tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual master, who has opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge in my material existence of darkness."
Ladies and Gentlemen, please accept my greetings in the happy new year of 1969, and blessings of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for your kindly participating in this happy meeting of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa appeared on this earthly planet five thousand years ago and gave us the unique philosophy and religious principles of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the shape of the Bhagavad-gītā. Unfortunately, in course of time, as things change and deteriorate in the material world, people deteriorated and forgot the art of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Lord Kṛṣṇa again therefore appeared as Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu at the end of the fifteenth century to revive the same Kṛṣṇa consciousness atmosphere in the human society. Lord Caitanya's special gift to the fallen souls of this age of quarrel and disagreement is to induce the people in general—the religionists, the philosophers and everyone—to take to the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.
He informed us that the Absolute Supreme Personality of Godhead can descend also in transcendental sound vibration, and thus, when you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra offenselessly, we immediately contact Kṛṣṇa and His internal energy, and thus we become immediately purified from all dirty things in our heart.
Our conditional life of material existence is due to dirty things in our heart. Originally we are all Kṛṣṇa conscious living beings, but due to our long material association in different species of life, varying to 8,400,000's of different forms of life, we are accustomed to transmigrating from one form of body or another.
In such cycle of birth and death, I, you and every one of us, although originally spirit soul and therefore qualitatively one in constitution with the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, we have identified with this material form of life, subjected to various forms of material pangs, specifically in the shape of birth, death, old age and disease.
The whole material civilization is a process of hard struggle of life, ending in birth, death, old age and disease. The human society is struggling fruitlessly against these perpetual problems of life in different ways. Some of them are making material attempts and some of them are making partially spiritual attempts.
The materialists are trying to solve the problems by achievement of scientific knowledge, education, philosophy, morality, ethics, poetic thoughts, etc., and the spiritualists are trying to solve the problems by different theses like discerning matter from spirit in various ways. And some of them are trying as mystic yogīs to arrive at the right conclusion. But all of them must know it for certain that in this age of Kali, or the age of quarrel and dissension, there is no possibility of success without accepting the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the speaker of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, has therefore recommended that everyone, be he a fruitive worker, a salvationist or a mystic yogī, if actually he wants to be freed from the pangs of material existence, he must take to the process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is therefore an art of changing our hearts by purification from the dust of material desires. We cannot stop our desire, because as living entity, desiring is the component part of our constitution. Therefore we cannot give up our desire, but we can purify our desire. Killing of desire is no solution, but curing the desires, diseased condition of desire, is the right solution. As such, therefore, this dust of misunderstanding is cleared off. We can see our real position of life and make steady progress towards the ultimate goal of life.
We have forgotten the ultimate goal of our life due to lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore our entire activity should be executed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness to revive our lost relationship with God, or Kṛṣṇa. We do not prohibit anyone to cease from the present occupational duties, but we simply recommend that he execute such duties in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never recommended changing one's position of life, but He favored the process of hearing about Kṛṣṇa from the right, bona fide source.
One should give up the artificial process of philosophical speculation to arrive at the real goal of life, but one should submissively hear about the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is generally inculcated in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
If one submissively chants the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, and hears the message of Kṛṣṇa as it is in the Bhagavad-gītā, without any malinterpretation, then he does not have to change his position by some artificial method. Simply by the method of chanting and hearing, he comes to a transcendental position which will help him to know God, His name, His form, His quality, His pastimes, His paraphernalia and so on.
We are, however, misled by persons and leaders who have very little connection with God, or Kṛṣṇa. Some of them are denying the existence of God, some of them are falsely trying to place themselves in place of God, some of them are in favor of the impersonal feature of God and, at last, some of them, without being able to reach any right conclusion, are accepting the ultimate goal of life as void, or zero, in utter hopelessness and frustration.
But Kṛṣṇa consciousness is solid ground for understanding Kṛṣṇa, or God, directly by the simple method of chanting the holy name of God, or Kṛṣṇa. Misled by blind leaders, the followers who themselves are blind have failed to achieve the desired success. But here is a method, called by the name Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is directly offered by Kṛṣṇa, and the instruction are plainly described in the Bhagavad-gītā, given to us five thousand years ago, and again confirmed by Him in the form of Lord Caitanya five hundred years ago.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is a great art of life, very easy and sublime. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement gives you everything you want, without any artificial endeavor. It is transcendentally colorful and full of transcendental pleasure. We prosecute these Kṛṣṇa consciousness activities through singing, dancing, eating and talking philosophy received through authorized disciplic succession, and therefore it gives us everything we want, without any artificial change of our natural instincts.
The consciousness is there in you, but it is now dirty consciousness, and what you have to do now is to cleanse it from all dirty things and make it clear Kṛṣṇa consciousness in pleasant method by chanting the glorified holy name of God: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
These performances we can practice anywhere. It does not matter either in a temple or in a street or in a park or at home. But to assemble together and sit together, we require a place for congregation; therefore a temple of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is required to be established in various centers of the world, irrespective of the particular countries, culture, philosophy and religion.
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so universal and perfect that it can appeal to everyone, irrespective of his position; therefore I fervently appeal to you all present in this meeting to extend your cooperation for successful execution of this great movement.
Thanking you once more.
[Hare Kṛṣṇa bhajana by Prabhupāda with harmonium]
Śrīman Gurudāsa Adhikārī and his associate Godbrothers have very eagerly asked me to visit London, and I am also very much anxious to see you all there. So as soon as there is opportunity, I shall go with my saṅkīrtana party, who are now engaged in Los Angeles, and that will be a great pleasure for us all to meet together.
[aside:] That's all right. [end]