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680510b - Lecture at Boston College - Boston

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

680510LE-Boston - May 10, 1968 - 96:13 Minutes

(Kīrtana) (00:41)



MC: . . . of the Esoteric Commission of Boston Collage is pleased to present here tonight Swami Bhaktivedanta from India. Swami Bhaktivedanta is the head of the Krishna Consciousness Movement as, as chanting the names of God as a means of God realization. Swami Bhaktivedanta is in direct disciplic succession from the spiritual master's who have taught the science of God in India for thousands of years. I will leave Swami and his disciples to impress you further. Thank you.


Prabhupāda: As you invited me, join with us in chanting these sixteen words:

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

I think it is written here . . . Please try to . . . I shall first of all recite and I give my assurance to you can responses. You can also join . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . Thank you.

(Kīrtana) (2:47—16:05)


All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much.

Devotees All glories to Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga. Haribol. Jaya om viṣṇu-pāda paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya aṣṭottara-śata Śrī śrīmad bhaktisiddhānta sarasvatī gosvāmī mahārāja ki jaya. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: My dear boys and girls. I thank you very much for arranging this meeting. We are preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is vibho consciousness. We are a part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. Originally we are vibho. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā ([[BG 10.12-13 (1972)|BG 10.12) and the Lord is accepted as:

paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma
pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān

(Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala, and Vyāsa proclaim this of You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me.)

Kṛṣṇa or the Supreme Lord, God, is the enjoyer and we, the part and parcels, are the purist. We are also pure, we are also purists. But somehow or other we have now been contact with this material energy—therefore our consciousness has become impure. And due to impure consciousness we are suffering the material pangs. Lord Caitanya, five hundred years ago, started this movement and He said that by following the principles of this movement your heart will be purified: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ (CC Antya 20.12).

(Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step.)

Then that means this is purificatory process. We have now a misunderstanding, what is that misunderstanding? The misunderstanding is that I am thinking that, "I am this body." That is the basic principle of our misunderstanding: yasyātma-buddhi-kuṇape tri-dhātuke. The Bhāgavata (SB 10.84.13) says one who is thinking, not one, everyone of us is thinking that, "I am this body," but Bhāgavata says, because that is not actually, that is not my identification.

(One who identifies his self as the inert body composed of mucus, bile and air, who assumes his wife and family are permanently his own, who thinks an earthen image or the land of his birth is worshipable, or who sees a place of pilgrimage as merely the water there, but who never identifies himself with, feels kinship with, worships or even visits those who are wise in spiritual truth—such a person is no better than a cow or an ass.)

This is called false identification that, "I am this body." So purification of your heart means when you understand yourself that you are not this body, you are spirit soul. That is the transcendental platform of your understanding.

So Lord Caitanya started this movement that (tape glitch) taking account of the present age. This is not new movement, it is stated in the Vedic literature but if this movement is especially meant for this age because in this age people are not interested in spiritual subject matters. They are short-living, their habit is also very short. Now gradually the duration of life in this age is decreasing perhaps all of you know your grandfather might have lived for hundred years, or your father, or somebody else. But actually the duration of life is decreasing. We may be very much proud of our advancement of civilization or education but actually the fact is that everything is being deteriorated as the age of this age of sin increasing. This is called the age of Kali-yuga, or the age of quarrel and disagreement. But human life is meant for self-realization. Human life is not meant for simply satisfying the bodily demands namely: eating, sleeping, defending and mating. These demands are there in the animal life only. Simply if we are engaged in false way of eating, sleeping, defending or mating that is not actually advancement of civilization.

We should understand that this human form of life is very, very valuable. Even . . . and modern scientific world also the anthropology science suggests that there is evolutionary process of gradual development of consciousness according to the different body. Now according to Vedic literature there are 8,400,000 species of life. There are aquatic life, plant life, reptile life then birds life, then beasts life, then many small insignificant species of life, the human being. So the Vedic knowledge suggests that this form of life is the most opportune moment, for your getting out of the evolutionary process or coming from one body to another. We have consciousness, this is the basic principle of spiritual knowledge. If we do not understand that, "I am spirit soul and I am changing my body from one form to another," then there is no question of advancing in spiritual knowledge. This very principle was first taught to Arjuna in the beginning. When Arjuna was identifying himself with this body then Kṛṣṇa answered him that, "You are talking very nicely as if a learned man but actually you have no knowledge, you are fool number one because you do not know what is your identity."

The modern educational system, we may accept that we are advancing in so many departments of knowledge, unfortunately there is no department of knowledge or educational system about the identification of the spirit soul. That knowledge is there in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Vedic literatures. So in this human form of life we should take advantage of this opportunity. We should not forget that because we have got now a comfortable human form of life. Especially in your country, you are a very rich nation, your material comforts are very advanced but even thinking that you are in a comfortable position—but nobody is in comfortable position. That is the fact. That we are always in uncomfortable position but by the spell of māyā we are thinking that we are in comfortable position. Accepting that you are in comfortable position but if in the next life you are going to accept another body which is not very comfortable then you are missing the opportunity. So we should be very careful to execute our activities in such a way that we may get better life or better body in our next life. This life is the preparatory stage for the next life so we should not misuse. Misuse this opportunity of higher consciousness, developed knowledge. If we . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . our department of knowledge. . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . sanction. But at the same time we should take care because this is the primary necessity of finding this human form of life.

The Bhāgavata says that if after so many evolutionary processes if you in this human form of life. If we . . . we do not understand our identification, we do not understand our relationship with the Supreme Lord then we are missing the part of the maintainer (?). So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to purify our consciousness and this was exemplified by Vyāsadeva, Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa who is the author of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We are all . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . conscious of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, you will find there. Now in that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is stated that:

bhakti-yogena manasi
samyak praṇihite 'male
apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇaṁ
māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayām
(SB 1.7.4)

(Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service (bhakti-yoga) without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control.)

Vyāsadeva in this devotional or Kṛṣṇa consciousness: bhakti-yogena. Bhakti-yogena means the conscious . . . Kṛṣṇa consciousness in every being, devotional service or concentrating in your mind the Supreme Lord. That is called bhakti-yoga. There are different kinds of yogas and yoga system is popular in your country but the best yoga system is the bhakti-yoga. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is bhakti-yoga. Just like we are chanting:

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

As you sit there you are hearing, I am chanting, you are hearing, you are chanting, I am hearing. So this mind is concentrated on the words: "Hare Kṛṣṇa." This is called bhakti-yoga. Kṛṣṇa is the name of the Supreme Lord. Caitanya Mahaprabhu recommended that in this age simply by chanting the holy name of God you can purify yourself. This is the purpose of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It is not that you have to chant these very words Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya says that:

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
(CC Antya 20.16)

(My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your holy name there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many names, such as "Kṛṣṇa" and "Govinda," by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your potencies in those names, and there are no hard and fast rules for remembering them. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the fallen, conditioned souls by liberally teaching Your holy names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offenses while chanting the holy name, and therefore I do not achieve attachment for chanting.)

He says that the Supreme Lord has got millions and millions of names and if you don't like to chant Kṛṣṇa, if you think that Kṛṣṇa is Indian God's name, actually Kṛṣṇa is not Indian God, He is for everyone. In the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 14.4)

(It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.)

He claims that: sarva-yoniṣu, "In all species of life." There are 8,400,000 of species of life and Kṛṣṇa claims that, "In all species of life, as many forms are there, the material nature is the mother and I am the seed-giving father." So Kṛṣṇa does not say that He is Indian or Hindu or something like that. He says that, "I am the father of all the species of life." So if you think that Kṛṣṇa is Indian that is not the statement of Kṛṣṇa or in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just like the sun, the sun is one, either it appears on the horizon of India or it appears on the horizon of America, the sun is one. But if you think that Kṛṣṇa is Indian then you can select your own God's name. Suppose if you understand, of a Jew or any other, Mohammedan, it doesn't matter, you must have the name of God. If you haven't got then chant this Kṛṣṇa and see how it is nice and how it gives you promotion to spiritual consciousness.

So Lord Caitanya says that there are millions and millions of names for the Lord and each name is as much potential as the Lord Himself: nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis; a prakaṭa life (?). Because God is absolute, there is no difference between the personality of God, His name, His form, His pastimes, His qualities, or anything in relationship with God—that is God. Just like sunshine, sunshine is not different from the sun. Similarly anything in relationship with the Supreme God, there is no distinction. So by chanting His name we directly connect with the Supreme Lord just like coming into the sunshine we directly connect with the sun. The sun is ninety millions of many thousands—you know better than me, it is far, far away from us, but a still as soon as you come into the sunlight you immediately join the vibration of the . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . The sound, I meant to say, physics, you know that millions and millions of miles the sound can be transmitted. The television, the radio discovery, they're moving like this. Similarly by chanting the holy names of God you immediately contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead—that is fact. And if you try this chanting process you realize it. This is called bhakti-yoga.

So Vyāsadeva frankly first he says that:

bhakti-yogena manasi
samyak praṇihite 'male

When your mind is cleared of all dirty things by practicing bhakti-yoga then you will be able to see the Supreme Perfect Person:

bhakti-yogena manasi
samyak praṇihite 'male
apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇaṁ

Pūrṇaṁ means perfect; vibho. (?) Here we have got personalities, we have all personalities, individuality, but nobody has got all His personalities. The only perfect is the Supreme Lord. So by contacting yourself with the Supreme Lord simply by chanting. There are other processes just like yoga system, jñāna system, dhyāna system, there are many other systems, that is they are not neglected but for the present age this is the most favorable system. There is no need of previous situation (?), there is no need of your designing a great scholar or philosophers or a great ṛṣi, yogī or there are so many things. How you have to excercise in such a manner, or you have to sleep in such a manner, or you have to become prefect in your previous excercise, none of these things. Simply in whichever contaminate position you may be you will simply chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa or any other God's name as you like, you'll see the results. This is the process. So the result will be that Vyāsadeva speaks of the description that: bhakti-yogena manasi. If your mind is saturated with this bhakti-yoga system or Kṛṣṇa consciousness system, it is very easy, just like we are chanting and if you will have joined with us you would have seen the result immediately. Unfortunately I requested you but you did not join. Next time we chant please join us and see. So bhakti-yogena manasi, while the mind is being saturated, saturated with the bhakti-yoga then you will be able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead because He was actually experienced and those who are chanting they are also experiencing and if you do you will also experience the:

bhakti-yogena manasi
samyak praṇihite 'male

Being fully saturated and concentrated then you will be able to experience the Supreme Person.

And: māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayām and you will be able to see the external energy of God which is called māyā. This māyā we have got already experience, this māyā means the present position. The māyā by which we are constantly in this moment. The Bhāgavata (SB 1.7.5) says that: yayā sammohito jīva.

(Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries.)

Māyā means that she is enchanting you and keeping you in ignorance and what is that? "I am this body." If I ask you, "What you are?" You say, "I am Mr. such and such," or what good nation you belong? you say: "I am American," "What religion is yours?" You say: "I am Christian," or "I am this, I am that," but these are all designation of this body. And by practising bhakti-yoga you will clearly realize that you are not this body, you are not this mind, you are not intelligence but a pure soul. That is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, this is practical. The soul is continuing. Just like in your childhood you had small quantity now you have grown-up, you have got a different body but the soul is continuing. The soul was in your childhood body and the soul is still existing in your youthful body and when you will be old the soul will continue. Therefore in spite of changes of the body the soul is existing permanently. Similarly even after changing this body when we accept another body the soul will also go there. "You," means the soul, you are changing, after the body.

So this misconception of bodily identity, when it is removed, then you are situated in the platform of spiritual understanding and as soon as you are on the spiritual platform there is symptom commonly:

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
(BG 18.54)

(And of all yogīs, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.)

As far as you are standing on the spiritual platform you will be free from all anxieties; immediately. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati, and the two symptoms of our material existence, namely—lamenting for loss and to become joyful for some so-called temporary gains, these are the symptom of this present life. So as soon as you are on the spiritual platform: brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā, you will be joyful and you will have no concern for any gain or loss in this material world. This is the symptom of self-realization, and at that time only: samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. At that time it will be possible to see every living entity on the same level: mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām. That is the stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and when you stand in that platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness then you understand what is God. At the present moment I do now know what I am and what to speak of how to know God? It is not possible because we are part and parcel of God but if we do not know within ourselves how we can know God? But God can be realized simply by this process of bhakti-yoga. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 18.55):

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
(One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.)

If you want to know what is God then you have to qualify yourself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and as soon as you know your relationship with God, your relationship with this world, your relationship with this . . . Everything that you are seeing in God perfectly then your, you are to be considered as liberated from the ignorant process of life. The ignorant process of life is going on, and therefore we are changing from one body to another, and this is real miserable condition of our material existence, and if you want to get out of it then here is the opportunity—the human form of life. You just try to understand yourself, and try to understand what is your relationship with God, and try to understand what is this world. What is your relationship with this world, these things are there. And if you like you can understand them, if you neglect them then you are missing the opportunity.

So our simple process, chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa is recommended in this age, because in this age no other process will be successful. Suppose if you want to know your self-realization by studying philosophy and other methods, there is no time. People are so much engaged for meeting their daily necessities of life that it is not possible to concentrate your mind in the philosophical. Neither it is possible to maintain the yoga system. Of course the yoga system is very popular in, in this country but it is a very difficult system also. Because in the yoga system the process recommended is not possible to be followed in this earth. The process is that you have to find out a suitable place, you have to live there alone, you have to sit in a certain posture, you have to concentrate your eyes on the top of your nose, you have to follow the principles of eating, you have to strictly follow celibacy, you have to eat in a clean place, sleep in a clean place. These are the descriptions of yoga practice. If you simply practice some sitting postures that is only the beginning because there are eight stages of yoga practice. The first process, the first process is yama; yama means the regulated life. Niyama; niyama means following the rules and regulations very strictly. Yama niyama āsana, then the sitting postures, by sitting postures you can concentrate, āsana then prāṇāyāma. Prāṇāyāma means these breathing exercises; then dhyāna, then medition; then āsana, then capture the Supersoul; then samādhi. Then you can be absorbed in that spiritual conception of life. But here you are getting directly. Directly by chanting in any condition of life, never mind what you are in advancement, immediately you get direct touch. This is called śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ smaraṇaṁ. The process, bhakti-yoga process is in the beginnings śravaṇam—means hearing, just like you are hearing me. I am talking of the spiritual understanding of self-realization, constantly you are hearing, if you hear for some time then you will be convinced. Of course here we haven't got sufficient time, we have got an hour and then run out of time, that is not sufficient but a still if you take this opportunity of chanting with us you will realize that this is very so nice.

So we don't require any previous qualification or any hard to follow any hard and fast rules, simply you try to chant this, there is no taxation, there is no price. We are not charging anything, that you pay me fifty dollars or hundred dollars or twenty dollars, then I give you some special mantra. This mantra is open for everyone. You can utilize and accept it, there is no charges, there is no price, there is no labor and if you practise it at home or on the street when you are . . . While you are walking you can chant: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa. While you are, I mean to say, relaxing you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Even while you are eating you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa this is twenty-four hours meditation. And it is very easy, it is not that you officially sit down and take care of something for a few minutes. If by continuing this meditation you can advance, "to the next life." No it is meditation for twenty-four hours, you have to mould your life in such a way that you can not think other than Kṛṣṇa. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. These boys are joining, they are eating in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are working in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are sleeping in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are studying in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they are working in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Nothing is hampered but Kṛṣṇa consciousness is going on continually. This process we are . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . that you may kindly accept this process and you will be benefit, there is no price, there is no taxation and there is no loss. Before you American boys and girls, there is . . . Can you predict loss and gain but there is no loss but the gain is tremendous.

So our request or submission is that please try this chanting:

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

It is tried, it is authorized, it is from the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya and the first thing is that your, the dirty things within the mind will be cleared and as soon as the dirty things are cleared from your mind you immediately become free from all anxieties. This is the first stage and as you make progress then you will feel spiritual advancement in life. Peace and your life will be always blissful and you will be happy and this is the process while you are enriched (tape problem) and the next life . . .


. . . but I am one with Brahman qualitatively. But as the same example, if the sunshine is covered with clouds then the illumimating quality is reduced. That of sunshine, not of the sun. Similarly as we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, molecular particles, at the present moment we are covered by the cloud of ignorance:

yayā sammohito jīva
ātmānaṁ tri-guṇātmakam
paro 'pi manute 'narthaṁ
tat-kṛtaṁ cābhipadyate
(SB. 1.7.5)

(Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries.)

The Bhāgavata says that we are identifying ourselves with that ignorant existence and we are working by the dictation of māyā. There are two kinds, if we clear out this cloud we can understand that we are of the same quality as God and my . . . As myself and that is called brahman realization or self-realization. At that time, just like you are in full presence of sunlight, there is no question of darkness. Similarly as soon as you realize yourself as part and parcel of the Supreme Lord then the darkness, there is no question of darkness, you'll become happy, you'll become full of knowledge, your life becomes successful. This is individual connection with the Supreme Lord.

So this process is . . . means eliminating the mind of the artificial darkness which is covering it. So if we follow this process then we realize conscious and then we become blissful, eternal and full of knowledge with individual connection with God.

Question: This process does it make you psychologically aware as opposed to one where there is some change in the actual . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everything is psychological, without psychological how we can understand? Any understanding must be psychologically and philosophically and logically, it must be very correct otherwise how you can accept it?

Question: I'm just trying to find out if, there, some actual change in the individual and change in the face of . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . In fact you said that we are part and parcel of . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . I think it should widely be psychological.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Question: Because this process pushes away(?).

Prabhupāda: It is not actually psychological. Psychology is on the mental plane: thinking, feeling and willing, it is above that. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 3.42) that:

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ

(The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he (the soul) is even higher than the intelligence.)

The soul is beyond this bodily concept of life, beyond the psychological concept of life, beyond the intellectual concept of life. In this background of everything. This body is a gross element and the mind, ego and intelligence is the subtle body. Just like you have got coat and shirt. You have got coat then within the coat there is shirt and within the shirt you are existing. Similarly we are at the present moment covered by two course coatings. One coating is this gross body made of matter and the another coating is: mind, intelligence and ego. Then when this body is finished then you are carried by the subtle body; mind, intelligence. According to that body and according to the situation at the time of your death, the mind carries to a particular type of body. So we have to purify the mind, we have to purify the intelligence, we have to purify the bodily existence, that is also the spiritual platform.

Question 2: How could the Kṛṣṇa experience with me be practically valuable in social relationships.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Social relationship is, just like in your country you are thinking, "American". Why? Because this land of America is the center of an individual. Similarly as soon as you understand that you are part and parcel of God immediately you understand that other living entities, they are also part and parcel of God, Then you will be equally situated. This is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 5.18):

brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ

(The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater (outcaste))

Paṇḍita means, "Who is learned." Learned means one who has realized the spiritual education. Such a person, either a learned brāhmaṇa, or a dog, or a cow, or an elephant, or a caṇḍāla—he sees on equal level. Because his vision, at that time it, it will be not necessary that we refused protection to the Americans. All these American boys and girls and you send the American animals in the slaughterhouse. That ignorance will be removed. You will see every living entity as part and parcel of God. So Kṛṣṇa realization and God realization makes you universally conscious that everyone is part and parcel of God and that situation is very nice, that is called spiritual life.

So your sociology, welfare activities would be automatically concerned. Just like we are spreading this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, this is also a social movement, we are trying to enlighten you, trying to stop you make this discrimination. We don't discriminate that, "This is for the Hindus or Mohammedans or the Christians or for anyone else." It is for all living entities. This is universal concept of God—Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


Question 3: You have said before that according to the Bhagavad-gītā if God wants you to fight in a war then you should, that is good, but if God does not want you to fight you should not.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Question 3: How can we know what God wants for us?

Prabhupāda: You have, that you have to make contact with God then you will be dictated. It requires your qualification, how you can contact God, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 10.10):

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam

(To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.)

Those who are always engaged in action of Kṛṣṇa consciousness:

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam

Prīti-pūrvakam means, "With free from doubt." Dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ, "I give him intelligence." So Kṛṣṇa is within you and you have to purify yourself, you become in contact with Kṛṣṇa by purification, Kṛṣṇa will dictate from within.


Question 4: How do you ask God to come and comfort us in our bodies?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Question 4: How do . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . through consciousness . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . to come and comfort us in our bodies?

Prabhupāda: Do you think you are body?

Question 4: I believe so.

Prabhupāda: No. You are not this body. If you think . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . do you think, "This is my hand, this is my leg, this is my eyes, this is my head." But you never think . . . we think only mind, we never think of, "What is I?" Is it not a fact? Do you say, "I hand," or, "My hand"? What do you say?

Question 4: My hand.

Prabhupāda: So this is pure . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . that means self-realization. There are rules we have to follow, how to live, then you can understand that, "I am not this body." Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. This is false identification. And all troubles of our material existence is due, due to this false identification. I am thinking, "I am Indian", you are thinking you are, "American", he is thinking, "I am Chinaman," and we are fighting. Is therefore this point and after fighting when the body is dead nobody cares if it is Chinese or American or if it is something; just avoid, that's all. Credit. This is false identification.


Question 5: The gentleman asked how did the soul become encompassed in like his body . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . how do you see the soul? . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . and does he have a soul, how did the material body receive the soul?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's also explained in Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.27) just like:

sarge yānti parantapa

(O scion of Bharata (Arjuna), O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, overcome by the dualities of desire and hate.)

You have got your desires. You wanted to lord it over the material nature therefore God is so kind, He has giving you opportunity of having a material body and in different phases of our opportunity we are having different kinds of body, now we have got . . . different body. But if you don't act just like a human being, if you act just like animals then there is chance your animal life is there. You are implacated in animal life and if you want to elevate yourself then you can have godly life, godly body, that is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.25):

yānti deva-vratā devān
pitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino 'pi mām

(Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.)

So this is preliminary state. You have got this body because you wanted it or you prepared yourself for this body. Similarly the your next body can be, I mean, awarded to you according to your preparations. We have got different bodies, nobody's body is exactly coinciding with another's body. So this maybe different mentality, different atmosphere, different thinking, different breathing, but if you simply think of Kṛṣṇa then you will think. Instead of thinking, feeling, willing differently if you simply think, will of Kṛṣṇa then you are getting a Kṛṣṇa body in . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . This is . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .


Question 6: What is the mark on the forehead what does it symbolize?

Devotee: Tilaka

Prabhupāda: Your question of sign of this tilaka on the head? We are taking seriously about this body, anyway, this tilaka is a symbol that we belong to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that's all.

Question 7: Is the soul originated from Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: No. Soul is eternal as Kṛṣṇa is eternal: na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG. 2.20).

(For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.)

Even after the destruction of this body the soul is continuous. Just like I gave you the example that you are changing your body so many times. You were a child, you were a baby, you were a boy, now you are a young man. So changing, but the soul is there. Similarly you want to change to another body, the soul is there.

Question 7: What is it that the soul is part of Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Question 7: Kṛṣṇa is eternal therefore the soul is eternal?

Prabhupāda: Yes.


Question 8: You were talking about the higher level, the higher elevation. How do you know what is a higher elevation? I mean is the ameba which is considered as one cell a lower elevation than we are? Or you know what is Kṛṣṇa? Is Kṛṣṇa . . . You know, what is it? What is this elevation? Let me know. Target where we are now.

Prabhupāda: That is not very difficult. Just like in your ordinary educational system there are platforms, this is higher educational system, this is God's educational system. So the higher and lower levels can be studied in that way. The lowest level of education is bodily concept of life. Then a little more higher education is on the mental platform—just like philosophy, psychology and so many other things. Then on the individual platform but when we come to the spiritual platform and if you are educating from that platform there is the highest level of education.

Question 8: Is all this will be terminated by not say the mind, the meaning of what we are now. How do we like, if I were a dog before, I don't remember that, how do I know . . .

Prabhupāda: You can not remember so many things of your life, that does not mean you did not do it . . .

Question 8: Yea, but I mean . . .

Prabhupāda: So that, that is not an argument that if you do not remember therefore you did not do it. Suppose unconsciously or conscious . . . consciously you have done something a few days ago, where you have in infected with some disease, and the doctor says: "Oh you are infected with this disease." And you say, "I don't remember." That is no reason that you are suddenly infected. You remember or you don't remember the disease has happened and will go on. Do you follow this? If your remembering is so important question you can forget, that doesn't matter. But is law of nature will go on.

Question 8: . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . you said that if someone in knowledge. I don't know . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . you said that if someone can say Kṛṣṇa they will come to His planet um or go to this level of Kṛṣṇa. If you don't remember (loud bell rings) um what you were before at best before why don't you? . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . level that you say or do something that then . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. That we have to do because this is authoritatively stated in Vedic literature. Just like in, take some case, people have faith and faith people are accepting in every step of life. Now suppose if you are going to other country your purchasing some ticket but if you do not know whether actually the train or the bus or the airplane will take you there. But on faith you are purchasing because you know that other passengers, they're also purchasing. Similarly if we accept authorities, "Such and such people executed this Kṛṣṇa consciousness and he achieved the result," then you can follow. Otherwise there is no other process.


Question 9: Is there a state of rest for the soul? You say that the soul goes from body to body.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Question 9: But it seems like that we go from body to body, that's kind of a useless thing. Is there ever a state of rest for the soul where its just soul? Where we can be unchained from the body.

Prabhupāda: Do you want rest? For the soul is by nature restless.

Question 9: I know, but what's the use of going from body to body, why can't the soul . . .

Prabhupāda: Because you want it . . . Because you want it. If you want a particular type of body or if you act in a way so that you are suitable for a particular body then by natures way we get that particular type of body.

Question 9: I understand that but I mean, you know, what you said before, it impressed me as being that you wanted to become pure soul, in a state of pure consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Question 9: So in my mind it would be impossible in a body because . . . because of the body.

Prabhupāda: No. It is not impossible. Just like this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, if you execute the process. Kṛṣṇa consciousness means God consciousness so that is the highest level of consciousness, or pure consciousness. So we have to account this principle and then you will be in clear and you will understand it. As you make progress then you will understand from it, just like if you are hungry if I give you some food then you will also understand that you are getting the result, you are getting strength, your hunger is being satisfied. Similarly if you take to the real process then yourself will know how far you are getting progress. You'll not require that others will have to certify, you will know yourself. This is self-realization. Self-realization, just like if you are diseased, if you are well treated, if you are given the proper medicine and diet then you yourself will feel the strength and be free from the disease. So we have to adopt some authorized means and then you will understand whether you are making progress or not.

Question 10: How many followers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness are there in India?

Prabhupāda: Oh in India there are many, many millions.


Question 11: You said before that no one says, "I" and they always say my.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Question 11: . . . but when you are in this body your spirit . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .

Prabhupāda: Then it is, that spirit is, "I".

Question 11: The spirit?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You presently have no idea what is that spirit soul, you see. When your body is dead we.., we say, "Oh my son is gone." But where is your son is gone? Your son is lying there. The same hands, the same legs, the same head, the same body is there. Then why do you say, your son is gone? That means you have never seen your son. You have seen the body, you have seen simply your son's body, you have never seen your son. As we are accepting this body as my son—this is called ignorance.

Question 11: But in order to understand in all that we strive for, for the "Me", the . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. That means that, "Me" is now misidentifying with this body. Therefore your necessities are increasing but you are not getting satisfaction.

Question 11: So that's why I am not getting satisfaction?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You are not getting. Suppose you, you are hungry and if you wash your coat only, will you be satisfied? You are hungry, you require food, but if I simply wash your coat and shirt will you be satisfied? Similarly the soul is hungry, the soul wants food, spiritual food and you are applying soap on your body, that's the problem. So how you can be happy? So you have to be situated in . . . to understand the needs of the soul, the needs of the soul. As soon as you are on the platform of spiritual understanding—then you can supply the needs of the soul. The needs of the soul is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


Question 12: I am curious, I still do not understand the nature of Kṛṣṇa . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . Is it the Supreme Overlord. Kṛṣṇa . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . Kṛṣṇa . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Person, that's all. Just like you are a person but you are not supreme but He is the Supreme Person.

Question 12: What attributes does He have? I mean when you are conscious of being in contact with Him, what are you conscious of?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotee: When you are conscious of Kṛṣṇa what qualities are you experiencing?

Prabhupāda: If you can understand what is Kṛṣṇa and your relationship with Kṛṣṇa then you can act in that way. Just like we have to act in relationship. You are acting independently . . . you are acting in family, duties, in relationship. You are acting as a citizen of America in relationship. Similarly when you understand Kṛṣṇa and relationship then your actions will be changed, and that will make you satisfied. Action will continue but you have to understand the relationship. Just like if I do not know . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . the relationship of this country and if I act differently then I may be in difficulty. So we act differently because we have no knowledge of, of our relationship with the Supreme—therefore we are acting independently. As soon as we are elevated to the position of understanding myself and Kṛṣṇa. The relationship is explained in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta and in other Vedic literature, that our relationship with God is that we are eternal servant of God. If we accept that, we have . . . because we are eternal servant of God our position, our constitutional position is to render service. We are already rendering service, either to the society, or to the family, or to the body, or to the country but the . . . That service when it is rendered to the Supreme, that becomes perfect. Because you do not know where to render service, just like if I do not know where to supply foodstuff. If I supply foodstuff to the nose, or to the ears, or to the eyes, or to the rectum, or any other part of the body—that is not satisfying. You have to supply foodstuffs to the stomach then all other senses will be satisfied. Similarly as soon as you know the root of all emanation and if you render service to the root then everyone becomes satisfied. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Question 12: Then we were always co-existent with Kṛṣṇa from all eternity?

Devotee: Have we always existed with Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. We are existing through . . . You are existing in Kṛṣṇa's energy and it is stated in Bhagavad-gītā (Bg 9.4): mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni.

(By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.)

"Everything is resting on Me." "On Me," means in His energy. Just like although it is night you do not perceive the sunlight but you are existing on sunlight, that's a fact. Kṛṣṇa . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . said is existing on sunlight. But it is that at this moment, at night, we can not see the sunlight but as soon as you come to the point of morning you can see the sunlight is there. Similarly when you are self-realized you will understand that you are living in Kṛṣṇa always. The forgetfulness is māyā. So in bring about from this māyā or forgetfulness then you become . . .

Question 12: Is Kṛṣṇa consciousness the highest state that . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the natural state.

Question 12: It is?

Prabhupāda: That is the natural state of the life.

Question 12: Then any creature can attain that.

Prabhupāda: Yes everyone can attain that if he likes.

Question 12: I mean regardless of his position, as to whether he is an animal.

Prabhupāda: Yes, anyone. The relation of his body or his education or his qualification, or country or color, he can attain this.

Question 12: Well then what difference does it make what form a person is it?

Prabhupāda: There is no difference, what form of body, he can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, anyone can take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Question 12: Well then our actions, then what meaning do our actions have?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotee: What meaning do our actions have?

Prabhupāda: Actions?

Devotee: If all bodies are they same what meaning do our actions have?

Prabhupāda: I do not follow.

Audience: (laughter)

Question 12: You . . .

Prabhupāda: You are acting according to your own body. Is it not?

Question 12: Yes. But then it makes no difference what I do.

Prabhupāda: Eh? What you will do that does not make difference but it makes difference when you act consciously, consciously, then it is something, and when you do without any consciousness, just like a mad man. He does something but his actions are not accepted as genuine. A mad man also acts and a sane man also acts. But a sane man's activities are accepted that it is genuine and the mad man's activity is not accepted as genuine? So, so long we are not acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness that action has no, I mean, actual value. It has got some temporary value but actually it is not giving us the ultimate result of our happiness. That is the defect without Kṛṣṇa consciousness.


Question 13: . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . a greater consciousness of our self, our real self.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the supreme consciousness and other consciousness is limited. Just like you are consciousness, conscious of your particular body. If there is some pain in your body you are conscious. I am not conscious. So you are conscious of your bodily activities, I am conscious of my bodily activities but Kṛṣṇa consciousness is conscious of all the bodies, that is the universal consciousness. So if you profit your consciousness with Kṛṣṇa consciousness then you can feel through Kṛṣṇa consciousness everything as Kṛṣṇa understands. At the present moment my individual consciousness, we are acting in individual consciousness.


Question 14: Is your mind your soul?

Prabhupāda: Mind? No, mind is not soul.

Question 14: Is your body?

Prabhupāda: No. That I have already explained neither this body, neither this mind, neither intelligence. The soul is background of intelligence, mind and body.

Question 15: Superior soul, when did it come into existence? How is it, how is it worded? For me . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa?

Question 15 Kṛṣṇa. Rāma? . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . .

Prabhupāda: Rāma. Yes, this is the Vedic . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . that:

ramante yogino 'nante
satyānande cid-ātmani
iti rāma-padenāsau
paraṁ brahmābhidhīyate
(CC Madhya 9.29)

(The Supreme Absolute Truth is called Rāma because the transcendentalists take pleasure in the unlimited true pleasure of spiritual existence.)

Those who are yogīs, who are transcendentalists, they take pleasure in the transcendence and that pleasure is called Rāma. The unlimited pleasure in Kṛṣṇa consciousness or spiritual consciousness is called Rāma.

Question 15: How is it born exactly, who gave it the wording? And what word . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .

Prabhupāda: This is according to Vedic knowledge we understand Veda is not given by any man of this world. Veda is given by the Supreme Personality, just like Bhagavad-gītā, we have got practical experience. Five thousand years ago when Kṛṣṇa was present He delivered the speeches of the Bhagavad-gītā. So apart from Vedic understanding if we accept the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā it is as good as Vedas because Vedas are understood to be spoken by God. Now here we can see that God is speaking Bhagavad-gītā. If we follow the Bhagavad-gītā then we are following directly Kṛṣṇa.

I think we may stop now, it's been an hour. We may have some kīrtana then later on.

Please chant with us. That is our only philosophy.




All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. All glories to the assembled devotees. Thank you very much.

Devotees: All glories to Śrī Guru and Gaurāṅga. Haribol.

nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhūtale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta-svāmin iti nāmine
(Śrīla Prabhupāda Praṇati)

Devotee: The temple in Boston is located at 95 Glenville Avenue . . . And . . . And you're always welcome to come . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . Kīrtana is held every evening . . . not every evening but Wednesday, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and every morning at seven. So that's Monday at seven, Wednesday at seven and Friday at seven . . . . . . (indistinct) . . . . . . and you are all invited to attend the kīrtanas. This is the most important thing, there is nothing more important than kīrtana, nothing more important. You should come to the kīrtana and take part.

Satsvarūpa will come around with tamborine and we ask you kindly contribute whatever you can contribute. So that we can enlarge this kīrtana and spread it everywhere. Lord Caitanya said, "This kīrtana will be known, will be chanted in every town and village all through the world." So please contribute, thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

MC: I am familiar with the beliefs and ideals, all of these skeptical reactions at first. It only remains that you open your mind and pray each religion to be as valuable as the religion, religion of any other people. All human beings have to worship a divine creature somehow and God expresses Himself in different ways. Tonight we have seen one of the more unusual ways —for Western minds, certainly no less valid than the Catholicism that is so prevalent in BC. On behalf of the International Club of the Esoteric Commission, we would like to thank Swami Bhaktivedanta for gracing us here tonight and I hope he has taught you as much as he hopes to have. Thank you.

(background noise as hall is cleared) (microphone is still on)

Prabhupāda: Yes our students they are living in a certain way . . . . . . (indistinct) . . .

Guest: That's right . . .

Prabhupāda: How are you?

Guest 2: How are you?

Prabhupāda: Yes . . . (end).