Bhagavad-gītā 2.12 , Calcutta , 1973-03-05

[kīrtana] [break]

Prabhupāda: [chants prema-dhvani prayers] [break]


na tv evāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ
na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ
sarve vayam ataḥ param

Kṛṣṇa, He’s advising Kṛṣṇa, ah, Arjuna, na tu evā ahaṁ: "Never was there any time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings. Nor in the future shall any of us cease to be." This verse confirms that we are eternal. Kṛṣṇa says that in the past we are like this, individual, in the past. That means in our past lives we are individual. Just like we are now individual at the present moment---you are Mr. Such-and-such, I am Mr. Such-and-such, he’s Mr. Such-and-such.

We are all individual souls. That we existed as individual souls in the past, and we are existing now. There is no question of... At the present, any one of us, we have got our individual opinion. Why I differ from your opinion? Why you differ from my opinion? Why you have got your own ideas, I have got my own ideas? I don’t agree, or agree with you? These are all individual things. That is not a homogenous amalgamation. The individuality is maintained, eternally.

Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, na tu evā ahaṁ. First of all, He’s the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He states about Himself that "I was also a person, and at the present moment I am also a person, and in the future also I shall continue to remain a person. Similarly not only I, "na tu evāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ na tvaṁ, "also you. You are also individual, and now you are individual, and in the future you will remain also individual." Tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ [Bg. 2.12].

And only because it was Battle of Kurukṣetra, so there were many kings, soldiers, so Kṛṣṇa says, "And all these janādhipāḥ, all these kings and soldiers who are present here, they were also the same thing." That means both God and the living entities, they’re all individuals. They’re all individuals. That is confirmed in the Vedas, Kaṭha Upaniṣad. In the Kaṭha Upaniṣad it is said, nityo nityānāṁ. That is the verse, nityo nityānāṁ.

[child fretting] [aside = Stop that child.]

Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām/ eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān, tam ātma-sthaṁ [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13].

So God and we, we are all individuals. But the difference is that He’s nityo nityānāṁ. Nityānāṁ means plural number. Nityo nityānāṁ. Nityo is singular number, and nityānāṁ means plural number. We are all plural number. We living entities, we are plural number, but God is one, singular number. But that cannot be plural number of God. It is mistake to say that my God, your God, his God, the Christian God, the Hindu God, the Muslim God. The God cannot be two; then there is no question of becoming God.

There is no competition between God. No. God means the great = nobody can be greater than Him, nobody can be equal to Him. That is God. Nityo nityānāṁ. Nowadays it has become a fashion, especially in India, so many Gods coming out, daily. So we don’t want that kind of God. God is not made by mystic factory, by meditation, or by this, by that. No. God is always God. Just like Kṛṣṇa = Kṛṣṇa is God from the beginning of His birth. He did not go to the forest for practicing mystic yoga to become God, or killing big, big bears and monsters and He became God. No. Kṛṣṇa is not that kind of... He’s God, always. This singular number, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām.

So all of us, we are eternal. God is also eternal; we are also eternal---qualitatively one. God is also cetana, living force. We are also living force. The difference is only He’s singular number; we are plural number. Then what is the difference between this singular number and plural number? That is also stated in the Kaṭha Upaniṣad = eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. Eka, that singular number, is providing maintenance, all necessities of life, that singular number. We are being provided, and He is providing. This is the difference. Otherwise He is also individual; we are also individual. Now that is the proof = eko bahūnāṁ yo vidadhāti kāmān. Just like there are 8,400,000 forms of living entities. Either you count species or form, whatever you like---millions. The description of the living entity is given also in the śāstras:

śatadhā kalpitasya ca
jīvaḥ bhāgo sa vijñeyaḥsa
cānantyāya kalpate

[Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 5.9]

The living entity is a small particle, the smallest [indistinct] the magnitude also described. Keśa-agra---the tip of your hair, top of your hair, point---śata-bhāgasya, you divide into hundred parts, and take again one part after dividing, then again divide it into a hundred parts. That means one ten-thousandth part of the top of the hair, that small molecular particle, that is our identity. Upon that small particle we have developed this body. And we are not this body, because this verse says that we existed in the past, we are existing now. So in the past I did not exist in this body, neither I shall exist in this body in this... This I have to give up, today or a hundred years after.

So I am not this body; I am that spirit soul. And because that small particle of spirit soul is within this body, I or you, this body is moving. Nityo nityānāṁ cetana. Cetana. That is cetana. Cetana means living force. But if... With your material eyes, because it is so small, you cannot find it. If you dissect the body, the medical man, they try to understand, but they cannot find it out. It is so small it is not possible to see with our, these naked material eyes. It is not possible. You can get information from the Vedic literature; that is understanding of the soul. Don’t conclude by your whims, because our knowledge is very imperfect, because our senses are imperfect.

The senses are imperfect, you can understand = when a man is dead, now find out what is that thing is lost that the man is now dead, my father is dead. When that small particle was there within the body of my father, as soon as I called "Father," immediately he replied, "Yes, my son." Now I am crying, "Father, please get up. Please get up, get up." No reply. And I say my father is now gone. Where your father gone? The father which you saw, the hands and legs, they’re lying on the bed. Why you say "gone"? He’s lying there.

This is called ignorance. We do not know what we are, and therefore we do not know what is God. Because if you can understand the small particle, just like take a drop of seawater = you analyze it, you taste it, then you can understand what is that big sea. If you can understand a drop of water from the sea, then you can understand what is that big, vast mass water. There is no difficulty. Sample. Just like you test sample, little sample, chemical analysis.

We take little sample and analyze it, and then we understand the whole stock. In chemical factory, in laboratory, for testing the genuineness of something, the test is there = they take only a little small and by chemical analysis, by testing with other chemicals, they can certify good or bad. Similarly, we are all samples of God. We are all samples of God, not God. But God is singular number. He is one. But we are..., because we are...

Just like the sun and the sunshine. What is the sunshine? Those who are physicists they know, the sunshine is combination of shining particles, the sunshine. They, those who are expert scientist, they know even if... Anything you take, you see it within the microscope, a drop of water, you will find so many things, a combination of so many things, anything you take. So the sunshine is combination of small, atomic shining particles. So that’s the comparison. The shining atomic particles and the sun globe---very great difference. Similarly, we are also small particles of the same quality as God. Just like the shining particle, the sunshine is a combination of shining particles.

So our relationship is that qualitatively we are one with God, but not quantity. Quantitatively, eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13] = He’s providing the necessities of life for so many millions and trillions, uncounted. Anantāya. Sa anantāya kalpate [Cc. Madhya 19.140]. The living entities are ananta; you cannot count. Just like you cannot count the sunshine, small particles, it is not possible, but they’re simply combination of a small particle.

So that eka, that is the difference between God and me. I am so much harassed for maintaining a few children, one or two children and a wife. I have to give up my home life; I have to come to the foreign countries and work very hard. I am so much embarrassed even for maintaining a small family. And God is maintaining millions and trillions of, I mean to say, elephants---from ant to elephant. You know elephant, they eat at a time forty kg.

So there are millions and trillions; not only, there are bigger animal also. That... Those who are actually conversed with the animal life, I am reading a book that in Africa there is a part of jungle where gorillas live, and in that place a kind of tree grows. The fruits of that tree just like nuts, but the nuts are as hard as iron bullet, the nuts---so hard. But in that quarter the gorillas live, and they enjoy that hard nuts; they eat it. Similarly, in the desert you see there are dates and thorny leaves. When the camel pass through the desert, the man eats the dates and the animal eats that thorny vegetable. There are water [indistinct] also. Just try to understand what is the arrangement of God, everywhere. It doesn’t matter what kind of animal or living entities are there, there is arrangement; there is arrangement. In the sāstra it is said,

ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

Everywhere there is food arrangement. Jīvo jīva: one living entity is the provision for the other living entity. Ahastāni sahastānām. Living entities who has no hand, they are food for the animal who has got hands. Just like we are human being, our food is ahastāni, the vegetable, or animals. We [indistinct] eat animals---they have no hands ---or birds---they have no hands. It is very nicely explained = ahastāni sahastānām. Those who have got hands, their maintenance is the animals who has no hands. Apadāni catuṣ-padām: just as grass or small creepers, they cannot walk, so they are food for the catuṣ-padām, for the four-legged, let’s say cows, goats, bulls. So you will find this food arrangement everywhere.

When Dhṛtarāṣṭra... Dhṛtarāṣṭra was living with the Pāṇḍavas after his family all been killed. The Pāṇḍavas gave shelter to the uncle after his uncle and the eldest member of the family. They were..., he was keeping very nicely under the protection of the Pāṇḍavas, but his youngest brother, Vidura, came and chastised him, "My dear brother, elder brother, this your nephews with whom you fought as enemies, now you have lost everything, and you are living at the care of them just like dog. Do you think it is very nice?" Just to awaken his vairāgya, renunciation. "Yes," he thought. "Yes, it is very much insulting. I always treated them as my enemy, and I fought with them. Now I have lost of everything---my family, my children, my kingdom---and I’m living at their mercy. So it does not look well." So immediately he left the palace.

So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja came to offer his respects, because it is the duty according to Vedic civilization to offer respect in the morning, first respect to the elderly members or spiritual master, offer your... So when he came, he saw the uncle was not there. So he was very much perplexed, that "Where he has gone? Who is supplying him food?" So Nārada instructed him that "Don’t worry. There is enough food. Throughout the whole world, wherever you go, you will find your food." In this connection this verse was, that ahastāni sahastānām. Enough, anywhere you can go, there is food.

This is a false propaganda that there is scarcity of food. Everywhere God has created food for everyone. We are simply mismanaging. I have several times told in every meeting that food production is so profuse, or it can be made so profuse that we can maintain ten times the whole population of the world. But we are mismanaging. Just like in Australia, in Africa and New Zealand, there’s so much place vacant. You can produce food. So God has provided everything. That is the distinction between God and we, that eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. So we are all individuals. The only difference---try to understand---only the difference between God and we is that He’s maintaining all the plural numbers. We’re all plural numbers; He’s singular. He’s managing, maintaining everything. That is God. All powerful, all opulence, that is God.

So now the point is, here Kṛṣṇa says that "Both you, Me, and all these kings and soldiers, they were in the past existing, we’re existing at present, and we shall continue to exist in the future." Then the question is, "Then why is there is birth and death and old age and disease?" This is the problem. This is the problem. If I am eternal, if I existed in the past, if I am existing at present and if I continue to exist in the future, then why this embarrassment---birth, death, old age and...?

That is the real problem of life. That is the real problem of life. Unfortunately, the present civilization, they have no knowledge what is the actual problem. They are simply busy for the temporary life. We shall live at a certain place, say for hundred years utmost. We are busy to make improvements, the style of living for that hundred years up to... Not even a hundred years; nowadays, the present moment, fifty, sixty, seventy. But we forget our eternal existence.

This is the ignorance of the present civilization. We remain in the past, I am here in the present, and I shall continue. Then why these changes? Why there are so many varieties of life, so many conditions of life? This is the real problem.


[Bg. 13.9]

In the janma, even in the birth, now the child in the womb is being killed by the mother. They do not see. This is the problem. I may become again, because,

tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

As soon as I give up this body, as I’ve given up so many bodies in my life, so as soon as I give up this body I’ll have to accept another body. Then what kind of body I’m going to accept? That is a sane man’s problem. I am going to be cat or dog or tree or a millionaire or a scientist or a demigod---or what I am going to become? Because there are so many varieties of life. The śāstra says, tathā dehāntara-prāptir. After death you’ll have to accept another body. Any sane man will think, "Then what kind of body I can get next?" They have no knowledge. In the university, there are so-called universities, advancement of knowledge, but the..., one does not know what kind of body I am going to get.

Where is that science? But it is a fact. As I got..., as in this life, I have my past, present and future... Just like a child, a child has passed his babyhood body, and then his future is a boyhood body. A boy’s future is youth-hood body. Similarly, the old man, a youthful body, old man, old man---there must be something next. But we do not understand this. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, tathā dehāntara-prāptir.

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

So we do not take care that what kind of body. But if you say, "No, there is no body," that you cannot say. Because if a child says, "No, there is no future body," he may say, but that is not the fact; he has a future body. A child, a baby, if he says, "No, there is no future body. I am not going to be old," no, that is not. You must have to become old, and you must have to die. And you must have to take birth also. And as soon as you take birth you must have to become old, you must have to accept diseases. These are the problems = janma-mṛtyu. In the Bhagavad-gītā says, Kṛṣṇa says, that "You are very expert, you are very great scientist, you are great philosopher. You have solved all the problems practically. Now here is another problem = janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. What you have done for this?" Then you are silent. Then you are silent, completely.

So this is the real problem, janma-mṛtyu. Because we are eternal. By this verse we can understand that I existed in the past. It may be I existed in the past as animal; now I have got human form of body. It may be in future I’m going to accept another body of a tree, stand up for ten thousand years. That is according to my karma. Otherwise why there are so many different types of body? Just like we have got so many different types of dresses. All the ladies, gentlemen who are sitting here, they have got different dresses. That means according to his means he has purchased a particular type of dress. Similarly, this body is also obtained according to the particular type of hard work.

karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa
jantur dehopapattaye

These are the instructions.

So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very important movement. It is giving people the knowledge of his past, present and future. Although the rascals do not know the past, present and future---they know something of the present, neither of the future nor of the past---so this knowledge is not perfect. If you want perfect knowledge, then you must take to this authority. Just like we are presenting this Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Take lessons from Bhagavad-gītā. It is so important. But don’t interpret it in your whimsical or crazy way.

Take it, as it is; then you will understand the value of your life, how to make progress, what is the value of this human form of life, wherefrom you are coming, where you have to go, why you are put into this miserable condition of life. Actually, we are all in the miserable condition of life, so long there is birth, death, old age and disease. We may concoct that "I am very happy." What is your happiness? How long you will be happy? Suppose you have got very nice house, very nice family or nice bank balance. You are thinking happy. But any moment you will be kicked out. Any moment. Can you guarantee that you will live here for so many years and enjoy your so-called happy life?

So these are not happy life. We have become blind, and the so-called blind leaders are pushing us to the hell. We do not know that. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, it will save you, if you try to understand it. It is not that we have found out some means by research work. No, it is already there. The Vedas are already there. The Bhagavad-gītā is there, exiting for the last five thousand years. There is no change, because the laws of nature are the same.

Somebody says the modernness. What is this modernness? Does it mean the modern man does not die? Does it mean the modern man does not eat? Does the modern sun rising from the western side? What is modern? There is nothing modern. Everything is perpetual, eternal. It is going on. If there may be some little changes for the time being; that is another thing. But the regular ways of the laws of nature, they are perpetual.

daivī hy eṣā guṇa-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā

There is no question of modern [indistinct]. Just like Kṛṣṇa says here that, "It is not that in modern we are now living. No. You lived in the past, and in the future you will also live. Now we are living." So there is no question of modern or past. That is eternal.

So this is the problem of human society, that one should understand the values of life. The values of life, you can prepare. Just as you have come to this human form of life by gradual evolution from aquatics to plant life, trees life, insect life, bird’s life, beast life; now you have to decide what is next life. If I do not know, by nature’s way, by evolution, nature has given us this human form of life. This is a chance. This is a chance. Nature is giving you chance to understand yourself and the problems of life and make a solution.


[Bg. 13.9]

And the solution is there. But first of all you have to understand that we are part and parcel of God. God is spirit, so I am spirit. God is brahma, paraṁ brahma. I am also brahma, ahaṁ brahmāsmi. I am not this body. This is understanding. And as soon as you understand that you’re not this body, then you are liberated. Not actually, but at least you come to the platform of knowing yourself. Then after knowing yourself, you can make your..., chalk out your program what is to be. Because at the present moment we are working under misconception, that "I am this body"– I’m Indian, I’m American, I’m this, I’m Hindu, I’m Muslim---like that. Designation. I am working for the designation. But as soon as you come to the platform of spiritual understanding, then your real work will begin.

Now you’re working on the false platform. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati [Bg. 18.54]. Now our position is jīva-bhūta. I am identifying with this body; this is called jīva-bhūta. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ jīva-loke sanātanaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. Kṛṣṇa says all these living entities, nityo nityānāṁ, we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. He says, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ: "They are My part and parcel."

prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

Because they’re under the concept of this body, they’re working with the mind and senses and struggling in this material world. This is their position.

So if you want to stop this struggle for existence, then you must know what we are. That is called brahma-bhūtaḥ, brahma realization, or self-realization.

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

This is the enunciation of brahma-bhūtaḥ life. As soon as you realize yourself, that "I am not this body; I am spirit soul, I am brahma." Kṛṣṇa is paraṁ brahma. Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna accepted,

paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān

[Bg. 10.12]

So He’s paraṁ, just like nityo nityānāṁ. He’s the chief living entity, paraṁ. We are living entity, He’s also living entity, but He’s the chief, the most exalted. The chief, asamordhva, the great. God is great. So He’s great; we are small. This is brahma realization. Not that I have also become as great as Kṛṣṇa. No. That is... You may be falsely be puffed up---that is ignorance. You cannot become Kṛṣṇa; you cannot become God---you are always subordinate to God. But you are the same qualities, a small quantity. That is your position. And if you revive your godly quality, that is your perfection. Not that by becoming God.

If you revive your qualities of God, then you can become God’s father. Why you should become God? Just like God accepts His devotee... Kṛṣṇa accepts His devotee as His father, Kṛṣṇa accepts His devotee as His mother. And the mother Yaśodā, chastising Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is fearful to everyone, but He’s afraid of His devotee, mother Yaśodā. So why should you be God? You become father of God. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We want to become father of God, mother of God. It is a great science; try to understand.

So nityo nityānāṁ cetana. So we are eternal, God is eternal. We have got very intimate relation with God. So revive that relationship and be happy. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.


You can form your opinion, but nature’s laws are different. You can think that "Now I have become human being, I am not going to degrade." But that’s not the fact. You are living entity; you have got a particular type of dress. If you do not maintain properly, then you get another dress, which may not be human being. But our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not to maintain this dress or that dress. We want to get out of this temporary dress. That is...

tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya

We have got already our body, spiritual body. That is now dressed materially. Just like your coat is cut according to your hands and legs, similarly this material body is a covering. We have got spiritual hands and legs. So our, this propaganda is that stop getting any more this material dress. You remain in your own original form, spiritual form, and go back to home, back to God. That is our propaganda. We are not concerned about this dress or that dress. That is not our concern. We don’t want any more any material dress. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā,

janma karma me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti kaunteya

"My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna, if you simply try to understand about Me, Kṛṣṇa,"janma karma, "why I come, why, what is My business here, to come here. I am the Supreme Lord, why I come here,"janma karma, "why I take so-called birth..." Actually He does not take birth, but He appears like that. These..., this is a great science. If you simply try to understand about Kṛṣṇa, janma karma me divyam, yo vetti tattvataḥ, in truth, then tyaktvā dehaṁ: after giving up this body, you are not going to accept any more any material body.

Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti. Punar janma, there is no birth of the living entity. But punar janma, birth is appreciated only by changing the dress, because we have no understanding of the spirit soul. So birth and death is concerned with this material body. If you have no birth, then you have no death. Wherever is birth, there is death. This body’s born; therefore there is death. But if you don’t take birth, you remain in your original, spiritual, nityo nityānāṁ. If you remain, then there is no question of death.

So it is not the problem that after this body I get another nice body. We are not preaching that kind of thing. We are preaching that you have got spiritual body, you have got your spiritual identity, brahma-bhūtaḥ. You revive that spiritual consciousness, you become liberated from this repetition of taking birth and death. That is our propaganda. We are not concerned this body or that body. This body or that body, they are all material body. So not to remain in material body, but to revive your... Just like not to remain covered by the disease of fever. Sometimes we get fever, we become covered. So get out of this feverish condition and remain in your healthy condition. That is called mukti.

muktir hitva anyathā rūpaṁ
sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ

This is called mukti. Liberation means... Now we are living under designations. So when we give up these designated life and come to our actual life, that is called mukti. Muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ. Because you have got now designated dress. I am identifying myself as human being, as cats, as dog, as American, as European, as Australian. This is all designation. When you come to the real understanding, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am part and parcel of God," that is your real understanding, and at that time you become happy. Yes. Just like a diseased man, when he gets back his healthy life, he becomes very happy. Similarly, as soon as we become freed from this designation life, we come to the real life of spiritual life, then we become,

na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu

Then you can see everyone in the equal level. We are trying to establish universal brotherhood and so many things, but that is not possible in this material platform. Unless you come to the spiritual platform, this equality, fraternity, this cannot be established. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu, then mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām. Then you advance in the devotional service of the Lord. This is the process.

So we are doing..., trying to give this education to the human society. We are not concerned about changing this body from that body to this. No.

[break] ...you can look to your past. You were a child; you know that. Is it not? But where is that body, child body? [break]

Yes, it is to be supposed, because you are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa; that is our original state. Now by contact with this material nature we have forgotten. Just like I come from India. Suppose I remain here for many years, so I may forget about my home. But it is a fact that I was Indian, my home was India; therefore I am called Indian. I may forget. Similarly, actually we were with Kṛṣṇa, but we do not know when we have left our home, or that Kṛṣṇa, and come to this material contact; that is another thing. But it is a fact that we were with Kṛṣṇa.

Because we have got little independence. Just like a very rich man’s son, sometimes gives up home life, his father and mother, he loiters in the street---that is his choice. Similarly, from śāstra we can understand that originally we were in Kṛṣṇa, with Kṛṣṇa. But somehow or other we have come to enjoy this material world; therefore we have been entangled. Now get out of this entanglement and go back to Kṛṣṇa. That is our proposition.

Guest: If we had been in the state of perfect Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then surely we would have been able to have the awareness to know that material existence would have been no good for us. So why then would we have gone into...

Prabhupāda: That is ignorance. That is ignorance. Because we are very small particle of Kṛṣṇa, we are subjected to ignorance also. We are not fully in knowledge. Therefore just like a child out of ignorance does something wrong. Similarly, kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vañcha kare [Prema-vivarta]. We thought that by giving up Kṛṣṇa’s association, we shall be happy remaining independent, and then when we came here, we became entangled.

Devotee or Guest: Is it possible that the whole world society will evolve to Brahman?

Prabhupāda: Yes, they are actually brahma, but they accept the principle how to realize, the whole world can be... But they are not prepared to accept that.

Devotee or Guest: How long would it take for...

Prabhupāda: It will take only one second, provided you agree.

Devotee or Guest: Yeah, but the level of consciousness that is now, can that be raised, the whole level?

Prabhupāda: Level, that is material consciousness. So you have to undergo the process. This process is just like you have come here to hear; this is also one of the process,

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ

[SB 7.5.23]

The process is there, if you have got little inclination, that "Yes, if I am out of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, I am suffering. Let me revive my Kṛṣṇa consciousness." This is the beginning. This is called sādhya. Sādhya. Then you have to associate with persons who are engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15]. Then you practice how they are doing, how they are practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is called bhajana-kriyā. Then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt = then all the unwanted things which you’ve acquired... Just like these boys, these girls, they have given up four sinful activities = no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication.

They do not take even tea or smoke. How they are doing? Because they are serious. So anartha, because these are unwanted things; this is not required. But by association they are learned. From the birth we do not learn how to smoke, but later on, by bad association, we learn all these things = smoking, drinking and these things. So you can give it up, because you have to purify yourself, anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. If you increase your unwanted things, then there is no possibility of reviving your old consciousness. You have to decrease. That is called tapasya. So tapasā brahmacaryeṇa. So you have to undergo the process; then it is not very difficult to revive your Kṛṣṇa consciousness and become perfect.

Guest: Your Grace, I was talking with one of your philosophers, but every new customers makes the progress. So after human being takes, how it is possible that we go from one planet to another? Would that have anything to do with bad karma?

Prabhupāda: Yes. According to karma we get another body. So you have to do such things in this life so that you can go to Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtejyā yānti bhūtāni
mad-yājino 'pi yānti mām

That in this, this is the opportunity, this human form of life. If you like, you can go to the higher planetary systems, deva lokan, yānti deva-vratā. There are many higher planetary systems; the duration of life is very, very great, and comforts and standard of living is thousand, thousand times better than this in this planet. So if you like you can go, you can promote yourself in those planets.

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ

There is a pitri-loka. There are so many planets you can go. If you want to remain here, you can remain here. But mad-yājino 'pi mām, Kṛṣṇa says = "One who is after Me, one who is trying or developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is coming to Me." Now it is up to you whether you want to remain in this kind of life, constantly changing one body to another, transmigrating, or whether you want to go better standard of life to the higher planetary systems. Or if you like you can go back to home, back to Godhead. It is up to you. But everything is possible.

Indian Guest: Swamījī, one question. It is a question that is not clear to me. You said that are there more than eight hundred thousand million species of lives...

Prabhupāda: 8,400,000 species of life.

Indian Guest: Eight point four. So man is at the top of all these species.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Indian Guest: And then in this life, I mean this form, if I do a good job I can elevate myself from this life, but if I don’t do a good job, if I do bad---my karma is not good---I can go down and, say, take life as a monkey or gorilla or some other kind.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Indian Guest: But looking back to our country, say for the past few years, the population of India has increased from 350 million to 550 million now---that’s approximately 600 million. So what has happened is not clear to me, whether people from other higher planets have come down and taken life in India, or monkeys and gorillas have done some good jobs and have taken birth there. [laughter]

Prabhupāda: Yes, monkeys have taken. The monkeys are crowded now. [laughter and applause] You are right. The monkeys, they do not know how to elevate them to go to other planets or back to home, back to Godhead; therefore they are crowded. Just like in a big aero-station, if the passengers are not dispatched, then it will be crowded. Similarly, from the monkeys they have come to human being, now they are not being promoted to other higher standard of life; they are crowded now.

This is world situation. This is circumstantial. The world has got much place, but because we have given stress to the designation... Just like in Australia or in Africa there is enough place. Why there should be crowded in India and China? But they have grabbed, that "This is my place. You cannot come here." That is the fault. It is all God’s place, but these rascals have grabbed, that "This is my place, you cannot come."

Otherwise there is enough food, enough place---everything is enough. Therefore India, from the beginning they did not try to migrate to other countries. The Europeans and Americans, the Europeans especially, they tried to come to this part of the world, Australia, New Zealand and others, Africa. So although Europe is very crowded, they are distributed. India did not. This is a material question.

But so far God is concerned, eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13] = He has provided everything for every living entity. There is no question of crowding, there is no question of scarcity of food. We have mismanaged, we godless rascals. We have mismanaged things; therefore there is so much trouble in the world. Otherwise there is no question of crowd. So we want to get this rascaldom out, come to God consciousness. Come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and everything will be right---here and there also. [break]

Devotee: [explaining question] She wants you to comment..., she wants you to make some comment on the theory that some souls come back to the world, to the material world, just for the good of mankind even though they don’t need to be in the material world. They come to help people out.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is a fact. As Kṛṣṇa comes, Kṛṣṇa’s representative also comes.

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham

This is the verse. As soon as there is discrepancies in the discharge of real spiritual life, then God comes. He sends His representative to educate the people, to reclaim them. That is going on.

All right, let us chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break]

Guest: ...where you’re going to go in your next life, or is it not in your hands?

Prabhupāda: It is in my hand, yes. It is in your hand also. Everyone’s hand. That is, I have already explained,

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ

Just like everything is in hand. You can become the president if you are qualified. Similarly, if you are qualified, if you qualify in this life to go back to home, back to God, you can go. There is no difficulty.

Guest: Your Grace, may I ask you a personal question, please?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest: Could you tell me if you know your past, and could you tell me if you are capable of knowing the future?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotee (2): He wants to know if you know your past, and if you can know your future.

[to guest:] Is that it?

Guest: Yes, that’s right. It’s not a funny question. I am just asking serious question.

Prabhupāda: Yes, I know.

Guest: Thank you.

Devotee (2): Jaya.

Prabhupāda: You can know also. It is not difficult. You can know also.

Guest: I just was going..., asking you.

Prabhupāda: But you may not..., may not know the future. But you’ll know your past and you will know your present. And past or future also you can know through the śāstra. Śāstra-cakṣuṣāt. Through the eyes, through the eyes of śāstra, you can see your future. Not with these eyes.

Guest: I was referring to your own personal...

Devotee: Yes, he was also.

Prabhupāda: Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [end]