Prabhupāda: So those who attend lecture will kindly sit down. Speaking in English for the majority.
Haṁsadūta: [aside, introducing recording:] The following lecture was recorded on the morning of the 22nd December, 1971..., 1970, Surat, India. [break]
hy adharmas tad-viparyayaḥ
vedo nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt
svayambhūr iti śuśruma
So we were speaking this verse yesterday morning. So vedo nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt. That is to be understood—why Vedas are given so much importance. Here it is explained that Veda means directly Nārāyaṇa. Why? Because Nārāyaṇa is absolute, God is absolute; therefore the words of God are also God. You cannot make any differentiation. Sākṣāt, directly.
So this is to be understood, that God—His form, His quality, His pastimes, His entourage—everything of God is God. Even sometimes... Why sometimes? Always: the devotee of God is also God. Just like we chanted this mantra, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ, that "In every scripture the spiritual master is identified as directly God." Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstraiḥ.
Viśvanātha Cakravartī said, not that any sectarian śāstra, but all śāstra, all scriptures, they admit that the spiritual master is God directly. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktaḥ: ** "It is said; it is mentioned." Authoritative śāstra, actually bona fide śāstra, it is said. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktaḥ: "It is said."
And sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ: "And that is accepted by all strict followers of transcendental science." Not that somebody admits or somebody does not admit. No. Everyone, sadbhiḥ. Sad-bhiḥ means "by the transcendentalists, those who are actually making progress in transcendental science and those who are..., objective is to reach the Supreme." They are doing.
Then again, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says, kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. Why the spiritual master should be accepted directly as Nārāyaṇa and God? The Māyāvāda philosophers, they say, "Yes, spiritual master is God and I am God, you are God—everyone is God." No. That is rectified. Everyone is not God. God is God, and living entities are living entities. In the Vedas it is..., nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]: "He is the prime entity of all entities." So there cannot be two Gods. One God.
As such, if God is one, there cannot be two religion also, because religion means to understand God, to love God. That is religion. And religion means the words of God, just as it is said. So why there should be two religions? There cannot be two religions. There may be some difference according to climate, country, population. There may be some difference in the execution of religion. But on principle there cannot be two religions, because God is one, and religion means the words of God. So how there can be two religions?
We have made two, three, four, five, six, increasing the number of religion. Just like in New York we have seen the United Nation's organization. It is said that united, but there are thousands of flags. Disunited. Because actually they do not want to unite. It is a farce that they have made a United Nation organization. Nobody wants to unite. In the material world how there can be unity? That is not possible.
Material world means everyone wants to enjoy to his satisfaction sense gratification. That is material world. So you want to satisfy your senses, I want to satisfy my senses. Therefore there is struggle: "Oh, this man is enjoying so much; I am unable." Even brother to brother, envious: "Oh, my this brother has increased so much money. He is enjoying." Envious. That is material envy: envious, to be envious.
Therefore the science of God is for persons who are not envious. That is religion. Bhāgavata..., in the Bhāgavata you will find in the beginning it is said, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ atra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satām [SB 1.1.2]: "Here the religion of Bhāgavata is not a cheating religion." Kaitava. Kaitava means cheating. Cheating. And Śrīdhara Svāmī has remarked, commented on the statement, kaitava, he says that atra mokṣa-vāñchā-paryantaṁ nirastam: "Anyone who is trying to become liberated or merge into the existence of God, that is also cheating."
Nirastam: that is also nullified. Nirastam. Why? Why the...? A person who is trying to be merged into the existence of God, jñānīs... Those who are philosophically advancing, they are called jñānīs. The absolute idea is that "Because I am Brahman, and God is also Brahman, therefore, as soon as I am freed from māyā, I become one with God."
In one sense it is all right, because God and the living entity, they are of the same quality. As it is stated in the Vedas, nityo nityānām. There are millions and trillions of nitya, eternally. So God is the chief eternal. Therefore quality, eternity, is there both for the living entities and God. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. Knowledge, sense, cetanatā, life, activities...
So God is also active; the living entities are also active. But His actions and my actions are not comparable. Just like God is creator; I am also creator. So in this way I am one. I have got creative power; God has also creative power. But God creates innumerable universes, and you can create a motorcar. That's all, no more. Or atom bomb—to kill.
You cannot create a planet; you can create a sputnik. With great difficulty it flies in the sky. But God's creation—innumerable planets, they are floating without any machine. Still, the rascal says, "There is no God. I am God." You do like God; then you become God. What you have done like God? You have created a toy flying in the sky. Therefore you are so much proud that you compare yourself with God? This is called demons, demonic. Unnecessarily, without any authority, when a man claims that "I am God," that is demonic.
Now, just like Hiraṇyakaśipu, Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was materially very much powerful, but he defied Rāma: "What is Rāma? I am more than Rāma. I shall kidnap His wife, and I shall enjoy." So this is Rāvaṇa, Rāvaṇa spirit. Sītā... Sītā is Lakṣmī. Lakṣmī is the goddess of fortune. So God is the husband of the goddess of fortune, and goddess of fortune is under His control.
Lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam [Bs. 5.29]. Thousands and millions of goddesses of fortune are serving the Supreme Lord, and I am thinking that "God has become poor, daridra, daridra-nārāyaṇa." And what does...? Nārāyaṇa, He is so great authority that His words are accepted as Vedic truth, and He has become daridra? These are all demonic declaration.
So sincere..., those who are actually followers of Vedas, they should understand that there is no difference between the Lord and His words—absolute. We read Bhagavad-gītā, the words of Kṛṣṇa. Then how we can change the meaning of Gītā when it is spoken by Lord? Does it mean that I am greater than the Lord? "Kṛṣṇa left something to be told by some rascals later on"—is that the meaning of Bhagavad-gītā? Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? If the meaning was to be corrected and commented by a conditioned soul, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? Then what is the necessity of reading Bhagavad-gītā? Simply because it is written in Sanskrit? No. That is not the fact.
The words of Bhagavad-gītā are Kṛṣṇa. That should be taken into consideration. That is real reading of Bhagavad-gītā. And if we read Bhagavad-gītā according to my whims—I like some stanza; I take it, and other stanza I give up—that is not reading of Bhagavad-gītā. You have to take everything, what it is presented.
Just like Arjuna says, who has taken Bhagavad-gītā as it is. He says, sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yan māṁ vadasi keśava [Bg. 10.14]: "My dear Lord..." He... Of course, he was friend. "My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You have spoken, I accept in toto." There is no question of eliminating this stanza and that stanza. I accept some, selected, and I become a student of Bhagavad-gītā, authority of Bhagavad-gītā. No. That is not authority of Bhagavad-gītā. You have to accept. And then it is...
Similarly, Vedas, as I gave you the example, that in the Vedas you will find that stools are considered as impure, stool of some animal, but Vedas says that "This stool, the cow stool, is pure." So there is no argument, that "Once you said that stool of animal is impure, and another time you say that this stool is pure. Once you said that all bones of animals are impure; again you say that śaṅkha, conchshell... This is also a bone of an animal. You say it is pure." So there cannot be any argument. Veda says, "This is this; this is that," we have to accept it. That is the following of religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19].
And vedaḥ sākṣāt... Vedo nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt svayambhūḥ [SB 6.1.40]. Svayambhūr iti śuśruma. Svayambhū. Svayambhū means which is not created by any man. Just like Brahmā is sometimes called Svayambhū. His another name is Svayambhū. Svayambhū means he was not created by father and mother. The father-mother... Ordinarily, a living entity take birth by the combination of father and mother. But Brahmā is called Svayambhū, because he is not created by father and mother. Then again, you can argue that Brahmā was created by Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, so He is his father. But the argument can be defied that although He is the father, but he was not born of a mother. That is all-powerful Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa, Viṣṇu.
You have seen the picture that Nārāyaṇa is lying down on the water of Garbhodaka, udaka, and Lakṣmī is massaging His lotus feet, and Brahmā in a lotus flower is born. So generally, when a father begets a son, he takes the advantage of his wife, the help of his wife. But here Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, although His wife is present, He did not take the assistance of the wife. A lotus sprouted from His navel, and there was Brahmā. That is all-powerful.
Generally we understand that whenever there is birth, the man and woman must combine. But that is for ordinary entities or in this material world. But that is not posable in the case of God, or Viṣṇu. Therefore He is called sarva-śaktimān, all-powerful. He can do anything, whatever He likes.
In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is stated, aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciraṁ jaganti [Bs. 5.32]. So we have to take the help of Vedic literature. Then we understand what is God. Aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti: "The limbs of Kṛṣṇa, or God, has got the potency of all other limbs." Just like with eyes we can see only, but Kṛṣṇa, or God, can eat also with eyes. With ears we simply hear, but... Just like this navel. The navel has got some purpose, but Kṛṣṇa can beget, Nārāyaṇa can beget a child also, Brahmā. Therefore, in the śāstras it is said, aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛttimanti: all the potencies of all other limbs can be found in...
[aside:] Why it is closed?
Devotee (1): There's men making some noise downstairs.
Prabhupāda: But others who are outside, they are closed. It can be open. You can ask them to stop.
So Śrīdhara Svāmī says, vedena praṇihitaḥ vihita-dharma, vedena praṇihitaḥ vihita-dharma, na ca veda-pramāṇa..., sa ca veda-pramāṇaka ity arthaḥ.[?] So whenever you accept some religion, you have to corroborate with the words of the Vedas. Then that is religion. Veda means knowledge, the knowledge, not ordinary knowledge—transcendental knowledge. Why Vedas' knowledge accepted so rigidly? It is already said, sākṣād nārāyaṇaḥ. Because it is spoken by... In the words of Nārāyaṇa there are no deficiencies.
In the words of conditioned soul there are so many deficiencies. Why? The deficiencies are that bhrama... Any conditioned soul, however great he may be, he must commit mistakes. That is one of the deficiencies. In this material world, however great one may be in the estimation of the general populace, he is not above committing mistakes. "To err is human," as it is said. He'll commit mistake.
Bhrama, pramāda. And pramāda means to accept something as something, something else. Just like the most erudite scholar, he also accepts that "This body is the self. There is no soul." Others... There are many scholars, they do not accept that there is soul differently. "This body is everything." That is called pramāda.
Bhrama, pramāda, vipralipsā. Vipralipsā means cheating. Every conditioned soul has a cheating propensity. "For my purpose, to fulfill my purpose, I say something to you which is not beneficial to you, but still, I impress that this is right." That is called cheating. And karaṇa-pāṭava. Karaṇa means the senses. The senses are also imperfect. I am seeing the sun daily with my eyes, but still, I have no full knowledge of the sun, because my eyes are imperfect. If there is any sound upstairs, and I inquire, "What is this sound?"
[aside:] Why he is crying so much? What is that? [man talking loudly outside the room]
Prabhupāda: Oh, telephone. Oh. That's all right. So Śrīdhara Svāmī says that vedena praṇihita vihita dharmaḥ sa ca veda-pramāṇaka ity arthaḥ. Unless it is verified by the words of the Vedas, that cannot be accepted as authoritative.
Anena yo veda-pramakaḥ sa dharmaḥ. Now, it is concluded that "Anything which is supported by the Vedic injunction, that is dharma." Sa dharma yo 'dharmo na veda pramāṇakaḥ: "And any dharma which is not corroborated by the Vedas, that is not dharma. That is not accepted as religion." Iti svarūpaḥ pramāṇaṁ ca ity uktam[?]. Now, that is the characteristic of dharma, svarūpa. So if we want to understand what is dharma, then the test should be whether it is corroborated by the Vedas. Then it is dharma. Otherwise it is...
Now, the question may be that the Indians or the followers of the Vedas... Now it has become so. Actually, the followers of Vedas are everyone. Every human being is the followers of Veda, because the history of all other religions, they are all recent—one thousand year, two thousand years, three thousand years—but you cannot trace out the history of the Vedic religion. So from historical point of view, suppose one religion is current for the last three thousand years. Then what was their condition before three thousand years?
So the natural conclusion is: as there was no such religion three thousand years and the Vedic religion has no history—it is coming from time immemorial—that was the religion. Take for example in India. Twenty years before there was no Pakistan, but now there is Pakistan. Under certain circumstances, the religious principle has changed, but originally every human being on this planet were following the Vedic religion. And another sense, everyone is following the Vedic religion if it is religion.
How? In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find that vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. Sarvaṁ vedam: "all Vedas." "All Vedas" means originally there was one Veda, Ṛg Veda, or somebody says Atharva Veda. Then, later on it was divided into four: Ṛg, Sāma, Yajur, Atharva. Then, from the Vedic injunction, then it was summarized, which is called Vedānta, summarized in sūtras: janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1], athāto brahma jijñāsā.
In the sūtra there are so many meanings. Then the Upaniṣads, 108 Upaniṣads, they are also Vedic. Then they were explained further for ordinary men—the Purāṇas. They are also Vedas. Then it was further explained by Mahābhārata. So that is also Vedas. Rāmāyaṇa, that is also Vedas.
So any scripture, any literature, transcendental literature, whose aim is to understand God, that is Veda. Therefore anyone who is searching after the Supreme Lord, he is following the Vedic religion. This is another conclusion. The searching process may be different according to the country, climate, but if the ultimate goal is God, then that is accepted as religion. Just like Christian religion. Christian religion, they are also searching after God—Lord Jesus Christ advising, "Be lover of God." He presents himself as son of God. The Muhammadan, Muhammad, he also presented himself as servant of God. In this way, everyone is accepting.
Or if anyone is accepting God as the ultimate goal of religious process, that is also Vedic. Because Kṛṣṇa says that vedaiś ca sarvair aham [Bg. 15.15]. And a godless scripture, that is not accepted as religion. Therefore in India, although Lord Buddha appeared in India—he was a kṣatriya, and he started some religious principle—it is not accepted, because it is not..., in the Buddha religion, there is no acceptance of God or soul.
So these are some of the points. But the Bhāgavata says that although in the Buddha religion there is no, I mean to say, mention of worshiping God, but Lord Buddha is Himself incarnation of God, and He induced His followers to worship Him. Therefore in the Bhāgavata it is said that He cheated the atheists. The atheists were against God. He appeared before them. He said, "Yes, you are right. You don't worship God. You worship Me." And He is incarnation of God. Keśava dhṛta-buddha-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare [Daśāvatāra-stotra 9]. He is accepted in the Vedic literature as incarnation of God, but He says that "There is no God. You worship Me. You follow Me," because His principle was to stop animal-killing. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam.
He was... God became very much compassionate. When people were too much addicted in killing animals unnecessarily, He appeared as Lord Buddha. Sadaya-hṛdaya darśita-paśu-ghātam. Paśu-ghātam. The paśu-ghātam means they were being implicated in innumerable sinful activities by this process. Therefore God wanted to... Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati [Bg. 4.7]. In the name of religion, they were killing so many animals. Therefore to stop this nonsense, he appeared.
And He declined to accept the Vedic principles, because there was no other way to stop. If He would have accepted Vedic principles, then these animal-killers would have shown Him evidences that in the Vedas there is mention of animal-killing in the sacrifice. But He wanted to stop completely animal-killing; so therefore He adopted a new type of religion. But those who were followers of Vedic religion, they did not accept, because that is not religion, because it is against the Vedas. These are the principles.
Śaṅkarācārya... Śaṅkarācārya, after Buddha, His Holiness Śaṅkarācārya appeared to drive away Buddhism, and he established again Vedic religion. But that Vedic religion, being impersonal, that is also not Vedic religion. That is also another cheat. That God is person. Nityo nityānām. Nityānām, the so many living entities—everyone is person. How God can be imperson? If God is the supreme father... If you are a person, then how your father can be imperson? So that is imperfect knowledge. When we speak of God as imperson, that is imperfect knowledge.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
bhagavān iti śabdyate
The Absolute Truth is presented in three different phases. One is Brahman, impersonal Brahman, another is localized Paramātmā, and another is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
So we shall discuss again. Next morning, please come. [break]
Mālatī: ...that Lord Buddha, he adopted a new type of religion, but those who were strict followers of Vedas, they would not accept Him. Does that mean that there were still people who were following those beliefs, scriptures, at his time, or did He convert all of India?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Lord Buddha was patronized by the then emperor, Ashoka. And anything patronized by the state, it becomes very popular. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate [Bg. 3.21]. So Lord Buddha converted Ashoka, Emperor Ashoka, to this religion. Therefore whole India became Buddhist. And later on, when Buddhism was driven out of India, the Jainism and similar other religious principles became visible.
Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. Lord Buddha... Ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ is also Vedic religion, but they stressed especially on ahiṁsā. In the Bhagavad-gītā you will find: amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam [Bg. 13.8]. These are the different steps of, I mean to say, progressing in knowledge and religion.
The first thing is amānitvam. Amānitvam means very humble. Very humble. And therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu teaches that tṛṇād api sunīcena, "Just become humbler than the straw in the street or grass." To become religious means... Lord Jesus Christ also, he taught like that—"The humble and meek will attain the kingdom of God." Is it not said like that?
Haṁsadūta: He said, "The greatest amongst you shall be the last..."
Haṁsadūta: "...and the servant of all."
Prabhupāda: So this is taught also in the Bhagavad-gītā. Amānitvam adambhitvam. No false pride. Then ahiṁsā. Unless one is prideless, unless one is humble, it is not possible to become nonviolent. So this nonviolence is also there, the Vaiṣṇava. So automatically they don't encourage animal-killing.
So every religion, the highest principle of any religion is there in Vaiṣṇavites, or the followers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Any best thing, in any religion, you will find in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore it is perfect. Buddha religion teaches ahiṁsā; the Kṛṣṇa conscious people are ahiṁsā. Lord Jesus teaches love of God; they are the best lover of God.
And Hindu religion teaches liberation; they are... As soon as they become Kṛṣṇa conscious, immediately they are liberated. Immediately, instantly. There is no question of asking for liberation. Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura says liberation means... What is that? Liberation from this material hankering. And what is that material hankering? To satisfy the senses.
So these devotees, they are not for satisfying their senses. They are simply trying to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa said that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. They are determined to preach this cult, that "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." Therefore they are actual representative of Kṛṣṇa. Immediately they are liberated. So, so far liberation is concerned, there is. So far ahiṁsā, nonviolence, there is. So far love of God is there, there is.
So combination of Hindu religion, Muslim religion... And Muslims also, they also say their bandeḥ. They also pray in the mosque. I do not know, of course, all other religions. These principal things I know. They also accept Allah-u akbar, "God is great." We are all bandehs, all servants. So that is also... Vaiṣṇavism, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. "Kṛṣṇa is great."
So any highest principle of religion in any religion of the world you take, this is the summarization of all religions, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is accepted by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]: "That is first-class religion which teaches how to love God, how to learn to love God." That is first class, not the rituals, not the formulas. That is another thing.
Just like when a man is diseased, the physicians prescribes so many, that "You don't do this. You do this. You take this medicine. You just..." That is according to the particular disease. But the real aim is to be cured from the disease. So any religion which teaches to be cured from the material disease of sense gratification and teaches love of Godhead, that is perfect religion.
Revatīnandana: You were saying that Lord Buddha gave impetus to Buddhism by converting the Emperor Ashoka. What is...?
Prabhupāda: No, no. Lord Buddha, of course, did not came to convert... Ashoka liked it, that's all.
Revatīnandana: But because of that, that gave impetus to the spreading of Buddhism.
Prabhupāda: That is natural. If the state is after some religion... Just like Christian religion spread in India because there was Christian government. The Muhammadan religion spread because there was Muhammadan government. That is natural. If the state is following a certain type of religion, then naturally...
And that is said in the Bhagavad-gītā: yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ [Bg. 3.21]. Just like in India, at least in Bengal, we have got the history that educated persons, they saw that "In Christian religion one can drink, one can eat meat. So why not become Christian?" So the drunkards and meat-eaters, they became Christian. Similarly Muhammadans also, they saw a clue to deviate from the Vedic principles, and they turned themselves.
Just like Aurangzeb enacted the jizya tax, that all the Hindus will have to pay this tax. So the untouchables... Because Hindus made these untouchables, so untouchables, they thought that "Why shall I pay the tax? Better become Muhammadan." So, so many people, they became converted into Muhammadan.
So a state controls anything, if the state... Now the state is secular, atheist, the people are becoming atheist. They are teaching that "Throw away these scriptures. You eat everything. What is the wrong in eating flesh, eating meat, eating chickens?" They are advertising, "Eggs are available here." When the state supports, so people follow.
yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
lokas tad anuvartate
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
This is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Revatīnandana: When the Emperor Constantine... The Emperor Constantine in Rome, when he became a Christian, that was the real beginning of the Christian era.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because the whole Europe was under Roman Empire. That's nice.
Mālatī: Śrīla Prabhupāda, in the United States' Constitution there is a Bill of Rights that says that any religion can be practiced. Do we mean to say that [indistinct] can be practised. Therefore anything goes and people become atheistic?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Don't you feel that your people are atheistic?
Mālatī: Yes. Because they can do anything.
Prabhupāda: They are simply after wine and women. So that is fall of religion. Just like Mahārāja Parīkṣit: As soon as he saw that one man was trying to kill a cow, immediately took his sword: "Who are you? You are killing a cow in my kingdom?" So if the state does not take steps in maintaining religion, then religion will fall down. Just like a father: if he does not take care of his son to be a man of character, he becomes a debauchee. That is natural.
So according to Vedic principles, the kings were very much highly trained to see how the people are advancing in the spiritual knowledge. Just like one king... You will find in The Nectar of Devotion. There was law that... [chuckles] He said that "If I do not find any one of my citizens with tilaka, then I shall punish him."
So everyone, out of that fear, they used to have this tilaka. And they were looking all Vaiṣṇavas. [laughs] Although they had no very much faith in Viṣṇu, but out of fear of the state orders, they were having tilaka. So sometimes authority orders are accepted in that, out of fear. Hare Kṛṣṇa.
I was thinking of Doctor..., yourself. You are a little late today? [chuckles] Yes. Let us stop here. Tomorrow we shall again... [end]