Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.15 , London , 1971-08-03
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
nīhāram iva bhāskarā
This is a discussion between Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Mahārāja Parīkṣit. The question was that "Why people are suffering in different types of hellish condition of life, and how they can be delivered?"
Parīkṣit Mahārāja heard from Śukadeva Gosvāmī that there [are] different kinds of hellish condition of life according to different types of sinful activities. So in this material world everyone is implicated, or involved, in some sort of sinful life. Just like in the prison house. One may be a first-class prisoner, just like sometimes big politicians, they are put into first-class prison arrangement.
A second-class prisoner, a third-class prisoner there are. But as soon as we understand this man is in the prison, or prisoner, it should be understood that he's criminal. He has committed some criminal activity; therefore he is in prison. Now, you can compare between the first-class prisoner or third-class prisoner, that is another thing. But they're all prisoners. They're undergoing the duration of prison life.
[break] Anyone who is in this material world—he may be Brahmā or a small, insignificant ant—it is to be understood that he's sinful. It doesn't matter whether he is Brahmā or an insignificant ant. Everyone has got a different type of body according to the desires of sinful activities.
In the Bhagavad-gītā also it is stated, yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke tyajaty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. At the time of death the situation of mental situation, according to that mental situation he gets the next body. How? The example is: just like air passing over a nice rose garden. The air is carrying the flavor of the rose garden. And if the air is passing through some filthy place, stool, urine, then it carries the smell of stool and urine. The air is pure, but according to the blowing of the air under certain situation, it is carrying the flavor, or smell, a bad smell or good smell.
Similarly, we spirit souls, we are all parts and parcel of the Supreme Lord. Therefore, qualitatively we are one. If God is gold, then I am also gold. How can I be otherwise? Because I am part and parcel. If God is iron, then I am also iron. That is my position. But as I am carrying different airs by my association with this material nature, I am getting a different body. It is very simple to understand.
We are getting different bodies, that's a fact. Even in our present life we have passed through so many different bodies: a baby's body, a child's body, a boy's body, young man's body. All those bodies are gone. Now I am undergoing in an old man's body. Similarly, when this body will be useless for any purpose, then I accept another body. This is called transmigration of the soul. So for another body, that will be created according to the mental situation we made here at the present body—just like the same air passing through rose garden and air passing through a toilet room.
Therefore, this human form of body is specially meant for creating a favorable situation so that when we pass through this body, or we leave this body, and we accept another body, we'll get exact a body like Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are trying to change the consciousness of the people so that this preparation will help him to get exactly a body like Kṛṣṇa in next life, and he may dance with Kṛṣṇa in rāsa dance. That is our propaganda.
Body you'll get. That's a fact. Just as you are getting one body after another in this life, similarly, tathā dehāntara-prāptir [Bg. 2.13], similarly another change of body. Dhīras tatra na muhyati. Those who are in the knowledge, they're not surprised. They know what kind of body. "My father left this body; now he has accepted another body." He can understand what kind of body he has.
How? Just like when you see a friend going away to other place by plane, you know, "This plane is meant for..." Just like I came from New York yesterday to London. So everyone knows that I have gone to London. How? They are not seeing me, but from the evidences of the ticket, of the aeroplane and everything, they know certainly, "Swāmīji has gone to London." Similarly, if you know the things right, you can know also "Where this man is going after death."
How you can know? That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā [Bg. 14.18]: "Those who are situated in the modes of goodness..." There are three qualities in the material world: the quality of goodness, the quality of passion and the quality of ignorance. So if you know somebody that he is in the quality of goodness, then you can understand, ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā. Those who are in the quality of goodness, they are being promoted to the higher planetary system.
Ūrdhvaṁ gacchanti sattva-sthā madhye tiṣṭhanti rājasāḥ: and those who are in the modes of passion, they remain in the middle planetary system. And jaghanya-guṇa-vṛtti-sthā adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ: and those who are associating very much abominable condition of life, they go adhaḥ, downward. So we can understand from the śāstras. Therefore people has to be taught to be situated in the modes of goodness. At least, he will be guaranteed to get a life in the higher planetary system, if not liberated. That is Vedic civilization.
The whole Vedic civilization is to elevate people. There are two kinds of system in the Vedas: pravṛtti-mārga, nivṛtti-mārga. Because we are all here criminals... Criminal means we have come here within this material world with a purpose to enjoy to the fullest extent. Don't you see? Anywhere you go, people are struggling so hard because the idea is that "I shall be greater than him" or "I shall be very great." "I shall be minister," "I shall be president," "I shall be big merchant," "I shall be very big leader." "How I can be bigger?" When he fails everything, then he thinks, "Now I shall become God." This is going on.
So up to the understanding to become God is materialism. All endeavors up to the point of becoming God is materialism. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that "You cannot be happy by all these religious systems." Religious system... There are two kinds of religious systems. Some of them are pravṛtti-mārga, increasing the path of enjoyment, sense enjoyment. That dictates that "You come to the heavenly planet. You'll have ten thousands of years' duration of life and very beautiful women to enjoy. Very nice garden, and drinking soma-rasa." So this is called pravṛtti-mārga.
And nivṛtti-mārga means a little more advanced, when one understands that there is no actual happiness in this way, then he says, "This is all false." Brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā: "The world is false. Now let me search out Brahman." Athāto brahma jijñāsā. But... That path of brahma-jijñāsa is called nivṛtti-mārga, negativating this path of enjoyment. But śāstra says that simply by understanding that "This is false, and I'll have to become away from these false engagement," so without knowledge of Kṛṣṇa, such elevators, they become impersonalist and voidist, to make negative this material enjoyment.
So we are manufacturing so many religious system on these two platforms. One platform is how to enjoy to the fullest extent, and another platform is how to become zero, voidism. But actually, neither you are enjoyer, nor you are zero. Both of them are false. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that any religious system on the basis of this renunciation or enjoyment... When we take this material world as fact, that means we want to enjoy it. And when are frustrated, then we want to make zero. So actually, it is neither zero, nor there is any cause of frustration. You have to simply to take to the right knowledge.
The right knowledge is given in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says,
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
If you simply understand that Kṛṣṇa is the only enjoyer, then your propensity to become false enjoyer will be vanquished, that "I am not enjoyer. Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer." Then there is no question of renunciation also. Bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram. And He says that "I am the proprietor of all planetary systems," loka. Loka means universe. Then what you have got to renounce?
If Kṛṣṇa or somebody is proprietor of something, what is the meaning of your renouncement? And if He is the only enjoyer, then what is the meaning of you are enjoyer? So if you enjoy, then you become a thief. And if you renounce, you become a pretender—because we have nothing to renounce, and you cannot enjoy others' property. This is your position. So one who knows this perfectly well, he's in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is sum and substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So when we engage ourself in enjoying others' property... Because Kṛṣṇa's property, how you can enjoy? That means you become criminal. Just like in the modern state, or any state, if you want to enjoy others' property, then you are a thief. That is the statement given in the Īśopaniṣad, īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]: everything belongs to God. Yat kiñcid jagatyāṁ jagat. Anything, anywhere in this universe, it belongs to God. "Then? How I can enjoy? I have to live. If everything belongs to God..." Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā. "Yes, you can enjoy."
Just like the father in a family. Father is very rich. Actually, the proprietor is the father, but the enjoyers are the sons. Similarly, whatever there is, it is the property of God. But because you are all sons of God, you have got the right to enjoy the property of the father. There is no denying. But you cannot enjoy the property of your other brother. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā. Whatever the father says, "My dear boy, you enjoy this," you be satisfied with that. Don't try to encroach upon others', other brothers' property. Then you'll be criminal. You enjoy. Kṛṣṇa has give you sufficient. Kṛṣṇa is not poor. Sarvaiśvarya... Ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pūrṇa.
So if you remain satisfied what is given to you by Kṛṣṇa and remain in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that "My father is so kind, my father is so rich, so let me abide by the orders of my father and live peacefully," then the world becomes peaceful. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is very scientific and authorized. But as soon as we want to encroach upon others' property, to enjoy more than it is allocated to me, that is criminal.
So in order to become free from this criminality, there are so many prescription in the śāstras. They're called tapasya. The beginning is the tapasya. Tapasya means just like a thief wants to steal others' property, but if he thinks at the same time, "No, no, it will be criminal. Father has said it is criminal. I shall not steal others' property," this is tapasya. Because I have got the inclination to steal, to usurp other things, but if I restrain myself by the order of father or the śāstras, the laws... Just like a thief. He knows that if he steals, if he takes others' property, he'll be arrested and he will be punished. But he has got that bad inclination. That is called pāpa-bīja.
The śāstras, they prescribe different types of atonement for person who has committed criminal activities. The criminal activities is that if you encroach upon others' property, others' right, that is criminal. Tena tyaktena... You should be satisfied whatever Kṛṣṇa has allotted to you. Therefore we are training our devotees to take kṛṣṇa-prasādam. Whatever Kṛṣṇa has willfully left after His eating, we take it.
But Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He keeps the prasādam as it is. Because He's pūrṇa. He's not hungry. He's feeding millions of living entities. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. So He's not hungry. Neither whatever you are offering to Kṛṣṇa, it is your property. It is Kṛṣṇa's property. You cannot manufacture fruits, flowers, grains or milk, or anything else. Anything eatable you cannot manufacture in your factory. That is Kṛṣṇa's manufacture. Therefore, actually it is Kṛṣṇa's property. Simply you have to acknowledge: "Kṛṣṇa, You are so kind. You have given so many things for our eating. First of all, You taste. Then we shall take it." What is the difficulty? This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So each and every item, if you study what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then your life will be happy—if you take to it. Simply understanding Kṛṣṇa, you'll be liberated. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti...
Kṛṣṇa says that "If somebody simply understands Me, Kṛṣṇa, in fact..." To understand Kṛṣṇa superficially is no knowledge of Kṛṣṇa. Tattvataḥ. That tattvic knowledge is also very difficult. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā,
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
It is very difficult to understand. Because Kṛṣṇa says out of many millions of people, one is perfect, and out of many millions of perfect men, one can hardly understand Kṛṣṇa.
So it is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa. But if one is fortunate, he can understand. How? Now, Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate [Bg. 10.8]: "There is no more higher truth than Me." So if one is fortunate to understand Kṛṣṇa, that there is no more higher truth than Kṛṣṇa, and if he follows the advice of Kṛṣṇa, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66], then he's fortunate. Fortunate means everyone has got his discretion. So one who has the fortune to discriminate, then he can understand Kṛṣṇa very easily.
Therefore this association is required, how to understand Kṛṣṇa, although it is very difficult. But the difficulty is removed by the association of devotees, by the association of Kṛṣṇa. So this opening of different centers in different parts of the world means we are trying to give association of Kṛṣṇa to everyone. There is no discrimination. Just like in the Western countries we are trying to give Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the last four or five years, and people are taking it. We have got now sixty centers, and they're accepting the principles; they're becoming devotees of Kṛṣṇa sincerely.
So it is not very difficult task, provided one is sincere and serious. Then as soon as you understand Kṛṣṇa, then what happens to you? Kṛṣṇa says, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. Anyone who simply understands Kṛṣṇa, then the result will be that after quitting this body you won't have to come back again in this material world and accept a body for different kinds of miserable condition. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]: "He doesn't take birth again here." Then where does he go? Mām eti, "He comes to Me."
So these are simple truths, all explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. It is open to everyone. Kṛṣṇa is everyone's father. You may take Kṛṣṇa Indian God, or Kṛṣṇa Indian or Hindu, but Kṛṣṇa says that sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]: "In all forms of life, in all species of life, whoever he may be, I am the seed-giving father." So don't think that Kṛṣṇa is for the Hindus, for the Indians or for the human being. No. Kṛṣṇa is for everyone. Otherwise, how He is God?
If He is for a particular section, then how He can be God? God cannot be for a particular type of man or particular section, particular society. God is for human being or the birds, beasts, aquatics, insect, trees, plants—everyone. That is God. He says, sarva-yoniṣu: "In every species of life, whatever form may be, that doesn't matter," ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā [Bg. 14.4], He says, "I am the seed-giving father." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So our proposition is that we are somehow or other in an envelopment of so many mistakes. And therefore we are suffering. Suffering means due to ignorance. Just like a man does not know the law of the country... A similar instance: just like here in London the car is driven from the left side; in America the car is driven by the right side. So suppose one comes from America, he's driving the car from the right side, the police arrest. "Why you arrest me, sir?" "Because you are driving on the right side." "That I know. I do not know that you have to drive left side." "That does not mean you are freed from criminal charges. Come to the court."
So this criminality is happened on account of ignorance. So any criminal person wrongly-guided means ignorance. Therefore we have to develop real knowledge. The real knowledge is that God is one, God is great, we are part and parcel of God, and therefore we have to serve God. This is knowledge.
Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break]
Śyāmasundara: Does anyone have any questions that you would like to ask Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Guest (1): Your Divine Grace, you talked about when one was dead, if he's complete in Kṛṣṇa consciousness or is ready to take death and is in exact mindfulness of this state. How..., how do you process to a right moment unless one is helped at the last minute of death?[?]
Prabhupāda: Yes, somehow or other, at the time of your death if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then your life is successful. Ante nārāyaṇa smṛtiḥ [SB 2.1.6]. But if you do not practice while you're conscious, then it is very difficult to remember Kṛṣṇa at the time of death.
Guest (1): Would you possibly say that the moment of death, the last thought which is...
Prabhupāda: At the time of death, somehow or other, if you are fortunate enough to remember Kṛṣṇa, then your life is successful. I shall describe this instance in these discourses, Ajāmila, how he became delivered. So the real purpose is ante nārāyaṇa-smṛtiḥ: at the time of death we may be able to think of Kṛṣṇa. Then life is successful.
Guest (1): Much has been said about yoga and...
Prabhupāda: That yoga is also the same thing. Yoga practice means to concentrate one's mind, to practice, to Viṣṇu form within the heart. Viṣṇu is another form of Kṛṣṇa. So not this modern yoga system, thinking something void. This is not prescribed in the authoritative scriptures. That is simply taking trouble. Kleśaḥ adhikataras teṣām avyaktāsakta-cetasām [Bg. 12.5]. Those who are attached to void, voidness, they simply take more trouble to realize God.
Guest (2): Many books from the East advocate the..., without any success in yoga, before one has success, the kuṇḍalinī must be opened. What do you think about this?
Prabhupāda: Well, we think of Bhagavad-gītā first, then others. Bhagavad-gītā says that yoga should be practiced concentrating one's mind on Kṛṣṇa. Mat-parāyaṇaḥ. Vāsudeva-parāyaṇaḥ. Nārāyaṇa parāyaṇaḥ. These words are there. So if yoga practice is performed by concentrating one's mind on Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, that is first-class yoga, and that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntarātmanā [Bg. 6.47]: "Of all yogīs, one who is always thinking of Me within the heart, he is first-class yogī."
So if you are practicing yoga, we should recommend that you think of Kṛṣṇa within your heart. That will help you. That is our advice. But if you think something else, that is your business. [laughter] We cannot advise anything. But we would advise you, if you are fond of practicing yoga... This is also yoga. This is called bhakti-yoga. Everything yoga—jñāna-yoga, karma-yoga, dhyāna-yoga, haṭha-yoga. Generally, they practice haṭha-yoga, and they're satisfied only by getting into practice the system of āsana. That's all.
But there are many other steps: yama, niyama, āsana, praṇāyāma, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, pratyāhāra, samādhi. Say, generally, the so-called yogī class, they simply practice some āsana. And no yama, niyama, dhyāna, dhāraṇā, pratyāhāra. So to practice yoga, it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, first of all you have to select a secluded place. And that must be very sacred. And you have to sit there alone.
Who is going to do that? It is not possible to practice yoga in a fashionable city. It is not possible. Therefore India, those who are actually yogīs, they go to the Himalaya, Haridwar, in a secluded place, in a sacred place they sit down tight and practice yoga. That is yoga. Not that in a yoga class you practice some gymnastic and you become a yogī.
Yoga system is very difficult this time, haṭha-yoga system. But we do not know that. We want everything very cheap. Oh, that is not possible. Because it is not possible, therefore in this age the śāstra recommends, harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and you will achieve... And see the result. We have got thousands of students. They have been called by the newspaper reporter "bright-faced." Compare with these students and any yoga class student: how much they know, how do they know?
So this haṭha-yoga system is a recommended system. That's all right. But it is not possible in this age. It is very difficult. This practice is very easy. Even a child can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and he becomes purified. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So if your business is how to become purified and realize yourself or realize God, then this is the system in this age. You have to take to it, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you take to other system, you are at liberty. But so far śāstra is concerned, that will not be successful.
Guest (2): When the living entity comes to the material world, what is the state of the spiritual body? And how does this spiritual body begin to develop?
Prabhupāda: Spiritual body is there already. You simply cover yourself with another material coating. Just like you are trying to go to the moon planet. Your body's there, but you coat your body just suitable to the moon planet. And that dress costs $40,000, or something like that. [laughter] So after spending $40,000 for each man and going for so many years, they have collected little dust. That is their success. So if you want to waste your money in that way, do that. [laughter]
Indian lady: Is it better to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra loud or is it better to hide the mantra?[?]
Prabhupāda: As loud as possible.
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!
Prabhupāda: So that others can hear and take benefit of it. There is no secret. It is not that secret mantra, that "I'll give you a special mantra, and you give me $35." [laughter] It is open to everyone. Chant loud, as loudly as possible. No question of payment.
Guest (3): Your Divine Grace, have you seen Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You are not seeing? Why you are so blind? Everyone sees Kṛṣṇa is here.
Woman: Is it a very good omen to see in your sleep state a person showing to do the Hare Kṛṣṇa chant?
Prabhupāda: Well, sleep, when you sleep and dream, you take it all false. It is not very good omen.
Śyāmasundara: She said...
Woman: Like you do anything about the movement in sleep, and I was [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: Sleep... Sleep is sleep. But in advanced stages in sleep also... Dream means whatever you act in awakened state, that comes as something, phantasmagoria. But actually, you have to do according to the rules and regulation, not under some dream or phantasmagoria. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness has to be executed according to the rules and regulations. Then it will be successful.
Indian lady: What does the peacock feather mean to Kṛṣṇa?
Śyāmasundara: What does a peacock feather mean to Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa likes it. Yes.
Indian lady: Is it a symbol of love or [indistinct], or what it is?
Prabhupāda: No. Kṛṣṇa likes peacock feather. Barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam [Bs. 5.30]. We cannot check Kṛṣṇa's liking. [laughter] Yes.
First of all, yes...
Indian man: I am very much thankful to you for giving this divine knowledge to our crippled people, who are suffering in this material world. But... And I'm also convinced by this of [indistinct] of Kṛṣṇa. I am somewhat surprised, and I feel very much grateful about... Or the world, it is not grateful for Kṛṣṇa consciousness[?]. And there were many Kṛṣṇa devotees in that part of the world which is now called Bangladesh. And millions of Kṛṣṇa devotees, all sons of Kṛṣṇa, are being butchered by the [indistinct] of their family or... I'm talking about West Pakistan. What is your answer to this sort of the genocide, or greatest man-made disaster?
Prabhupāda: That is going on since the creation. How can you stop it? The history repeats itself. This butchering, this attack by one country by another or by one king to another, that is going on. This is the nature; therefore it is called duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. This is a place simply for suffering. Therefore everyone's business is how to get out of it. You cannot stop what is going on in Bangladesh. It may be in Bangladesh or it may be in Vietnam or it may be in some other places—this is nature's law; it will go on. You cannot stop it.
The best thing is to get out of the scene. That is your business. You cannot stop it. Even if you show sympathy, that is useless. Because this is the way of nature. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati...[Bg. 4.7]. Paritrāṇāya sa..., vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8]. The vināśa is there. The two things are going on: maintenance and dissolution, and creation.
So you cannot stop the process. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, yaṁ hi na vyathayanty ete puruṣaṁ puruṣarṣabha [Bg. 2.15]: all these ephemeral things which come and go, if one is not disturbed by all these things, then he is the right candidate for liberation.
Indian man: They seem the greater criminal who is now telling these people there...
Prabhupāda: Well, criminal is criminal, greater or smaller. Just like in India it is said that if you have stolen a khira, a cucumber, or you have stolen a hīrā, a diamond, you are equally punishable.
Indian man: Do you think those who are butcher are all criminals?
Indian man: Those who are butcher, they are all criminals?
Prabhupāda: They may not be criminals, but what is your idea?
Indian man: I want to hear the solution from you to this disastrous situation in the present material world.
Prabhupāda: So what way you want?
Indian man: No, I don't know. I want from you.
Prabhupāda: So our solution is that chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Haribol! Jaya!
Indian lady: What is the best method of making your children Kṛṣṇa conscious? Teaching the śāstra or...?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Devotee: What is the best method of making children Kṛṣṇa conscious?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi [Bg. 7.11]. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that "Sexual intercourse which is not against religious principle, that is I am." Kṛṣṇa says. So sex intercourse should be not against the religious principle. Therefore illicit sex life is forbidden in our Society. Sex should be utilized only for begetting nice children, not for any other purpose.
Indian lady: How do you make the children [indistinct]? But how do you make them Kṛṣṇa conscious?
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are propagating this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement just to make everyone Kṛṣṇa conscious, never mind what is his past background. If one takes to this process, he becomes purified. That is our propaganda. We are not taking account of his past deeds. In the Kali-yuga everyone's past deeds is not very happy. Therefore we don't consider about the past deeds. We simply request that you take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And Kṛṣṇa also says that,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo...
It might be I was very sinful in my past life, but when I surrender to Kṛṣṇa, He gives me shelter and I am free. That is our proposal. We don't consider about the past deeds. Everyone may be sinful in his past deeds. That doesn't matter. But if he takes to Kṛṣṇa's shelter as Kṛṣṇa says, then Kṛṣṇa will give us protection. That is our propaganda.
Guest (3): Swāmījī, can you tell us why we're in material contamination? Why is it that the spirit soul has material contamination?
Prabhupāda: That is the slight independence of the spirit soul. As soon as the spirit soul wants to enjoy for himself... Just like many boy gives up the association of the parents and he wants to enjoy this material world in his own way, without the sanction of the father and mother. He has got the right. Similarly, although we are all sons of God, or Kṛṣṇa, we have got the independence to give up His company and enjoy this material world. That is contamination.
Guest (3): And do we all originate from Kṛṣṇa?
Indian lady: What is one's prescribed duty?
Śyāmasundara: What is one's prescribed duty?
Prabhupāda: To surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Very simple thing. "Kṛṣṇa, I forgot You for so many lives. Now I surrender unto You. Give me protection." That's all. Very simple thing. Yes?
Guest (4): Your Divine Grace, will you kindly explain the significance of Ratha-yātrā festival?
Prabhupāda: Ratha-yātrā is Kṛṣṇa's festival.
Guest (4): And purpose of it?
Prabhupāda: Purpose to see how Kṛṣṇa is enjoying.
Guest (4): Is it a victory procession? I'm not quite sure. I'm not quite sure whether it is a victory procession. And...
Prabhupāda: Yes, you'll be sure when you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. At this present..., at the present moment, you cannot be sure. But when you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness you'll be sure.
Guest (4): No, I mean, when Kṛṣṇa was returning from the Battlefield of...
Prabhupāda: Yes, this is meant for the devotees of the Kṛṣṇa, or those who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But with the Kṛṣṇa consciousness people, other also can take the advantage. But if anyone sincerely sees the Ratha-yātrā festival and understands how Kṛṣṇa visited Kurukṣetra along with His brother and sister, that is very nice. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Prabhupāda: I cannot hear you.
Kulaśekhara: Could you explain a little bit about the position in which we were situated in the spiritual sky before coming to the material world?
Śyāmasundara: What position did we occupy in the spiritual sky before we fell into the material world?
Prabhupāda: You are already in the spiritual sky, but you are simply covered. Just like the sun is already there. You are also already there, but there is a cloud which hinders your checking, your seeing of the sun. Similarly, the sky is one, when it is clouded or not clouded. So actually we are always in the spiritual world. But when you forget Kṛṣṇa by the cloud of illusion, that is material.
Try to understand. There is logic[?]... When the sky is clouded, you cannot see the sun, it does not mean that you are in a different sky. You are in the same sky. When the cloud is clear, you are in the same sky. But the difference of position is due to the cloud. That is called māyā. When you forget Kṛṣṇa, that is material. And as soon as you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, that is spiritual. Just like here, this temple is not in London; it is Vaikuṇṭha.
Prabhupāda: Because here everyone is Kṛṣṇa conscious. They haven't forgotten Kṛṣṇa. Therefore they are in Vaikuṇṭha. Others may see that "Oh, you are in London. How you are in Vaikuṇṭha?" Just like Kṛṣṇa, in the Bhagavad-gītā it says, īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]: God is situated in everyone's heart. So everyone's heart means He is in the heart of the hog also. But if the hog is within the stool, that does not mean Kṛṣṇa is also within the stool.
Similarly, the devotees, although they are in London or New York, they're in Vaikuṇṭha. That is to be realized when one is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Yatra tiṣṭhanti mad-bhaktā tatra tiṣṭhāmi nārada [Padma Purāṇa]. Kṛṣṇa says, "I live there where My devotees are there." So Kṛṣṇa can be everywhere where there is devotee.
So this "material world," "spiritual world" means when you forget Kṛṣṇa, that is material. When you are Kṛṣṇa conscious, that is spiritual. That's all. You may remain in the same place. Because everything is Kṛṣṇa's—īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]—so how you can distinguish what is material, what is spiritual?
If every, every part of the creation belongs to Kṛṣṇa, you cannot practically distinguish, "This portion is spiritual, this portion is material." That distinction is due to our forgetfulness. So as soon as you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness you will find everything spiritual.
Guest (5): If one realizes the impersonal Brahman, what progress can be made here from this?
Prabhupāda: So if you realize impersonal Brahman, there is chance of falling down again to the material conception. Because you are person, you cannot remain in impersonal stage. Therefore to elevate, to be elevated in the impersonal stage means there is chance of falling down again.
But if you elevate yourself to the personal conception of the Absolute Truth, there is no falldown. Of course, because we are marginal potency of Kṛṣṇa, there is possibility of falldown always. But those who are strong in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they do not fall.
That's all right. [end]