Room Conversation with Christian Priest, Mr. Chenique , Paris , 1974-06-10

Jyotirmayī: Mr. Chenique has made very good progress, because before he was always teaching impersonalist Bhagavad-gītā, and now you see he is wearing a dhotī, he's coming to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, he's coming for Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam classes, and he teaches personalist Bhagavad-gītā. But he still thinks a little bit that maybe above there is something impersonalism. But there is good progress. [laughter]

Prabhupāda: Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. Brahman, Paramātmā... He understands English?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, last stage. First realization impersonal Brahman, then localized Paramātmā, and then Personality of Godhead. [Jyotirmayī translates into French]

Yogeśvara: Jyotirmayī, perhaps you can explain what Mr. Priest's qualifications are.

Jyotirmayī: Yeah, Mr. [indistinct] is a priest, and he has been for a long time in India a Christian priest, and he was very glad to know what you are doing here. Kṛṣṇa consciousness was...

Prabhupāda: In India, where did you stay?

Mr. Chenique: In Poona.

Prabhupāda: Poona, oh. How long you were there?

Mr. Chenique: Twenty-five years.

Prabhupāda: Oh, then you are Indian. [laughter]

Mr. Chenique: Half of my time, yes. I was in India half my life.

Prabhupāda: Twenty-five years in a place means you domicile. Yes, naturally.

Mr. Chenique: Did you come to Poona?

Prabhupāda: Once I went. One friend took me there. I stayed in that Gujarati hotel, near the station I think.

Mr. Chenique: Yes, not far.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Poona is nice place. Climate is nice.

Mr. Chenique: For studies it's a beautiful place, and particularly for Sanskrit.

Prabhupāda: Yes, there are many good scholars.

Mr. Chenique: Many scholars, many institutions, and also the society is rich.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Maharashtrian, they are educated, advanced.

Mr. Chenique: How do you find your disciples here in Europe?

Prabhupāda: Yes. [laughs]

Mr. Chenique: I shouldn't ask personal question.

Prabhupāda: No, it is not personal. It is..., Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult is so nice that it can attract anyone.

Mr. Chenique: It does, it does.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Not only here in Europe---in Africa, in Canada, in China, in Japan, everywhere. In, what is called, Philippines. We have got everywhere center. Australia.

Mr. Chenique: In Bombay also you have got?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Bombay just now we have got a very big place.

Mr. Chenique: Yes.

Prabhupāda: And we are constructing a big hotel, strictly vegetarian prasādam. We are at Juhu quarter.

Mr. Chenique: At Juhu.

Prabhupāda: [someone enters room] Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. So you can give him a chair, this one. You can come forward here.

Bhagavān: You have been to India? You've worked there.

Mr. Chenique: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes, he was twenty-five years there.

Mr. Chenique: Twenty-five years.

Prabhupāda: He is Indian. [laughter]

Mr. Chenique: And I was... I mean I am still a bhakta of Kṛṣṇa, but not of the old tradition of Maharashtra, the [indistinct] of Pandharpur, Viṭhobā.

Prabhupāda: Vaiṣṇava.

Mr. Chenique: Well, [indistinct] Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa, that Viṭhṭhala, Viṭhṭhala. Viṭhṭhala, there is. So they are Vaiṣṇava.

Mr. Chenique: And it's the main [indistinct] center of Maharashtra.

Prabhupāda: Yes, Pandharpur.

Mr. Chenique: When I went to India twenty-five years ago, I first studied for four years at this pilgrimage.

Prabhupāda: What was your subject matter studying?

Mr. Chenique: I was studying for a thesis, a doctorate thesis, this pilgrimage, the story of the pilgrimage and everything of the brāhmaṇa pilgrimage. And as you know, it was one of the main bhakti tradition in Maharashtra, Orissa, Jnaneshvara.

Prabhupāda: Tukārāma, Tukārāma.

Mr. Chenique: Tukārāma.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Mr. Chenique: I have proceeded Tukārāma.

Prabhupāda: Tukārāma is in the line of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Mr. Chenique: That's right.

Prabhupāda: He was initiated by Caitanya. His avanga, avanga, that is written there, he was initiated by Caitanya.

Mr. Chenique: It's a great bhakti tradition.

Prabhupāda: Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ. [aside:] Find out. If we want to know God, then we have to accept the process recommended by God. That is bhakti.


bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram

"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."

Prabhupāda: So in another place also it is said, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], mām evaiṣyasi asaṁśaya [Bg. 18.68]. "If you want to enter in the kingdom of God, then always think of Me," man-manā, "and you just become My devotee and worship Me and offer your obeisances." These four principles. It is not difficult. To achieve the kingdom of God is not at all difficult. It is very easy. Anyone can go. But they are not prepared to accept the process. That is their misfortune. Otherwise, always thinking of God. We are thinking something, but the thinking should be turned towards God. That is our teaching. They are always chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So by uttering the word Kṛṣṇa, immediately you think of Kṛṣṇa. This is the process. It is not difficult at all. And you can always think of, just like these boys have been taught, walking on the street, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma... Just like we have got this. I am talking with you, but two minutes I talk with you, as soon as I stop, I chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma... What is the difficulty? It is simply practice. No difficulty. And simply by chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, everyone can see how these young boys and girls---they are not very old; they have taken to it quite young---but they have forgotten everything. They do not go to cinema, do not go to hotel, no dancing. Dancing they have got---Kṛṣṇa dancing, always. Painting they have got, singing they have got, arts, literature. We have got eighty books like this, four hundred pages. Pure life---no meat-eating, no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling. Finished. And it is guaranteed if you remain in this attitude, Kṛṣṇa says that "Surely you come back to Me." What is the second line? Man-manā...

Nitāi: Mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ.

Prabhupāda: In another place it is said asaṁśaya. That is in the Eighteenth Chapter, I think. So to go back to home, back to Godhead, is very easy, but people will not take to it. They are stubborn; they will stick here, the miserable life, material life. This is the difficulty. Otherwise, God can be achieved very easily. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Four things.

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yukta [tamo mataḥ]

The first-class yogīs. Actually, no education required. Simply God has given us the tongue and the ear. So it's Hare Kṛṣṇa, tongue, and hear with the ear. Śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir [SB 10.14.3] = by hearing, the sound enters into the heart. In this way you become purified, mind is cleansed, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. It is very scientific and very easy. And we are recommending... "We" means Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He says that "You chant the name of God." Now, if somebody thinks, "Kṛṣṇa is Hindu God. Why shall I chant?" it doesn't matter. You chant your conception of God. What is the name of God in Christianity? Is there any name?

French man: Jehovah.

Prabhupāda: Jehovah?

French man: He has no name in Christianity.

Prabhupāda: Then take this name. [laughter] If you have no name, then take this name. Where is the harm? And they are taking Hare Kṛṣṇa; what is the harm? Every religion believes---not believes; it is fact---that there is God. Or any religion will deny the existence of God, is there any religion? I don't think. Is there any religion?

Bhagavān: Buddhist religion?

Mr. Chenique: But you know, it's true, but you have got so many idea of God according to your own spiritual temperament.

Prabhupāda: No, God is one. There cannot be many ideas of God. That is not possible.

Mr. Chenique: You have got many idea of God.

Prabhupāda: No, many ideas, that means he does not know what is God.

Mr. Chenique: Because anyhow, when we say "God," we have to put into words, intellectual words, what is an experience.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Mr. Chenique: And this experience is different for many people.

Prabhupāda: But you experience... Because your knowledge is imperfect, therefore your experience is also imperfect.

Mr. Chenique: But who is to say...

Prabhupāda: That is...

Mr. Chenique: ...what is a perfect experience?

Prabhupāda: Yes. No. Even we are imperfect, with our... As far as our knowledge goes, now generally, just like the Christians, they say "God is great." Is it not?

Mr. Chenique: That is rather the Muslims.

Prabhupāda: Huh? That is Muslim.

Mr. Chenique: Allah.

Prabhupāda: Allahu akbar. So what is the conception of God of the Christian?

Mr. Chenique: As you said, it's impersonal, transpersonal, that what we explain by that Trinity. It's a relationship. It's a pure relationship.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Relationship means that He must be a person.

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: Why? Otherwise, how you can...

Mr. Chenique: It is beyond a person.

Prabhupāda: Beyond the person... Just like we have got experience = when you call "relation," then "relation" means we consider master and servant. This is also one relation.

Mr. Chenique: Oh, yes.

Prabhupāda: So relation means two person---one master, one servant. Then relation, friendly relation, that is also person. Then relation, father and son, that is also relation. Then husband and wife, that is also relation. So relation cannot be used without person.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but what we don't... We don't say that God is object of relation but He is the relation itself.

Prabhupāda: What is that, relation itself? Explain.

Mr. Chenique: It's when you are two together, when the master...

Prabhupāda: Then two together means person. As soon as you...

Mr. Chenique: Yes, but not God. God is beyond relation.

Prabhupāda: Why? Your experience of relation, as soon as a relation two, the two person.

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: No, why not? This is your practical experience. How you can say no?

Mr. Chenique: You see, I have got relation...

Prabhupāda: We are two person.

Mr. Chenique: ...with you. But I am not in relation with God, because God is relationship.

Prabhupāda: No, no, when you say relation, why not that relation, as we have got relation?

Mr. Chenique: Certainly.

Prabhupāda: As soon as you say relation, you cannot change it otherwise.

Mr. Chenique: Yes, but I don't make of God the object of relationship.

Prabhupāda: Then what...

Mr. Chenique: Because I call my relationship God, not the object of relationship.

Bhagavān: A relation with who?

Mr. Chenique: Relation with anything.

Bhagavān: That is God?

Mr. Chenique: That is God.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Bhagavān: He thinks relationship with anything means God.

Prabhupāda: Anything?

Bhagavān: Yes, anything.

Mr. Chenique: Anything, anybody. When you are here, when I am [indistinct] relationship with you, so then God is. You understand? But I cannot restrict God to a person with whom I could enter...

Prabhupāda: But in your Bible you say, "O Father." Relation is father and son. Why do you say in the Bible, "O Father, give us our daily bread"? So that you make relation with God as father.

Mr. Chenique: But...

Prabhupāda: But not anything, but father. As the father gives the maintenance, bread, so you go to God in that relationship, "Father, give us our daily bread." Just like the child asks the father, "Father, give me something to eat." So this is clear relationship father and son.

French man: No, it's a very complicated system, the system for all these things in the Christianity of this country. There are two main conceptions---the oriental conception of the Orthodox Church and the Western...

Prabhupāda: No, we are not talking of any particular Church. We are just trying to understand the word relation. If you go to particular church, then another will give another church, another will give another church. But we are trying to understand the word relationship. So in the Bible it is clearly said, "O Father," so the relation is father and son.

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: Why do you say? It is said in the Bible. Why do you say no?

Mr. Chenique: You have to... I am not in relationship with any church or any dogma, you know. This is what I have in my own experience, and I cannot speak of what others have experienced, but what is my own experience.

Prabhupāda: No, no. God's relationship should be universal, not that... It may be a different relationship. Just like the relationship between husband and wife, relationship between father and son, relationship between friend and friend, relationship between master and servant, so these are relationship. We understand relationship means this. And it is particularly said in the Bible, "O Father." That means the relationship is as between father and son. So there is...

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: You say no, but any man will understand that. You may have your own opinion; that is a different thing.

Mr. Chenique: But we have to have the opinion which we experience.

Prabhupāda: What is that experience? You ask, "Father, give us our daily bread," and that is experience. God is giving everyone maintenance. That is our actual relationship. In the Vedas also it is said, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko yo bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. That is the God. God is also a person as you are person, I am person, but He is the chief person. Nityo nityānām, the chief, the Supreme. And in the dictionary it is said Supreme Being. We are all beings, and He is Supreme Being. How He is supreme? Eka, that one; God is one. Bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān: He supplies the necessities of everyone's life. That is very good experience, we are getting everything from God. And the Christians also pray, "Give us our daily bread." So I don't find any difference between the statement in the Vedas and the Bible. God is the Supreme Person, and you make relationship with Him any way---as master and servant, as friend and friend, as father and son, or as husband and wife. So somehow or other we are relative with God, this way or that way. The husband also maintains the wife.

Mr. Chenique: I don't think so. I mean...

Prabhupāda: No, no, that is your personal opinion. But...

Mr. Chenique: Not opinion; experience.

Prabhupāda: So what is that experience? Tell me what is that experience?

Mr. Chenique: That God is beyond all our experience.

Prabhupāda: Then what is your experience? You have no experience. [laughs] If it is beyond your experience, then you have no experience.

Mr. Chenique: Personally, of course, but...

Prabhupāda: Then you cannot explain. You cannot, because you have no experience.

Mr. Chenique: But if you know what you can't explain...

Prabhupāda: No, no, if you can't explain means you do not know.

Mr. Chenique: You don't think an illusion [indistinct] relationship.

Prabhupāda: No, no, not illusion. If you cannot explain, that means you do not know. If you know, you must explain. That is knowing. That is knowledge.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but that knowledge is very [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: Then you cannot preach. As a priest you cannot preach, because you do not know, it is not within your experience.

Mr. Chenique: That's why I don't preach.

Prabhupāda: That's all right, then... [laughs] [laughter] That is another thing. But as soon as you say "beyond your experience," that means you have no experience.

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: So you cannot explain. That is all right.

Mr. Chenique: That means I have the experience...

Prabhupāda: But...

Mr. Chenique: ...that my experience is limited...

Prabhupāda: But that's all right.

Mr. Chenique: ...and God is unlimited.

Prabhupāda: That is all right. That I admit.

Mr. Chenique: Therefore, I cannot anyhow have experience of God.

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Just like you know...

Mr. Chenique: And nobody can.

Prabhupāda: ...you do not know me; you have no experience about me.

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: But if I say, "I am like this," you will get experience.

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: Then why no?

Mr. Chenique: If I live with you for some time...

Prabhupāda: Suppose if you are thinking of me, "Swāmījī might have one thousand dollar," so you can imagine, go on imagining, and that is not correct. But if I say, "No, I have got one million dollar," then you get the experience.

Mr. Chenique: No.

Prabhupāda: Why no?

Mr. Chenique: I will get the experience of you when we are living together.

Prabhupāda: That means you cannot talk with God.

Mr. Chenique: Of course not.

Prabhupāda: That's it. But if anyone can talk?

Mr. Chenique: Well, if it is his own experience, I have no objection.

Prabhupāda: That's all right.

Mr. Chenique: But my experience is that you cannot...

Prabhupāda: That's all right. Therefore, our experience is we take experience from God. We don't imagine. That is our process.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, that is your faith. You must have faith for that.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like Kṛṣṇa is speaking about Himself, so we are taking Bhagavad-gītā as it is. So direct experience, taking experience, "I am like this." Just like Kṛṣṇa says,

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-sa...

Find out this verse.


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

"I am the source of all the 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."

Prabhupāda: Just see. This experience.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but who has written the Bhagavad-gītā?

Prabhupāda: God.

Mr. Chenique: I mean, you need to have faith for that.

Prabhupāda: Huh? What is that?

Bhagavān: You must have faith to believe that God wrote the Bhagavad-gītā.

Prabhupāda: Why faith? God is God. Why faith?

Mr. Chenique: Because, you know, I have been living in...

Prabhupāda: No, no. You have no experience, you have said. You have no experience.

Mr. Chenique: No, I have not said. You said I did.

Prabhupāda: No, you said that God is beyond your experience. You said.

Mr. Chenique: A real svāmī listen first if he wants to profit.

Prabhupāda: First of all let us consider ourself. You said that God is beyond your experience.

Mr. Chenique: That's right. That is my experience.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. That's all right. That means I am talking with you. Therefore, you have no experience.

Mr. Chenique: Yes, I have.

Prabhupāda: You say God is beyond your experience, you say.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, and I have that experience that God is beyond experience. Because I found out that all my experience does not mean God.

Prabhupāda: But if you say God is beyond your experience, that you have no experience of God. This is clear meaning. Why do you go round about?

Mr. Chenique: No, you don't..., you see...

Prabhupāda: Then it is a bit difficult.

Mr. Chenique: I have always told that the duty of the svāmī is to listen and to understand, and you don't seem to listen and to understand. You misunderstand.

Prabhupāda: No, no, you said... First of all let us... Why misunderstand? You say that you have no experience of God.

Mr. Chenique: No, I never said that.

Prabhupāda: Then tell me your experience. That I want to know.

Mr. Chenique: That every time I had an experience of God, and first I went through the bhakta, and I was a bhakta for a long, long time, then I found out that God was beyond my experience.

Prabhupāda: That means you have no experience. How can I talk with you?

Mr. Chenique: That the image of God, as do you call it Kṛṣṇa or Rāma or Nṛsiṁha or any of the avatāra... And you know, near our place in Poona in Amenagar[?], there was a svāmī who called himself an avatāra, and...

Prabhupāda: That anyone can say. I can say third avatāra, he can say fourth avatāra.

Mr. Chenique: So if anyone can say...

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is another thing, because everyone can say, "I am avatāra."

Mr. Chenique: Exactly.

Prabhupāda: So...

Mr. Chenique: So how can we have faith of anyone who said he was an avatāra?

Prabhupāda: No, no, we don't accept anyone as avatāra. We have got documents who is avatāra.

Mr. Chenique: Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: No, Kṛṣṇa is... Kṛṣṇa is avatārī. He is the origin. That it is stated here, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8]. You know Sanskrit? Then what is the meaning of ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ? "I am the source of all avatāra."

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but who has written that?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Mr. Chenique: Who has written that? Śrīla Vyāsa.

Prabhupāda: Anywhere he has written. Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa has written. Kṛṣṇa has spoken, Vyāsadeva has written, and it is accepted.

Mr. Chenique: But this is what the Christians say about the Bible, and I don't believe it [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: No, no, you don't believe anything, that is another thing. That is another thing. Without belief, you cannot make progress.

Mr. Chenique: Ah, you have to go beyond.

Prabhupāda: As soon as you... Just like you learn who is your father. You take the version of your mother, and you believe that "He is my father." Otherwise there is no other way. How can you know your father? The only means is his mother recommends, "My dear boy, he is your father." And that is perfect. That's all. Otherwise you cannot know who is your father.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but you know...

Prabhupāda: If you say, "Mother, I don't believe it," you don't believe it, but you cannot know.

Mr. Chenique: The trouble, you know, is that so many people are coming either in India or [indistinct]...

Prabhupāda: No, no, I mean to say...

Mr. Chenique: ...that "I am an avatāra" or "I am Guru Mahārāj-ji" or "I am...," so to say, "Meher Baba" or "Satya Sai Baba," so many bābās exist, you know as well as I do. Now, who has to say this one is really bābā? They are all abusing us. Now, if so many people today pretends to be avatāra, and they have many disciples...

Prabhupāda: But we don't believe them.

Mr. Chenique: No, but they have many disciples.

Prabhupāda: Many disciples, that is another thing.

Mr. Chenique: Millions.

Prabhupāda: Millions, trillions, that is another thing. But we have to see what is the disciple. That we have to see. Simply if somebody... So many disciples by number, we have to see the quality. What is the quality, not the number, not the quantity.

Mr. Chenique: And if I had said that...

Prabhupāda: It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin vetti māṁ tattvataḥ

Kṛṣṇa does not say that "Millions and millions of people know Me." No. Out of millions and millions of people, one is perfect. And out of millions of perfect person, one may know Him. That He says. So we cannot accept because one is accepted by millions, therefore he is God. We don't accept it.

Mr. Chenique: That's right.

Prabhupāda: We want to see the quality, not the quantity. So our process is paramparā. Just like in India---you have been in India---there are ācāryas: Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Caitanya. If the ācārya accept, then you accept. This is our process. We don't go the millions; we see the quality. Rāmānujācārya, high quality devotee; Madhvācārya, high quality devotee; Caitanya, high quality devotee. If they say he is God, then we accept. This is our process. We don't see how many millions of followers. No. We want to see the quality man. He says---yes. So Śaṅkarācārya says, "Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead," Rāmānujācārya says "the Supreme Personality of Godhead," Madhvācārya says "Supreme," Caitanya says "Supreme," then we accept. That's all. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ. Simply by argument we cannot understand the truth. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā. And if you simply consult Vedic literature, that is also not possible. There are different statements. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā, nāsāv munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. A muni, a saintly person, a philosopher is not a philosopher or muni if he does not agree with others. He must disagree; then he becomes. So that is also not the way. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: it is very confidential. Then how to know? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Big personalities, ācāryas---that is the process. Ācāryopāsanam. What is that, in the Thirteenth Chapter? Ācāryopāsanam: we have to understand through the ācāryas. That is our process. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. We accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not by our experience but by the experience of the acaryas who are recognized, and then we follow. Just like Arjuna accepts Kṛṣṇa in the Tenth Chapter. [aside:] Find out, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān. Read it.


paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān
puruṣaṁ śāśvataṁ divyam
ādi-devam ajaṁ vibhum

[Bg. 10.12]

Prabhupāda: Hmm. What is that translation?

Nitāi: "Arjuna said = You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are unborn and the all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me."

Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa says, and He is confirmed by Vyāsadeva, Asita, Nārada. This is the process. We do not accept everyone says "I am avatāra," "I am God." We don't accept. But because it is accepted by the ācāryas, therefore we accept. Just like the same example I can give = I do not know who is my father, and many people will come, "I am your father." So we do not accept them. As soon mother says, "He is your father," then accept. That is final. I have no experience. It is beyond my experience, because father existed before my birth. So beyond my experience. So I am finding out who is my father, and so many people are coming, "I am your father." No. But as soon as the mother says, "No, no, this man is your father," then we accept. Then our business finished. Then we get experience. Father is beyond my experience, but when we receive the knowledge through the mother, then we get experience. So Arjuna says that paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān [Bg. 10.12] = "You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only You are saying, but You are accepted by these authorities." That is our point. I cannot get my experience of God; that is not possible. God comes, He says, and..., Kṛṣṇa comes, and He is accepted by all the great ācāryas. Then our business is perfect. [pause] So give them prasāda.

Bhagavān: Yes. I have prasādam in my office.

Prabhupāda: Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.186].

Bhagavān: Have you seen our Bhagavad-gītā?

Prabhupāda: He saw our all books. He is a scholar.

Devotee: This is a translation of Bhāgavata Purāṇa.

Prabhupāda: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Devotee: In sixty volumes we will translate this.

Bhagavān: We have Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Prabhupāda: Here it is.

Devotee: And the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, all volumes.

Bhagavān: Would you like to see some of the pictures?

Mr. Chenique: Yes, yes.

Bhagavān: These have been painted by our devotees. The meeting of Lord Caitanya and Sanātana Gosvāmī.

Prabhupāda: The American devotees, they have painted. We have got a very big painting department. All these pictures, they are painted by our devotees.

Bhagavān: [as prasādam is brought in] This is one of our other specialties.

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṁ hānir asyopajāyate [Bg. 2.65].

Nitāi: This is also a translation of the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. It's a description of the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa. That's in two volumes.

Mr. Chenique: It's a tremendous work.

Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Our books are selling very nice. Last year we have sold four million copies throughout the whole world.

Nitāi: This is Nectar of Devotion, by a chief disciple of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He quotes from all different scriptures, the Purāṇas, and he supports devotional service.

Mr. Chenique: This is what you use for your devotional service?

Nitāi: They're a model.

Bhagavān: We have many copies downstairs. You can take. It was Lord Caitanya's plan that for the common men there would be much chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa and distributing of prasādam. And for those who are intellectually inclined, there is very high philosophy. So by Prabhupāda's grace, we are presenting all these things. It is not different than Lord Caitanya presented five hundred years ago. If you have opportunity later, you can hear some of our kīrtana in the temple.

Mr. Chenique: Yes. This is why I am coming.

Bhagavān: And no one is from India. [laughs]

Mr. Chenique: I could see, because in India you don't find that.

Jyotirmayī: Mr. Chenique wanted to ask you some questions. He's going to say in French, and I can translate.

Mr. Chenique: [French]

Jyotirmayī: He is asking what do you think about Herbert, Mr. Herbert that you met in Geneva, because he has been following his teaching in the last three days, and he would like to know what you think about what he is teaching.

Bhagavān: Do you remember this gentleman?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Bhagavān: He was the one who wrote that book.

Prabhupāda: Herbert?

Bhagavān: Yes, that's right.

Prabhupāda: Mr. Herbert?

Bhagavān: Yes. He's asking your opinion of him.

Prabhupāda: Yes, he is a scholar, but he is impersonalist.

Jyotirmayī: [French]

Prabhupāda: So I met him. He is a good gentleman, scholar, but he is a Māyāvādī, he is impersonalist.

Jyotirmayī: [French]

Prabhupāda: But if he... He has already written one book. He has presented me, that Kṛṣṇa...

Bhagavān: The Yoga of Love.

Prabhupāda: The Yoga of Love. So he has many times repeated the word "Kṛṣṇa." That will benefit him. [Jyotirmayī translates]

Mr. Chenique: [French]

Jyotirmayī: He said that in the Christian philosophy that the conception of God as the person, the personal God, and God as the divine essence. So he is asking...

Prabhupāda: God is person, then? What did he say?

Jyotirmayī: Then he said that so is it not that God, the person, this divine essence, is a superperson, an evolved person, and not exactly somebody impersonal? Like he said that in Śaṅkarācārya's philosophy there is the conception of tat. So is not this tat conception, this divine essence, this superperson...

Prabhupāda: Yes, He is divine essence. God is divine essence. Just like you have volumes of milk and you churn it, then you get so much butter. So the butter is the essence of the milk. Similarly, the spirit is vast, all-pervading. The example, another example, is just like the sunshine universally spread, very big. Then you concentrate the sunshine, it is sun globe. And if you still concentrate, you will see within the sun globe there is sun-god. So he is the essence of this light, the sunshine light, the sun globe light, and the person---sun-god, Vivasvān, he is person---he is the essence among all this light. That is explained in the Brahma-samhitā, yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. The whole creation means expansion of the bodily rays of Kṛṣṇa. Yasya prabhā prabhavato. By expansion of the bodily rays of Kṛṣṇa, this Brahman, yasya prabhā prabhavato jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi-koṭiṣv aśeṣa-vasudhādi-vibhūti-bhinnam, tad brahma [Bs. 5.40]. That Brahman. Brahman is..., just like the sunshine is the expansion of the bodily rays of sun-god. [Jyotirmayī translates]

And in Bhāgavata also it is stated,

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti
bhagavān iti śabdyate

The Absolute Truth is one, but it is realized in different angles of vision = Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. [Jyotirmayī translates] And that is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ [Bg. 10.8] = "I am the origin of everything---Brahman, Paramātmā, everything, Bhagavān." Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ. Sarvasya means including everything = Brahman, Viṣṇu, myself, the world manifested, everything.

Jyotirmayī: [French]

Prabhupāda: You take that sweet preparation. [chuckles] Yes.

Mr. Chenique: [French]

Jyotirmayī: He is asking if it is possible for young Christians... Because each time he has been coming he has been bringing with him people, you know, Christian who have been chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, with him. So he is asking if it is possible for them to chant the name God---that in fact is not really a name---by the name Kṛṣṇa, because according to what you are explaining, God is Kṛṣṇa. So can they chant the name of Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is God. Kṛṣṇa is God. God is the idea of greatness. That is Brahman. Or you can say also person, but not the particular person. God means..., the Sanskrit word is īśvara, the controller. So everyone is controller to some extent. In his own atmosphere he is a controller, as I am controller of my disciples. So the conception of God is there, but I am not the Supreme God. Therefore there are two words. We use the word "Godhead," "the Supreme God." That is explained in the Brahma-saṁhitā, īśvara, God. Everyone is god; that is another thing. But īśvaraḥ paramaḥ, the Supreme God, is Kṛṣṇa. [Jyotirmayī translates, explaining īśvara]

Supreme. We have got experience of īśvara. Just like I said, everyone is īśvara, everyone is a controller. So I am personal, I am also īśvara of my body. I am controlling my body. So in that way, everyone is īśvara. But these īśvaras, they are controlled by another īśvara. We are īśvara, but I am controlled by another īśvara. But īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ [Bs. 5.1], He is īśvara, but He is not controlled by anyone. That is parama, supreme. From the dictionary meaning also we can under..., "being" and "Supreme Being." We are being, but we are controlled by another being, he is controlled by another being, he is controlled by another being. In this way you go, if you find out some being who is not controlled by anyone, He is Supreme Being. This is the idea. [Jyotirmayī translates]

Therefore, it is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat, "There is no more controller beyond that, Me." Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti. Nobody. This final controller. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. And in Brahmā-saṁhitā, īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1]. Vigraha means form, body. Govinda ādi-puruṣam. Sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam [Bs. 5.1], the cause of all causes. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat.


mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

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

Prabhupāda: So "Nobody is superior to Me," there is nobody controller. Kṛṣṇa is not controlled by anyone. Therefore He is īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ. That is final God. Otherwise God... You will find = you are more powerful than me, he is more powerful than you, and somebody is more powerful than him, go on, go on, seeing, seeing. But when you come to Kṛṣṇa, nobody is more powerful than Him. Mattaḥ parataram. Parataram means better, or higher principle. No. [Jyotirmayī translates] Then it is confirmed by Arjuna, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, puruṣam [Bg. 10.12]. "You are person"---puruṣam means person---śāśvatam, "eternally." Then he says that "It is not that You have said. I see from Your instruction, and it is confirmed by Vyāsadeva, by Devala, by Nārada." Then it is final. [Jyotirmayī translates]

The Vedas say, therefore, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet [MU 1.2.12]. In order to understand that science, you have to approach the guru. Vyāsadeva is the original guru. He is instructor of Vedic knowledge. Then from Vyāsadeva, ācāryas. So this is the instruction of the Vedas. Tad-vijñānārtham: in order to experience that transcendental thing, you have to approach to the authorities, gurum eva abhigacchet. And who is guru? Śrotriyam, one who has heard from his guru, authorized person, śrotriyam, brahma-niṣṭham [MU 1.2.12], and firmly convinced in the science of God. [Jyotirmayī translates]

[Prabhupāda tells someone to open window]

Yogeśvara: You can open more.

Prabhupāda: Open more. Yes. You can open.

Bhagavān: How does one get the experience of personal existence of God?

Prabhupāda: That is already explained. Why did you hear? We are explaining this same subject. You did not hear?

Bhagavān: I was just asking.

Prabhupāda: No. You are asking me or asking him?

Bhagavān: No, for his benefit. [Prabhupāda laughs] You were talking experience.

Mr. Chenique: Yes.

Bhagavān: So we want to understand how to experience that Supreme Person.

Mr. Chenique: No. I went through that experience, and I would like... I mean... May I say something upon what he said? When you say is it possible for a young Christian to also follow the Hare Kṛṣṇa, I said I would like much more to do so. [has brief conversation in French with Mr. Chenique]

Jyotirmayī: He is explaining that what he would like, that all these young Christian that he knows, it's not that he wants them to stop Christianity but to take in Kṛṣṇa consciousness what is missing in Christianity, to help them in their own development.

Prabhupāda: Nothing is missing. Only, if I be frank enough, they are not following Christianity.

Mr. Chenique: [French]

Jyotirmayī: They said that then if Christianity is complete, then what is the need of coming here? What is missing there that we would find here?

Prabhupāda: To tell you that you are not following. [laughter]

Mr. Chenique: But then there is no need to dress as you dress.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Mr. Chenique: Why do you dress in that way, which is an Indian way and not the European way?

Prabhupāda: Then why Christian go there?

Mr. Chenique: They should not.

Prabhupāda: Then we should not.

Mr. Chenique: Not because they do something wrong that somebody else has to do something wrong.

Prabhupāda: No, no. Thing is that just like there are scholars, the scholars also go. Just like you are doing in India. Why did you go to India? Why did you go to India and live there and [indistinct]? Therefore anyone can come to study, to learn how to teach. That is human society. You cannot say that "You don't come here." You cannot say.

Mr. Chenique: I know, but for a European to dress as an Indian.

Prabhupāda: No, no. Europeans go to India, and why the Indians should not come to Europe?

Mr. Chenique: True.

Prabhupāda: Then you cannot say that "Why you have come here?" You cannot say.

Jyotirmayī: No, no. He's saying why are we dressing like that, like Indians?

Prabhupāda: I have not said that you dress like that. You like, you dress. Did I say that you do it?

Priest: It's like the Indian Catholic priest dressing like a [indistinct] priest or like a European priest. I mean, they look as if they had a disguise with them. I don't know if you have been to...

Prabhupāda: No, no. Just like when the English were ruling, English national. So the Englishmen never said that "You dress like Englishmen," but they automatically dressed. You know very well. It is like that. The Englishmen, they went there to get some money by trade, by politics. But they never went there to change their dress. But they thought that "If I dress myself like Englishman, I will be more honored." That is their point. Similarly, we never preach that "You dress like this." But the student, they like this dress. That's all right. What is the wrong there?

Priest: It's not wrong; it's funny.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Rather, these girls, when they dress in Indian way, they look more beautiful. That you will have to admit. Yes. The same girl will dress in your coun... way.

Priest: That I am [indistinct] for it. [laughs]

Prabhupāda: So the girls, the women, they like to be more beautiful. So if by dressing in other way they look beautiful, why should you ask them not to do it?

Priest: Maybe for ladies and girls certainly, but for the dhotī and...

Prabhupāda: But we are not concerned with the dress; we are concerned with the advancement of spiritual understanding. That's all.

Yogeśvara: Jyotirmayī, is this the guest that was scheduled to come at seven o'clock?

Jyotirmayī: No, he's not here yet. [indistinct]

Priest: Have you got any French literature of conception [indistinct]?

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.

Bhagavān: French literature. He's asking for French literature. [French] [break]

Jyotirmayī: He translated the Tukārāma in French.

Priest: Tukārāma.

Prabhupāda: Tukārāma. Tukārāma is great Vaiṣṇava devotee of Maharashtra. His movement was saṅkīrtana movement.

Devotee: He was the one who was initiated by Lord Caitanya?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bhagavān: This was southern India? Southern India?

Priest: Maharashtra.

Prabhupāda: Maharashtra, yes. Southwest.

Priest: For the north it is south and the south it is [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: [japa]

Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda, another thing that's stated in the Bible, in the Christians' philosophy, they say that God created man out of His own image. It's stated in the Bible. So therefore man has a form, why not God? Because it's stated there in the Bible.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I think Bible is on the personal understanding of God. Christ says that he is son of God. Unless one is person, how he can beget a son?

Devotee: They talk about the Trilogy---the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. It is like, compared like the Father...

Prabhupāda: Bhagavān, Paramātmā and Brahman, yes. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate [SB 1.2.11], it is the same idea. Brahman, Holy Ghost, is impersonal, but Son is person and God is also person. I do not know much about, but I have heard from Christians that there is assembly of God, and Lord Christ has got a seat by the side of God. Is that not explained?

Devotee: It's on His right hand.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Devotee: On his right side he's supposed to be seated.

Prabhupāda: Yes. These are all personal ideas.

Devotee: And they say also, "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name."

Prabhupāda: Hmm? "Hallowed be Thy name."

Devotee: "Hallowed be Thy name."

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

Prabhupāda: That's nice.

Devotee: They're praising the name of the Lord.

Prabhupāda: Yes. No, we have got very regard, good regard, for Christianity. We take it as Vaisnavism. It is explained according to country, time. And the commandments are very nice. The first commandment is, "Thou shall not kill," but that is not stopped in the Christian world. Therefore we say that the Christians are not following. Christianity is all right. Those who are professing Christianity, they are not following. [Jyotirmayī briefly translates into French for guests]

Prabhupāda: Muhammadanism also Vaiṣṇavism, because Muhammad says, "I am servant of God, Allah." So that is our conception, dāsya-rasa, dāsya. Śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, mādhurya. So prayer, offering prayer, that is also bhakti. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanam. Just like we are worshiping Deity and somebody is offering prayer---both of them are approved. Prayer, vandanam. Dāsyam sakhyam ātma-nivedanam. So we don't say that "This is bad" and "This is good." No. Both of them are bhakti. To worship the Deity or to offer prayer, the effect is the same. Effect is not different. Either of these nine processes,

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam

[SB 7.5.23]

Either you follow all the nine principles or eight or six or seven, at least one, then you become perfect. That is our preaching. Just like Akrūra, the example is given. Akrūra got perfection simply by offering prayers. So I see when the Christian go to the church, in India I have seen, in Bombay especially, they kneel down and offer prayer. That's very good. We do not say that this is not approved. This is also approved. What is this "Hare Kṛṣṇa"? This is also prayer, our prayer, prayer. Hare Kṛṣṇa, "O Kṛṣṇa, O the energy of Kṛṣṇa, kindly engage me in Your service." This is the meaning of Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is prayer. Repeatedly praying, "My Lord, the energy of Lord, kindly engage me in Your service." This is the meaning of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Just like you go to a mercantile firm with application, "Please give me some service. Give me some service," the same thing, appealing to God and His energy, "Please engage me in Your service." That's it. So that is vandana. So vandana, and Christian also they pray, "O God, give us our daily bread." So this is also good, but it is material, asking something for material satisfaction. And here, "Hare Kṛṣṇa," asking something for satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa, "Engage me in Your service," little advanced. Because God is supplying bread to everyone, even to the cats and dogs.

So that is also good, and it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, ārto arthārthī jñānī ca, catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ. Catur-vidhā bhajante māṁ sukṛtino 'rjuna, ārtaḥ [Bg. 7.16]. Ārtaḥ means distress, ārtaḥ, one who is distressed. "I have no food, sir, my dear Lord. Kindly give me some food." So he is distressed, so he is praying to God because he is pious. The Communists say, "Ah. Why you are praying to God? You pray to us, the government. We shall give you enough bread." The Communist propaganda is like that. They send the people to the church, "So you pray." So they pray. "Have you got bread?" They say, "No, sir." "Now pray to us." Then "Give us, sir," and he gives hundreds of breads. In this way, they are making atheist. Because common man cannot argue, neither they know so much logic. But if there is some intelligent man, he will ask immediately that "Wherefrom you have brought this bread? Who has given you the wheat? That you have not manufactured. That is given by God." So actually God gives, but the Communists take the credit, that "I give." This is the misconception. If God does not supply you... Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13], He is supplying food for everyone. If He does not supply, then what your bakery machine will do? It is useless.

So people have lost the intelligence in the Communist countries. They think that these government men, they have brought the bread, not God. In this way, they are gradually becoming atheist. But the central point is God. We are preaching the central point is God. You call Him by any name, it doesn't matter, either you call Jehovah or Kṛṣṇa or something, Allah, that doesn't matter. But you accept the authority of God and try to love God. This is our mission. And we say God is person. Impersonal feature, that is a feature only. Just like sun-god is a person and the sunshine is one of the feature of the sun-god. The sunshine is not final. You have to penetrate to the sunshine and reach the sun globe and go within the globe and see that there is the sun-god. But that requires strength how to enter into the sun globe and see this. But there is the information in the Bhagavad-gītā = imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam, vivasvān manave prāha [Bg. 4.1], "I first of all instructed this yoga system of Bhagavad-gītā to the sun-god." The sun-god is there in the sun planet, and if you have got strength, you can go there and see. But you cannot go, although it is material. So similarly, in the spiritual world there is the Supreme Spirit, Supreme Being. He is spiritual, concentrated, essence of light. That is ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. He is the origin of everything. And He says, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata. [aside:] Find out this verse. Find out. Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata, tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham.


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

"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."

Prabhupāda: So at least in the human society, everyone must have understanding of God. That is expected. It is not expected in the society of cats and dogs, because they are animals. The human being, dharmasya glāniḥ, there is dharma, some sort of religious system. And religious system means to understand God. That's all. Just like to become a lawyer means to understand the laws of the state. Similarly, religious system means the process by which one can understand God. And that is the summary of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. That is first-class religious system which trains the followers to understand God and love Him. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir, ahaituky apratihatā. If somebody says, "Oh, it is a very great thing to understand God and to love Him. It is very....," they are thinking it is not possible. No. The answer is ahaituky apratihatā. It can be learned by anyone. It is not checked by any material condition. If one wants to know what is God and to love Him, the path is open for everyone. It does not require high intelligence, high education, high culture. No. Anyone. The process is śravaṇam, the beginning. One has to hear. One may be fool number one, it doesn't matter. No education, it doesn't matter. Poor, doesn't matter. Black, doesn't matter. White, doesn't matter. You try to hear. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ [SB 3.25.25]. Therefore, Vedic injunction is in order to know, go to the bona fide guru and hear. Ādau gurv-āśrayam, sad-dharma pṛcchāt [Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.74]. So even one has no experience, if he goes to the experienced man, experienced person, then you can understand and you can love God, and that is perfection of life. Tad viddhi... [aside:] Find out this verse,

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

This tattva-darśinaḥ means experience. What is that?


tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."

Prabhupāda: Purport.

Nitāi: "The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhāgavatam says = dharmaṁ hi sākṣād-bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]---the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. One should not only hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect."

Prabhupāda: We have started a gurukula in Dallas. Small children are being trained up. Just like formerly there was brahmacārī āśrama. [aside:] Those ladies, they have come? No? If there are any inquiries? [break] ...record?

Devotee: Which record?

Bhagavān: From this afternoon, the recording.

Devotee: Oh, yes.

Prabhupāda: Play now. Find out.

Devotee: It's upstairs, or it's right out here.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. You have got?

Satsvarūpa: I think so.

French man: [French]

Jyotirmayī: He would like to know if to instruct young Christians to chant the name of Kṛṣṇa will be helping them attain the highest perfection or if it is changing their religion.

Prabhupāda: No. We are recommending, "Chant the holy name of God." So if you have got the holy name of God, you can chant that. [Jyotirmayī translates]

French man: [French]

Jyotirmayī: He said that in Christianity God has no name.

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Jyotirmayī: God has no name in Christianity, but the son of God has a name. And before they use for a long time, and everywhere they were saying the name of Jesus Christ. So they chant...

Prabhupāda: But they say that in Christianity there is a name of God. They say. No? [Jyotirmayī translates]

French man: No.

Prabhupāda: But you said that His name be glorified.

Devotee: They say "Hallowed be Thy name."

Mr. Chenique: But the name is not said.

Devotee: Yes.

Mr. Chenique: They have not said it.

Devotee: Jesus said that "All I have taught you is not the total sum of the knowledge of God," he says, "but there is more to be told."

Prabhupāda: So that's all right. So if you have no name, then why don't you take this name, "Kṛṣṇa"? [Jyotirmayī translates] What is the objection?

French man: [French]

Prabhupāda: Caitanya Mahāprabhu says... Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis.

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ

[Śikṣāṣṭaka 2]

Bahudhā: God has many names. If you are missing, so you can take one of the name. Kṛṣṇa is one of the names, so what is the objection? And Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "In this name, all the potencies of God is there." Nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śakti tatrārpitā. That name is as powerful as God Himself. There is no difference between the name and God, because He is absolute. Here in the material world there is the difference between name and the person or the thing. If I am thirsty, if I simply chant "water, water, water," that will not appease my thirstiness. But the spiritual world, absolute, the name and the person is the same. Abhinnatvān nāma-nāminoḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.133]. Under the circumstances, if you are missing some name, so take this name. Why it should not be taken? [Jyotirmayī translates]

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but you can take "Rāma," you can take "Paraśurāma," you can take "Nṛsiṁha."

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes, any name, any name.

Mr. Chenique: Kṛṣṇa has no special...

Prabhupāda: No. Special there is. In this way = it is recommended in the śāstra, recommended in the śāstra, harer nāma. Harer means of God. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. So this is the... We have to chant the name of God. This is the prescription. This is Vaiṣṇava.

Mr. Chenique: Does it matter...

Prabhupāda: Now, there are thousands and thousands of names, that we also admitted. At least we have got sahasra-nāma, viṣṇu sahasra. But in another place it is said, other Upaniṣad, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma..., this name is recommended. Just like Agni Purāṇa and Kalisantaraṇa Upaniṣad, in this Vedic literature, this...

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but each Upaniṣad will recommend its own, I mean, specific deity, you know. Rāma, as you say, Hare Rāma. Or Śiva.

Prabhupāda: Yes, Rāma is all right. Rāma we chant. Hare Rāma we chant. Hare Kṛṣṇa and Hare Rāma. Rāma also we chant. Yes.

Mr. Chenique: Or Śiva. I mean, you see, in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Also in the Bhāgavatam, kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya... [SB 12.3.51].

Mr. Chenique: I mean, whatever it is. You have got bhakti also in the Śaivites, all the advanced...

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The argument... If you say that it is not special, then you will say that you can chant any name.

Mr. Chenique: Yes.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The idea is that God's name is special, whatever name it is. Not that we eliminate God, saying He's not special. He is special. Whether you call Him by this authorized name or that authorized name, His name is special because it's nondifferent from Him. So not that we should just overlook the name of God because we're overlooking God. We do that, so we have to...

Prabhupāda: Harer nāma [Cc. Ādi 17.21]. Harer nāma means God's name.

Mr. Chenique: You see, for instance, in Christianity for a long time there was a bhakti, and this bhakti was devoted to the name of Jesus. So for a very long time you had the Jesus bhakti. And in your country, in America today, like you have got Hare Kṛṣṇa, you have got also the Jesus devotees. Now, is it also very present in many places. And the name does not matter, you know? There is no name who has got the... Because then you find again what...

Prabhupāda: No. If Jesus is the name of God, then you can chant. If Jesus is the name of God. But Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ, says that he is son of God. Of course, there is no difference between son and the father. That is another thing. But still, if I want the father, how by calling the name of son I can get the father? That is also another thing.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but I mean, this is another point.

Prabhupāda: But if you have got the father's name, why should you call Him by the son's name?

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but this is another discussion [indistinct]. What we mean by father and son, you know, we don't mean it...

Prabhupāda: That everyone's father and son is the same. If father says something and the son says... Just like in a big family, if the son orders something, it is as good as the father's order. That is our experience. But still, if you want to call the father, you will not get the father's response by calling the name of the son.

Mr. Chenique: Jesus told us, "If you see me, you see the Father, because the Father cannot be seen." It was a common name. Yoshua was a common Jewish name.

Prabhupāda: Yes. [greeting someone] Hare Kṛṣṇa. Now, one thing is that if we are interested in chanting the name of God, if it is available, then why should I chant the name of the son?

Mr. Chenique: No, it is not that question. The question is...

Devotee: Excuse me for interrupting, but one thing was that you suggested that the name of Kṛṣṇa is a very common name...

Mr. Chenique: Yeah.

Devotee: ...in the sense that many people may be called Kṛṣṇa. But the Supreme God is also called Kṛṣṇa. So if you chant His name, you derive the benefit even if you're not thinking of Him as the Supreme.

Mr. Chenique: Yeah, but for the Christian the same. Jesus is a very common name.

Devotee: That's all right. We're saying chant. Our spiritual master is teaching, "You chant the name of God." That's the important thing.

Prabhupāda: Now if you think that Jesus Christ's name is also..., you can chant; we have no objection we have no. We say that you chant the holy name of God, whatever you have got. That's all right.

Priest: And for a Muslim you mean to chant Allah.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Priest: Name Kṛṣṇa, Allah, Jesus, [indistinct], what is the...

Prabhupāda: Allah is not name. That is... It is not the name. It is just like the idea of God.

Priest: Yeah.

Prabhupāda: Allah means God, īśvara.

Priest: Allah means also [indistinct].

Prabhupāda: But that is not the name. That is... Just like the President and Mr. Nixon. The President may be another person also. Not only Nixon, but another person also may be. So "President" is the general understanding of the post. But still, one who occupies the post, he has got a name.

Mr. Chenique: Do you know the Sufi?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Mr. Chenique: Do you know the Sufis are Muslims [indistinct]?

Prabhupāda: No.

Mr. Chenique: They are the great mystics of Islam, and they always address God as Allah. As we say...

Prabhupāda: Allah means God.

Mr. Chenique: Yes. It is the name of God for them. "Allah, the all-knowing, is great." Anybody who knows Islam knows that.

Prabhupāda: Anyway, if one chants Allah or Jesus Christ, we have no objection. We don't say that you stop it. We say that you chant the holy name of God. If that name is of God, you chant. That's all.

Yogeśvara: Yesterday, Śrīla Prabhupāda, you gave the story, I think you said it was from the Padma Purāṇa, about a Muslim who was attacked by a wild boar.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yogeśvara: He was attacked by a wild boar, and the boars for the Muslims are untouchable. So he was saying haram, haram, which means untouchable. And he was killed by that boar, but it was taken by higher authority that he was chanting "ha rāma," which means "Where is Lord Rāma?" so he derived liberation. Even unconsciously he was chanting and derived liberation.

Prabhupāda: Although he did not mean Rāma, he condemned the boar as haram, "condemned," but the...

Mr. Chenique: Same story is said in the bhakti tradition of Maharashtra of the hunter.

Prabhupāda: Yes, may be the same story.

Mr. Chenique: Untouchable hunter who was chased by a boar and went to a tree, and then... It is a common story.

Prabhupāda: Anyway, we are recommending "Chant the holy name of God." That's all. [end]