Prabhupāda: ...there is some meeting here?

Devotee: Meeting here? Yes. Only one of the six members of the [indistinct] showed up.

Prabhupāda: Only...

Devotee: One or two.

[devotees testing microphone] [indistinct background conversation]

Prabhupāda: They have come here to become technologist. They have lost all interest of this..., in original Vedic culture.

om ajñāna-timirāndhasya
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master who, with the torchlight of knowledge, has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]

sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam

[When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]

vande 'haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇavas and unto the six Gosvāmīs, including Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the gopīs, headed by Lalitā and Viśākhā.]

he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopikā-kānta
rādhā-kānta namo 'stu te

[O my dear Kṛṣṇa, ocean of mercy, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the cowherd men and the lover of the gopīs, especially Rādhārāṇī. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.]

rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi
praṇamāmi hari-priye

[I offer my respects to Rādhārāṇī, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vṛndāvana. You are the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, and You are very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa.]

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare

[My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.]

śrotavyādīni rājendra
nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ
apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ
gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām

[SB 2.1.2]

[Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor.]

The same subject matter, that those who are too much attached in the family affairs, gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. Gṛhamedhī means one who has made his center of activity home. He is called gṛhamedhī. There are two words. One word is gṛhastha, and one word is gṛhamedhī. What is the significance of these two words? Gṛhastha means one... Not only gṛhastha. It is called gṛhastha-āśrama.

Whenever we speak of āśrama, it has got spiritual relationship. So all these four divisions of social orders—brahmacārī-āśrama, gṛhastha-āśrama, vānaprastha-āśrama, sannyāsa-āśrama... Āśrama. Āśrama means... Whenever... Āśrama, this word, has become little popular in your country also. Āśrama means situation for spiritual cultivation.

Generally, we mean that. And here also, there are so many yoga-āśrama. I have seen in New York so many āśramas: "New York Yoga Ashrama," "Yoga Society," like that. Āśrama means it has got a spiritual connection. It doesn't matter whether a man... Gṛhastha means living with family, wife and children.

So to remain with family and children is no disqualification for spiritual advancement of life. That is not a disqualification, because after all, one has to take his birth from the father and mother. So all great ācāryas, great spiritual leaders, after all, they have come from father and mother.

So without combination of father and mother, even there is no possibility of begetting a great soul. There are many instances of great souls like Śaṅkarācārya, Lord Jesus Christ, Rāmānujācārya. Even they had no very high hereditary title, still, they came out from the gṛhasthas, father and mother.

So gṛhastha, or the householder life, is not disqualification. We should not think it that only the brahmacārīs or the sannyāsīs, they can elevate to the spiritual platform, whereas those who are living with wife and children, they cannot. No. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has clearly stated in Caitanya-caritāmṛta that,

kibā vipra, kibā śūdra, nyāsī kene naya
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei 'guru' haya

[Cc. Madhya 8.128]

[“Whether one is a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī or a śūdra—regardless of what he is—he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa.”]

Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "It doesn't matter whether a person is gṛhastha or a sannyāsī or a brāhmaṇa or not brāhmaṇa. It doesn't matter. Simply if one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, if he is elevated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then he is just," I mean to say, "eligible to become the spiritual master." Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128].

Tattva-vettā means one who knows about the science of Kṛṣṇa. That means fully Kṛṣṇa conscious. Sei guru haya. Sei means "he." Guru means "spiritual master." He doesn't say that "One has to become a sannyāsī or a brahmacārī. Then he can..." No.

But here the word is used gṛhamedhī, not gṛhastha. Gṛhastha is not condemned. If one lives in regulative principle with wife and children, so that is not disqualification. But gṛhamedhī, gṛhamedhī means he has no higher ideas or higher understanding of spiritual life. Simply living with wife and children like cats and dogs, he is called gṛhamedhī. That is the difference between these two words, gṛhamedhī and gṛhastha.

So Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. "One who does not know anything about this family life or sex life"—family life, they have taken it as sex life, that's all—"so they have many things to hear." Śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ [SB 2.1.2].

[Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor.]

Actually, you see. People are reading so many newspapers. In big country, big cities, there are big, big volumes of newspaper, magazines. They are very much eager to learn or to hear about the current news. So hearing means śrotavyādi.

So there are volumes of volumes' literature, magazines, newspapers, they are hearing. But when you say, "Please come here. We are reciting Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Please hear," they will not come. They will not come. This minus. When you speak of God, then they are not ready to hear.

But if you speak of dog, that "Here is a dog's medicine. You can maintain a dog like this, and a dog can become fatty like this," oh, it is very scientific [indistinct]. You see? So they are called gṛhamedhīs. So they have got many subject matter to hear, but they are not agreeable to hear only one thing—about God.

Why? Now, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]: "They do not know what is self-realization." Apaśyatām, cannot see; their vision is very poor. Why? They are thinking this body as self; therefore they are very poorly thoughtful. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, in another place, it is stated, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB 10.84.13].

[One who identifies his self as the inert body composed of mucus, bile and air, who assumes his wife and family are permanently his own, who thinks an earthen image or the land of his birth is worshipable, or who sees a place of pilgrimage as merely the water there, but who never identifies himself with, feels kinship with, worships or even visits those who are wise in spiritual truth—such a person is no better than a cow or an ass.]

Every day we are experiencing that "I am not this body. The body is growing. I am still there." There are so many instances. But we cannot understand that we are not this body. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam. Ātmā means, the ātmā... There are various meanings of ātmā. Ātmā sometimes is meant indicating this body; ātmā is sometimes indicating this mind; ātmā is soul; and ātmā, Paramātmā, the Supreme Lord. Ātma-tattvam. Tattvam means truth, philosophy, or science.

So they do not know the science of ātmā, either take it body or mind. Generally, they take it as this body. So, so far body is concerned, there are so many departments: medical department and health department and... I do not remember. There are so many departments. All these departments of knowledge, they are practically on the basis of this body.

Then higher than this, ātmā, if you take it "mind," there are psychological department, speculation department, philosophical department, so many departments, mind. Then intellectual department. But there is no department of the ātmā, of the soul. That is the defect of the modern civilization.

Therefore Bhāgavata says, apaśyatām ātma-tattvam [SB 2.1.2]:

[Those persons who are materially engrossed, being blind to the knowledge of ultimate truth, have many subject matters for hearing in human society, O Emperor.]

"They have no information of the real ātmā, of the real position, real background of all these activities. They do not see it." Therefore they have got many subject matter to hear about this body, about this mind, about intellectual activities, and so many things.

But because they do not know that ātmā means the self—they do not know—therefore they have got many subject matter except this one, the soul, the subject matter of soul. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām [SB 2.1.2]. And why they are so much ignorant? "Because they have made home as the center of activities. They do not know; neither they are educated.

It is not their fault. The system of education is faulty. They do not give any education about the ātma-tattvam. They give education that about economic development, about technological understanding, about scientific understanding of the laws of nature, and so many other things, but there is no department of knowledge to understand what is soul.

Apaśyatām. Because they do not see, they do not know, therefore they are too much attached to this body, and this body means home. And home means wife. Wife means children. Children means money. Money means society. So many things. Yes.

Ataḥ gṛha-kṣetra-sutāpta-vittair janasya moho 'yam ahaṁ mameti [SB 5.5.8].

[The attraction between male and female is the basic principle of material existence. On the basis of this misconception, which ties together the hearts of the male and female, one becomes attracted to his body, home, property, children, relatives and wealth. In this way one increases life's illusions and thinks in terms of "I and mine."]

First thing is that this material world is existing on sex attraction. And as soon as there is combination of sex, then the next attraction is for home, for land, for children, for society, for wealth, for bank balance, and so many things. Then extend it more, society to nationality, nationality to humanity, and go on increasing, but they are not ātma-tattvam. They are all gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām, extended selfishness.

Selfishness... Just like a dog. He knows simply about his body. He won't allow another dog to come in his boundary. That is very poor selfishness. You extend it little more, human society. There is family, wife, children. That is also extended selfishness. Then you further extend it: you have got society or nationality, consciousness of nationality. That is also still further extended selfishness.

Similarly, you extend the same propensity humanity-wise. Because we are... There is a class of men, they are very much anxious to serve the human society. But they are not anxious to serve the animal society. The animal society may be killed for the satisfaction of the human society.

Therefore, unless you come to the point of ātmā, whatever extended selfishness there is, it is selfishness. There is no, I mean to say, broadmindedness. And broadmindedness, when you come to the platform of ātmā. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1].

[Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.]

When you come to the point of God, then you see, "Oh, everything belongs to God. Everything belongs to God. Here is an animal. Here is an animal; he also as good as I am, because he is also soul." So ātma-tattvam to be discussed, but they are not prepared. Therefore gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām.

So what is their business, those who are blind to the ātma-tattvam? So that business is described in the next verse:

nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ
vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ
divā cārthehayā rājan
kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā

[SB 2.1.3]

[The lifetime of such an envious householder is passed at night either in sleeping or in sex indulgence, and in the daytime either in making money or maintaining family members.]

So their business is very nicely explained. What is that? Nidrayā, sleeping. Sleeping. Hriyate. They waste their life by sleeping. When? At night. Nidrayā hriyate naktam. Or they waste their time in sex life. At night there are two things.

One who has no advantage of sex life, he sleeps alone. And if he has got advantage of sex life, he enjoys. So at night they waste their life in this way. Nidrayā hriyate naktaṁ vyavāyena ca vā vayaḥ [SB 2.1.3]. In this way their life is being wasted.

And at daytime? Now, divā cārthehayā rājan. At the daytime, simply "Where is money? Where is money?" Artha. Artha means... Because to maintain this body we require money. Divā cārthehayā rājan. All right, if one gets money, then next? Kuṭumba-bharaṇena vā. Then shopping. As soon as you get money, then shopping, the wife's bill. Yes. So in this way, day and night, they are simply under the impression of this bodily conception of life.

Why they are doing that?

ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api
teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ
paśyann api na paśyati
[SB 2.1.4]

[Persons devoid of ātma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction.]

They are attached because they are attached to this body, therefore attached to the children, dehāpatya. Apatya means children. And kalatra. Kalatra means wife. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu ātma-sainyeṣu. This very word, sainya... Sainya means soldier. Here in the material world, every one of us is struggling very hard. That is a fact. Everyone knows. So when we struggle, when we fight, then we must have soldiers. Without soldiers, nobody fights. So they are our soldiers, this body.

Everyone wants to keep this body fit. And maintaining the children and the wife... Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu. We are thinking that "My this body and wife and children and home and country and society will save me." I am struggling against... What is that struggling? I do not wish to die. I do not wish to be diseased. I do not wish to become old man. Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi [Bg. 13.9].

[Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; nonattachment to children, wife, home and the rest, and evenmindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization, and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth—all these I thus declare to be knowledge, and what is contrary to these is ignorance.]

I don't wish to get birth again, or I want to stop birth. Janma-mṛtyu. I want to stop death. I want to stop disease. And I want to stop old age. These are the activities, material activities, struggling against. And I am thinking that "These soldiers, or this my body or my wife, my children, will protect me," dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api, although I am experiencing every day that they are asat, they will not exist.

How do I know they will not exist? My father has died. My elderly..., my mother has died, my grandfather has died. Therefore I will also die. And my next generation, he will also die. My wife also will die. So everybody will die. Asatsv api. They know by experience that they will not exist, but still, their business has become to struggle for existence. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu.

These are very important subject matter. Try to understand. We know that nobody will exist. I want to exist. That is my intention. I do not wish to die; I want to exist. But I know also that all these my soldiers, including my this stout and strong body, it will also not exist. Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣu, teṣāṁ pramattaḥ.

Pramatta means crazy, mad. Pramatto nidhanam, destruction. Nidhanam paśyan. Paśyan means although he is seeing every day, every moment. Just like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was quested by Yamarāja, "What is the most wonderful thing in this world? Can you say?" Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira immediately replied. What is that? Ahany ahani lokānī gacchantīha yamālayam [Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.116]:

[Every day, hundreds and millions of living entities go to the kingdom of death. Still, those who are remaining aspire for a permanent situation. What could be more astonishing than this?]

"Every moment, every second, every day, every night, there are so many hundreds and thousands of living entities, they are going to the temple of death, or dying." Ahany ahani lokānī gacchantīha yamālayaṁ śeṣāḥ sthāvaram icchanti. "But one who is living, he is thinking that 'I will not die. I will live for good.' That is the most wonderful thing in this world."

Nobody is taking experience that "I will have to meet death. And what is next after death? What I was before my birth? Why I am here? Why I am struggling so hard? I want to be happy. I want to be peaceful. Why there is no peace? Why there is no happiness? Why these things? Why I am put into this...?"

These are called ātma-tattvam. These are called brahma-jijñāsā. If a man is not enlightened to this point of inquiring of this "What? What I am? Wherefore I am come? What is this world? What is this body? Why I am getting old? Why I am getting diseased?" So many "whys" there are. This is called brahma-jijñāsā.

But they are pramatta, they are mad after the struggle for existence, although they know nothing will exist; it has come just like a flash, and it will end like a flash. Then what is the actual platform of my life, my living condition, they do not inquire. They do not inquire. So gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām.

Dehāpatya-kalatrādiṣv ātma-sainyeṣv asatsv api, teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanam [SB 2.1.4].

[Persons devoid of ātma-tattva do not inquire into the problems of life, being too attached to the fallible soldiers like the body, children and wife. Although sufficiently experienced, they still do not see their inevitable destruction.]

Everyone is seeing that it will destroy. Suppose if you know... Suppose you are constructing a very nice skyscraper building, but if you know... Somebody says that tomorrow the whole city will merge into the Atlantic Ocean. Would you like to construct such building? No. I am giving that one example, but it is a fact that the struggle for existence for living, but living condition will not be allowed.

Then the next question should be that "Why this is happening? We are, everyone, is struggling for existing, but existence, there is no... I will not exist. Nobody will exist." This question, unless there is in the human mind, then, Bhāgavata says, parābhavas tāvat: "His all activities are simply defeat." Yāvan na jijñāsata ātma-tattvam [SB 5.5.5].

[As long as one does not inquire about the spiritual values of life, one is defeated and subjected to miseries arising from ignorance. Be it sinful or pious, karma has its resultant actions. If a person is engaged in any kind of karma, his mind is called karmātmaka, colored with fruitive activity. As long as the mind is impure, consciousness is unclear, and as long as one is absorbed in fruitive activity, he has to accept a material body.]

So ātma-tattvam. One should be inquisitive to understand, "What is my constitutional position?" Then it is perfect life. Otherwise it is crazy life.

We may try to live by so much hard struggle of life, but we cannot exist. We can exist only when we understand "What I am." Then I shall... This is diagnosis. If I know that what is my actual need, if I know what is my actual position, if I know that wherefrom I have come and where I have to go, all these informations, if we are fully informed, that is perfection of life. Otherwise it is simply defeat, whatever we may do here. Apaśyatām. Teṣāṁ pramatto nidhanaṁ paśyann api na paśyati.

tasmād bhārata sarvātmā
bhagavān īśvaro hariḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
smartavyaś cecchatābhayam

[SB 2.1.5]

[O descendant of King Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller and the savior from all miseries.]

Now he is concluding that "Don't be misled by so many subject matter of hearing. Just concentrate upon hearing Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Tasmāt. Tasmāt, "Therefore," tasmād bhārata, "O descendant of Bharata..." Sarvātmā. Sarvātmā means the all-pervading Supersoul; bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; īśvara, the supreme controller; hariḥ, who can, I mean to say, protect you, who can take away all your miseries, who can protect you from all miseries.

Tasmād bhārata sarvātmā bhagavān hariḥ, īśvaro hariḥ, śrotavyaḥ [SB 2.1.5]: "You have to hear about Him." Instead of hearing so many other news, which will not exist, you just try to hear about Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Because Parīkṣit Mahārāja question was that "Now I am going to die. What shall I hear about?" Because hearing is our main business. You are hearing. If you go out from this temple you will also hear. Or the sound is always going on. If we do not want to hear, the hearing is going on.

So here it is recommended that "That Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the supreme controller, who is Hari, or who protects us from all difficulty, Hari, and sarvātmā—He is situated in everyone's heart—that Supreme Personality of Godhead, Supersoul, should be heard." Śrotavya, should be heard.

We should be prepared to hear about Him. Śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca. And we should discuss about Him, kīrtitavyaś ca. Smartavya. And if we hear and discuss, then, if we are really serious, then we shall remember also. Smartavya, and smartavyaś cecchatābhayam. Those who are actually desiring abhayam... Abhayam means fearlessness.

So long we are not connected in Kṛṣṇa consciousness or not connected with the Supreme Lord, we shall always be fearful. Fearful is one of the qualification of the conditioned soul. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca: four necessities. Why we are defending? Because on account of fearfulness.

The animal, a small animal, ant, it has got also fear, and the biggest nation, Russia or America, they are also fearful, because this is the qualification of conditioned life: āhāra, eating, nidrā, sleeping, and fearing and mating.

So if you want to get yourself free from fearfulness, then Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends that you have to chant and you have to hear and you have to remember about the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the conclusion. Don't try to hear so many nonsense things. Vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana [Bg. 2.41].

[Those who are on this path are resolute in purpose, and their aim is one. O beloved child of the Kurus, the intelligence of those who are irresolute is many-branched.]

Just concentrate. If you want to hear about God, there are volumes of literature.

One political leader—perhaps you have heard his name; his name was Madan Mohan Malaviya, in India—he came to see our Guru Mahārāja, and he inquired, "So what are your activities?" So then some of our Godbrother presented that "We have got six periodicals in six languages: one in English, one in Bengali, one in Hindu, one in Oriya, one in Assami. And we have got one paper, Bengali, daily." So this Madan Mohan Malaviya was astonished, that "You are issuing a paper daily, simply discussing about God?" So my Guru Mahārāja said, "Yes. Why not?"

Then he gave him a nice example that in the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that ekāṁśena sthito jagat [Bg. 10.42]:

[But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.]

This material world is only one fourth part manifestation of God's energy. Now, apart from material... There are innumerable universes and innumerable planets in each universe. Out of that, this earthly planet is very teeny. And in this planet there are so many countries and so many cities.

And each and every city there are so many periodicals, so many newspapers, and each paper having so many editions daily. So in comparison to the whole universe or whole material creation, this planet is nothing and this city is nothing. If you can produce so many news, then what about the three-fourth energy, Vaikuṇṭha?

So we can give you a minute edition of the transcendental news of the spiritual world. But unfortunately, there is no customer. There is no customer. The same thing, the śrotavyādīni... If you put magazines about this material world, you will get many customers. But as soon as we put forward Back to Godhead, we have no customer.

The unfortunate thing is that nobody is interested about ātma-tattvam. So actually we should be interested to understand. We should be interested to understand ātma-tattva if we actually want to be free from fearfulness, icchatā abhayam. Abhayam means fearless. If we are actually... Now, icchatābhayam, who are those? Transcendentalists.

So there are four classes of persons who are trying to get transcendental perfection, or spiritual life. They are called jñānī, who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by philosophical speculation, and yogī... Those who are trying to visualize the Supreme Soul within the heart, they are called yogī.

And jñānī, yogī and bhaktas, and the devotees: those who are trying to leave this material world and go back to Godhead and associate with the Supreme Person. There are three classes of men. They are trying to get out of this fearful world. Icchatābhayam.

Therefore here, sarvātmā, the yogīs are trying to find out the Supersoul. Therefore sarvātmā. So tasmād bhārata sarvātmā, and īśvara. Īśvara. The jñānīs are trying to merge into the effulgence of īśvara, or the yogīs are trying to find out the īśvara, supreme controller. And the jñānīs are trying to find out the impersonal Brahman.

And Hari, and Bhagavān, the Personality of Godhead, Hari, or Kṛṣṇa, or Viṣṇu, the devotees, persons who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are trying to find out. So either of them, their aim is how to get out of this fearful material existence.

So Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, concludes, that icchatā abhayam. Abhayam means fearful. If you actually want to be free from fear, then you should concentrate your mind discussing, hearing, remembering, either of the impersonal Brahman... Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti [SB 1.2.11].

[Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān.]

Either you think of Brahman or Paramātmā or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but your subject matter should be this: hearing, chanting, discussing, talking, knowing. Don't divert your attention to this flimsy, I mean to say, so-called subject matter, which will end.

Because everything, whatever we are discussing in the material world, everything will end, nothing will exist. We should concentrate our mind on the subject matter which will exist. Because I am soul, I am ever-existing, eternal, my business is, therefore, "What is my eternal engagement?" This subject matter is proposed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and we shall discuss further on, in the next meeting.

Thank you very much. [devotees offer obeisances]

Any question?

Guest: What were your activities after your initiation? What were your activities after initiation?

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Guest: What were your activities after your initiation?

Prabhupāda: Initiation means beginning of spiritual activities. Initiation means just to begin.

Guest: What were your activities after that?

Prabhupāda: Don't you see what are our activities? Is it very secret? You can see what are our activities. We are discussing about Kṛṣṇa. We are talking about Kṛṣṇa. We are chanting about Kṛṣṇa. We are eating about Kṛṣṇa. We are typewriting about Kṛṣṇa. We are dictaphoning about Kṛṣṇa. Don't you see it? Then? Everything engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness—that is our activity. The same thing will be there; nothing will be changed.

Here we are staying in also big apartment, and the down, they are also staying in the similar apartment. But this is called temple, and that is called factory. Why? Here the consciousness is different from the consciousness down. That's all. Nothing has to be changed. Simply the rubber stamp has to be changed. Somebody is signing, "for, on behalf of such and such," and the rubber stamp is changed. So we have to change our rubber stamp on behalf of Kṛṣṇa: approve, sign it. That's all.

The business is the same, but little difference, little difference in this way, that we are eating and others are also eating. So, so far eating is concerned, there is no difference. But we are eating kṛṣṇa-prasādam, and they are eating sense gratification. That is the difference. We are sleeping; they are also sleeping. But we are sleeping to get energy to work more diligently and nicely for Kṛṣṇa, and they are working, taking rest for working for sense gratification.

So eating, sleeping, fearing. We are also fearful in this way, that "Māyā may not catch me." We are always cautious. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā [Bg. 7.14].

[This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.]

Because māyā is very strong, so we should be always fearful that "Māyā may not catch me." Always stick to Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet so māyā will not be able to touch you. Just like in a contaminated, diseased area, the doctor is also fearful, but he has got prophylactic, I mean to say, administration. He is quite fit. He can go even in the contaminated state. Similarly, if we are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even if we are in the midst of mayic activities, it will not affect us.

So everything is there, but if you change your consciousness, then you are safe. Icchatā abhayam, no more fearfulness. That is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Devotee: Swāmījī, is there such thing as mind, intelligence and ego on the spiritual realm?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? Ego... I am thinking at the present moment ego falsely: "I am somebody belonging to this material world," either I may think that "I am American," either I think "I am Indian," something of this material world. But similarly, when you think ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am spirit soul," that is also aham, ahaṅkāra.

Ego means ahaṅkāra, identification, self-identification, ahaṅkāra, "I am." Everyone has got the sense "I am." Now, that "I am" thinking, at the present moment I am thinking in my material concept. So when I will think in spiritual concept, that is my pure ego, pure identification. So ego will remain. Ego will not vanish. This "I" consciousness will remain, but here, at the present moment, I am misidentifying myself, and when I actually know myself, that identification is pure ego.

Haṁsadūta: You say the chanting cleans the dust from the mirror of the mind. What does mirror mean? How does it mean mirror? What is it reflecting?

Prabhupāda: Mirror means you see so many things within your mind. Is it not a mirror, a reflection? Don't you see? As you see mirror reflection of your face, but you see this body. When you will see in the mirror that you are not this body, you are something within this body, that is dustless mirror.


Devotee (2): What is Balarāma's relationship with Rādhā?

Prabhupāda: That is not our discussion here. Where you got this Balarāma's relationship with Rādhā?

Devotee (2): I mean, what is Their relationship? I understand that all the expansions come through Balarāma, but...?

Prabhupāda: That's all right, but Balarāma has no relationship with Rādhā.

Devotee (2): I mean, not as friend or anything?

Prabhupāda: No. Who said it?

Devotee (2): I was wondering, that's all.

Prabhupāda: Why do you think like that? No. Balarāma is... Rādhā... As Kṛṣṇa has expansion, similarly, Rādhā has also expansion. So as Rādhārāṇī is directly connected with Kṛṣṇa, similarly, Rādhā's another expansion is connected with Balarāma. All Lakṣmī are connected with the..., not exactly Rādhā directly. As Kṛṣṇa expands Himself in multi-forms, similarly, Rādhā also expands Himself [Herself]. That is stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta you will find. Yes?

Pradyumna: So in terms of spiritual potency of Kṛṣṇa, and... You said that Rādhā was...

Prabhupāda: You put an unnecessary question. When I shall ask you to question the subject matter which I have discussed, you should put questions on this matter. If you bring so many other subject matter, there will be no end. Try to understand what we have spoken in this meeting.

We have not spoken anything about Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Why you are bringing this question? Question means the subject matter which we have discussed, if you have got any question about that thing, you should put question. Otherwise, if you make me a dictionary, that go on questioning, there will be no end. That should not be done.

Now, we have not discussed here about Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Of course, this is also relevant question, but the public will not understand. We are discussing on general subject matter. Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa discussion is very confidential. You have to go to the platform first of all by understanding Kṛṣṇa.

You see? Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa tattva is discussed in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the Tenth Canto. So first of all you have to go through the nine cantos very carefully. Then you will understand.

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta you'll find, rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī-śaktir asmād ekātmānāv api bhuvi [Cc. Ādi 1.5].

[The loving affairs of Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are one in Their identity, previously They separated Themselves. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī although He is Kṛṣṇa Himself.]

If you want to discuss about Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, that is not in the public meeting. They are very confidential subject matter. People may misunderstand what is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

Generally, questions should be put on the subject matter discussed in the meeting. That should be the point. Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa tattva is very confidential, for higher status of understanding.


Himavatī: Vyāsadeva, you say, lived with his wife and children in a cottage, and people would come and bring them foodstuff from the village. Now, the four divisions of brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and so on, I thought that the gṛhasthas' duties in the āśrama, varṇāśrama-dharma, was to supply the other three.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Himavatī: How is this...? How is this connected with Vyāsadeva and his situation?

Prabhupāda: Vāsudeva?

Devotees: Vyāsadeva.

Prabhupāda: Vyāsadeva? Vyāsadeva was a gṛhastha. He was a householder man. He was brāhmaṇa.

Himavatī: But he had no luxuries.

Prabhupāda: No. Those who will depend on the charities and alms of the society, they are not allowed to make any luxury at the cost of others. They can simply ask help for the bare necessities of life.

Himavatī: And that's permitted to the gṛhasthas?

Prabhupāda: No. Gṛhastha... When a brāhmaṇa is gṛhastha, he shall be a teacher. Paṭhana-pāṭhana yajana-yājana dāna-pratigraha [SB 5.17.11 purport].

[Brāhmaṇas are supposed to acquire six kinds of auspicious qualifications: they become very learned scholars (paṭhana) and very qualified teachers (pāṭhana); they become expert in worshiping the Lord or the demigods (yajana), and they teach others how to execute this worship (yājana); they qualify themselves as bona fide persons to receive alms from others (pratigraha), and they distribute the wealth in charity (dāna).]

Generally, the brāhmaṇas, those who are gṛhasthas... There are four varṇas, four division of castes. The brāhmaṇas, they are generally teachers, priests and writers, philosophers. So society requires all these things, so they take up this charge.

And the kṣatriyas, they are administrators, so they rule over the country. They exact taxes from the citizens. They live on the tax, and the brāhmaṇas, on the contribution of the public. Just like we are teaching, we are living on the contribution of the public. The public knows that there is an important institution; they are giving good lessons. So public contributes. So we can accept contribution.

But a king is not allowed to take contribution. Because he is administrator, he can tax, so his source of income is tax. And the brāhmaṇas' source of income is contribution, because they are rendering transcendental service. Similarly, the vaiśyas, or the mercantile class, their means of living: trade, cow protection and agriculture.

And those who are śūdras, laborer class, they will serve these three higher classes, brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas, because they have no independent means. They cannot do anything, neither they are educated, nor they are king, princely order, nor they have money to do business. Therefore they have to serve. Paricaryātmakaṁ karma śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44].

[Farming, cattle raising and business are the qualities of work for the vaiśyas, and for the śūdras there is labor and service to others.]

Śūdra means they earn their livelihood by serving others.

And in the Kali-yuga, in this age, ninety-nine percent, or at least ninety percent, they live by serving others. Therefore it is said, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ: "In the Kali, in this age, almost everyone is śūdra." There is no brāhmaṇa, no kṣatriya, no vaiśya. Of course, there are vaiśyas.

Factually, at the present moment the population are the vaiśyas and the śūdras. And there is fight, that your American nation, they are vaiśyas, and the Russians, they are śūdras. So there is always fight between the vaiśyas and śūdras. Actually, there is no brāhmaṇa or kṣatriyas. They are extinct.

And because the brāhmaṇas and kṣatriyas are extinct, therefore social orders are in chaos. There is no brain; there is no good administration. That's all. Without kṣatriya, there cannot be any good administration, and without brāhmaṇa, there is no good brain. Therefore we pray to Kṛṣṇa, namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, kṛṣṇāya govindāya...

namo brahmaṇya-devāya
go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
govindāya namo namaḥ

[Viṣṇu Purāṇa 1.19.65]

[Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is the worshipable Deity for all brahminical men, who is the well-wisher of cows and brāhmaṇas, and who is always benefiting the whole world. I offer my repeated obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Kṛṣṇa and Govinda.]

So this is very important. We are worshiping, offering our respect to Kṛṣṇa, as brahmaṇya-deva. Brahmaṇya-deva means "the Lord who is worshiped by the brāhmaṇas."

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not for the śūdras. Kṛṣṇa conscious... One who is elevated to the standard of becoming brāhmaṇa, they can become Kṛṣṇa conscious. But by the mercy of Lord Caitanya, everyone comes to the stage of brahminical standard. Only to observe these four principles and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you are at once more than brāhmaṇa: Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava position is more than brāhmaṇa.

So in this age the pāñcarātriki-vidhi is introduced because it is very difficult to find out whether a person is actually son of brāhmaṇa or higher caste. It is to be accepted that everyone is śūdra. It doesn't matter where and what he is. But he should be given chance to become the Vaiṣṇava, whose position is more than a brāhmaṇa. That is the highest gift of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He is claiming everyone to the highest stage of Vaiṣṇava.

So your question is answered?

Himavatī: Yes.

Prabhupāda: All right.

Haṁsadūta: Swāmījī, did you say that householders should not associate with brahmacārīs?

Prabhupāda: Who says?

Haṁsadūta: Did you say that? Did you ever say that?

Prabhupāda: No. No.

Haṁsadūta: But brahmacārī should not associate with brahmacāriṇīs. But you did say that brahmacārīs should not associate with brahmacāriṇīs.

Prabhupāda: Actually, there is no... Brahmacāriṇī is not allowed in the śāstra. Where is the question of brahmacāriṇī? Because according to Vedic system, as soon as a girl is fourteen years old or sixteen years old, she is at once married. According to Vedic system, no girl should be allowed remaining unmarried.

So there is no question of brahmacāriṇī. Every girl is supposed to be married. That is the Vedic system. A father's duty is that as soon as the girl is grown up, she must be married. She must be given in charge of a suitable boy. That is Vedic system.

Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ [Bg. 9.32].

[O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas [merchants], as well as śūdras [workers]—can approach the supreme destination.]

A woman is meant for being protected. So long she is not young, she is under the protection of the father. And as soon as she is young, she is given in charge, in charity. Kanyā-dāna. Dāna means charity. He should find out some suitable boy and give in charity: "My dear boy, take charge of this girl. So long she was under my charge. Now it is under your charge."

So where is the brahmacāriṇī? There is no question of brahmacāriṇī. And when she is old enough, then the husband leaves the home and gives charge to the elderly son: "My dear boys, take charge of your mother." So she is always in charge of somebody.

So according to Vedic system, there is no independent life of woman. Na strī svātantryam arhati. Manu-saṁhitā, that "Strī"—strī means woman—"should not be allowed independence." They should be given all protection. That's a very nice system. Not... Independence does not mean their position is very lower. No. Just like children.

Children has no independence. No independence means they are well protected. No independence does not meant that he has no independence to act. No. She has got. But under the protection. Just like there are some nation still now, protectorate. America is protecting. America is a big nation, and protecting another small nation. That does not mean they have no independence. They are also independent.

They are acting like that. But because weaker, they should be given protection. Similarly, woman, children, brāhmaṇa, cow, old men, diseased men, they are to be protected. That is the social order.

Haṁsadūta: Now, if someone is married, gṛhasthas, under the varṇāśrama-dharma, is it the duty of gṛhasthas to have children? Are there some qualifications of gṛhasthas, that gṛhasthas, they're required, like they are required to support the brāhmaṇas, like that?

Prabhupāda: Gṛhastha? Gṛhastha means to live with wife. This is the meaning of gṛhastha. And a gṛhastha is supposed to support others who are not gṛhasthas, just like brahmacārī. Brahmacārī means student life. So gṛhasthas support them. Sannyāsīs...

[break] ...other three classes. Because they are engaged in a different subject matter, they have no time to earn their livelihood, and therefore, those who are gṛhasthas, they take charge of him. This is the Vedic system.

But they should live also on the bare necessities of life. They should not be luxurious. A brahmacārī cannot be luxurious. A sannyāsī cannot be luxurious. A vānaprastha cannot be luxurious. Luxury is allowed only to the householder, because they are earning their own money. Others are dependent. So one cannot be luxurious at the expense of others. That is not allowed.

Devotee (3): Pertaining to the varṇāśrama-dharma system, a mother is..., the wife of a husband is usually put in charge of the oldest son. If the oldest... If, say, the husband is not present, then the oldest son is supposed to be in charge, and he is a brahmacārī, in what way is the mother cared for?

Prabhupāda: Well, brahmacārī means he has gone out of home. Brahmacārī does not remain at home. He goes to the spiritual master's home. So there is no question of giving wife's charge to a brahmacārī. He is not at home. Do you follow? Yes.

The elderly children mean those who are married also, those who are in gṛhastha life, for him, not for the brahmacārī or sannyāsī. Just try to understand.

A brahmacārī and sannyāsī does not remain at home. The brahmacārī goes to the spiritual master's home, and the sannyāsī, he is a traveler from one country to another, preaching. So they are not at home. So if they are not at home, who is taking charge? To give charge means the elderly son who is a married man, who is living at home, the charge is given of the mother to him.

Is that all right?

Devotee (3): Yes, but I'm still wondering. Is it the nature of the Kali-yuga that mother and father always separate? Is it the nature of the Kali-yuga that this family separation is always happening?

Prabhupāda: [chuckles] Therefore I say, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ: "In the Kali-yuga there are only śūdras." There is no brahmacārī system, no... Now we are introducing it, even collecting from the śūdras. But actually, these four divisions, scientific division of social order for spiritual uplift..., that is already gone. It is not existing. Do you follow?

Kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In the Kali-yuga, amongst the śūdras, there is no āśrama, simply earn, earn, get some money and eat. That's all. That is śūdras life. There is no question of Vedic culture, there is no question of knowledge. Simply labor, get some money and eat. Almost like animal.

So at the present moment, as you say, in the Kali-yuga, it is accepted that everyone, almost everyone is a śūdra. But in the pāñcarātrika system, not Vedic system, Nārada Pañcarātra, they are... Otherwise, do you mean to say because everyone has become śūdra, the science of Kṛṣṇa, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, should be stopped? No. Even they are śūdras, they should be given that opportunity.

And that opportunity is given by Lord Caitanya very liberally: "Whatever you may be, come on, sit down, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, and you become more than a brāhmaṇa." This is the highest gift of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. But if you take otherwise from the social conventional life, oh, there is no brāhmaṇa, there is no gṛhastha, there is no brahmacārī. There is all gone, all finished.

So those rules and regulation are not now applicable, because amongst the śūdras there is no such rules and regulation. It is meant for the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, and those are gone. They are finished. Now, even though the people are in the status of śūdra, they should be given opportunity for spiritual advancement, and that is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's special gift, and very easy, that "Whatever you may be, you may be a brāhmaṇa, you may be a kṣatriya, vaiśya, that doesn't matter. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and gradually realize."

So at the present moment we cannot strictly follow; neither we are strictly following; neither it is possible to strictly follow. As far as possible, that's all. Our conception of brahmacāriṇī is in the Kṛṣṇa society, because... Especially in India, there is no brahmacāriṇī.

But here, in your country, the boys and girls mix very freely, but just to restrict such free mixing, we think that the unmarried girls should remain separately. That is the contemplation. Actually, in the Vedic system there is no brahmacāriṇī system.

Or get yourself married. That is our proposal, that we do not allow illicit sex life. That is impediment. That will not enhance your spiritual interests.


Devotee (4): Swāmījī, so the government, the present government in the world...

Prabhupāda: We are not concerned with government. We say there is no kṣatriya, there is no government. At the present moment, anyone who has got some artificial power, he is government. That's all. You get some way or other a little vote, and you become government.

So government does not mean that. Government is another. Because there is no kṣatriya, and where is government? They are thinking... Government means they should be always thinking how the citizens should be peaceful and happy and spiritually advanced. That is government. And who is caring for the citizens? They are simply exacting tax. That's all.

So actually, in the Kali-yuga, because there is no kṣatriya, where is the government? Śūdra government is no government. Śūdra has no right to govern, but by force they are governing. That's all. "Might is right."

Devotee (5): Swāmījī, Indian literature and movies, they're... The subject is quite often romantic love. But in the literature of Indian religion, it seems to me that there's no place for romantic love. It's either divine love or it's, as you say, "cats and dogs." Do you find a place for romantic love within...?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee (5): What is it?

Prabhupāda: That is in spiritual world, not in this material... In the material world there is no love. It is lust. We are making business under the name of love. In the material world there cannot be love because... Suppose a girl loves a boy or a boy loves a girl. Both of them are actuated by sense gratification. So that is not love. That is not love. When there is question of sense gratification, that is not love.

Just like there is little example: Just like mother loves the child. There is no question of sense gratification. Simply for the sake of love, the mother loves the child. It is simply a little example. Similarly, love means if I love you, I don't want any return; Still, I love you. You may ill treat me. You may badly treat me. You neglect me. Still, I love you. There is no question of return from you. That is real love.

That you cannot find in this material world. Because it is based on sense gratification, therefore there is love between a boy and girl, and as soon as there is little discrepancy, there is divorce. They are separated. Because the whole principle was on the basis of lust. So there is no love. Or we do not know what is meant by love. Love does not mean just a boy is attracted by a girl or a girl is attracted by a... That is not love. That is sense attraction.

So in the material world there is no love. It is impossible. There is little, little example, just like I cited the example of mother and son or similar. That is also temporary. But real love is in the spiritual. That is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That is real love. There is no separation. There is no cheating. There is no divorce. There is no sex attraction. Simply for love's sake, loving, that is real love.

Devotee (5): But in the great literature, lust is not defined as love. It's more defined as something that has to do with spiritual affinity or communication or... In other words, there is a place for romantic love as distinct from lust, because lust is rather elementary.

Prabhupāda: Romantic love is in the spiritual world, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That is the origin of romantic love. And here we are trying to imitate, although we are on the platform of lust. It is imitation, shadow, perverted reflection. So actually, Kṛṣṇa consciousness means we are trying to reach that platform of real love, exchange of love.

The example... One example can be given: just like in diseased condition, actually there is no enjoyment, but still, the doctors gives some diet: "You eat this." But he does not enjoy. Eating enjoyment is in healthy life, not in diseased condition.

So our present condition is diseased. Why you are dying? Because you are diseased. Why you are becoming old? Because you are diseased. That is due to this body. But actually I am spirit soul. I am neither old nor diseased, but I have fallen into the condition of material contamination. Therefore I am thinking that I am diseased. This is called māyā.

Just like in the dream I am feeling that a tiger is eating me, and I am crying, "Here is a tiger eating me, eating me. Save me." But there is no tiger. This is called illusion, or māyā. But so long we'll have this body, just like so long we shall dream, we shall have to suffer the effect, even it is illusion. A man is crying, "There is a tiger." Actually, there is no tiger; neither tiger is eating. But because he is in hallucination, he is feeling the pain. That is actual fact.

So the whole process is to stop this illusion, bodily contamination. Then we are in real life. And then we can understand what is love, what is reciprocation of love, everything. That is real, healthy life. So this human form of life is meant for getting out of this illusion to the spiritual life. That we have been discussing.

But instead of taking advantage of this human life, if we simply treat ourself just like animals and be engaged with eating, sleeping, fearing and mating, then we are missing the chance. So long we have got this human intelligence, we should utilize it for the highest perfectional stage of life. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Haṁsadūta: What happens to the Vaiṣṇava if he is following the spiritual master and he's not successful in spiritual life? Does he also take birth on higher planets, like it says in the Bhagavad-gītā?

Prabhupāda: If he is not successful, he is guaranteed to get another human form of life in rich family or a pious family.

Haṁsadūta: Like Bhagavad-gītā says.

Prabhupāda: In rich family, to take birth in rich family means he has no economic problem, so he can engage fully in developing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And pious family means automatically he gets chance to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Haṁsadūta: So can it be understood that if a person, for instance, some Americans are very wealthy, that they...

Prabhupāda: Yes. They must have done pious activities in their previous life, all Americans. But they should know that this is their advantage to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. "We have no economic problem, but we are employing our facilities in sense gratification," that is a mistake.

Haṁsadūta: Suppose a person is born in a very poor family. What does that mean? Suppose someone is born in a very poor, low, very low, and he becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is open to all. Just like we are calling everyone, "Come and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." It is open to all. There is no question of becoming poor or rich. But if he takes the advantage, that is up to him. We are not restricting here that only the rich persons or brāhmaṇas or pious family or rich family can come here. No. Everyone.

Everyone is welcome. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ [Bg. 9.32]. Poor family or uneducated family, uncultured family, they are called pāpa-yoni, sinful family. But Kṛṣṇa says, "Never mind. Even if he is in sinful family, whatever he may be, if he comes to Me, he also can enter into the spiritual kingdom." So there is no such restriction.

māṁ hi pārtha vyapāśritya
ye 'pi syuḥ pāpa-yonayaḥ
striyo śūdrā tathā vaiśyās
te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim

[Bg. 9.32]

[O son of Pṛthā, those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth—women, vaiśyas [merchants], as well as śūdras [workers]—can approach the supreme destination.]

Parāṁ gatim means the highest perfectional life. And that is practical. Here, when people come here, we don't inquire whether he is poor or rich or this or that. "Come on. Sit down. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa." The opportunity is equal for everyone.

Haṁsadūta: How is it that people who have done some pious activity, they get a nice birth in this statement, but usually people who are not wealthy or not so educated, sometimes they more or less take to worshiping Kṛṣṇa, or God.

Prabhupāda: That is the grace of the devotees. The devotees offer their service, and they get the opportunity. Never mind what he is. It is the grace. Therefore, when Bhāgavata says, yad-apāśrayāśrayam... Apāśrayāśrayam means a devotee is already under the protection of God, and if one takes protection of a devotee, he also becomes a devotee and becomes purified.

Therefore a devotee is more merciful than God. Even in God there is consideration: pious, impious. For a devotee there is no such consideration. "Everyone come." What is the purpose of opening so many centers? Just to give people opportunity to take advantage, without any consideration of his position. But if one does not take the advantage, it is up to him. That independence has everyone.

We are inviting everyone to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but nobody is coming. What can we do? Those who are fortunate, they are taking advantage. That's all.

Now you take the mṛdaṅga, and you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Two mṛdaṅga must be sounded equal, equally, on the same level. And how many cymbals?

Haṁsadūta: I got those... [break] [end]