Initiation Lecture , Caracas , 1975-02-22
[translated throughout by Hṛdayānanda]
Prabhupāda: Ladies and gentlemen, devotees, and boys and girls. So it is great opportunity to see the beginning of initiation of how to begin the understanding of God. This is called initiation. This evening we were discussing with some learned psychiatrist to solve the problems of the world. So we have tried to convince them that the problems of the world are due to ignorance of our spiritual life. So this body... Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhuḥ. This body means combination of different senses. This body means we have got hands, legs, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, genital, rectum. All these different parts of the bodies are working. So these senses are working under the leadership of the mind, and the mind is activated by intelligence, and behind the intelligence there is soul. That is stated in the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā:
indriyebhyaḥ paro manaḥ
manasas tu paro buddhiḥ
buddhes tu ya paraṁ saḥ
So we have to take information from authoritative scriptures.
So the body is made of five material elements = earth, water, air, fire and ether. So mind is still finer than the ether, and intelligence is still finer than the mind, and the soul is still finer than the intelligence. So generally, we are on the bodily platform. They are called karmīs. Bodily platform means that everyone is working for the bodily comfort. Bodily comforts means how to eat nicely, how to sleep nicely, how to have sex nicely and how to defend nicely. So these activities are there also in the animal life. Then, above these activities, there is mental activities. So the bodily activities are visible in the animal kingdom also, but mental activities, they are lacking. So the human being can tackle the mental activities, which is called psychology, the science of thinking, feeling and willing. So when still we go further, intellectual platform, how the mind should be utilized? So if we can intellectually utilize the mind, then we can approach the spiritual platform.
So this spiritual platform, to reach, requires gradually process of cultivation, and there is no difficulty to reach the spiritual platform. But first of all, the training of the mind is practiced by the yoga system. Yoga means to control the mind. Our mind at the present moment, being too much attached to this body, it is busy in bodily comforts. The therefore the real yoga system is to divert the mind towards God, control the mind from material engagement and divert it to spiritual engagement, or bhakti-yoga. The bhakti-yoga practice are in different nine spheres, that,
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
This means that first of all we have to hear about God from authorized persons. Then kīrtanam. Kīrtanam means glorifying the activities of God. Then there are other. These two items are very important, and there are other items also. Smaraṇam---smaraṇam means meditation. Vandanam means offering prayer. So smaraṇaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyam arcanam. Arcanam, just the Deity worship. There are other items also. In this way there are nine items. So if one is interested to understand God, then he must take all these items, or some of them, or at least one of them.
So the most important item is śravaṇam, or hearing. If you do not do anything else, if you simply sincerely hear about God, then gradually you will be God conscious. That is also true in the material science. The students go to the school, college, and hear from the professor, and gradually he becomes learned in that subject matter. Especially in this age, śravaṇam, or hearing, is very, very important. We are therefore opening different centers in different parts of the world, and their given, being given the chance of this bhakti-yoga system, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam [SB 7.5.23], like that. So all these devotees present here, they are not Indians. I have not brought them from India; neither I have bribed them here. But by hearing only, they are now coming to God consciousness, and devotees. Therefore this śravaṇam item, or hearing item, is very, very important.
So if you all, ladies and gentlemen present here, take advantage of hearing about God from this institution, you will also become God conscious. They, we have got many sense organs, out of which the aural sense, or the hearing sense, is very important. Therefore, for spiritual understanding we have to use this ear. So therefore the Vedic literature is called śruti. Śruti means to receive the knowledge by hearing. So our process, or the Vedic process, is that satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-saṁvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ [SB 3.25.25]. If one lends his aural reception of spiritual knowledge through the authorized person, devotee, then he relishes taste in spiritual life. And when you cultivate that stage, then, gradually, he becomes a devotee; he understands what is God.
Another place, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Brahmā recommends,
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyām
The fact is God is called Ajita---nobody can conquer Him. But any person who gives up this process of mental speculation---that means "God may be like this. Perhaps God is like this. Perhaps this, perhaps this..." This is called mental speculation. We have to give up this mental speculation. Jñāne prayāsam means endeavor in mental speculation should be given up. One should submissively approach the spiritual master. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. Namanta eva means submissively offering respect, obeisances. And after that, if you hear from the self-realized soul, jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva san-mukharitām. San-mukharitām means self-realized soul. From his mouth one has to hear. Bhavadīya-vārtām. In this way, although God is never conquered by anyone else, still, this man who has adopted this process, he will conquer God someday. And who can conquer God? Only the devotees. Just like in Vṛndāvana, the gopīs, the cowherd boys, Mother Yaśodā, father Nanda and all of them, even the cows and calves, they conquered God, Kṛṣṇa.
So there, this is the science of God, and we have got all these books translated into English, and other things are being translated in other languages. So we shall request you to understand, to hear about God. Then some day will come, you will understand what is God, what is your relationship with Him, and you will act accordingly. Then your life will be successful. So the boys and girls who are now being initiated, they're entering the path of understanding God in this way. So there are some regulative principles. I think you have explained to them that no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication. God is pure, the purest. Therefore if we want to approach God, we must be pure. Just like without high temperature nobody can enter into the fire, similarly, God is the topmost temperature. We must acquire that temperature; then we can enter into the kingdom of God. So if you want to increase the temperature, you cannot pour water again on it. Just like if you have got wet wood, you cannot burn it very nicely, but if you collect dry wood, you can ignite very easily. So our material life is now saturated with all kinds of sins. The four pillars of sinful life are these = illicit sex, meat-eating and intoxication and gambling. [indistinct]... if we stop these voluntarily, this is called austerity, austerity, tapasya. Austerity means voluntarily accept some painful condition.
So those who are habituated to all these things, namely illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling, to give up these habits, it may become little painful at the... in the beginning. But if you practice and pray to Kṛṣṇa that He will help, it is not difficult to give up these habits. And as soon as you give up this waiting process, the sinful life, then immediately you become fifty percent purified to approach God. Then, by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, you make further, further, more and more progress. And when you are completely free of all sinful reaction, then you understand God and you love him. In the contaminated stage you are trying to love so many things, but you are frustrated. So if you can love God, then you will never be frustrated, and your loving desires will be fulfilled. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We are teaching all our students how to love God.
That's all right. So now you can go to the other function. [end]