Lecture Engagement and Prasāda Distribution , Boston , 1969-04-26

Prabhupāda: This age is called, according to the Vedic language, Kali. Kali-yuga means the age of disagreement and dissension. So in the Vedas it is recommended that kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇu [SB 12.3.52].

[Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.]

In the Golden Age... Of course, the kṛte, the Sanskrit word, exactly there is no English translation, but generally we have got a conception of Golden Age. So take it for granted that kṛte, kṛte means in the age when everyone was pure. Cent percent people were pure. That is called Kṛta-yuga. The next yuga is called Tretā, when seventy-five percent of the people, they were pure, and twenty-five percent were not pure. And then Dvāpara. Dvāpara means fifty percent—fifty percent pure and fifty percent nonpure.

Then this age is called Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga means seventy-five percent or more than seventy-five percent, they are impure, and twenty-five percent—I mean to say, that is in books—but actually ninety percent or more than that are impure and maybe five percent pure. This is the situation of this age. And they are also living very short time. In this age, life, duration of life, is reduced, memory is reduced, man's compassion is also reduced.

Similarly, there are so many things, they are reduced. Although we are thinking that we are advancing, but actually the most important thing we are reduced. Take for example the duration of life. Every one of us knowing very well that as your father or forefather or grandfather lived for long duration of life, it is very difficult to find out a man who is over seventy years or eighty years. I have got experience. My grandmother lived for ninety-five years.

So the duration of age is reduced, and people are not very intelligent. Of course, it is very revolutionary that I am speaking that people are not very intelligent, but actually it is. Why they are not intelligent? Because they do not know what is the destination of life; therefore they are not very intelligent. The Bhāgavata says that destination of life is God-realization. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇu [SB 7.5.31]. God-realization.

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

In this human form of life we can realize what is God. It is not possible in other form of life. There are 8,400,000 forms of life. You have seen it. There are trees, there are aquatics, there are germs, reptiles, then birds, then beasts, then human beings. Out of this human form of life, more than fifty percent they are uncivilized, and maybe twenty-five percent of the human beings, they are civilized. And out of them, maybe ten percent are believing in God, following religious principles. In this way the whole thing is being reduced.

So in the Bhāgavata it is said that not only they are living for short duration of life, they are not intelligent enough that this human form of life is meant for God-realization. Now, especially nowadays amongst the educated circle, they inquire, "What is God? What is God?" You see.

But apart from your country or Western countries, in... I have met in many, many large gatherings of universities. Especially, I am very sorry to say, many Indian students ask me that "What is God?" Now, India is supposed to be the place where God descends as Lord Kṛṣṇa, as Lord Rāmacandra, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So it is very surprising that Indian students are asking, "What is God?"

So this is lamentable in this sense, that people are reducing in their sense of spiritual realization. That is a very regrettable fact. And the Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvad abodha-jāto yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam [SB 5.5.5]

[As long as one does not inquire about the spiritual values of life, one is defeated and subjected to miseries arising from ignorance. Be it sinful or pious, karma has its resultant actions. If a person is engaged in any kind of karma, his mind is called karmātmaka, colored with fruitive activity. As long as the mind is impure, consciousness is unclear, and as long as one is absorbed in fruitive activity, he has to accept a material body.]

"A man is supposed to be defeated in all his activities if he does not inquire what he is." This statement is also in Bible, you know, that "If one loses his own self and he gains all material prosperity, what does he gain?" Actually, this is the fact.

Therefore Lord Caitanya, five hundred years ago, He appeared in Bengal and He introduced this movement, saṅkīrtana movement—not whimsically, but according to the tenets of Vedic literature, where it is stated that kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum [SB 12.3.52].

[Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.]

In the Golden Age it was possible to realize God by meditation, when people were all cent percent pure. Then tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ: "And in next age, God-realization was by offering great sacrifices." And dvāpare paricaryāyām: "And the next age, by temple worship or church worship or mosque worship."

Now, at this present age, kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt, "In this age, simply by chanting the glories of the holy name of God." This was introduced by Lord Caitanya. And in India there are millions and millions people who follow this principle, and it may be a new thing in your country, but it is very easy and, I mean to say, authorized and immediately realizable.

If you follow this one principle, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare... There are sixteen names: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Actually, there are three names only—Hare, Kṛṣṇa and Rāma—but they are very nicely, systematically assorted in sixteen names, and it is very easy to chant. Just this evening one American child, girl, she was cycling in the street, and one of my student, she asked her to chant: "You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa," and she was very nicely chanting.

So it was... It is not very difficult. Because it is composed in Sanskrit words, it does not mean that you cannot chant. We have experimented. Now, I ask my students... They are all American boys and girls. None of them are Indians or Hindus. Not only here in Boston, but in many other cities like New York and San Francisco, Los Angeles, Buffalo, Santa Fe, Montreal, so they are very nicely chanting and enjoying.

Not only that, I have got some restriction. The student who comes to me for initiation, I ask them to restrict some habits. So they are easily doing that also. Just like I ask them not to indulge in any intoxication, including smoking, tea-taking, coffee-taking. So they are following. And I ask them not to eat meat. These things are very usual things in your country, but my students, they are very easily following. They don't feel any difficulty.

So this formula, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, this sound vibration, you can practice it. It is not difficult. There is no secret. I don't say that "I have got a secret mantra which I shall give you, and you pay me fifty dollars" or like that. It is open secret. You have simply to accept it, kindly. Then you see the result. There is no loss on your part, but the gain is very great. Why don't you try it?

I request you, most humbly I request you, that you kindly chant these sixteen names—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. We have got our records also. If you want to practice, you can play the record and it will be very easy. So this is my humble request to you American ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. It is not difficult, but it has got a sublime effect. You will find it. If you practice it, you will find it.

So if you think that "Why we shall chant 'Kṛṣṇa'? Kṛṣṇa was Indian, and it is Hindu god's name," but that is not a fact. Kṛṣṇa never claimed that He is Hindu or Indian or black or white. He doesn't claim anything. He says... Most of you have read Bhagavad-gītā. He says, He claims,

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
sambhavanti mūrtayo yāḥ
tāsāṁ yonir mahad-brahma
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

[Bg. 14.4]

[It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.]

Sarva-yoniṣu: "In all species of life, in all forms of life..." There are 8,400,000 forms of life. So Kṛṣṇa claims that "All forms of life, not only human being—the beast, the birds, the aquatics, the, I mean to say, reptiles—everywhere, wherever there is life, therefore, their mother is this material nature, and I am the seed-giving father."

So Kṛṣṇa claims everyone's father. So He is neither Indian nor Hindu. He is—we accept Him according to Bhagavad-gītā—He is God Himself. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28].

[All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.]

If we take authorities of Vedic literature, it is stated in all Vedic literature—in Ṛg Veda, in Atharva Veda, in Brahma-saṁhitā, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and what to speak of Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is spoken by Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. He says, mattaḥ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7].

[O conqueror of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.]

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
dhīra bhāva-samanvitāḥ

[Bg. 10.8]

[I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.]

So He claims that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He exhibited, He manifested Himself, as the supreme independent Personality of Godhead. If we read His activities from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, then we can see.

So there is a definition of God also in Vedic literature. A great sage, the father of Vyāsadeva, Parāśara Muni, he has very nicely defined what is meant by God, and all the symptoms were visible in the person of Lord Kṛṣṇa. And according to our Indian..., Vedic culture, all the great ācāryas, just like Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka, even Śaṅkarācārya.

Śaṅkarācārya is considered to be impersonalist, that He believes in impersonal Brahman. So impersonal Brahman is mentioned in all Vedic literature. We also know that. But beyond impersonal Brahman there is Supersoul realization, and beyond Supersoul realization there is the personal realization, the Supreme Personality of God.

Bhāgavata says that vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]

[Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.]

"The Absolute knowledge, the Absolute Truth, is nondual." How it is nondual? That brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. You either you realize the Absolute Truth as impersonal Brahman or localized Paramātmā, Supersoul, or as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu; they are one and the same. How one and the same? That is also explained.

So God realization, it is said in the Vedic literature, that avāṅ-manasā-gocaraḥ. It is very difficult to realize God. He is beyond our mental speculational field, or He is beyond our conception, beyond our words. But there is other verses also, that athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi, jānāti tattvam [SB 10.14.29].

[My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of the mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those who speculate to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead are unable to know You, even though they continue to study the Vedas for many years.]

One can understand what is God by the mercy of God, not by mental speculation. It is not possible. We have got very limited scope of knowledge. Our senses are imperfect, we are full of cheating propensities, and we are liable to commit mistake. These four defects are within us.

However a great man one may be, he is sure to commit mistake. I shall give you one tangible example in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. You know he was a very great man, political leader in India. So he was also very God-fearing man, a very nice soul. But he also committed mistakes so many times.

So to err is human. This is a fact in every person. Therefore, because we commit mistake, because we are sometimes illusioned, and because we have got a propensity of cheating others, and because our senses are imperfect, therefore, simply by mental speculation it is not possible to realize God.

Then how one can realize God? That is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā and other literature, that by the mercy of God one can realize God. So by His causeless mercy, He comes down. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata [Bg. 4.7], it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.

[Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion-at that time I descend Myself.]

So Lord Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead at least by the great ācāryas of India. Even, as I was speaking of Śaṅkarācārya, he was impersonalist,but still he has admitted in his commentary on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that sa kṛṣṇa bhagavān svayam. He has accepted it.

In the beginning of his commentary he says, nārāyaṇaḥ para avyaktāt: "Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is beyond this material creation." And in next page he has admitted, "That Supreme Personality of Godhead Nārāyaṇa is Kṛṣṇa, who is born as the son of Devakī and Vasudeva."

So, so far Indian scholars... I don't speak of modern scholars. Those who are authorized scholars of bygone ages, admitted by the Vedic society—Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya and Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka and their followers. And there are many hundreds and thousand temples of Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu, in India. If you have ever gone, you might have seen.

In Vṛndāvana, only a small city of fifty thousand people, there are five thousand Kṛṣṇa temple. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very strong and very old in India. And if you also accept this, without any loss on your part, you will be happy. You will be happy. That is the process of peace.

Now, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

[The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.]

"The śānti, peace, real peace, can be achieved simply by understanding that God is the proprietor and God is the enjoyer of everything—that conception." Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram. And suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām: "And He is the friend, most intimate friend, well-wisher friend of everyone." And He is seated with everyone's heart. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati. [Bg. 18.61]

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

"My dear Arjuna, the Supreme Lord is seated with every living entity."

So according to Vedic literature, Upaniṣad, we understand that the Supreme Lord in His localized aspect, He is all-pervading. He is present everywhere. Not only that He is present in the church, but He is outside church, everywhere. It is stated in this Brahma-saṁhitā, aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayān... [Bs. 5.35]

[He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.]

"He is present even within the atom." That is omnipresence. So He is present within you. It is not that you have to search out God anywhere else, but you have to..., you can search out within yourself. And that searching process is called yoga. Our this subject matter today is yoga. That means to search out your self.

Meditation means you have to meditate upon what you are. Are you this body? Are you this finger? Are you this head? You analyze one after another, you will find that you are not this. Then you analyze your mind, whether you are mind, you will find you are not mind also. If you analyze your beyond mind, your intelligence, then you will find that you are not intelligence even. Beyond that intelligence you are sitting.

These things are very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. And when you find out your self, that is self-realization. And as you become self-realized, the symptoms become that you become jolly and free of all anxieties. So long you are not self-realized, you are full of anxieties. That is the nature, material nature.

Not only we, human being, even birds, beasts, they are also full of anxieties. You give some eatables to the pigeons, to the birds, he will eat and look like this: "Oh, somebody may not come, kill me." Yes. This is the nature. Now, you are American people, supposed to be the richest country. Oh, you have also many anxieties. You are not free from anxiety. You are also afraid of China or Russia or somebody else.

So how you can be free from anxiety? That is yoga system. If you actually practice yoga system... Yoga system, the whole Bhagavad-gītā is yoga system. It is said in the Fourth Chapter that imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam [Bg. 4.1].

[The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.]

The Lord says that "This yoga system I first of all spoke to the sun-god." Imaṁ vivasvate. Vivasvata means... The sun-god's name is Vivasvān. Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam, vivasvān manave prāhu [Bg. 4.1]: "And Vivasvān, he explained this yoga system to his son, Manu." Now, if we calculate the age of Manu, it comes to some millions. At least forty millions of years before, it was spoken.

So this yoga system, Bhagavad-gītā yoga system, it is very popular book and widely circulated. I have seen many English translation of this Bhagavad-gītā in your country. Some of them are translated by American scholars, and some of them are translated by other country scholars. But there are many. But unfortunately, none of them have presented Bhagavad-gītā as it is. They have tried to exploit the popularity of Bhagavad-gītā and put something of their own idea. This is the defect.

But Bhagavad-gītā, if we want to understand, then we have to accept it by the formula as described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just like if you have got the medicinal bottle, the direction and dose is on the label, that "Two tablets thrice in a day, after meals," like that. But if you take the tablets according to your own whims, or somebody who does not know how to use that medicine, without consulting the physician, then you may be in dangerous position. You'll not get the result—that is sure and certain—but you may meet some dangerous position.

Similarly, so far Bhagavad-gītā is concerned, the prime standard book of yoga system, if you want to learn something from Bhagavad-gītā about the peace and prosperity and anxietylessness of your life, then you have to take this medicine of Bhagavad-gītā according to the dose prescribed in the Bhagavad-gītā, not outside. So what is that dose? That is also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā:

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāhur
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt

[The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikṣvāku.]

evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha [mahatā]
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa

[Bg. 4.2]

[This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.]

He says, "My dear Arjuna, this yoga system I spoke to Vivasvān, the sun-god, some millions of years ago. And Vivasvān explained this yoga system to his son, Manu, and Manu explained this yoga system to his son Ikṣvāku."

Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam: "In such disciplic succession, the confidential knowledge of yoga was coming down, but unfortunately it is now broken, and therefore it is lost." Sa kāleneha yogaḥ naṣṭaḥ. Naṣṭa means it is lost.

Now, you can think that when Kṛṣṇa was present five thousand years before, there were many big scholars, learned. Even Vyāsadeva was present. And not only Vyāsadeva, there were others also, great scholars, great sages. But Kṛṣṇa said, sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa:

"In course of time, that disciplic succession being broken, the purport of this yoga system is now lost. And because it is lost, therefore I instruct you to understand this system of yoga." "Why to me? I am not a scholar." Arjuna was a military man, warrior. He was kṣatriya, not even brāhmaṇa, not a Vedāntist, nothing of the sort. He knew how to fight only. That's all. That was his qualification. But Kṛṣṇa wanted to teach him.

Why? That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhakto 'si: "Because you are My devotee." Therefore, to understand Bhagavad-gītā, the yoga system, one has to become a person of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is bhakta. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si [Bg. 4.3]

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

"You are My devotee, and you are very dear to Me. Therefore I am explaining to you."

So if you want to know the perfect yoga system, then you will know it from Bhagavad-gītā perfectly. It is very easy. And you have to accept it... Because it was spoken to Arjuna very confidentially, bhakto 'si, so as Arjuna understood it...

That is also explained in the Tenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, how Arjuna accepted Bhagavad-gītā. In that process, if you try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, then you can practice yoga system at home without any difficulty, and your life will be successful.

So yoga system is described in the Bhagavad-gītā in the Sixth Chapter. Of course, I do not know how much time you can spare. I could explain.

[aside:] How much time? It is now 8:15.

Anyway, I shall try to explain some of the verses. The haṭha-yoga system, as mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, that is also prescribed, the haṭha-yoga system, that...

[break] Now, He is prescribing the preliminary process of practicing yoga. What is that?

śucau deśe pratiṣṭhāpya
sthiram āsanam ātmanaḥ
nāty-ucchritaṁ nāti-nīcaṁ

[Bg. 6.11]

[To practice yoga, one should go to a secluded place and should lay kuśa-grass on the ground and then cover it with a deerskin and a soft cloth. The seat should neither be too high nor too low and should be situated in a sacred place. The yogī should then sit on it very firmly and should practice yoga by controlling the mind and the senses, purifying the heart and fixing the mind on one point.]

First of all, to practice yoga, you have to find out a very secret and sacred place. Yogī yuñjīta satatam ātmānaṁ rahasi sthitaḥ. Rahasi means in a secluded place. Yoga practice cannot be done—haṭha-yoga system, as it is prescribed, aṣṭāṅga-yoga, the eight divisional yoga system—that cannot be practiced in assembly or in a crowded place or in a class.

But Bhagavad-gītā says that yogī yuñjīta satatam ātmānaṁ rahasi sthitaḥ. Rahasi sthitaḥ means in a secluded place. Ekākī. Ekākī means alone. Ekākī yata-cittātmā, "controlling the senses and mind." Nirāśīḥ, "without any material desire," aparigrahaḥ, "or taking some help from others." Not that "I shall teach you yoga system by some monetary exchange." This is not yoga system. Aparigrahaḥ. Aparigrahaḥ means one should not expect something from others for learning or manifesting or exhibiting yoga system.

Then not only he has to remain alone in a secluded place, but śucau deśe. Śucau deśe means a very sacred place. Pratiṣṭhāpya sthiram āsanam ātmānaḥ: one should have his own sitting place. Not that... That means he cannot change his sitting place. The same sitting place he should continue yoga system. Nāty-ucchritaṁ nāti-nīcaṁ cailājina-kuśottaram. There are skin, deerskin, and then straw mat, and then some soft clothing. In this way there is system of making your āsana, seat. Then,

tatraikāgraṁ manaḥ kṛtvā
upaviśyāsane yuñjyād
yogam ātma-viśuddhaye

[Bg. 6.12]

[One should hold one's body, neck and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus with an unagitated, subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.]

"In that seat you have to concentrate your mind in order to purify your senses." That is the process. Real yoga process means to purify the senses and purify the mind.

Then how one has to execute that yoga system? It is said, samaṁ kāya-śiro-grīvam. Kāya means this trunk, body, and śira means head, and grīva means the neck. So it should be in a straight line. Samaṁ kāya-śiro-grīvaṁ dhārayann acalam. You should sit in such a posture that it will not move. It will not move. Straight, straight line.

Then samprekṣya nāsikāgraṁ svam: "You have to see the tip of your nose, sitting straight line, without any movement, and you have to see the tip of your nose." Samprekṣya nāsikāgraṁ svaṁ diśaś cānavalokayan: "And you cannot see any other side. You have to simply see..." These are the process of concentrating the mind.

Then praśāntātmā, by practicing, when you will be completely peaceful... Praśāntātmā vigata-bhīr. Vigata-bhīr means without any fear. And brahmacāri-vrate sthitaḥ, without any sex life. A yogī cannot indulge in sex life. That is the first principle. Brahmacāri-vrata sthitaḥ manaḥ saṁyamya mac-citto: "Concentrate the mind," mac-citto, "focusing the mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ. This is the yoga practice.

But unfortunately, who is practicing yoga in this process? Nobody can find out a secluded place; nobody can concentrate his mind in that way; nobody can fix up in one seat; nobody can constantly look on the tip of the nose. So there are many other formulas explained here. So therefore, as Lord..., and in the Bhāgavata it is stated that kṛte tad dhyāyato viṣṇum: "These process were tangible, possible to perform in the age which is known as Satya-yuga, or the Golden Age."

Now you will find in these Bhagavad-gītā pages that after explaining the process of practicing yoga system, Arjuna said, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, excuse me. I cannot practice this. I cannot practice this. It is impossible for me." Why? "Oh, I am a military man. How can I find out a secluded place? How can I sit in such a way? My mind is always restless. I have to do so many political affairs. So it is not possible for me."

So how it is possible for the present-day people, which was refused by Arjuna five thousand years ago? It is not possible. The yoga system is accepted in the Vedic literature, that is a standard practice for self-realization. But the, I mean, diagnosis of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum [SB 12.3.52]

[Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord's lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.]

"The yoga system of meditation was possible to be practiced in the Golden Age, or in the Satya-yuga," but not in this age. Then how self-realization is possible? That is said, kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt: "Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa." It doesn't require a secluded place, a sanctified place, or so many rules and regulation. Anywhere you can chant.

While you are walking on the street, you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa; you are in meditation. While you are working, you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Nobody is going to tax you; nobody is going to bother you. You have no loss, but the gain is immense.

So this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is started, and it is easy, it is prescribed. If you at all want to get some spiritual benefit, you try to follow the prescribed method. Just like if you want at all to be cured, you must take the prescription of an experienced physician. Don't take any prescription who is a quack. If you take proper treatment, if you follow the instruction, then you be sure that you get the result out of it.

So in the last, when Arjuna refused, that "Kṛṣṇa, it is not possible. This system is not possible for me," then Kṛṣṇa, as the last standard of this yoga system process, He said plainly that,

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ

[Bg. 6.47]

[And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.]

Yoginām, "all kinds of yogīs." There are many yogīs: karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī, dhyāna-yogī, hatha-yogī, bhakti-yogī. Yoga system is just like a staircase. Just like in New York, that Empire State Building, that 102-story building, so there is a staircase or a lift. So yoga system is just like a lift to go to the highest perfection of life.

But there are different, I mean to say, flats. Just like karma-yoga. You can approach, you can make progress to the first or second floor. Similarly, by jñāna-yoga, you can make progress to the fiftieth floor. And similarly, by dhyāna-yoga, you can make progress up to the eightieth floor. But by bhakti-yoga, you can go to the highest platform.

This is also very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55]

[One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.]

"If you want to know Me cent percent, then come to this bhakti-yoga." And this bhakti-yoga means this śravaṇam. The first thing is śravaṇam and kīrtanam. You simply chant and hear, simple process. You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and hear. Immediately you become benefited, immediately, and you get ecstasy.

So our humble request is that this is very simple process, recommended process, approved process, and experimental process. If you try it without any loss, but with a prospect of a great gain, then you are request that you can accept it.

Thank you. Now if there is any question, you can ask.

[pause] No question? Yes?

Guest (1): You were speaking about the Golden Age, the age when seventy-five percent of people were pure.

Prabhupāda: No. Cent percent, Golden Age.

Guest (1): How many?

Prabhupāda: Cent percent.

Guest (1): Ten?

Prabhupāda: Cent percent.

Guest (1): Ten?

Prabhupāda: Cent.

Guest (1): Oh, a hundred.

Prabhupāda: Hundred percent. Yes.

Guest (1): Why would they practice yoga at a time when everybody was pure anyway?

Prabhupāda: Pure means materially pure. But yoga practice means go to the spiritual platform. Just like in the material qualities, some men are very good men—the quality of goodness—and some men are in passion. That is the rajo-guṇa. And some men are in darkness. So there are three qualities in the material world: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa.

So those who are situated in the modes of goodness, they are called perfect in the material world; very good men. That "very good man" does not mean that he is spiritually advanced. He may be moralist. He may be philanthropist, just like so many leaders of nation. That is another thing.

The spiritual state is called viśuddha-sattva. Viśuddha-sattva means goodness where no other quality can contaminate. Here even one man is very good man, sometimes he is tinged with passion or ignorance. Just like I told you that Mahātmā Gandhi, he was a recognized good man, but he committed so many mistakes.

So pure goodness is not possible in this material world. Pure goodness means spiritual life. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ [SB 5.18.12].

[All the demigods and their exalted qualities, such as religion, knowledge and renunciation, become manifest in the body of one who has developed unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. On the other hand, a person devoid of devotional service and engaged in material activities has no good qualities. Even if he is adept at the practice of mystic yoga or the honest endeavor of maintaining his family and relatives, he must be driven by his own mental speculations and must engage in the service of the Lord's external energy. How can there be any good qualities in such a man?]

So because the spirit soul by nature is pure, by nature... As God is pure, similarly, we are part and parcel of God, we are also pure in our original position. But due so long..., since we have come in contact with this material nature, our inferiorities in different qualities or different degrees are present.

So for spiritual advancement, one has to come first to the platform of goodness, then pure goodness.

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

[Bg. 18.54]

[And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.]

These things are there. So in the Satya-yuga, cent percent, or hundred percent people, they were on the platform of the quality of goodness.

Guest (2): Can a person..., er, if a person is married and they are interested in entering into Hare Kṛṣṇa, you know, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, can they reach the ultimate?

Prabhupāda: Why not? There is no restriction. Marriage is sanctified prescription in every scripture. There were many great souls who were married. Marriage is no hindrance.

Guest (2): But what about celibacy?

Prabhupāda: Celibacy is still better. But one who cannot, I mean to say, prosecute a celibate life, he can marry. There is no such restriction.

Guest (3): You talk about different yogas reaching different platforms, like one the twenty-fifth, one the fiftieth, and one the eightieth. Now, is it really... Does each one really reach the same point? Say one reaches the eightieth. Does it first reach the fiftieth and then the eightieth? In other words, do two yogas get to the same point? Then one can take you further, but the other one...

Prabhupāda: Yes. You have got the alternative. The same example: Just like in that Empire State building there are staircases, and there is lift also. So if you want to go step by step, then you can go. That is your option. But if you take the advantage of the lift, oh, in a second you can go.

Guest (3): And bhakti...

Prabhupāda: Similarly, there are different yoga processes. If you stick to some process, you go little further. Then you take another—you go little further. But if you take the bhakti-yoga process, it is the lift immediately. Because, as I quoted the verse from Bhagavad-gītā, yoginām api sarveṣām [Bg. 6.47].

[And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.]

Sarveṣām means all. There are different kinds of yogīs. So "Out of different kinds of many yogīs," mad-gatenāntarātmanā, "one who is thinking of Me always within his heart," mad-gatenāntarāt..., śraddhāvān bhajate mām, "and is engaged in My service with faith and devotion," sa me yuktatamo, "oh, he is the first-class yogī." He is the first-class yogī.

Because yoga means to contact the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the ultimate goal. So if by some process you can at once contact the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that is first class. That is made easy in this age. Simply by chanting "Kṛṣṇa," you immediately contact. Immediately. So why not take this process? Why not try? Just give a try, and reach immediately. That is our proposal. We request everyone, "Try this process."


Guest (4): Does devotion come before wakefulness, or does wakefulness come before devotion?

Prabhupāda: Before?

Guest (4): Wakefulness, awareness.

Devotee: [explaining] Does devotion come before wakefulness, or does wakefulness come before devotion?

Prabhupāda: What do you mean by wakefulness?

Guest (4): Awareness. You know, feeling the presence, being aware of yourself.

Prabhupāda: No. First you have to execute devotion; then awareness comes. If you do not read or labor for passing your examination, how you can pass examination? So therefore devotion is the prescribed rules and regulation. That is not very difficult. The primary rule is that you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Just see. It is not difficult.


Guest (5): Should not one try to purify one's heart first, and personality?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That will go. Just like if you take proper medicine for curing your disease, the more your disease is cured, you feel healthy life. Pure life means healthy life, and impure life means unhealthy life.

So there is a process of bhakti-yoga, how one becomes purified. The first stage is ādau śraddhā. Just like you have, all ladies and gentlemen, come here with little respect for this, I mean to say, movement, Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the basic principle. A little faith: "Oh, all right. Let us hear about it. Let us see." This is the beginning. Ādau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅga [Cc. Madhya 23.14].

[“’In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sādhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.’]

Now, if you think, "Oh, it is very nice. Oh, Swāmījī explains very nicely," then you come again. That is called sādhu-saṅga, association. We have got our class. If you want, you can associate with us. Ādau śraddhā tato-sādhu-saṅga tato bhajana-kriyā. Bhajana-kriyā means practice. Just like my students, they came also like this.

Not in the beginning they accepted, but he came after attending some lectures, then advanced, then offered that "Swāmījī, I want to be your student." That is called bhajana-kriyā. So if he practices the bhajana-kriyā, then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Then he becomes purified. This is the process of purification. Anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt.

Tato niṣṭhā. And as soon as he is purified, he become stuck up to this principle. He cannot give up. Tato niṣṭhā tato ruciḥ. Ruci means he gets a taste for it. Don't you think they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa always... Hackneyed, for others it is hackneyed, but they are feeling pleasure.

Tato niṣṭhā tato ruciḥ. Ruci means taste. Tathāsakti. Then they cannot give it up. Tato bhāva. Then ecstasy. Sādhakānām ayaṁ premṇaḥ prādurbhāve bhavet kramaḥ: "These are the gradual process of developing love of Godhead." And as soon as you develop love of Godhead, your life is perfect.


Guest (6): Can you explain the reason why yogīs don't eat meat?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Guest (2): Why shouldn't they eat meat?

Prabhupāda: Meat-eating, and if you believe in Bhagavad-gītā, is not the..., against the..., our purificatory process. You cannot kindle fire, at the same time add water on it. If you want to kindle fire, then you have to keep that place very dry and fan it. Similarly, there are rules and regulation. Out of that rules and regulation is jīva-hiṁsā [CB Madhya-khaṇḍa 15.072].

[“O Lord, You reside in the hearts of all living entities and I have committed violence against many of them.]

Jīva-hiṁsā means unnecessary killing of animals. Now, if you have got sufficient foodstuff—a state I see in America... Oh, you have got sufficient grains, sufficient fruits, sufficient milk, milk products. Then if you can live on these things which are meant for human being, why should you kill animals unnecessarily?

If there is no alternative, that you cannot live... Just like in the desert, Arabian Desert, there is no fruit, no grain; for them animal-eating may be permitted. Because after all, we have to live. That is a different thing. But when you have got very nice foodstuff, and a very nutritious, palatable, sweet, why should you indulge in this unnecessary killing of animals? That is..., will go against your purification. Therefore it is prohibited.

Guest (6): Is the unnecessary killing of animals part of, say, in relation to the incarnation, evolution to [indistinct] forms. The objection to doing it is based on...?

Satsvarūpa: Is the objection to eating meat based on transmigration?

Prabhupāda: Transmigration from animals?

Satsvarūpa: From animal to man.

Prabhupāda: No, animal can eat... The tiger, he is... By nature, he does not eat fruit or grain. He simply eats animals. So he can do that.

Guest (2): No, he was saying is there a relationship..., is the reason why we're not eating meat due to the fact that once we were animals and now we've progressed to human nature, to human form? Does that have any relationship?

Prabhupāda: Yes. The nature is that everyone should eat another living animal or another living creature for existence. That is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity is the life of another living entity." That is a fact. Just like sahastānām ahastānam [SB 1.13.47]

[Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.]

Those who have got hands—that means men—for them, ahastāni, means the animals who have got no hands. And apadānanaṁ catuṣ-padām: "And the four-legged animals, they eat the grass, who cannot move." So grass has got life, as the animal has got life, we have got life. So this is... Nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra: "The strong is eating the weak."

So this is the law of nature. We are eating the grains and fruits. They have got also life. It is not that those who are vegetarians, or eating grains and fruit, they are not eating life. They are also eating life. But the bhakti-yoga process is that, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that the devotees, they take prasādam.

We have got arrangement of distributing prasādam in every Sunday. Prasādam means the foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa, and then you take. So what Kṛṣṇa wants, that is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati [Bg. 9.26].

[If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.]

Therefore we are not propagating the philosophy of ahiṁsā, or nonviolence, because in some way or other, there is violence, either you take fruit or grain or animal. But the principle is that you have to take prasādam, the foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa, and then you eat.

So these things, fruits, grains, are accepted by Kṛṣṇa. We offer to Kṛṣṇa and then we [indistinct]. This is the philosophy. Not that because we are eating fruits, therefore we are getting pious, and because you are eating... [break]

When you become cent percent purified, then you go to the spiritual world. You haven't got to come back. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: yad gatvā na nivartante yad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6].

[That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.]

So purificatory means that we are changing our bodies, life after life, transmigrating. Now this is the opportunity. This human form of life is the opportunity to purify ourself so that next life we can get complete spiritual life, full of bliss, knowledge and eternity. This is the process.

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to get the highest perfection of life. And that opportunity is offered to the human society. The animal society, they cannot take advantage. The Bhagavad-gītā is meant for the human society.

So if we take advantage of the presentation given by Kṛṣṇa, if you practice Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then there is opportunity of becoming fully, cent percent perfect. We have to take advantage of it. That's all.


Guest (7): To give up matter through the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, to make this contact by using the words of matter, how [indistinct]?

Prabhupāda: It is very simple. It is sound vibration. Sound is the beginning of all material creation. Everywhere there is sound. So... And God is in everywhere; therefore He is also in sound. So in sound form we can realize Him. The "Kṛṣṇa," the transcendental sound, and the Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Lord, is identical. That we have to realize by practicing.

nāma cintāmaṇiḥ kṛṣṇaś
pūrṇaḥ śuddho nitya-mukto
abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ

[Cc. Madhya 17.133]

[“’The holy name of Kṛṣṇa is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Kṛṣṇa Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Kṛṣṇa’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Kṛṣṇa Himself. Since Kṛṣṇa’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with māyā. Kṛṣṇa’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa Himself are identical.’]

There is no, I mean to say, difference between the Supreme Person and His name. Just like in the material conception there is difference. If you want water, simply by chanting "water, water," your satisfaction will not be there. But in the spiritual world, everything being absolute, there is no difference between the name "Kṛṣṇa" and the person Kṛṣṇa.

Therefore by... And it is the easiest process for you. You can chant this name "Kṛṣṇa." That means by sound contact, you contact the Supreme Person. That is a point of realization. You have to practice it, and you'll know very easily.

Guest: Do you have some time to chant before us?

Satsvarūpa: We chant now?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Go on chanting. Yes. Thank you very much.

You join with us these sixteen words: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Please, you can try in this class, and try to find out how it is nice.


[kīrtana] [prema-dhvani] All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much.


[prasāda distribution]

Distribute prasāda. Oh, you should have cut it before. Why did you not cut it before? Take somebody and distribute. Take that pot. Distribute one. You can distribute. You supply. You take and supply. Yes. Yes. You take and supply. What is that?

Why you have not cut it? It is taking simply time. Cut it. Yes. Go on, take it. You take it. You take it. Supply that. You take and supply that. Take it there.

[sounds of utensils and pots]

[long pause] Go take that pot. The very pot, you can take. That pot. All right. Take it. Go on. You can wash later. [end]