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681011 - Lecture - Seattle

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

681011LE-SEATTLE - October 11, 1968 - 82:07 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (kīrtana) (prema-dhvani) Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)

(Prabhupāda chants and devotees repeat)

govindam adi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
govindam adi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
govindam adi-puruṣam tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Thank you very much. So all newcomer students, you are welcome. Thank you very much.

This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the supreme leader. Human society cannot work without leader. Anywhere you go, any country, any nation, any society, any community, any family, there is a leader. So the Vedas instruct that there is a supreme leader. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). This very important mantra in Kaṭha Upaniṣad.

You have heard the names of Upaniṣad. They are Vedic literatures. Originally, the Veda was one, Sāma Veda. Then it was divided into four: Sāma Veda, Atharva Veda, Ṛg Veda, Yajur Veda. Then the Vedas verses were explained in Upaniṣads. There are 108 Upaniṣads. Then the whole conclusion was made shortened, cream. That is called Vedānta-sūtra. And again, this Vedic knowledge was, I mean to say, compiled in simple way for understanding of less intelligent class of men.

That is called Mahābhārata. And in the Mahābhārata there is one chapter which is called Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is only a chapter of the great history of India, Mahābhārata. And then Vedānta-sūtra is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So Vedic literature is very old. Nobody can trace out the history. So far we understand, it is not man-made. It is coming out from transcendental world by disciplic succession.

So in that Vedic literature this is . . . this verse is there, nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām. A leader, a supreme leader of all living entities—God, or whatever you say, the Absolute Truth, the Absolute Person; generally, we say God—God is also a person like you and me. Just like whenever you find out some leader, he must be a person. Impersonal cannot be leader.

Is there any instance . . . in the modern history they have abolished monarchy, personal government. They have got democratic government or republican government. But still, they have to find out a president. Why? Why not without president? No. That cannot be done. There must be one leader. Any movement, any organization, there must be. And he must be a person.

So you can judge from this how God can be imperson. He's person. And Vedic literature informs that He's a person like you and me. And your Bible also says that man is made after God. Not that God is made after man. Your feature, your two hands, two legs, one head, nice eyes, nice face, everything, this is imitation of God's feature. Therefore man is made after God. Not that because we have got two hands, two legs, or one head, therefore artists have imagined a God like us. No. Actually, this version of Bible is truth. Any scripture, there is truth.

So the Vedic literatures also say that He is the supreme living entity above all other living entities, every individual living entity. The Bhagavad-gītā . . . most of you might have seen Bhagavad-gītā. It is clearly stated in the Second Chapter when Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, was explaining Arjuna, He said that "Yourself, Myself and all these people, or the soldiers or the kings who have assembled here, they were individuals in the past, they are individuals at present and they'll continue individuals in the future."

So individuality cannot be cancelled. That is not possible. The only difference is, my individuality or Kṛṣṇa's individuality, is that my individuality is limited, but Kṛṣṇa's individuality is unlimited. That is the . . . just like you select one person leader because his intelligence is greater than you, something greater than you. Therefore you select somebody as your leader.

So in the Vedic literature the definition of God is also there, who is God. Now everyone is claiming, "I am God," but they do not know what is God. They are falsely claiming. But if you find out Parasara-sūtra, there is definition of God. What is that? Aiśvaryasya samagrasya (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47). God is the owner of all wealth; vīryasya, all strength; yaśasaḥ, all fame; all intelligence; all beauty and all renunciation. These six items in full strength, cent per cent possession, that makes the God. So our position is always subordinate according to Vedic literature or any literature. If you reject God, then you will have to select somebody else you will have to worship as God.

Take for example Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha's philosophy that there is no question of God, but we are suffering due to this material encagement and combination of matter. This body is combination of matter, and when the matter is dismantled, which is called nirvāṇa, then there is no question of feeling pains and pleasure. That is Buddha philosophy.

But there is no question of God there. But fortunately or unfortunately, they are worshiping Lord Buddha. Try to understand that personality cannot be imagined at any circumstance. Somebody has to be found out. So the Vedas gives us the information that you accept the leadership of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then everything, all questions, all problems will be solved.

So here is . . . Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to dovetail your consciousness with the supreme leader, Kṛṣṇa. Then you'll be happy

(aside) They are feeling inconvenience while sitting in this way. So we have no arrangement for chairs. You'll please excuse us. It is just developing. (people apparently getting up and leaving)

Govinda dāsī: Should we give them prasādam?

Prabhupāda: No.

(aside) Now you read that article "Superconsciousness" in the paper.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "Superconsciousness."

Prabhupāda: You can sit down here, face to face.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Then I'll turn my back to you.

Prabhupāda: That's all right.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: This is from Back to Godhead, which is a monthly publication that we put out in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There's an article in it called "Superconsciousness," by our spiritual master.

"Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest yoga performance by trained devotional yogīs. The yoga , as it is stated in the standard yoga practice formula given by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā and as recommended in the Patañjali yoga discipline, is different from nowadays—practiced haṭha-yoga as it is generally understood in the Western countries."

"Real yoga practice means to control the senses, and after such control is established, to concentrate the mind on the Nārāyaṇa form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original absolute personality, the Godhead, and all the other Viṣṇu forms, with four hands, decorated with conch, lotus, club and wheel, are preliminary expansions of Kṛṣṇa."

(aside) Should I wait a second? Wait for them to leave?

Prabhupāda: This will go on. They are not comfortably seated.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "In the Bhagavad-gītā it is recommended that we should meditate upon the form of the Lord. For practicing concentration of the mind one has to sit down in a secluded place, sanctified by a sacred atmosphere. And the yogī should observe the rules and regulations of brahmacarya, to live a life of strict self-restraint and celibacy."

"Nobody can practice yoga in a congested city, living a life of extravagance, including unrestricted sex indulgence and adultery of the tongue. We have already stated that yoga practice means controlling the senses. And the beginning of controlling the senses is to control the tongue. You cannot allow the tongue to take all kinds of forbidden food and drink and at the same time improve in the practice of yoga."

"It is a very regrettable fact that many unauthorized and stray so-called yogīs now come to the West and exploit the learning of the people towards yoga. Such unauthorized yogīs even dare to say publicly that one can indulge in drinking and at the same time practice meditation. Five thousand years ago in the Bhagavad-gītā dialogue, Lord Kṛṣṇa recommended the yoga practice to his disciple Arjuna."

"But Arjuna flatly expressed his inability to follow the stringent rules and regulations of yoga. One should be practical in every field of activity. One should not waste his time his valuable time simply in practicing some gymnastic feats in the name of yoga. Real yoga is to search out the four-handed Supersoul within one's heart and to see Him perpetually in meditation. Such continued meditation is called samādhi."

"If, however, one wants to meditate upon something void or impersonal, it will require a very long time to achieve anything by yoga practice. We cannot concentrate our mind on something void or impersonal. Real yoga practice is to fix up the mind on the person of the four-handed Nārāyaṇa, who dwells in everyone's heart. Sometimes it is said that by meditation one will understand that God is seated within one's heart always, even when one does not know it."

"God is seated within the heart of everyone. He is not only seated within the heart of the human being but he is also there within the hearts of the cats and dogs. The Bhagavad-gītā certifies this with this declaration of the Lord. 'Īśvara, the Supreme Controller of the world, is seated within the heart of everyone. He is not only in everyone's heart, but He is also present within the atoms.' No place is vacant. No place is without the presence of the Lord."

"The feature of the Lord by which He is present everywhere is called the Paramātman. Ātman means the individual soul, and Paramātman means the individual Supersoul. Both ātman and Paramātman are individual persons. The difference between them is that the ātman, or soul, is present only in one particular place, whereas the Paramātman is present everywhere."

"In this connection the example of the sun is very nice. An individual person may be situated in one place, but the sun, even though a specific individual entity, is present over the head of every individual person. In the Bhagavad-gītā this is very nicely explained."

"Therefore even though the qualities of all entities, including the Lord, are equal, the Supersoul is different from the individual soul by quantity of expansion. The Lord, or Supersoul, can expand Himself into millions of different forms, while the individual soul cannot do so. The Supersoul, being seated in everyone's heart, can witness everyone's activities—past, present and future. In the Upaniṣads the Supersoul is said to be sitting with the individual soul as a friend and witness."

"As a friend He is always anxious to get the individual soul back to home, back to Godhead. As a witness He is the endower of all benedictions that result from the individual's actions. The Supersoul gives all facility to the individual soul for achieving whatever he may desire, but He instructs his friend so that he may ultimately give up all other engagements and simply surrender unto God for perpetual bliss and eternal life full of knowledge."

"This is the last instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā, the most authorized and widely read book on all forms of yoga. The last word of the Bhagavad-gītā, as stated above, is the last word in the matter of perfecting the yoga system. It is further stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that a person who is always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the topmost yogī."

"What is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Just as the individual soul is present by his consciousness throughout the whole body, so the Supersoul, or Paramātmā, is present throughout the whole creation by His superconsciousness. This superconsciousness cannot be imitated by the individual soul."

Prabhupāda: This consciousness formula is very simple to understand. Anyone can understand. Just like this body, so long the soul is there within this body, there is consciousness. Just like so long the sun is visible, there is heat and sunlight. Similarly, so long the soul is there within this body, we have got this consciousness. And as soon as the soul is gone from this body, there is no consciousness. So . . .

But this consciousness, my consciousness, your consciousness is limited within this body. I cannot feel what pain and pleasure is within your body, neither you can feel. Therefore your consciousness is individual, my consciousness is individual. But there is another consciousness, which is all-pervading. That consciousness is able to understand your feelings, my feelings and everyone's feelings.

The same example, the sun is located in one place, but five thousand miles away, you ask your friend where is sun, he will reply that, "He is on my head." Similarly, you will say—any direction. But the sun is one, but he is all-pervading. This is crude example. Similarly, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness means when you dovetail your consciousness with the supreme consciousness, then your life becomes perfect.

Just like a motorcar is being driven at fifty miles' speed, but a cyclist is going at ten miles' speed. But if he catches the motorcar, he'll also have the fifty miles' speed immediately. So the superconsciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is all-pervading. If you dovetail your consciousness, then you get universal feeling. Otherwise it is not possible. The same example. So that is being explained.

Read it.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: "This superconsciousness cannot be imitated by the individual soul, who has limited awareness. I can understand what is going on within my limited body, but I cannot feel what is going on in another's body. I am present all over my body by my consciousness, but I am not present in any other's body by my consciousness. However, the Supersoul, or Paramātmā, being present within everyone, situated everywhere, is conscious of every existence."

"The theory that the soul and the Supersoul are one is not acceptable, because the individual soul's consciousness cannot act in superconsciousness. This superconsciousness can only be achieved by dovetailing individual consciousness with the superconsciousness. And this dovetailing process is called surrender, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

"From the teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā we learn very clearly that Arjuna in the beginning did not want to fight with his brothers and relatives. But after understanding the Bhagavad-gītā, when he dovetailed his consciousness with the superconsciousness of Kṛṣṇa, it was Kṛṣṇa consciousness. A person in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness acts by the dictation of Kṛṣṇa, and so Arjuna agreed to fight the Battle of Kurukṣetra."

"In the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness this dictation of the Lord is received through the transparent medium of the spiritual master. When one is sufficiently trained and acts with submissive faith and love for Kṛṣṇa under the direction of the bona fide spiritual master, the dovetailing process becomes more firm and accurate."

"At this stage dictates from within. From without the devotee is helped by the spiritual master, the bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa, and from within the Lord helps the devotee as caitya-guru, being seated within the heart of everyone."

"To simply understand that God is seated in everyone's heart is not perfection. One has to be acquainted with God from within and without, and thus to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is the highest perfectional stage for the human form of life, and the topmost stage in all yoga systems."

"For a perfect yogī there are eight kinds of super-achievements. One can become smaller than an atom, one can become bigger than a mountain, one can become lighter than air, one can become heavier than any metal, one can achieve any material effect he likes—create a planet, for example."

"One can control others like the Lord, one can travel anywhere within or without the universe freely, one can choose his own time and place of death and take rebirth wherever he may desire. But when one rises to the perfectional stage of receiving dictation from the Lord, that is more than the stage of the material achievements above mentioned."

"The breathing exercise of the yoga system which is generally practiced is just the beginning of the system. Meditation on the Supersoul is just a step forward. Achievement of wonderful material success is also only a step forward. But to attain direct contact with the Supersoul and to take dictation from Him is the highest perfectional stage."

"The breathing exercise and meditation practices of yoga are very difficult in this age. It was difficult even five thousand years ago, or else Arjuna would not have rejected the proposal of Kṛṣṇa. This age of Kali is called the fallen age. At the present moment people in general are short-living, are very slow in understanding self-realization or spiritual life. They are most unfortunate and, as such, if somebody is a little bit interested in self-realization, he is misguided by so many frauds."

"The only actual way to realization of the perfect stage of yoga is to follow the principles of the Bhagavad-gītā as they were practiced by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This is the simplest and highest perfection of yoga practice. Lord Caitanya practically demonstrated Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga simply by chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa as they were mentioned in the Vedānta, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and many important Purāṇas."

"The largest number of Indians follow this yoga practice, and in the USA also it is gradually growing in many cities. It is very easy and practical for this age, especially for those who are serious about success in yoga. No other process can be successful in this age."

"The meditation process in right earnest was possible in the golden age of Satya-yuga, because the people at that time lived for a hundred thousand years on the average. If you want success in practical yoga, take to the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, and feel for yourself how you are making progress. One should know for himself how much he is progressing in yoga practice."

"In the Bhagavad-gītā this practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is described as rāja-vidyā, the king of all erudition; rāja-guhyam, the most confidential system of spiritual realization; pavitra, the purest of all that is pure; su-sukham, very happily performed; and avyayam, inexhaustible. Those who have taken to the most sublime bhakti-yoga system, this practice of devotional service in transcendental love of Kṛṣṇa, can testify to how they are nicely enjoying its happy and easy execution."

"Yoga means controlling the senses, and bhakti-yoga means purifying the senses. When the senses are purified, they are also automatically controlled. You cannot stop the activities of the senses by artificial means, but if you purify the senses, they are not only kept back from rubbish engagement but also they become positively engaged in transcendental service to the Lord."

"Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not manufactured by us through mental speculation. It is the injunction of the Bhagavad-gītā, which says that when we think in Kṛṣṇa, chant in Kṛṣṇa, live in Kṛṣṇa, eat in Kṛṣṇa, talk in Kṛṣṇa, hope in Kṛṣṇa and sustain in Kṛṣṇa, we return to Kṛṣṇa without any doubt. And this is the substance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness."

Prabhupāda: Any question?

Young woman (1): I have a question. I would like to know your beliefs concerning who Jesus Christ was.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: She wishes to know what your beliefs are concerning Lord Jesus Christ.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He is representative of God, son of God. That's all.

Young woman (1): Do you believe in the blessed Trinity?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Do you believe in the blessed Trinity?

Prabhupāda: I do not know what is that.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Father, son and holy ghost.

Madhudviṣa: Holy spirit.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Holy spirit.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Why not? (laughter)

Young woman (1): Thank you.

Prabhupāda: Yes?

Young man (2): What is the outcome of continuous practice of the chant oṁ?

Prabhupāda: Oṁ is also another form vibration of Lord. Oṁ. That is also accepted in Bhagavad-gītā. So Hare Kṛṣṇa or oṁ, practically the same value, but this is easier. Yes. And because Hare Kṛṣṇa was chanted by Lord Caitanya specifically. Oṁ is generally added (when) just beginning one mantra. That is the Vedic way. Oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paś . . . (Ṛk-saṁhitā 1.22.20). Oṁ is also addressing the Lord. Oṁ. And Hare Kṛṣṇa is also addressing. But this is easier and recommended for this age. Otherwise, transcendentally or spiritually, there is no difference.

Young woman (3): What do you believe in reference to Ramakrishna? He was in the Hindu faith.

Prabhupāda: Not Hindu faith. What is your belief of Ramakrishna?

Young woman (3): Well, I've read a little about him, and he supposedly . . .

Prabhupāda: What he is? What you have studied about him?

Young woman (3): He was an incarnate of God. He believed in Jesus Christ, he believed in Buddha, he believed in yoga. I just wondered if you had anything to do with him.

Prabhupāda: We have got original Kṛṣṇa. So original Kṛṣṇa includes everyone. Kṛṣṇa, govindam adi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. So if you believe in the original, the categories automatically come. But the categories, under the influence of māyā, becomes different. So if you want to study any person, you have . . . you must have some standard way of studying.

How you have accepted this Ramakrishna as incarnation? What is the authority? Simply suppose if somebody says, "I am incarnation." Will it be accepted? If somebody comes here and says that "I am President Johnson," will it be accepted like that? And if somebody believes in that way, is he very intelligent man?

So what is your basis of taking Ramakrishna as incarnation? So far Vedic literature is concerned, we cannot accept. Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, kāmais tais tair hṛta jṣānāḥ yajante 'nya devatāḥ (BG 7.20). If somebody is lost of his intelligence, then he worships demigods.

What is that?

Young man (2): What do you think of kuṇḍalinī or rāja-yoga?

Prabhupāda: We are practicing the emperor yoga. Therefore rāja-yoga is included there. The Bhagavad-gītā says that:

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate māṁ yo
sa yuktatamo mataḥ
(BG 6.47)

Anyone who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa within himself, he is the topmost yogī. Therefore a person who is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the authority of Vedic literature, he is supposed to passed all kinds of yogic principles. What is your understanding of kuṇḍalinī yoga? Do you know?

Young man (2): It's very dangerous.

Prabhupāda: So why do you accept such dangerous thing?

Young man (2): No, I just wanted to know what you thought of it.

Prabhupāda: There is no need of . . . it is not possible to practice that yoga. Yoga practice . . . that kuṇḍalinī process of yoga is not possible in this age. It is a very difficult process. So we should recommend not to waste your valuable time following something which is not possible to be done by you. That is our recommendation. But if you have got some hobby, that is a different thing. But it will never be successful. It is very difficult to perform.

At the present age, as it is recommended and it is followed, practiced, and experienced, this bhakti-yoga is the only possible way for self-realization. It is made very simple: simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma . . . anyone can do it.

Any part of the world can people practice it, of any age, it doesn't matter, either old, young or child. We have got many children of our devotees, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And many old men like me, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. And these young boys and girls, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.

So it is universal. And all these boys and girls, they are neither Hindus nor Indians, nor they have any knowledge of Sanskrit. But they easily pick up this Hare Kṛṣṇa and chant and getting the result. So this is the easiest, universal method of self-realization in the present age. Any other practice of yoga system will never be successful. It will be simply waste of time.

Young man (3): May I ask this, Swami, as you said after. Have you yourself reached the superconscious state, or the Christ consciousness state?

Prabhupāda: Why don't you come and sit down here? Yes.

What is your question?

Young man (3): I asked, Swami, that you have yourself reached this Christ consciousness or superconscious state and then talked with the Divine.

Prabhupāda: It is not very difficult. You can also do that. It is the easiest process. What Christ consciousness? What did Christ say? That you surrender unto God. Did he say anything more than this?

Young man (3): No, the understanding I had of Christ consciousness was when one's mind reaches the state where he is within all atoms and all the flowers . . .

Prabhupāda: That we have already explained, that Kṛṣṇa is within yourself, within your heart, within my heart, within the atoms, everywhere. So if Christ thinks also like that, then there is no difference between Christ consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is also, aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). Nothing can move, nothing can act without spiritual touch. That is a fact. So this world, or anything, that is moving, jagat . . . the Sanskrit name of the world is jagat, "which is moving, making progress." That movement is not possible without the spiritual touch. Just like my body, your body is moving because there is spiritual spark within you, within me.

So if you can understand this simple fact, that nothing can move without spiritual power, touch . . . just like this watch. This watch is moving. You can say it is machine, but not machine. If I wind, then it will move. Therefore there is spiritual touch. If I don't wind, if I keep it in my box, it will not move. So this simple truth, that without spiritual touch nothing can move, and spirit is God. Therefore you can have immediately God consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Young man (3): Isn't there a difference between . . . when I say Christ consciousness, to get your mind on the same level as the atoms, and on a higher level, beyond the atoms as pure spirit—are these two levels of consciousness in the atoms and . . .

Prabhupāda: Actually, there is no two levels. There is only one level. Just like there is one sky, but when the sky is overcast with cloud, you divide the sky, "This is friendly sky, and this is nonfriendly sky." Just like the airlines, they advertise, "Fly in friendly sky." Wherefrom this "friendly sky" comes? The sky is one. But the part of the sky which is covered with cloud, that is unfriendly sky.

Similarly, sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma (Chāndogya Upaniṣad 3.14.1). There is . . . without exception, everything is spirit. But the portion of spirit which is covered by ignorance, the cloud of ignorance, that is matter. Just like what is material civilization? All activities minus God. This is material. And as soon as all activities plus God, it is spiritual.

So all activities minus God means trouble, and all activities plus God is wholesome, is pleasing. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness means all activities plus God. That's all. We are also doing the same thing. The candle is burned here, you also have candles at your home. You have got your apartment, this is also apartment.

What is the difference between this apartment, your apartment? Because here is relationship of Kṛṣṇa. So you make everything in relationship with Kṛṣṇa, it is spiritual. That is the technique you have to learn in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Actually, there is nothing but Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but artificially we have covered Kṛṣṇa consciousness with something else, which is called māyā. So you have to get out of this māyā consciousness and stand in your original Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Then your life is perfect. That is being taught. There is nothing artificial, neither extraordinary, neither a very difficult thing. It is very plain and simple.

Young man (4): Is there a regression at all in your system of reincarnation? Can we . . . what I mean to say is, can a man regress to, if you call it a regression, I don't know . . . can a man become, after his body dies, I mean, say, an animal or an insect of some sort?

Prabhupāda: Yes. There are 8,400,000 species of different kinds of life. So, so far my condition is concerned, I am not this body; I am spirit soul. Just I am changing my body even at the present moment. Just like when you were born from your mother's womb, your body was very small. Now it has grown. You were a boy; now you are young.

Now you will become old man like me also. That means the changing body. It is simple fact. You are changing. From your childhood body, this body is different. Either you take it that it has grown or either you take it that the body has changed, the same thing. But actually it has changed. So the changing of body is accepted. Therefore it is concluded that when you change this body, you may get another body.

Young man (4): What is it that you take with you? What is the . . .

Prabhupāda: Just like . . . I will explain. Now, how this change of body is being done? That change of body is being done according to your mentality. Just like here you have got different dresses, different features, different modes of life, all these boys and girls and ladies and gentlemen who are sitting. Why? Due to different modes of mind. Somebody likes to keep hair, somebody like to cleanse hair. Why this difference?

Difference due to mind. So according to your mind at the time of your death, the position, the status of your mind, will give you a next body. So if your mind is God conscious, then you get your body next like God. And if your mind is dog conscious, then you get your body, next body, a dog.

So it is a question of training your mind so that at the point of death if you keep yourself Kṛṣṇa conscious mind, then you get as good a body like Kṛṣṇa. This is the whole philosophy. And Kṛṣṇa's body is sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1), full of bliss, full of knowledge, eternal. So we are hankering after eternal body, blissful body, and full of knowledge. That should be the destination. That is our aim. So to fulfill that aim, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very nice thing.

Young man (5): When we get the next body, does our mind retain much of what is learned in the life before? At least the general principles? Or does it start all over again and live within that body and gain its knowledge through that body?

Prabhupāda: No. Death means forgetfulness. Death . . . just like when you sleep you forget your day's activities. So sleep is partial death. In sleep also, you sometimes think that you have got a different body, you are floating on the air, or you have gone somewhere which you never seen. So that means the mind is forgetful of the day's activities. It has taken a different activity.

Similarly, as soon as the body's changed, the mind is also changed. Mind function is thinking, feeling and willing. So we feel, think and will according to circumstances. Just like now you have got an American body, you are thinking like American. I have got an Indian body, I am thinking like Indian. Similarly, a dog has got a dog body, he's thinking like a dog. So mind changes also according to the position of the body.

Young man (6): Is it possible through Kṛṣṇa consciousness to . . . in the supreme state, to be able to remember all that you were?

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is possible. If you come to the supreme state, you can remember. That is also possible. Because there are instances . . . one King Bhārata, he died thinking of a deer, so he got his next body as a deer. But he remembered that "I was such-and-such person."

There are sometimes report in the newspaper that a child is dictating that, "I have got my home there," and when he goes there he says, "He is my son. Here I kept in this box this thing." Perhaps . . . there are many instances like that. So that is, exceptional cases, it is possible.

Young man (5): One more question. Could you tell me why at times it is dangerous to meditate on concentration on the astral world?

Prabhupāda: Because at the present moment mind is always disturbed, full of anxieties. You cannot concentrate. Therefore this process, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, it is forcibly. When you chant, I chant, loudly, at least you hear "Kṛṣṇa," your mind is immediately turned to Kṛṣṇa. So that is meditation.

Because after all, meditation means you have to concentrate on the Supreme. The Supreme is non-different. Supreme name—Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name, non-different. So when you hear Kṛṣṇa, the name, you immediately remember the Kṛṣṇa person, and there is no difference between His name and the person. So immediately you associate with Kṛṣṇa. Forcibly.

Even you don't like, I'll chant "Kṛṣṇa," you'll be forced to associate. You will chant "Kṛṣṇa," I'll be forced to associate. This is going on. One devotee is forcing another devotee to remember Kṛṣṇa. And what he'll do by meditation? He'll think of his office or his home or his dog or his cat. That's all.

So therefore meditation . . . not only at the present moment; even five thousand years ago, when Kṛṣṇa advised Arjuna that, "You take to this practice," he said: "Oh, it is not possible for me. I am a warrior. I am a politician. I have got to do so many things. How can I concentrate my mind? Kṛṣṇa, excuse me." You'll see in Bhagavad-gītā. But we are trying to be more than Arjuna at the present moment. It is simply waste of time. It is not possible. This is the only process of meditation.

Young man (5): I have known some people who have meditated, and they don't know how to meditate, and they try to meditate, as I say, on the astral, and they contact the incarnate souls in the astral world. And sometimes they get a hold of the wrong one. And when their mind is left open, these spirits or incarnate souls that are not good will take over the mind of a person. Now, how can one avoid this?

Prabhupāda: By Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You can avoid all rubbish things by simply keeping your consciousness in Kṛṣṇa. That's all. It is a very simple thing. Satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ (BG 9.14). That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Those who are great souls, they're always chanting, glorifying the Lord. So there is no opportunity of engaging the mind in something else which is nonsense. We are teaching our student, "Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma . . ." He is being practiced to this. He cannot avoid it. Even if he goes on the street he'll chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. His samādhi . . .

He hasn't got to attain samādhi; the samādhi is going with him, samādhi. It is so nice thing, and easy. They are not practicing breathing exercise or sitting exercise. No. They are ordinary boys and girls. But simply by chanting they are making practical progress. Their health, their character, their mode of living—everything is increasing, developing.

And spiritual advancement means all goodness. It does not mean that a man is spiritually advanced and doing all nonsense. That is contradictory. How pure thing can be impure? Pure is pure; impure is impure. If you say it is impure pure, how it is possible? One is addicted to all nonsense habit and he's practicing meditation and elevating himself. Is it possible? That is all bogus.

As soon as one becomes purified, the manifestation of his character, of his mode of life, living, everything will be purified. That is the test. Pareśānubhava. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhava (SB 11.2.42). Just like if you're cured, then there is no fever. The temperature is at the normal point. And if you say, "I am cured. I am taking medicine, and still, my temperature is 105," that is not possible.

So advancement in self-realization means purification from material contamination. That is real advancement. This is practical. Now, how practical it is? In your country, smoking, drinking, taking tea and keeping boyfriend, girlfriend, liquor, meat-eating, they are common affairs. How they have avoided all these things, within very short time? None of them are associating with me more than one year, and just see their character.

It is so practical. You cannot induce them even to smoke. We don't say that you go on with all nonsense, at the same time you become spiritually advanced. We don't talk all this nonsense. There must be practical exhibition that one is advanced in spiritual consciousness. Yasyāsti bhaktir bhagavaty akiṣcanā sarvair guṇais tatra samāsate surāḥ (SB 5.18.12). All good qualities will develop. That is spiritual advancement. That is the test.

But it may be due to my past habit I may sometimes commit mistake, I may fall down. But Kṛṣṇa says, śaśvad bhavati dharmātmā (BG 9.31). Even if he falls down sometimes out of ignorance, still, he'll very soon become purified. The process is so nice. Just like a fan is moving and make the switch off. Still you will see the fan is moving, but rest assured it will stop, because the switch is off.

Similarly, a person taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his material life's switch is off immediately. And even though it is seen it is moving, it will stop very soon. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means to put off the switch of material existence immediately. It is so nice.


Young man (5): Do you think that drugs would help attain the Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: It is nonsense. It will not help, but it is nonsense. We don't allow any kind of intoxication.

Young man (5): Does it interfere with the . . . the soul?

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is artificial. You are already artificially complicated by your this body, because you have got this body. And you want to make yourself more complicated? And do you mean to say that is advancement? You have to get free.

So just like in order to get free from a type of disease one has to take proper medicine and proper diet, similarly, in order to get out of this material contamination, you have to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the medicine. And you have to take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, the diet. The disease will be cured. Simple method.

And it is practically seen. When these boys came to me first, from that time and this time, their face has changed so much. And what I am giving them? These fruits, kṛṣṇa-prasāda, that's all, and chanting. Their mind, their face, their activity, their habit, their character—everything has changed. But what is the process? This medicine and this diet. That's all. There is no surgical operation. It is very simple. You take to it and you see the result.


Young man (5): What are the good qualities you referred to not too long ago?

Prabhupāda: To become devotee of Kṛṣṇa. That is the greatest quality. We are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. We have forgotten it. And when we come to understanding that, "I am part and parcel of God," that is your greatest qualification. Simple thing. What is the greatest qualification of good citizen?

American, when he thinks that, "I am American citizen. I have to look after the interest of American state," that is his good qualification, or good citizenship. Similarly, when you transcend all these artificial designations that, "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am this or that . . ." "I am part and parcel of the Supreme," that is the greatest qualification.

Young man (5): When you succumb to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or to Kṛṣṇa, do you still have any obligation to, say, the worldly affairs, in making, say, the world a better place?

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is my obligation, to give them education in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the best service I am giving to the humanity. Why I have come to your country? I am old man. Just to fulfill this obligation. So when one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, he feels obligation very extensive, not limited. He is called mahātmā, very broad-minded.

Not cripple-minded. So "I am good, my father is good"—not like that. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that it makes your mind broader. Mahātmā. Sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. This exact word is there in the Bhagavad-gītā:

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jṣānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
(BG 7.19)

After many lives' cultivation of knowledge, when one comes to the point that Vāsudeva, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is everything, He is the cause of all causes, then he surrenders unto Him. But such kind of surrendering soul is very rare.

So in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we do not expect that everyone can join, but anyone who joins, it is to be understood that in his previous life he has passed all cultivation of knowledge. Otherwise it is not possible. But if one is . . . just like this verse says, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jṣānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). If one is intelligent to understand this verse, that only a wise man, only one who has become very wise after many, many births' cultivation of spiritual knowledge, he surrenders to Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa . . . so I do not know whether I cultivated knowledge in my past life, but if it is a fact that this is the result of many, many births' cultivation of knowledge, why not surrender immediately and become the most learned wise man? Take the opportunity.

One has to become very intelligent. Just like if one man is earning, say, ten hundred millions of dollars by depositing little, little, in the bank, so if somebody offers, "All right, you take immediately ten hundred thousands of dollars immediately," so who will refuse it? So if it is a fact that one comes to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness after many, many births . . . so, little intelligence required, that "Why not take it immediately? Even I did not cultivate knowledge in my past life, let me take immediately."

So this opportunity is offered. Take Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There is no tax, there is no loss, but everything is gained. Try it. At least, make an experiment for week or for fortnight and see. It is not difficult. Simply we must be willing. That's all. Because every one of us are independent. Not fully; little. So we can use our independence, we can misuse our independence.

So here is the offering: take Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Now it is your choice. If you can take, it is good. If you don't take, that is your good will. Is there any difficulty to accept our formula? I ask all of you, is there any difficulty? I am asking this. You have asked so many questions of me. Is there any difficulty to accept this formula?

Young man: No.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Young man: No.

Prabhupāda: So why don't you take it?

Young man: I have.

Prabhupāda: Thank you. (laughter) It is so simple, nice. Try to understand by your knowledge, question. We are not pushing forcibly. You have got your intelligence, argument, logic, everything. But you'll find it.

Caitanyera dayāra kathā karaha vicāra (CC Adi 8.15). The author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta says that we are placing it for your judgment. Not that we are pushing it by force, that you have to accept it. Just like sometimes it is said that the Muhammadans, they propagated one hand sword and one hand Koran, "Either you accept Koran or there is sword for you."

It is not that. It is placed for your judgment. And if you like, you can accept it. Otherwise, I came here empty-handed, I shall go back empty-handed. There is no loss, no gain. (laughter)

So any other question? All right. Then join with Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees offer obeisances)

Chant. Upendra will chant. (kīrtana) (break) (end)