Arrival Address , Dallas , 1973-05-19
Prabhupāda: ....five years old. It is a school. He was preaching amongst the class friends this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. You have seen the picture of Prahlāda Mahārāja standing on the table---of course, there was no tables in those days---and speaking to his class friends about devotional service. The friends of Prahlāda Mahārāja, they objected, that "We are now children. Let us play now. We shall see about God conscious [indistinct] when we are old enough. Or at the time of death we shall see to it."
Prahlāda Mahārāja said,
dharmān bhāgavatān iha
durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam
Prahlāda Mahārāja said, "My dear friends, Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be learned from the very beginning of life," kaumāra. The learning should be beginning between five years old to ten years old, between this time. This bhāgavata-dharma especially, first thing is, the children from the very beginning of their life should be given instruction on religious principles of life.
What are the religious principles? Religious principle means to understand what is God. That is religious principle. It doesn't matter whether you are Christian or Hindu or Muslim or any... There are many hundreds and thousands patterns of religious system, but according to our bhāgavata school, we accept that religion as first class which teaches how to love God. That is religion. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. That system of religion is first class wherein the followers are given lessons how to love God.
Unfortunately, at the present moment, there is no question of how to teach them for loving God. They deny the existence of God. This is the present situation. People have become so rascal that they do not believe in the existence of God. Or somebody believes... Not believes; that is affirmed. Some of them say, "God is dead. Now we have to take to social work, political work. Let the subject matter of God set aside." Especially in India. In India, the country where still God consciousness is so strong, the government wants that they should forget about this God business. So this is Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga means simply for a fight on trifling things and forget God.
So anyway, apart from their business, our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is especially meant for awakening the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness of every man. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is there in everyone. Otherwise, how these European, American young men, young girls, children, they are taking part in it? It is not that I have bribed them. Sometimes the Christian missionaries go to our country, they bribe the poorer classes of men, and they become Christians---not by understanding the philosophy or the religion. Because India is poverty-stricken, so if you do some social work, give them some medicine, give them some financial help, they think of, being obliged, and whatever you like, you can tell them. Similarly, in Muhammadan time also, all the Indian Muhammadans, they were not coming from very respectable high family.
You know, in India there are four classes of men = brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. Out of them, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya are considered the topmost class. Now everything has deteriorated. So we find from the history of this conversion, from the śūdra class, lower than the śūdra class, not very many from the higher class. So still, that was based on bribing, giving some social help, political help, financial help.
But our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement I started in 1966. I came here with seven dollars and a few books. So it was not possible for me to bribe these educated young boys and girls. That was not possible. But they accepted the philosophy very seriously, and gradually it is growing. Now there are many Indians, they are not here, but other than the Indians, they are here. So the thing is I am very glad that you take something very seriously. That is very good. So for the children also, kaumāram ācaret prājñaḥ. Prājñaḥ means one who is intelligent. He should begin learning Kṛṣṇa consciousness from the child life. That is our basic principle of this gurukula. We are trying to generate some population fully Kṛṣṇa conscious so that they may preach in future very nicely.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, dharmān: "People..., children should be taught from the very beginning of their life about dharma, religion." What is that religion? Religion means to accept God as the supreme authority. That's all. The sum and substance. And try to love Him. Just like very..., if you have got a very wealthy friend or very learned friend or beautiful friend, you try to love him. You want to make friendship with him. So God means He is the most richest, most powerful, most learned, most beautiful. In this way, there is no comparison of God's opulence.
So why should we not be attracted with God? If some rich man in your quarter attracts the attention of the neighbor, neighborer... If God is the richest man... He is not man; He is God. But He looks like man. He... Just like we see Kṛṣṇa here, He has got also two hands and two legs. That is His original form. If He likes, He can expand thousands of hands and thousands of legs, as it was exhibited to Arjuna in His virāṭa-puruṣa form. But the original form is Kṛṣṇa, ādi-puruṣam. Advaitam acyutam anādi ananta... [Bs. 5.33]. Although He can expand Himself in many millions of form, but His original form is Kṛṣṇa.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is directly connecting people with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and especially these children are required to learn this Kṛṣṇa consciousness from the very beginning of their life. Because this human form of life is the only chance to understand God. You cannot understand God in any other form---in the form of a dog, in the form of a cat, or even the form of a demigod. Demigods, they are very rich, opulent, so sometimes they forget. Out of very much being affluent, people forget Kṛṣṇa. Therefore the demigods also sometimes forget. And what to speak of the animals?
So this human form of life is the only chance to understand God. Therefore if children are not given lesson about God... There is no guarantee that we will live one hundred years. There is no guarantee. Anyone, at any moment, can pass away. Therefore, before the next death comes, one must be fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. That is the highest achievement of life.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. [end]