760423 - Conversation B - Melbourne
(Conversation with Mormons)
Guest (2): . . . interesting. I see Elder Forester and myself, we feel that we're called to God through a living prophet ourselves. And our feeling is in our own hearts we feel that we have a living feeling in what we call a testimony of Christ. And we feel that he is our savior and that he did atone for the sins of the world. And we were wondering what your feelings were about this.
Prabhupāda: Our feeling is direct, carrying the orders of God. The direct orders are there, and we have to carry. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167), favorably to carry out the order of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa means God.
Guest (2): Kṛṣṇa means God.
Prabhupāda: So favorably. What God says, "You do it," we have to do that.
Guest (2): Great. Okay, supposing when you die, how will there . . . will there be another man of your sort who people would look to, like these here?
Prabhupāda: Many. Anyone who will carry out the order, he'll be prominent.
Guest (2): Oh, I see. So you just carry the order out fully.
Prabhupāda: And I teach my students to carry out. So anyone who will carry out the orders strictly, he will be perfect.
Guest (2): What do you feel is the greatest order of God?
Prabhupāda: To surrender unto Him.
Guest (2): Pardon?
Prabhupāda: To surrender to Him.
Devotee (4): Surrender.
Guest (2): Surrender, oh. I think you're . . . I believe that.
Guest (3): You know, it's interesting. Our prophet, when he passes on, we believe that another prophet will be called in his place by God to carry on.
Prabhupāda: "By God" means . . . anyone who will carry out the order of God without any change, he is prophet.
Guest (2): I have a question. Do you know much of Mormonism?
Guest (2): No. Could I just share one experience, and I'd like your feeling on this. This is one thing that . . . the reason that we come throughout the world, and that is that we believe that in the year 1820 that there was a young man, Joseph Smith, who was confused about religion. And in this confused state he sought the Bible, and he read James 1:5, and the inspiration was to go seek God and ask Him in prayer. And in his prayer he had an experience where God the father and His son Jesus Christ appeared to him. Now, see this is what we base our religion about, is that a young man saw God and was visited by Him and His son Jesus Christ, and through him They used him as an instrument in restoring His true church. Now that's our testimony, and we believe this with all of our heart. We feel that it's built upon the spirit and that it's through prayer and study that we've found this. Now, what's your feeling about that?
Prabhupāda: No, if he has seen God, then God has given him some message.
Guest (2): Right.
Prabhupāda: What is that message?
Guest (4): We believe that the message that God gave him was that the true church was not on the earth, and we believe that through Joseph Smith the true gospel of Jesus Christ was once again restored to the earth with all its power, with all its authority, and with the holy priesthood.
Prabhupāda: So Jesus Christ is authorized.
Guest (4): Yes. Jesus Christ is authorized, yes.
Prabhupāda: So what is the order of Jesus Christ?
Guest (4): We believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's right, but what Jesus Christ says?
Devotee (4): What does Jesus Christ say? What is Jesus Christ saying? What are his instructions?
Guest (3): Well, Jesus Christ, we believe that when he lived as a mortal man, he organized the church, and the people followed him as their personal saviour.
Prabhupāda: What is the instruction?
Guest (3): The instruction to Joseph Smith was, well, in a ten-year period of time, from 1820 to 1830, many things happened to Joseph Smith. One thing was that he was visited by an angel called Moroni, who lived fourteen hundred years earlier in the Americas, and he was a prophet, and he wrote a book and sealed it away, and it was written on gold plates. And Joseph Smith translated this ancient work of Egyptian hieroglyphics into English, and it was called the Book of Mormon after a great prophet.
Prabhupāda: So what is the message?
Guest (3): Well, the message is that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the kingdom of God, and that through . . .
Prabhupāda: So what is the church of Jesus Christ?
Guest (3): Well, Jesus Christ's church, that's simply it.
Prabhupāda: What is that? What does he say that, "You do this. You do not do this"?
Guest (3): I don't understand what . . .
Guest (4): You mean the Commandments and . . .
Guest (4): Oh. There's many Commandments in the church. We believe that Jesus Christ commanded Joseph Smith to restore the church.
Prabhupāda: No, what is the Commandments?
Guest (4): This is one of them, that the church should be run by a prophet and twelve apostles. We believe in what is called the word of wisdom. This is abstaining . . . this is much like your . . .
Prabhupāda: Church. Church means . . . suppose . . . there is no specific message that, "The church should be conducted on this principle"? Is there any such message?
Guest (3): I think that the real thing is people have to accept Christ as their savior and make his atonement effective. See, when he made his atonement . . .
Prabhupāda: What about his Commandments?
Guest (3): Well, his Commandments are . . . we believe that Christ gave them to Moses as a . . .
Prabhupāda: So what are the Commandments? You simply say: "It was given to him, it was given to him, it was given . . ."
Guest (3): The Ten Commandments?
Guest (3): Those Commandments we follow? We believe Commandments of living the Sabbath Day, law of chastity . . .
Prabhupāda: So whether they are being followed?
Guest (3): Yes.
Prabhupāda: Chastity is being followed?
Guest (3): Yes. The church teaches it, and people who do not obey it are bringing condemnation upon themselves.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is my injunct . . . that if . . . the commandment is that women should be chaste.
Guest (3): Exactly.
Prabhupāda: And you should not kill. But all the Christians are killing.
Guest (3): Well . . .
Prabhupāda: And it is very hard to find out a woman chaste.
Guest (3): That's true.
Prabhupāda: Then where is Christian?
Guest (3): Well, see, this is the great thing of the atonement. See, when Christ suffered the sins of the world in Gethsemane . . .
Prabhupāda: So why for your sin Christ should suffer?
Guest (3): Christ suffered for my sins.
Prabhupāda: Yes, why?
Guest (3): Well, because he loved us, and he was the only begotten son of God.
Prabhupāda: That means you'll go on committing sins and Christ will suffer?
Guest (3): No. See, Christ only forgives when you repent. See what I mean? See, this is the thing I want to say . . .
Prabhupāda: But this has become a business, that I commit sin and repent. "We believe, I repent, and again I commit sin." Do you think it is very good business?
Guest (3): Well, see this is the thing. Christianity has made it a business. So what we're saying is we . . .
Prabhupāda: That means they are not Christians.
Guest (3): That's right.
Prabhupāda: So then where is Christian?
Guest (3): Well, the Christian world that the majority of the people think is . . .
Prabhupāda: Majority is not the calculation. Minority. If one person carries out the order of Christ, then he is Christian.
Guest (3): Exactly.
Prabhupāda: Otherwise they are not Christians.
Guest (3): That's right. But I just wanted to say one thing . . .
Prabhupāda: Our principle is that if one person carries out the order of God, he is actually the prophet. If he does not carry out—simply by dress he is prophet—it is useless.
Guest (3): I see. All right. We have a little different feeling about that.
Prabhupāda: Why it should be different?
Guest (3): Well, we would . . .
Prabhupāda: If you actually the servant of God, you must carry out the orders of God. There cannot be difference. If there is difference, that means you are no longer servant of God.
Guest (3): Well, we feel that God has always had prophets and called them Himself, as he called, like, Aaron.
Prabhupāda: But how the prophet can disobey the original orders of God or Christ?
Guest (4): How can a prophet disobey? We don't . . . a prophet doesn't disobey. We believe that the prophet at the head of our church, Spencer W. Kimball, speaks with God . . .
Prabhupāda: That's nice.
Guest (3): . . . and he conveys His messages on to us as church members and on to the rest of the world.
Prabhupāda: My point is . . . just like the two points here: chastity and nonviolence. But this is not being carried out.
Guest (3): Well, we agree.
Prabhupāda: Then where is the prophet and where is the followers?
Guest (3): Well, see, the prophet is teaching the people about this and teaching them to live it.
Prabhupāda: That means people are not obeying the prophet.
Guest (3): Well, people are. We are.
Prabhupāda: Then how it is said that . . . how they are killing animals? How the women are unchaste?
Guest (4): All people aren't following the prophet. All people in your belief aren't following you completely.
Prabhupāda: That is very nice.
Guest (4): See.
Prabhupāda: My point is that if we follow God—God's message is carried by prophet, and prophet is obeyed by the people—then the religion is in order. Otherwise it is a bogus religion.
Guest (3): Well, I think we would agree there.
Prabhupāda: We must follow, then it is all right.
Guest (3): Exactly.
Prabhupāda: We don't follow, and still we rubberstamp, "I am Christian," "I am this," "I am that." This is the disease.
Guest (3): Would you agree that Christ is the greatest master of all?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. We accept him as our guru.
Guest (3): What is the interpretation . . .
Prabhupāda: Guru means the prophet, yes.
Guest (3): What about as savior?
Prabhupāda: Savior? Who saves the followers from the danger of materialistic way of life, which means transmigration of the soul from one body to another.
Guest (3): Do you believe in a resurrection?
Prabhupāda: Resurrection? What do you mean actually? But it is a fact that one, the soul, is changing from one body to another.
Guest (4): That's what . . . we agree.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like you are young man. You had a body of a child. That child's body . . . you remember that you had a body of a child, but that body is no longer existing. But you remember; therefore you, the owner of the body, is existing. Otherwise how do you remember, "I had a body like, like this," measurement? But that body is no longer existing, so you are remembering. So you are the owner of the body. Just like you have now black coat. Say after two days you may put on another colored coat, but you remember that, "I was putting on one black coat on that day." So you are existing; the coat is changed. Similarly, the soul is existing; the body is changed. Therefore it is natural that I am old man. When I change this body, I get another body. This is resurrection, if you say.
Guest (3): I believe that, yes. That's what we believe, put in a philosophical way.
Prabhupāda: It is not belief, it is fact. You believe or not believe, it will take place.
Guest (4): Yes, that's right, it will take place.
Guest (4): We just see it differently. We believe that after this life we'll be resurrected into a glorified, perfect body of flesh and bones and . . .
Prabhupāda: That's nice. That we say. We say twice, that . . . just last night I was discussing that this human form of life is to make our choice, whether we are going to get a body back to home, back to Godhead, or again we are going in the cycle of birth and death. This is our choice. If we act according to the orders of God, then we go to Him, back to home, back to Godhead. And if we still whimsically act, then I go again in the cycle of birth and death. That's a fact.
Guest (3): Well, we . . . see, we desire and strive to follow out the orders of God.
Prabhupāda: That is perfection of life. But if we don't do that, then we are going again to the evolutionary process . . .
Guest (4): That's right.
Prabhupāda: . . . of birth and death. It will depend on my action.
Guest (3): Exactly. But will you agree with this point, that we are not perfect?
Prabhupāda: Well, anyone who follows the order of God, he is perfect. Otherwise all are . . .
Guest (3): Can you be completely perfect and follow the orders perfectly?
Prabhupāda: Yes, why not? Just like what is the order of God? God wants that, "You shall always think of Me: the God is my Supreme Father." So what is the difficulty? Now, if you think, "God is the Supreme. God is the Supreme Father," if you think like that, where is the difficulty?
Guest (4): We believe that God is Supreme, He is like you say. But we believe we are constantly striving to become perfect, every day.
Prabhupāda: No, why constantly striving? God says that, "You think of Me." So where is my difficulty to think of Him unless I am disobedient? I can think of God always. There is no difficulty. There is no expenditure. There is no disadvantage. But if I am rascal, I'll disobey. That is the difficulty. If I am rascal, then I will disobey. I will not think of God; I'll think of something else.
Guest (3): Well, this is . . . I guess you have a different . . .
Prabhupāda: Why different?
Guest (3): . . . concept of Christ, because we . . .
Prabhupāda: No, no, Christ said that, "You accept me as the Supreme." So why the people do not accept him as the Su . . .?
Guest (3): Well, we accept him, see, but he had to be a savior . . .
Prabhupāda: But you accept him in this way that, "Let me commit all kinds of nonsense, and Christ will suffer."
Guest (3): No, no. We don't . . . see, we believe . . .
Prabhupāda: Do the Christians not think like that?
Prabhupāda: They think like that.
Gurukṛpā: "Christ has died for our sins," but they continue to sin.
Guest (3): Yes, many people do. But see, what I'm saying, what I'm saying is I . . .
Prabhupāda: You are . . . individually it is all right. But people think like that, that "Christ has taken contract . . ."
Guest (3): Well, they're wrong.
Prabhupāda: ". . . that whatever nonsense we do, he will suffer, and let us do it."
Guest (3): We will have to suffer if we do not repent. See, we have a scripture that would . . .
Prabhupāda: And they say Christ will suffer.
Guest (3): He has already suffered.
Prabhupāda: But they say, still they will suffer. Therefore Christian religion is . . .
Guest (3): He has suffered . . .
Prabhupāda: The Christian people say like that, that "We cannot become pious. We . . . let us go on doing all nonsense, and Christ will suffer." Is that very good?
Guest (3): I agree with you, see. I really do. But what I'm saying is I believe that we're not all perfect, and we're working for perfection, and because we . . .
Prabhupāda: No, no, I said that what is the difficulty to become perfect?
Guest (3): Well, we have to learn and . . .
Prabhupāda: That means we are nonsense. If there is no difficulty to become perfect and still we remain imperfect, that means we are nonsense.
Guest (3): I see. Well, okay.
Prabhupāda: That means you are first-class nonsense.
Guest (3): I see. Okay. All right, well . . .
Prabhupāda: Where is the difficulty? Christ's picture is there. Suppose we have got our picture, Kṛṣṇa. So all right, don't believe in Kṛṣṇa. But you have got picture of Christ, and you can see that he is being crucified. The cross is your symbol.
Guest (4): We don't worship the dead Christ.
Prabhupāda: You may not, but Christians. The Christians, they put the cross, a reminder that, "Christ suffered for us." This is the cross. So we became sinful, and the Lord, he suffered for us. We should stop this sinful activity. That is sanity. But "Christ will suffer, he'll be repeatedly crucified, and we shall go on with our nonsense activity." Is that religion?
Guest (3): Well, I agree with you there.
Prabhupāda: So that is the point.
Guest (3): But I have a different thought and feeling.
Prabhupāda: You may have, but we are talking on the principle that if we are so base and fallen down that we go on committing sinful life and "Christ will be crucified, I'll be saved"—that way is said, what kind of religion? "One should continually suffer for my sin, and I am free to act sinfully." Is that religion?
Guest (3): Well, we don't believe that Christ continues to suffer.
Prabhupāda: No, but the Christians do that. They are maintaining . . . Christ says: "Thou shall not kill," and they are maintaining thousands of killing house, and still they are passing on as Christian.
Guest (3): Well, they're wrong.
Prabhupāda: That is the point.
Guest (3): I agree with you.
Prabhupāda: So you should tell them.
Guest (3): Well, we are. That's what we're here for.
Prabhupāda: Yes that, "You are not Christians. Don't call yourself as Christian. You are persistently disobeying, beginning . . ." Christ said: "Thou shall not kill," and the Christians began killing Christ, crucifying Christ. And that is going on still, in large scale, and they are still Christian. The Pope is eating meat and . . . I do not wish to say so many things. These are going on, and still, they are Christians. What can I say?
Guest (3): Do you believe that . . .
Prabhupāda: It is not a question of believe or not believe. We are talking of fact.
Guest (3): Well, okay. Would, say, the cutting down of a plant, vegetable . . . you are killing the growth there. Is that a living matter?
Prabhupāda: Killing means that you have to eat something. Our philosophy is that we cannot stop killing, but there is no unnecessary killing.
Guest (3): We agree, see. We only kill for what we need.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But you . . . just like in . . . just a minute before, I ate so many nice fruits. So these fruits are meant for human being. Why shall I eat meat?
Gurukṛpā: The same, grains.
Devotee (4): It was Mormon scripture that said also, I read it, God is speaking, and He requests not to eat meat except in times of famine and starvation.
Guest (4): That's right.
Devotee (4): But the Mormons don't do that. They still eat meat.
Gurukṛpā: You're feeding the cow, the beef, grains which you could eat.
Devotee (4): What does the cow eat? Grain.
Gurukṛpā: You are feeding the beef grains to fatten it for slaughter, but you could eat the same grains and be healthy.
Guest (2): That's true. And we have many people who are in the church who strive to teach people of the church to eat more grains and milk products and . . .
Gurukṛpā: That is not the point Śrīla Prabhupāda is making.
Prabhupāda: No, point is that every living being has to eat another living being. That is the law of nature.
Guest (2): Right.
Prabhupāda: Jivo jīvasya jīvanam (SB 1.13.47): That we admit. But in the human form of life, if one thinks—now they are eating—that, "Another living being is my food, so I kill my own child and eat," so you mean to say to apply the same law that, "A living entity is food for another living entity. Therefore a human being kill his own child and eat?"
Guest (2): Well, see, we . . .
Prabhupāda: "Discrimination is the best part of valor." So you have to eat something, but if you have got grains, vegetables, milk, very nice preparation, why should you kill cow?
Guest (2): Well, we believe that the Lord ordained that food for man, and that He even said in scripture to the prophet . . .
Prabhupāda: So He said? He ordained cow for your food?
Guest (2): He ordained meat. Yes.
Devotee (4): But only in times of starvation and famine.
Guest (2): Well, the matter . . . it also says . . .
Devotee (4): That is the word of wisdom in the Mormon scripture.
Guest (2): I don't want to get in contentions about it, but the scripture also says that who abstains from meat is not ordained of God. So you can take it whatever way you want.
Prabhupāda: What is that? "One who abstains from meat"?
Guest (2): Well, he's trying to say that the Mormons overeat meat. And all I'm saying is, well, the scripture which was revealed to the modern-day prophet Joseph Smith was that, "Whoever . . . who does abstain from meat is not ordained of God." And I have no intentions to get contentious about it. So all I'm saying is I'm honored to be here, and it's good to be here.
Prabhupāda: No, no, the point is that in the Commandment it is clearly said: "Thou shall not kill." So what does it mean? That unless there is absolute necessity, we shall not kill.
Guest (2): I think that's right, and I feel that way.
Prabhupāda: So when . . . at least in America or any civilized country, there is ample food for human being. Why they should kill? If you can live without killing cows, if you can utilize cows in a different way . . . just like we are maintaining a farm—not one, many. They are maintaining cows and we are getting enough milk. And from milk we can prepare varieties of palatable, vitaminous, nutritious food. And that is very, very enjoyable. So let the animal live, and take the milk, and just like we . . . none of us, we take meat, but we are not dying. We are having so many nice preparation from milk, from grains, from fruit. Besides that, our another principle is that we offer to God. So God said that, "Give Me vegetables, milk," like that. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). So we offer these things, and we take the leftover. That is our principle. We are not after killing or not killing. We are simply after obeying the orders of Kṛṣṇa. That is our . . .
So Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me food from the vegetables." So we offer Him very nice, palatable dishes and eat. This is our principle. So even while eating, we remember God, "Kṛṣṇa has so nicely eaten this. Let me take the remnants." So while eating, we are remembering God. So if God said that, "You remember Me always," we can do it. He has explained how to remember Him. He said, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya (BG 7.8): "I am the taste of the water." So when you drink . . . who is not drinking water? At least three times, four times we drink water, everyone. So when you drink, and the water quenches your thirst, and you feel some taste nice, Kṛṣṇa says, God says, "I am that taste." So where is my difficulty to remember God? If you simply remember this formula that, "The taste of the water is Kṛṣṇa," immediately you remember Kṛṣṇa. Prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ (BG 7.8): "I am the shining of the sun, shining of the moon." So who does not see the shining of the sun and the moon? At night you see the shining of the moon, and day you see . . . so where is the chance of forgetting God? There is no chance at all. As soon as you see the sunshine you remember, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa." As soon as see the moonshine, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa." As soon as you taste water, "Oh, here is Kṛṣṇa." So in this way there is list, that you cannot avoid the chance of remembering Kṛṣṇa. Every moment, every time, you can remember Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa, God, says, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ (BG 9.34): "You always think of Me." So where is my difficulty to think of Kṛṣṇa, unless I purposefully do not do it? It is not that when I go to the church and temple I can remember. I can remember any . . . twenty-four hours. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Guest (2): I think that's right, and I think that many people I know personally are what you say, Kṛṣṇa conscious. And they think of God and Christ twenty-four hours a day too.
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is wanted.
Guest (2): And . . .
Prabhupāda: That is wanted. We obey the orders of Christ—we think of always—then we are perfect. Either Christ, the son of God, or God, Kṛṣṇa, the same thing. God and son of God, they are not different.
Guest (3): We were wondering if we could give you a personal gift that means a lot to us. We've got a Book of Mormon with us, and I don't know if you have one.
Guest (3): But we feel that it's a scripture written by ancient people who lived in the South and Central American continents from the years of 600 B.C. to A.D. 400. And we thought that this was kind of a special opportunity, and we didn't know if you would have one. And we were wondering if we could leave you one.
Prabhupāda: Yes, you can leave.
Guest (3): Great. I've got it right here. We don't want to take too much more of your time. It's . . . we'll leave you our card. Would that be all right?
Guest (3): It's been a very enjoyable experience.
Prabhupāda: (to devotee) No, you can give one book, Īśopaniṣad.
Gurukṛpā: Can you take one of our books also?
Guest (3): Fine. It would be an honor.
Gurukṛpā: We'll read this. We promise to read this if you promise to read that.
Guest (3): Fine.
Prabhupāda: No, there is no question of . . .
Gurukṛpā: Because he has read.
Prabhupāda: So you can read one of the best portion from this book.
Guest (3): Pardon me?
Prabhupāda: Recite the best portion. Of course, everywhere is best. Still . . .
Guest (3): All right. Let me think for one moment.
(pause while they find verses)
Guest (3): Let me read just a couple of verses here, and then I'll read a few more here. "Believe in God . . ." (to other Mormon) Would you read this?
Guest (4): I'm tired, and my voice is tired.
Guest (3): Just read. Read a few verses.
Guest (4): "Believe in God, believe that He is and that . . ."
Prabhupāda: "Believe that . . ."?
Guest (4): "That He is."
Guest (4): ". . . both in heaven and in earth. Believe that He has all wisdom and all power, both in heaven and in earth. Believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God and ask Him sincerely of heart that He would forgive you. And now, if you believe all these things, see that you do them. And again I say unto you, as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of His goodness and have tasted of His love and have received the remission of your sins, which causes such exceeding great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember and always retain in remembrance the greatness of God and your own nothingness, and His goodness and long-suffering towards you unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come which was spoken by the mouth of the angel."
Prabhupāda: So it is very nice. But . . . let me see that book.
Hari-śauri: There was one section there that mentions about chanting the name. It says daily.
Devotee (4): "Calling on the name of the Lord daily."
Hari-śauri: This is very close to what we teach, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Prabhupāda: (looking at book) Where it is? Eleven?
Guest (4): Eleven, at the bottom.
Prabhupāda: "And again I say unto you, as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if you have known of His goodness and have tasted of His love and have received a remission of your sins, which causes such exceeding great joy in your souls, even so, I would that ye should remember . . ." No, these things are very nice. That soul is admitted. "Your soul"—soul is admitted. That sinful activities are admitted. Goodness of God is admitted. So there is no difference between this gospel and other religious book. This is the principle. The point is, what are the sins? Unless you know what are the sins, how you can avoid sins?
Guest (2): See, you can't. You have to know.
Prabhupāda: So what are the sins? That is the point.
Guest (2): Well, when you disobey His orders, and He's got many commandments, and they are in the book.
Prabhupāda: So therefore I was raising that question, that anyone who is not obeying the Ten Commandments of the Christian religion, then how he's a Christian?
Guest (2): How is he a Christian?
Prabhupāda: Yes, if he does not obey.
Guest (2): If he does not obey them, he is breaking the orders of God.
Prabhupāda: So then these question do not arise at all, because he does not know what are sins and what are to be avoided and how to love God. These things required. There is a process. Just like if you want to love a girl or a girl wants to love you, there is a process—unless there is no love. If you do not follow the process . . . suppose—these are the general principles—if you love somebody you give something, some presentation. That you have given me, the presentation. It is a question of love. You are not giving to anyone, but you have got some love. So you give something to God. The first question of love is there, "What you are giving to God?"
Guest (2): What am I giving to God?
Guest (2): Well, I want to give everything . . .
Prabhupāda: No, no. You want to, but practically what you are giving?
Guest (2): What am I giving now?
Prabhupāda: Yes. I mean to say, anyone. Here . . . here is a process. Just like in our temple they have dedicated everything to God, the life.
Guest (2): Well, we likewise went through a temple, a sacred place, and in there we have made covenants to give everything.
Prabhupāda: So love of God means six things. This is the difference between other literature and Vedic literature. Here it is said: "love of God," but in the Vedic literature you will find the process of love:
- śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
- smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
- arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
- sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
- (SB 7.5.23)
Nine different processes. First of all you should hear about the glories of God, śravaṇam. Then you should preach the glories of God. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ. You should always remember God, smaraṇam. Pāda-sevanam: you should worship the Lord by worshiping, giving service to His lotus feet. But if God is imperson, where is feet? And if God is no form, then how you can remember Him?
Guest (2): We believe God has form.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But then next question will be "What is the form?"
Guest (2): We believe in a man, form of a man, flesh and bone, glorified and perfected.
Prabhupāda: So you believe that man is God?
Guest (2): Not man is God.
Prabhupāda: Then? God is like man. You mean to say the form of God is like man?
Gurukṛpā: No, flesh and bone.
Guest (2): Flesh and bone, glorified and perfected.
Gurukṛpā: Matter. God has a material body.
Guest (2): Of glory and perfection.
Prabhupāda: No, no, how do you glorify the flesh and bone? It is very hard? It is very nice to eat? Is that glorification?
Guest (2): It's not difficult, I don't . . . my feeling . . . God . . .
Prabhupāda: You don't bring your feeling. I mean to say, you must bring scriptural order. How do you glorify flesh and bone?
Guest (2): Well, Christ brought that about in the resurrection, when he was resurrected.
Prabhupāda: How do you say, practically say that how you glorify a lump of flesh and piece of bone? That is my question. What is the glorification of a lump of flesh and a piece of bone?
Guest (2): God can do it. That's all I can say.
Prabhupāda: You cannot do it. Can?
Guest (2): I cannot.
Guest (2): But God can.
Prabhupāda: Then we do not . . .
Devotee (4): The question is, "How can we glorify God if He's made of flesh and bone?"
Guest (2): How can we glorify God?
Guest (4): There's a little bit of a communication gap here. You don't quite understand our thoughts, and we . . .
Gurukṛpā: We understand. He just asked you.
Guest (2): And we don't quite understand yours.
Gurukṛpā: He asked you, how do you worship a piece of flesh and a piece of bone?
Guest (2): It's a piece of glorified flesh and a piece of glorified bone.
Gurukṛpā: How is flesh glorified?
Guest (2): It's perfect.
Gurukṛpā: Flesh means material, temporary, imperfect.
Guest (2): I'm not perfect. This is not temporary.
Prabhupāda: So you bring some flesh from slaughterhouse and glorify it.
Guest (2): Could I ask a question? I was told, if I'm not right, that down there in a section of your temple you worship the workmanship of flesh. A man made it.
Prabhupāda: We never do that. Who told you? Who is the rascal?
Guest (2): Well, it was one of your followers.
Gurukṛpā: He's interpreting that to be the Deity.
Gurukṛpā: That is his interpretation of the Deity.
Prabhupāda: Of Deity?
Gurukṛpa: That is his interpretation of what is the Deity, that it is man-made, matter.
Guest (2): Is it?
Prabhupāda: You do think that, that the form of God is man-made?
Guest (2): Well, all I can . . . I just . . . that's my feeling.
Prabhupāda: That may be your feeling, but that does not mean that is our feeling.
Guest (2): Well, okay. Your feeling does not mean that our feeling is wrong.
Prabhupāda: No, no, we don't say. I am simply asking that how do you glorify flesh and bone? I do not know. I am asking you.
Guest (2): I don't know. God knows, is what I'm saying.
Prabhupāda: How is that? You do not know your system of glorification?
Guest (2): Well, glorification comes . . .
Prabhupāda: I am asking—I am a layman—that you say "glorified flesh and bone," but you say, "I don't know."
Guest (4): Can I ask a question?
Guest (4): Do you consider . . . is it your Deity? Do you consider that glorified?
Prabhupāda: No, the Deity is the form of the Lord. But when you say: "The bone and flesh," so how we can accept as Deity?
Guest (4): Now, you say that the Deity is the form of God.
Guest (4): Now you've also . . .
Prabhupāda: Also here is. (looking in their book) Here is the Deity.
Guest (2): No, that's an angel called Moroni.
Prabhupāda: "Angel," but you cannot dishonor him.
Guest (2): It's in honor of him.
Prabhupāda: You honor him.
Guest (2): No.
Prabhupāda: Then why you put this?
Guest (4): It's just a picture.
Prabhupāda: Oh, you don't honor him.
Guest (4): Don't honor him.
Prabhupāda: Then what is the use of picture? (laughter)
Guest (4): Could I ask you another question? Could I ask you another question? You've been hitting on some of the Ten Commandments tonight like "Thou shalt not kill." Now, if you believe the Ten Commandments like that, it also says in there that you shouldn't worship idols, bow down to idols.
Prabhupāda: Yes, we don't worship idol. We worship God.
Guest (2): Well, we just have a . . . we don't need to discuss.
Prabhupāda: Just like here is the picture of God. As you say, this picture is not important, but we say it is important because it is picture of God. Because it is important, therefore you have given the picture.
Guest (3): Well, we say that that picture is important because it's in commemoration or something of . . .
Prabhupāda: Anyway, you offer some honor. Otherwise why do you give this picture?
Guest (2): Honor, not worship.
Gurukṛpā: They put this on the top of their temples.
Guest (2): On one, two of them.
Gurukṛpā: I have seen in Salt Lake City.
Guest (2): Salt Lake City and . . .
Prabhupāda: No, no, anywhere, top of . . . here you are giving a particular picture. That means . . .
Gurukṛpā: Gold and silver.
Guest (2): That's right.
Prabhupāda: (to Gurukṛpā) Stop. That means you have got respect.
Guest (2): We have respect. We do not worship.
Prabhupāda: That means that respect is partial. Our process is whomever we respect, we worship him. That is more perfect.
Guest (2): Well, all right. That's fine.
Prabhupāda: That is perfection. If you respect somebody you must worship him. Just like . . . nowadays it has become a fashion. I don't . . . that is European fashion, that you respect some gentleman, political or social, who has done good service to your country, but you keep him in a public park and the crows are passing stool on his head.
Hari-śauri: Make a statue.
Hari-śauri: If you want to glorify some great personality.
Prabhupāda: But we, if we keep that statue in a temple, is it not more respectful?
Guest (3): Yes.
Prabhupāda: If I expose the statue on the open field and the crows and birds are passing stool on his head and it is going down his mouth, is it respectful? Do you think it is respectful?
Guest (2): Probably not.
Prabhupāda: So if that statue is kept in a temple and you dress, you garland, you offer food, is it not more respectful?
Guest (2): Offer food to an idol?
Hari-śauri: It's not an idol. This is the point Prabhupāda is making.
Prabhupāda: The point is how to offer respect, that if you respect a person, so if you expose this form of the person on the public park, giving the crows chance to pass stool on his head, that is more respectful? Or if you keep that statue in a temple and daily dress him and garland him and offer him food, that is more respectful? Which is more respectful? You are doing the same thing, but you are exposing to the stool of birds and crows.
Guest (2): No, see, you have a misunderstanding of the representation . . .
Prabhupāda: No misunderstanding. It is a common sense that if you have got respect for a person, instead of installing his form—either it is statue or stone, it doesn't matter—keeping it outside and giving chance the bird to pass stool on his head, if you keep that statue in a nice place, which is more respectful? That is my question. It is a common sense. If you have got respect for a person . . . you have installed the statue. Don't call Deity. Statue. So which is more respectful, to keep him exposed on the open field or to keep him in a temple?
Guest (2): Well, I think if I was looking at it in your point of view, it would be more respectful to put him inside.
Prabhupāda: That's the . . . what is the point.
Guest (4): That's your point of view, not ours.
Prabhupāda: Then? That is yours. I do not know what is your point of view, that you expose this to the open air and the birds pass stool on it and you still . . .
Guest (2): It is simply a workmanship of man to make the building maybe more attractive.
Prabhupāda: I am just talking on the practical point of view. Which is more respectful? Apart from other points, if we actually offer somebody respect, then you must give him proper respect.
Guest (2): But, see, we . . . we do not see Moroni in that . . . see, Moroni does not reside . . .
Prabhupāda: You do not see that the crows passing stool? You do not see it?
Guest (2): He might. He might do something on it. But he's not doing it on Moroni.
Prabhupāda: Suppose your father's statue is there, and crow passing on the nose stool. You don't feel that "My father's statue is being . . ."
Guest (2): Well, I don't think that it was done on Moroni, because Moroni is not in that statue.
Prabhupāda: No, no—Moroni, anyone. I am not . . . but there are so many statues, so many statues in the open field, and they are exposed to the birds for passing stool. Do you think it is more respectful than one keeping the same statue in a nice sacred temple and worshiping?
Guest (2): Yes, it's nice. They should.
Prabhupāda: So you criticize the person who is keeping the statue within a temple, "The heathen worship, idol worship," and you keep your father's statue exposed for passing stool on his head.
Guest (4): You know, if you're going to liken it unto that, I can also liken it unto your statues down here in your temple . . .
Prabhupāda: No, take it as statue, but where is good sense, to keep a statue within a temple or to keep it open field for passing stool by the birds?
Guest (4): Okay, here is some of my good sense. You've got your statues in your temple, and I notice there were a lot of flies in there the other night crawling all over it and doing their, whatever they do.
Prabhupāda: So do you mean a fly coming and crow passing stool is the same thing? Very good sense.
Guest (3): Well, flies leave mess.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Actually, it was painful to see the flies.
Devotee (4): That's why they have the whisk, you see. We try to whisk the flies away.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You can try as much as possible, or for some time . . .
Prabhupāda: It is very good reason that, "Because the flies cannot be checked, and the crows should be allowed to pass stool"? At least you stop the crows. If you cannot stop the flies, but you can stop the crows. We have done that. We don't allow the crows to come.
Guest (2): That's good. That's very good. We have taken a lot of your time, Your Grace, and we are very honored and thank you very much.
Prabhupāda: No, we are talking frankly. That's nice. Our point is that . . . that is our philosophy, that if we want to be God conscious, we must abide by His order, just like here it is very nicely written. I very much appreciate these things. But we must practically do that. And what is that? "Again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God." Now, it is conditional. "You have come to the knowledge of the glory of." Now, what is that knowledge, glory of God?
Guest (2): Well, that is to know that He lives and that He loves you, and that one day you can live with Him again.
Prabhupāda: That's nice. Very good.
Guest (2): And when you have that knowledge, I think that is to know . . .
Prabhupāda: That is more explicitly explained, as I was explaining, that you feel the presence of God every time, as in the Bhagavad-gītā is said, that when you are drinking water you immediately glorify God, "Oh, God has created this water so tasteful. It is quenching my thirst."
Guest (2): Exactly.
Prabhupāda: How it is easy.
Guest (2): Could I read you something out of that?
Prabhupāda: No, no, I can understand. The things are all right. Things are all right.
Guest (2): It's on the other side of the page, and it talks about that.
Prabhupāda: But I am giving you the process. You have written, "the glory of God," and I am giving you the process how to glorify God.
Guest (2): Oh, thank you.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Here is the process: You are drinking water, and "Oh, how Kṛṣṇa, God, is so glorified. I was so much thirsty, and just drinking this water, this is quenching my thirst." This is glorification.
Guest (2): I like that. That's good. I like that.
Prabhupāda: So that is the difference. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement means know how to glorify God not theoretical—practical. Here is practically example. Everyone drinks water, and while drinking water he can glorify thousand times.
Guest (2): I know what you mean.
Prabhupāda: That we are teaching. Prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ. As soon as you see sunlight, "Oh, we are suffering for want of sunlight. Here is God's glory. He has sent the sunlight." This is practical. So one must know how to glorify God practically. Then his life is successful. God is always glorious. There is no doubt about it. But for us, how to glorify God . . . similarly, when we worship the Deity, here is God. Just offer Him flower. Just offer Him dress. That is love.
Guest (2): Yeah.
Prabhupāda: Every item, there is practical.
Guest (2): We think that also to glorify God is to obey His order.
Prabhupāda: You think, but you see also practically that how these people are practically doing.
Guest (2): Excuse my manner of speech. I've come to know that to glorify God, and that is to obey His will and do His will.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is it. So that is the order in our Bhagavad-gītā. The first order is man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ (BG 9.34). So "Always think of Me." And He is giving the process how to think of Him. Not that He simply leaves you, that "Think of Me," but He is giving practical way. Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya (BG 7.8). "Now, when you drink water you can think of Me. When you see the sunshine you can think of Me. When you see the moonshine you can . . . when there is sound you can think of Me." In this way there is list. If you time, I can explain that list. Have you got time? Bring me that . . .
Guest (2): Well, have you got time?
Prabhupāda: All right. So practical, that how to think of God, how to glorify Him, that there must be some practical life. That we are teaching. Because everything is glorification of God. We cannot manufacture the sunshine, therefore sunshine, it is glorification of God. We cannot manufacture the moonshine; therefore moonshine is glorification of God. So in this way you have to practically learn how to glorify God. Then life will be very nice. That we are teaching. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So you should . . . so if you like, you can take this book also.
Guest (2): Could we have an autograph of that?
Hari-śauri: Oh, yes. They want you to sign it, Śrīla Prabhupāda.
Guest (2): How much does one of these cost?
Guest (3): Could we have two?
Devotee (4): Sure.
Guest (3): Then we can each personally have one.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I met one Christian in Florida. He once said that by hearing our philosophy he felt he became a . . . (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: What is the date? Twenty-third?
Guest (2): Well it's a good philosophy. I really respect the Kṛṣṇas for their discipline. Because this is a great thing that people of the world need to learn, is to discipline your body, and because we think that if you discipline your body, the spirit of God can dwell with you more.
Guest (2): We were going to get one more book, buy it, and have you sign another one. Would that be all right?
Hari-śauri: They're just bringing one more copy. They want one each. No, they want one copy each of Īśopaniṣad. So he's just waiting. He would like you to sign that one also, if you could.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Why don't you read one of these? I think you'd be interested in some of the finer points in the philosophy.
Guest (2): How much would that be? We can't afford too . . .
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It only costs four dollars.
Guest (2): We can't afford that. Something small. Does that have a picture of him in there?
Hari-śauri: There's a picture of Prabhupāda in the back on that one, in the back. On the inside also there's just a few notes about him.
Prabhupāda: Paper is ripped.
Guest (2): This has been . . . we have . . .
Prabhupāda: Another copy. (break)
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: . . . (indistinct) (end)