690511 - Lecture to Indian Association - Columbus
- ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
- śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
- ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ
- sarvātma-snapanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam
- (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1)
All glories to the saṅkīrtana movement. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, five hundred years ago in Navadvīpa, at the age of sixteen years only, a boy of sixteen years, He introduced this movement, saṅkīrtana movement.
Not that He manufactured some religious system. Just like nowadays there are so many religious system have been manufactured. Actually, religion cannot be manufactured. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Religion means the codes of God, the laws of God. That's all. Just like you cannot live without obeying the state laws, similarly, you cannot live without obeying the laws of God. And in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7) "Whenever there is discrepancies in the process of religious . . . prosecution of religious activities," yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati, abhyutthānam adharmasya, "and there is predominance of irreligious activities," tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham, "at that time," Kṛṣṇa, the Lord, says that "I appear." That is the way.
The same principle. Just like as soon as there is disobedience of state laws, there is advent of some particular state officer or the governor or the state man to take step and to set things right. That is the way.
So Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He is worshiped by the Gosvāmīns, and there is a verse written by Rūpa Gosvāmī, one of His principal disciple. There were six Gosvāmīns: Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī and Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. All of them were Gosvāmīns.
Gosvāmīns means . . . go means senses. There are three meanings of go. Go means land; go means cow; go means senses. So gosvāmī . . . they were gosvāmī means they were master of the senses. Svāmī. Svāmī or gosvāmī, the same category. Gosvāmī is more explained. Svāmī, svāmī means master.
So when one becomes master of the senses, gosvāmī, he can make progress in the spiritual life. That is the meaning of svāmī. Svāmī does not mean that he is servant of the senses. Svāmī means master of the senses, gosvāmī. So they were all gosvāmīs, and one of the gosvāmīs, Rūpa Gosvāmī, he was the head. So he compiled one nice verse in respect of honoring Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He says:
- anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
- samarpayitum unnatojvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
- hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
- sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandana
- (CC Adi 1.4)
He is blessing the people in general that "This incarnation of God, Kṛṣṇa . . ." Anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau. Kalau means this age, this Age of Kali, which is very much contaminated, or the age of quarrel and disagreement. This is called Kali, Age of Kali.
So Rūpa Gosvāmī says that, "In this Age of Kali, where everything is disagreement and quarrel, You have descended to offer the highest, topmost love of God." Samarpayitum unnatojvala-rasām. "And not only topmost, but very brilliant rasa, transcendental mellow, humor." Anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau samarpayitum unnatojvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam, hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti (CC Adi 1.4): "Your complexion is just like golden, luster of gold. So You are so kind. So I bless everyone . . ." Gosvāmīs, they can bless because they are master of the senses, ". . . that this form of the Lord, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, may always remain dancing in your heart."
Another place, when Rūpa Gosvāmī first met Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu at Prayāg, Lord Caitanya was dancing on the street, "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa." At that time also, he offered one prayer, namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te (CC Madhya 19.53) "Oh, You are the most munificent of all incarnation, because You are distributing love of Godhead." Kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te. Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ: "You are Kṛṣṇa Himself, because without being Kṛṣṇa, You cannot distribute kṛṣṇa-prema. Love of God, or love of Kṛṣṇa, is not so easy thing, but You are distributing freely to everyone."
So this saṅkīrtana movement was inaugurated in Bengal, in India, and in Navadvīpa. So in this sense the Bengalis are very fortunate that in their country this movement was inaugurated by Lord Caitanya, and He predicted that . . . those who are Bengalis here present, they will understand:
- pṛthivīte āche yata nagaradi grāma
- sarvatra pracāra haibe mora nāma
- (CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126)
He predicted that, "As many villages and towns there are all over the world, everywhere this saṅkīrtana movement will be preached." That is His future prediction.
So by the grace of Lord Caitanya, this movement is already introduced in the Western countries, beginning from New York. Our first movement, the saṅkīrtana movement, was introduced in New York. I came in New York first, and I began to chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in the Tompkinson Park.
(aside) Is that Tompkinson Park or Square?
Devotee: Tompkins Square.
Prabhupāda: Tompkins Square. So this . . . I was chanting there for three hours with a little small mṛdaṅga, and these boys, American boys, they assembled, and gradually they joined. And it is increasing. First of all it was started in New York in a storefront, 26 Second Avenue.
Then we started our branch in San Francisco, in Los Angeles, in Santa Fe, in Buffalo, then here. We have got now twenty branches, including one in London and one in Hamburg. And in London, the boys—they are all American boys, American boys and girls—they are preaching.
They are not sannyāsī, neither they are Vedāntist, neither they are Hindus, neither they are Indian. But they have taken this movement very seriously. Here one lady from London, she has come. She was very much praising about that movement. And in London Times there was an article. They said that "Kṛṣṇa Chanting Startles London."
So we have got many followers now. All my disciples till now, at least in this country, they are all Americans and Europeans. They are chanting, dancing. They are issuing paper, Back to Godhead. Now we have published so many books, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, Teachings of Lord Caitanya.
So this movement is not like that is a sentimental movement. Don't think that these boys are dancing in some religious sentiment or fanaticism. No. We have background. We have background, highest philosophical and theosophical, whatever you like. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, while He was preaching, He went to Benares. So Benares is the seat of Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. The followers of Śaṅkarācārya, they are mostly seen in Benares, Vārāṇasī.
When Caitanya Mahāprabhu was there, He was chanting and dancing. So some of the people, they became very much appreciative of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's dancing and chanting, and there was a big sannyāsī, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, leader of many thousands of Māyāvādī sannyāsīs. So somebody went to him and said, "Oh, from Bengal one young sannyāsī has come. Oh, He is so nicely chanting and dancing."
So Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, he was a great Vedāntist. He did not like the idea. He said, "Oh, He is a pseudo-sannyāsī. He is chanting and dancing. This is not the business of a sannyāsī. This is the . . . sannyāsī should always engage himself in the study of philosophy and Vedānta, and He is simply chanting and dancing?" So he remarked that "He's a pseudo-sannyāsī. He is not actually sannyāsa."
Then one of the devotees, he did not like the idea, remark of Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. He came back and informed Lord Caitanya that "Oh, these people are blackmailing . . . I cannot tolerate this. So if something can be done to stop this blackmailing?" So that's a long history.
So one devotee, he arranged the meeting of all the sannyāsīns, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu was also invited, and there was Vedānta philosophical discussion between Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This description and philosophical discussions are given in our Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and it is very nice that Prakāśānanda himself with his, all his disciples, they became Vaiṣṇavas. The idea is . . . similarly, Caitanya Mahāprabhu had a great discussion with Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, the greatest logician of that time. He was also Māyāvādī, impersonalist.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu's movement is not sentimental. People think that this is a sentimental movement. No. We have got very good background. If one wants to understand this saṅkīrtana movement through philosophy and learning and logic, oh, there is ample opportunity. It is not sentimental.
It is based on science and based on authority of Vedas. But it is simplified. That is the . . . that is the beauty of this movement. Either you are great scholars or philosopher, or either you are a child just like this child, everyone can take part, without any difficulty.
Any system of self-realization, either jñāna process or yoga process or any process, they are also recognized, but they are not possible to be practiced in this age. That is not possible. That is the verdict of the Vedas.
- kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
- tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
- dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
- kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt
- (SB 12.3.52)
In the Satya-yuga it was possible to execute the meditation process. Just like Vālmīki Muni. He meditated for sixty thousands of years to get perfection. So where is your age? Besides that, that process, meditation process, are described in the Bhagavad-gītā. You have to select a secluded place, you have to execute it alone, you have to sit down in such a posture, you have to completely lead a life of celibacy, and so many rules and regulations.
So aṣṭāṅga-yoga, meditation, that is not possible. But if you are satisfied by doing some imitation, that is different thing. But if you want right perfection, then you have to execute all the different, I mean to say, stages of yoga practice, aṣṭāṅga-yoga. There are eight divisions: dhyāna, dhāraṇā, āsana, prāṇāyāma . . . so if it is not possible, then it is waste of time.
What is the ultimate goal of yoga process or meditation? To contact the Supreme, the Supersoul, the Supreme Lord. That is the aim and object of yoga process. Similarly, philosophical research, jñāna process, that is also, the aim is to understand Supreme Brahman, realize Brahman. So they are recognized process undoubtedly, but according to authoritative description, those processes are not practical in this age. Kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. Therefore one has to take to this process of hari-kīrtana.
Anyone can take, without any prequalification. You haven't got to study philosophy or Vedānta. This Vedānta philosophy was very much discussed between Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī . . . Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī asked first of all Caitanya Mahāprabhu that, "I understand that You were a very good scholar in Your previous life." Caitanya Mahāprabhu actually was a very great scholar. His name was Nimāi Paṇḍita.
And at the age of sixteen years old He defeated one great scholar from Kashmir, Keśava Kāśmīrī. So He was a great scholar. So Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī asked Him that, "I understand that You are a great scholar, Sanskrit scholar, and especially in logic You are a very good scholar. And You are now sannyāsī. You were born in a brāhmaṇa family. How is that You are chanting and dancing without reading Vedānta?"
This was the first question made by Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. And He replied: "Yes. The thing is that when I was initiated by My spiritual master, he said that 'You are fool number one. You don't discuss Vedānta. Simply You will spoil Your time. Please take to this chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, and You will be successful.' " That was His reply.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu was not a fool, but Vedānta is not for fool. It requires sufficient education, sufficient status. Then one can understand Vedānta. In each and each code, each word, there are volumes of meaning, and there are many commentation, commentary by Lord Śaṅkarācārya, commentary by Rāmānujācārya, commentary by . . . big, big volumes in Sanskrit language. So how one will understand Vedānta? It is not possible. It may be possible for one person or two persons to understand what is Vedānta, but for the mass of people it is not possible; neither it is possible to practice yoga.
Therefore this Caitanya Mahāprabhu's method, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa . . . He says the first installment of gain will be ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1) All the dirty things from your heart will be cleansed simply by chanting. You chant. There is no expenditure; there is no loss. But as we are chanting, if you kindly chant . . . you just do it for one week, and you see how much you progress in spiritual knowledge.
We are getting many students. Simply by chanting, they are understanding the whole philosophy. They are giving up their bad habits, they are becoming purified, so many things. They are practical. This Society, movement, is started practically not more than two years, 1966, and we have got so many branches. The American boys and girls, they are taking it very seriously and do it very nicely. They are following all rules and regulation, and they are happy. Ask any one of them.
So this is practical, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12, Śikṣāṣṭaka 1), cleansing the dirty things from the heart simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Yes. And the next thing is that bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam. As soon as your heart is cleansed of all dirty things, then the all the problems of material existence immediately solved. Bhava-mahā-dāvāgni. It has been compared with dāvāgni. Dāvāgni means the blazing fire in the forest.
In this material existence, nobody wants unhappiness, but it comes, forced, by force. That is the law of material nature. Nobody wants that there may be fire, but especially in this country, wherever in a city we go, the fire brigade is always active. You see? Nobody wants fire, but the fire brigade is active. Yes. There is fire. Similarly, nobody wants so many things. Nobody wants death; there is death. Nobody wants disease; there is disease. Nobody wants old age; oh, there is old age—against my . . . against my desire.
We should have to think that what is the status of this material existence. This human form of life is meant for understanding. The human form of life is not meant for wasting the valuable life like cats and dogs in the matter of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That is not advancement of civilization. The Bhāgavata says that, "This body is not meant for working very hard simply for sense gratification." No.
- nāyaṁ deho deha-bhājāṁ nṛloke
- kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāṁ ye
- (SB 5.5.1)
"To work very hard and to have . . . satisfy oneself by sense gratification, that is the business of the hogs or dogs, not for human." The human being, tapa, they should learn tapasya. And especially in India so many great sages, so many great kings, and so many brahmacārīs, sannyāsīs, they passed their life in great tapasya, not to go further.
Just see Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was a prince. He gave up everything, and He engaged himself in tapasya. This is life. King Bharata Mahārāja, under whose name India is called Bhārata-varṣa, in twenty-four . . . when He was twenty-four years old he gave up his kingdom, He gave up his young wife, young children, and went for tapasya.
Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was only twenty-four years, He gave up His young wife, mother, everything. There are various, many, many examples. India is land of tapasya, but we are forgetting that. We are forgetting. Now we are making it the land of technology. It is surprising that India has gone so down, forgetting its tapasya—the land of tapasya, the land of dharma. Dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre (BG 1.1). Dharma-kṣetre.
So it is not only in India; everywhere in this age, everything is degraded, degraded in this sense: prāyeṇa kalau asmin alpāyeṣu yuge janāḥ (SB 1.1.10). The duration of life is diminished. They are not very much active to understand what is self-realization. And if they are, some of them are very much active, oh, he is misled by so many misleading, so-called leaders. So the age is very corrupting. Therefore this Caitanya Mahāprabhu's process of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa is the best method and the simplest method. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma iva kevalam. Kevalam (CC Adi 17.21). There is no other alternative.
In the Agni Purāṇa this verse appears, harer nāma harer nāma harer nama harer nāma iva kevalam. Three times: "Simply chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa," kevalam, "only." You cannot offer any other alternative. No. Only. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma iva kevalam. Kalau: "In this age," nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā, "there is no other alternative for self-realization except this." So we have to accept.
There is another version in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was instructed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He described the faults of this age. There is . . . in the Twelfth Canto, Third Chapter, you will find. Everything is now being corroborated, what is described five thousand years ago.
So in that conclusive portion, Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, kalau doṣa-nidhe rājann hy asti eko mahān guṇaḥ: "My dear King, this age, Kali, is full of faulty things, but there is one good opportunity." What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet (SB 12.3.51) "Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one becomes liberated and he goes back to Godhead, back to home." So this is practical, this is authorized, and you can yourself test also how you become advanced simply by chanting.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is nothing . . . it is not a new thing that we have introduced or manufactured. No. It is authorized on the Vedic principle, authorized by ācāryas like Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all other ācāryas. So you join us. You will be happy. Your human life will be sublime. And the method is very simple. There is no loss.
We are not charging anything that, "You give me fee, I shall give you some secret mantra, and within six months you shall become God." No. It is open for everyone. Even child, even woman, girls, boys, old—everyone can take it and chant it and see the result. That is our request.
So this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement is universal movement. I would request you to join. We have got branches here. We are chanting daily twice. Especially we are holding meetings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And you try to understand. We have got . . . not that we are sentimentalist. We have got books, philosophy, everything. So please join and take advantage of it. That is our request.
Thank you very much.
Indian man (1): Would you elaborate what you are doing as New Vrindaban? We heard . . . what is it you are establishing there?
Prabhupāda: Yes. We are not only establishing New Vrindaban, but there is New Navadvīpa, New Jagannātha Purī. Yes. We have already started New Jagannātha Purī in San Francisco. The Ratha-yātrā festival is going on. And this year there will be a great ceremony of Ratha-yātrā in London. There will be three cars: Jagannātha, Subhadrā and Balarāma. And it will be taken to the riverside, Thames.
So this American land, they have imported "New England," "New York"; why not New Vrindaban? (laughter) So you should all join. Those who are Indians, they should join this movement, especially to establish this New Vrindaban. Because Lord Caitanya recommended, ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa-tanayam, tanaya (CB Madhya-khaṇḍa 8.214). The vrajeśa-tanaya, Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja in the Vṛndāvana dhāma, or Vrajabhūmi, He is the supreme worshipable Deity. Tad-dhāma vṛndāvanam. And His place, Vṛndāvana, is also worshipable. So these Western boys and girls, they are taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So they should have a place like Vṛndāvana.
So here is present our Swami Kīrtanānanda. He went to Vṛndāvana with me two years ago, and he has taken the idea, what is Vṛndāvana. So I have instructed him that, "You should construct at least seven temples." In Vṛndāvana there are five thousand temples, not one, two. Five thousand temples of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. But the most important temples are seven, established by the Gosvāmīs.
So our program is to live there, depending on agriculture and cow. Cow protection and agriculture. That should be the economic solution. And peacefully be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. That is the Vṛndāvana scheme. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya yogo bhavati siddhidaḥ (BG 6.17). This human form of life is not meant for increasing artificial needs. We should be satisfied just to maintain the body and soul together, and balance time we should save for enhancing our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or spiritual consciousness, so that after this body we haven't got to take another material body, but we go back to home, back to Godhead. That should be the motto of human life.
Another thing I may inform you in this connection, that when I first came to New York, one big man in India, mean rich man, Sir Padampat Singhania of Kanpur, he . . . I had correspondence that, "Singhaniajī, if you give me some money, I can construct a temple here of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa." So he was ready. He said that "Swāmījī, whatever amount you want, I can give, provided government gives sanction."
So I had many correspondence with the government, but they did not give me sanction. But here, the embassy, they have given me sanction that "You can raise funds from the residents in America and construct temple."
So you are so many Indians. If you help me, I can construct temples everywhere. We have got many assistants. Of course, the American rich men, they are not coming. The boys and girls who have joined me, they are very not rich, but very sincere. They are working and maintaining these twenty centers. We have got good expenditure. You know, it is America. Sometimes we have to spend two thousand dollars in every center.
So Kṛṣṇa is giving us opportunity. Although there is no temple, but we are—I mean to say, our own temple—but temples we have got everywhere. We have got our Deity, Jagannātha, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. They are being worshiped nicely, and we are offering prasādam. Every Sunday we are distributing prasādam.
So the system is going on. Especially if you go to Los Angeles, we have got the biggest temple there. At least, daily, fifty, sixty persons are taking prasādam. On Sunday there are guests, more than one hundred. They are taking part. It is going on nicely. Similarly, we'll have in every place.
So that foretelling, prediction of Lord Caitanya, pṛthivīte āche yata nagarādi grāma (CB Antya-khaṇḍa 4.126), that time has come. Let us cooperate and distribute this nice thing, Hare Kṛṣṇa movement. People will be happy.
Indian man: Is there any place in the movement for the drug addicts, a new class which has come . . .
Prabhupāda: Yes. Our students are forbidden not to accept any kind of intoxication. They do not drink even tea or coffee, or they do not smoke, what to speak of other things. That is our first condition to become disciple: no illicit sex life, no intoxication, no meat-eating, no gambling. These four things must be there. Otherwise we don't accept anyone as disciple.
Indian man (2): Because for an average American, a man in the street who doesn't know what Hinduism means, he thinks . . .
Prabhupāda: This is Hinduism.
Indian man (2): . . . probably this is a meeting of hippies going on here.
Prabhupāda: Hippies who are coming in our touch, they are giving up all these things even. Because they are not guided—misguided—they are seeking after something better, but there is no leader. But this movement will give them relief, to everyone. We are . . . anyone who comes to us for initiation, our first condition is that there should be no illicit sex life, no boyfriend-girlfriend. No. Just get yourself married.
Although I am sannyāsī, I have no connection with this marriage, but I do it for the sake of my disciples, just to settle them nicely. So all the boys or girls, they are being married. In Boston, while I was coming, there was three couples married. So they are living peacefully. There is no intoxication. They do not smoke even, do not take even tea or coffee. And they are taking nice prasādam every day. They are happy, they are healthy, and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. That's all.
Indian man (3): Could I ask a question?
Indian man (3): Is there a basic conflict between a spiritual life and material living? How does the philosophy . . .?
Prabhupāda: No. Material life means . . . material life means eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This is material life. And spiritual life means something more than this. Just like animal life or human life. Animal life, the common formula is eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
A dog also eats; a man also eats. A man also sleep, and a dog also sleeps. The man also have sex life, and the dog also have sex life. The dog also defends in his own way, and man also defends in his own way—maybe atomic bomb, that is a different. But the defense, defense measure . . . these four principles are common between human being and animal.
So advancement of these four principles is not human civilization. That is animal civilization. That is not human civilization. And human civilization means that athāto brahma jijñāsā, the Vedānta-sūtra says. The Vedānta-sūtra, first aphorism is athāto brahma jijñāsā: "Now it is the time for inquiry about the Brahman." That is human life. Without this inquiry, that is animal life.
So that is material life and . . . so long one is not spiritually inquisitive, jijñāsu śreya uttamam, he is animal, because he has got only these four principles: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That's all. He must be inquisitive, "What I am? Why I am put into these miseries of life—birth, death, old . . . disease? Is there any remedy?"
These things should be questioned. Then it is human life. Then it is spiritual life. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. This is the beginning of Vedānta. Brahma-jijñāsā: one should be inquisitive to understand what is Brahman. That is spiritual life.
So our Vedic system was so nicely designed that automatically one will be elevated to the understanding of Brahman. This caste system is condemned because they have been vitiated by designing person. Actually, caste system, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13).
The . . . according to division of qualities, there are caste system everywhere. Goodness, passion, and ignorance—these three qualities are working in the material nature.
The persons who are in goodness, they are called brahmins. Not that birth. Kṛṣṇa does not say "by birth." Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ. There is no question of birth. Simply by quality. By quality, the division is everywhere: intelligent class of men, administrative class of men, productive class of men and laborer class of men. This is brāhmaṇa, śūdra . . . that's all.
So everything should be taken scientifically. Human . . . that is human civilization, human life; otherwise animal life. Spiritual life means human life, and material life means animal life. That's all. So we have to make adjustment, as it is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, yuktāhāra-vihārasya (BG 6.17).
It does not mean because I am going to be spiritual man, I shall give up eating. No, not that. But my eating should be adjusted. These things are described in the Bhagavad-gītā, what class of foodstuff is first class, in goodness, and what class of foodstuff in the passion, third class, in ignorance.
So we have to raise ourself in the goodness platform of human civilization, then revive our transcendental consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. These things are . . . everything is there in the śāstras. Unfortunately, do not consult. (break)
- evaṁ prasanna-manaso
- mukta-saṅgasya jāyate
- (SB 1.2.20)
Unless one is liberated from the clutches of these three modes of material nature, he cannot understand what is God. Prasanna-manaso. He must be Brahman-realized soul. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati (BG 18.54).
These things are there. So you should take advantage of these śāstras and preach. That is the responsibility to the Indian. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said:
- bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra
- janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
- (CC Adi 9.41)
"Anyone who has taken his birth in India as human being, he should learn all the śāstras, make his life successful, and distribute this." That is the responsibility of India. This is the injunction of Lord Caitanya. Bhārata-bhūmite manuṣya-janma haila yāra. So Bhārata-bhūmi is not . . . to take birth in India is not ordinary thing. You must know.
But you should utilize the opportunity. That utilization you should read, study, understand volumes of Vedic literature, and you should distribute the knowledge to the rest of the world. Rest of the world, they know God is great, but they do not know how great is God. That you will find in the Vedic literature. And that is our duty. That is kīrtana, hari-kīrtana. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam, to glorify.
So I shall specially request our Indian nationals to join this movement and distribute the knowledge. I am doing it now alone. And if you join, it will be great help to this movement. Try to understand.
Indian man (4): We understand from the newspaper that there is a temple which has been started on East 20th Street. Can somebody tell us at what stage it is?
Prabhupāda: In New York?
Indian man (4): Here in Columbus. We read in newspaper yesterday.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. That is our temple. Our temple, yes. So you come and see. That is just started for the last few weeks only. Yes. But we have got very nice temples in Los Angeles, in New York, in San Francisco.
Indian man (4): We saw the one in Montreal.
Prabhupāda: In Montreal also. You saw me there?
Indian man (4): Yeah, we saw . . . last year.
Prabhupāda: Last year, no. I think in June I was there. Montreal also we have got. In Vancouver we have got. So as these boys are growing, so we are starting. Bala bari duḥkha kande. When the children are grown up, the father's labor diminishes.
So . . . all right. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Please join with us. (break) (end)