Prabhupāda: ...I shall speak?
Mahāṁśa: First His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda will speak something about our philosophy for a few minutes, and then you can ask questions.
yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcanā
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ
harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā
mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ
Yasya---anyone; asti---one, anyone who has; bhagavati---in the Supreme Personality of Godhead; akiñcanā-bhakti---unalloyed devotion, faith; sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ---with all the good qualities of the demigods, he is bestowed upon. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ: if one is not a devotee of the Lord, he has no good qualification. He cannot possess any good qualification. Why? Mano-rathena. He is simply hovering on the mental plane. Therefore mind's business is to accept and reject. There cannot be any permanent thing. So one has to transcend above the plane of mind and fixed up in the spiritual platform. Then he can have all the good qualities.
So at the present moment, the godless civilization. Therefore the leaders, they do not know how to lead people so that they may become happy. It is the duty of the leader, government, father, teacher, gurus to see that the subordinates are very, very happy. We find in the history of Mahābhārata that during the time of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira people were not suffering even from excessive heat or cold or any anxiety. So it is the duty of the leaders of the people and the government to see that the citizens are perfectly happy in their occupational duties and they are advancing in spiritual knowledge. Because human life is not to live a polished animal life. That is not human life.
In the śāstras we see that Ṛṣabhadeva, the father of Mahārāja Bharata, under whose name this planet is called Bhārata-varṣa, He taught His one hundred sons, "My dear boys, this human form of life is not meant for working hard like cats and dogs for sense gratification." Ultimate end is sense gratification, satisfying the senses. This is the business of the cats and hogs, or dogs and hogs. The hog is whole day working to find out stool = "Where is stool? Where is stool?" And as soon as he gets some stool, little strength, immediately sex life, without any discrimination whether she is mother or sister or daughter. This kind of life is described in the śāstras as hog civilization. So at the present moment, without any reference to God consciousness, people are being taught to satisfy the senses, work very hard, and ruin the chance of human life.
This human life is specially meant for solving all the problems of life. There are so many problems of life, but the four problems, as indicated in the Bhagavad-gītā, janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam... [Bg. 13.9]. People have no knowledge how to stop birth, death, old age and disease. Because every living entity is eternal. That we learn from Bhagavad-gītā. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. The living entity does not die even after the annihilation of this gross body. This is the first knowledge to understand. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. We have to transmigrate from this body to another body. As I have transmigrated already from my childhood body to boyhood body, boyhood body to youthhood body, now I am in a body very old, so similarly, as I am existing in spite of changing so many types of bodies, similarly, after changing this body, I will have to accept another body. This is the fact.
But the modern education, they do not know it, neither they believe, even the practical example is there. And who is giving the example? The most authoritative Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. And there are so many different varieties of bodies.
There are nine lakhs varieties of life in the water. Similarly, twenty lakhs varieties of life in the trees and plants. Then there are insects, then there are birds, then there are animals, then there is human being. So this human form of body is obtained after evolution of many millions and trillions of years. It should not be... This is a chance for stopping this business of repetition of birth and death. But people, they have no knowledge how to stop it. Although everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, everything is explained, but we are not utilizing. We are manufacturing our own concocted knowledge. Therefore we are suffering. If we read Bhagavad-gītā as it is, then all the solution of human society's problem are there. Economic, social, political, religious, cultural, philosophical---everything is there.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for spreading the knowledge contained in the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any malinterpretation. Bhagavad-gītā as it is. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān [Bg. 10.12]. After understanding Bhagavad-gītā from Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna affirmed, "Kṛṣṇa, You are Para-brahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Brahman... Every living entity is Brahman, or everything is Brahman. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. That is a fact. But Para-brahman is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām [Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13]. That is the Vedic version. He is the Supreme. So unless we accept Kṛṣṇa the Supreme, what is the use of reading Bhagavad-gītā? So that we have to accept, and His instruction, as they are given, everything. Just like economic solution, there is in the Bhagavad-gītā, annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14]. There is need of anna to feed the animals and the human being. Simply by passing resolution, conference, it will not do. You must produce anna so that animals and men, they may be fed sumptuously. They will get strength, then they can work for yajña. Yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ. In this way people can be happy.
So everything, solution is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, and we are trying to spread this knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā all over the world, and people are accepting. Now we have started in America a political party, "In God We Trust." So they are doing very successfully. People are accepting. They are criticizing the so-called leaders. After Nixon, people are disgusted with the so-called leaders. So we are teaching them what kind of leaders should be selected. The king, the public leader, the brāhmaṇa, and... At least these three men, they should be free from the four kinds of sinful activities. If they are personally sinful, how they can lead other people? That is not possible. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānāḥ [SB 7.5.31]. If a man is himself blind man, how he can lead other blind men? That is not... It is dangerous for both of them. So the leaders, the politicians, the king, the brāhmaṇa, they should be very much pure, without any sinful tinge of life. And the pillars of sinful life is illicit sex life and meat-eating and intoxication and gambling. Now, unfortunately, the leaders are teaching people how to enjoy illicit sex life, meat-eating and intoxication. Then how the society can be happy? It is not possible. If you become criminal or if you infect some disease, you must suffer. Similarly, in the material world there are three guṇas = sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa. So if you associate with sattva-guṇa, then you become enlightened. If you associate with rajo-guṇa, then you are, I mean to say, pushed through passion. And if you are in ignorance, then you do not know what is right and wrong. Kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye [SB 1.2.19]. The symptoms of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa is excessive lust and greediness. And sattva-guṇa, they are in knowledge.
Therefore the society must be divided into four classes of men, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā = cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. There are three guṇas, and the sattva-guṇa, brāhmaṇa, a class of ideal men, must be there in the society so that people can follow them. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ lokas tad anuvartate [Bg. 3.21]. If there is no ideal men in the society, how they can be of good character? Therefore the brahminical class of men, I mean to say, in quality, satyaṁ śamo damas titikṣā ārjava, jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam... [Bg. 18.42]. There must be an ideal class of men, brāhmaṇa. The next class, kṣatriyas, who can give protection to the society, they should come forward whenever there is danger. They will come forward to give protection to the society. Similarly, next, the vaiśya, they must produce. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44]. The class of men should be interested, produce food grains and give protection to the cows.
So where are these things? How you can expect good society, good management? If you want good society, good management, people happy in this life and next, then you have to adopt the principles given by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself in the Bhagavad-gītā. And we are preaching the cult of Bhagavad-gītā all over the world. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Haribol. [break]
Mahāṁśa: Now we open the placement to your questions.
Prabhupāda: Yes, upon this, what I have already stated, you can...
Reporter (1): Since you are following Bhagavad-gītā, do you believe in dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy?
Prabhupāda: Well, first of all try to understand what is written in the Bhagavad-gītā. Then you try to understand the philosophy. It is simple thing. Kṛṣṇa says that annād bhavanti parjanyāt. So there is no need of dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy. You require anna to maintain the animals and living man. Practically. Dvaita philosophy and advaita philosophy, this is controversial. But even though we agree to dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy, the question of food grain will be required, either you become dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy.
Reporter (1): Sorry, what I mean to say is do you believe that the soul and God is one, as Rāmānuja and Śaṅkarācārya says, or as Madhvācārya says...
Prabhupāda: We are speaking from the Bhagavad-gītā as it is. What Śaṅkarācārya says, what Rāmānujācārya says, that we shall consider there. You try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Bhagavān says in the Bhagavad-gītā that dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. So dehinaḥ means the possessor of the body, the owner of the body. That is the soul. So that you cannot deny, either you follow Śaṅkarācārya or Rāmānujācārya. There is soul within the body. This is Bhagavad-gītā says. Dehino 'smin, asmin dehe. Just like I was a child, I remember; you remember also. So that body is now gone. But I have got a different body, you have got a different body. But I am existing. So I am dehinaḥ, dehī, and my body is deha. So deha-dehī, there must be distinction. The body is not the owner. I am the owner. Just like I am sitting within this room; I am not this room. Similarly, I am sitting within this body, you are sitting within your body. So you are not body. This is called illusion.
Reporter (2): What is the ultimate aim of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: Yes, ultimate aim is that there is...
Reporter (2): [indistinct]
Prabhupāda: No, I say ultimate aim is that there is spirit and matter. As there is material world, there is spiritual world also. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ avyaktaḥ avyaktāt sanātanaḥ [Bg. 8.20]. The spiritual world is eternal. The material world is temporary. We are spirit soul. We are eternal. Therefore our business is to go back to the spiritual world, not that we remain in the material world and change body from bad to worse or worse to bad, er, good. That is not our business. That is a disease. Our healthy life is to enjoy eternal life. Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6]. So our human life should be utilized for attaining that perfectional stage---not to get any more this material body which we have to change. This is the aim of life.
Reporter (2): Is that perfection possible in one life?
Prabhupāda: Yes, in one moment, if you agree. Kṛṣṇa says that,
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
We change our body on account of sinful activities. But if we surrender to Kṛṣṇa and take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, immediately you are on the spiritual platform.
māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
As soon as you become unalloyed devotee of Kṛṣṇa, you immediately transcend this material platform. Brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. You remain in the spiritual platform. And if you die in the spiritual platform, then you go to the spiritual world.
Reporter (3): But isn't the bhajana that you do for concentration?
Prabhupāda: Yes, bhajana is concentration, reading is concentration...
Reporter (3): No, besides that, any other type of concentration you do?
Prabhupāda: What do you mean by concentration?
Reporter (4): Meditation.
Reporter (3): Meditation.
Prabhupāda: Yes. When you think... Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ [SB 12.13.1]. The yogīs, in dhyāna, in meditation, they always see the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu within the heart. So that is meditation. Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ. The jñānīs, they see by cultivation of knowledge, and the bhaktas, they see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So Supreme Lord, the Absolute Truth, is understood from different angles of vision. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. That is Absolute Truth. Yaj jñānam advayam. There is no difference between Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān. The same thing in different angle of vision. The jñānīs, they realize as impersonal Brahman. The yogīs, they realize as Paramātmā situated in everyone's heart. And the bhaktas, they realize as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But the thing is the same. It is the different angle of vision only.
Reporter (2): What exactly is guru's role in your system?
Prabhupāda: To teach how to get rid of this disease of birth, death and old age. That is guru's business. That is also father's business, that is also guru's business, or the caretaker's business, the government's business. Because this human life is meant for getting out of these clutches of māyā, constantly, repeatedly changing body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13], bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. This business should be stopped. Na mocayed yaḥ samupeta-mṛtyuṁ gurur na sa syāt [SB 5.5.18]. Śāstra says, "One should not be guru if he cannot deliver the disciple from the chain of birth, death, old age and disease."
Reporter (4): [indistinct question about why there is a better response to Kṛṣṇa consciousness in foreign countries than in India]
Prabhupāda: The Americans and the Europeans, they are fed up with this material type of civilization. They are... They know that spiritual life is there in India. They understand it. Therefore, any svāmī goes there, they go round him to take some spiritual instruction. Unfortunately, mostly they go who have no knowledge. They cannot give them right knowledge. So for the time being they may surround them, but after some time they disperse, because they do not get actually. Because so far Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, now many svāmīs went there and they preached Bhagavad-gītā also, but not a single person became a devotee of Kṛṣṇa for the last hundreds of years. But now Bhagavad-gītā is being presented as it is, and people are taking it by hundreds, thousands. So they are after some knowledge, spiritual knowledge, from India, but our so-called svāmīs, they go, they do not give actual information of the Indian spiritual culture. Therefore they are practically deceived. But this Bhagavad-gītā as it is, we do not change anything. In the Bhagavad-gītā you understand that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. So we are teaching them that "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa." So they are accepting. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. So we are teaching that "Just always think of Kṛṣṇa, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and you will remember Kṛṣṇa." Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. "And just become devotee. Worship the Deity of Kṛṣṇa. Become His bhakta." Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī. "Worship Lord Kṛṣṇa." Māṁ namaskuru: "Offer your obeisances to Kṛṣṇa." So we are teaching this arcanam. We have got hundred temples like this all over the world. And hundreds and thousands are joining. So this is practical. So they are accepting. Now it is our duty to give the actual Vedic culture, which is concise, summarized in the Bhagavad-gītā. Sarvopaniṣad-gavaḥ, the essence of all Upaniṣads' teaching.
So there is very good demand for this culture, but unfortunately we give some rubbish things, and they come. Sometimes they go, that he becomes himself God. What is this nonsense? God is so cheap? So they have been frustrated, and our people go and still more frustrate them by giving some cheating type of... But here Bhagavad-gītā is very simple. There is no need of great education. What is the difficulty to understand? If Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], where is the difficulty? "You always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer My obeisances." Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam [Bg. 4.13] = "Divide the society in four classes of men." Annād bhavanti bhūtāni [Bg. 3.14] = "You just produce sufficient food grains and eat sufficiently. Be strong. Perform yajña." Where is the difficulty to understand Bhagavad-gītā?
Reporter (5): Do you think that the Russian society is not put off by this bhajana?
Reporter (5): Society.
Prabhupāda: I do not know Russian society, but I can say I have been in Moscow. The people are not happy. That I can say.
Reporter (1): How many of your disciples would have seen the vision of God in the sense of seeing the Lord's image in their heart?
Prabhupāda: What is the mean, that?
Reporter (1): How many of your disciples would have seen the vision of God...
Prabhupāda: Vision of God you can see also. Here is vision of God.
Reporter (1): In the sense of seeing Lord in their own heart?
Prabhupāda: No, no. That is, of course, later on. First of all see here is God, vision of God. Everyone can see. It is public. Why you ask my disciples? You can see also. No, no. Just like, vision of God, here is Kṛṣṇa.
Reporter (1): That is physical vision.
Prabhupāda: That's all. Physical means vision; your vision is also physical. Your vision is not spiritual. Whatever you see with your eyes, that is physical. That is not anything beyond physical.
Reporter (1): See with spiritual eyes.
Prabhupāda: Spiritual eyes, that's all right. But first of all you have to see whatever eyes you have got. You have got physical eyes. Why you are talking of spiritual eyes?
Reporter (1): Well, sir, that only, we are, all these things would learn that spiritual eyes.
Prabhupāda: That you will learn. That is stated in the śāstra. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. When you develop love for God, then you can have that spiritual eyes. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ sadaiva. He sees everywhere, always. Santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilo... That you have to develop that position. Immediately you cannot do that.
Reporter (1): I don't say that...
Prabhupāda: Yes, immediately you have to see physically. Then gradually, when by offering service you develop your dormant love for God, then you can see the spiritual. It is not immediately or for everyone. So you have to wait for that position.
Reporter (6): In regards to Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the West---like you said, the Western people are fed up with materialism. Is it that they are fed up only with materialism or with [indistinct]? And do you also say the so-called svāmīs...
Prabhupāda: Well, people, people have become godless everywhere. It doesn't matter whether he is a Christian or Muhammadan or a Hindu. That is a general disease. So actually, everyone is concerned now with material comforts. But these material comforts mean wine and women, that's all. Substance of material comforts. So that they have enjoyed enough. The facility of enjoying woman and getting money, there is no limit. There is no limit. Anyone. The money is thrown in the street. You can simply collect. And similarly, women are available. So actually, they do not get any happiness by these material elements. They are seeking after something, that's a fact.
Reporter (7): But isn't the Kṛṣṇa consciousness has not spread in the Arab world?
Prabhupāda: Yes, it is spreading. We have got branch in Iran.
Reporter (7): Yes?
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. We have got in Moscow, we have got in China. But they are taking gradually. Everything will take time. But we have got many Muhammadan students. Yes.
Reporter (8): You have got a center established in Iran?
Reporter (8): Within what time? Recently?
Prabhupāda: I think about two years.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We have got African students also, many African students. In everywhere we are spreading this Hare Kṛṣṇa. We go village to village, they accept. In African village, with big, big earrings, they also dance in Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
Reporter (8): How do they respond in China?
Prabhupāda: Yes, China also. They also receive very nicely. They are intel... Everywhere the people are always good. They are made bad by the leaders, that's all.
Reporter (9): You know, it sticks in the mind, about the leaders and the government, you said it. Is the duty of the leaders of the government to see the people are happy?
Reporter (9): In this context, how do you see the government of India?
Prabhupāda: I do not wish to speak of any particular government. But generally, everywhere the government is not very good. Even in America the president is not liked.
Reporter (5): Swāmījī, India is supposed to be a land of spirituality.
Reporter (5): How is it that there is so much moral degradation in our country?
Prabhupāda: Because you did not lead them. You did not teach them spiritual books. You allowed them to read Communist books.
Reporter (5): Is it the failure of our spiritual leaders?
Prabhupāda: Where is a spiritual leader? First of all we have to think... If the businessman is not spiritual leader...
Reporter (6): So you mean the lack of spiritual leadership has driven us to this state of affairs?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Because there have been so many. Just like Bhagavad-gītā, it is standard book. The so-called spiritual leaders, they give different interpretation. Why different interpretation? One interpretation is there. Anyone can understand, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. It is plain thing, Kṛṣṇa says that "You always think of Me." Man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ. "You become My devotee. You just worship Me, offer your... " And Dr. Radhakrishnan says, "It is not to Kṛṣṇa personally." What right he has got to say like that? Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava. Dr. Radhakrishnan says, "It is not to Kṛṣṇa." This is going on. Just see. This is... He is scholar, he is a philosopher. Even Gandhi says that "There was no Kṛṣṇa; it is all mythology." Then? How people will learn it? If Kṛṣṇa because mythology, the Bhagavad-gītā becomes imagination and anyone can interpret in any way, then where is the teaching?
Reporter (7): Are the teachings themself [indistinct].
Prabhupāda: No, no. First of all try to understand that what is the defect. The defect is that malinterpretation, bad interpretation. Interpretation is required when a thing you cannot understand. But if a thing is clearly understood, why you interpret to mislead the leader? That is our protest. It is clearly understood. Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Then what right you have got to say that "It is not to Kṛṣṇa; it is something else"? That has misled our country. Do you admit or not? This misinterpretation. Why should you misinterpret in the Bhagavad-gītā? If you have got a different philosophy, you can write in your own books, but why through Bhagavad-gītā? This is very dangerous. This is very, very dangerous. It has spoiled the whole country. You write your own philosophy. But why do you take advantage of Bhagavad-gītā and misinterpret it and mislead the people? That is my protest.
Reporter (8): [indistinct] Hyderabad project?
Reporter (8): Hyderabad project.
Reporter (8): What is your plan for Hyderabad project?
Prabhupāda: What is that?
Devotee: What is your Hyderabad project?
Prabhupāda: Hyderabad project, that he knows, Mahāṁśa.
Reporter (9): What your goal, to plan now in India? Your goal to plan now in India? How long you will be staying and...?
Prabhupāda: No, I am going to see Bālajī, that's all. Bālajī.
Reporter (9): And then go back to the States?
Prabhupāda: No. I will go to Europe and... I'll go to London, then to Paris, then Germany, then Sweden, and Switzerland. I have got temples there. In Germany we have got four temples. In Sweden we have got. In Switzerland we have got. France we have got. In England we have got four, five.
Reporter (9): No government is placing obstacles?
Prabhupāda: No, they receive it very nicely. They understand that "Swāmījī is doing something nice."
Prabhupāda: Thank you very much.
Devotees: Jaya, Śrīla Prabhupāda! [end]