sábado, 21 de noviembre de 2009

Krsna Talk 98 - The Gift

Fotos de vijay

Festival of Inspiration

Krsna Talk 98 - The Gift
Sri Gopala Dasa Adhikari

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In his Viveka-cudamani, Sri Sankaracarya says,

durlabham trayamevaitat devanugraha-hetukam
manusyatvam mumuksutvam mahapurusa-samsrayahah

"These three are difficult to obtain in this world, and depend on the mercy of God – the human birth, the desire for salvation, and the company of great-souls." (Viveka-cudamani 3)

The jivatma, having come to this material world accepts many different bodies in its journey – tree, bug, bird, animal, human, demigod, etc. Being bound by the body, limited life and karma, the jiva enjoys and suffers the fruits of his activities in every body. The jiva accepts four different types of bodies – svedaja (engendered by sweat and steam: microbes, germs etc), udbhijja (vegetable kingdom), andaja (born from eggs) and jarayuja (born from paramour: human beings and the animal kingdom), over and over and only because of some sukrti, human life is attained. Of the 8,400,000 species of life only in human life can one attempt to understand spiritual knowledge.

Having attained this gift of human life if one does not utilize it to understand the self, the Supreme, the way to go back to Godhead and with determination practice it under the guidance of a real guru, this life is simply wasted. Wealth comes and goes like a dream. Youth withers like a flower. Old age waits like a tiger. Diseases thrash like enemies. In an improperly burnt earthen pot, water is lost without our notice.

Similarly, human life is lost every moment without us realizing it. With yogic power the wind can be stopped, ether can be cut into pieces, waves in the ocean can be collected together and many more never-before occurring things can be done. But death cannot be checked. With the passage of time, earth will be burnt, Mount Meru will melt, and oceans will evaporate. It is no surprise then that this body will vanish. Having drunk the wine of worldly illusion the jiva remains ignorant to the truth of life. He sees others around him suffering and dying every day but still lives as though he is eternal.

Of the hundred years of human life, half is spent in sleep, twenty years in childhood and twenty years in old age. In the remaining time, when he is strong and capable, the unintelligent man spends his morning in cleaning his body, day time in working hard to maintain his family and social status and spends the night in sex and sleep. Like this his entire life is spent wastefully. The jiva thinks that wife, children, wealth and relatives are his. He thinks, "I have done so much and so much more has to be done". As he is engrossed in thinking like this, death jumps like a wolf on the sheep-like jiva and drags him away to hell.

Therefore self-realization has to be done now; pious activities have to be performed now. Because death does not wait for anyone thinking this person is planning to do all this. Old age shows the way towards death. When one gets old he should understand that soon he will die. The enemy called death marches towards us aided by soldiers called diseases. Only the Supreme Lord Sri Hari can protect a jiva from death. Sri Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita:

svalpamapy asya dharmasya
trayate mahato-bhayat

What is this mahato-bhaya (greatest danger) for every jiva? It is indeed death because death takes him away from his loved body and the loved ones to an unknown destination. He gets scared at this thought about death and feels totally insecure and lost.

Like a lump of flesh, cut by the weapon of desire, mixed with the ghee of senses, cooked in the fire of attachment and aversion, death eats away the man. The young, the old, the children, the one in a womb — are all consumed by death. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending are equally available for all animals. Only a human being can know by his intelligence what is good for him and what is not. If he does not understand this he is considered equal to an animal.

We have this human life for a short time. This world is duhkhalayam (full of miseries) and asasvatam (temporary). Therefore when one has sound mind and sound senses, one should do the activities of self-realization. Prahlada Maharaja in his instructions to his young schoolmates says:

kaumara acaret prajno
dharman bhagavatan iha

Right from age of eight one has to perform devotional activities in the footsteps of great devotes of Sri Krsna. An old adage in English goes – "What you learn at eight remains till eighty."

In the association of saintly persons, one can understand the purpose of human life. Association of saintly persons and intelligence are the two eyes of a manwithout which he is blind. Attracted by karma-kanda, people chant so many mantras, perform many rituals and fire sacrifices (homa and yajna) and punish their body with severe fasting and other austerities. Bewildered by mahamaya (worldly illusion) and bereft of proper knowledge of the absolute and the purpose of human life, these people are uselessly punishing their body and wasting their life. Having long matted hair and a big beard does not make one guru or yogi. One does not become a yogi just by living all his life on the banks of Ganga. If it was so, the fish and frogs living in her waters would become yogis. One does not become tapasvi by giving up food and living only on water. If it was so, the cataka bird and paravata bird who never drink water on the earth would become tapasvis.

Trying to search for the Supreme Brahman, people fall in the blind well of sad-darsanas (the six philosophies of India). Of the sad-darsanas, the first is the Vaisheshika philosophy of Kanada Rsi. According to him, everything is made of atoms. So many atomic particles have combined and produced this world by chance, with no necessity of any reason, rhyme, consciousness, nothing of the kind. And the outcome of these combinations has produced what we find here.

Kapila Rsi has come with the Sankhya philosophical system of analysis saying, "Analyze matter, and you will be free from all this pain."

Patanjali Rsi has come with Yoga, "Hey, jivatma! Come to meet Paramatma! Then all the problems of this world will go away from you. Come in connection with Paramatma, the Supersoul."

Gautama Rsi comes with logic, nyaya-sastra: "There is one Maker, one Creator, but He is indifferent. He has created the world, finished, and left it. And you must try to live with the help of your reason. Be a good logician, and then you will be able to control the environment with the power of reason and you will be happy."

Jaimini's Karma-mimamsa says "There may be One who has connected us with this world and our karma, but karma is all in all. He has got no hold on us any longer. According to our karma we shall thrive or we shall go down. So, stick to karma, good karma; don't go to bad karma. There is God. He is bound to serve you according to your karma. He has no independence."

Buddha says, "Only the combination of different things has created your mental system. So with the dissolution of the mental system, nothing remains. So, somehow we must dissolve the mental system. Practice ahimsa, nonviolence, satyam, truthfulness, and so on."

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his song: Kesava! tuya jagata vicitra, talks about these six philosophies and then says, "But I have come to realize that these fellows are all cheaters. And they all have this common stand: they have no touch of your devotion, your service. There, they are one. They cannot deliver any real good. They are common to oppose your devotional service and supremacy. And ultimately they leave us in chaos."

Concluding the song, Bhaktivinoda Thakura says, "I bid goodbye to them all. I feel in my heart that I shall show respect to all these so-called good agents from a distance, however my only real capital is the dust of the holy feet of your devotees. I rely on that dust as the source of all my prospects. I seek to put all my energy into taking the dust of their holy lotus feet upon my head. This is everything for me."

Some people read the Vedas, Vedanta, Puranas and so many other scriptures and preach to people. They are called jnanis by the ignorant public. In spite of their vast reading they fall short of understanding the essence of all the Vedika knowledge like the serving spoon that does not know the taste of the dish that it serves.

Sri Kaviraja Gosvami says: bahu sastre bahu vakye chitta bhrama haya – reading many scriptures and hearing too many people will simply confuse the mind. In this regard there is a verse in Garuda Purana.

anekani ca sastrani svalpayuhu vighnakutayaha
tasmatsaram vijaniyat ksiram hamsa ivambhasi

"There are many sastras but a short life span. Even in that short human life there are many troubles and difficulties. Therefore, like a hamsa (swan) bird that takes only milk from the mix of milk and water, only the essence of all scriptures has to be taken."

Pariksit Maharaja, being cursed by the brahmana that he would live only seven more days, approached Sri Suka Mahamuni and asked him how he must spend the remaining seven days of his life. Sri Suka Muni, a self-realized soul, an avadhuta and a great devotee of Sri Hari spoke Srimad Bhagavatam to the king continuously for seven days. He could just as well have spoken from other Puranas, Vedas or Upanisads, but he chose to speak the Srimad Bhagavatam. This drives home the point that Srimad Bhagavatam is the sum and substance of all transcendental knowledge in this world.

And what does Srimad Bhagavatam talk about? It talks only about the sweet pastimes of Lord Hari, His glories, His activities and His all-merciful devotees. Therefore Sri Caitanya Deva says that Srimad Bhagavatam is the natural commentary on Vedanta-sutra and He held this book close to His heart. King Pariksit was fortunate enough to know when his death would come. We ordinary mortals only know that our death is certain. It may come right now, next moment, a month later or after. The message, however, from King Pariksit's life is that human life is meant only for serving the Supreme Lord Sri Hari by any or all nine processes of bhakti, namely hearing the glories of Lord Hari (sravanam) and chanting those glories (kirtanam), constantly remembering Him (smaranam) and offering prayers to Him (vandanam), serving the Lord's lotus feet (pada-sevanam), serving the supreme Lord as a servant (dasyam), worshipping Him with flowers and incense and so forth (arcanam), serving Him as a friend (sakhyam) and completely offering the Lord one's very self (atma-nivedanam). This life is meant for nothing else, absolutely nothing.

Understanding this, one has to approach a bona-fide guru who is well versed in the science of Krsna and lives outside the consideration of varnasrama (jaiva-dharma). Such a guru instructs his disciple about:

(a) Knowledge of one's relationship with the Supreme Lord, the living entity, the material world and the relationships between them (sambandha-jnana) (b) The process of achieving the goal of life (abhidheya) (c) The goal of life itself (prayojana). After receiving this knowledge, a living entity needs no other knowledge. All kinds of scientific and theoretical knowledge of this world are automatically known to Him. (Sajjana-tosani)

Based on the time (kala), place (desa) and circumstance (sthiti), the guru will appropriately engage his disciple in the service of Sri Hari and His devotees. When the disciple follows the instructions of such a guru with sincerity, determination and humility, his life will be successful. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:

brahmanda brahmite kona bhagyavana jiva
guru krsna prasade paya bhakti lata bija

"Millions of souls are wandering in the universe from planet to planet and body to body. Among them only the most fortunate one, by the mercy of guru and Krsna, gets the gift of seed of creeper of devotion (bhakti-lata)." (Cc. Madhya 19.151)

Let us preserve this priceless gift and nourish it in our heart so that the seed sprouts and the creeper of bhakti grows, piercing through all the universes and finally touching the lotus feet of Sri Krsna in Goloka Vrndavana where it bears the fruit of krsna-prema, spontaneous and unconditional love for Sri Krsna, the ultimate goal of life.











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Sundara Kanda: Scenes from the Ramayana War

Fotos de vijay

Festival of Inspiration

Sundara Kanda: Scenes from the Ramayana War

By Author Unknown | Published 11/19/2009
Category: Articles on Hinduism
Article Viewed 1557 Times
Rating: Unrated

Stricken Rama and Laksman with Sita, in a Grove
Ramayana Illustration, Jammu & Kashmir, Bahu, c. 1700

The Sundara Kanda, the fifth book in the Ramayana, focuses mainly on the adventures of Sri Hanuman, and the story is as follows: Hanuman meets Rama during the latter's 14-year exile in the forest. With his brother Lakshmana, Rama is searching for his wife Sita, who had been abducted by Ravana. Their search brings them to the vicinity of the mountain Rishyamukha, where Sugriva, along with his followers and friends, are in hiding from his elder brother Vali, with whom he had quarrelled over a mistake.

Having seen Rama and Lakshmana, Sugriva sends Hanuman to ascertain their identities. Hanuman approaches the two brothers in the guise of a brahmin. His first words to them are such that Rama says to Lakshmana that none could speak the way the brahmin did unless he or she had mastered the Vedas. He notes that there is no defect in the brahmin's countenance, eyes, forehead, brows, or any limb. He points out to Lakshmana that his accent is captivating, adding that even an enemy with sword drawn would be moved. He praises the disguised Hanuman further, saying that sure success awaited the king whose emissaries were as accomplished as he was.

When Rama introduces himself, Hanuman reveals his own identity and falls prostrate before Rama, who embraces him warmly. Thereafter, Hanuman's life becomes interwoven with that of Rama. Hanuman then brings about a friendship and alliance between Rama and Sugriva; Rama helps Sugriva regain his honour and makes him king of Kishkindha. Sugriva and his vanaras, most notably Hanuman, help Rama defeat Ravana and reunite with Sita.

In their search for Sita, a group of Vanaras reaches the southern seashore. Upon encountering the vast ocean, every Vanara begins to lament his inability to jump across the water. Hanuman too is saddened at the possible failure of his mission, until the other Vanaras and the wise bear, Jambavantha, begin to extol his virtues. Hanuman then recollects his own powers, enlarges his body, and flies across the ocean. On his way, he encounters a mountain that rises from the sea, proclaims that it owed his father a debt, and asks him to rest a while before proceeding. Not wanting to waste any time, Hanuman thanks the mountain and carries on. He then encounters a sea-monster, Surasa, who challenges him to enter her mouth. When Hanuman outwits her, she admits that her challenge was merely a test of his courage. After killing Simhika, a rakshasa, he reaches Lanka.

Locating Sita

Hanuman reaches Lanka and marvels at its beauty. He also regrets that it might be destroyed if Rama engages in battle with Ravana. After he finds Sita, sitting depressed in captivity in a garden, Hanuman reveals his identity to her, reassures her that Rama has been looking for her, and uplifts her spirits. He offers to carry her back to Rama; but she refuses his offer, saying it would be an insult to Rama, as his honour is at stake.

After meeting Sita, Hanuman begins to wreak havoc, gradually destroying the palaces and properties of Lanka. He kills many rakshasas, including Jambumalli and Akshaa. To subdue him, Ravana's son Indrajit uses the Brahmastra. Though immune to the effects of this weapon, Hanuman, out of respect to Brahma, allows himself be bound.

Deciding to use the opportunity to meet Ravana, and to assess the strength of Ravana's hordes, Hanuman allows the rakshasa warriors to parade him through the streets. He conveys Rama's message of warning and demands the safe return of Sita. He also informs Ravana that Rama would be willing to forgive him if he returns Sita honourably. Enraged, Ravana orders Hanuman's execution, whereupon Ravana's brother Vibheeshana intervenes, pointing out that it is against the rules of engagement to kill a messenger.

Ravana then orders that Hanuman's tail be lit afire. As Ravana's forces attempted to wrap cloth around his tail, Hanuman begins to lengthen it. After frustrating them for a while, he allows it to burn, then escapes from his captors. With his tail on fire, he burns down large parts of Lanka. After extinguishing his flaming tail in the sea, he returns to Rama.

Lifting a Mountain

When Lakshmana is severely wounded by Indrajit during the war against Ravana, Hanuman is sent to fetch the Sanjivani, a powerful life-restoring herb from the Dronagiri mountain in the Himalayas, to revive him. Ravana realises that if Lakshmana dies, a distraught Rama might give up, and so he has his uncle Kalnaimi tempt Hanuman away with luxury. Hanuman is tipped off by a crocodile (actually a celestial being under a curse) and kills Kalnaimi. When he is unable to find the specific herb before nightfall, Hanuman takes the entire Dronagiri mountain to the battlefield in Lanka, thus helping others find the herb to revive Lakshmana. An emotional Rama hugs Hanuman, declaring him as dear to him as his own beloved brother Bharat.

The Patala Incident

In another incident during the war (which brought about Hanuman's Panchamukha form), Rama and Lakshmana are captured by the rakshas, Mahiravana (and his brother Ahiravana), a powerful practitioner of the dark arts, who holds them captive in his palace in Patalpuri, or Patala (the nether world). Mahiravan keeps them as offerings to his deity. Searching for them, Hanuman reaches Patala, whose gates are guarded by a young creature called Makardhwaja (known also as Makar-Dhwaja or Magar Dhwaja), who is part reptile and part Vanara.

The story of Makardhwaja's birth is said to be that when Hanuman had extinguished his burning tail in the ocean, a drop of his sweat had fallen into the waters and eventually become Makardhwaja, who perceives Hanuman as his father. When Hanuman introduces himself to Makardhwaja, the latter asks his blessings, but fights him to fulfill the task of guarding the gate. Hanuman defeats and imprisons him to gain entry.

Upon entering Patala, Hanuman discovers that to kill Mahiravana, he must simultaneously extinguish five lamps burning in different directions. Hanuman assumes the Panchamukha or five-faced form of Sri Varaha facing north, Sri Narasimha facing south, Sri Garuda facing west, Sri Hayagriva facing the sky and his own facing the east, and blows out the lamps. Hanuman then rescues Rama and Lakshmana. Afterwards, Rama asks Hanuman to crown Makardhwaja as King of Patalpuri.

Bharata's Vow

When the war ends, Rama's 14-year exile has almost elapsed. Rama then remembers Bharata's vow to immolate himself if Rama does not return to rule Ayodhya immediately, on completion of the stipulated period. Realising that it would be a little later than the last day of the 14 years when he would reach Ayodhya, Rama is anxious to prevent Bharata from giving up his life. Hanuman therefore flies to Ayodhya to inform Bharata that Rama is on his way home.

Shortly after he is crowned Emperor upon his return to Ayodhya, Rama decides to ceremoniously reward all his well-wishers. At a grand ceremony in his court, all his friends and allies take turns being honoured at the throne. Hanuman approaches without desiring a reward. Seeing Hanuman come up to him, an emotionally overwhelmed Rama embraces him warmly, declaring that he could never adequately honour or repay Hanuman for the help and services he received from the noble Vanara. Sita, however, insists that Hanuman deserved honour more than anyone else, and asks him to seek a gift. Upon Hanuman's request, Sita gives him a necklace of precious stones adorning her neck. When he receives it, Hanuman immediately takes it apart, and peers into each stone. Taken aback, many of those present demand to know why he is destroying the precious gift. Hanuman answers that he was looking into the stones to make sure that Rama and Sita are in them, because if they are not, the necklace is of no value to him. At this, a few mock Hanuman, saying his reverence and love for Rama and Sita could not possibly be as deep as he implies. In response, Hanuman tears his chest open, and everyone is stunned to see Rama and Sita literally in his heart.

Hanumad Ramayana

After the victory of Rama over Ravana, Hanuman went to the Himalayas to continue his worship of the Lord. There he scripted a version of the Ramayana on the Himalayan mountains using his nails, recording every detail of Rama's deeds. When Maharishi Valmiki visited him to show him his own version of the Ramayana, he saw Hanuman's version and became very disappointed.

When Hanuman asked Valmiki the cause of his sorrow, the sage said that his version, which he had created very laboriously, was no match for the splendour of Hanuman's, and would therefore, go ignored. At this, Hanuman discarded his own version, which is called the Hanumad Ramayana.

Maharishi Valmiki was so taken aback that he said he would take another birth to sing the glory of Hanuman, which he had understated in his version. Later, one tablet is said to have floated ashore during the period of Mahakavi Kalidasa, and was hung at a public place to be deciphered by scholars. Kalidasa is said to have deciphered it and recognised that it was from the Hanumad Ramayana, recorded by Hanuman in an extinct script, and he considered himself very fortunate to see at least one pada of the stanza.

After the Ramayana War

After the war, and after reigning for several years, the time arrived for Rama to depart to his heavenly abode. Many of Rama's entourage, including Sugriva, decided to depart with him. Hanuman, however, requested to remain on earth as long as Rama's name was venerated by people. Sita accorded Hanuman that desire, and granted that his image would be installed at various public places, so he could listen to people chanting Rama's name.

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Srila Prabhupada speaks on: Sanctity for the Sinful

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"Sanctity for the Sinful"

June 29, 1976


Smoke: this is tapasya. And they are smoking before teacher. No offense. What you'll expect from such student? Animal civilization. This is not civilization. No tapasya, no brahmacari. Tapo divyam [SB 5.5.1]. And tapasya begins from brahmacari. Tapasa brahmacaryena samena [SB 6.1.13], to control. Brahmacari guru-grhe vasan dantah. How to control senses, that is the beginning of life. Not ABCD learning and maybe your character may be less than an animal's, and you have got a degree of the university. You become a learned man. No. That is not accepted. Even from moral instruction, who is educated? That is described by Canakya Pandit.

matrvat para-daresu

para-dravyesu lostravat

atmavat sarva-bhutesu

yah pasyati sa panditah

Here is pandita. That is learned man. Panditah sama-darsinah. Vidya-vinaya-sampanne brahmane gavi [Bg. 5.18]. He is learned man. Not this degree holder. A degree holder, he has no tapasya, he has no character and his knowledge is called mayayapahrta-jnana. Although he has learned so many things, but maya has taken away his knowledge. He's a rascal. He's animal. This is Vedic civilization. [break]

Pusta Krsna: Question number twelve. "What is the role of rituals in religion? Are they to be discouraged as it is being advocated by some reformists or are they to be encouraged? If so, in what form? What is the role of rituals in religion?"

Prabhupada: Ritual is a practice based on tapasya. Unless one undergoes the ritualistic ceremony, he remains unclean. But in this age, because it is practically impossible to induce people to take all these ritualistic processes, therefore it is recommended that "Chant Hare Krsna maha-mantra." That is special advantage of this age, that by constant chanting of Hare Krsna maha-mantra he automatically becomes purified. That is recommendation given by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. The beginning is cleansing the heart, because we are impure on account of dirty things within our heart accumulated life after life in the animalistic way of life. So everything, advancement of spiritual life, culture, tapasya means cleansing the heart. So this process, chanting the maha-mantra, the first installment of benefit is cleansing the heart. Ceto-darpana-marjanam. And when the heart is cleansed, then he becomes eligible for being free from the clutches of maya or the materialistic way of life. When he understands that he is not this body, he's spirit soul, his business is different, and he understands that "I am engaged only in these bodily comforts of life, it is not at all essential because it will change. Today I am in American body, I have got so many duties as American. Tomorrow I may be American dog body. So immediately my duty changes. So that is not my real business. My real business is how to elevate myself as spirit soul to the spiritual world, back to home, back to Godhead." Then he changes his... Ceto... Bhava... Then this materialistic activity is stopped. He is no more interested, that "This is simply waste of time." That is knowledge, that "I am simply acting for the benefit and comfort of the body. This is simply waste of time. I must act spiritually." That is called ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12], cleansing the heart. He is wrongly working on the basis of bodily concept of life. That illusion is over simply by chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra. This is the first installment, ceto-darpana-marjanam, and bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. Then he is in the process to stop the blazing fire of material existence. Then vidya-vadhu-jivanam anandambudhi-vardhanam. Then the ocean of transcendental bliss increases. Anandambudhi-vardanam sarvatmanam snapanam. Wholesale blissful life. Param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam. All glories to the chanting of Krsna sankirtana. Then the other processes... That is described in the Siksastaka. So this is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's gift, that kevalaya bhaktya. All the practices of austerities, penances, and mystic yoga, and so on, so on. There are so many things. Everything will be totally achieved simply by chanting Hare Krsna mantra. Bhakti.

kecit kevalaya bhaktya


agham dhunvanti kartsnyena

niharam iva bhaskarah

[SB 6.1.15]

Just like when there is sunrise, immediately the all-pervading fog disappears. Now this Kali-yuga, by bhakti-yoga, especially by chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one can be fully reformed and come to spiritual platform, and that is success of life.

Pusta Krsna: The next question kind of relates a little bit in the same direction. Question thirteen. "There are various samskaras prescribed in the life of a Hindu right from his birth to death."

Prabhupada: Yes.

Pusta Krsna: "Many of these samskaras are not being observed today. Should they be revived?"

Prabhupada: Samskara... The real aim is to bring the rascal to the platform of knowledge. That is called samskara. Janmana jayate sudra. By birth everyone is the same, sudras, means without any knowledge. But the samskara means sudra, rascal, without any knowledge of spiritual life, to gradually bring him to the spiritual platform. That is called samskara. And samskarad bhaved dvijah. That is essential. The human life is the opportunity for understanding what he is and what is the aim of his life. The aim of life is back to home, back to Godhead. We are part and parcel of God. Somehow or other we are in this material existence. So aim is again come to our spiritual life, spiritual existence, where there is no struggle for existence, blissful, happy life. Because actually we want happiness, blissful life. That is not possible in the material world. That is in the spiritual world. That is the aim. So every human being should be given chance. That is real education. That is called samskara. So these samskara, there are dasa-vidha-samskarah... So in this age it is very difficult, but if one chants Hare Krsna maha-mantra without any offense, being trained up by the spiritual master, all the samskaras automatically become done and he comes to his original spiritual position, aham brahmasmi, "I am spirit soul. The Krsna is Param Brahman, and I am Brahman." As Arjuna said, param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. Krsna is also Brahman, I am also Brahman. But He's Supreme Brahman, I am minute Brahman. So my business is to serve Krsna. That is teachings of Lord Caitanya, jivera 'svarupa' haya (sic:) nitya krsna-dasa [Cc. Madhya 20.108]. So if he engages himself in his original spiritual business, to act as the servant of Krsna, then all reformation is done. So that advantage is given in this age: kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param... [SB 12.3.51]. Reformatory process is meant for purifying him so he becomes mukta-sangah. Mukta-sangah means liberated from all this bad association of material existence. And he becomes eligible to go back to home, back to Godhead. So this is the special advantage. The question is "Whether they should be revived?" They should be revived to the lowest necessity, but all of them cannot be revived in this age. But people should be induced to take to chanting Hare Krsna maha-mantra. Then all reformation will automatically become manifest and he will come to spiritual platform, brahma-bhutah, the realization of Brahman. Then prasannatma, he'll be happy. There is no lamentation, there is no undesirable hankering. Na socati na kanksati. He sees everyone on the spiritual platform. Samah sarvesu bhutesu. In this way he comes to the platform of devotional service, and then his life becomes successful. Is that question answered or not?

Pusta Krsna: Yes. Just one question I have. You said that the samskaras should be revived to the lowest?

Prabhupada: The minumum possible way. Just like to make him a brahmana. So to become a brahmana these four things are essential: no illicit sex, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling. This must be there. You cannot avoid wholesale.

Pusta Krsna: Cannot avoid?

Prabhupada: Wholesale. You must avoid at least sinful activities.

yesam tv anta-gatam papam

jananam punya-karmanam

te dvandva-moha-nirmukta

bhajante mam drdha-vratah

[Bg. 7.28]

You cannot become a devotee unless you are completely sinless. So to become completely sinless you have to begin with these four prohibitory injunctions, or avoid sinful activities like illicit sex, meat-eating, smoking, intoxication and gambling. Then you'll be gradually completely sinless. One side, to practice things, and another side, to engage yourself in devotional service. To engage oneself devotional service under the order of spiritual master and the sastra means to remain on the transcendental platform. Transcendental platform means there is no sinful activity. It is above. Sinful.... Pious and sinful activities are there so long you are on the material platform. Good and bad. Piety and sinful. But when you are on the transcendental platform, then you are automatically without sin.

mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena

bhakti-yogena yah sevate

sa gunan samatityaitan

brahma-bhuyaya kalpate

[Bg. 14.26]

Sin, life of vice and life of piety, they are within this material world. But when one is spiritually engaged, he is above the spiritual plane. Sa gunan samatityaitan brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. So one side, voluntarily accepting these prohibitory process.... You can keep it open. (the door)

Hari-sauri: Tell him to leave the door open.

Prabhupada: So the whole thing is that if you chant hare Krsna maha-mantra and give up these sinful activities, automatically you become reformed, come to the spiritual platform, and in this way your life will become successful.

Pusta Krsna: Can we go on to the next question, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: Hm.

Pusta Krsna: Question fourteen. "It is said that the karma-kanda in the Vedas has almost gone out of use, except for a few rites which remain in vogue for marriage, sraddhas, etc. Is it advisable to revive the karma-kanda with its stress on the performance of various yajnas?"

Prabhupada: So that is not possible in this... Taking consideration of the time, circumstances, it is not possible. There are different kinds of karma-kandiya-yajna. It is expensive also and there is no expert brahmana to guide how to perform this yajna. So Kali-yuga, it is not possible to perform yajnas. Krte yad dhyayato visnum tretayam yajato makhaih [SB 12.3.52]. In the Treta-yuga yajnas were possible. Dvapare paricaryayam kalau tad dhari-kirtanat, that in this age of Kali-yuga the real yajna is hari-kirtana. Yajnaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi su-medhasah [SB 11.5.32]. Therefore those who are intelligent, having good brain substance, they take to this yajna, sankirtana-yajna. And practically we are experiencing, simply by sankirtana-yajna, even the lowest person in the sinful activities, he is becoming purified. So karma-kanda is, to revive them in this age is not possible. Neither jnana-kanda. That is also not possible. People are so fool and rascal that it is impossible. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura said... He has condemned karma-kanda, jnana-kanda. Even it is properly done. Karma-kanda, by performing ritualistic ceremonies of karma-kanda, you can go to the heavenly planet. But what is the benefit there? You can enjoy there materialistic way of life in higher standard. That's all. You can live for a very, very long duration of period. But that does not mean that you become immortal. The demigods, they are called amara. Amara means they have got very long duration of life. Does not mean he is immortal. So by karma-kanda you can elevate yourself to the higher planetary system. Even it is properly done... And now it is not possible to do it properly. And even it is properly done, that is condemned. It is not required. Similarly jnana-kanda. Even it is properly done... You can merge yourself into the Brahman effulgence. But that is also not safe because in the sastra we see that aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adhah [SB 10.2.32]. Even one merges oneself into the impersonal Brahman, he again falls down. Patanty adhah. We have seen practical, in India many sannyasis, they elevate themselves by jnana-kanda, but because they cannot stay, they again come to the karma-kanda, philanthropy activities and hospitals and schools. That is their fall down. So either in karma-kanda or jnana-kanda you cannot achieve the real purpose of life. Therefore Narottama dasa Thakura has said, karma-kanda jnana-kanda sakali visera bandha. Either you accept karma-kanda or jnana-kanda, they're different pots of poison. Amrta boliya jeba khai. If by mistake you take poison, death is inevitable. Similarly, by karma-kanda, jnana-kanda nobody can derive any actual benefit. By upasana-kanda, that is the... The Vedas, Vedic ritualistic ceremony means there are three kandas: karma-kanda, jnana-kanda, and upasana-kanda. So upasana-kanda, there are recommendation of many, worship of many demigods. But the best upasana is Visnupasana. Visnor aradhanam sarvesam. Visnor aradhanam param. Om tad visnum paramam padam. There are different types of upasana recommendation, but the visnor aradhanam, worshiping Lord Visnu, that is the Supreme. That is Supreme. So gradually, there is elevation to karma-kanda, jnana-kanda, upasana-kanda, but in the Kali-yuga all these things are not possible to revive. Best directly give him the best upasana-kanda, Visnupasana, bhakti, everything will be automatically achieved by bhakti-marga.

Pusta Krsna: The next question, Srila Prabhupada, fifteen. "Hinduism has been defined as a way of life."

Prabhupada: Yes. Actually it is the way. That, I have already described it. It is not a sectarianism like Muslimism, Christianism or "Thisism..." Hinduism also now one of them. Actually, it is a way of life, varnasrama-dharma, how to become elevated to the spiritual platform. So that begins by the varnasrama-dharma, to select persons according to his capacity to different varnas. Some of them selected, trained as brahmanas. Some of them trained as ksatriya, some of them as vaisya, some of them as, remain... Those who cannot take any training, they are sudras. So in the ways (indistinct) there must be social division not by birth, but by education. Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]. That we have lost. The so-called Hinduism they have lost. And because they did not follow real varnasrama-dharma, therefore India, so many renegades, Muslim became... Once they become Muslim, there was no reformation. But according to Vedic principle, even one is fallen, he can be raised to the highest standard. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah [Bg. 9.32]. One may... Samskarad bhaved dvija. And Sanatana Gosvami says that

yatha kancanatam yati

kamsyam rasa-vidhanatah

tatha diksa-vidhanena

dvijatvam jayate nrnam

As by chemical process the bell metal can be turned into gold by adding with the mercury.... This is a chemical process. If you can add in the bell metal proportionately mercury, then it will turn into gold. Here is the process given in the sastra. If you are able to do it, you can do it, turn gold some of these bell metals. So the example is given that as the bell metal, base metal, can be turned into gold by chemical process, similarly, by diksa-vidhanena, by proper initiation by the bona fide spiritual master, everyone can be turned into dvija, twice-born. Dvijatvam jayate nrnam. Nrnam means all men. It is not there is no discrimination, that only the Hindus, only the Indians, or only the so-called brahmanas can be turned. Everyone can be turned. That is the injunction. So this Krsna consciousness movement is trying to do that, trying everyone to become a bona fide brahmana. Without becoming a brahmana you cannot become Vaisnava. So this reformatory process is recommended in the sastras. What is the question?

Pusta Krsna: Hinduism has been defined as a way of life. In...

Prabhupada: Yes, this is the way of life, that by reformatory process recommended in the sastras one should be elevated to the position of brahmana, ksatriya, vaisyas, and sudra. Sudra means one who cannot take any reformation. But one who can take up the reformation, he can be situated as a brahmana, as a ksatriya, as a vaisya. This is not by birth, but by education, by training. That is recommended for the all human society. Not for the Hindus or... Otherwise, why Krsna says papa-yoni? Papa-yoni. Striyo vaisyas tatha sudras. They are also taken as papa-yoni. And what to speak of the sudras and candalas? They must be papa-yoni. Only the brahmana, ksatriya, they are taken as highly elevated. But nowadays, kalau sudra-sambhavah. In this age you cannot distinguish who is brahmana, who is ksatriya, who is a vaisya, who is a sudra. It is accepted that everyone is a sudra because there is no reformation. So according to Pancaratriki-vidhi everyone should be given the chance of becoming a Vaisnava, a dvija. And that is recommendation in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, that by the proper initiation process everyone can be brought into the platform of dvija, twice-born, and then he becomes... After initiation, his second birth is there. Samskarad bhaved dvijah. Then he's allowed to read the scripture. Veda-pathad bhaved viprah. He becomes vipra. Then when he really comes to the knowledge of Brahman, his relationship with Brahman, and acts accordingly, then he is brahmana. And when he is perfectly situated in the eternal relationship with God, Visnu, then he becomes a Vaisnava. That is perfection of life.

Pusta Krsna: Is this practical in the present context?

Prabhupada: Yes. We are doing it. See. If anyone has eyes to see they can see how we are accepting the papa-yoni, so-called papa-yoni to become the topmost Vaisnava, that is possible. Unless it is possible how it is being done all over the world? There is no consideration. The process is so effective that it is being done. They are taking it as a proselytization. But it is not proselytizing. Proselytization is superflous. If one is Hindu you make him a Christian, and you change the name. But what is the use of changing the name if you do not reform him about his character? Simply changing the name from Hindu to Muslim or Muslim to Christian, that does not make him better...

Pusta Krsna: This next question is rather interesting. Question sixteen. "Is it not possible for all sections of Hindus, be they Advaitans, Dvaitans, or visistadvaitans, to come together instead of remaining isolated as warring factions?"

Prabhupada: Yes. Dvaita and advaita. This is the process of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to bring all the dvaitas and advaitas in one platform. To understand that he is essentially servant of God. The Advaitas, they are wrongly thinking that he is God himself. That is wrong, or not the proper way of thinking. How you can become God? God is sad-aisvarya-purnam, full with six opulences, all-powerful, all-strenght, all-beauty, all opulent. So this is artificial, to think to become God. And... This is Advaita. And Dvaitas, they think that one is different from God, God is separate from the living entity. But actually, from the Bhagavad-gita we understand that God is always the Supreme and the living entities, they are subordinate. And in the Vedas also it is said, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Katha Upanisad 2.2.13). Both of them are living entities, but God is the chief. The difference between the two, that God maintains other living entities. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. That is a fact. We are maintained and God is the maintainer. We are predominated, we are not independent, and God is predominator. But because the predominated living entities, they are part and parcel of God, therefore in quality they are one. This is acintya-bhedabheda, one and different. The living entity is one in the sense because he is part and parcel of God. So if God is gold, the living entity is also gold. That is one in quality. But god is great and we are minute, small. In that way we are different. Now, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has enunciated acintya-bhedabheda, inconceivable, simultaneously one and different. That is real philosophy. So on this philosophy everyone can come if they are reasonable. If they remain unreasonably stuck up in their own concocted philosophy, then it is difficult. Otherwise this is the fact, that the living entity is eternally part and parcel of God. Sanatana. What is that verse? Find out. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loke sanatana [Bg. 15.7]. Fifteenth chapter.


mamaivamso jiva-loke

jiva-bhutah sanatanah

manah sasthanindriyani

prakrti-sthani karsati

[Bg. 15.7]

"The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind."

Prabhupada: So if he's eternal fragmental parts, how he can become one with the whole? The part is never equal to the whole. That is axiomatic truth. This is wrong conception, to become like God. The Mayavadis, they are trying to become God. That is impossible. They... Let them remain godly. Godly means servant of God. That will make him perfection, his life perfect. Vaisnava philosophy is to remain, to act as servant of God. That is perfect. And if the servant tries to become like the master, that is artificial. Although in the spiritual world there is no difference between the master and the servant... Just like the boys, Krsna's cowherd boy friends, they do not know Krsna is God. They are playing with Him on equal terms. When Krsna is defeated in the play He has to take His friend on His shoulder and he rides on the shoulder. So there is no such distinction who is God and who is not God. So that is spiritual conception. But the difference is always there. God and the part and parcel. Krta-punya-punjah. We can attain that position after many, many lives' pious activities. That is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

ittham (satam) brahma-sukhanubhutya

dasyam gatanam para-daivatena

mayasritanam nara-darakena

sakam vijahruh krta-punya-punjah

[SB 10.12.11]

These boys are playing with Krsna. Who is Krsna? He is the essence of Brahma-sukha, Param Brahman. So these boys are playing with Param Brahman. Ittham brahma-sukhanubhutya dasyam gatanam para-daivatena. And for the devotees He's the supreme master, and for the ordinary man He is ordinary child. But these other children who are playing, they have got this position krta-punya-punjah. "After many, many births' pious activities, now I have got this position, playing with Krsna on equal terms." So this is the conception of devotional service, that when you go to the Goloka Vrndavana you cannot distinguish.... But they have got unflinching love for Krsna. That is Vrndavana life. The cows, the calves, the trees, the flowers, the water, the elderly men, Nanda Maharaja and Yasodamayi, everyone is attached, central point is Krsna. Everyone is loving Krsna. And there is no such knowledge that Krsna is the Supreme Personality.... Sometimes they see Krsna's wonderful activities and they talk on: "Krsna may be some demigod. He has come here." But they could never recognize that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Krsna passed some dangerous position, so many demons were coming, mother Yasoda was chanting some mantras to protect Krsna that "He may not be put into some calamity." They never understood that Krsna is the Supreme Personality. But their natural love for Krsna so intense. Therefore Vrndavana life is so exalted. Aradha... What is called? Aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanaya tad-dhama vrndavanam. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says that first of all Krsna, Vrajendra-nandana, the son of Nanada Maharaja, He is aradhya. Tad-dhama vrndavanam. And His dhama, His abode, Vrndavana, is also worshipable. They are equal. Vrndavana-dhama and Krsna, they are equal. So these are higher standard of understanding. Unless one is devotee, purified, he cannot understand that to become one with God is not the sublime idea. In Vrndavana one who wants to become the father or mother of God, to control God, that these Mayavadis cannot understand, Advaitavadis. This is to be understood by the pure devotion, devotees. What is the benefit to become equal with God? Just become.... equal.... Other Vaisnava philosophies they could not explain our relationship with God. But Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained the higher relationship with God. That is called vatsalya-rasa and madhurya-rasa. Especially madhurya-rasa. Anarpita carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojvala-rasam sva bhakti sriyam. Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave information of the madhurya-rasa, that our relationship can be with Krsna in conjugal love. So unless one comes to the platform of devotional service, one cannot understand. But for general understanding this philosophy of acintya-bhedabheda, simultaneously one and different.... That is explained in this verse. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. The living entities are part and parcel of God. So if God is gold, then living entities are also gold. This is equality in quality. But God is great, and we are always subordinate. Eko yo bahunam vidadhati kaman. We are protected, we are maintained, we are predominated. That is our position. We cannot attain the position of predominator. That is not possible.

Pusta Krsna: The next question, Srila Prabhupada, question 17. "What is the future of Hinduism?"

Prabhupada: There is no future. It is already gone. (laughter) The future is already there. And what do you want more future? A man was beaten with shoes, and again he said that "He has threatened me, to insult me." So if he is beaten with shoes, then what insult remains to be done again? So Hinduism now finished. Now take to the process of Krsna's order, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Teach this teaching of Bhagavad-gita to the whole world. Not only Hinduism; Christianism, and Muslimism, everything's gone. And even it is not gone, Krsna says, " Give up all this nonsense." Sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. "Give up Hinduism, Muslimism, Christianism. Simply surrender unto Me." That is to be preached all over the world, and that is being effective. So if the Hindus are interested in Bhagavad-gita, which was spoken in the Hindustan, in the land of Hindus, they must seriously take to this instruction of Krsna and combine together and preach all over the world and make others benefited and themselves benefited. That is the only way. There is no other second way.

Pusta Krsna: Next question. Question number 18. "As the world is coming to be divided into just two classes, atheist and theist, is it not advisable for all religions to come together, and what positive steps can be taken in this direction?"

Prabhupada: That is already taken, already explained. This Krsna consciousness movement. The atheist class and theist class, they will exist always. This is material world. Even at home the father is atheist, Hiranyakasipu, and the son is theist. So even at home the father and the son different. So that atheist class and theist class men will always exist in family, in community, in nation, in the... as you go on. But the theist class should take to the proposition of the Bhagavad-gita and take shelter at his lotus feet, giving up so-called religious principles. That is oneness. Religion without conception of God, conception of God is humbug, bogus. Religion means to accept the order of God. So if you have no conception of God, if you do not know who is God, so there is no question of accepting His order. It is stated in the Vedic literature dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Find out this verse in the Sixth Canto. [break] ...Yamaraja's instruction.

Devotee: Yes. (pause)


dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam

na vai vidur rsayo napi devah

na siddha-mukhya asura manusyah

kuto nu vidyadhara-caranadayah

[SB 6.3.19]

"Translation: Real religious principles are enacted by..."

Prabhupada: Ha! Real.

Hari-sauri: "Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great rsis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyadharas and Caranas."

Prabhupada: Hm. [break]

Hari-sauri: This is Sixth Canto, Third Chapter, Text Nineteen. When challenged by the Visnudutas to describe the principles of religion, the Yamadutas said, veda-pranihito dharmah: the religious principles are the principles enacted in the Vedic literature. They did not know, however, that the Vedic literature contains ritualistic ceremonies that are not transcendental, but are meant to keep peace and order among materialistic persons in the material world. Real religious principles are nistraigunya, above the three modes of material nature, or transcendental. The Yamadutas did not know these transcendental religious principles, and therefore when prevented from arresting Ajamila they were surprised. Materialistic persons who attach all their faith to the Vedic rituals are described in Bhagavad-gita (2.42), wherein Krsna says, veda-vada-ratah partha nanyad astiti vadinah: the supposed followers of the Vedas say that there is nothing beyond the Vedic ceremonies. Indeed, there is a group of men in India who are very fond of the Vedic rituals, not understanding the meaning of these rituals, which are intended to elevate one gradually to the transcendental platform of knowing Krsna (vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah [Bg. 15.15]). Those who do not know this principle but who simply attach their faith to the Vedic rituals are called veda-vada-ratah.

Herein it is stated that the real religious principle is that which is given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That principle is stated in Bhagavad-gita. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] one should give up all other duties and surrender unto the lotus feet of Krsna. That is the real religious principle everyone should follow. Even though one follows Vedic scriptures, one may not know this transcendental principle, for it is not known to everyone. To say nothing of human beings, even the demigods in the upper planetary systems are unaware of it. This transcendental religious principle must be understood from the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly or from His special representative, as stated in the next verses.

Prabhupada: So, therefore... Next verse.


svayambhur naradah sambhuh

kumarah kapilo manuh

prahlado janako bhismo

balir vaiyasakir vayam

[SB 6.3.20]

Prabhupada: Vaiyasakir vayam.

Hari-sauri: Dvadasaite vijanimo...

Prabhupada: Dvadasaite.

Hari-sauri: Dharmam bhagavatam bhatah, guhyam visuddham durbodham yam jnatvamrtam asnute. "Lord Brahma, Bhagavan Narada, Lord Siva, the four Kumaras, Lord Kapila (the son of Devahuti), Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja, Sukadeva Gosvami and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhagavat-dharma or surrender unto the Supreme Lord..."

Prabhupada: So these people, these mahajanas, they know what is the principles of religion. Religion means bhagavata-dharma, to understand God and our relationship with God. That is religion. You may call it Hindu religion or Muslim religion or Christian religion, but real religion is that which teaches how to love God. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje [SB 1.2.6]. If by following the religious system, you come to the platform of loving God, then your religious system is perfect. Otherwise it is a simply waste of time, bogus religion, without conception of God. So unless one understands what is God and what He says, and we have to abide by that order, then we are religious and there is religion and there is God, there is everything complete.

Pusta Krsna: This is off the record, but one may ask if someone like Christ or Moses was not mentioned amongst the mahajanas, present some sort of religion...

Prabhupada: No, mahajana there is in Christian messiahs. There is mahajana. And later on, after Christ, there was so many other. Saint Matthew, Saint Thomas, like that. Mahajana is mentioned there. How can you say there is no mahajana? Mahajana means who is strictly following the original religion. That is called mahajana. Or who know the things as they are. They are called mahajana. And that means parampara system. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is learning Bhagavad-gita directly from Krsna. He's mahajana. So you learn from Arjuna. And after hearing Bhagavad-gita, as Arjuna acted, as Arjuna understood Krsna, you follow that. Then mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. Then you are following the mahajana. You are on the real path. Just like we are. Here it is said, mahajana, Svayambhu. Svayambhu means Brahma, Lord Brahma. So our, this sampradaya, Gaudiya sampradaya, is Brahma-sampradaya. And Svayambhu, Narada. Narada is also in the brahma-sampradaya. And Sambhu, Lord Siva, he is also mahajana. He has got his sampradaya, Rudra-sampradaya. And similarly, Sri-sampradaya. So all these sampradaya we must follow. Sampradaya vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah. If you do not belong to sampradaya, mahajana, then you are useless. You cannot concoct any religious system. So either you be Christian or Hindu it doesn't matter. You have to follow the mahajana. If a Christian says, "I don't believe in St. Thomas," what kind of Christian he is? Similarly, it doesn't matter who is a maha... But real mahajana is he who is strictly following the principle as enunciated by God. That is religious system. Otherwise there is no religion. There is no question of religion. It is simply concoction. Mano-dharmi, mental speculator. Mental speculation is not religion. Religion is the order of Krsna and one who follows that order, he is religious. That's all.

Pusta Krsna: This next question, Srila Prabhupada, question nineteen.

Prahupada: Now this question is clear?

Pusta Krsna: Yes. So far I can understand, you're saying that there's no need to label that there's one religion in the world. Rather, everyone can...

Prabhupada: One religion is there already, that how to love God. This is one religion. Will the Christian say, "No. We don't want to love God"? Will the Christians say? Will the Mohammedans say, "No, no. We don't want to love God"? So religion means how to love God, and any religion which teaches how to love God, that is perfect. It doesn't matter whether he's Christian or Muslim or Hindu. It doesn't matter. You have to be educated to take your degree. It doesn't matter from which college you take degree. Similarly, religion means you have to learn how to love God. If you have no love for God, it is all useless. That is not religion. Dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam [SB 6.3.19]. Saksad, Bhagavan Krsna says, "You surrender unto Me." You cannot surrender until you love. You are surrendered to me, I am also an Indian. Because you have love for me, therefore there is surrender. If I say that "You die," you'll die. Why? Because you love me. So when there will be surrender? Unless one loves God. Unless that platform is not there, that "I love you, I can sacrifice everything for you." That is on the the basic principle of love. Therefore that religion is perfect which teaches the followers how to love God. This is religious principle. So let everyone come to this platform, how to love God. That is Krsna consciousness. We are teaching nothing, but training them how to love God, how they can sacrifice everything for God. So that is religion. Otherwise a bogus waste of time, simply following the ritualistic ceremonies. That is not religion. That is superfluous.

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam

visvaksena-kathasu yah

notpadayed yadi ratim

srama eva hi kevalam

[SB 1.2.8]

You are very good, you are following your religious principle very strictly, adherently. That's all right. But what about your love of God? "Oh, that I do not know." So sastra says, srama eva hi... It is simply waste of time, and simply laboring. That's all. If you have not learned to love God, then what is the meaning of your religion? Then, when you're actually on the platform of love of God, you understand your relationship with God, that "I am part and parcel of God. Not only I am part and parcel of God, this dog is also part and parcel of.... Every living entity." Then you'll extend love for animal also. If you actually love God, then your love for insect also is there because you understand that "This insect, it has got a different body only, but he is also part and parcel, or my brother." Samah sarvesu bhutesu. Then you cannot maintain slaughterhouse. If you maintain slaughterhouse and disobey the order of Christ, thou shall not kill, and you proclaim yourself as Christian or Hindu or this.... That is not religion. Then srama eva hi kevalam. Your going to the temple and church and everything is simply waste of time. Srama eva hi kevalam. Because you do not understand God. You have no love for God. That is going on, all over the world. They're stamping under some sect, but there is no real religion. So in order to bring them all in one platform, they have to accept the principles of Bhagavad-gita, Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you do not accept in the beginning Krsna, that He is the supreme, then you try to understand that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is education. There is somebody supreme. So if I say, because I am Hindu, I am Indian, that "Krsna is the supreme," you may say, "Then why Krsna? Krsna is Indian." "No. He is God. Just like the sun rises first in India, then comes to Europe. But that does not mean the sun is different. Similarly, Krsna, although appeared in India, now He has come to Western countries, Krsna consciousness movement. You try to understand whether Krsna is not God or God. But He is God. There is no doubt about it. If you have got intelligence to understand what is God, then try to understand. But He is God undoubtedly. So take to Krsna consciousness and abide by the order of Krsna. Then everyone comes on the same platform, the religious platform, one religion, Krsna consciousness.

Pusta Krsna: Question 19, this is...

Prabhupada: Now, this is clear or not?

Pusta Krsna: Oh yes.

Prabhupada: Anyone? We are part and parcel of Krsna, our business is to surrender to Him. And Krsna personally advises that "You surrender unto Me. I shall give you all protection." This is religion.

Pusta Krsna: Sometimes we meet people in our preaching activities. They may, of course, claim to be very devout Christian or Muslim, but at the same time they will blaspheme Krsna. Is it possible that such persons can actually be associates of God?

Prabhupada: No, no. It is just like in our Krsna consciousness movement there are so many Christians, so many Jews, so many Mohammedan, and Hindus. Everyone is there. It is a question of understanding. So in the beginning if... But if he's serious to understand what is God, then he will accept Krsna the Supreme Lord. If he knows what is God, then he'll understand, "Here is God." If he remains in darkness, he does not know what is God, then how he'll understand Krsna? He'll understand Krsna as one of us. That's all. But if he knows what is God then he'll understand. Yes, here is God, Just like if a person knows what is gold, then anywhere gold, he'll understand, "Here is gold." It does not mean only gold, in certain shop only gold is available. But if he knows what is God, what is meaning of God, that he will find in Krsna in fullness. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam [SB 1.3.28]. The sastra says how He is Bhagavan, what is Bhagavan. You should understand and see from the activities of Krsna whether He is not Bhagavan. It requires brain to understand. I say, "Here is God." Now it is up to you. If you know what is God, then test it, and then you'll accept God. If you do not know how to test it, then you may refuse. That is another thing. You'll accept iron as gold. That is your ignorance. You do not know what is gold. But if you actually know what is gold, you will accept Krsna as God, there is no doubt about it. So this is the only platform, Bhagavad-gita. Everyone come and take to Krsna and understand God and learn how to love Him and your life is perfect.

Pusta Krsna: But if the Christians are saying that "This is the only platform, the Bible," and the Muslims are saying, "This is the only platform, Koran," and the community of followers of Bhagavad...

Prabhupada: But we have to see by the result. The result is... Only platform, that only platform, that is decided... Sa vai pumsam paro dharmah. That is actually religion. How? Yato bhaktir adhoksaje. If one has learned how to love God. If there is no love of God, then what is the use of claiming that this is the only platform? Where is the sign of love of Godhead? That is to be seen. Simply if you say... Everyone will say, "This, my, this property is the best, or my understanding is..." But there must be practical proof. The practical proof-say how to love God, what is the process of loving God? If you do not know your relationship with God and other's relationship with God, then how you know God? That is lacking. Nobody can give clear conception of God. Can the Christians give? Then where is love of God? If you have no understanding of what is God, where is the question of love? Love is not fictitious. You cannot love air. You love a person, a beautiful person, a beautiful woman. If you say, "I love air. I love the sky..." Where there is question of love?There must be a person. So who is that person we want to love? But they have no personal conception of God, neither they can describe the personal beauty, capacity, strength, sad-aisvarya-purnah. There is no such description. So they have got the conception of God, but actually they do not know what is God. But religion means you must know God and love Him. That is religion. That is first class religion. Is that clear or not?

Pusta Krsna: Yes.

Prabhupada: When there is question of love, then you must know what is God, then love. But if you do not know who is God, then how do you love Him?

Pusta Krsna: Are these actually the tangible signs by which one can judge what is real religion?

Prabhupada: Yes. Real religion is how to love God. And love cannot be done without knowing the person whom you love. That is the criterion, test. So if you have no conception, God, His personality, then how you'll love? Where is the question of love? Love is something tangible. It is not fictitious. So we accept, Krsna conscious people, Krsna is God, and we are worshiping Krsna. And we are making progress. Just see our behavior and other persons behavior and judge. Hm? What do you think?

Kuladri: We had one priest who came. He was discussing with Kirtanananda Maharaja. He did not know what God looked like, he never gave anything, never talked about God, but he said he loved God.

Prabhupada: Then? What kind of love it is?

Kuladri: Nor did he say his people ever came to church. He said, "At best they come once a week." He said that's all that is necessary.

Prabhupada: Well, love does not mean that you come once in a week at my house. Love means you come to my house, give me some presentation, and take something from me. Dadati pratigrhnati bhunkte bhojayate caiva sad-vidham priti-laksanam. Love means if you love somebody, then you must give him something, you must accept something from him. Dadati pratigrhnati. You must disclose your mind to him and he should disclose his mind to you. Dadati pratigrhnati guhyam akhyati prcchati, and bhunkte bhojayate. If you love somebody, you give him something eatable and whatever eatable he offers you accept. These six kinds of exchange makes love. But if you do not know the person, the boy or the girl, then where is the question of love? Love begins... If you love some girl, if you love some boy, then you give something, some presentation, and he gives you some presentation. That develops love. You give something to eat and whatever he gives you to eat, you eat. You disclose your mind, "My dear such and such, I love you. This is my ambition." He dis... These are the exchange of love. So if there is no persons to person meeting, where is the question of love? That is not love. If I love somebody and weekly I visit that house, "This is the house," that's all. Where is the exchange of love? Love means there is exchange. If you love somebody, if you have not given anything to that somebody, neither you have taken something from him, where is the love? Is that love? Means imperfect knowledge. You love... The conclusion is religion means to love God, and to love God means you must know who is God. There cannot be any other alternative. You must know the person who is God. Then you exchange. That we are teaching. We are asking our disciples to rise early in the morning, offer mangala arati, then bhoga arati. Are we so fools, rascals, that we are wasting time in worshiping a doll like that? Sometimes they think like that. But that is not the fact. You know definitely, "Here is Krsna. He is God, and we must love Him like this." That is the superexcellence of Krsna consciousness movement. We do everything definitely on positive platform. Is that clear? Huh? Or anyone, any question?

Pradyumna: Then... You said we must know God before we can love Him. So that means devotional service is preceded by knowledge.

Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Yes, that is the process in the Bhagavad-gita. There are 18 chapters. The whole 18 chapters is the education how to know God. And when Arjuna completely in awareness he accepted, "Krsna, You are param brahma, param dhama [Bg. 10.12]," that is understanding. Then surrender, sarva-dharman parityajya [Bg. 18.66]. Unless you know God, how you'll surrender? If some third class man comes, "You surrender unto me." Will you do that? Why shall I surrender to him? You must know, "Now, here is God. I must surrender." The 18th Chapter is described to know God, and then Krsna proposes, "Surrender unto Me." Then Arjuna did it, "Yes." So without knowing, how you can surrender? Know God. Then you surrender. Otherwise how, blindly, you can surrender? That is not possible. So this is the science how to know God, Bhagavad-gita. The preliminary. If you want to know more, then read Bhagavatam. And if you are in intense love with God, then next, Caitanya-caritamrta, how the intensification can be more intensified. That is Caitanya-caritamrta. So Bhagavad-gita is the preliminary book to understand God and surrender. And from the surrendering point, further progress, that is Srimad-Bhagavatam. And when the love is intense, to make it more intensified, that is Caitanya-caritamrta. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, mad after God. Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me. "I find everything vacant without Krsna." That is the supreme ecstasy. So these things cannot happen (chuckles) without love. If you love somebody, then if he's not there you find everything vacant. Otherwise why? There are so many things. "How," people will say, "you are seeing vacant? Everything is filled up." That is another stage, transcendental platform. Lover and beloved, they can understand. Sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me. That is the supreme stage of love. Is that clear or not?

Pradyumna: There's just one more thing. What's the minimum knowledge one must have to...

Prabhupada: God is great. That's all. God is great. Krsna proved that He's great. Therefore He's God. Everyone says, "God is great." Allah akbar, Muslims say. God is great. It is translated, "God is great." And Hindu says, param brahma. So God is great. So Krsna proved that He is all-great. Therefore He is God. Krsna, when He was present, He proved it that He is the great. Therefore He's God. If you accept God is great, and if you find somebody, he is great in everything, then he's God. How can I deny it? At least, you can see Krsna great by His Bhagavad-gita. It is still going on. Five thousand years passed, still Bhagavad-gita is accepted as the greatest book of knowledge all over the world. Even among the Christians, among the Muslims, those who are really learned, they take it, "Yes." That is greatness of Krsna, the knowledge. Who can give such knowledge? That is the proof that He is God. Aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah... Jnana, knowledge. Where is such knowledge throughout the whole world? Everything, every line is sublime knowledge. If one studies scrutinizingly Bhagavad-gita, you find Krsna is Supreme Lord.

Pusta Krsna: Next question, Srila Prabhupada. Question nineteen. "Do you envisage or envision a different role for Hinduism in the Western countries where the influence of other great religions has been felt for centuries?

Prabhupada: No. There is no different role. God is one. God cannot be duplicate. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya [Bg. 7.7]. "There is no more superior authority than Me." That is God. Now people is to understand that Krsna is God. There is no different role. The role is the same. Five thousand years Krsna said that "I am the supreme authority. There is no more superior authority than Me." Still He is so. So we are simply attempting to introduce Krsna. Nobody attempted. Although five thousand years past, nobody attempted to introduce the supreme authority Krsna. We are just trying to introduce following the orders of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He, five hundred years appeared. He is Krsna. He wanted that this Krsna consciousness should be spread all over the world.

prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama

sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama

Krsna is not for India. He is for everyone because He is God. He claims that "I am the seed-giving father for all living entities." Not only the human society, but also other living entities like the aquatics, the insects, the plants, and the animals, all living entities. He says, aham bija-pradah pita [Bg. 14.4]. Everything is there, but this cult of Krsna consciousness, or Bhagavad-gita as it is, was not preached properly. Everyone interpreted Bhagavad-gita in his own way to satisfy his own whims. We are just trying for the first time to present Bhagavad-gita as it is, and it is being effective. So it is not a different role. It is the actual role. Nobody tried for it. Therefore Krsna was unknown, but we are trying for this for the few years. But because it is reality, it is being accepted. It is being accepted. No attempt was made that. So it is not a new role. The role is already there: to preach. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's vision. He says especially to Indian people,

bharata bhumite manusya-janma haila yara

janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara

[Cc. Adi 9.41]

Indians are meant to do this business for para-upakara because all over the world they are unaware of Krsna. So anyone who is actually Indian, he should attempt to broadcast the message of Bhagavad-gita and Krsna. That is order of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

bharata bhumite manusya-janma haila yara

janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara

[Cc. Adi 9.41]

This is paropakara. They are suffering without any knowledge of Krsna. Give them this knowledge. That is para-upakara, doing welfare activities to others. So that attempt is now being made, and people actually accepting. So it not a new role. The role is already there. Caitanya Mahaprabhu five hundred years told, years before He told it. But the so many swamis and yogis, they came here, they never introduced Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now it is being done and people are accepting, naturally. This is Krsna consciousness movement. So if everyone joins, either Indian, non-Indian, in this movement there will be one religion and there will be peace. Peace will prevail. This is the only way.

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam


suhrdam sarva-bhutanam

jnatva mam santim rcchati

[Bg. 5.29]

This is the way of santi, understand Krsna, that He is the supreme enjoyer, He is the supreme proprietor, and He is the supreme friend for everyone. Accept Krsna as your friend, you'll be happy. This is the message of Krsna consciousness.

Pusta Krsna: This next question is very closely related to the last question. Question twenty. "What is your view regarding proselytization or preaching? If you are..."

Prabhupada: It is not proselytization. Proselytization has no meaning. To bring one to the real understanding. Krsna says that mamaivamso jiva-bhutah [Bg. 15.7]. All living entities are His part and parcel. He claims, sarva-yonisu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4]. In all forms of life, as many living entities are there, aham bija-pradah, I am the seed-giving father. So the natural position is that every living entity, not only human being, but also animals, plants, everyone... So why not Indian, American, or Czechoslavakian, everyone is part and parcel of Krsna? So it not the process of proselytizing to convince the idea. It is actually bringing them to their real position, that they're all part and parcel of Krsna. It is not artificial proselytization that "You are Christian, now you are Hindu." Or "You are Hindu, now you are Christian." "You are a sweeper, now you are harijana." It is not like that. It is actually bringing him to his own position, part and parcel of God. It is not... Proselytization will not stand. When one comes to the real understanding of his position, then that will continue. This Krsna consciousness movement is that. Bringing one to the original position. He's in diseased condition, he's thinking otherwise than servant of Krsna. Now this movement is trying to bring everyone to the position that he is eternal servant of Krsna. It is not a rubberstamp proselytization that "You are Hindu, now you are Christian." Or "You are Christian, now are Hindu." So if he does not know what is his position by simply stamping that he is Hindu or Muslim or Christian, what benefit he will derive?

Pusta Krsna: The same ignorance.

Prabhupada: If you keep him in the ignorant platform, then what is the benefit of making a Hindu Muslim or Muslim Hindu? That was going on, "holy war," between Christians and the Muslims. Because both of them will die. (chuckles) And they are engaged in holy war. War, but "holy war." "Holy impiety." Artificial change of "ism" will not help. One must know the philosophy of life. One must know what is God. One must learn how to love God. That is real life.

Pusta Krsna: There is one more question, Srila Prabhupada. Question 21. "Are changes visible in Hinduism in its doctrinal content, mode of individual and collective worship as a result of Hinduism's contact with the West?"

Prabhupada: Yes, they are worshiping... This is... First of all, you must forget that this Krsna consciousness movement is not Hinduism. It is Vaisnavism. Vaisnava means Visnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and one who loves Visnu or loves God, he is Vaisnava. So Hinduism is not like that. Present conception of Hinduism, they have got so many demigods. Demigods are there in the Vedas, but demigod worshipers, they are all materialistic persons. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajanti anya-devatah [Bg. 7.20]. Those who are worshiper of demigods, they are lusty. Kamuka. And the kamuka platform is material world, lusty. Everyone is trying to enjoy sense gratification. So demigod worship is for sense gratification. If you worship Durga, then you pray, "Mother Durga, give me name, fame, wealth, good wife, and so on, so on." Dhanam dehi rupam dehi rupavati-bharyam dehi. Simply demanding for sense gratification. So that is not love of Godhead. That is to select one agent of God and exact from him as much as you can for your sense gratification. That is not recommended in the Vedic religion. Vedic religion, although there are demigods, but the ultimate is om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah. Those who are suraya, actually advanced, they see to the Visnu paramam padam. Visnor aradhanam param. The worship of Visnu is the supreme worship. So actually everyone should be worshiper of Visnu. And that is Vaisnavism. So Vaisnavism means for everyone or sanatana dharma. That I have already explained. The human.... The living entity is sanatana. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loke sanatana [Bg. 15.7]. He is sanatana. God is sanatana. The exchange between God and the living entity is called sanatana-dharma or Vaisnavism. So we are teaching that. We are not teaching Hinduism, Muslimism, Christianism. We are teaching how to love God. That's all. There is no question of proselytization. It is the natural. We are, by nature we are lover of God. Just like father and son. The love is already there. It cannot be extinguished. The father and son may be separated for many, many years, but when they come together the affection immediately revives. So we are teaching that, that we have got eternal relationship with God and revive it. We are embarassed by establishing artificial relationship with my family, country, and society, and so-called religions. These are all artificial. Real relationship, that "God is great and I am His servant," that is real religion. So we are teaching that thing.

Pusta Krsna: So the teaching is the same in India as it is in the Western countries.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is being proved. Otherwise how they are worshiping Krsna all over the world?

Pusta Krsna: This question here is "In doctrinal content and mode of individual and collective worship..." Is that to say that in your preaching in the Western countries and your preaching in India, you haven't attempted... In the Western countries where there is so many mlecchas, outcastes, so to speak.

Prabhupada: That is accepted by Krsna. Even one is mleccha. Mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah [Bg. 9.32]. So there is no question. That is artificial. One is mleccha or one is brahmana, but that is artificial. That is skin. But within the skin of the mleccha or the brahmana the same spirit soul is there. Therefore those who are pandita, those who are learned,


brahmane gavi hastini

suni caiva sva-pake ca

panditah sama-darsinah

[Bg. 5.18]

One who is actually learned, he sees the same spirit soul within the brahmana, within the mleccha, within the cat. (end)

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan's Journal -- June 28, 1976, Vrndavana

© 2001 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International. Used with permission.

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