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Direct perception (Lectures)

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 2.8 -- London, August 8, 1973:

There are different grades and steps. In the gross bodily platform we demand pratyakṣa-jñānam. Pratyakṣa means direct perception. There are different stages of knowledge. Pratyakṣa, aparokṣa, pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprakṛta. These are different stages of knowledge. So knowledge acquired in the bodily platform, direct perception, is not real knowledge. Therefore, we can challenge these scientists, so-called scientists. Their basic principle of knowledge is on the bodily concept of life, pratyakṣa, experimental knowledge. Experimental knowledge means this gross sense perception. That is experimental. Pratyakṣa. Everyone says: "We do not see God." God is not such a subject matter that you can see with this pratyakṣa, direct perception. God's another name is Anubhāva. Anubhāva. Just like in this room we do not see the sun directly. But we know that there is sun. It is daytime. How do you know it? You do not see. But there are other processes by which you can experience.

Lecture on BG 2.8 -- London, August 8, 1973:

How do you know it? You do not see. But there are other processes by which you can experience. That is called aparokṣa. Pratyakṣa parokṣa aparokṣa. In this way, Kṛṣṇa consciousness means adhokṣaja and aprakṛta, beyond the senses. Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said: adhokṣaja. Where direct perception cannot reach. So where direct perception cannot reach, then how you can perceive anubhāva? That is śrota-panthā. That is śruti. You have to take knowledge from the Vedas. And the Vedic knowledge is explained by guru. Therefore one has to take shelter of Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme guru, or His representative. Then all these troubles, means ignorance, can be dissipated. Yac chokam ucchoṣaṇam indriyāṇām (BG 2.8).

Lecture on BG 2.8-12 -- Los Angeles, November 27, 1968:

If you want to gain in your case... Just like you have to give very nice evidence in a court, similarly, according to Vedic culture, the evidence is pramāṇa. Pramāṇa means evidence. Śabda-pramāṇa. There are three kinds of evidences accepted by the learned scholars in Vedic culture. One evidence is pratyakṣa. Pratyakṣa means direct perception. Just like I am seeing you, you are seeing me. I am present, you are present. This is direct perception. And there is another evidence which is called anumāna. Suppose in that room, and I am coming just now, I do not know whether any person there is or not. But there is some sound, I can imagine, "Oh, there is somebody." This is called anumāna. In logic it is called hypothesis. That is also evidence. If by my bona fide suggestions I can give evidence, that is also accepted. So direct evidence, and, what is called, hypothesis or suggestion evidence.

Lecture on BG 2.13 -- New York, March 11, 1966:

Now I see with my eyes, but I cannot see my eyelid. You see? The eyelid is always attached with my eye, but I cannot see. So our power of using the senses, that is very limited. So we should not depend only on the senses. Pratyakṣa. It is called pratyakṣa-anumāna. There are three kinds of evidences, pratyakṣa, anumāna, and aitihya. Pratyakṣa means that you can directly perceive. That is called pratyakṣa. And anumāna. Anumāna means you can conjecture, make an..., "It may be like this. It may be like this. Perhaps it is like this." This is called anumāna. And the other evidence is aitihya. Aitihya means to take evidences from the authority. So according... Out of these three evidences, this aitihya evidence, just like we are taking instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, sound, sound vibrated by the greatest personality, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, that sort of pramāṇa is acceptable. That is the best. This is the best way of acquiring knowledge. Because so far direct evidence is concerned, it is impossible.

Lecture on BG 2.13 -- New York, March 11, 1966:

Except the mother's version, that "Here is your father," he has no other alternative to know who is father. It is such a thing that neither he can imagine, speculate, "Oh, he may be my father, he may be my father, he may be my father." Lots of father he can gather. That is not possible. And neither it is possible for direct perception. The only possibility is the mother's evidence. Similarly, as the mother is authority for the child, similarly, the śruti, the Vedas, they are called mother, mother of knowledge.

So for such spiritual knowledge we have to accept the authority. Now, here, the Bhagavad-gītā is authority. It is accepted. Don't think that it is a scripture of the Hindus. No. It is for all human beings. There is reason. There is science.

Lecture on BG 2.14 -- Germany, June 21, 1974:

Exactly in the same way: to understand who is my father is beyond my perception, beyond my speculation, but if I accept the authoritative statement of my mother, this is perfect knowledge. So there are three kinds of processes to understand or to advance in knowledge. One is direct perception, pratyakṣa. And the other is authority, and the other is śruti. Śruti means by hearing from the Supreme. So our process is śruti. Śruti means we hear from the highest authority. That is our process, and that is very easy. Highest authority, if He is not in default... Ordinary persons, they are in default. They have got imperfection. The first imperfection is: the ordinary man, they commit mistake. Any great man of the world, you have seen, they commit mistake.

Lecture on BG 2.16 -- Mexico City, February 16, 1975:

Just like the example we have given many times that the sunshine, sun globe and the sun-god. We are, every one of us, experienced what is sunshine. That means the sun, the sunshine and sun globe..., sun globe, the sunshine and sun-god, although it is one, the sunshine portion we can easily understand. But nobody of us has gone to the sun globe. Therefore there cannot be any direct perception of the sun globe. Rather, if we attempt to go to the sun globe, on the way we shall be finished. But the sun globe is not different from the sunshine. And still, the sunshine is not the sun globe. Being in the sunshine, you cannot say that you have seen the sun globe. You can simply understand that it is of the same quality, namely, as the sunshine has light and heat, the sun globe has also light and heat. So although the quality is the same, the quantity is different. The temperature in the sun globe is very, very high.

Lecture on BG 2.18 -- London, August 24, 1973:

Although they are very expert. I cannot say. But our facilities, we can immediately say, there are nine hundred thousand. Although I have never experimented, neither seen personally, but because it is explained in the Vedic literature, I can say you correctly. Therefore in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said that you want to see or perceive directly anything... Just like so many rascals come, they challenge, "Can you show me God?" So... Yes. We can show you God, provided you have got the eyes. God can be seen by different type of eyes. Not these eyes. That is stated in the śāstra. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). Indriya means these senses, these material senses. With these material senses, you cannot experience directly what is the form of the Lord, what is His quality, what does He do. So many things we want to know about the Supreme. But śāstra describes the qualities of the Lord, the form of the Lord, the activities of the Lord. You can learn.

Lecture on BG 2.18 -- London, August 24, 1973:

They estimate, the modern aeronautics, they estimate, that in order to go to the topmost planet will require forty thousands of years by going in the light year. Just like light year, we have got calculation.

So we cannot estimate by direct perception, even in this material world, and what to speak of the spiritual world. Not (possible.) Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām (Bs. 5.34). By mental, muni-puṅga means mental speculation. You can go on mental speculating, but if you do even for many hundreds and thousand of years, it is not possible to calculate. You have to accept this truth through the śāstra; otherwise, it is not possible. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said, nityasyoktāḥ śarīr-ukta. Ukta means it is said. Not that "I am presenting some dogma," although He can do so. He's Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Lecture on BG 2.18 -- London, August 24, 1973:

So the soul is in the heart and Kṛṣṇa is also in the heart. Because they remain both together. So place is also located. You can perceive also by consciousness where there is presentation of soul, but if you want to measure by experiment, that is not possible. Therefore it is called aprameya. Prameya means direct perception. I can see or I can touch, I can handle. So that is... Kṛṣṇa says no, it is not possible. Aprameya. Then, how I shall accept? Now Kṛṣṇa says. So how I can believe Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa says ukta, it is already settled up by authorities. Ukta. This is paramparā system. Kṛṣṇa also says ukta. Kṛṣṇa does not say that "I speak," no. Ukta, there is Vedic evidence. Where it is? In the Upaniṣads there is.

Lecture on BG 2.26 -- Hyderabad, November 30, 1972:

We are not trying to understand by the ascending process. Inductive or deductive. We accept the statements of the Vedas. Therefore we haven't got to make much effort to understand a thing. Veda-vacana, śruti, śruti-pramāṇa. There are three kinds of evidences: direct perception, and evidence from the Vedas, and evidence from history. Aitihya. Pratyakṣa, aitihya, śruti. Three kinds of evidences. So pratyakṣa and aitihya is neglected. According to our Vedic system, śruti-pramāṇa, if it is statement, the statement is there in the śruti, in the Vedas, then we accept. We have got a society in India. They call veda-pramāṇa. "We cannot accept without it is not mentioned in the Vedas." That's a, that's nice. But there is another class who are described in the Bhagavad-gītā by Kṛṣṇa Himself: veda-vāda-ratāḥ. They are simply unnecessarily fight on the basis of so-called Vedic knowledge.

Lecture on BG 4.1 -- Montreal, August 24, 1968:

Knowledge or science of God is very confidential. This science is not ordinary science. It is very confidential. Jñānaṁ me parama-guhyaṁ yad vijñāna-samanvitam. Vijñāna means... Vi means specific. It is a specific knowledge, and it has to be understood by a specific process. Generally, we understand, we acquire knowledge by direct perception, experimental knowledge, direct perception. But bhagavad-vijñāna, the science of God, is so extensive and so intricate that it is not possible to apply our imperfect senses to understand the science of God. Then we have to understand with our senses. Otherwise what is the meaning of understanding? Hear. Therefore these senses, when they will be purified, then we can understand. Just like a man cannot see due to some cataract complication, but if the cataract portion is surgically operated, he can see also. Treatment. Similarly, it is said in the śāstras that ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136).

Lecture on BG 4.3-6 -- New York, July 18, 1966:

Now knowledge received from the greatest personality, greatest authority, is, according to Vedic system, that is accepted as perfect.

There are three kinds of proofs. According to Vedic system, they accept three kinds. For establishing truth, they, they take three kinds of proofs: pratyakṣa, anumāna, aitihya. In logic also, these three kinds of proofs are accepted. What is that? Now, direct perception. You are seeing. I am sitting here. That is direct knowledge. I am seeing that you are sitting here. That is direct knowledge, pratyakṣa.

Anumāna. Anumāna means just like the children are playing there. We are hearing their sound. So we can conjecture that there are some children. We don't see the children. But we can conjecture, we can think, we can imagine that there are some children who are playing there. This is called anumāna.

Lecture on BG 4.3-6 -- New York, July 18, 1966:

The knowledge is coming down, "Man is mortal," and we accept everything. There are so many examples. So out of these three, the Vedic knowledge, they say that this aitihya, or the knowledge received from the authority, is the most perfect.

Neither, I mean to say, imagination or hypothesis nor direct. Direct perception is always imperfect, especially in the conditioned stage of life. Just like direct perception—with our eyes we see the sun just like a disc, not more than your plate on which you take your meals. But from authority, aitihya, we understand the sun is so many millions times greater than this earth. So which of them is right? By seeing your direct perception, sun just like a disc—is it right? Or you take it from authority that sun is such and such times bigger than the earth? Which one of them you'll accept? But you are not going to prove it that the sun is so great. You do not know.

Lecture on BG 4.3-6 -- New York, July 18, 1966:

You accept the authority of newspaper and you believe it, that in China such and such things have taken place and in India such and such things have taken place, which is far beyond the range of your direct perception. Similarly, there are many instances. We have to believe the authority to take knowledge. And the more the authority is perfect, your knowledge is perfect. The more the authority is perfect, your knowledge is perfect. Direct perception in all cases, it is not possible to receive direct perception of everything. Take, for example... (shouts from outside on street) Ask them not to make noise.

Lecture on BG 4.3-6 -- New York, July 18, 1966:

Hm. So there is one very good example. Now, if somebody wants to know, "Who is my father? Who is my father?" And how he can know? There is no possibility of direct perception to know the father. It is not possible. Then who is the authority? The mother is the authority. When the mother says, "My dear son, here is your father," we have to accept it. If you say, "No, I don't believe you, mother," then you have no other source of knowledge who is your father. You have no other alternative; excepting the authority of your mother, you cannot know who is your father. Because he was your father before your birth, so how you can have direct perception? It is not possible. So many things there are that direct perception is not possible. Therefore in the Vedic process of knowledge the authority has been accepted as the perfect source of knowledge.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- San Francisco, September 10, 1968:

Just like we are sitting in this room. Within this room there is sky, but we cannot understand the sky. But if we try to understand this table we can at once understand, because in the table, if I touch, I feel the hardness; the perception is there. My knowledge can receive that this is a hard table. But if I speak about sky, I cannot get any direct perception. Therefore simply understanding of greatness of God is not all. That, that is the beginning of attachment, "God is great." But you have to develop your attachment to the fullest extent. And that is love of God.

You cannot love sky. That is not possible. If I say, "You love sky," you'll say, "How to love sky? I want a tangible thing. I want a boy, I want a girl, then I can love. How I can love sky?" So simply understanding of greatness is not all. Then from the development of the, from the idea of sky, there is, next development is air. In the air you can perceive something.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Hong Kong, January 25, 1975:

So we can see through history also Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa and through śāstra also. Śāstra-cakṣusā. Just like at the present moment, Kṛṣṇa is not physically present, but we understand through śāstra what is Kṛṣṇa.

So śāstra-cakṣusā. Śāstra... Either you take direct perception or through the śāstra... Through the śāstra the perception is better than direct perception. Therefore our knowledge, those who are following the Vedic principles, their knowledge is derived from the Vedas. They do not manufacture any knowledge. If one thing is understood by the evidence of the Vedas, that is fact. So Kṛṣṇa is understood through the Vedas. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15). That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. You cannot imagine of Kṛṣṇa. If some rascal says that "I am imagining," that is rascaldom. You have to see Kṛṣṇa through the Vedas. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ (BG 15.15).

Lecture on BG 7.1-3 -- Ahmedabad, December 14, 1972:

So many doubts. In the Ninth Chapter also, in the Bhagavad-gītā, it is said, pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyam. Pratyakṣa. Kṛṣṇa consciousness knowledge is so perfect that pratyakṣa avagamam, you can directly perceive how far you are making progress. You don't require to take certificate from others, whether you are progressing or not. You'll understand, yourself. The example is given. Just like a hungry man is eating, so as he going on, eating, he's getting strength and his hunger is being satisfied. So he can understand himself. Nobody requires to certify, "Now you are satisfied," or "Now..." Similarly bhakti, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is so perfect that pratyakṣa avagamam, one can understand directly. Bhaktiḥ pareśānubhavo viraktir anyatra syāt (SB 11.2.42). This is the test of bhakti-mārga.

Lecture on BG 7.4 -- Vrndavana, August 10, 1974:

It is separated because in this material world you cannot directly perceive the presence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ. "I am not present there. Although it is coming from My energy, still, I am not present there." This is simultaneously-one-and-different philosophy.

So Kṛṣṇa says that ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭa... Everything is finer. Just like the earth is grosser than the water. Water, finer. Earth you cannot move, but water can move. Therefore it is finer. And finer than the earth is the fire, and finer than the fire is air, and finer than the air is ether, and finer than the ether is the mind, and finer than the mind is intelligence, and finer than intelligence is my identity, ahaṅkāra.

Lecture on BG 7.4 -- Nairobi, October 31, 1975:

Although there is mind, but we cannot see. Then how you can see the soul?

So this is the defect of modern education. So what is beyond your perception, sense perception, that you have to hear. There are two kinds of knowledges: by practical experience, direct perception, and by hearing from authority, aitihya. According to Vedic system, there are three kinds of evidences: direct, and pratyakṣa... Pratyakṣa means direct. And then aitihya and śruti. Śruti. Śruti means hearing from the authority. Just like here we see that there is mind. Everyone knows mind, but it is confirmed by the śāstra because we are hearing from Kṛṣṇa which is called śruti.

Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Paris, August 13, 1973:

Reason. What is that reason? Now, if I want to inquire about the Absolute Truth, so how I shall understand? Now... There are three ways, namely pratyakṣa, pratyakṣa, aitihya, and śruti, śruti-pramāṇa. Śruti-pramāṇa, pratyakṣa-pramāṇa, direct perception...

Now, Brahman, the Absolute Truth, how we can understand the Absolute Truth? Absolute Truth means the Supreme. Now we have got experience that everything is created by somebody, everything, whatever we see, this pillow, this seat, or this book, or this microphone, whatever we are seeing. Even my body is created by my father and mother. Everyone can understand. So why they should deny the creation of this material world?

Lecture on BG 16.7 -- Hawaii, February 3, 1975:

You have to hear from the authority. The mother is the authority. Therefore śruti-pramāṇa: the evidence is hearing, not by seeing. Seeing... Our imperfect eyes... There are so many obstacles. So similarly, by direct perception, you cannot have the truth.

Direct perception is speculation. Dr. Frog. Dr. Frog is speculating what is Atlantic Ocean. He is in the well, three feet well, and some friend inform him, "Oh, I have seen vast water." "What is that vast water?" "Atlantic Ocean." "How big it is?" "Very, very big." So the Dr. Frog is thinking, "Maybe four feet. This well is three feet. It may be four feet. All right, five feet. Come on, ten feet." So in this way, speculating, how the frog, Dr. Frog, will understand Atlantic Ocean or Pacific Ocean? Can you estimate the length and breadth of the Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, by speculation?

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.2.1 -- New Vrindaban, September 1, 1972:

"I am God." How much rascaldom it is, you can just imagine. God is not like that. God knows everything. That is God. Anvayād itarataś ca. Indirectly and directly. Directly I can see this is my finger, but I do not know what is the composition of the finger. So direct, indirect. Indirectly I do not know. Directly I can see. So we may have some experience of direct perception, but God has got both direct and indirect perception. We do not know how a flower is coming out, but God knows how the flower is coming out.

So in this way, if we study Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we can understand what is the nature of God. Not we manufacture, but the reason, the philosophy, the authority, is everything there in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So if we simply scrutinizingly study how, what sort of body God has got. It is a simple language, it is given. Sac-cid-ānanda, and ānanda means blissful. Always blissful. You have seen our Kṛṣṇa, how blissful He is.

Lecture on SB 1.2.1 -- New Vrindaban, September 1, 1972:

We are practically sample of God. Whatever propensities there are in God we have got, because we are part and parcel of God.

Just like Atlantic Ocean and a drop of Atlantic Ocean water. Chemically it is the same. If you taste one drop of Atlantic Ocean water it is salty. Immediately direct perception. And if you analyze the whole ocean you will find it is salty. But the difference is the Atlantic Ocean contains millions and trillions of tons of salt, but the drop of water contains a grain of salt. Similarly, whatever propensities you have, that is result of God. If you can study yourself, that is called meditation, study yourself and you will find that you are sample of God. He is vibhu, God is great, and we are small.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Delhi, November 11, 1973:

Christian religion, or there are so many other religions. That is also dharma. That is temporary. But paro dharma means permanent dharma, eternal dharma, or sanātana-dharma. That is called para. Para means superior. So sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja means God. Adhaḥ. Adhaḥ means cut (curbed?) down. Akṣaja means direct perception. Adhokṣaja. You cannot understand God by direct perception. You have got your eyes, but if you want to see, "Where is God? Show me," that is not immediately possible. You have to prepare your eyes to see God. So therefore God's another name is Adhokṣaja. Adhah-kṛta-akṣajan jñānaṁ yatra(?). Not by direct perception you can understand God.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- New Vrindaban, September 5, 1972:

If you engage yourself in such occupational duties by which you can increase your devotional service for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described here in this chapter as Vāsudeva Adhokṣaja. Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa's name, another name is Vāsudeva, and His another name is Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja means not to be understood by direct perception of our senses. Akṣaja, we try to understand everything with our senses, we want to see something, we want to touch something, we want to smell something, we want to hear about something, we want to taste something, these are our direct test. So Kṛṣṇa, God, cannot be understood by these direct tests. Therefore He is called Adhokṣaja.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Hyderabad, November 26, 1972:

So God's name is there according to His pastimes, relationships. So Kṛṣṇa is the supreme name because it means all-attractive. Similarly, here it is name, God's name, Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja. Adha. Adha means defeated. Adha-kṛta. Subdued. What is that subdued? Akṣaja-jñānam. Akṣa. Akṣa means eyes, direct perception. We want... We say sometimes, "Can you show me God?" Akṣa. Or akṣaja means ah, the alphabet, and kṣa, beginning from ah up to kṣa. So all the letters are there. So we make words by combination of these letters. So akṣaja, so within our power, we make so many words by combining these alphabets, but God is beyond that. Akṣaja-jñānam. Either you are beyond the direct perception or beyond your word-making capacity. Therefore God's another name is Adhokṣaja. Adhaḥ-kṛta akṣaja jñānam jata. So adhokṣaja means beyond direct sense perception. That is also nice name of God. God is not understood by speculating our senses.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- London, July 23, 1973:

Simply by aural reception. Śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). We cannot understand God, Kṛṣṇa, by our present senses. Therefore His name is adhokṣaja. Here this is the verse, it is said, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja. Kṛṣṇa's another name is Adhokṣaja. Akṣaja means direct perception. Just like somebody says, "I want to see." This is called akṣaja. Akṣa means eyes or senses. So He is not perceived by these blunt material senses. Therefore He is known as Adhokṣaja. Adhah-kṛta akṣaja-jñānaṁ yatra, where this direct experimental knowledge is defeated. You cannot understand God by your this blunt material experience. No. That is not possible. Therefore we have to submit. We have to surrender.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Hyderabad, April 18, 1974:

If he is in position in the material world, he thinks like that. That is not fault. That is natural.

But here it is said, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). Adhokṣaja. God's another name is Adhokṣaja, "beyond," I mean to say, "material conception." Adhah-kṛta akṣaja-jñānaṁ yatra. Akṣaja means direct perception, that I see directly by my eyes, I can hear directly by my ears, or I can smell. Not by direct. Directly, because our senses are imperfect. (break) Then you can understand that we are not different.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Mauritius, October 5, 1975:

If you are actually obedient to the laws of God, then you are religious. It doesn't matter.

So that is explained here: sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharma yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). Adhokṣaje. Beyond the sense perception. We have got different stages of knowledge: direct perception... Pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprakṛta—these are five stages of knowledge. Direction perception, knowledge received from others, then realization, then anubhūti, understanding what is the position of God and His situation. That is called aprakṛta. Aprakṛta means not within this material world but above that. Śaṅkarācārya, he has described, nārāyaṇaḥ paraḥ avyaktāt. Avyaktāt. This material world is manifested. And above this, there is the total stock of material energy.

Lecture on SB 1.2.6 -- Mauritius, October 5, 1975:

You are without and within also, but still, You cannot be recognized." Naṭo nāṭyadharo yathā. Just like one person's father or relative is playing on the stage, still, he cannot recognize him—"Who is playing?"—so similarly, Kṛṣṇa or God's position is adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja. Akṣaja. Akṣaja means direct perception. Akṣa means eyes. Sometimes we say, "Can you show me God?" This is called akṣaja. But He cannot be seen by these eyes; therefore His name is Adhokṣaja. Adhah-kṛtaḥ akṣajaṁ jñānam. You cannot see God by direct perception. You have to create your eyes, you have to create your senses, so that you can see God, you can touch God, you can talk with God, you can feel God's presence. Therefore His name is Adhokṣaja. When sometimes God is described as impersonal, that does not mean that He has no personality. He has His personality, but He is not a person like us. He is not a person like us. That is called impersonal.

Lecture on SB 1.2.25 -- Los Angeles, August 28, 1972:

So Bhagavān is the last word in the Absolute Truth. So here it is said they did not worship Brahman or Paramātmā; they worshiped directly bhagavantam adhokṣajam. Adhokṣajam.

Another name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is adhokṣajam. Akṣaja, akṣaja means direct perception. Direct means sense perception. Just like we see so many things directly with our eyes; we touch with our hands; we smell by our nose. These are direct perception by our senses. But bhagavantam, Bhagavān, is adhokṣajam. He is beyond direct perception. Adhokṣajam. Adhaḥ, you cannot reach there by direct perception. Just like I do not see God. Then what do you see? Your seeing power is very limited. Why don't you accept that? So He's not appreciable by limited senses. Therefore His name is adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja. Sattvaṁ viśuddham. Sattvaṁ viśuddham.

Lecture on SB 1.2.25 -- Los Angeles, August 28, 1972:

We are all created beings. But Kṛṣṇa is not created. He is above creation. Before creation, He was existing; therefore His existence is not within this creation. That is adhokṣaja. Within this creation we can understand by experimental science, but which is beyond this creation, because we cannot reach there, adhokṣaja... Because we take everything by direct perception, but that is beyond direct perception. Adhokṣaja. Kṣemāya kalpante ye 'nu tān iha. That is our real benefit, adhokṣaja. In the beginning also of this chapter it is said, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). The same word, adhokṣaje. Ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati. If you want real happiness, then you engage yourself in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṣemāya. Then you'll be happy. And if you take to other demigods, those who are material, that will not be your perfect happiness or permanent happiness.

Lecture on SB 1.5.14 -- New Vrindaban, June 18, 1969:

That is perfect knowledge.

So there are three kinds of processes to receive knowledge: pratyakṣa, aitihya and śabda. Pratyakṣa means by direct perception, experimental knowledge. And aitihya, or anumāna. Anumāna, hypothesis, "It may be like this," "Perhaps like this." Just like modern scientists say, "Perhaps it is like this." That is called anumāna, hypothesis. And another process is śabda-pramāṇa. Śruti-pramāṇa. Śabda means sound vibration, and śruti means aural reception. So out of three processes, the śabda-pramāṇa, or receiving vibration, sound vibration from authorities by aural reception, that is considered to be the perfect.

Lecture on SB 1.8.18-19 -- Bombay, April 9, 1971:

Their knowledge has been taken away by māyā. Apahṛta means taken away. Here also, the same thing, Kuntī says, māyā-javanikācchannam ajñā. Māyā-javanikācchannam ajñā adhokṣajam avyayam. They cannot see Adhokṣaja. Kṛṣṇa, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is also known as Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja. Akṣaja. Akṣa means direct perception. Just like we sometimes say, "Can you show me? Can you show me?" So the answer is, "Whether you have got eyes to see?" God or Kṛṣṇa cannot be seen by these eyes. So Adhokṣaja. Kṛṣṇa's another name is Adhokṣaja. Adhaḥ. Adhaḥ means down, made down, or defeated. Your sense perception will be defeated if you want to realize by God by your imperfect sense perception. That is not possible. You will be defeated. Adhaḥ akṣaja. Akṣaja means akṣa. Akṣa means eyes.

Lecture on SB 1.8.19 -- Chicago, July 5, 1974 :

And what is Kṛṣṇa? Kṛṣṇa is adhokṣajam. Adhok..., adhokṣaja. Adha, adhakṛta. Adhakṛta means subdued. Akṣaja, our knowledge, direct perception. We are very much proud of our eyes, akṣa. So Kṛṣṇa's another name is Adhokṣaja. Where your eyesight fails to see you, see Kṛṣṇa; therefore he is Adhokṣaja. Akṣaja jñānam. Knowledge received through direct perception of the senses is called akṣaja jñānam, and Kṛṣṇa is adhokṣaja, where knowledge by direct perception cannot reach. And perfection of life is when you become attached to that adhokṣaja. In another place of Śrīmad... (break) Peace will be possible when you develop your loving propensity for the Adhokṣaja, who is beyond your senses.

Lecture on SB 1.8.19 -- Chicago, July 5, 1974 :

"How big is it?" "Very, very big." Maybe, he is in the three-feet well. "Four feet?" "No, no, very, very big." "Five feet?" "No, very big." "Six feet?" (laughter) How he will understand the Atlantic Ocean? He can simply imagine, maybe three-feet, four-feet, five-feet well. But beyond all feet, that he cannot understand. Because of mūḍha-dṛśa, the direct perception, and he is a rascal.

So by mental speculation, so-called big, big philosophers, they cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa can be understood by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa comes. Kṛṣṇa is visible. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena. When you are trained up how to love God, Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa will reveal Himself, and you will see Him. Premāñjana-cchurita. Not with these eyes, but another eyes. What is that eyes?

Lecture on SB 1.8.19 -- Chicago, July 5, 1974 :

So then when your eyes are clear, then you can see, hṛayeṣu, always existing. But so long you are mūḍha-dṛśa, you are mental speculator, the curtain is covered, the covering is there, you cannot see Kṛṣṇa. Māyā-javanikācchannam ajñādhokṣajam avyayam na lakṣyase, "You are not visible," mūḍha-dṛśa, "by persons who are rascal and simply believe in direct perception," mūḍha-dṛśa. How it is? In Sanskrit language you will find exact example is given, naṭo nāṭyadharo yathā. Just like you have gone to see a performance, dramatic performance, and some of your relatives, say your brother or father, is playing there, but he is dressed in such a way that you can not recognize he is your father. Although he is in your front, the father or the brother whom you see every day, this man, being, has dressed himself in such a way, he is playing the part of a king or something else, you can not understand. Somebody says, "Did you see your father is playing?" "Where is my father?

Lecture on SB 1.8.40 -- Los Angeles, May 2, 1973:

And smṛti. Smṛti means statement derived from śruti. Just like Bhagavad-gītā is called smṛti, the Purāṇas are called smṛti. But Upaniṣad is called śruti, and Vedānta is called nyāya. So three ways, nyāya-pramāṇa, śruti-pramāṇa and smṛti-pramāṇa. So of all these, the śruti-pramāṇa, or the evidence by the śruti, is very important. Pratyakṣa, anumāna and śruti. Pratyakṣa: direct perception. Direct perception has no value because our senses are all imperfect. So what is the value of direct perception? Just like we are seeing every day the sun just like a disc, say, about twelve inches or eleven inches. But it is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this earth. So therefore our direct perception with the experience of these eyes has no value. Similarly all the senses, either eyes or nose, by smelling, by touching, by tasting, by hearing... There are so many senses we can experience knowledge.

Lecture on SB 3.26.1 -- Bombay, December 13, 1974:

Then aparokṣa, realization. Then adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja means knowledge which beyond your perception. But there is source of knowledge, adhokṣaja. Therefore God's another name is Adhokṣaja. Adhaḥ. Adhaḥ means subduing, bring under subjugation. Adhah-kṛta, akṣaja. Akṣaja means the knowledge directly perceived by the senses. Akṣa means eyes and akṣa means atukya(?). So any knowledge within the alphabets, ABCD, that is called akṣaja. And the knowledge which is beyond that, that is called adhokṣaja. And beyond the adhokṣaja knowledge there is aprākṛta. Aprākṛta knowledge.

Lecture on SB 3.26.35-36 -- Bombay, January 12, 1975:

So prākṛta stage is pratyakṣa knowledge, direct perception, and knowledge received from paramparā. Pratyakṣa, parokṣa, then aparokṣa, self-realization, then adhokṣaja, aprākṛta. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is aprākṛta knowledge. It is the topmost platform of knowing Kṛṣṇa, aprākṛta knowledge. So, so long we are up to the adhokṣaja knowledge, that is regulative principles. We have to follow the regulative principles strictly. And aprākṛta knowledge is for the paramahaṁsa. There is... That is called rāga-bhakta. In these stages, pratyakṣa, parokṣa, they are called viddhi-bhakti. But without viddhi-bhakti, you cannot reach to the platform of rāga-bhakti, although that is our aim. Rāgānugā, rāga-bhakti is executed following the footprints of the devotees in Vṛndāvana.

Lecture on SB 6.1.9 -- Honolulu, May 10, 1976:

Just like we are hearing the śāstra, so he has heard it from the lawbooks that if one commits theft he'll be punished. And he has seen also that a person who has committed theft, he is arrested by the police, so he was being taken to the prison house. So knowledge is acquired from two sources, by direct perception and by hearing. Just like we are hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. This is knowledge also. And when you see there are three kinds of receiving knowledge... One is śruti. Śruti means hearing. So our Vedic process is that we hear the Vedic information, and we become perfect, śruti. And somebody challenges that "Why shall I believe in the Vedas? I must see." But everything is not possible to see. For example somebody, the mother said to the son, "Here is your father."

Lecture on SB 6.1.32 -- Surat, December 16, 1970:

This is disturbing. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so nice that naturally it will make you beautiful, not black-faced, not morose—beautiful face. That is the sign of spiritual advancement. By the face you'll understand that "Here is a man who is spiritually advanced." Pratyakṣam avagamaṁ dharmyam. This process of spiritual consciousness can be directly perceived. It is not theoretical: "Oh, I am a very great devotee." No. Simply theoretical understanding, "I am a great devotee..." From the very face it will be understood. Face is the index of mind, how you are thinking. If you are thinking of Kṛṣṇa always, then your face will be beautiful. Therefore it is called pratyakṣam avagamaṁ dharmyam, direct perception. There is no theoretical. It is practical. Pratyakṣyam avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ su-sukham.

Lecture on SB 6.1.40 -- San Francisco, July 21, 1975:

Vedic knowledge means spiritual knowledge. Material knowledge also, the same process, any knowledge, especially spiritual knowledge. Because material things sometimes we can perceive directly because our body is material. But spiritual knowledge, unless you hear from the authority, there is no source of knowledge. You cannot understand. Because we do not see what is spirit. I am spirit, you are spirit, but I do not see your spirit soul, you do not see my spirit soul, because we have got material eyes. When somebody dies, one cries, "Oh, my father is gone. My father is gone." Where is your father gone? Your father is lying on the bed. Why do you say father gone? That means with these material eyes we cannot see spirit.

Lecture on SB 6.1.46 -- San Diego, July 27, 1975:

This is also an evidence. Pratyakṣa, anumāna, and śruta. According to Vedic principles, there are three different types of evidences. Everything must be proved by evidence. So these are primarily three evidences. Pratyakṣa, direct perception, pratyakṣa; anumāna; and śruti. Anumāna means I cannot see directly, but by the symptoms I can imagine. That is anumāna. Just like I have seen that in the month of April, May, June, we can get mangoes. That is our direct experience. So similarly, we can say, in the month of January, we can say that "In the month of April, May, June, we shall have mangoes." In the January there is no mango. But because I know, I experienced in my last April, May, June, so similarly, this intuition is nothing but experience of my last life. That is called intuition.

Lecture on SB 6.3.20-23 -- Gorakhpur, February 14, 1971:

Therefore another name of Kṛṣṇa, or God, is Adhokṣaja. Adhaḥ. Adhaḥ means falls down, and akṣaja, akṣaja means... Akṣa means direct experience, direct seeing, direct touching. And ja means born. Knowledge born of direct perception of the senses—this is called akṣaja. And adhaḥ means where akṣaja, the direct perception of material senses, is cut down. (curbed?) There is no possibility. He is called adhokṣaja. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa's another name is Adhokṣaja, "beyond the sense perception knowledge." Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyaḥ. We cannot understand God or religion by our mental speculation even by the speed of mind, manasa. Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara. And the speculation continues by, continues to hundreds and hundreds of years. Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara. Śata means hundred, and koṭi means ten million. So ten million into hundred—unlimited time.

Lecture on SB 7.9.9 -- Montreal, July 6, 1968:

So unless we come to that point, pañcama puruṣārtha, fifth dimension... The dharma, first, the artha, second, kāma, third, mokṣa, fourth, and devotion is the fifth, fifth platform. Adhokṣaja, adhokṣaja. There are different stages of understanding: pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparakṣa, adhokṣaja, aprakṛta. The ordinary understanding, direct perception, is called pratyakṣa. Now, higher than the pratyakṣa understanding is parokṣa, means to gather knowledge from the higher authorities. And above that, aparokṣa, realization. And above that, adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja means beyond the understanding of these material senses. And above that, there is aprakṛta, completely transcendental. So the bhakti is on the transcendental platform, beyond the adhokṣaja.

Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Montreal, July 9, 1968:

No. Simply go on chanting. (break) ...pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam (BG 9.2).

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that this, this process of devotional service to the Lord, is pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ. There are many types of religious principles or religiousness, but here is the religion which you can directly perceive. Which you can directly perceive. Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ. And su-sukhaṁ. Su-sukhaṁ means very easy to perform, very easy. Anyone, even a child, can perform. Su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam. Avyayam means imperishable. If you chant for a minute, it will never go in vain. Avyayam. It will never go in vain.

Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Montreal, July 9, 1968:

A great opportunity. So we should take this opportunity. Pratya Rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyam. This is called rāja-vidyā, the knowledge, the king of all knowledge. Rāja-guhyam, the king of all confidential things. Rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ pavitraṁ paramam idam, and very pure, and sublime. Pratyakṣa avagamaṁ dharmyaṁ, and it is directly perceived, su-sukham, and very easy to perform, avyayam, never to be destroyed. Whatever you do, that is your asset. If you do one percent, that is your asset. So actually it is so. So our request is that you take up this chanting and be happy. (end)

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 26, 1972:

The sugar candy is sweet, but a jaundiced patient, if he's given sugar candy, he'll taste it is bitter. Similarly, our senses being covered with material consciousness, we cannot at the present moment taste what is Kṛṣṇa's form, what is Kṛṣṇa's name, what is Kṛṣṇa's quality, what is Kṛṣṇa's pastime, what is Kṛṣṇa's paraphernalia, so many things. It is not possible. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). Our senses are materially contaminated. Therefore we cannot directly perceive by using our present senses what is Kṛṣṇa. So it has to be purified.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.318-329 -- New York, December 22, 1966:

We can give some evidence. The Vedas are accepted by ācāryas, and they are following, and they are getting the result. So therefore, śruti-pramāṇa. Śruti-pramāṇa. There are three kinds of evidences. Out of that, śruti-pramāṇa, evidence from higher authorities, that is the first-class evidence. What are those evidence? Pratyakṣa, aitihya and śruti. Pratyakṣa means direct perception. Direct perception, that is evidence. People with poor fund of knowledge, they want direct perception of everything. That is not possible. Direct perception of everything is not possible. Therefore aitihya. Aitihya means historical, historical, paramparā, hearing, traditional. And the next first-class evidence is śruti. Śruti means to hear from the authority. That is śruti. Just like the example we have several times cited here that the evidence "Who is my father?" that evidence is to hear from my mother. That's all.

Festival Lectures

His Divine Grace Srila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Appearance Day, Lecture -- London, September 3, 1971:

"Myself, I surrender unto You as Your disciple." Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam. Prapannam means surrender. So that is the Vedic injunction, that if you want to know transcendental knowledge or science... "Transcendental" means beyond the scope of your direct perception.

So spiritual knowledge is beyond the scope of our sense speculation. Beyond the scope. Just like when a soul, a spiritual spark only, leaves this body, you cannot see. Therefore, atheistic class of men, they speculate, "There may be a soul; there may not be soul." Or, "The bodily function was going like this; now it stopped. The blood corpuscles now cease. It is no more red; it is white; therefore life..." These are speculation. This is not actual knowledge. Actual knowledge you get from the authority, Kṛṣṇa. He says, tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati.

Initiation Lectures

Lecture & Initiation -- Seattle, October 20, 1968:

Very easy process. So this is our program. So invite anyone to join this movement, and you'll be benefited. And you will see practically. It is pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyam. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that this process of self-realization is directly perceivable. Directly perceivable. Pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyam. Just like when you eat, you can understand that you are eating, you can understand that your hunger is being satisfied, you can understand that you are getting strength. So you haven't got to take certificate. You can yourself understand it is so nice thing. Pratyakṣāvagamam. Pratyakṣa means directly, avagamam. You understand it directly. If you meditate, so-called meditation, you do not know how far you are making progress. You see. You are in oblivion. You do not know. But here, if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, you'll directly feel, directly feel. I have got so many students, so many letters, how they are feeling directly.

Detroit Initiations -- Detroit, July 18, 1971:

Ātmārāma dāsa. Ātmārāma means who is satisfied with self-realization. Next. Purañjana was a great king, devotee, in the history. (devotees coming up, taking initiation.) Aprākṛta. Aprākṛta means transcendental. Yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Then, next? There are different stages of understanding. First understanding is direct perception, pratyakṣa. In Sanskrit word it is called pratyakṣa, direct understanding. That tenth-class understanding, that is not actually understanding, direct perception. But people are giving stress that "I want to see. I want to touch." This is called pratyakṣa. Then next is parokṣa, hearing from authorities. Then aparokṣa, realizing. Then adhokṣaja means beyond the perception of the senses. Then aprākṛta, transcendental. These are the stages for going to the aprākṛta, transcendental stage. From direct perception, then, pratyakṣa, parokṣa, to take instruction from others. Then realization. Then beyond these senses.

General Lectures

Lecture -- Seattle, October 18, 1968:

Human being, they're imperfect, always. Just for example, that a child is seeing the sun, and a scientist is seeing the sun. By nature, the child, their knowledge of the sun is imperfect. The same child, when he takes instruction from a scientist, he can understand the sun is so great. Therefore direct perception of knowledge by our the senses is always imperfect. You have to approach authority—in every sphere of life. Similarly, if you want to understand what is God, then you have to take shelter of this Bhagavad-gītā. There is no alternative. You cannot speculate that "God may be like this, God may be like that," "There is no God," "God is dead," "God is not dead." This is simply speculation.

Lecture -- Los Angeles, July 20, 1971:

That is... That was taught by Kṛṣṇa in the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna was talking as a friend, replying Him as a friend. Of course, he was... Whatever he was talking, that was right, but that was right to a certain point. Beyond that point, there are other subject matter of knowledge, which is called adhokṣaja, where our direct perception of material knowledge fails to approach. Just like we cannot see. There are so many microscopes, powerful microscopes. Then find out within this body where is the soul. No, there is no microscope. But soul is there. Soul is there.

Town Hall Lecture -- Auckland, April 14, 1972:

Not blindly. If you want to test it, you can test. Just like this cow dung. In the Vedas it is said it is pure, but if you want to test chemically, you will find it pure. That is Vedic injunction.

Therefore our Vedic injunctions are very supreme evidence, Veda-pramāṇam, śabda-pramāṇam. There are three kinds of evidences. First evidence is direct perception—I see personally. And then historical evidence, and then śabda-pramāṇa. Śabda-pramāṇa means evidence from the Vedas. Out of three kinds of evidences, the śabda-pramāṇas, or the evidences received from the Vedas, that is accepted. So for spiritual advancement especially we have to accept the Veda-pramāṇa, or evidences given in Vedic literature. So this disciplic succession, as Gosvāmī Hanumān Prasād said, that is essential. That is the Vedic injunction.

Lecture -- Tokyo, May 1, 1972:

If there is (indistinct), immediately there is darkness, we cannot see. Unless there is light, sunlight or electric light or moonlight, we cannot see. We cannot see our eyeballs. We cannot see the eyelid, nearest. Longest, longest we cannot see; nearest we cannot see. Therefore we should not be very much proud of our seeing directly, direct perception. So direct... Anyone who is trying to understand the Absolute Truth by direct perception, he can rise up to the impersonal Brahman understanding, not more than that. And those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth within his heart, just like yogis... Dhyānāvasthita-tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṁ yoginaḥ (SB 12.13.1). The yogi, by meditation, being in samādhi, they are seeing the Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, within the heart. Dhyānāvasthita. And those who are devotees, they are seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead as Arjuna is seeing, personally, face to face: Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the origin of everything.

University Lecture -- Calcutta, January 29, 1973:

They have rejected. So this is the golden opportunity to preach the Kṛṣṇa cult all over the world. You are lamenting because a few yards of land has been taken away from your country as Pakistan, but if you spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, the whole world will become Hindustan. There is such potency; I give you my direct perception. People are hankering after it. So long I am in India, practically I am wasting my time. Outside India, this reception is taken so seriously that every part of my moment is properly utilized.

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on David Hume:

Śyāmasundara: Yes. He admits that the external world is full of concrete things, but he thinks that we are also one of those things because we are only a bundle of perceptions. Our consciousness is only made up of our observations of material nature.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So far direct perception is concerned, it is like that. But indirect perception, taken from authorities, that is different.

Śyāmasundara: He distrusts any kind of authority and says that the only kind of things that we can know for sure are mathematical proofs and immediate sense perceptions. Like we can perceive that there is time and there is space, like that. That is the only knowledge he will admit.

Philosophy Discussion on David Hume:

Prabhupāda: No. You cannot search out God in your present condition. You have got some glimpse of idea that there is God. What is that mean—"There is God, then you are advanced"? At least you are better than the atheist. But by speculation you cannot understand what is God. Revelation is there to fortunate person, one who is very seriously searching after God. God is within himself. He reveals. And the other process is that if you are searching after God, then you know it from the person who has already known God, or directly from God. So the Bhagavad-gītā is direct perception from God, so with our all reasons, all logic, if we try to understand Bhagavad-gītā, then we understand what is God.

Philosophy Discussion on Immanuel Kant:

Prabhupāda: That thought comes from transcendental knowledge. Thought comes from higher authorities. That is called parokṣa. Then with your senses, when you try to understand, that is called aparokṣa. Then adhokṣaja. As I told you, there are five stages of acquiring knowledge: direct perception, pratyakṣa; parokṣa, receiving knowledge from higher authorities; then apply your senses, come to some conclusion, that is aparokṣa; then transcendental knowledge, adhokṣaja; then aprakṛta, spiritual knowledge.

Śyāmasundara: In other words, the thought content comes from higher authorities, then you apply your senses and the two combine.

Prabhupāda: To come to some conclusion. That is the source of knowledge which is beyond my senses.

Philosophy Discussion on Immanuel Kant:

Prabhupāda: That thought comes from transcendental knowledge. Thought comes from higher authorities. That is called parokṣa. Then with your senses, when you try to understand, that is called aparokṣa. Then adhokṣaja. As I told you, there are five stages of acquiring knowledge: direct perception, pratyakṣa; parokṣa, receiving knowledge from higher authorities; then apply your senses, come to some conclusion, that is aparokṣa; then transcendental knowledge, adhokṣaja; then aprakṛta, spiritual knowledge.

Śyāmasundara: In other words, the thought content comes from higher authorities, then you apply your senses and the two combine.

Prabhupāda: To come to some conclusion. That is the source of knowledge which is beyond my senses.

Philosophy Discussion on Immanuel Kant:

Prabhupāda: Not known? To foolish man everything is unknown, but to a man who is in knowledge, he knows everything. From the authority or my direct perception, somehow or other the knowledge is there. So "unknown" means that he doesn't care to know. Where to take knowledge he doesn't know, neither he personally knows; therefore it is unknown.

Hayagrīva: For him we cannot experience God through our senses.

Prabhupāda: No, that is not possible. We always say that when God explains Himself, that is also not to everyone—only to the devotees. The devotees can accept the Personality of Godhead as He instructs. A nondevotee or atheist he cannot understand; he simply speculates. But by speculation it is not possible to understand God.

Philosophy Discussion on John Dewey:

Prabhupāda: You are rascal. When it is explained by God Himself, and actually by doing it, you do not accept it. And still you imagine. So your position is very precarious. When God comes Himself and shows Himself, His activities, we think it is mythology. Then how we can be convinced? Direct perception and authority. And the direct perception, when He comes you take it that it is mythology. When the direct perception history is written about Kṛṣṇa in Mahābhārata, and then you take it as mythology. Then how he will believe it? And the authority accepts, "Yes, Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme. He has done it." You say, "I don't accept it." Then how you will be convinced? What is the way to convince you? Huh? What is the way, possible way?

Hayagrīva: He says, for him he says, "There is but one sure road of access to truth: the road of patient, cooperative inquiry, operating by means of observation, experiment, record, and controlled reflection."

Philosophy Discussion on Ludwig Wittgenstein:

Śyāmasundara: No. But whatever cannot be experienced is not true.

Prabhupāda: Experience means by sense experience. That means whatever is not under direct perception, sense experience, that is false.

Śyāmasundara: Either direct or indirect. But how can I experience that statement that "Everything is Brahman"?

Prabhupāda: Indirect is there. Just like we accept that everything has got some cause. So I am a person; the cause is my person father, and his father is also person. Similarly, the ultimate father, the original father, although I have not seen, I cannot sense perceive, still, I must conclude that He is a person.

Philosophy Discussion on Edmund Husserl:

Prabhupāda: Direct perception.

Śyāmasundara: (indistinct) Then the third step is an analysis of the correlation between the phenomenon of (sic:) cognitation and the object of cognitation. In other words, he says we must make a distinction between the appearance and that which appears—the leaf in this form and leafness as a permanent idea. So...

Prabhupāda: So why not study why sometimes it is leafless and why there is leaf? Why during winter season there is no leaf, and the springtime the leaves come out? Why? That is also phenomenon, changes. So therefore the next step will be that how the changes take place, and why the changes take place. That is real philosophy. Simply if you are satisfied that leaves are there, green leaves, that's all right; and there is no leaves, that's all right—that is not very intelligent. This is phenomenon. There is no leaf and there is leaf. So this is childish. Childish satisfies... Child does not enquire, "My dear father, why sometimes there is leaf and sometimes no leaf?" He is satisfied there is no leaf, that's all right; there is leaf, that's all right.

Philosophy Discussion on Edmund Husserl:

Devotee: We went over this intuition yesterday, that intuition is experience. Actually it is experience. So that intuition about the soul, one must have a memorable experience of the soul. But we haven't had that. We have not had experience of the soul, so how can we have intuition?

Devotee (2): Nor do we have direct perception. Nor do we have direct perception of the soul. We cannot see the soul. Not with these eyes.

Śyāmasundara: No. This... All that I've described so far is only the first part of this process to understanding... He comes to the idea eventually that everything is spiritual, or noumenal, that what we see is merely a reflection. He comes to that point. So far, all I've described is the first part, so I don't think, if we make judgments on the philosophy so far, that it makes (indistinct). But actually he was very, very thoughtful and spent many years on this philosophy. So he's not stupid. He hasn't just concocted something. But his ideas are...

Philosophy Discussion on Carl Gustav Jung:

Prabhupāda: No, it can supersede, provided you get knowledge from authority. Just like somebody is sitting here, he has not seen India. But somebody who has full knowledge of India or seen or gone there, he can describe, and he can understand that there is place, India, the place is like this, like that. So similarly, from authority, just like Kṛṣṇa says, there is another nature: paras tasmāt tu bhāvaḥ anyaḥ avyaktaḥ avyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). That nature is eternal. Here, this nature as we find, it is not eternal. It is temporary. It takes birth, it is maintained for sometimes, it changes, it becomes old, and again destroyed, finished. And therefore in this material there is dissolution, but there is another world, which has no dissolution. That information we get from authority, Kṛṣṇa. Sanātanaḥ. Everything finished here, that is not finished. So we have to receive this knowledge from authority, not necessarily by your personal experience. Parokṣa, aparokṣa this is called. There are different stages of knowledge. Pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprākṛta. So that requires advancement of knowledge. So, not that all knowledge we can have by direct perception. That is not possible.

Philosophy Discussion on Jean-Paul Sartre:

Prabhupāda: There is no method. It is directly perceived. As soon as I see you, you have got individuality.

Śyāmasundara: But I don't see your individuality. I see you as an object.

Prabhupāda: Why do you see like that?

Śyāmasundara: I want to know how I can see you as a person. What is the cure? What is the remedy? What is the solution?

Prabhupāda: I don't follow what you are saying. Everyone is seeing. I am seeing you as a person, you are seeing me as a person.

Philosophy Discussion on Bertrand Russell:

Prabhupāda: No. That is called direct perception. So direct perception is not perfect. It is no... Just like I see the sun (indistinct), but I see just like a disc. But it is not a disc. Therefore my direct perception of the sun is imperfect. When we go to scientific book, astronomy, then you can understand that it is so great, fourteen hundred lakhs, or fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than the earth. So this my direct perception, it has no value.

Śyāmasundara: What about the knowledge, for instance, "This snowball is white"? Isn't that a direct fact, this understanding by everyone?

Philosophy Discussion on Bertrand Russell:

Prabhupāda: So therefore it is concluded that direct perception is always imperfect. (laughter)

Devotee: (indistinct)

Śyāmasundara: His belief for..., the criterion for truth is called the correspondence theory, that a belief is true if it agrees with the facts with which it is supposed to correspond.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like this example, we see the snow as white, but it is..., does not correspond with the fact. Therefore it is not knowledge.

Philosophy Discussion on Bertrand Russell:

Prabhupāda: So that fact does not correspond by direct perception, (indistinct) that we are seeing the snowball white, but scientifically it is not white; it is a combination of seven colors.

Dr. Rao: And even by saying white, it is (indistinct). You see sky, you see white clouds, you see white light, you see snow. (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Therefore we sometimes say "snow white." (laughter) "Snow white" means (indistinct). (laughter) So what is the standard of whiteness?

Philosophy Discussion on Bertrand Russell:

Śyāmasundara: He says another criterion for truth is coherence.

Prabhupāda: Therefore in our Vedic language they are called, direct perception, pratyakṣa. Pratyakṣa-jña.

Dr. Rao: Pratyakṣa.

Prabhupāda: So pratyakṣa is third-class knowledge, according to Vedic system. Pratyakṣa is third-class knowledge. Or fifth-class knowledge. There are stages of knowledge-pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprakṛta-(indistinct)—that when you come to the standard of aprakṛta knowledge, that is perfection. So pratyakṣa knowledge, direct perception, is fifth-class knowledge, and according to Vedic system, pratyakṣa, aitirya, and śabda... Pratyakṣa, direct perception; (Sanskrit), (indistinct); and śabdha. Three. So out of these three kinds of evidences, śabda-pramāṇa, veda-pramāṇa, is perfect. So if pratyakṣa knowledge is perfect, then why a child, a boy, is sent to school? To hear from the teacher. That is śabda. That is śabda. If pratyakṣa, direct perception, would have been perfect, then there was no need of sending these boys to school to hear from the teacher. But this is very scientific, śabda-pramāṇa.

Philosophy Discussion on The Evolutionists Thomas Huxley, Henri Bergson, and Samuel Alexander:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Even nobody perceives, the fact is fact. Nobody has seen my father, but everyone knows that I had a father. It is not necessary that who accepts that I had a father, or I have a father, it is not necessary that he has to see my father by direct perception. But because I exist, therefore my father is essential. That is understood by everyone. Just like somebody asks, some friend asks some friend, "What is your father's name?" That means he assumes that he has got a father. Otherwise how does he say, ask, "What is your father's name?" First of all, you should have asked, "Have you got a father?" Then ask his name. But without asking this inquiry, whether he has got a father or not, he simply asks, "What is the name of your father?" Then it is assumed that he has a father. So he does not see his father, but immediately perceives that he has a father.

Philosophy Discussion on Socrates:

Prabhupāda: Yes. So almost similar to our method, because we advised, we advised in this Vedic principle, that for the truth one must approach a guru. That is the version everywhere. In Bhagavad-gītā also, same instruction is there:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

So you have to approach a guru who knows the Absolute Truth. "Knows" means he has seen. Just like in our daily life, direct perception to see something, people argue on that, that "Can you show me God?" That is the tendency, that direct perception. So the direct perception is possible by advanced devotion. There is no difficulty because, as I have already explained, santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. Constantly he is seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śyāmasundara.

Philosophy Discussion on Auguste Comte:

Prabhupāda: So we have got from Bhagavad-gītā that the gross understanding are the senses, though the still finer understanding is the mind, and then intellect, and then the soul. The soul is the original, basic principle of activities. So it becomes grosser, grosser, grosser, and when the soul acts on the platform of senses and body, these are gross activities. So our calculation is the gross activities of the body, then the subtle activities of the mind and still more subtle activities of the intellect, and then spiritual platform. So that is also expressed in another way: pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprākṛta. These are different stages of knowledge. Direct perception, pratyakṣa; then receiving knowledge from others, then..., pratyakṣa par..., aparokṣa, still further Vedic knowledge. Then adhokṣaja, beyond the experience of mind and senses. Then aprākṛta, transcendental, spiritual. These are the different stages of knowledge and different stages of understanding from gross to the subtler forms of life.

Facts about Direct perception (Lectures)RDF feed
Compiled by Mayapur  +, and RupaManjari  +
Completed sections ALL  +
Date of first entry 11 October 2011  +
Date of last entry 16 November 2011  +
Total quotes 78  +
Total quotes by section BG: 0  +, SB: 0  +, CC: 0  +, OB: 0  +, Lec: 78  +, Conv: 0  +, and Let: 0  +
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