Revatīnandana: ...then why is any one activity of Kṛṣṇa consciousness better than another one? Why is any one way of serving Kṛṣṇa better than another? For example, the chanting of the sixteen rounds. Suppose that you've gone twenty-three hours of the day serving Kṛṣṇa in one way or another, and the last hour there is opportunity to finish your rounds and also an opportunity to make a Life Member. So instead of chanting your sixteen rounds...

Prabhupāda: But you cannot create your concoction. You have to abide by the orders of Kṛṣṇa.

Revatīnandana: Then why, why would...

Prabhupāda: There is no question of "why." It is the order of Kṛṣṇa's representative. You have to abide by that. You cannot say, "Why?" Then you are not fully surrendered, as soon as you say, "Why?" Surrender means there is no "Why?" It is ordered; it has to be done. That's all. As soon as there is "Why?", there is no surrender.

The basic principle is misguided. We have to follow. Just like we have got tilaka. If you say, "Why this tilaka?" there is no question of "Why?" Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthā [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We have been instructed by the ācāryas; we have to follow that. That is surrender. You cannot say "Why?" Is that clear? As soon as there is "Why?", there is no surrender.

Guest: But suppose one is engaged for his livelihood for eight hours, or ten hours for material purposes...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest: How he will link with Kṛṣṇa during that period?

Prabhupāda: Well, you have got twenty-four hours. For livelihood... Your livelihood, if also... That also should be for Kṛṣṇa. Just like Kṛṣṇa said, yat karoṣi. Yat karoṣi [Bg. 9.27]. That means whatever you do, your livelihood is also... Do it. You do it for Kṛṣṇa. Livelihood, just like we are also living, we are also eating, you are also eating. So what is the difference? You mold your life in such a way that that working for your livelihood would be also Kṛṣṇa's service.

Guest: That should not be for ours.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Guest: That should not be for ours.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa says, kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam, yat karoṣi. "Whatever you do, the result should be given to Me." Do for it. "Do for Me." Yat karoṣi yaj juhoṣi yad aśnāsi yat tapasyasi dadāsi yat [Bg. 9.27]. So this requires training, how everything can be molded for Kṛṣṇa. Therefore guidance required, bona fide spiritual master required. Under his guidance, one has to do.

Ādau gurvāśrayam. In order to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to first of all accept a bona fide spiritual master. Then everything will be done. He is representative of Kṛṣṇa, and to act under his direction means acting under Kṛṣṇa. He knows how to utilize your energy for service of Kṛṣṇa. Ādau gurvāśrayam sad-dharma-pṛcchat sādhu-mārgānugāmanam [Brs 1.1.74].

Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī: he was prime minister. He had no information of Kṛṣṇa, but since he saw... Of course, Rūpa Gosvāmī is eternally Kṛṣṇa's companion, but superficially he was showing that he was a prime minister and he was engaged in Nawab's service. But when he met Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then he decided that "I shall retire from this service and act Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mission." So what did he do?

Whatever money he collected by his service—it was huge amount—fifty percent he immediately spent for Kṛṣṇa. And fifty..., twenty-five percent he gave to the relatives, and twenty-five percent he kept for his emergency expenditure. So this division, fifty percent for Kṛṣṇa means the whole life he acted as a minister, that means he acted for Kṛṣṇa. Because the result is given to Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa says, yat karoṣi kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam. Is it clear?

But our business is... Suppose I am earning for my livelihood. Everyone is working for... Livelihood requires only six annas per day. But he is earning six thousand per day, and he says, "It is my livelihood." Is it not fact? Very, very... Many, many big businessmen, they are earning six thousand per month..., per day. But actually, for his livelihood he requires six annas. Why he's earning six thousand? Then Kṛṣṇa says, "Give it to Me." Yat karoṣi kuruṣva tad mad-arpaṇam.

Guest: In Adhyāya Two of Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa, in one place He has told that karmaṇy evādhikāras te mā phaleṣu kadācana [Bg. 2.47].

Prabhupāda: Huh? Ma phaleṣu kadācana. But don't take the result.

Guest: He has ordered for duty, "You must do whatever you are doing."

Prabhupāda: Yes. So that duty should be performed. Nobody... Just like Arjuna. Arjuna did his duty. He was a fighter, but he fought for Kṛṣṇa. That is his excellence. Is it not? He was a fighter. His duty as a kṣatriya, his duty is to fight. But he fought for Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, everyone can perform his duty. That is also enjoined in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ [SB 1.2.13]. Varṇa and āśrama. There are different kinds of duties. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭha varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya. Everyone has got his particular type of duty, but how he is becoming perfect by performing his duty, that is to be seen whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam.

Guest: How it can be judged that...?

Prabhupāda: That by..., through Kṛṣṇa's representative. He should certify, "Yes. Your duty is nicely performed."

Guest: How he may perfectly judge it? How the person will judge himself that I am doing...?

Prabhupāda: No. He'll not judge. His spiritual master will judge—Kṛṣṇa's representative. He'll not judge. He will make mistake. Therefore, if one has accepted a bona fide spiritual master, that means he is in direct touch with Kṛṣṇa. Transparent media. He has to see Kṛṣṇa through the transparent medium of spiritual master.

Therefore it is imperative, one has to accept a spi... Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreyaḥ uttamam [SB 11.3.21]. And what kind of guru? Śabde pare ca niṣṇataṁ brahmaṇy upāśamāśrayam. So this is a big science. One has to study. One has to understand. The things are there. There is no difficulty.

Guest: Just you have told about liberation, and in Adhyāya to—Kṛṣṇa has told that jīrṇāni vaśtrāni vihāya...

Prabhupāda: Aparāṇi. Navāṇī vaśtrāni aparāṇi, gṛhṇāty aparāṇi.

Guest: Yes. According to that version, one, if the soul was there, soul was there before birth, and after death soul is there, and again the soul is coming in a new shape. So the soul is going on always, changing one body to another body. Then how the soul is liberated? How it will be...

Prabhupāda: Liberated means at the present moment under this material..., in this material world, he is accepting material body, and when he is bona fide servant of Kṛṣṇa, he'll be offered a spiritual body. Just like a soldier. A person, so long he's not a soldier, he does not..., he is not awarded the uniform. But as soon as he accepts the service as a soldier, immediately he is given the uniform.

So you are accepting different bodies in the material world, and that is bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. You are accepting one type of body, it is becoming vanished; again you have to accept another. But as soon as you become perfectly Kṛṣṇa conscious, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9], then, after leaving this body, he does not come to this material world. He is immediately... Mam eti, he transfers. Similarly, he accepts spiritual body.

Is it clear or not? You are accepting material body now, birth after birth. Is it not? That is transmigration. Sometimes you are accepting human body, sometimes you are accepting dog's body, sometimes you are accepting king's body, sometimes you are accepting somebody else. Is it not? Is it clear?

Guest: But Kṛṣṇa has told Arjuna that...

Prabhupāda: First of all, try to clear this. Now, you are accepting different types of body. Is it not a fact?

Guest: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now when you are Kṛṣṇa conscious, you haven't got to accept a material body. You go directly to Kṛṣṇa and accept spiritual body. Then your life is eternal.

Guest: Then again he will not get material...?

Prabhupāda: No. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti. When you are Kṛṣṇa conscious, there is no more accepting material body. Mām eti. And mām eti means whoever goes to Kṛṣṇa, he has as good a body as Kṛṣṇa. That is oneness.

Guest: Then what does it mean when Kṛṣṇa has told Arjuna, in the battlefield, that "Do you think either you or I were not there in the past? And you and I will not be...?"

Prabhupāda: So Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna existed. You are existing. You are eternal. You are simply changing body. So Kṛṣṇa is existing; you are also existing. What is the difficulty to understand this fact? Kṛṣṇa is existing and you are also existing. You are simply changing body, but Kṛṣṇa is not changing body. That is the difference.

Guest: Soul will not merge into that light, Kṛṣṇa's light?

Prabhupāda: What is that merging? You have got that brain, merging.

Guest: I told that... You have told...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Soul is changing body. Why you are talking of merging? You are changing body; you are individual. I am changing body. I may change to a dog's body, you may change to a demigod's body. That is going on. According to one's karma, he is changing body. Now, when you are Kṛṣṇa conscious fully, this change of body will take place also, but that body will be spiritual.

So long you get material body, you have to change, one after another, one after another, one after another. Just like if you have a cheap thing, it goes wrong, you have to purchase another new thing. But if you purchase a real, nice thing it will go, continue for good. Similarly, so long you are getting this cheap body, material body, you have to change. And as soon as you get the most valuable body, spiritual body, there will be no more change. Why don't you understand like that?

So that you have to get. That is very simple. Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam yo jānāti tattvataḥ. One who does not know what is Kṛṣṇa, he thinks that somebody is greater than Kṛṣṇa. But anyone who knows Kṛṣṇa as He is, immediately he gets that permanent body. Simply by knowing Kṛṣṇa.

janma karma me divyam
yo jānāti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mam eti...

[Bg. 4.9]

Is it clear? Yes. So you have to do that. [Prabhupāda is pounding on the table, stressing points] You have simply to understand Kṛṣṇa. The whole problem is solved.

Guest: [Hindi]

Prabhupāda: [Hindi] You cannot concoct. [Hindi] Try to understand Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa can be understood simply by devotional service. Kṛṣṇa says, bhaktya mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55]. [Hindi] If you want to understand Kṛṣṇa, you have to accept this devotional service. You cannot propose any other alternative. It is useless. Don't spoil time. Kṛṣṇa says, bhaktya mām abhijānāti [Bg. 18.55]. And that begins, first of all, surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-dharmān parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. Whatever nonsense you have known, throw away. Simply surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā.

Guest: [Hindi]

Prabhupāda: [Hindi] Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān [Bg. 4.1]. Forty millions of years ago what He did, He remembers. Therefore His maraṇa, His janma is different. [Hindi] He remembers; you do not remember. You sambhava[?], but you do not remember. Why don't you understand the difference between your activities and Kṛṣṇa's activities? That is wanted. Why do you think that "Kṛṣṇa is as good as I am"? Then you'll be able to understand Him.

Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā. As soon as you think that "Kṛṣṇa is as good as I am," then you are mūḍha. "Because He has appeared as a human being, therefore He is as good a human being like me," that is the conclusion of the mūḍha, rascals. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍha mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam, paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto [Bg. 9.11]. He does not know what is Kṛṣṇa. [Hindi] ...bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg. 18.55].

[break] ...understands Kṛṣṇa as He is, then he's allowed to, "Come on. Enter." Not before that.

Guest: What about the argument, not [indistinct], but India we see that every great saint personality has surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, even Mahatma Gandhi?

Prabhupāda: No, no, no, no.

Guest: He was also taking his...

Prabhupāda: No, no. Don't say like that. Surrender of Kṛṣṇa is different. Then you have to understand what is surrender. Mahatma never surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. He surrendered to yourself; therefore you killed him. [Indian laughs] He surrendered to his countrymen, and his countrymen killed him. He was working for his countrymen. That's all. He never worked for Kṛṣṇa.

Guest: But the Gītā was always with him.

Prabhupāda: But, but, no "but." You see from the action.

Guest: I also read Gītā. What's the difference? I mean, Mahatma Gandhi...

Prabhupāda: He never surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. I wrote him letter, "Mahatma Gandhi, you have got so much influence. You just preach the gospel of Kṛṣṇa..., Bhagavad-gītā. Now we have attained svarāj. You don't be in politics." But he was still in politics after attainment of svarāj. And his assistants became disgusted because he was interfering, and therefore he was killed.

And that is open secret. If he would have surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, "All right. Now I have worked for svarāj. My people have got svarāj. Now let me work for Kṛṣṇa..." He never did that. You cannot say that he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. He should have taken immediately sannyāsa and preached Bhagavad-gītā if he was actually surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. What did he do for Kṛṣṇa? We have to know from practical point of view.

I'll tell you another story about Mahatma Gandhi. My Guru Mahārāja invited him in our maṭha, Mahatma Gandhi. So Mahatma Gandhi inquired... The, my Godbrothers went to invite him. "What you are doing in your maṭha?" They replied that "We are worshiping Lord Kṛṣṇa." So he inquired, "Are you pulling on charka?" They said, "No, sir." He said, "Charka is my God. If there is no charka, I am not going there." He said like that.

Devotee: What is charka?

Prabhupāda: Yes, spinning. Because he was spinning daily. Just like you are chanting sixteen rounds, he was spinning sixteen rounds. [laughter] And he said frankly, "Are you spinning charka?" They said, "No, sir." "Oh, then I am not going there. My God is charka." That is practical. We have got experience. And actually he was refusing. Just like we are insisting, "You must chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra sixteen rounds," he was... There were so many charkas daily selling. People took it very seriously. We also took charka and that, what is called?

Devotee: Handloom.

Prabhupāda: Handloom. And there was very good business. So many charkas and that handloom was sold in the shops, because everyone was purchasing and purchasing. And they were stacked and thrown away some time after. So... Because Mahatma Gandhi asked, everyone did. You see? So he also asked our maṭha people that "Are you spinning a charka?"

They said, "No, sir." "Then I am not going." He refused the invitation. Does it mean he surrendered to Kṛṣṇa? He surrendered to charka. That's all. [laughter] And if you say, "Charka[?] is also Kṛṣṇa," oh, there will be no more argument. [laughter]

Guest: [Hindi]

Prabhupāda: Avatāra means avatāran. [Hindi] What is the meaning of descent? What is the meaning of descent?

Yamunā: Descent?

Prabhupāda: Coming down. Coming down. Yes.

Guest: In the sense of quality or in the sense of form?

Prabhupāda: The sense of form. Because your brain is congested with impersonalism, you cannot understand what is spiritual form. That is your defect.

Guest: That is the trouble.

Prabhupāda: Yes. [Hindi] All hodgepodge things should be...

Guest: [Hindi]

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore... [Hindi]

Guest: But this intellect and...

Prabhupāda: What is this intellect? It is ignorance. This is not intellect. It is ignorance. You are accepting something wrong. That is ignorance. Ignorance is jñānavān. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. That is knowledge. This is ignorance. He does not know Kṛṣṇa. And one who does not know Kṛṣṇa, he has no value of his knowledge.

Bhāgavata says, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ [SB 7.5.31]. Knowledge, what is the target of knowledge? To go up to Viṣṇu, to understand. Tad viṣṇuṁ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti surayaḥ [Ṛg Veda]. Those who are actually intelligent, they are simply observing the Viṣṇu form. This is Vedic mantra.

So unless you reach to that point, your knowledge has no value. It is ignorance. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyā-samāvṛtaḥ [Bg. 7.25]. So long you do not understand Kṛṣṇa, that means your knowledge is covered still.

yeśām anta-gataṁ pāpaṁ
janānāṁ punya-karmaṇām
te dvanda-moha-nirmuktā
bhajante māṁ dṛḍha-vratāḥ

[Bg. 7.28]

Ignorance means pāpa. Through ignorance one commits sin. Just like a man kills somebody in ignorance, that he will be killed also he does not know. Just like so many people are killing animals. They do not know that the animal will also kill him. That is ignorance. Just like here the law is "Life for life." If you take one life, then you have to give your life. State law. Is it not?

If you kill somebody, then you'll be killed also. So why not God's law like that? But they are ignorant; they are killing animals. That is ignorance. Killing means sin. Why they are committing this sin? Ignorance. He does not know the law that he will also be killed. Karma-bandhana. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9]. He'll be bound up by his action. And he does not know. That is ignorance.

So this whole world is..., this material world is full of ignorance. Therefore it is called tamasi. Tamasi mā jyotir gama. That ignorance is, I mean to say, dissipated simply by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no other method. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Simply by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that ignorance can be dissipated. Otherwise not. Not possible.

Kṛṣṇa therefore says, sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. Completely eradicated from the platform of ignorance is very rarely to be found. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. There may be so many mahātmās, but such mahātmā who has fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa is very rare. Therefore one who has surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, he is perfect mahātmā, he is perfect yogī.

Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda? Suppose for one who's not completely surrendered, how will he make choices? For example, suppose that there seem to be two different ways of serving Kṛṣṇa...

Prabhupāda: He should consult his spiritual master.

Devotee: Suppose, for example, questions are arising in my mind and I think to myself, "Oh, this question is a foolish question, so I shouldn't waste the spiritual master's time." But on the other hand...

Prabhupāda: No. Don't speculate. You should immediately refer the matter to a spiritual master.

Devotee: Then I would be asking you questions all day long, and you'd have no time to do anything else. [laughter]

Prabhupāda: No. You are welcome. You are welcome.

Devotee: So... Then how do you... Suppose, for example, last night. I was chanting, and then I thought to myself, "Oh, I'm not concentrating on the chanting any more. Now I should go to sleep." Then how...

Prabhupāda: Therefore you are..., we have prescribed rules for chanting. You must finish sixteen rounds, then go to sleep, whole day sleeping. You finish that sixteen rounds and sleep whole day. I have no objection. [laughter]

Devotee: But then...

Prabhupāda: There is no "then." Don't talk nonsense. If you are so much addicted to sleeping, you simply chant sixteen rounds and whole day sleep. But don't take food also. [laughter] Don't get up taking prasādam: "Now I have to honor prasādam. Let me eat sumptuous, then again sleep more."

Devotee: Is there some order of priority in service, then? I mean, sixteen rounds is more important than anything else. And then following that, there's something else.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. If you cannot do anything else, you simply chant sixteen rounds, take prasādam and sleep. [laughter] It is special prerogative for you. There is no "then." This is, this is order for you.

Devotee: In a situation where there's a choice between, say, chanting and reading, is chanting a better activity than reading?

Prabhupāda: Yes, chanting and reading is the same thing.

Devotee: But is one better than the other?

Prabhupāda: No better. That I explained. It is absolute. Either you chant or read, the same thing. But you have to fulfill the sixteen rounds. That's it.

All right. Let us... [end]