"My dear Lord, there are many instances in the history of human society where a person, after failing to achieve the transcendental platform, engaged himself in devotional service with his body, mind and words and thus attained the highest perfectional state of entering into Your abode. The processes of understanding You by speculation or mystic meditation are all useless without devotional service. One should therefore engage himself in Your devotional service even in his worldly activities, and one should always keep himself near You by the process of hearing and chanting Your transcendental glories. Simply by being attached to hearing and chanting Your glories, one can attain the highest perfectional stage of entering into Your kingdom. If a person, therefore, always keeps in touch with You by hearing and chanting Your glories and offers the results of his work for Your satisfaction only, he very easily and happily attains entrance into Your supreme abode. You are realizable by persons who have cleansed their hearts of all contamination. This cleansing of the heart is made possible by chanting and hearing the glories of Your Lordship."
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Process of understanding
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
- 6 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 7 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 1 - 6
Some people who are inclined to hear about the soul may be attending lectures, in good association, but sometimes, owing to ignorance, they are misguided by acceptance of the Supersoul and the atomic soul as one without distinction of magnitude. It is very difficult to find a man who perfectly understands the position of the Supersoul, the atomic soul, their respective functions and relationships and all other major and minor details. And it is still more difficult to find a man who has actually derived full benefit from knowledge of the soul, and who is able to describe the position of the soul in different aspects. But if, somehow or other, one is able to understand the subject matter of the soul, then one's life is successful.
The easiest process for understanding the subject matter of self, however, is to accept the statements of the Bhagavad-gītā spoken by the greatest authority, Lord Kṛṣṇa, without being deviated by other theories. But it also requires a great deal of penance and sacrifice, either in this life or in the previous ones, before one is able to accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa can, however, be known as such by the causeless mercy of the pure devotee and by no other way.
BG Chapters 7 - 12
In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam this process of understanding Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, is described in the Second Chapter of the First Canto as follows:
- śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
- hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi
- vidhunoti suhṛt satām
- naṣṭa-prāyeṣv abhadreṣu
- nityaṁ bhāgavata-sevayā
- bhagavaty uttama-śloke
- bhaktir bhavati naiṣṭhikī
- tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ
- kāma-lobhādayaś ca ye
- ceta etair anāviddhaṁ
- sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati
- evaṁ prasanna-manaso
- mukta-saṅgasya jāyate
- bhidyate hṛdaya-granthiś
- chidyante sarva-saṁśayāḥ
- kṣīyante cāsya karmāṇi
- dṛṣṭa evātmanīśvare
"To hear about Kṛṣṇa from Vedic literatures, or to hear from Him directly through the Bhagavad-gītā, is itself righteous activity. And for one who hears about Kṛṣṇa, Lord Kṛṣṇa, who is dwelling in everyone's heart, acts as a best-wishing friend and purifies the devotee who constantly engages in hearing of Him. In this way, a devotee naturally develops his dormant transcendental knowledge. As he hears more about Kṛṣṇa from the Bhāgavatam and from the devotees, he becomes fixed in the devotional service of the Lord. By development of devotional service one becomes freed from the modes of passion and ignorance, and thus material lusts and avarice are diminished. When these impurities are wiped away, the candidate remains steady in his position of pure goodness, becomes enlivened by devotional service and understands the science of God perfectly. Thus bhakti-yoga severs the hard knot of material affection and enables one to come at once to the stage of asaṁśayaṁ-samagram, understanding of the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead." (SB 1.2.17-21)
BG Chapters 13 - 18
Thus three items have been described: the field of activity (the body), the process of understanding, and both the soul and the Supersoul. It is especially described here that only the unalloyed devotees of the Lord can understand these three items clearly. So for these devotees Bhagavad-gītā is fully useful; it is they who can attain the supreme goal, the nature of the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa. In other words, only devotees, and not others, can understand Bhagavad-gītā and derive the desired result.
The word bhajati is very significant. In many places the word bhajati is expressed in relationship with the service of the Supreme Lord. If a person is engaged in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in the devotional service of the Lord, it is to be understood that he has understood all the Vedic knowledge. In the Vaiṣṇava paramparā it is said that if one is engaged in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, then there is no need for any other spiritual process for understanding the Supreme Absolute Truth. He has already come to the point, because he is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. He has ended all preliminary processes of understanding. But if anyone, after speculating for hundreds of thousands of lives, does not come to the point that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that one has to surrender there, all his speculation for so many years and lives is a useless waste of time.
Satyam. This word means that one should not distort the truth for some personal interest. In Vedic literature there are some difficult passages, but the meaning or the purpose should be learned from a bona fide spiritual master. That is the process for understanding the Vedas. Śruti means that one should hear from the authority. One should not construe some interpretation for his personal interest. There are so many commentaries on Bhagavad-gītā that misinterpret the original text. The real import of the word should be presented, and that should be learned from a bona fide spiritual master.
SB Canto 1
A professional man who makes a business out of reciting the Bhāgavatam illegally is certainly not a representative of Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Such a man's business is only to earn his livelihood. Therefore one should refrain from hearing the lectures of such professional men. Such men usually go to the most confidential part of the literature without undergoing the gradual process of understanding this grave subject. They usually plunge into the subject matter of the rāsa dance, which is misunderstood by the foolish class of men. Some of them take this to be immoral, while others try to cover it up by their own stupid interpretations. They have no desire to follow in the footsteps of Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī.
SB Canto 2
The modern scientists are also authorities for the common man for some scientific truths. The common man follows the version of the scientist. This means that the common man follows the authority. The Vedic knowledge is also received in that way. The common man cannot argue about what is beyond the sky or beyond the universe; he must accept the versions of the Vedas as they are understood by the authorized disciplic succession. In the Bhagavad-gītā also the same process of understanding the Gītā is stated in the Fourth Chapter. If one does not follow the authoritative version of the ācāryas, he will vainly search after the truth mentioned in the Vedas.
The process of understanding spiritual or transcendental knowledge from the realized person is not exactly like asking an ordinary question from the schoolmaster. The schoolmasters in the modern days are paid agents for giving some information, but the spiritual master is not a paid agent. Nor can he impart instruction without being authorized. In the Bhagavad-gītā (4.34), the process of understanding transcendental knowledge is directed as follows:
- tad viddhi praṇipātena
- paripraśnena sevayā
- upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
- jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
Arjuna was advised to receive transcendental knowledge from the realized person by surrender, questions and service. Receiving transcendental knowledge is not like exchanging dollars; such knowledge has to be received by service to the spiritual master. As Brahmājī received the knowledge directly from the Lord by satisfying Him fully, similarly one has to receive the transcendental knowledge from the spiritual master by satisfying him. The spiritual master's satisfaction is the means of assimilating transcendental knowledge. One cannot understand transcendental knowledge simply by becoming a grammarian.
SB Canto 3
After many, many births, when such a nondualist comes to sense that the Lord is worshipable and that the devotee is simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, then only can he surrender unto the Lord, Vāsudeva. Pure devotional service begins from that point. The process of understanding the Absolute Truth adopted by the misguided nondualist is very difficult, whereas the devotee's way of understanding the Absolute Truth comes directly from the Lord, who is pleased by devotional service. On behalf of many neophyte devotees, Vidura, at the very first instance, inquired from Maitreya about the path of devotional service, by which the Lord, who is seated within the heart, can be pleased.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead alone is complete transcendental knowledge, but according to the different processes of understanding He appears differently, either as impersonal Brahman, as Paramātmā, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead or as the puruṣa-avatāra.
Persons who are always planning to do harm to other living entities are not eligible to understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness and cannot enter into the realm of transcendental loving service to the Lord. Also, there are so-called disciples who become submissive to a spiritual master most artificially, with an ulterior motive. They also cannot understand what Kṛṣṇa consciousness or devotional service is. Persons who, due to being initiated by another sect of religious faith, do not find devotional service as the common platform for approaching the Supreme Personality of Godhead, also cannot understand Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We have experience that some students come to join us, but because of being biased in some particular type of faith, they leave our camp and become lost in the wilderness. Actually, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not a sectarian religious faith; it is a teaching process for understanding the Supreme Lord and our relationship with Him. Anyone can join this movement without prejudice, but unfortunately there are persons who feel differently. It is better, therefore, not to instruct the science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness to such persons.
SB Canto 4
It is said that the transcendental name, qualities, activities, paraphernalia, etc., of the Supreme Personality of Godhead cannot be understood with our material senses. The attempt of the empiric philosophers to understand the Absolute Truth by speculation is always futile because their process of understanding, their objective and the instruments by which they try to understand the Absolute Truth are all material. The Lord is aprākṛta, beyond the creation of the material world.
Dhruva Mahārāja never went to any school or academic teacher to learn the Vedic conclusion, but because of his devotional service to the Lord, as soon as the Lord appeared and touched his forehead with His conchshell, automatically the entire Vedic conclusion was revealed to him. That is the process of understanding Vedic literature. One cannot understand it simply by academic learning. The Vedas indicate that only to one who has unflinching faith in the Supreme Lord as well as in the spiritual master is the Vedic conclusion revealed.
After the mind is completely absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one can enter the planet known as Goloka Vṛndāvana. To enter the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one has to understand Kṛṣṇa. The process of understanding Kṛṣṇa is devotional service. After understanding Kṛṣṇa as He is, one can become eligible to enter Kṛṣṇaloka and associate with Him. The mind is the cause of such an exalted position. The mind can also get one a body like those of dogs and hogs. To absorb the mind always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is therefore the greatest perfection of human life.
SB Canto 7
" There is no need to be worried, for the Lord Himself assures that He will care for His devotee and save him from the reactions of sinful activities. Material bondage is a result of sinful activity. Therefore, since the Lord assures that He will dissipate the results of fruitive material activities, there is no need to be worried. This process of understanding one's position as a spirit soul and then engaging oneself in devotional service is therefore the best. The entire Vedic program is based on this principle, and one can understand it as recommended in the Vedas:
The Vedas enjoin: nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena. One cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead simply by studying the Vedas and offering prayers. Only by the grace of the Supreme Lord can one understand Him. The process of understanding the Lord, therefore, is bhakti. Without bhakti, simply following the Vedic injunctions to understand the Absolute Truth will not be helpful at all. The process of bhakti is understood by the paramahaṁsa, one who has accepted the essence of everything.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
Here the process of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead is given. This process is bhakti.
- śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
- smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
- arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
- sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
- (SB 7.5.23)
Everything should be engaged in the service of the Lord. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate (CC Madhya 19.170) (Nārada-pañcarātra). Everything—the mind, the body and all the sense organs—should be engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service. This is to be learned from expert devotees like Nārada, Svayambhū and Śambhu. This is the process. We cannot manufacture our own way of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for it is not that everything one manufactures or concocts will lead to understanding God. Such a proposition—yata mata, tata patha—is foolish.
When Uddhava asked Kṛṣṇa about the purpose of Vedic speculation, the Lord informed him of the process of understanding the Vedic literature. The Vedas are composed of karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa and upāsanā-kāṇḍa. One who analytically studies the purpose of the Vedas understands that by karma-kāṇḍa, sacrificial activity, one comes to the conclusion of jñāna-kāṇḍa, speculative knowledge, and that after speculation one comes to the conclusion that worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate.
"There are three kinds of spiritual processes for understanding the Absolute Truth—the processes of speculative knowledge, mystic yoga and bhakti-yoga. According to these three processes, the Absolute Truth is manifested as Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān."
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
The Vedas deal with three departments of activities. One is called karma-kāṇḍa, or activities under Vedic injunction, which gradually purify one to understand his real position; the next is jñāna-kāṇḍa, the process of understanding the Absolute Truth by speculative methods; and the third is upāsanā-kāṇḍa, or worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and sometimes of the demigods also. The worship of the demigods recommended in the Vedas is ordered with the understanding of the demigods' relationship to the Personality of Godhead.
In the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says to Arjuna, "My dear Arjuna, because you are My devotee and because you are My intimate friend, I shall reveal to you the process of understanding Me." In other words, the supreme source of creation, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot be understood by our own endeavor. We have to please Him with devotional service, and then He will reveal Himself to us. Then we can understand Him to some extent.
Narada-bhakti-sutra (sutras 1 to 8 only)
The strict followers of the karma-kāṇḍa portions of the Vedas perform various sacrifices for worship of different demigods in order to achieve particular material results. Out of many millions of such worshipers, some may actually engage in the process of understanding the Supreme, the Absolute Truth. They are called jñānīs. Perfection for a jñānī lies in attaining the stage of brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20), or self-realization. Only after self-realization is attained does the stage of understanding devotional service begin. The conclusion is that one can begin the process of devotional service, or bhakti, when one is actually self-realized. One who is in the bodily concept of existence cannot understand the process of devotional service.
Bhakti is so sublime that only through bhakti can one understand the constitutional position of the Lord. That is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.55): bhaktyā mām abhijānāti. "One can understand the Supreme Lord through devotional service, and by no other process." There are different processes of understanding the Absolute Truth, but if a person wants to understand the Supreme Lord as He is, he has to take to the process of bhakti-yoga. There are other mystic processes, such as karma-yoga, jñāna-yoga, and dhyāna-yoga, but it is not possible to understand the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, except through His devotional service. This is confirmed in the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā (4.3), where we learn that Kṛṣṇa spoke the Bhagavad-gītā to Arjuna simply because he was the Lord's devotee and friend. The Bhagavad-gītā teaches the process of bhakti-yoga, and therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa explained it to Arjuna because he was a great devotee. As far as spiritual life is concerned, becoming a devotee of the Lord is the highest perfection.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Authorities. He accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not because Kṛṣṇa happened to be his intimate friend but on the authorities of others. And on the statement of Kṛṣṇa, and by understanding Him fully. He, he did not accept Him blindly. So this is the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. And although he understood fully, because in future so many rascals will come and proclaim himself that "I am also incarnation of Godhead," therefore in the Eleventh Chapter Arjuna requested Kṛṣṇa that "If you think, You can show me Your universal form," so that in future others will accept some bogus rascal as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he may test by seeing the, I mean to say, universal form of the person. So who can exhibit this universal form except Kṛṣṇa?
Just like Kṛṣṇa is revealing Himself to Arjuna. Arjuna is not understanding Kṛṣṇa by his philosophical speculation. Directly Kṛṣṇa revealing. This is the process of understanding God. You cannot create your imagination, imaginative God. No. God reveals unto you being pleased upon you by your devotional activities. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau (Brs. 1.2.234). Just like Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, bhakto 'si priyo 'si (BG 4.3). "You are My very dear friend, you are My devotee. Therefore I'll reveal unto you. Not to others." This is the qualification of understanding God, to become devotee.
So Bhagavad-gītā is the science of God. Everything has scientific process of understanding. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, jñānaṁ me parama-guhyaṁ yad vijñāna-samanvitam. 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.
The name, form, quality, associates, when we are in service attitude, they become revealed to us. It is not that... Just like we ask you, "What is your name?" So if I ask God, "O God, what is Your name?" God is not subject to our, such, I mean to say, challenging. You see? He will not reveal His name. You cannot understand. If you want to know God by your challenge, that "I can understand, I can see; therefore I shall see God, then I'll...," you'll never see Him. You'll never see. God is not under your challenge. Therefore the qualification of understanding God is surrender. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). And the process of understanding God is from God, not from others. He's so great, how can you understand by your mental speculation?
So how we can get that eternal life, eternal nature, eternal happiness, and eternal knowledge—the Bhagavad-gītā is meant for that purpose. If you are interested for eternity, then Bhagavad-gītā is very congenial. So this science was spoken first of all to Vivasvān, the sun-god. He spoke to his son Manu, and Manu spoke to his son Ikṣvāku. And in the second verse, the Lord says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam: "In this way, by disciplic succession," evaṁ paramparā-prāptam. That means the process of understanding this particular type of yoga—any yoga or this yoga—is to understand from disciplic succession. Paramparā. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Rājarṣayaḥ means all the names mentioned here, either Vivasvān or Manu or Ikṣvāku. They were all great emperors and kings. Formerly the emperors and kings were familywise.
First of all, try to become the devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Then try to understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. Not by your scholarship or by your speculation. Then you'll never understand Bhagavad-gītā. If you have to understand Bhagavad-gītā, then you have to understand by the process as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, not by your own mental speculation. This is the process of understanding. Bhakto 'si me sakhā ceti.
So to become bhakta means either you become a friend of Kṛṣṇa or a servant of Kṛṣṇa or a lover of Kṛṣṇa or father of Kṛṣṇa or mother of Kṛṣṇa. In this way, there are so many. Or you become enemy of Kṛṣṇa. Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu. So this is the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore I am speaking from this Fourth Chapter. The secret of understanding Bhagavad-gītā is here, and if you follow these principles... Just like when you purchase one bottle of medicine from the, I mean to say, drug shop, there is dose. Read, "This medicine is to be taken by this dose." If you follow the direction of the bottle label then you get benefit. Similarly, here is the direction: evaṁ paramparā-prāptam (BG 4.2). You have to understand Bhagavad-gītā from the disciplic succession, and that means one who is devotee, a devotee. Devotee. This disciplic succession devotee.
Last day we were discussing about the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. This is to receive the knowledge in disciplic succession, bona fide disciplic succession. It is not a thing... Any knowledge, even material knowledge, if it is not received in bona fide disciplic succession, that knowledge is not perfect. Suppose if you want to be a lawyer, or if you want to be an engineer, or a medical practitioner. You have to receive the knowledge from the authoritative lawyer, authoritative engineer. Of course, I do not know what is the custom here. In India the custom is that a new lawyer, he has to become an apprentice of an experienced lawyer before he is given the license to practice. That is the Indian system. So any knowledge, unless we receive it through the authoritative sources, it is not perfect. It is not perfect.
This is very important point. The process of understanding knowledge. The modern tendency is to understand by dint of one's sense perception. That is not possible. There are many things, especially spiritual matters; nobody can understand by simple speculation. So one has to accept the authority. So according to Vedic culture, the Vedas are the authority. If there is some information in the Vedas, you accept it, authority. That is very nice system.
There is no concoction, there is no manufacturing, malinterpretation. We are presenting Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, without any deviation. So if we take advantage of this process of understanding, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17), then gradually we shall be bereft of all sinful activities, resultant action of sinful activities. Hṛdy antaḥ-stho hy abhadrāṇi. Abhadrāṇi means inauspicious things accumulated within our heart. By this Kṛṣṇa kīrtana, as recommended by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), the heart is cleansed. It is just like mirror. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. So as soon as our heart is cleansed, then we can understand immediately what is Kṛṣṇa, what I am, what is my relationship with Kṛṣṇa and how I should act in relation to Kṛṣṇa. This is perfection of life.
This is the process of understanding spiritual knowledge. "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master." So if you want to learn, this is a common sense affair. Whatever subject matter you want to learn, you have to find out an expert.
There are 400,000 different forms. We can see here. We are human being, but we have got different forms, different color. So this is the variety of creation. So out of all these living entities, the human form of living entity is very important. So that is the life wherein we can understand what is God. Therefore in the human society there is some process of understanding God which is called religion. Religion means a process by which we can understand what is God, what is our relationship with Him, and what is our duty towards Him. So therefore it is said, these human beings who are actually trying to fulfill the mission of human life... To fulfill the mission of human life means that we living being, spirit soul, we are now entangled within this material body. This is our problem. Really the... To understand the position of the living being is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā does not begin with some utopian ideas of humanitarian work.
Śruti-gatām: "Just try to understand through your ears by aural reception, aural reception." San-mukharitām, śruti-gatām. Śruti means this ear, reception through the ear. San-mukharitāṁ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhiḥ. Then just try to practice it in your practical life. Tanu-vāṅ-manobhir ye prāyaśaḥ ajita: "My dear Lord, You are unconquerable, but by this person, You become conquered, simply by hearing." It is such a nice process. God is not conquerable, but He becomes conquerable, He is conquered, by a devotee who gives up this nonsense process of understanding Him by his limited knowledge and becomes submissive. And just try to hear from the right source, and try to appear, apply in your life. Then you become a conqueror of the Supreme.
The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is giving such knowledge that they will never remain a dog or cat; they will become actual human being. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore it is said, aśraddadhānāḥ puruṣāḥ. Those who have not faith in this process of understanding, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, aśraddadhānāḥ puruṣā dharmasya asya... (BG 9.3). Now, this is real dharma. Dharma means occupation, I have explained yesterday. I am servant of God, this is my real occupation, but giving up my service to God, I am giving service to māyā.
Don't try to understand the supreme knowledge, the Absolute Truth, by your strength. You are very poor. Your senses are imperfect. You cannot understand. This, this process, you should give up. Jñāne prayāsam. Attempt to know the Supreme by ascending process. "Oh, I shall know. I'll manufacture my own way." This is the way going on nowadays. Everyone is thinking that "Why shall I accept any authority? I shall think myself what I am and what is my duty." This is going on. But this is not the Vedic process. The Vedic process is to śravaṇam. So simply if we give up this foolish process of understanding the Absolute Truth by my own attempt, we, if we give up and we become submissive... Yes. Submissive means we must know our imperfectness.
And anyone who is following the principles, as Kṛṣṇa says, he's also representative of Kṛṣṇa. And the teacher is Kṛṣṇa and the Arjuna is the student. Similarly, as the spiritual master is the representative of Kṛṣṇa, similarly a student must be also the representative of Arjuna. Then Bhagavad-gītā discussion will be nice. What is that, Arjuna's position? You'll find in this chapter which we are now just beginning. He'll say sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye yad vadasi keśava (BG 10.14). "My dear Kṛṣṇa, whatever You are speaking, I accept. I accept it.' So that should be the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa, Bhagavad-gītā. Not that I don't like this. So I'll reject this portion. I like this portion, therefore I accept it. This sort of studying Bhagavad-gītā is useless, nonsense. Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye (BG 10.14). "Whatever You have said, I accept it." That is stated.
Is there any psychologist who can say that how many different types of thinking, feeling, willings are there? No, they cannot say. But we must know from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that these eight million four hundred thousand species or forms of life are there because there are eight million four hundred thousand different types of desires, exactly eight million four hundred thousand. This is called Vedic knowledge. Exactly what is the fact, that is stated there. So our process of understanding, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement—we do not hear from any bogus person. We hear from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says for us, those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious, tat samāsena me śṛṇu: "From Me because I am the supreme authority, Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa says that mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: (BG 7.7) "There is no more superior authority than Me." So we get knowledge from superior authority. That is the process of acquiring knowledge.
The Brahma-sūtra, or Vedānta-sūtra, is called nyāya-prasthāna. There are three different processes for understanding the Absolute Truth: nyāya-prasthāna, śruti-prasthāna, smṛti-prasthāna. Brahma-sūtra is nyāya-prasthāna. Nyāya-prasthāna means everything, all the sūtras and codes, are there with full reasoning. Hetumadbhir viniścita. And whatever Brahma-sūtra says, that is viniścita, means ascertained. There is no doubt. Just like Brahma-sūtra says, athāto brahma jijñāsā. Brahma-sūtra says, "Now it is the time for inquiring about the Absolute Truth."
So anyone who does not know what is God, and what is my relationship... Relationship later on. First of all at least we must know what is God. Then we can speak something about God. If I do not know what is God, then we can speak something about God. If I do not know what is God, then how you can explain, how you can understand about Him? So that is the defect. Actually you search out all process of understanding God. Generally religion means the process of understanding God. That is religion. Religion without God is just like Hamlet without Hamlet. Playwright, Hamlet. Religion cannot be without God. The so-called religion, that is cheating. That is, it will be explained in the next verse, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra (SB 1.1.2). Any kind of religion which is going on under the name of religion, but the system has no information of God, that is cheating religion.
So great sages, they were congratulated by Sūta Gosvāmī. All the sages in the Naimiṣāraṇya. Just like you are sitting here. This is the process of understanding kṛṣṇa-praśna. Formerly there were no big halls. Just like in your country or all over the world, we are speaking in big, big halls. Formerly the method was... Just like here, in this very sacred place, (taps podium) all the Gosvāmīs used to study Bhāgavatam under the leadership of Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī. This is a very... This is the most important place in the world. So you have got this opportunity.
Everyone is at liberty to interpret Bhagavad-gītā as he likes. That is the modern proposal. So there are 664 editions of Bhagavad-gītā. Everyone is commenting in his own way. I have heard that there is one doctor, some rele(?). He has interpreted Bhagavad-gītā as the talks between a patient and a physician. You see? So this is going on. Everyone whimsically, he is interpreting. Sometimes in our country also, we see that Mahatma Gandhi wanted to interpret Bhagavad-gītā as nonviolence. It is very difficult to prove, because Bhagavad-gītā is spoken in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. (laughs) So how you can prove nonviolence? So it is a difficult job. So that is not the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is to be understood, as our Swamiji immediately talked, that it has to be received from the paramparā system.
So Kṛṣṇa said to Arjuna that at the present moment the paramparā system is now lost. Yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. Sa kāleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa. "It is the paramparā system has been lost because there have been so many interpretation, wrong interpretation. Therefore I am selecting you to make again paramparā." Bhakto 'si sakhā ceti. "Why You are entrusting me? I am not a Vedantist. I am not a sannyāsī. I am not very learned scholar. I am military man. So why You are trying to give the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā unto me?" This question may be raised. Because Arjuna was a family man. He was not a sannyāsī, neither he was a Vedantist. A military man is not expected to become a Vedantist. Kṣatriya, he knows how to fight. And Kṛṣṇa says that "I will speak to you." Why? Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me: (BG 4.3) "You are My dear friend. Therefore I shall tell you." So this is the process of understanding: you have to become dear friend of Kṛṣṇa. Then you will understand Bhagavad-gītā. Otherwise, for thousands of years you may go on reading Bhagavad-gītā; you will not learn even a word of it. That is the secret. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2).
Śruti-pramāṇam. That is evidence, śruti-pramāṇam. Śruti means Veda. In the Vedas it is stated... Just like Brahmā. He is receiving Vedic knowledge from, directly from God, Kṛṣṇa. Brahmaṇe darśayan rūpam. This is the process of understanding. Brahmā, how Brahmā is receiving knowledge? Directly he sees there is nobody there, but he is receiving knowledge. Directly he could not see. Upāśṛṇot, upāśṛṇot. Upāśṛṇot: "He simply heard." Upāśṛṇot. Ear, not the eyes. So therefore knowledge has to be gathered by aural reception, not by the eyes.
Dr. Radhakrishnan, Tilak, so many big, big scholars, they have written comment on Bhagavad-gītā, but they, still they have proved that they're rascal number one. Because they did not follow the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa, therefore they could not understand. And here even a child, our Śyāmasundara's daughter, (s)he used to go to somebody and ask him, "Do you know what is Kṛṣṇa?" He says, "No, I do not know." "He's the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Just see. And all these boys and children, they are learning so easily Kṛṣṇa, and a person like Mahatma Gandhi, he said that, something different. You see? Just see. This is the position.
So this is the process of asking. Paripraśna is asking question. Of course, one, the śiṣya, must ask. He must... But not challenge. Just to understand. Jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. Not to defeat the spiritual master. But one should be inquisitive, inquire from the spiritual master, being jijñāsu, very inquisitive to understand the spiritual science. Not that "I know better than you. Let us talk." No. That is not with guru. You must find out a guru where you can surrender, praṇipātena. If you don't find a person where you cannot surrender, don't waste your time and his time. First of all surrender. So this is the process of understanding transcendental... Ānvīkṣikyāṁ pracoditaḥ.
So the whole process of understanding the Absolute Truth... Absolute Truth means the Supreme Person, the Supreme Being, Absolute. There is no contradictory. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's name, Kṛṣṇa's form, Kṛṣṇa's activities, Kṛṣṇa's paraphernalia, Kṛṣṇa's attributes—everything Kṛṣṇa. That is called Absolute Truth. There is no difference. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's form is not different. Kṛṣṇa's hand and Kṛṣṇa's leg not different. Just like we have got difference: this left hand is different from the right hand; the nose is different from the ear. We have got. Because this is called sagata-vigata-vibheda(?). Kṛṣṇa hasn't got that thing. That is called Absolute.
So this is submission. The process of understanding transcendental subject matter is not by challenge but by submission. The whole bhakti process is submission. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's preaching.
- tṛṇād api sunīcena
- taror api sahiṣṇunā
- amāninā mānadena
- kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
- (CC Adi 17.31)
If one is interested to advance by chanting, then Caitanya Mahāprabhu advises that you should be humbler than the straw or grass and tolerant than the tree. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā, amāninā: Without feeling oneself becoming very proud of intelligence, he should give respect to others and in this way one can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra offenselessly.
So in order to get the mercy of guru, so yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **, we must search out a bona fide spiritual master, representative of Kṛṣṇa or Kapiladeva, and then we shall submit and offer service. In this way we shall please the guru, and if he is satisfied, then our business is complete. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyāprasādān na gatiḥ kuto 'pi **. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu recommended this process, this process, jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. The process of understanding or approaching the Supreme Personality of Godhead is this. Caitanya Mahāprabhu approved this when He was discussing with Rāmānanda Rāya. So the process of approaching the Supreme Lord... So he first of all explained the varṇāśrama-dharma. Varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān, viṣṇur ārādhyate (CC Madhya 8.58). The human life is for viṣṇur ārādhanam. That is the human life, Viṣṇur ārādhanam. In varṇāśrama, the system... Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam (BG 4.13), Kṛṣṇa says. Why establish this cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam? Because through the cātur-varṇya, systematic institution, following the rules and regulations of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, one can approach Lord Viṣṇu.
So this Kapila, Devahūti, son of Devahūti Kapila, His sāṅkhya-yoga means bhakti-vitāna-yogam, how bhakti, devotional service to the Lord, is expanded. That is sāṅkhya-yoga. And how it is received, that is also stated here, tattva āmnāyaṁ yad pravadanti sāṅkhyam. Āmnāyam, by disciplic succession. No philosophical speculation, but as it is received by predecessor, by tradition, āmnāyam. Tattva āmnāyam. We cannot manufacture tattva. That is improper way of understanding the truth. Generally, the Western philosophers, they try to understand the Absolute Truth by the ascending process. There are two processes of understanding the Absolute Truth. One is called ascending process, or inductive logic, and another process is descending process, or deductive logic. So ascending process is based on speculation, and descending process is based on fact.
So to understand Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa has explained in so many ways. Simply to understand Kṛṣṇa makes you liberated. Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya (BG 4.9). So therefore this is the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa. These Kṛṣṇa consciousness centers are being opened all over the world just to give the people the chance how to become liberated simply by seeing the Deity and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This is the opportunity.
Simply by talking, becoming a very nice speaker or lecturer. you cannot understand the Supreme. Nāyam ātmā na medhayā. Because you have got very nice brain, therefore you will be able to understand—no. Na medhayā. Nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na. Then how? Yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tena labhyaḥ-labhyaḥ Kaṭha Upaniṣad 1.2.23. "Only such person who is favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can understand." He can understand. Otherwise, nobody can understand. So therefore our business should be how to get His favor. And that favor, that is very easy to understand, that if you surrender to a person, then you can get his favor; otherwise not. This is process of understanding the Supreme Personality.
So brahmacārī means that he has no personal profit. And do you mean to say that the spiritual master will take from the brahmacārī everything and he'll, I mean to say, grab the whole thing for his personal sense enjoyment? No. He, whatever he receives, he offers to Kṛṣṇa. For Kṛṣṇa. So therefore Kṛṣṇa, offering is to Kṛṣṇa through the transparent via media of spiritual master. Because directly I do not know Kṛṣṇa. Directly I do not know how to offer Kṛṣṇa. Therefore my business is to offer it through the agent. Just like if you want to pay something to the government, you have to pay to the treasury, not directly to president. You have to pay through the treasury. Similarly, this is the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So if we give up the process of understanding as Arjuna did, then you'll never be able to understand Kṛṣṇa, or God. That is not possible. You have to take up the process which Arjuna accepted. Arjuna also said that, that "I am accepting You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because Vyāsadeva has accepted, Asita has accepted, Nārada has accepted." The same thing. We have to understand Kṛṣṇa. We cannot understand directly. Therefore these rascals who are trying to understand Kṛṣṇa directly by interpretation, they are all rascals. They cannot understand Kṛṣṇa.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
So for a Kṛṣṇa consciousness person, these material activities appear to be merely false. Not false, but temporary. But he is eternal. Every living entity is eternal. He's interested with eternal happiness. He's not interested, I mean to say, temporary happiness. So this is the process of understanding.
- kṛṣṇa-sūrya-sama; māyā haya andhakāra,
- yāhāṅ kṛṣṇa, tāhāṅ nāhi māyāra adhikāra
Just like when, wherever there is sunlight, there cannot be darkness. That is a fact. You cannot say, "Oh, sunlight and darkness, simultaneously they are existing." No. Actually in the open sunlight there cannot be any darkness. Similarly, as soon as you become Kṛṣṇa conscious, there cannot be any darkness for understanding what is, this material world is. That means the more you make advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the more you understand the nature of this material world.
Sri Isopanisad Lectures
"The Supreme Lord walks and does not walk. He is far away, but he is very near as well. He is within everything and again He is outside of everything." This is the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He walks and does not walk. Just like crude example I give you, that the sun and, at noontime, it is on your head and somebody walking eastern side or western side, he also sees the sun is also walking with him. Long ago, about forty years ago, when I was householder, my second son, he was four years old. He was walking with me, and he said, "Oh, father, why the moon is coming with us?" This is very intelligent. Yes. So similarly, if a material object can walk so swift... You have seen. You are going on aeroplane or train, you'll see the moon or sun is going with you. So how it is not possible that Kṛṣṇa cannot walk? Although He's situated... But you ask your friend, "Where is the sun? Where is the moon?" He'll say, "Oh, it is on my head." Similarly, goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūtaḥ (Bs. 5.37). Kṛṣṇa, although He is in Vṛndāvana, Goloka Vṛndāvana, enjoying pastimes with the associates, He is everywhere, according to the position, shape, form, activities. Everywhere.
This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for understanding Kṛṣṇa. For understanding Kṛṣṇa, it requires little labor, austerity, penance. Tapasya brahmacāryeṇa śamena damena ca. Tapasya. One has to undergo tapasya; brahmacārya, celibacy. Tapasya. Brahmacārya means stopping sex life or controlling sex life. Brahmacārya. Therefore Vedic civilization is, from the very beginning, to train the boys to become brahmacārī, celibacy. Not that modern days, the schools, boys and girls, ten years, twelve years, they're enjoying. The brain is spoiled. They cannot understand higher things. The brain tissues are lost. So without becoming brahmacārī, nobody can understand spiritual life. Tapasya brahmacāryeṇa śamena damena ca. Śama means controlling the senses, controlling the mind; damena, controlling the senses; tyāgena; śaucena, cleanliness; tyāga, tyāga means charity. These are the processes for understanding oneself, self-realization. But in this age it is very difficult to undergo all these processes. Practically it is impossible. Therefore Lord Caitanya, Kṛṣṇa Himself, has made Himself easily available by one process:
- harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
- kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
- (CC Adi 17.21)
Without devotion, simply we go on hearing for millions of years, oh, that will not also not earn(?). It is here... Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. This is the process of understanding absolute knowledge. Please note these points, what are the process. First thing is that one must be faithful. Second thing is that he must be thoughtful. The third thing is that he must have knowledge. What is that knowledge? "I am not this body." And then detachment. As soon as I am convinced that I am not this body, then why should I take so much care for the body? Let me take care of my self. And as soon as these qualifications are fulfilled, then you can see within yourself what you are. Paśyanty ātmānaṁ cātmani. And all these things is on the basis of devotional service and by the process of hearing from the authoritative source.
There is a process. This science of understanding God, the science of God, is a great science. People have no knowledge about it, but it is a great science. And the ways and means of understanding God is different from ordinary material science. So the ways and means and the process of understanding the science of Godhead is to hear.
So the process of understanding Bhagavad-gītā is very nicely stated in the Bhagavad-gītā itself. And in our disciplic succession the Ṣaḍ-gosvāmī, the six Gosvāmīns, of whom I offered a prayer in the beginning, vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau... So we are publishing another book, Teachings of Lord Caitanya. So the printing is complete. That book also will come next month. So I shall request some of you to read the teachings to Lord..., teaching to Sanātana Gosvāmī.
So this is the process. This is the process of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the process is recommended that one should become freed from the designation. Because designation, accepting the designation, means ignorance. That is ignorance. So we have to transcend this position of designation. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). And by reviving our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord, we become cleansed. That is brahminical stage. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam. Nirmalam means cleansed, and hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam. When your consciousness is cleansed, then you can only render service to the Lord. Otherwise not.
Vedic knowledge means the knowledge of authority. So you have to prove. But there is a process for understanding God, that "I am God." That is a process. But not that one is God. "I am God" means in that way: "Qualitatively, I am God." So we have to find out, meditation, "What is that quality?" That quality is the spirit soul, on account of whose presence the whole body is working. As soon as the spirit soul is absent from this body, this body has no more any value. That you have to understand.
Without God consciousness or without Kṛṣṇa consciousness there cannot be any peace. Everyone is hankering after peace, but he does not know how to achieve peace. Therefore the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the greatest welfare activities in the world, and we request everyone to take advantage of this great scientific movement. Our presentation is authoritative because we are guided by the principles of the old knowledge, the ancient knowledge of India, the Vedas. And the process of understanding this science of Kṛṣṇa is also made very easy in this age. The process, as you have already known, the process is chanting the holy name of God: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Now this is recommended in the Vedas, that "In this age people are so much fallen that they cannot realize God by the prescribed method; therefore the best chance for them is to chant this holy name of God." That is recommended in the Vedas.
There is no difference of living condition of the animal and the human being. Because the animal eats; we also eat. The animal sleeps; we also sleep. The animals have facility for sex life; we have also got the facility of sex life. The animal also defends according to his own way; we can defend with atom bomb. That's all right. But it is defending, nothing more. Therefore, about these four things—eating, sleeping, mating, and defending—they are common. The special feature of this human form of body is that he has developed consciousness how to understand God. The animal hasn't got this. And the process of understanding God and to revive our relationship with God is called bhāgavata-dharma. This is explanation of bhāgavata-dharma. The eating, sleeping, mating, this is also dharma. Dharma means the activities, constitutional activities. Any man or any animal who has got this body, he must eat. This is also dharma. Dharma means which we cannot avoid.
Prabhupāda: This is to be understood, that however expert logician you may be, this is not possible, by your reasons, by your knowledge, to approach the Supreme Absolute. That is not possible. This process that when God descends Himself and He speaks about Himself, He demonstrates about His pastimes, then it is possible. So the Bhāgavata is the record of God's descents. The whole Bhāgavata is philosophy about God, theology about God, and practical demonstration of God. Therefore anyone who takes to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or the process of understanding God through Bhagavad-gītā, therefore it is called Bhāgavata, and it is simply about God. Bhagavad-gītā, God speaks Himself about His activities, and Bhāgavata is the record of God's activities, pastimes, and when He appeared on this earth, just like the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Ninth Canto. Nine cantos are devoted for understanding the transcendental nature of God, and the Tenth Canto is practical demonstration of God's activities before the eyes of the people of the world. But those who are miscreants, they think that Kṛṣṇa, or God, He is like an ordinary man but a superhuman being. That's all. But that is actually the position of God. By His causeless mercy He demonstrates Himself to be convincing. So instead of philosophizing, the people take to these two books, Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and if he practices the process, then he will understand God.
Śyāmasundara: Behind hearing one sound, the proof of that understanding of sound in general is the sky, like that. In an elective process, this is a process for understanding these things.
Prabhupāda: On the whole, his process is mental speculation.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1969 Conversations and Morning Walks
Interviewer: Yes, but so have all of the great teachers been concerned with consciousness. It's a question of whether or not it's achieved. I presume that's why you work at this.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But thing is that there are two processes for understanding the Absolute Truth. One is ascending process, and one is descending process. We accept that descending process. Ascending process means trying to understand the Absolute Truth by dint of one's limited knowledge. Our knowledge... However I may be great, my senses are imperfect. You see? I cannot understand the sun, although I see every day sun, without understanding the sun as it is from authoritative books. Simply by seeing, by, simply by sense perception, we cannot understand. Now, this machine, simply by seeing, I cannot understand. But if I hear from authorities that "This is this; this is that," that understanding is right. Similarly, Absolute Truth cannot be understood by mental speculation, however a great thinker he may be. It must be understood from the authorities. So that... We follow that principle. We try to understand Absolute Truth from the lips of the Absolute Truth, not otherwise. That is the difference.
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Our process of presentation is different. Their process is different. But they can appreciate that we know better than them. The same example: just like we accept cow dung is pure. Why pure? Because Vedas says. The scientific way is not like that. Is not that?
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupāda: They must prove by analysis, by chemical analysis. There is difference between the modern scientist and our process of understanding.
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: If you have surrendered, then you can ask some question. And sevayā. That paripraśna should not be challenge. By sevā, by service. This is our process. We must find out guru, we must satisfy him by service and surrender unto him. Then guru will explain. Upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. He knows everything. He'll explain. This is our program.
- yasya deve parā bhaktir
- yathā deve tathā gurau
- tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
- prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
- (ŚU 6.23)
This is the process of understanding. But sometimes we mistake. One who has not seen the truth, we approach him and accept him as guru. Then we are baffled. Jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. You must approach a guru who has seen the truth. Then surrender unto him. Then serve him. And then make question. Everything will be revealed. These are the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. They'll not surrender. They'll not serve. They cannot find out who has actually seen. So many difficulties. Therefore they are cheated. They go to this man, that man. Maharishi, Dr. Mishra, this, that. Therefore they are cheated. They do not know. This is the position.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Just like we are sitting in this room. We have got our eyes, but we cannot see what is there, going on, beyond this wall. The sun is fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this earth, and we are seeing just like a disc. So the eyelid is just near the eyes, but we cannot see what is the eyelids. If the light is off, we cannot see. So we can see under certain condition. Then what is the value of our seeing? If we, even if we manufacture telescope, that is also manufactured by the imperfect senses, so it is also not perfect. So anything understood by manipulating our imperfect senses, that is not real knowledge. So our process of understanding real knowledge is to take it from the person who has the real knowledge. Just like if we contemplate or speculate who is my father, it is never possible to understand who is my father. But if we receive the words from mother that "Here is your father," that is perfect. Therefore the process of knowledge should be not to speculate but to receive it from the perfect person. If we receive knowledge from a mental speculator, that is not perfect knowledge.
Prabhupāda: And the Vedānta-sūtra, the Absolute Truth, janmādy asya yataḥ: (SB 1.1.1) "the origin of everything." Now, here it is. Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the origin of everything." You are making search, but here is the origin here. Now you study Kṛṣṇa, whether actually He is the origin of everything. At least we know that this universe, the origin is Lord Brahmā. But we know that the Brahmā is also emanation from Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā's knowledge also comes from Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. And Kṛṣṇa says. Arjuna accepts, sarvam idam ṛtaṁ manye: "Yes, I accept." So that should be the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa. If you manufacture your own way, that is different thing. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). All the ācāryas... Take all the ācāryas. At least in our country we are guided by the ācāryas. Take any ācārya. They have accepted. Brahmā has accepted. So in this way you have to understand. We cannot manufacture our own way.
So far I am personally concerned, Kirtanananda was doubtful about my existence because he thought that I am dependent on his massaging, so the thought that there is no necessity of Spiritual Master, because Spiritual Master is an ordinary man, and to depend on an ordinary man is a tyranny. Therefore one should always think of Spiritual Master not an ordinary man. You are intelligent and advanced in Krishna Consciousness, and you can understand what is the attack of Spiritual Master by Maya. Maya's duty is to keep the conditioned souls under her clutches, so if there is any hindrance by anyone in the discharge of her duties, she must attack the opposite party. But Krishna saves his sincere servant in Krishna Consciousness. The Pandavas were declared devotees of Krishna ___ and so many troubles in their life; but ultimately they were victorious by the Mercy of Krishna. This is the process of understanding Krishna and his devotees.
I very much appreciate the nice sentiments you have expressed, and Krishna is available only through service. We cannot demand from Krishna to know about Him. When you actually learn to serve Him, He reveals Himself. That is the process. And the success of life is simply by pleasing Him. That is the version of all Vedic literature. Knowledge means to know Him, and success means to please Him. And how He is pleased, that can be known through the transparent medium of His confidential servant. This is the process of understanding Krishna Consciousness. I was very much anxious to hear from you, and this letter is encouraging.
If you simply chant your rounds daily as prescribed and stick strictly to the rules and regulations, all these questions will automatically be answered by Krsna as Supersoul. You may refer in this connection to Bhagavad gita, (10:10), "To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me." and (10:11), "Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance." This process of understanding by devotional service is essential for developing Krsna Consciousness and you all must follow this program assiduously.
So there is no question of stagnation in Krishna Consciousness. Krishna is unlimited. The more we advance in Krishna Consciousness, the more we understand about Him. We cannot finish the process of understanding Him. The little more that we advance, we see still that He is far away. Even Krishna couldn't understand His position in relationship to Radharani, therefore, He took the position of Radharani to understand Himself as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.