Lecture , Calcutta , 1973-03-18
Prabhupāda: ...he is speaking about knowledge, perfect knowledge. Knowledge received from common man or any person within this material world, infected with four kinds of defects, cannot be perfect. The so-called scientists, philosophers, mental speculators or dramatists or writers, as we experience, their talkings all are nonsense---this is our challenge---because the basic principle of their knowledge is ignorance, ajñāna. Big, big scientists, they simply theorize, and they try to support their theories with the words, "it may be," "perhaps."
That is not perfect knowledge. As soon as you say "it may be," that means you have no perfect knowledge. As soon as you say "perhaps," that means you have no perfect knowledge. So all these scientists and philosophers, they use these words = "it may be," "perhaps." Therefore we have to receive knowledge from a perfect person.
A perfect person means who is not illusioned, who does not commit mistakes. All of us, we commit mistakes, but a perfect person does not commit mistakes. This is the difference between perfect and imperfect. We are illusioned to accept something in place of something else. Just like the example is given by some philosophers to accept the rope by mistake as a snake. This is called illusion. To vision water in the desert, this is due to our imperfection. So a person who is liberated, or not under the control of the material nature, he is not illusioned, neither he commits mistakes. Another defect is our senses are imperfect.
We use our senses under certain conditions---just like we have our eyes, but we can see only when there is sunlight or electric light; otherwise our eyes are useless. Therefore we haven’t got perfect eyes. But one who has got perfect eyes, he can see past, present and future. Imperfection of senses. And we, conditioned souls, although we admit that we have imperfect senses, we commit mistakes, we are illusioned---still we take the place of teachers. That is cheating. That is cheating. If you know that you are imperfect, why should you take the place of a teacher? That is cheating = bhrama, pramāda, karaṇāpāṭava, vipralipsā [Cc. Ādi 2.86].
So these defects are completely absent, conspicuous by absence = nirasta-kuhakaṁ. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam [1.1.1] it is said about the Absolute Truth as nirasta-kuhakaṁ. Kuha, kuha means illusion, imperfectness. So in the Absolute Truth there is no such imperfectness = nirasta-kuhakaṁ, dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ. Sadā. Sadā means once he was defective, now he has become nirasta-kuhakaṁ---no, not like that. The Absolute Truth is always sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ. Dhāmnā svena satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi. That Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is speaking, and He is speaking = jñānaṁ te 'haṁ sa-vijñānam [Bg. 7.2]. Sa-vijñānam---with practical experience, or by experimental knowledge also, jñānam. Jñānaṁ te 'haṁ sa-vijñānam. Sa-vijñānam idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ---incomplete, incomplete. Yaj jñātvā: "If you try to understand this knowledge, what I am speaking to you, Arjuna," yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo, "in this material world," bhūyo, "again," anyaj jñātavyam avaśiṣyate, "you will have anything more to know." This is Vedānta. Veda means "knowledge"; anta means "end."
So if you receive knowledge from the supreme perfect Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, then that is the end of knowledge:
veda-vid vedānta-kṛd cāham
Kṛṣṇa. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam eva vijñatam bhavanti. This is Vedic injunction. If you simply try to understand what Kṛṣṇa is speaking... To understand Kṛṣṇa is very difficult---that is not possible. We are so small that it is not possible to analyze Kṛṣṇa and understand Him. But if you simply try to assimilate what Kṛṣṇa says, then you become perfect person.
Then Kṛṣṇa says,
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
Actually we are born fools and rascals. We are coming, evolution, from the animal life. The Darwin's theory says that we are coming from monkeys---so far we have heard that either monkeys or cows or lions. Human form of body is promoted. One who is coming through tamo-guṇa, he comes from monkeys, as Mr. Darwin says. So those who are coming in sattva-guṇa, they come from the cow, and those who are in the rajo-guṇa, they come from the lion. Whatever it may be, it is a fact that through evolutionary process the last birth must have been animal life, paśavaḥ trimśal-lakṣaṇi [Viṣṇu Purāṇa]---thirty lakhs of species and forms of animal forms---then we get this human form of life.
So actually, when we are born uncivilized we have no knowledge. The same thing---āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ---as the animals are interested = eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. These are the animal propensities, or necessities of life. But when as we become gradually civilized we take our birth in India especially, it is not so easy. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra [Cc. Ādi 9.41] = it is very rare; don't spoil your life imitating animals.
It is a very valuable life, human form of life in the land of Bhārata-varṣa. We have practically seen---although India is so fallen---still, when you speak of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, hundreds and thousands people come to hear. I have experienced in Bombay, Calcutta and other places, by nature they are inclined to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Unfortunately, outward influences are curbing down this natural instinct of Bhārata-varṣa. So it is very, very regrettable. We are naturally God conscious, Kṛṣṇa conscious, but by artificial means we are being cut down. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says,
kaścid yatati siddhaye
Kṛṣṇa consciousness means making progress for perfection of life, siddhi, siddhilābh, siddhas. Siddhas means mukta, theoretically mukta; they are called siddhas. There is a Siddhaloka. There is a planet which is called Siddhaloka. All the inhabitants of that planet, they are all mystic yogīs. They can fly from one planet to another without any instrument. Siddhaloka.
So every human being, especially the civilized man, can become siddha. Siddha means to understand his constitutional position. That is siddhi. Because the animals..., the animal does not know what is his constitutional position. He thinks that he is the body, but actually he is not the body; he is spirit soul. The human form of life, this consciousness, this ignorance, can be removed, and he can understand that ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am not this body; I am spirit soul." And when he comes to the point of understanding that he is not body, he is soul, then he is called brahma-bhūta [Bg. 18.54].
Before that, so long he is in bodily concept of life, he is jīva-bhūta. These are the difference. When you are bodily conscious of life we are called jīva-bhūta, mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ [Bg. 15.7]. The spirit soul is always part and parcel of God. That's a fact. God is brahma, parabrahma, and we are also brahma. It is a fact. Those who realize it, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that is siddhi; that is perfection.
So nobody is trying to understand. In specially in Bhārata-varṣa this culture was very strong, although there are different parties, different ācāryas---but their only purpose is self-realization. Either you follow Śaṅkarācārya or Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, many ācāryas... We may differ in our final conclusion, whether the Ultimate Truth is person or imperson---that is not very important thing---but all of them are trying to realization of the self, siddhi. The yogīs, the jñānīs, the bhaktas, even the karmīs, they are also trying to become sidd..., siddha, siddhilābh. But the difference between the bhaktas and the others, namely karmīs, jñānīs and yogīs---there is little difference. What is the difference? The bhaktas are peaceful; others are disturbed.
They are very troublesome. They have accepted very troublesome method. Karmī, it is also very troublesome; jñānī, that is also very troublesome; and yogīs, that is also very troublesome; and the bhaktas, in the Ninth Chapter it is said, su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam [Bg. 9.2]. Su-sukhaṁ: very pleasing to execute. The path of devotional service is very easy and pleasing. Why it is easy and pleasing? Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23] = you have to simply hear. You haven't got to exercise, you haven't got to press your nose or make your head down and your legs up and starve and so many other things. It is very easy. Simply sit down where you are and hear about Kṛṣṇa.
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
Kṛṣṇa-kathā is so pleasing if you hear it from a realized person, satāṁ prasaṅgān, not professional. If you hear Bhāgavatam from professional man you'll never understand, because that is different sphere. But if you hear from a realized person, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12], then it becomes very pleasing. Where? Pleasing to the ear and pleasing to the heart. Hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ.
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā bhaktir ratir anukramiṣyati
If we hear from self-realized person, and after that if you try a little bit, taj-joṣaṇād---at least you consider taj-joṣaṇād---āśu, very soon, āśv apavarga-vartmani. Apavarga-vartmani means "towards the path of liberation." Pavarga and apavarga. Pavarga means the path of bondage, and apavarga means the path of liberation. [break] [end]