Prabhupāda: You are all individuals. Every one of us is individual. So how you conceive of merging? Suppose, just like we are here---one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. How we can merge? You just study philosophy. We are here, eight persons. How we can merge into one? Have you got any idea how we can merge? These eight persons, how we can merge into one?
Impersonalist: To realize ourselves.
Prabhupāda: Well, if suppose you have realized, now, how to merge?
Impersonalist: In realization there is that. In realization there is merging.
Prabhupāda: This realization... Now, there are five fingers---one, two, three, four, five. How they can merge into one?
Impersonalist: By realizing this.
Impersonalist: By realizing this.
Prabhupāda: No. These are five fingers---one, two, three, four, five. So these... There are different, five fingers. How they can merge into one? What is the process?
Impersonalist: The name of the process.
Upendra: The name of the process?
Prabhupāda: No, no. Name or not name, how these five fingers can become merged into one? Tell me. Just like here is thing. All the five fingers capture it; it becomes one. Although they are five---one, two, three, four, five---they are one.
Impersonalist: Becomes one.
Prabhupāda: Yes. If the interest is one---to capture this---then it is one. That means to... You cannot lose your individuality. But if your interest is one, then you merge into. Do you understand? Just like you are all Australian. Why you are all Australian? Or you are all individual. How you become all Australian, merge into the Australian conception?
Because as Australian, you have one interest. So individuality cannot be killed. That is not possible. You are all individual. But when you make your interest one, then you merge into that thing. Each one of us, an individual person... What is your ideal, you all three? You are three persons. What is your philosophy, ideal? Vegetarian?
Impersonalist: Meditation and action.
Upendra: Meditation and action.
Prabhupāda: Anyway, whatever you do, you do all together. That is merging. But you are all individual. Your personality is different from his. His personality different from him; he is from you. But because you have got one interest, therefore you one. Just like we. We are so many individuals.
But our interest is Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we are one. Try to understand what is merging into one. You are all individual. Nobody can be... It is not something material. We are all spirit soul, so we are all individual. But if our interest becomes one, then we merge into one. This is oneness. Try to understand this oneness.
Oneness does not mean void, no. Oneness means when our interest becomes one; that is oneness. Real oneness means to be interested in Kṛṣṇa. That is oneness. Other oneness will not stand. Just like you are now in one. As soon as your interest little becomes different, you become separated. So that is... There is quite possibility. Because you are all individual, there is quite possibility of disagreeing with another individual person. There is quite possibility.
So oneness does not mean that you lose your individuality. Oneness means you keep your individuality, but you take the same interest. Then it is oneness. It is not possible that you lose your individuality. That is not possible. You are individual eternally. Do you understand this? You have got anything to say about this oneness? Do you differ? Just like the sunlight. The sunlight, physically, they are very small, shining, molecular, what is called?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Very small, atom-like. They are combined together. It looks that it is one, sunshine. But they are mixture of molecular parts, very small. They are all shining. This is scientific. But it looks one. Even water, that also, small molecular parts. Everything.
This matter---a small molecular atom. So everything is combination of several molecular, atomic parts. That's all. You are also atomic spirit. So all the atomic spirit, when they are together, that is called brahmajyo... [loud noise] This... This cannot be stopped? This nonsense bombing?
Prabhupāda: That is very much disturbing.
Impersonalist: Who is Kṛṣṇa?
Prabhupāda: [to Śyāmasundara] Now answer who is Kṛṣṇa.
Śyāmasundara: Kṛṣṇa is the supreme individual, supreme person. And we all take our individual..., our individualities, from Him. Just like the gold ring that you are wearing, perhaps, takes its individual existence from the mine of gold. It's a very small particle of the mine, and you can't say that it is not the same as the mine. It is the same as the mine 'cause it is gold. But it is very tiny, molecular, atomic, whereas the mine of gold is, for practical purposes, unlimited, and...
Prabhupāda: [aside:] Come on.
Śyāmasundara: ...the whole. So Kṛṣṇa, He is the source of our individual nature also. We are... We exist as part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Because He has personality, we have personality. Just like you have a piece of gold. The ring has a certain color and weight and characteristics of gold, the metal. You find the same qualities in the mine. So we have the same qualities as Kṛṣṇa has because He..., we are parts and parcels of Him.
Impersonalist: Then is it necessary to see Kṛṣṇa in the form that is depicted in the pictures, or can one see Kṛṣṇa in other forms?
Śyāmasundara: Yes, one can see Kṛṣṇa on three different levels of realization. The one level is this impersonal brahma-jyotir---merging level. That is called the elementary step, the first step towards God realization. And then the second step is when one realizes that God is isolated, or localized within his heart, and this is the stage the great yogīs and mystics attain.
They are able to control their travel and attain other certain mystic powers. And then the highest step of self-realization is when one realizes God is the supreme person and meets Him face to face and spends his eternal life in the association of God in a personal relationship.
There are five different kinds of personal relationships one can have with God = as His friend, as His father or His parent, or as His servant, like that, or as His lover. So if one..., if one comes to this stage of realization, that "I am part and parcel of God," that "God is a person, therefore I am a person, and I remain person eternally," then he gets fixed up in his final, original, constitutional position, relationship, and there is no more higher place to go.
So... And in this relationship, he understands that "Because God is very great and I am very small, then my position is to serve God." So I engage in a personal serving relationship, with a personal serving mode. In this way I'm always satisfied. I'm always relating with God, in everything I do, serving Him with everything I have.
And this is where the spiritual master is the representative of Kṛṣṇa, because he engages us in serving Kṛṣṇa. Just like there may be some big man, and you want to enter into his service and meet this big man, but you have no qualification. But if this big man has a friend who is also your friend, this friend can introduce you and engage you somehow in this big man's service. This is the duty of the spiritual master. He accepts a disciple to make sure and guarantee that that disciple will meet God face to face, if he follows his orders.
Prabhupāda: Now answer, question, try to understand. What he has explained, have you understood?
Impersonalist: I think so.
Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa is also individual, you are also individual, but He is the head. Just like in our group we are all individual, but I am the head, similarly, there are innumerable individual souls, all over the universe, and the head individual soul is Kṛṣṇa.
Impersonalist: Can Kṛṣṇa be called by any other name?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa... Kṛṣṇa means... Kṛṣṇa's name is given according to His office. Just like a person at home, he is "father," and in the court he is "my lord," the same man. Same man, high-court judge, his wife is calling him by name, "John." His son is calling the same man "father." His brother is calling the same man "brother."
And the same man, when he goes to the court, he is called "my lord." So these names are in connection with his service. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. So He can have many millions of names. Because He is unlimited, He has got unlimited business also. So He can be called according to that name, according to that business. But this name, Kṛṣṇa, is the best, because "Kṛṣṇa" means all-attractive.
Prabhupāda: All-attractive. Just like the same man = he is attracting his son; he is attracting his wife; he is attracting his servant; he is attracting in the court his client. So many ways he is attracting. Therefore somebody is calling him "father," somebody "husband," somebody this, somebody this. So if there is one name, that is Kṛṣṇa, "all-attractive." He attracts all. This is the meaning of Kṛṣṇa. And if God is not all-attractive, then how He can be God?
Impersonalist: What is the meaning of Rāma?
Prabhupāda: Rāma. Rāma is enjoyer. Ramante yogino 'nante. Yogīs, they want eternal enjoyment. Here in this material world you can enjoy something for some few minutes or few hours, but if you want eternal enjoyment, ramaṇa, then Rāma, that is Rāma.
[break] Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnaḥ. Neither by reading so many books, because each book is written in a different way. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnaḥ nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. If you consult philosophers, then everyone will give you a different opinion.
Impersonalist: They could be saying the same thing, even though they are saying different things.
Prabhupāda: Maybe same thing, but you will be puzzled by the different opinion. Therefore you have to take the path of great personalities. So we are following Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya chanted this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. So we are following, and we are getting result. That's all. We don't manufacture our own way, because we are imperfect. We cannot manufacture. That will not be beneficial.
Impersonalist: Why is it that this mahā-mantra is so attractive to Western countries and not particularly...
Prabhupāda: Because it is the thing required. Therefore it is recommended in the śāstra. Because it is recommended that... What is recommended in the śāstra, spoken in the śāstra, that is perfect. There is no mistake. Therefore it is being accepted. Anywhere we are going, beginning from old man to child, everyone chants Hare Kṛṣṇa. Therefore it is recommended. Our intelligence should be applied there, that what is recommended in the Vedas, that is perfect.
There are so many instances. Just like cow dung. You know cow dung? Stool of the cow? So according to Vedic principle, if you touch stool of an animal you become impure. Even my stool, I pass in the WC, and immediately I wash and become purified. Oh, this is my stool, personal, and what to speak of other stool? So stool is impure.
But the Vedas say that the stool of cow is pure. So if you argue that "Cow is an animal. So animal stool is impure. How the cow stool can become pure?" that is puzzling, but because it is said by the..., ordered by the Vedas, it is fact. You analyze cow stool, you find all antiseptic matter.
So therefore we accept the Vedic injunction as truth. We haven't got to make research. We save time. So according to Vedic civilization, whatever is stated in the Vedas, we take it, fact. That's all. Śruti. Śruti-pramāṇam. Śruti means Vedas. Pramāṇam means evidence. According to Indian system... There are two persons talking, arguing, but the person who can give Vedic evidence, he is victorious. That's all. That is the system.
Just like in law court two lawyers are fighting, but the lawyer who is giving evidences from the law book, he is accepted by the judge. And therefore, generally you will find, whenever we speak something, we give evidence from the śāstra in Sanskrit, in all our books. That is the way of proving that whatever I am speaking, it is fact. [break]
The Bhāgavata it is already stated, lavaṇyaṁ keśa-dharaṇam [SB 12.2.6]. Keśa means hair. To keep long, long hair will be the practice of people, because they will think by keeping long hair they look very beautiful. That is stated in Bhāgavata. Five thousand years this prediction is there = "In this Kali-yuga people will keep long hair, and..., because that will be appreciated, that a man keeping long hair is very beautiful." So that is happening. Just see. Five thousand years ago that was written, and that is happening. There are so many things.
That is called śāstra. It is truth for all the days---past, present, future. Dāmpatye ratim eva hi. These things are stated. "Husband and wife will keep together so long their sex power is strong. Otherwise they will divorce." This is written. Svīkāram eva hi udvahe: "Marriage will be performed simply by agreement." According to Vedic system, marriage is a long program. The father of the girl and the boy first of all select. Then their horoscope should be consulted, how they will mix together, and then the family, then personal qualification, so many things... Then dowry...
After all this consideration, when everything is satisfactory, then the father and mother of both sides will agree, and they will be married. That is marriage. Now, at the present moment in Kali-yuga, it is said, svīkāram eva hy udvahe. Boys and girls will loiter in the street and two of them, as they agree, "Yes, we will live together." That's all. Bās. This is stated. And that is happening.
So this is called śāstra. Five thousand years ago, what was predicted, that is now happening. Therefore we give so much stress on the śāstra that it is perfect. There is no mistake. If you write one book, I write one book, because we are imperfect, it is all imperfect.
Impersonalist: What about Buddha? Would you say that he is good?
Śyāmasundara: Buddha, Lord Buddha.
Prabhupāda: Yes. About Lord Buddha is also mentioned in the śāstra, that Lord Buddha will appear in Gayā Pradesh, in the province of Gayā, and his business will be to cheat the atheists. That is described. Now, how he is cheating? He is the incarnation of God, but he is preaching amongst people who don't believe in God. So he is cheating in this way, that "Yes, there is no God. You hear me."
But he is God. The people amongst whom he is preaching, they don't believe in God, but they accept Lord Buddha. But he is God. So by cheating, he is making others to worship God. God is there. But superficially they think, "We don't believe in God. We believe in Lord Buddha." And Lord Buddha is God. Therefore in the Bhāgavata it is said that his business will be cheat the atheist class of men.
Sura-dviṣām. Sammohita-sura-dviṣām. Sammohita means bewilder. But his philosophy is that to make the people sinless. Ahiṁsā: "Don't kill." That is the greatest sin. So he is propagating that "Let these people be saved from the greatest sinful activities." Lord Buddha appeared... He also appeared in India. Why? He was also Hindu. He was kṣatriya, king. He promulgated this philosophy, ahiṁsā, when there was unnecessary killing of animals. According to Vedas, animal can be killed in sacrifice. That also to give a new life. But people misinterpreted and they began to kill animals like anything with the evidence of..., "In the Vedas animal killing is sanctioned."
So Lord Buddha appeared, just being compassionate to the poor animals. Sadaya-hṛdaya-darśita-paśu-ghātam. Sadaya. He became very compassionate, that "All these poor animals are being killed unnecessarily." So he promulgamated a new type of religion---ahiṁsā paramo dharmaḥ. "Don't commit violence. If I pinch your body, you feel pain. You should not pinch others." That is his religion. So, but he... Because others, they will argue, "Oh, in the Vedas..." As I told you, that Vedas is the evidence, so "Here is... Animal killing is ordered. How you are stopping it?" Therefore he said, "I don't care for your Vedas." And because he did not care for the Vedas, therefore in India, later on, nobody accepted Buddha philosophy.
Therefore Buddha philosophy has gone outside India---China, Burma, Japan---because here in India they are very strong in the standing of Vedas. Śaṅkarācārya established that "This Buddha philosophy is non-Vedic. It cannot be accepted." That was Śaṅkarācārya's propaganda. So by the propaganda of Śaṅkarācārya the Buddhism were driven away. There are so many things that one has to study.
So Lord Buddha, we accept him as the incarnation of God. And his name is mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And his business is also mentioned = sammohitaṁ sura-dviṣām. His business is to cheat the atheist class of men. That cheating is not cheating. It is for the good. Just like the father sometimes cheats the small child. You see? So that does not mean father is cheater. "Well, he has got some business to do that. That's all."
So when I say Lord Buddha cheated, we don't mean that Lord Buddha was a cheater like ordinary man. No. He had to accept some means to lead them to God worship. He is God. So all the Buddhists---I have seen in Japan, their temple is as good as Hindu temple. They have got Lord Buddha's statue. They offer lamps, and they sit down. They read Buddha philosophy. It is exactly Hindu temple.
Impersonalist: And what is predicted for this age?
Prabhupāda: This side is this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra---not only this side, all over the world. That is prediction of Lord Caitanya = "In every village, every town of the world, this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra will be chanted." That is the beginning.
Impersonalist: What events are to occur in this age? What events will occur in this age, according to the prediction?
Prabhupāda: They are accepting. Wherever we go, they accept. If one is serious about understanding God, they will accept. If he is not serious---superficial---that is different thing.
Impersonalist: So this will become the next age. This is to take place in this age, or this is the transition between two ages?
Prabhupāda: This is the process. By chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra they will be God-realized. Just like these boys. Four years ago they did not know what is meant by Kṛṣṇa. So now they are so perfect. Of course, we cannot be perfect anyway, but they are far, far better than any kṛṣṇa-bhakta in the world. Even Indians, they say, "Oh, they are better than us." And what is the process? Simply they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is practical.
By chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra they are becoming God-realized. Even last night we had meeting with the Christian Fathers; they very much appreciated. And in Boston one Christian priest issued literature that "These boys, they are our boys. They are so mad after God, but we could not do." So this is... Why they have become so? Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.
So anyone chants will get this status. This is practical. Not only... In anywhere. We have got many Chinese, many Japanese, Africans and Canadians and Europeans, and Australia also, we have got many Australian boys. So wherever we are chanting, it is being effective. The real purpose is to realize God. So that is being done. So we have to accept the method recommended for a particular age and time. Then we become successful. [break] ...likes you? [indistinct]. No.
Upendra: These two boys, they are coming all the time and chanting, these two boys.
Prabhupāda: Yes, I have seen these boys. You are from China?
Malaysian boy: No, Malaysia.
Prabhupāda: Malaysian. Oh. Malaysians, they are originally from China.
Malaysian boy: Yes. There's one Lalitā-Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Lalitā-Kṛṣṇa. Yes.
Upendra: He went to Malaysia. He is going to university here, and he went back home, looking all over for the devotees, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, couldn't find them. He was looking all over for them. Then he came back here for study.
Prabhupāda: They do not issue the visa. The difficulty is. What can be done? Now you... Lalitā-Kṛṣṇa---his name is Lalitā-Kṛṣṇa? He is now initiated. He is pakkā devotee. He is chanting, dancing, like anything, in ecstasy. He is a very good boy. Where he is now?
Prabhupāda: Bombay. Oh, he is very intelligent. So if some of you become devotees, then you can start this movement there in Malaysia. It is a very nice movement. It is the movement for the present day, for human peace and love.
So if... Every one of you should study the philosophy, try to understand it and spread it. That is good for you and good for others.