such understanding is beneficial for such a person, who easily understands the transcendental activities of the Lord.

"In the beginning of this chapter, the transcendental activities of the Lord were discussed by the Supreme Lord Himself. One who does not understand the instructions of the Gītā is faithless and is considered to be misusing the fragmental independence awarded to him by the Lord.

"In spite of such instructions, one who does not understand the real nature of the Lord as the eternal, blissful, all-knowing Personality of Godhead is certainly fool number one. This ignorance of the so-called student of the Bhagavad-gītā can be removed by the gradual acceptance of the principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

"Kṛṣṇa consciousness is awakened by different types of sacrifices to the demigods, sacrifice to Brahman, sacrifice in celibacy, sacrifice in household life, sacrifice in controlling of the senses, sacrifice in practicing mystic yoga, sacrifice in penance, sacrifice of material possessions, sacrifice in studying the Vedas and sacrifice in observing the scientific social institution called varṇāśrama-dharma, or the divisions of the human society.

"All of these are known as sacrifice, but all of them are based on regulative action..., a regulated action. And within all these sacrifices, the important factor is self-realization. One who seeks that objective is the real student of the Bhagavad-gītā."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Self-realization, "What I am." If one aims to that objective, then his study of Bhagavad-gītā is nice. Yes.

Revatīnandana: "But one who doubts the authority of Kṛṣṇa falls back. One is therefore advised to study the Bhagavad-gītā or any other scripture with a bona fide spiritual master, with service and surrender.

"A bona fide spiritual master is in the disciplic succession from time eternal, and there is not the slightest deviation from the instruction of the Personality of Godhead as it was imparted millions of years ago to the sun-god, from whom the instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā has come down to the earthly kingdom."

Prabhupāda: It is not very difficult. Just like in this Bhagavad-gītā the Supreme Personality of Godhead says that He is the Supreme, and He is advising, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ: "Just try to think of Me only, always." Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ: "And become My devotee."

Mad-yājī: "Just worship Me." Māṁ namaskuru: "Just bow down unto Me." So simply these four processes if one can do, He says, mām evaiṣyasi asaṁśayaḥ [Bg. 18.68]:

[For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me.]

"Surely, without any doubt, you shall come to Me."

So is there any difficulty? These boys, these girls, what they are doing? Man-manā bhava. They are chanting "Kṛṣṇa." That means thinking of Kṛṣṇa. They are devotees of Kṛṣṇa. They are bowing down before the Deity of Kṛṣṇa. They are eating Kṛṣṇa prasādam.

So the process is very easy, but we do not want to follow the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, but simply falsely I am proud that "I am reading Bhagavad-gītā." There are so many Bhagavad-gītā readers even in your country. So many. I know. But the real instruction they will not follow. They will interpret in some way, this way, that way. Or some rascal, I mean, commentator will also induce the reader, "Oh, here Kṛṣṇa says that you become devotee of Kṛṣṇa—it is not up to this Kṛṣṇa; there is another Kṛṣṇa." Just see.

You see? Kṛṣṇa directly says that man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ [Bg. 9.34], and the commentator says "not to Kṛṣṇa."

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

So how people can understand, you see, a misleading misinterpretation? Otherwise, if you simply study Bhagavad-gītā, you understand these five principles: what is God, what I am, what is material nature and what is time and what is work. Then you are in full knowledge. These five things are very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Try to understand.

"What I am?" That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]:

[The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.]

"They are all My parts and parcels." That is nice, very nice. It is very easy to understand. Part and parcel, that means I am part; He is whole. Part is never equal to the whole, but part is equal in quantity..., er, quality. Just like a part, a little part of the ocean water. This is also salty, and the whole ocean water is also salty.

So qualitatively the little part and particle of the ocean water is the same quality. It is not different. Chemically, if you analyze that one drop of sea water, the chemical composition of that water and the vast water is the same. The only difference is that the ocean is very big, and the small particle of water is very small. That is the difference.

So if I am part and parcel of God, therefore the qualities which I have got, the God has got the same quality. Now you study yourself. Then you can understand what is God. The same qualities are there, but it is unlimited; ours are limited. It is not difficult to understand God. Why they are bewildered to understand God?

God is also—and it is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā and all Vedic literature—God is just like us, a person, an individual person, but very powerful. That is the difference. My power... There are different kinds of power. Your power is different from another man. Another man's is different from another man, another man, ano..., go on, go on, go on. When you find the supreme man, or Supreme Personality, He is God.

Very nice description in the Brahma-saṁhitā, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [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.]

Every individual person is trying to control, to become controller. Just like somebody tries to become president of your state. What is the idea behind it? To become controller. They are spending millions of dollars to get that post. So I want to become very rich businessman like Rockefeller or Ford. What is the idea? To become controller. I want to rule over my family members: I want to be controller. If I have nobody to control, I get some dog to control. This is my, I mean to say, intuition. I want to control.

So everyone is controller in different degrees. And the Brahma-saṁhitā says that God is supreme controller. That's all. He is also controller. But there is nobody else who can control Him. He controls everything. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. Īśvara means controller. Parama means the supreme. Very nice, very simple description of God.

If God... Somebody says, "I am God." I am God in this sense, that God is like me. Just like if you say, "I am American," your president is also American, so exactly you are like president, American. There is no harm. But if you say, "I am as powerful as President Nixon," that is not applicable.

Similarly, "I am God" means I am qualitatively one with God. It does not mean I am as powerful as God. That does not mean. He is the supreme controller. I have got the controlling capacity, or I do control in my limited circle, but He is the supreme controller.

So in this way if you understand, it is not very difficult to understand what is God, what you are, what is this material nature, what is time and what is work. And if you understand these five things, then you are in full knowledge.

Go on.

Revatīnandana: "One should, therefore, follow the path of the Bhagavad-gītā as it is expressed in the Gītā itself and beware of self-interested people seeking personal aggrandizement who deviate others from the actual path. The Lord is definitely the Supreme Person, and His activities are transcendental. One who understands this is a liberated person from the very beginning of his study of the Gītā."

Prabhupāda: Yes. Simply if you understand that "I have got also the, what is called, intuition to control, and God is the supreme controller," simply if you understand this, then immediately you become liberated, simply if you understand He is the supreme controller, He is the Supreme Person. Simply this understanding. That is stated in the beginning of this "Transcendental Knowledge": 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.]

God also working. He is also creating; I am also creating. I am creating a sputnik, a toy planet, and God is creating innumerable, unlimited planets. That is the difference. I can also create something, but that is not as good creative power as God. But I have got some creative power. I have got the tendency for enjoyment. Similarly, God has got the tendency for enjoyment.

So there is nothing different from you, God. Only the difference is that He is unlimited; I am limited. I am very small; He is very great. He is infinite; I am infinitesimal. Vibhu, aṇu. The Sanskrit word is vibhu. Vibhu means the great. God is great. Asamordhva. Nobody can be equal to God; nobody can be greater than God. That means everyone is subordinate to God.

Simple these understandings will make you liberated. Janma karma [ca] me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ, tyaktvā deham [Bg. 4.9]. This liberation means after quitting this body, you are no more going to accept any material body. You are immediately transferred to the spiritual world, and you get your spiritual body. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya. These things are already explained.

So try to understand what is God and what you are, what is this material nature, what is your relationship with material nature, with God, with others, what is this time factor, what is work. Then you are in full knowledge and you become liberated.

All right.

Revatīnandana: "Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to the Fourth Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā in the matter of Transcendental Knowledge."

Prabhupāda: So we shall stop here? Hare Kṛṣṇa. [devotees offer obeisances]

Any question?

Devotee (1): When it listed..., when in the Gītā it listed the different kinds of sacrifices, it said that sacrifices to the demigods can bring us to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. How is this?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Because sometimes people are inclined to make some sacrifices to appease the demigods, so these prescriptions are there. Just like somebody is recommended that "If you want to be cured of your disease, then you worship the sun-god. If you want to get a very nice, beautiful wife, then you worship Umā, the wife of Lord Śiva."

In this way... "If you want to be very learned, then you worship the goddess of learning." So these prescriptions are there in the Vedic literature, so people... Just like in the modern days they want to have all these things by material activities, so they are recommended in a different way. But the aim is the same.

But when one can understand... That is also injunction in the Vedas, that akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ [SB 2.3.10]:

[A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.]

"Either you are desiring some material prosperity or you are desiring devotional service or you are desiring liberation..." There are three kinds of liberation, er, desires. One desire is that a person wants some material opulence. And then one desires... One becomes frustrated; he wants liberation. Or another, those who are transcendentally advanced, they want to be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There are three kinds of desires.

So Bhāgavata says either you become akāma... To desire to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is no material desire. There it is called akāma. That is not material desire. And two other things, to desire for liberation and to desire for material opulence, that is material.

So Bhāgavata says, akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ [SB 2.3.10]: "If you are actually advanced with knowledge, either you desire material prosperity or you desire liberation from material bondage or you desire to be engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, you simply try to be engaged in devotional service of the Supreme Lord." If you want any material prosperity, that can also be achieved by devotional service.

That is also explained. I think you will get it in the Fifth Chapter, that catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtinaḥ arjuna [Bg. 7.16].

[O best among the Bhāratas [Arjuna], four kinds of pious men render devotional service unto Me—the distressed, the desirer of wealth, the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the Absolute.]

No, we have already discussed. There are four kinds of people who approach in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So what are they? Arto arthārthī jijñāsu: those who are distressed, those who are in need of money, those who are inquisitive, and those who are, I mean to say, searching after or advancing in knowledge, or wise men. So out of these four, the wise man is accepted very nicely by Kṛṣṇa.

So just like Dhruva Mahārāja. Dhruva Mahārāja wanted some material prosperity, so he worshiped Kṛṣṇa. But at the end, when he saw Kṛṣṇa, then he said, "I do not want any more this material prosperity." Svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce [Cc. Madhya 22.42]:

[“[When he was being blessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Dhruva Mahārāja said:] ’O my Lord, because I was seeking an opulent material position, I was performing severe types of penance and austerity. Now I have gotten You, who are very difficult for the great demigods, saintly persons and kings to attain. I was searching after a piece of glass, but instead I have found a most valuable jewel. Therefore I am so satisfied that I do not wish to ask any benediction from You.’]

"My dear Lord, I am now fully satisfied. I don't want any material prosperity."

So the thing is that one may be impelled by any desire, but if he approaches directly to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then his desires will be satisfied; at the same time, ultimately, he will come to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If he rightly performs the sacrifices... They are not needed, but even they are attached to such things, if they do it nicely, then ultimately they will come.

Hmm. Yes, go on.

Devotee (2): Was there a Vaiṣṇava calendar which originated in Vedic culture which is different from our calendar that we use today?

Prabhupāda: Is there any calendar study just now, we? Why do you ask about calendar now? We are not discussing about calendar. When we discuss about calendar, you put that question. It is not very important question now. That means you are not attentively hearing. You are thinking of calendar. You should be very attentive: "What discussions are going on?" Calendar is not very important discussion in this meeting.


Madhudviṣa: Prabhupāda, in the purport...

Prabhupāda: Our question, inviting question, means we have discussed something—if there is any difficulty, to clear that, not to bring some other question which can be put later on. Otherwise, anyone can put any question. Oh, this is not an assembly of answering questions. This is assembly to understand what we are studying. Yes. Go on.

Madhudviṣa: Prabhupāda, in verse number forty-two, the purport of verse number forty-two, it divides spiritual activities into two, namely understanding of one's own self or one's constitutional position, and the truth regarding the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Is this first division Paramātmā realization and the second division is realization of the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That I have already explained, that our relationship with God is that I am infinitesimal, and He is infinite. This is knowledge. I am very small, and He is very great. "God is great." That is definition of every theistic man. So I cannot be equal with God. This is transcendental knowledge.

But unfortunately, we are declaring, "I am God." This is insanity. How you can be God? Do you know what is God? Because you do not know what is God, therefore you are claiming that "I am God." What you have done? What is your testimonial that you are God?

Simply by declaring "I am God," you become God? This is no knowledge: less intelligent, no knowledge about God. This is knowledge: that God is great, God is infinite, I am finite, I am infinitesimal. That is knowledge.


Madhudviṣa: Then realization of the impersonal feature of the Absolute wouldn't be classified as a spiritual activity?

Prabhupāda: Well, impersonalists, they have no spiritual activities practically. They have got some ritualistic performances to come to the platform of negativing this material condition. Just like to find out... Just like you take milk. So you have to find out where is the butter is there. So if you know the process, then you can find out the butter. But if you do not know the process, you can say, "Oh, this is simply milk. Where is butter?" You must know the process.

Similarly, the impersonalists, they think that "I am Brahman, but I am not this matter." That is a fact. I am spirit. I am not this matter. But that understanding is not sufficient. What is my position as spirit? Then, when we come to the supreme spirit, the all-spirit, that is perfection of knowledge. So impersonal conception is simply a negation of these material varieties. But above that, there is spiritual variety. And that is real knowledge. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Negation... Just like there is no fever. In diseased condition one is trying to get out of the feverish condition. So by medicinal treatment one gets out of fever. But that is not healthy condition. That is not final. There is negation of fever. That's admitted. That's all right. But that is convalescent stage. You may relapse again. When you actually come to the healthy state, that is your life. So negation of fever is not as good as your healthy life.

So negation of this materialistic idea, impersonalism, is not complete knowledge. Because I am spirit soul, I am active even in this material diseased condition. How much active I must be in my healthy condition. That is real knowledge. Healthy condition does not mean that I am dead. This is no treatment.

If some physician comes and tells to the patient, "Oh, you are so suffering. All right, let me cut your throat so you will not suffer. Everything will be stopped," is that good treatment? [laughs] You have to stop his fever and keep him into his healthy life. That is treatment. Simply stoppage, simply negation, void, that is not treat...

You cannot remain void, because you are active. If you are forcibly made into voidness, how long you can remain in voidness? As soon as the so-called voidness is finished, you come to this activity again. So you have to be situated in your real activities. That is required. That real activities is Kṛṣṇa conscious activities. And that is not impersonal. That is personal.

Lady devotee (1): When in the Bhagavad-gītā it says that the mahā-mantra cleanses the heart and soul, does that mean that when you just, like, say the words, just the sound, will that cleanse your heart? Or should you try and, like, remember Kṛṣṇa with every word and every sound?

Prabhupāda: No. By simply chanting your heart will be cleansed. Yes. Go on chanting. Therefore we give regulative principle that one must chant at least sixteen rounds.

Lady devotee (1): Should we try to go fast in order to get them done, in order to get the rounds done?

Prabhupāda: The first thing is that you should chant without any offense. You see? In the beginning there may be so many offenses, but the chanting will be perfect when you are free from ten kinds of offenses. You can understand those ten kinds of offenses—I have explained several times—from your Godbrothers. Yes.

Yes. Yes?

Guest: I'm new here. I've never been here before, so forgive me if my questions are naive. But if all it requires is chanting to be pure, then why do you require musical instruments, and an altar and flowers and things of this sort?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Viṣṇujana: [explaining:] "If all that is required is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, why do we have the pictures and the clothes and the instruments and the altar and Lord Jagannātha?"

Prabhupāda: Because we are personalist. We are not impersonal. This is spiritual varieties. You are talking of no variety. Is it not? You were asking me, "Why there are so many varieties?" This is your plain question.

Guest: Not only that. Why are the heads shaved?

Prabhupāda: That is also another variety. So you want variety-less. Is it not?

Guest: No. I am asking why these are necessary. Why are they necessary?

Prabhupāda: They are not necessary for a person who is advanced. But in the preliminary stage we have such necessities. This creates atmosphere. But at the same time, these varieties are not, I mean to say, material varieties. They are spiritual varieties.

The place where we are trying to approach, Vaikuṇṭha, there the inhabitants are like this. They have got this tilaka, they have got... Of course, we haven't got four hands, but they have got four hands. There are two hands also. And they are dressed like this. So these things are not material varieties, as much as chanting is not material vibration.

Besides that, any path you follow, you have to follow the regulative principles as they are enacted by authorities. So in our disciplic succession, previous ācāryas, they have advised that you should have your dress like this, you should have your head like this, you... So we have to follow that. 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.’”]

Our principle is to follow the footprints of authorities. So these things are not unauthorized. These are being followed from time immemorial—this dress, this tilaka, this chanting. Everything. Just like you see the picture of Lord Caitanya, we are following the same principles. This was being enacted five hundred years ago. The same principle we are following. We are not introducing anything new. We are simply following the footprints of our predecessors. That's all.

Just like we are trying to understand Bhagavad-gītā just [as] Arjuna understood. Arjuna was direct hearer from Kṛṣṇa. So as he understood Bhagavad-gītā, we are trying to understand in that way. Kṛṣṇa said, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66], that,

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

"You give up all other engagements. You just surrender unto Me." And what we are preaching? We are also saying that "You surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa said, "You surrender unto Me," because He is the Supreme Person Himself. And we are canvassing, "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa."

So what is the difference? There is no difference. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. The spiritual path is to follow the footprints of predecessors, great ācāryas who has realized. Then you become perfect. Not imitate, but to follow. Imitation is different thing.

So this is not imitation, but this is following the footprints. So one who wants to become devotee, he has to follow certain rules and regulation which are enacted by authorized persons in this line. We cannot deny it. Therefore there is necessity.


Lady devotee (2): In the Gītā Kṛṣṇa says so many times, "You must surrender unto Me." Why do people say, "No, there's something else"?

Prabhupāda: Because they want something new. This is very old. There is a song by a great dramatist in India. He is singing, ekṭā navana kichu koro. That means "You do something, invent something new. You invent something new, and then you become very popular." You see? That is the way of modern thoughts. You invent something new. Not modern; this is going on.

Just like there is version in the Vedic literature, na cāsāv muni yasya mataṁ na bhinnam [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.’”]

If you want to be a muni or a sage, you must put forward some new theory. Otherwise he is not a philosopher. A philosopher is not counted a philosopher unless he defies all other philosophers and puts some new theory. And that is going on. Na cāsāv muni yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. So whose philosophy you will accept? Every day you will find a new philosophy. So whom to follow?

Therefore, out of disgust, everyone is trying to follow his own principle, whatever he likes. And there are some missionary activities, they also advocate that "You can do whatever you like, and you will get God." So people are trying like that.

But our process is different. We are following the old principles. We do not say something new. The old saying, as Kṛṣṇa said five thousand years ago, 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.]

So nothing new. We are simply repeating. That, our Hare Kṛṣṇa, is it also repetition: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare.

What is that English word, "Putting the old wine in the new bottle," or what is that? [laughs] So it is old wine. Simply putting in new bottles. That's all. And what is new? There is nothing new in the world. The sun was rising on the eastern side. Still it is rising on the eastern side. The sun was setting on the western side. It's still setting.

Your forefathers, grandfather, they were also eating; you are also eating. They also died, and we shall also die. What new thing is there? They died, and you will not die? What new we can give? Nothing. You have to follow by nature's law the old principles. They died; I will have to die. They ate; I am eating. They beget children; I am also begetting. So what is the difference? What is the new?

Everything is going on in the old principles. It is simply our imagination that we are doing something new. There is nothing new. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhir narāṇām [Hitopadeśa 25].

[Both animals and men share the activities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But the special property of the humans is that they are able to engage in spiritual life. Therefore without spiritual life, humans are on the level of animals.]

We are under such stringent laws of the nature, there is no scope for inventing something new. That is not possible. We have to follow the old principles by force, by nature's law.

[pause] All right. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]