...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."]

tapta-kāñcana-gaurāṅgi 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."]

vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

["I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls."]

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda
śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

["I offer my obeisances to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Prabhu Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Gadādhara, Śrīvāsa and all others in the line of devotion."]

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."]

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly participating in today's meeting. And we are known practically all over the world as the Hare Kṛṣṇa people. Wherever we go, they immediately recognize us as the Hare Kṛṣṇa people. So I'll try to speak something about this Hare Kṛṣṇa people.

This Hare Kṛṣṇa people means... Since I started this movement in 1967 in New York, very..., in a small scale... In the beginning... I went there in 1965, and for one year I had no shelter, neither any means to maintain myself. I had some books only, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and some way or other, I pulled on.

In 1966 I started this movement after incorporation in New York under the state religious act, and I began to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in a park in New York. [aside:] What is called? Tompkinson Square. Tompkinson Square. And these young boys and girls, they began to assemble and chant and dance. This is the beginning.

And when one well-known poet... Perhaps you know; he is Mr. Allen Ginsberg. He was also coming and joined with us. In this way, first of all we started our center in New York, Second Avenue, and then gradually expanded in San Francisco, in Montreal, in Boston, Buffalo and Los Angeles. Now we have got fifty-two branches all over the world, including one in Tokyo, one in Hong Kong, in Australia, Sydney.

Now try to understand what is this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. This Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, recently it was started about five hundred years ago by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared in Bengal, West Bengal, in the district of Nadia, about sixty miles north of Calcutta. And He started this movement.

This movement is, of course, not to be understood that Caitanya Mahāprabhu started it, something new. No. It is the oldest, oldest in this sense, that five thousand years ago Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke about this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the Bhagavad-gītā. And if we go further, then from the statement of Bhagavad-gītā we understand it was started about forty millions of years ago.

Because in the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, you'll find, there is a statement given by Lord Kṛṣṇa:

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāhur

[Bg. 4.1]

Vivasvān manave prāhur...

[aside:] Don't sit like that.

...manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt. It is stated by Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself that "First of all I spoke this Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy, yogam..." Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam. And "Vivasvān" means sun-god.

As there is one god in this planet, maybe the president of United States or some other president, the predominating deity, similarly, in every planet there is a predominating deity. And the predominating deity, or the person, in the sun globe is called Vivasvān. So Vivasvān, his son is Manu. Manu means the father of the mankind. Manuṣya. The Sanskrit word, the man, called manuṣya. That means "of Manu." Man or manuṣya, these words have come from Manu. This Manu happened to be the son of Vivasvān. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt.

Vivasvān manave prāhur manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt. And Ikṣvāku was the son. Mahārāja Ikṣvāku was the son of Manu. Therefore, the dynasty coming from Ikṣvāku Mahārāja, in which Lord Rāmacandra appeared, is called Sūrya-vaṁśa, because it is coming from the sun-god. The kṣatriya family, the royal family in India, there are two groups. One is coming from the sun-god, another coming from the moon-god. That is a long history, of course. But the point is that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not new, something manufactured, concocted. It is the oldest, because it is coming from sun-god, and taking it from Manu, it comes to the calculation about forty millions of years ago.

Now, what is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement? The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means the essence of all religious principle. What is religious principle? Religious principle means to abide by the laws given by God. That is called religious principle, simple word. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam [SB 6.3.19]: "Dharma means the codes and the laws given by God." That is dharma, or religion.

Just like in our ordinary life we receive the laws from the state or the king. The word given by the king or the state is accepted as law, and everyone has to abide by the law. Similarly, the order or the principle given by God is called religion. Religion without God is nonsense. Religion... Because religion means the codes of God. So if one does not accept the existence of God, naturally he has no religion. And according to Vedic principle, a man without religion is an animal. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ.

Because in every civilized form of human society, you will find some sort of religion. It may be Christian religion, it may be Hindu religion, it may be Buddhist religion or it may be Muhammadan religion, Jewish religion—it doesn't matter. Any civilized form of human society must have a sort of religion. Otherwise it is animal society.

What is the difference between animal and human being? The animals, they are engaged with the bodily necessities of life, āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunam [Hitopadeśa 25]: eating, sleeping—āhāra nidrā—and defending and sex life. These are the bodily necessities. You have to eat something, you have to sleep for some time, you have to defend yourself from others' attack, and you must have sex enjoyment. These are bodily necessities. So these bodily necessities are there in the human society and the animal society. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etad paśubhiḥ narāṇām.

Then what is the speciality of human society? The speciality of human society is that there must be some form of religion. In the animal society there cannot be any form of religion; therefore the śāstric injunction is that without any form of religion, a human society is animal society. Dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ.

Now, we have to understand what is religion. Religion, as I have already told you, religion means the codes and words given by God, these codes and words coming from God in disciplic succession. According to our Vedic principles... That is the original principles of the world. Because at the present moment the history of the world cannot give any chronological account more than three thousand years. And what was the position of the human society beyond these three thousand years? That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

From Mahābhārata history we can understand that the whole world, this planet, was called Bhārata-varṣa. Now Bhārata-varṣa has come to a limited circle only, but formerly the Bhārata-varṣa was... The whole planet was known as Bhārata-varṣa. There was an emperor of the name Mahārāja Bharata, under whose name, or after his name, this planet is called Bhārata-varṣa. Before that, this planet was known as Ilāvṛta-varṣa.

So the Vedic civilization... I mean to say, before three thousand years, the whole world was under Vedic civilization, the Āryans. The Āryans, at least they were under Vedic civilization. And that Vedic civilization is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One friend was telling me that in Russia the word kṛṣṇa is there, and kṛṣṇa means beautiful. [aside:] Somebody told me? You told me? Yes. And in Greek, I mean to say, what is called, dictionary, there is a word krista. And some of the Christians say that this Christ comes from the word krista.

So there is a link. Of course, those who are philologists, they can find out what is the history of this word. But so far we have studied the history of the world, Kṛṣṇa was known all over the world. Kṛṣṇa was known all over the world. Therefore it is to be understood that everyone was Kṛṣṇa conscious.

So apart from this historical point of view, try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means pure consciousness. Just like water, when it falls down from the cloud, it is pure, and as soon as it drops or mixes with the muddy earth, it becomes muddy; it is no more clear. Similarly, we, as spirit soul, our consciousness is as pure as Kṛṣṇa is pure. And Kṛṣṇa consciousness means that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Gradually, as we contact the material contamination, we become different conscious.

Just like we are sitting, so many ladies and gentleman here. Some of us thinking that "I am American," some of them are thinking that "We are Indian," some of them are thinking "German," or this or that—"I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," "I am white," "I am black." In so many way we are..., our consciousness are polluted.

Actually, my position is, as it is said in the Vedic literature, ahaṁ brahmāsmi: "I am Brahman, or spirit soul." In the Bhagavad-gītā we find that when a person becomes realized as Brahman, means spirit soul... Now I am identifying not with Brahman, but I am identifying with this body: "I am American," "I am Englishman," "I am Indian." Because by accident I have got this Indian body, I may think that "I am Indian." You may have American body; you may think, "I am..." But we are neither American nor Indian. We are pure spirit soul. This is only a outward dress.

Suppose you have got green dress. You don't say that "I am green dress." You say, "I am Mr. John." Similarly, if we say that "I am American," "I am Indian," that is not my real identification. Exactly like that, if somebody says that "I am Mr. Green Dress," "I am Mr. White Dress," as that is not identification, similarly, if I say "I am American" or "I am Indian" or "Englishman," or so many, "Hindus" or "Muslims," that is not my pure identification. My pure identification is that "I am eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, or God." That's all. That is pure identification. When comes to this understanding, that "I am eternal servant of God," that is called brahma-bhūtaḥ stage, ahaṁ brahmāsmi.

And what is the characteristic of that brahma-bhūtaḥ stage? The characteristic of brahma-bhūtaḥ stage is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā by Kṛṣṇa Himself:

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

[Bg. 18.54]

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram

[Bg. 18.55]

So the brahma-bhūtaḥ stage is described that when one realizes his own self, that is called mukti, liberation. As soon as one understands that "I am not this body; I am something different from this body..." That anyone can understand very easily. That's not a very big job.

That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that,

dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
tathā dehāntara-prāptir
dhīras tatra na muhyati

[Bg. 2.13]

Just like in your childhood you were in a body which was called baby or child. Now I am old man. I can remember in my childhood I was so small, but that body is gone. Now I have got a different body. But I am there. This is the understanding.

Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. By changing body, the eternal soul does not, I mean to say, annihilate. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. This understanding is called Brahman understanding, that "I am eternal. I have no birth; I have no death. The birth and death is pertaining to this body. I am changing body from one body to another." This is called brahma-bhūtaḥ understanding. Ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that is.

So when one comes to this understanding, his characteristics will be that he is jolly. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54]. He becomes jolly. In the material stage everyone is morose, full of anxiety, but in the spiritual life he is jolly. Na śocati na kāṅkṣati. What is the characteristic of jolliness? That he does not lament, he does not hanker.

In the material stage we hanker for things which we do not possess, and we lament for things we have lost. But in the brahma-bhūtaḥ stage, as soon as we understand that we are spirit soul, there is no more hankering or lamenting. That is the characteristic of Brahman realization. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]. Then you can think of universal brotherhood.

So long you are under the category of hankering and lamenting, you cannot think of universal brotherhood. That is impossible. Therefore, in spite of so much of conferences in the United Nations, the fighting is going on. The Pakistan is separated on the ground of religion: Hindu, Muslim. Now they are fighting between Muslim and Muslim. Why? Because that disease, hankering and lamenting, is there. It is not brahma-bhūtaḥ stage. And they cannot be on the platform of seeing everyone on equal terms. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. That is not possible.

But samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu means when one is actually on the spiritual platform, he can see everyone on the same category because everyone is spirit soul. Then not only in human society—in other, animal society also... Just like there are 8,400,000 species of life. That means the living entity is passing through different types of bodies. This is called learning. This is called understanding.

Unfortunately, this learning and understanding, there is none throughout the whole world in any university. Therefore whatever education we are getting, that is not real learning. That is not real learning. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]. If one gets actual learning, then he sees equally everyone. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ. Vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini.

So this is a longer subject matter. It is not possible to explain everything what is the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. But the actual fact is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to bring one to his original consciousness. That is the sum and substance. To original consciousness. That original consciousness can be achieved by simple method. What is that? Chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. It is a fact.

Just like we have got so many European and American boys and girls. How they have come to this platform? How they have given up their old habits? Naturally these boys and girls were taught from the beginning of their life so many things which is not accepted in Vedic civilization, but they have now given up. There is no illicit sex life amongst our students. There is no meat-eating, there is no intoxication, including coffee and tea and cigarette, and there is no gambling. And they are practiced to Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra chanting not only as you have seen some of the samples. We have got fifty-two branches. In every branch we have got not less than twenty-five up to hundred.

So this is the brahma-bhūtaḥ stage. It is not story, but it is fact. How it is obtained? It is obtained by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā:

māṁ ca ya avyabhicāriṇi-
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

[Bg. 14.26]

"Anyone who is engaged in devotional service unflinchingly, without any adulteration, he immediately becomes elevated to the brahma-bhūtaḥ stage." Immediately. That is stated.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is neither a new movement nor it is a concocted philosophy. It is based on authorities like Bhagavad-gītā and other Vedic literature. And practically you see how it is effective. Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, these boys and girls, they are elevated. And they have taken the matter very seriously. They are preaching this cult all over the world.

So our request to everyone, that whatever you are doing, it doesn't matter. Please take to this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. That is our only request. You are not losing anything, but you are gaining very much, simply by chanting. It will cleanse your heart. All our misunderstanding is in the heart—all rubbish things we have accumulated after many, many births.

So we have to cleanse this. Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommends by simply chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, your heart will be cleansed. The mirror of your heart will be cleansed. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. And immediately you will be able to extinguish the blazing fire of this material existence. These are the different items of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. And He therefore says, paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam: "All victory to śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam."

So I do not wish to take much of your time. This Hare Kṛṣṇa movement is very nice, authorized, spiritual, simple and sublime, all at a time. If you kindly take this, you will be benefited, and your life will be successful.

Thank you very much. [break]

Acyutānanda: [explaining guest's question:] "We have made the statement that we attain a certain amount of bliss by engaging in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness process. Do we deny the fact that other people have attained similar bliss from doing other things, such as...?"

Indian man: Such as religion and other.

Acyutānanda: Religion?

Indian man: Yeah, religion.

Prabhupāda: The thing is, there are three qualities of men, and each one's feeling of pleasure is different. Just like there are crows and there are swans. The crows take pleasure in a different way, and the swans take pleasure in a different way. That is natural. The crows are different from the swan, although they are birds, but because they are being conducted under different qualities of nature, their propensities are also different. So one may take pleasure by howling and drinking, and one man takes pleasure by chanting and dancing in Hare Kṛṣṇa. It is a different quality only.

So in the Bhagavad-gītā everything is divided into three divisions. There are religions of different qualities, and there are actions of different qualities. Exactly the same example: as there are differences between the crows and the swans, similarly there are different persons in the human society. One class of person, they take pleasure in one class of thing, and another person, they take in a different type. So that divisions will continue so long we are in this material world.

But we are talking of original consciousness. These are contaminated consciousness. When we come to the original consciousness, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are trying to bring everyone to that platform. That is our program.

[break] ...we explain... Just like when the water from the sky drops on the ground, immediately it becomes muddy. Now, if the water drops in too much muddy place, it becomes too much muddy. And if it drops in a clear place, then it remains clear. Similarly, our coming in contact of this material world means we come in contact of the three qualities of matter: sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa.

So if you come in contact with sattva-guṇa, then your position is very clear, just like sunshine, prakāśa. And if you are in rajo-guṇa, then you are very passionate. And if you are in tamo-guṇa, then you are in darkness. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that in whatever quality or modes of nature you are in, if you simply chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, all of you come to this transcendental position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

That is the advantage of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It doesn't matter in what modes of nature and quality you are now existing. If you simply take to this process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra you, if not immediately, but gradually you'll be assured to come to the Kṛṣṇa conscious platform. That is our program. [end]