Go to Vaniquotes | Go to Vanipedia | Go to Vanimedia

Vanisource - the complete essence of Vedic knowledge

720518 - Lecture - Los Angeles

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

720518LE-LOS ANGELES - May 18, 1972 - 37:22 Minutes

Prabhupāda: (chants maṅgalācaraṇa prayers)

oṁ ajñāna-timirāndhasya
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
dadāti sva-padāntikam
vande 'haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho
dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopikā-kānta
rādhā-kānta namo 'stu te
rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi
praṇamāmi hari-priye
śrī-advaita gadādhara
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

So ladies and gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly participating in our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. As you know, from the very name, "Kṛṣṇa consciousness" . . . when this society was registered in 1966 in New York, some friend suggested that the society may be named as "God consciousness." "Kṛṣṇa" They thought that "Kṛṣṇa . . ." In the dictionary also, it is said: "Kṛṣṇa is a Hindu god's name," in English dictionary. But actually, if there is any name or if there any name can be fixed up for God, it is Kṛṣṇa.

God has practically no name. "No name" means He has name, but nobody knows how many names He has. (laughter) Yes, that is the way. Because God is unlimited, therefore His names must be also unlimited. You cannot fix up one name. Just like Kṛṣṇa is sometimes called Yaśodā-nandana, the son of Mother Yaśodā. That is quite all right, because He played the part of son of Yaśodā-mā. So Yaśodā-nandana means son of Yaśodā. Devakī-nandana, son of Devakī. Vasudeva-nandana, Nanda-nandana, Pārtha-sārathi.

Pārtha-sārathi means He acted as the charioteer of Arjuna, Pārtha, the son of Pṛthā. Arjuna's mother's name was Pṛthā, so Arjuna's another name—Pārtha. And because He acted as the charioteer of Pārtha, His name is Pārtha-sārathi. So actually, Kṛṣṇa, or God, has many dealings with His many devotees, and that particular dealing may be called His name. Therefore . . . He has innumerable devotees, therefore He has innumerable names. You cannot fix up one name.

But this Kṛṣṇa name means "all-attractive." He attracts everyone. That is the real name, "all-attractive." You have seen Kṛṣṇa's picture. He is attractive to the animals, cows, calves, birds, bees, trees, plants, water in Vṛndāvana. He's attractive to the cowherds boy, He's attractive to the gopīs, He's attractive to Nanda Mahārāja, He's attractive to the Pāṇḍavas. He's still attractive to the whole human society. Therefore, if any particular name can be given to God, that is Kṛṣṇa.

And Parāśara Muni, a great sage, father of Vyāsadeva, who compiled all the Vedic literatures, his father, Parāśara Muni, He gave definition of God:

aiśvaryasya samagrasya
vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayoś caiva
ṣaḍ iti bhagaṁ ganā
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47)

By these six opulences, one can ascertain what is God. What are those opulences? That He's the proprietor of all riches. Here, we have got experience, one rich man. One may be very rich man, but nobody can say that he is the richest, there is no other man who is not richer than him. Nobody can say.

But Kṛṣṇa, when He was present, those who have read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the history of Kṛṣṇa . . . we have described in our book, Kṛṣṇa: He had 16,108 wives. And each wife had a big palace, made of marble, bedecked with jewels, the furnitures made of ivory and gold. The descriptions are there. So in the history of the human society, you cannot find out any person who had 16,000 wives and 16,000 palaces.

Not only that, it is not that He used to go to one wife's house one day or one night. No. He was present in every one house personally. That means He expanded Himself in 16,108 forms. That is not very difficult. If God is unlimited, then He can expand Himself in unlimited forms; otherwise there is no meaning of unlimited. If God is omnipotent, He can maintain 16,000. Why 16,000? If He maintains 16,000,000's, still it is imperfect. Otherwise there is no meaning of omnipotency.

So these are the attractive features. Here, in this material world, if one man is very rich, he is attractive. Just like in your country there are rich men, Rockefeller, Ford. They are very attractive, on account of their richness. So aiśvaryasya sama . . . still, they do not possess all the wealth, riches of the world; still they are attractive. So how much God will be attractive, because He's the possessor of all the riches? Similarly, aiśvaryasya samagrasya, vīryasya, strength.

Kṛṣṇa, when He was present, from the beginning of His birth He had to fight. When He was only three months old, He was lying down on the lap of His mother, there was a Pūtanā demon. She wanted to kill Kṛṣṇa, but she was killed. So that is God. God is from the very beginning God. Not that by some meditation, by mystic power, one becomes God. Kṛṣṇa was not that type of God. Kṛṣṇa was God from the very beginning of His appearance. Vīryasya.

Aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya, yaśasaḥ, then reputation. His fame, reputation, is still going on. Apart from us . . . we are devotees of Kṛṣṇa. We may glorify Him. But apart from us, many millions of people are there in this world; still, they know how much reputed and famous is Kṛṣṇa by His Bhagavad-gītā. In all countries, all over the world, this Bhagavad-gītā is read by all philosophers, all scholars, all religionists. Still, those who are reading Bhagavad-gītā . . .

There are many editions in your country. There are many editions. All of them are selling nicely. Our Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, the latest report is from the trades manager of Macmillan Company, who are our publisher. The report is that our Bhagavad-gītā As It Is is increasing in sale; others are decreasing.

The reason is that we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any adulteration. Anything, market, if the commodity is pure . . . Gold, if it is pure, it has more customers. Milk, if it is pure, it has got more customer. So that we are finding. Because we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, we are finding more customers. So this is the fame. And yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ. Śriyaḥ, beauty. Kṛṣṇa is Himself very beautiful, and all His associates are very beautiful. That is also opulence.

Janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī (SB 1.8.26). In this material world, those who are . . . who are pious—that means whose past background is pious life—they get these opportunities, birth in good family, in good nation. Therefore I say so many times that you American people, your birth in a rich nation, your beauty, these are the result of your past pious activities. Attractive. These are attractiveness. You are attractive, the American nation, all over the world. Why? Due to this. You are advanced in scientific knowledge. You are advanced in riches. You are advanced in beauty. So these are the opulences.

So this planet is an insignificant planet within this universe, and within this planet, say, America is one country. And in that country, if there are so many attractive features, just imagine how much attractive feature must be there in God, who is the creator of the whole cosmic manifestation. How much He must be beautiful, who has created all beauties. Then, aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ.

Śriyaḥ means beauty; jñāna, and knowledge. If one man is perfectly advanced in knowledge, he's attractive. Some scientist, some philosopher, because they give nice knowledge, they're attractive. And Kṛṣṇa's knowledge, they're described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā. You can study. You are studying. Now we are presenting in English translation sublime knowledge. There is no comparison in the world. And at the same time, vairāgya, renouncement. Not that because He has got so many things . . .

Practically, Kṛṣṇa is not here within this material world. Just like big man, his factory is going on, his business is going on, but it (is) not necessarily he has to be present there. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa's potency is working. His assistants, His so many demigods, they are working. They're describe in the śāstra. Just like the sun. Sun is the practically cause of this material cosmic manifestation. That is described in the Brahmā-saṁhitā:

yac-cakṣur eṣa savitā sakala-grahāṇāṁ
rājā samasta-sura-mūrtir aśeṣa-tejāḥ
yasyājñayā brahmati sambhṛta-kāla-cakro
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
(Bs. 5.52)

Govinda . . . the sun is described as the eye, one of the eyes of God. He's seeing everything. You cannot hide yourself from the seeing of God, as you cannot hide yourself from the sunshine. So in this way, Kṛṣṇa. If God's name, there can be any name . . . and it is admitted in Vedic literature that God has got many names, but this Kṛṣṇa name is the chief name. Mukhya. Mukhya means principal. And it is very nicely explained: "all-attractive." In so many ways He's all-attractive.

So God's name . . . the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is propagating God's name, God's glory, God's activities, God's beauty, God's love. Everything. As we have got many things within this material world, all of them, they are in Kṛṣṇa, whatever you have got. Just like here, the most prominent feature in this material world is sex attraction. So that is there in Kṛṣṇa. We are worshiping Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa—attraction. But that attraction and this attraction is not the same. That is real, and here it is unreal. We are also dealing with everything which are present in the spiritual world, but it is only reflection. It has no real value.

Just like in the tailor's shop, sometimes there are so many beautiful dolls—a beautiful girl is standing. But nobody cares to see it, because everyone knows that it is false. However beautiful it may be, it is false. But a living woman, if she is beautiful, so many people see her. Because this is real. This is an example. Here the so-called living is also dead, because the body is matter. It is a lump of matter. As soon as the soul goes away from the same beautiful woman, nobody cares to see it, because it is as good as the doll on the window of tailor shop. The real factor is the spirit soul, and because here everything is made of dead matter, therefore it is simply imitation, reflection.

The real thing is in the spiritual world. There is a spiritual world. Those who have read Bhagavad-gītā, they can understand. The spiritual world is described there, paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). Bhāvaḥ means nature. There is another nature beyond this nature. We can see this nature up to the limit of the sky. The scientists, they're trying to go to the highest planet, but they are calculating it will take forty thousands of years. So who is going to live for forty thousands of years, go and come back? But there is planet.

So we cannot calculate even the length and breadth of this material world, what to speak of the spiritual world. Therefore we have to know from authoritative sources. That authoritative sources is Kṛṣṇa. Because we have already described, nobody is wiser or in knowledge than Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa gives this knowledge, that paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo (BG 8.20): "Beyond this material world there is another spiritual sky." There are also innumerable planets. And that sky is far, far greater than this sky. It is one fourth only. And the spiritual sky is three fourth. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, ekāṁśena sthito jagat (BG 10.42). This is only one part, this material world. The other, spiritual world, is three fourth. Suppose God's creation is one hundred. It is only twenty-five percent; seventy-five percent is there. Similarly, the living entities also, a very small fragmental portion of the living entities are here. And there, in the spiritual world, the major portion are there.

This material world is compared as a prison. So if you go to the prison house, it is not that the whole population of the country is within the prison house. No. A fragmental portion of the population, those who are criminals, they are in the prison house. Similarly, those who are criminals, those who have revolted against God, they are within this material world.

kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vāñchā kare
pāśate māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare

Māyā . . . just like here also, if we say: "I don't care for the government," then what will be? So treason act. I'll be arrested. I'll be punished. Similarly, living entities are originally part and parcel of God, just like father and sons. The Christian people also understand, God is Supreme Father and we are all His sons. You go to church and pray, "God, give us our daily bread, Father." So that is conception in Bhagavad-gītā also. Kṛṣṇa says, "I am father of all living entities." Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā.

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

In all varieties of species of life . . . there are 8,400,000 species of life: the aquatics, the trees, the plants, the birds, the bees, the insects . . . then human being. And out of the human being also, there are so many uncivilized. Civilized human being are very few. And out of the civilized human being, very few take to religious life. Very few. And out of these so-called religious human society, most of them, they simply designate, "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian," but they do not know about religion.

And one who knows about—not knows; little attracted—they are engaged in philanthropic work: to give help to the poor or to open a school, hospital. This is called karma-kāṇḍa. Out of many millions of these karma-kāṇḍa people, one is jñānī. Jñānī means "one who knows." And out of millions of persons who knows, one is liberated. And out of millions of liberated person, one can understand what is Kṛṣṇa. This is the position of Kṛṣṇa.

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

So to understand Kṛṣṇa is little difficult. Actually, to understand God is a subject matter very difficult. But the God Himself is explaining Himself in the Bhagavad-gītā: "I am thi . . . I am like this. I am like this. This material nature is like this. The spiritual nature is like this. The living entities are like . . ." Everything are completely described in the Bhagavad-gītā—God Himself, giving His own knowledge.

And that is the only process to understand God. Otherwise, by speculation we cannot understand God. It is not possible. He is unlimited and we are limited. Our knowledge, our perception, all of them are very limited. So how we can understand the unlimited? But if we accept the version of the unlimited, that "He is like this, like that," then we can understand. That is perfect knowledge.

Speculative knowledge of God has no value. Real knowledge . . . just like I give this example: Just like if a boy wants to know who is father, who is his father, the simple thing is to ask mother. Or mother gives, "Here is your father." That is perfect knowledge. And if you speculate, "Who is my father?" and ask the whole city, "Are you my father? Are you my father? Are you my father?" the knowledge will always remain imperfect. He'll never find out what is his father. But this simple process, if he takes the knowledge from (of) his father, the authority, mother, "My dear boy, here is your father," then your knowledge is perfect.

Similarly, transcendental knowledge. Just like I was speaking that there is a spiritual world. It is not the subject matter of our speculation. But when God says: "Yes, there is a spiritual world. That is My headquarter," that is all right. That is all right. Yes. So we receive knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the best authority. Therefore our knowledge is perfect.

We are not perfect, but our knowledge is perfect, because we receive knowledge from the perfect. The same example, that I am not perfect to understand who is my father, but my mother is perfect, and because I accept the perfect knowledge of my mother, therefore my knowledge of father is perfect.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for giving perfect knowledge to the human society: what he is, what is God, what is this material world, why you have come here, why you have to undergo so much tribulations, miserable condition of life, why I die. I do not like to die, but death is compulsory. I do not like to be old man, still, it is compulsory. I do not like to suffer from disease, but it is compulsory. These, these are to be solved. That is really problems of human life. Not that improving the method of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That is not human life.

A man sleeps; a dog sleeps. So because a man sleeps in a very nice apartment, that does not mean he's advanced more than the dog. The business is sleeping, that's all. Because man has discovered atomic weapon for defending, and the dog has his nails and teeth; he can also defend. So defending is there. You cannot say that, "Because I have got this atomic bomb, therefore I can conquer the whole world or whole universe." That is not possible. You can defend in your own way, and the dog can also defend in his own way.

So a gorgeous method of defending, a gorgeous method of eating, a gorgeous method of sleeping and a gorgeous method of sex life does not make a nation or a person advanced. That is not advancement. That is the same thing. Proportionately, five upon two thousand, or five . . . five hundred upon two thousand and five upon twenty, the same ratio. Therefore, the animal qualities in a polished way, in a scientific way, does not mean that the human society's advanced. That may be called polished animalism. That's all.

Real advancement means to know God. That is advancement. If you are lacking that knowledge, what is God . . . and because you cannot understand . . . there are so many rascals, they are denying the existence of God. That is very nice. If there is no God, then they can go on with their sinful activities unrestricted: "There is no God. Very nice." But simply by your denying, God will not die. God is there. God is there, His administration is there. By His order, the sun is rising, the moon is rising, the water is flowing, the ocean is abiding by His order.

Everything under His order, everything going on nicely, without any change. How you can say God is dead? If there is some mismanagement, you can say there is no government, but if there is nice management, how you can say there is no government? So God is there. You do not know God. Therefore some of you say that "God is dead," "There is no God," "God has no form," "God is zero"—so many things. But no. We are firmly convinced that there is God, and Kṛṣṇa is God, and we are worshiping Him. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Try to understand it.

Thank you very much.

Devotees: Haribol! All glories to Śrīla Prabhupāda. (obeisances) (cut) (end)