690502 - Lecture at International Student Association Cambridge - Boston

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada



690502LE-BOSTON - May 02, 1969 - 57:05 Minutes



Prabhupāda: I understand that your . . . this society is known as International Student Society? Yes. There are many other international societies. There are international United Nations also. The idea is very nice, but we should try to understand—internationally or universally—what is the central idea. Just like if you throw a stone in the middle of water, it expands. It becomes . . . the circle expands, and the circle goes to the limit of the bank of the water. That is the way. The vibration, sound vibration also, radio message also. Similarly, the circle increases, and you capture the waves and you understand.

Similarly, international feeling can be extended also. In the beginning of our life, just like a child, anna-brahma: everything he wants to eat. A small child, whatever he captures he wants to eat. Personal interest. Then, when the child grows, he tries to participate with his other brothers and sisters, "All right. You also take little." This is increasing the feeling of fellowship. Then he grows again; he feels for his father, parents, society, then community, country and, at last, international. Expansion.

But in such feeling, unless the center is right, that expansion of feeling, universally or internationally or nationally even, that is not perfect. That is not perfect. Take, for example, internationally. In your country, what is the meaning of national? National means one who has taken birth in that particular country. Is that all right? National? You feel for another American because he is born in this country. Or any other country, Indian. That national feeling . . . that is called national feeling. You feel for your countrymen. You sacrifice your life for your country.

But there is defect. What is that defect? If this is the definition—that a living entity or a person born in that country, he is a national—then why not the animals? They are also born in that country. But we are not expanding our feelings beyond this human society. We don't think animals are national assets. Animals are sent to the slaughterhouse. So this is because the center of national feeling or international feeling is losing. The center is not fixed up. If the center is right, then you can make circle from that center, any number of circles, they'll never overlap. They'll be growing, growing, growing. They'll not interact with one another if the center is all right.

So everyone is feeling nationally or internationally, but the center is missing. Therefore your feeling, your international feeling, my international feeling, your national feeling, my national feeling, they are overlapping. So we have to find out the center. Then you expand your circle, it will not, I mean to say, overlap or counteract. It will go on. That center is Kṛṣṇa. Our society, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, is teaching to the people of all country that the center is Kṛṣṇa. You try to think from the central point of Kṛṣṇa. That Kṛṣṇa philosophy is the Bhagavad-gītā.

I take it for granted that many of you have studied Bhagavad-gītā. And in the Seventh Chapter there is a nice verse that:

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

You have heard the word mahātmā. That is a Sanskrit word, or Indian word, which is applied to a person whose mind is expanded, whose feelings, the circle of his feelings, is very expanding. He is called mahātmā. Mahā means big or great, and ātmā, ātmā means soul. Who has expanded his soul very wide, he is called mahātmā. So this Bhagavad-gītā gives the definition of the person who has expanded his feeling very wide.

Who is that? It is said there, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). We are trying to expand our feeling socially, communally or nationally or internationally or universally or some other way. This is going on. We try to do it. That is our natural function, especially in the human form of life—expanded consciousness, broader consciousness. We try.

We try to do some service to the whole humanity, to society, to the country. That is expanded consciousness. But Bhagavad-gītā says that bahūnāṁ janmanām ante. Bahu means many, and janma means birth. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante: at the end of. At the end of many, many births.

Perhaps you know that we believe the theory—not theory; the fact—of transmigration of soul. We are changing bodies one after another. There are 8,400,000's of different species of life, and we are evolving. And at last we come to this form, human form of life. This is also called bahūnāṁ janmanām ante: after many, many births.

Labdhvā su-durlabham idaṁ bahu-sambhavānte (SB 11.9.29). In the Bhāgavata there is a verse. It is said there, labdhvā su-durlabham idam. Idam. Idam means "this." This body, labdhvā, you have got it. Labdhvā su-durlabham idam. Su-durlabham means it is very rare. This is not very cheap. The body of cats and dogs or animals, they are cheap, but this is not very cheap. Su-durlabhaḥ. Bahūnāṁ janman . . . labdhvā su-durlabham idaṁ bahu-sambha-vānte.

After many, many births, at least 8,000,000 births of different species of life, we get this human form of life. It is stated in the Bhāgavata, and similarly, all Vedic literatures, they corroborate one another. It is . . . the person who can understand, he doesn't find any contradiction. The same statement is there in the Bhagavad-gītā: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante.

So this human form of life is obtained after many, many births of lower animal or other than human form of life. But even in this human form of life also, if one is cultivating that knowledge to find out the central point, what is the central point, then that also requires he gets many, many births in human form of life also. But he has to find out that central point.

That central point is there, Kṛṣṇa is saying, that bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān (BG 7.19). Jñānavan means who has actually acquired knowledge. Jñānavān. Jñāna means knowledge, and vān means one who possesses. So one who possesses actual knowledge, after . . . we are cultivating knowledge. If we are actually cultivating knowledge, spiritual knowledge, not in one life but many, many lives, then when we actually become on the highest platform of knowledge, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān, then Kṛṣṇa says, mam prapadyate: "He comes and surrenders unto Me, Kṛṣṇa," or God.

When I speak "Kṛṣṇa," "Kṛṣṇa" means the Supreme Lord, the all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. So bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate. Surrenders. Why? Vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. This word mahātmā is there, because after cultivating knowledge many, many births, he has expanded himself to be very great.

God is great, and His devotee who expands up to the point of God, he is also called great. His ātmā is also great. Mahātmā. But He says, sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. That sort of mahātmā, or great soul, is very rare to be seen. Su-durlabhaḥ. Su-durlabhaḥ. Su means very, and durlabhaḥ means rare. Very rare.

So this is the definition we get from Bhagavad-gītā, that we are expanding our feelings of love, different types of love—love of the country, love of the nation, love of the society, love of the community, love of the family, or love of the cats and dogs and so on. Love is there. Love is there, but we are expanding it according to our expansion of perfect knowledge.

That perfect knowledge comes to exist when we come to the point of loving Kṛṣṇa. That is perfection. Sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. But it is very difficult to find out such person who has developed love of Kṛṣṇa. But that is the aim of life. That is the aim of all activities.

Similarly, in the Bhāgavata, there is another verse. It is said that:

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed ratiṁ yadi
śrama eva hi kevalam
(SB 1.2.8)

It is said that you are doing your duty according to your position. Everyone is doing. Svanuṣṭhitaḥ dharmaḥ. Dharma means occupational duty. Everyone has got duty. A student has a duty, or a householder has got some duty, a sannyāsī has got some duty, a brahmacārī has got duty. So there are different types of duties according to different occupation or profession.

But Bhāgavata says that you can perform your duties very nicely, very accurately, but if by performing your duties you do not come to the understanding of Kṛṣṇa, or God, then whatever you have done very nicely, śrama eva hi kevalam: it is simply laboring. Simply laboring.

But if you want to perfection, come to the point of perfection, then that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, as I said, that bahūnāṁ janmanām, after discharging duties very nicely, very accurately, very faithfully, if one comes to the point that vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti, then you should understand that your feelings of love or international feeling or national feeling has actually expanded. That is it. That is real national feeling.

And what is the symptom? A man says, "Yes, I have expanded very widely my feelings of love." No. There are some symptoms how you are feeling, how you are . . . that is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ. Paṇḍita means learned. Sama-darśinaḥ.

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
(BG 5.18)

A paṇḍita, if one has actually elevated to that stage of perfect wisdom, then he is sama-darśinaḥ, that actually sama . . . how sama-darśinaḥ? Vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe. A Brāhmin, according to Vedic culture, a Brāhmin is considered . . . Brāhmin means vidyā-vinaya-sampanne. He is very gentle and very learned. That is the first qualification of Brāhmin. Not by birth but by qualification.

Gentle and learned. Vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi . . . brāhmaṇe gavi hastini, paṇḍitaḥ sama-darśinaḥ. Because his vision is no more on the platform of this body. Sama-darśinaḥ. He sees a learned Brāhmin is also a spirit soul, and a dog is also a spirit soul, an elephant is also a spirit soul, or a low-born man, he is also spirit soul.

Beginning from the high-born Brāhmin up to the caṇḍāla, there are social stages in the human society. But if a man is really learned, he sees everyone, every living entity, on the same level. That is the stage of learning.

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
(BG 5.18)

Śva-pāk means the dog-eaters. In India there are many types of flesh eaters. Not higher caste; amongst the lower grade. But anyone who eats the flesh of dog, he is called caṇḍāla, lowest of the mankind. But here Bhagavad-gītā says even if he is caṇḍāla, the paṇḍitaḥ, he sees equally like the Brāhmin, because he sees the spirit soul.

So our point is that if we actually want to expand this international feeling, then we must find out the real center. That center is Kṛṣṇa—Kṛṣṇa or God, I have already explained. Kṛṣṇa said in the Bhagavad-gītā . . . you'll please always remember that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means placing Bhagavad-gītā as it is.

Whatever I am speaking, it is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Unfortunately, Bhagavad-gītā has been misinterpreted by so many commentators that people have misunderstood the Bhagavad-gītā. Actually, Bhagavad-gītā means to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and we are trying to do that.

So in that Bhagavad-gītā, as Kṛṣṇa has given the definition of mahātmā, broadminded . . . so what is that broadminded? He says next verse, mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Mahātmā, who is actually wise and broadminded, he is no more within the spell of this material energy. He is under the shelter, or protection, of spiritual energy. Everything . . . just try to understand. Whatever we are seeing, they are different energies of God. Parāsya brāhmaṇa śaktir . . . akhilaṁ jagat. Whatever we are experiencing, they are all different energies of the Supreme Lord, parāsya śaktir.

In the Vedic literature, Upaniṣad, it is said, parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate. The Supreme Absolute Truth has many varieties of energies. Parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate, svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.8, CC Madhya 13.65, purport). And the energies are acting so nicely that it appears that it is being automatically, nicely done. Just like a flower is blooming. The energy of God is acting there, but we are seeing that it has automatically become so beautiful and blooming. No. That is energy. That is the vision how we can see God.

How we can see Kṛṣṇa? In the Fourth Chapter you'll find, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya (BG 7.8). "My dear Kaunteya, Arjuna, you, if you try to understand Me, if you want to make your soul broader to understand Me, try to understand Me—raso 'ham apsu kaunteya—I am the taste, the sweet taste in the water." So every day we are drinking water. There is nobody here who does not drink water. So when you drink water and you feel satisfaction, that satisfaction is Kṛṣṇa. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ. Nobody can escape seeing the light of the sun, of the moon. Śaśi, śaśi means moon. Sūrya means sun. So Kṛṣṇa says, "That illumination is I am."

So there is so many list of understanding that God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So when one is fully cognizant of the energies of the Lord, how they are acting . . . and we have to practice. We take lesson from Bhagavad-gītā and we practice. You will be able to understand. Then after bahūnāṁ janmanām ante, when you become mature, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti, "Oh, Vāsudeva is everything," then you surrender. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. That person, who has widened his soul in that way, he is very rare to be seen.

And what are the functions of such mahātmā? Mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ (BG 9.13). Mahātmā, one who is so broadminded, he is not crooked to be under the spell of this material energy. He is under the protection of the spiritual energy, daivī prakṛti. Prakṛti means nature. This nature is called the material energy. And there is another, spiritual energy. These things are all explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Apareyam. These are aparā. Aparā means inferior energies, material energy. Itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parā. Beyond this inferior energy, there is another, spiritual energy. There are so many verses you'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā.

So our propagation is to present Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any nonsensical commentation. There is no need of nonsensical commentation. Bhagavad-gītā is as clear as the sunlight. As you do not require to see the sun with another lamp, similarly, you do not (chuckling) require to study Bhagavad-gītā with another commentation of a common man who has no knowledge. Bhagavad-gītā as it is, you should study. Then you will get all this knowledge. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante: you become wise and you can understand Kṛṣṇa. Then you surrender. Then you become mahātmā.

And what is the function of mahātmā? Mahātmā is under the protection of spiritual energy. And what is the symptom of that protection of spiritual energy? That is also stated:

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso . . .
(BG 9.13)

He is always engaged in devotional service of Kṛṣṇa. That is the only symptom. That is mahātmā.

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam
(BG 9.13)

Does he follow this devotional service blindly? No. Jñātvā. Jñātvā means "knowing perfectly that I am the source of everything." Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8): "I am the source of everything."

So these things are there in the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. It is not possible to explain all the verses, but our request is that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to spread the knowledge depicted in the Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any nonsensical commentation. Then the human society will profit by it. They are actually not in sound condition of living atmosphere, but if they understand Bhagavad-gītā and if they actually expand their broader outlook, then these questions of social, national, international, all will be automatically solved. There will be no difficulty.

And without finding out the center, if we manufacture our own ways . . . not to speak of any individual person; the different nations of the whole world, they are trying to be united. And in your country there is United Nations Organization. Unfortunately, instead of becoming one, the flags are increasing. Daily you pass, you'll see another flag is there. Just like in our India, there was one Hindustan. Now (chuckling) there has become another, Pakistan. And sometime there will be Sikhistan and there will be some-stan. So instead of becoming united, we are being disunited, because we are missing the center.

So my request is that you are all international students, you try to find out the center of any international movement. That international movement does not mean that "My brother is international and I am international. All others, they are nothing." Not like that. Actually you try to feel internationally. That international feeling will be possible when you find out the center, Kṛṣṇa, as it is in the Bhagavad-gītā: bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyat. When you actually understand Kṛṣṇa, the Kṛṣṇa philosophy, that will be perfect.

And Kṛṣṇa says, in the Thirteenth Chapter, you'll find:

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
sambhavanti mūrtayaḥ yāḥ
tāsāṁ mahad yoni brahma
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ (pitā)
(BG 14.4)

He is claiming that, "I am the father of all forms of life." Sarva-yoniṣu, "all species of life." "The material nature is the mother, and I am the seed-giving father." Just like without father and mother nobody can appear, similarly, in this material world, whoever has come, every one of us, beginning from Brahmā down to the ant, everyone, the mother is the material nature.

The mother supplies this body. So our this body is material; therefore it is the gift of the material mother, material nature. But I, the spirit soul, that I am part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). "All these living entities, they are My part and parcel."

So if you try to wide your feelings of internationality, please try to understand Bhagavad-gītā. You'll be getting enlightenment, you'll understand what is international feeling. Sarva-yoniṣu. Sarva-yoniṣu means then you will feel international even for the cats and dogs and animals and reptiles. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam . . .

These people are manufacturing Communism, but in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Seventh Canto, you'll find a statement given by Nārada Muni that if in your house there is a snake even, you should give him something to eat. Just see how the feeling. Even there is a snake, what to speak of other animals.

So these feelings will be enlightened. Unless . . . we cannot be enlightened unless we come to the real point of God, or Kṛṣṇa. So we are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. It is not a new movement, because as I told you, that this is based on the principles of Bhagavad-gītā, and Bhagavad-gītā is not new. At least from historical point of view, it is five thousand years old. And beyond history, pre-history, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā in the Fourth Chapter, it is said, Kṛṣṇa said:

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāhur
manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt
(BG 4.1)

That means "I first of all spoke to the sun-god." Now if you take that duration, it will be some millions of years before it was spoken. These things are stated in the Bhagavad-gītā.

So apart from that statement, from historical point of view, since the days of Mahābhārata, yes, Battle of Kurukṣetra . . . Bhagavad-gītā was spoken in the Battle of Kurukṣetra. From historical point of view, it is five thousand years old. So this Bhagavad-gītā teaching is coming, at least, from five thousand . . . since five thousand years. So it is older than any other scripture in the world.

So you try to understand as it is, without any unnecessary commentary. You do not . . . there is no use of commentary. The words are sufficient to give you enlightenment, but unfortunately, people take advantage of the popularity of Bhagavad-gītā, and they try to impress under the shelter of Bhagavad-gītā their own philosophy or own idea. That is useless.

You try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, then you will get this entitlement, enlightenment, that Kṛṣṇa is the center of all activities. And if you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, then everything will be perfect; all problems will be solved. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpanam (CC Antya 20.12).

These things are there, and actually, they are happening. Our students are feeling . . . they are actually doing that. So we shall request you to read this Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, so your feelings of international spirit will be perfect and you'll be happy, and wherever you preach this cult, they will be also happy. And that will be very nice thing.

Thank you very much. (devotees offer obeisances)

If there are any question, you can ask.

Yes?

Guest: Could you discuss the various levels on the way to bliss consciousness? What happens to the body and the mind as one approaches bliss consciousness?

Prabhupāda: (aside) What is that question?

Satsvarūpa: What are the different levels that you go through on the way to getting bliss consciousness? What happens to the body? What happens to the mind?

Prabhupāda: We are acting not singly, simply with mind or simply . . . prāṇair arthair dhiyā vācā (SB 10.22.35). Kāya-mana-vākya. Whatever we do, we do with our body, mind and words. But this consciousness means if you put your mind in Kṛṣṇa, then your words and body also become Kṛṣṇa-ized. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor (SB 9.4.18). There was a nice king, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa. He was great king. He had to administer a great kingdom, whole world. But he was a great devotee also, although he was very busy. Because it is said, sa vai manaḥ. Manaḥ means mind. Sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor. He always kept his mind in the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇānuvarṇane. And therefore his mind was always dedicated to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. He could not speak anything but Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Vacāṁsi vaikuṇṭha-guṇa.

So the whole process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is transferring the business from matter to spirit, or Kṛṣṇa. There is a nice definition how to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the Nārada Pañcarātra. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). If we become freed from all these designations . . . "I am American," this is a designation. "I am Indian," this is a designation. I am not Indian; you are not American. We are all parts and parcel of the Supreme. This is only dress. It does not mean because I am in this saffron colored dress and you are in black coat or green coat, there is difference between you and me.

We are all human being. Similarly, we have to understand that this body is our dress only. Because we have got a different dress—a black dress or white dress or Indian dress or American dress—that does not mean we are different.

When we can feel in that way, when we are trained in that way, that is called sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam. He is freed from all designation. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. That time he becomes purified, nirmalam. So long I have got identification that, "I am this," "I am that," "I am that . . ."

Simply when I shall understand that "I am part and parcel of God," that is . . . means, that status of mind is called nirmalam, without any contamination. And when you are in that status of life . . . that is also explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. This is called brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (BG 18.54). Brahma-bhūtaḥ means self-realization. And the symptom will be prasannātmā, joyfulness, without any anxiety. So there are stages. One has to learn this from authoritative sources. Then it is possible to become . . . but our movement, it is . . . chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is so nice that what was possible after many, many births, you can get it within a few weeks.

That is a fact. If you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra as we are doing, then you'll understand. Very quickly your self-realization, your freedom from designation, your mental concoction, everything will be cleared, and there will be no more anxiety.

So we request everyone. We are not charging anything. We are not saying that, "I shall give you some mantra. You pay me fifty dollars, and it is private." No. It is open, without any charge. Anyone can. These boys, American boys and girls, they are chanting. Similarly, you can also chant. There is none Indian, but they are very nicely chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. You can also chant. There is no fee. You just make an experiment on how you become free from this designation.

So our request is that everything will be complete if you take to this chanting: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. And there is no very strict rules, regulation. You can chant anywhere, either in this room or outside the room or on the road, street, bus. Wherever you find opportunity, you chant simply Hare Kṛṣṇa and see the result.

So this is a process of purification. When we actually purify our this material contamination and designation, we, I mean to say, raised, we are promoted to the actual spiritual life. And then, at that time, we shall feel happy and our consciousness will be broader, and everything will be all right.

Indian man: I don't know the equivalent verse of Sanskrit from the Gītā, but somewhere it says that . . . Kṛṣṇa says, "All roads lead to Me. No matter what one does, no matter what one thinks, no matter what one is involved with, eventually he's evolving towards Me," this Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's nice, but . . .

Indian man: In this evolution, is it a natural evolution that you can teach people, you can guide people, you can show them the path, but the actual progress that one would make towards the supreme knowledge, is that a natural evolution, or is it . . .? Can that be influenced by external teaching?

Prabhupāda: No. There is natural, of course . . .

Indian man: But no one person having no control on it. One may get there sooner than the other, but in reality there may not be any control that one really has on this . . .

Prabhupāda: No, it requires. It requires. Otherwise, why Kṛṣṇa is teaching? Why Kṛṣṇa's teaching is required?

Indian man: Kṛṣṇa . . . in the Gītā it says the student comes to the teacher.

Prabhupāda: If it is natural, then why it was needed that Kṛṣṇa would teach Arjuna? It is not natural. You have to select, by getting knowledge from superior person. Otherwise there is no meaning of teaching, Kṛṣṇa's to Arjuna. Arjuna was perplexed. He was . . . he could not understand whether he should fight or not. So that is the position of everyone. Everyone is perplexed. He requires a guidance like Kṛṣṇa. Then you can find out the . . .

It is not natural. Natural means up to the animal life it is natural. Then come to the human form of life. Then it is discretion. As you like, you make your choice. If you like Kṛṣṇa, you can go to Kṛṣṇa. If you like something else, you can go there. That is your discretion. Everyone has got independence, little independence. Kṛṣṇa says at the end of Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). "Just you surrender unto Me, giving up everything." If it is natural, then why should He say, "You should do this"? It is not natural. One has to learn it. Therefore he requires a spiritual master like Kṛṣṇa or His representative. But he has got the potency to accept it. And because he has got little independence, he can reject it.

So it is not natural evolution. You have to accept the principle as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Why it is said, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata (BG 4.7). If it is actually evolutionary, then why there is dharmasya glānir? Tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham: "As soon as there is discrepancies in the discharge of real duties, I appear." So it is natural. If we keep ourself in natural life, it is natural. But because we are developed consciousness, we do not keep in natural life. We accept so many unnatural things. Therefore our knowledge becomes covered by unnatural material nature.

So that has to be cleared by superior instruction. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Therefore we have to take; voluntarily we have to accept. Just like a man who lives naturally, he never gets disease. But one who lives . . . just like you don't find any disease amongst the animals. But amongst the human beings, oh, there are so many medical science, so many things. Why? They live unnaturally. So if you live naturally there is natural evolution, but if you block the natural course, then how you can do it? If you lit fire and let it go, it will grow. But if you pour water in it, how it will grow?

So in human form of life we do not go according to natural intuition. Just like amongst the animals, amongst the birds you'll see—take the pigeons—you give them some peas, they will eat. But if you give them some particles of meat, oh, they will not eat, because they are living natural life. A tiger, he will not accept . . . you give him nice foodstuff, prepare your vegetables, he'll not accept.

So natural life evolves up to the animal life. But when you come to the human form of life you have got developed consciousness, and instead of using your intelligence and consciousness for further develop naturally, you put unnatural impediments; therefore you are covered. That is called yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati, tadātmānam. Therefore you require instruction of Kṛṣṇa.

Guest: One of the major criticisms today of most religions are their irrelevance to tackling the social problems or immediate external problems. You talked about things beyond the self. In the Bhagavad-gītā I think you have references such as Arjuna being told not to become attached to the fruit of his actions, but act. Can you give us some idea of, more specific idea, of the principles which would guide one's action while trying to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: That principle is stated as the ultimate instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). We have got two kinds of religion. One is called, what is called, pravṛtti. Pravṛtti means we are inclined, because we have got this material body, we are inclined to material activities. That is called pravṛtti-mārga. Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur (BG 3.42).

This body means senses. So because so long we are absorbed in this bodily concept of life, then we try to give comforts to the senses, sense gratification. This is one stage.

So dharma means occupation. People are engaged in various types of occupational duties for sense gratification. Sometimes in religion they say you'll go to heaven. What is that heaven? That is also sense gratification. You'll live so long years, you'll have so many beautiful wives and so many things, so many things.

All flowery language. What is the basic? Sense gratification. That's all. This is one way. Another way is nivṛtti-mārga. When one has seen perfectly that "This process of sense gratification cannot give me actual happiness," then they began to give it up.

Just like the Māyāvādī philosophy. They say brahma-satyaṁ jagan mithyā (Śaṅkarācārya). "This world is false." Just like in your country, a section of youngsters, they're disgusted with this materialistic way of life. They have taken to the hippies' path. Why? It does not give satisfaction, but they do not know the right way. They have taken a wrong way, hippies. So this is called accepting and rejecting.

So Kṛṣṇa says: "You have to give up all this nonsense accepting and rejecting. You have to take to Me, then you'll be happy." Sarva-dharmān. Sarva-dharmān means some religious occupation is for sense gratification and some religious occupation is rejection of this material world. So we have to give up both these, the acceptance and rejection. We have to accept the Kṛṣṇa's path, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. "Surrender unto Me." Then we'll be happy.

Guest: I'd like to just digress on that. Arjuna had a very difficult problem with whether to go into combat or not. Today . . .

Prabhupāda: Yes. He accepted Kṛṣṇa's . . . Kṛṣṇa's path, surrender. Kṛṣṇa wanted that, "You must fight." So in the beginning he did not like to fight, but when he surrendered . . . Kṛṣṇa asked him, "My dear Arjuna, I have spoken to you everything. Now what you are going to do?" Now here is also Kṛṣṇa is giving independence to Arjuna, "What you are going to do?" Yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). "Now whatever you like, you do." He never interferes. And what Arjuna said? Kariṣye vacanaṁ tava (BG 18.73). "Oh, I shall do what You are saying. Yes." (laughter) This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kariṣye vacanaṁ tava. Yes. He changed his decision and he wanted to do as Kṛṣṇa desired. This is Kṛṣṇa conscious. He remained the same military man, but he changed his consciousness. He perfected.

Arjuna, after learning Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or teachings of Bhagavad-gītā, he did not go away from the battlefield, but he sternly fought the fight because he knew that "Kṛṣṇa wants it. All right." Kariṣye vacanam. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So when we take to this conclusion, kariṣye vacanaṁ tava, "Kṛṣṇa, whatever You want, I shall do," that is perfection.

Guest: Under what conditions would Kṛṣṇa sanction violence?

Prabhupāda: (aside) What is that?

Satsvarūpa: Under what conditions would Kṛṣṇa sanction violence?

Prabhupāda: Violence? Kṛṣṇa does not sanction violence, but if there is absolute necessity, then violence is required. Yes. Kṛṣṇa wanted to mitigate the misunderstanding of two groups of cousin-brothers. So Kṛṣṇa personally induced, "All right, they are . . . your brothers are kṣatriyas.

Kṣatriyas, they cannot do any business or take the profession of a Brāhmin. So you give them five villages. They will be satisfied." And they replied, "Oh, what do You call five villages? I cannot spare even that land which can hold the tip of this needle." Then Kṛṣṇa says, "You must fight."

So Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's devotees, they are not fight . . . they are not after fight, but if there is absolute necessity of fight, then they can fight also. Because they are prepared to do anything. Just like in Rāmāyaṇa also, the same subject matter. Hanumān . . . Hanumān is a devotee of Lord Rāmacandra.

So he fought with Rāvaṇa not for his personal self, but Rāma wanted that, "He has kidnapped the queen of Rāma. She must be delivered," and there was fighting. That is the principle. When one does not agree to the religious principle or to the moral principle or any instruction, he is adamant, then there must be fight.

Guest: What are the specific principles that you would use in trying to determine whether it is absolutely necessary to fight? That sounds sort of like "Whenever in doubt, do the right thing." That's a very vague directive. You know that perhaps if somebody comes into your house and threatens your family, then you have to repel them with a certain amount of force, but how would you . . .

Prabhupāda: These instructions, these directions are there in the Vedic literatures. If somebody . . . it is said if somebody kidnaps your wife, if somebody sets fire in your house, somebody comes to kill you, then he is understood as aggressor and you can kill him immediately. There is no question of nonviolence. These are śāstric instruction.

All right. So I think we can chant again. You can join. (end)