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Understand God (Conv. 1968 - 1974)

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Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

Interview -- February 1, 1968, Los Angeles:

Interviewer: Utopian-like, where there is no harm, no..., all is good, and...

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now, this our process is chanting. It is very innocent. If you sit down and chant with us, you have no loss, no harm, but there is great gain. You see? By chanting, you gradually cleanse your heart and you can realize what is God. That is the greatest gain. Human life is meant for knowing God. The animals, they cannot know, although the bodily demands of the animal and the human being are the same. The animals, they sleep; man also sleeps. Animal, they eat; man also eats. The animal, they are also afraid of some enemy; man is also afraid of some enemy. The animals, they mate with the opposite sex, and men also do that. But what is the special significance of man? He can understand about God, but the animal cannot. Therefore if a man does not take to this understanding, he is no better than animal. A man who has no God consciousness or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is no better than animal because he has no other business than the four principles of bodily demands. So that is also prevalent in animal kingdom. Therefore this is a privilege for human being, to understand about God, and as such, in every human society there is some sort of religious principle. This religious principle means to understand God. Either you take it, Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism, every religion is trying to understand God according to their capacity. So without this understanding, means Kṛṣṇa consciousness, human life is as good as animal life.

Interview -- February 1, 1968, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: I have already told that religion means searching after God, every religion. The process may be different. The audience may be different. Just like in Christianity there is conception of God, "God created this world." So this is a fact. We also say. But we say in very lucid explanation from the Vedas. We don't stop, simply saying, "God created," but how created, how things developed, these descriptions are there in the Vedic literature. That is the difference. Otherwise there is no difference of opinion. The Christians accept God created this world; the Jewish religion, they also accept God created this world; the Muslims they also accept God created this world; we also accept God created this world. So "God is the supreme; God is great," that is accepted by everyone. But the only difference is that we give details so that modern mind, who are advanced in education and scientific knowledge, they can understand, whereas others, they cannot give in detail. Therefore they are deviating gradually because the modern, advanced, educated persons they want to know how God created this world, and that description is lacking. But we can give that. That is the difference. Otherwise the primary principle, to understand God—God is great; we are small, tiny; we are subordinate; we are maintained by God—this idea is everywhere.

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 12, 1969, Columbus, Ohio:

Prabhupāda: That is another thing. That is in Muhammadan. That means God is not material. That is the idea. Because here the idea is when I make something image or picture, that is material. So there is a prohibition of accepting God as material. But if you go to a higher stage, then you'll understand that if God is everything then there is no material. That is Vaiṣṇava philosophy. If God is everything, then where is material? He is spiritual. Material means when you cannot understand God. That is material. Everything is sky. When it is covered by cloud we call it is cloudy. Similarly, cloud has no existence. It comes only to cover sometimes, but the sky is eternal. Similarly, God is eternal. When you are covered by some māyā, you cannot see, you cannot understand God, that is material. So any philosophy which does not help understanding God, that is material. That is material. Otherwise, there is no material. Where is material if God is everything? Sarvam khalv idam brahma. You see?

Room Conversation with Allen Ginsberg -- May 13, 1969, Columbus, Ohio:

Allen Ginsberg: There will be no brain to understand God?

Prabhupāda: They will be so dull, so dull. It requires brain to understand. Just like in the Bhāgavata it is said that evaṁ prasanna-manaso (SB 1.2.20), "fully joyful," bhagavad-bhakti-yoga, "by practice of bhakti-yoga." Evaṁ prasanna-manaso bhagavad-bhakti-yogataḥ, mukta-saṅgasya: "and freed from all material contamination." He can understand God. Do you think God is so cheap thing, anyone will understand? Because they do not understand, they present something nonsense: "God is like this. God is like that. God is like that." And when God Himself comes, that "Here I am, Kṛṣṇa," they don't accept it. They'll create their own God.

Allen Ginsberg: So Kalki comes at the end of the Kali-yuga?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

1970 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- December 12, 1970, Indore:

Prabhupāda: Self-preservation. So self-preservation... They do not know what is self-preservation. That is another ignorance. They consider this body as the self. Their self-preservation means to keep this body. And that is also not possible. If you do not follow regulative principles, it is not possible to keep your body in good condition. That is also not possible. Those who do not follow the regulative principles, mostly they are diseased, some kind. We find in the medical, modern medical shop the customers are educated people. Mass of people, they are not customers in the medical shop. You'll find it. They are not so much diseased. In every gentleman's house, modern, you'll find so many bottles of medicine. But you won't find such medical bottles in any house of less educated persons. They are not so diseased. So this is one of the items. If you want to advance in spiritual life you must follow the regulative principles to rectify your mistakes in the past life and this present life. Without being freed from all contamination nobody can understand God.

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- January 17, 1971, Allahabad:

Prabhupāda: Ah... Yes. It is to be learned, just like the electrician learns how to adjust the positive and negative wire, and as soon as it is rightly adjusted there is light. You cannot say, "No, no, why it shall be adjusted like this? It can be done like this." Oh, that will not give you light. You cannot speculate on the science. One plus... Two plus two equal to four. You cannot speculate, "Oh, can it not be three? Cannot be five?" No, that is not possible. You have to accept this two plus two equal to four. So the same example: so long it was not being adjusted to the right point, there was no light. So this adjustment... Suppose there is failure in my home. For this adjustment I have to call an experienced man. You may be a lawyer, you may be very nice thinker, but so far electricity is concerned, you have to call for a mistrī, who may not be learned like you but he knows the art, how to do it, expert. Similarly, such a vast subject to understand God, you do not require the help of an expert?

Room Conversation -- January 17, 1971, Allahabad:

Prabhupāda: No, no, I don't mean you. Anyone. Anyone. If for ordinary things we have to call for an expert, to understand God is it not necessary to approach an expert? What do you think, Manuel?

Manuel: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: That is... Therefore the Vedas says, tad-vijñānārthaṁ: "In order to know that transcendental science," sa gurum evābhigacchet, "he must go to a guru. He must approach." A guru means not bogus guru. One who knows expert. But one has to do that. There is no other alternative. That is the injunction of every Vedic śāstra. And this order is from the Kathopaniṣad. Then, on the Bhagavad-gītā the same thing is said, tad viddhi praṇipātena (BG 4.34). Praṇipāta means surrender. Surrender where? Where to surrender? To a coolie? No, to a superior person, guru. Similarly, Bhāgavata says, tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsur śreya uttamam: (SB 11.3.21) "One who is inquisitive to understand the spiritual science," tasmād, "therefore," guruṁ prapadyeta, "must surrender to a guru." Just our, this morning prayer is guru, beginning of life, beginning of day's work, first worshiping guru.

Room Conversation -- January 17, 1971, Allahabad:

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is already there but when you see, you see, you see that it is birth. The sunrise is already somewhere, and the sunset is also already somewhere but in your angle of vision there is no sun. That is going on. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa's birth, every moment; Kṛṣṇa's disappearance, every moment; Kṛṣṇa's existence, every moment. You have to learn that. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said, janma karma me divyam (BG 4.9), transcendental. Yo janati tattvataḥ. Anyone who knows it perfectly, in truth, he becomes liberated. If you have known Kṛṣṇa, then you are liberated. But Kṛṣṇa knowing is not so easy. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścid vetti māṁ tattvataḥ (BG 7.3). It is very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa in truth. Then how one can understand? That is also stated: bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). Not by speculation of knowledge. Bhaktya. And what is that bhakti? Anyābhilaṣita-śunyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam, ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlānaṁ bhaktir uttama (CC Madhya 19.167)(Brs. 1.1.11). So these things you have to learn. Then there is possibility of knowledge, tad-vijñāna. The difficulty is at the present moment the theory that everyone can invent his way of understanding God. He can speculate.

Television Interview -- July 29, 1971, Gainesville:

Prabhupāda: No. We have to establish first of all our lost relationship with God. You see? Then we can understand what is the relationship between one individual to another. If the central point is missing, then there is practically no relationship. Just like you are American. Another is American. Both of you, you feel American nationally because the center is America. So unless you understand God, you cannot understand what I am, neither I can understand what you are. So we have to first of all reestablish our lost relationship with God; then we can establish, talk of universal brotherhood. Otherwise there will be discrimination. Just like in your country, or any country, the national... National means a man born in that land. Is it not? But they do not take the animals as national. Why they have no right to become national? That is imperfect knowledge. There is no God consciousness. Therefore they think only the man born in this land is national, not others.

Interview -- July 29, 1971, Gainesville:

Prabhupāda: No. We have to establish first of all our lost relationship with God. You see? Then we can understand what is the relationship between one individual to another. If the central point is missing, then there is practically no relationship. Just like you are American and another is American, both of you, you feel American nationality because the center is America. So unless you understand God, you cannot understand "What I am." Neither I can understand what you are. So I have..., we have to first of all reestablish our lost relationship with God, then we can establish, talk of universal brotherhood. Otherwise there will be discrimination. Just like in your country, or any country, the national... National means a man born in that land. Is it not? But they do not take the animals as national. Why they have no right to become national? That is imperfect of knowledge. There is no God consciousness; therefore they think only the man born in this land is national, not others.

Conversation with Journalists -- August 18, 1971, London:

Prabhupāda: First of all, try to understand what is religion. Then you come to different types of religion. Religion means to understand God. Do you agree to that or not?

Journalist (1): So if Christian religion is teaching to understand God and to become obedient to God, then it is all right. If it is not teaching that then it is useless. Simply by stamping, "I am Christian," what do you gain by that?

Journalist (1): Well nothing, but that...

Prabhupāda: That is going on. Simply by stamping, "I am Hindu." "I am Muslim." "I am Christian." What is the gain?

Conversation with Journalists -- August 18, 1971, London:

Prabhupāda: Well, large number... Large number... When you speak of something good, you cannot expect many. Just like if you want to sell diamond, you cannot expect that the whole population of England will purchase it. When there is question of diamond, the customer also must be very rich. Similarly, to understand God is not so difficult, or, easy job. Only the fortunate, pious, nice people can understand God. Not ordinary...

Journalist (1): And only get to work at it, find the time to try it. (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: But we are giving facilities to everyone to understand God. That is our mission.

Journalist (1): But it does require a certain price for them to pay as individuals.

Prabhupāda: No price. Simply to become sincere.

Conversation with Journalists -- August 18, 1971, London:

Prabhupāda: You can take instruction from the students who are actually trying to understand God.

Journalist (2): I read somewhere that possibly you wanted to convert people who were politicians and businessmen. Why?

Prabhupāda: Who said? Where you have got this idea that I am trying to convert politicians? Where?

Journalist (2): In a newspaper.

Prabhupāda: Where is that newspaper? This is not a fact. You are telling something which is not a fact.

Conversation with Journalists -- August 18, 1971, London:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Everyone requires to understand God. Why politicians and newspapermen? Everyone. God is for everyone. Everyone requires... The human life is meant for understanding God. Why politicians and businessmen? Without knowing God, he cannot be happy, whatever he may be.

Journalist (2): Do you think if people had a deeper understanding of God... a spiritual consciousness...?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Then he will be happy.

Journalist (2): Do you think it would solve the problems of...

Prabhupāda: Oh yes. Oh yes. Certainly.

Journalist (2): Which problems?

Prabhupāda: All problems. Whatever problems are there. Social, political, religious, cultural, everything.

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: You understand everything of God. How God is inside how God is outside, how God is working—everything will be revealed. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). By the service attitude God will reveal Himself. You cannot understand God by your endeavor. If God reveals. Just like when the sun is out of your sight you cannot see the sun by your torchlight or any light. Any amount of scientific method, you cannot see the sun at night. But in the morning you can see the sun automatically, without any torchlight. Similarly, you have to create a situation, you have to put yourself in a situation wherein God will reveal. Not that by your method you can ask God, "Please come. I will see." No, God is not your order carrier.

Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: Then he's an animal. The animal does not know what is God. A person who does not know what is God or one who does not try to understand what is God, he's animal. The animals are with four legs, and that animal is with two legs. And Darwin's theory is they are monkeys. So anyone who does not know God or does not try to understand God, he's nothing but animal.

Bob: What about the people in the...the innocent people?

Prabhupāda: The animal is very innocent. You cut its throat, it won't protest. So innocent is not very good qualification. The animals are all innocent. Therefore you get the chance of cutting their throat. So just... To become innocent is not a very good qualification. Our proposition is one must be very, very intelligent, and then he can understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa yei bhaje se baḍa catura. So to become innocent, ignorant, simpleton is not very good qualification. Simplicity is all right, but one should not be unintelligent.

Room Conversation with John Griesser (later initiated as Yadubara Dasa) -- March 10, 1972, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: No, no. One has to learn how Kṛṣṇa is always God in any circumstance. And if he can understand this philosophy, then Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā he becomes immediately liberated. Janma karma me divyaṁ ye jānāti tattvataḥ. "My activities, My birth, they are all transcendental. One who understands in truth," tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9), "after leaving this body, he no more comes to this material." That means we can be liberated simply by understanding His activities. All the qualities are described in the Nectar of Devotion. He has got sixty-four qualities. Unlimited qualities, but for our understanding, Rūpa Gosvāmī only discussed sixty-four. Just see, that lady was speaking that she speaks to thousands and thousands of people. How ignorant she is about God. She was inquiring, "Kṛṣṇa is not..." That means she cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. And she is leader, thousands of people she is speaking. What is the use of her speaking if she has no clear idea? This is going on. Useless speaking. In India also, so many fools, they are accepted as very perfect. Just like Gandhi, take Gandhi. Where was Gandhi? In spiritual consciousness, he is nothing. Nothing, no value. But if we say in the public, they will be angry, "Oh!" But actually there is no value, no spiritual value. He is known all over the world as a great spiritualist. He was a moralist, that's all. That is not a qualification for understanding God.

Room Conversation with Maharishi Impersonalists -- April 7, 1972, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: They are accepting. Wherever we go, they accept. If one is serious about understanding God, they will accept. If he is not serious, superficial, that is different thing.

Impersonalist: So this will become the next age. This is to take place in this age or this is the transition between two ages?

Prabhupāda: This is the process. By chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra they will be God-realized. Just like these boys. Four years ago they did not know what is meant by Kṛṣṇa. So now they are so perfect. Of course, we cannot be perfect anyway, but they are far, far better than any Kṛṣṇa-bhakta in the world. Even Indians, they say, "Oh, they are better than us." And what is the process? Simply they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is practical. By chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra they are becoming God-realized. Even last night we had meeting with the Christian fathers. They very much appreciated. And in Boston one Christian priest issued literature, that "These boys, they are our boys. They are so mad after God, but we could not do." So this is... Why they have become so? Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. So anyone chants will get this status. This is practical.

Room Conversation -- May 4, 1972, Mexico:

Prabhupāda: Helium gas. So that helium gas has entered within the balloon and it is floating. (laughter) So if the helium gas can float, cannot God float? If helium gas has so much power, God is less than helium gas or He is more than helium gas? So what is the difficulty to understand? God says, "I enter." So similarly, the helium gas enters and it makes possible that it floats. So what is the difficulty to understand? I see in my eyes. So He can become big helium gas. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya: (BG 7.8) "I am the taste of the water." Water is important. We are drinking water for the taste. That taste is Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, if you explain this law of gravitation, which we have discovered, is Kṛṣṇa, prove it by your scientific knowledge, that will be your service. Actually that is a fact. That is the fact. But you have to explain, just like I have given you this example. This is scientific. As you can float a balloon by creating helium gas, so there must be some gas like that; Kṛṣṇa enters into each and every planet or universe and it floats, that's all. They, not only the planets are floating, the universes are also floating. So you accept this theory or not? If not, clearly explain.

Room Conversation -- May 4, 1972, Mexico:

Prabhupāda: (Sanskrit) So at the present moment we can understand God by anubhava(?): "Here is God." The hint is given by God that raso 'ham apsu kaunteya, that "I am the taste of water." You cannot create this taste. You can make water, hydrogen-oxygen mixing, but you cannot create the taste so that that water may be taken. Is that possible?

Martin: It is possible to make water, and I rely on you to say that it is not possible to make the taste.

Prabhupāda: That... Just like from perspiration we are also creating water, but nobody is going to drink that water. Nobody is coming to lick my body, "Here is water." (laughter) That is not possible.

Room Conversation -- June 14, 1972, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Mission. That mission is God realization. Cats and dogs cannot do it; human beings can do it. Therefore in any civilized human society, there is a type of religion. May be Christian religion or Mohammedan religion or Hindu religion or Buddhist—there is religion. But you cannot find this religious system in the animal kingdom of life. That is the difference. If we give up this religious consciousness or God consciousness, then we are as good as cats and dogs. That is the only difference. You go anywhere, any part of the world, and civilized human beings, they have got a system, which you may call religion or philosophy, to understand God. That prerogative is especially for the human beings. But if you do not care for that special prerogative, then you are as good as animal. What is the difference between animal and human being unless he has got some method of understanding God? The animal eats and we also eat. The animals sleep; we also sleep. The animals have sexual intercourse; we have got also. They are also afraid of something; we are also afraid of something. Then what is the difference?

Room Conversation -- June 14, 1972, Los Angeles:

John Fahey: They cannot understand God(?).

Prabhupāda: That is the difference. A human being can understand what is God, what is my relationship with God, what is my duty in that relationship, what is my aim of life, where I shall go after death, wherefrom I have come. These questions must be there in human form of life; otherwise we are still in the animal kingdom.

Marilyn: Do the animals have no consciousness of God?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Marilyn: Do the animals have no consciousness of God?

Prabhupāda: They have no God consciousness. They do not know what is God.

Marilyn: Somehow I always thought that...

Room Conversation -- June 14, 1972, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: They are made for that purpose. But that is natural. If you take your natural food, if you live naturally, if you fulfill your natural desires, then it is natural. And as soon as you go against these things, that is unnatural. So if you give up your natural tendency as human being and take artificially the way of life of an animal, that is not natural. In human society the..., however uncivilized human being, there is the process of covering this private part. Even in jungle they cover with the bark of tree. Why? That is the human being. But an animal in the jungle, they do not care. They can go, the same jungle—I don't speak of the city life—even in jungle life, the aborigines, still they have got some cover. Now they are becoming naked, natural life, nudism. Huh? That John Lennon, there is a picture in his sitting room, standing naked. This is madness. That is not natural life. If you go against your natural life, that is madness. Just like a madman walks on the street naked. So these are... So our mission is to advise everyone, educate everyone to become exactly like human being. That you can become by understanding God. The books, educational institutions, are meant for human being, for knowledge. All the books all over the world, they are not meant for cats and dogs. They are meant for human beings. The schools, colleges and universities, institutions, they are meant for human being, not for the cats and dogs. So we must take advantage of these books, institution, knowledge, teachers. That is real human life. Just like your guitar.

Interview with the New York Times -- September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: When we speak of Kṛṣṇa, we mean God. Everyone has some vague idea of God, but no clear idea. Therefore God descends to show what He is. If we speculate on God, someone will think one thing and another person will think another. This is the result of speculation. But if God Himself comes and shows Himself as He is and speaks about Himself, that is perfect knowledge. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is spreading that message. God Himself is speaking about Himself: "I am like this; I am like this; My form is like this; My activities are like this; My address is this and that—if you like you can come back to Me. This is the situation. Everyone can come to Me." All this information is there in Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. In Bhagavad-gītā God speaks about Himself and presents Himself as He is. We have simply to take that information; then we can understand God. As soon as we understand God, we can go home immediately. It is a very simple thing.

Interview with the New York Times -- September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: "One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." So God is there; that's a fact. Anyone can go back to Him and live an eternal life full of bliss and knowledge simply by knowing about it. When God Himself comes, all great ācāryas, stalwart men accept Him: "Yes, He is God." If we simply understand God, we make a solution to all our problems. What is the problem? Because we are part and parcel of God, we are qualitatively equal with Him. God is eternal, and we are eternal. God is blissful, and we are blissful. God is full of knowledge; we are also full of knowledge. Unfortunately we are hampered by this material body. Therefore our problem is how to get out of this material body and come to our spiritual body. The spiritual body is there, just as our real body is present underneath our shirt and coat. I, you, and every one of us is a spiritual spark, part and parcel of God, and we are placed within a gross and subtle body. When this particular body is finished, we are carried by a subtle body into another gross body. That is called transmigration of the soul. And when we finally get free from the subtle body also, we go back home, back to Godhead. It is that easy.

Interview with the New York Times -- September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: And when we finally get free from the subtle body also, we go back home, back to Godhead. It is that easy. Human beings therefore should endeavor to get out of this gross and subtle body, attain the spiritual body and go back home. That should be the aim of human endeavor. Not that we should simply live like animals. Animals cannot get out of the gross and subtle body because to extricate oneself one must know in fact what God is. An animal cannot know what God is, but a human being can. That is the opportunity afforded by this body; nature gives us this human body just to understand God, and if we simply use it for animal propensities, we again go to the animal kingdom. That is a form of punishment.

John Nordheimer: Prabhupāda, it's been thirty-five years since you were given this mission by your spiritual master to bring the word of Kṛṣṇa to the West. A lot has happened in the world over that period of time.

Interview with the New York Times -- September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: What then, is the condition of water? Is it pleasing or not? The water is the same, but in touch with our skin it becomes pleasing or not according to the climatic circumstances. Just because the summer is hot, should I give up cooking? Work must be done. Similarly, just because water is cold in the winter, should I give up my bath? No. These things may come and go, but we have to do our duty. Our duty is Kṛṣṇa consciousness; that is our philosophy, and that is an actual fact. These seasonal changes may come and go in life; sometimes they may please us, and sometimes they may pinch us, but our duty in human life is to understand God. We shouldn't care for all these catastrophes that come and go. We should have no concern, for their nature is like that—sometimes pleasing and sometimes not pleasing. Despite all this, we have to do our duty, understand God.

Interview with the New York Times -- September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: So good men will take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and bad men will not. We give distinct rules on how to become good, for if one does not become good, how can he understand God, who is all good? First we must become good men; then we can understand God. God is all good, and if we don't become good we cannot understand Him. That's all. It's up to us to make the choice. The past, present and future are open for everyone. There is no restriction; no one says, "This class of men shall be good, and this class of men shall be bad." Anyone can become good. If we educate a child nicely, he becomes good, but if we train him foolishly, he becomes a rascal. It is the duty of the government, of the father and of the teachers to make everyone good. If the government is bad, if the father is bad, and the society is bad—how can the child be good? Everywhere the government, father and society are bad; and therefore we are producing bad men, and therefore there is no peace and prosperity.

Interview with the New York Times -- September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban:

Prabhupāda: Free choice makes destiny; if I act in goodness, then my future is good. And if I act badly, my future is bad. That is destiny. Man is the architect of his own destiny. If you are educated, your future is nice, and if you remain foolish, then your future is bad. Future destiny depends on present action. This life is an opportunity to make the next life, and if we behave like human beings, then in our next life we will go back home, back to Godhead. But if we behave like animals, then in the next life we will take animal bodies. That's all. All this is very nicely described in Bhagavad-gītā. The conclusion is that human beings are meant for understanding God, but if we waste our time understanding dog, and if we become attached to dog, then we will become dogs in our next life. And if we are attached to God, we become like God, in our next life. The choice is ours.

Morning Walk Conversation -- September 28, 1972, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is we call kūpa-maṇḍūka-nyāya(?), the frog, Dr. Frog of the well. He cannot conceive what is Atlantic Ocean, but still he will theorize, "Atlantic Ocean may be so big, so big, so big." What experience you can get Atlantic Ocean living in a three-foot well? That is going on. And if I ask you, "What is the measurement of the space?" You cannot say that. You cannot say that. But there is measurement (indistinct). It may be unlimited for you, but as it is a created thing, there must be measurement. Any created thing has measurement. Unless they agree to submit... They must submit. Just like you have submitted, you are (indistinct), so you can understand God. This is the only qualification. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66), "First of all submit, rascal, then I shall (indistinct), you will be able to understand the truth." There is no possibility of understanding the whole thing by challenge. That is (indistinct). Their only challenge (indistinct).

Morning Walk Conversation -- September 28, 1972, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Nature, they cannot even challenging nature; they cannot understand the nature. And behind nature, there is God. So what they will understand God? They cannot understand the curtain by which God is hidden, and what they will understand God? This is a curtain. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya

yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25). Mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni (BG 9.4). Just like this planet, this universe, everything is resting on Him, but He cannot be found. Just like if you sit down on this chair, on this bench, I can see the bench you are sitting. But this whole universe is floating on something, but you cannot see on which it is floating. You are so limited. This universe is floating on water, just like (indistinct). Yaḥ kāraṇārṇava-jale bhajati sma yoga-nidrām anantam aśeṣa-bhūtam, viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (Bs. 5.47). Each and every universe is coming out of the pores in the body of Viṣṇu, Mahā-Viṣṇu. Just like an infected person, he distributes infection by breathing. Is it not?

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- February 25, 1973, Jakarta:

Prabhupāda: There is no God. Therefore their merit is being misused, they have become the lowest of the mankind. They have become the Fool No. 1 and all that so-called education, academics, knowledge has been taken away by māyā. This is... So we test only whether he's a devotee of God. If he's not a devotee of God then we take either of these: he must be the rascal, or lowest of the mankind, or simply using the merit for sinful activities, or his knowledge has been taken away by māyā. Immediately, we have no difficulty to understand what class of man he is. The test is whether he has got any sense of understanding God. If not then he comes to this group. It is not very difficult to study man, what he is. We have got the formula in the Bhagavad-gītā. (Hindi)

Devotee: Your explanation you've just given was so clear, Prabhupāda. We can easily see. It's so clear.

Room Conversation -- February 25, 1973, Jakarta:

Prabhupāda: (chuckling) Yes, this is the explanation. There is no second explanation. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ (BG 7.15). This is the only explanation. What explanation can you... Who can give another explanation? There is no second explanation. Bhagavad-bhakti-hīnasya jātiḥ śāstraṁ japas tapaḥ, aprāṇasyeva dehasya maṇḍanaṁ loka-rañjanam. It's like if you decorate the dead body. It may be pleasing to some relatives of the dead body, otherwise what is the value of it? Others will think, "What a foolish man, he is, that decorating the dea..." Suppose if there is dead body and you're decorating (indistinct) flower. That may be your sentiment because the dead body belongs to your father or mother, like that. It is pleasing to you, but actually what is the value? So similarly, this human civilization is meant for understanding God. If that sense is lacking then it is simply decoration of the dead body. That's all. There is no value.

Room Conversation -- February 26, 1973, Jakarta:

Prabhupāda: This human life is meant for understanding the Absolute Truth. Otherwise, what is the difference between cats and dogs and human beings? If simply eating, sleeping, and sex life, and defend is the business of human life, then these things are there in the animal life also. They also eat. They also sleep. They have also sex life, and they also defend according to their capacity. We defend with atomic bomb and they defend their own nails and claws. The different spirit is there. So that is not the aim of human life. The aim of human life—this opportunity's given by nature to have a human form of life—is to understand God. Nobody can deny—unless he is a crazy fellow—the existence of God. That is not possible. There must be. I may know it or not know it, it doesn't matter. Therefore religion means to understand God and to awaken your dormant love for God. This is religion. Now there may be difference of process, according to country, time, people. Therefore, it is the duty of the government, it is the duty of the government... Hare Kṛṣṇa (someone enters). Formerly the kings, they were regularly supervising that their citizens were properly executing religious culture. That was government's duty.

Room Conversation -- February 26, 1973, Jakarta:

Prabhupāda: Unless I know what is God, then how I can know what is His order? So in the Bhagavad-gītā, the religion is given that—(Aside:) you are feeling sleepy, you can go—the Bhagavad-gītā, it is said that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That is religion. We have manufactured so many types of religion, and here God says that "You give up your manufactured religion. You just surrender unto Me." This is religion. Religion means to surrender. A good citizen means to surrender to the government law. Similarly, a religious person means who has surrendered to God. Nowadays it has become a regrettable fashion that everyone is God, when we surrender to one. And this false prestige that "I am God. I haven't got to surrender to anyone. I am God. What surrender?" This atheism is going on and spoiling the whole human society. God has become so cheap. Any nonsense can claim, "I am God." That is the defect of the modern society. There is a great necessity to understand God. If everyone is God then where is the necessity of religion? If everyone is president then where is the necessity of lawmaking? So this is going on. This is very unfortunate situation. What is your idea?

Room Conversation with Indonesian Scholar -- February 27, 1973, Jakarta:

Prabhupāda: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is... The Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Just like before learning any literature, one has to read the first book, ABCD. The Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD. It is just beginning of understanding of what is God. ABC. When one has passed the entrance examination, then he gets the opportunity of studying Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the Bhagavad-gītā the last instruction is sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is explaining Himself, and at last He says that you surrender unto me. That is the most confidential part of knowledge. So if one has surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, then He's admitted in the college of studying Bhāgavata. Before that he has no place. Just like without passing entrance examination, nobody's admitted in the college course. Similarly, without understanding Bhagavad-gītā perfectly well, one cannot understand what is Bhāgavata. Bhāgavata is the graduate study. So this Vedānta-sūtra, the Vedānta-sūtra is the summarized study of all Vedic knowledge. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the explanation of Vedānta-sūtra. So people are in darkness about this great knowledge and the science of God, all over the world. They are misled. They're being misled. Misled in this way, that this human form of life is specially meant for understanding God.

Morning Walk -- April 20, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Any department. It doesn't matter. Through that department you go to the ultimate center. Just like here is center. And there are so many spokes. So many spokes. So whichever spoke you may be, come to the center. That is your perfection. The spokes may be of different direction. Like that. But center is Kṛṣṇa. The energy, central energy is Kṛṣṇa. Ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam (SB 1.2.13). And these, these living entities, they're flying. They have got intelligence. "The men are coming. We shall be smashed." They're flying, taking shelter. Defence. Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-mai... Defence, defence measures. They know how to defend themselves in their own way. Similarly they know how to eat and similarly they know how to sleep. But what is the difference between this insect and me? I can talk of God, I can understand God. It cannot. That is the difference. I can study Vedic literature, so many facilities for me. But all these facilities, all this intelligence, I am utilizing for the same purpose, eating, sleeping, sex and defence. Therefore it is useless waste of time, waste of life, valuable life. What is their benefit? Suppose you are studying that this law is working like that, this law is working like that, but you cannot help. You cannot change the law. You are under the laws. So what is the benefit simply by studying?

Morning Walk -- May 1, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Sun is also moving under the order. You have to study like that. If you do not see God, see how God's order is being carried out. Then you will understand. Just like we do not see President Nixon. But you know there is direction, and the government is going is going on under his direction. That we can know. This is seeing of God to see how things are going on under His order. That is seeing of God. Just like from long distant place like this hills, we are seeing, but at the same time not seeing distinctly. You are seeing those, but you do not see the detail. Similarly you are seeing God by these things, but because you are not so powerful, you are not seeing Him in detail. But you are seeing God. You cannot say that "I don't see God." How can you say? These are the directions. You are seeing that things are going on under direction. Yasyājñayā. Therefore you have to... śāstra yonitvāt. The Vedānta says, "You have to understand God through śāstra;" by the scriptures you have to understand. śāstra yonitvāt. Everything is there.

Morning Walk -- May 12, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Direction, yes. That is said, mayādhyakṣena prakṛtiḥ: (BG 9.10) "Under My direction." So if it is possible for a common man like me, how much it is possible for God? That we have to understand. Now I want to go to India, London. Now everything arrangement is made. I can go immediately. So similarly, if God wants to do something, why He has to do something? Everything, as soon as He desires, everything is there. He wants "Let there be material creation." There is, immediately. This is God. We are thinking in my terms. "Oh, such a huge universe! How a person can create? Where he got this tool? Where he's got the hammer? And how he constructed it?" I am thinking like that. Because I am limited, I am thinking in my limited way. So I am denying, "There is no God." Therefore we have to first of all understand acintya, inconceivable power. Then we can understand God. If I think, "God may be..." That kūpa-maṇḍūka, that frog is thinking, "It may be little bigger than this, little bigger than this." So how you can understand Atlantic Ocean within the well? So these rascals are all frogs. So they are thinking in their own terms, God. And because they cannot accommodate, "There is no God, finish."

Morning Walk At Cheviot Hills Golf Course -- May 15, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: ...difficulty for the scientist to understand God? What is their difficulty? We understand God very easily.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: They find it very hard to see the spirit, the soul in... It is very doubtful, they say.

Prabhupāda: No, no, spirit you see or don't see, that is dif...

Umāpati: He studies matter.

Prabhupāda: No, that's all right.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: No, once they see the spirit soul, they can detect somehow, then they are definitely convinced.

Prabhupāda: So how you can see? It is... The measurement is given, 1/10,000th part of the tip of the hair. So where is your seeing power?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Still they want to sense it by some...

Morning Walk At Cheviot Hills Golf Course -- May 15, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: So man is the sample of God. So why don't you try, study nicely man, and you can know, understand God, what is God. I asked these Christian people, "If man is made after the image of God, you study very scrutinizingly a perfect human being, and you will know what is God."

Umāpati: The most ideal image of a human being is God.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the Vedic injunction. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). So you take a perfect man. Just like Kṛṣṇa, you take a perfect man, take him as man, you see that He is God. He has got all the perfections. Even if you take him as a man.

Paramahaṁsa: No competition.

Prabhupāda: No competition. That is Bhagavān. Bhagavān means... We are giving this definition. Bhagavān means a perfect man. That's all. Now, just like man wants to wife, to have wife. So why there is, what is called, adulteration? He wants more than one wife. Just see, perfect Kṛṣṇa, He has got sixteen thousand wives, which you cannot imagine. Here is perfection. You cannot say that a man has no inclination to have more than one wife. That is there. So that propensity is, in perfection, is there in Kṛṣṇa. Therefore He is God.

Room Conversation with David Wynne, Sculptor -- July 9, 1973, London:

Śyāmasundara: But you're saying that it's better to first penetrate and understand God.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Śyāmasundara: Then understand the universe.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is perfect knowledge.

Śyāmasundara: Before understanding, trying to understand God by His universe.

David Wynne: And science almost denies the existence of God in order to exist, doesn't it?

Prabhupāda: That is a rascal. These rascals say like that. Anyone who denies the existence of God, he is rascal number one. Immediately. And anyone, he may be a great scientist or philosopher, let him come. If he says that "I don't believe in God," then I shall prove that "You are rascal number one." That I shall prove.

Śyāmasundara: We'll bring you some scientists.

Room Conversation With Three College Students -- July 11, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: So when you understand Kṛṣṇa, then there is no need of yoga.

Student (1): I don't think you could ever understand God.

Prabhupāda: No, if you go to the place... Just like if you go to the airport, then you can understand which airship is starting from which gate, which gate. There are so many things you can see. But if you do not approach the airport, simply in other place, how you can study airport? First of all come to Kṛṣṇa. Then try to understand Kṛṣṇa. And if you understand Kṛṣṇa you become liberated. First of all we have to know that "Here is Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Then you try to understand. But if you do not approach there, where is your question of understanding Him?

Student (1): Yeah, but somebody else will say, "You come to us, and I'll do this to you, and you'll see God."

Room Conversation with Two Buddhist Monks -- July 12, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. Aiye. Jaya. (pause) You are from India? (Hindi—few sentences with guest) So we are therefore presenting Kṛṣṇa, the most delightful feature. So chanting and dancing before Kṛṣṇa, taking His prasādam, and practicing delightful nature, awakening the delightful consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So as this is taking practical shape, all these European, American boys, Canadian, African, they are becoming delightful, and with great delight, they are chanting, dancing and taking prasādam.

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adhaḥ
(Brs. 1.2.234)

We cannot understand God by our present senses. So the senses are to be purified. And that purification begins: sevonmukha, by engaging the tongue, jihvādau, in the delightful activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So practically we are getting result. These boys, they were very morose, but now they are very delightful simply by following this method, engaging the tongue in the service of Kṛṣṇa. Tongue has got two business: tasting and chanting, vibrating. So they are vibrating harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam (CC Adi 17.21), and tasting Kṛṣṇa prasādam.

Room Conversation with Malcolm -- July 18, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Few. God is the source of everything. The vast water has come from the body of God. Just like from your body a little quantity of water comes out, perspiring. Does it not? So we are limited. So one ounce, two ounce, we can produce. But God is unlimited. He can produce by perspiration millions of oceans. This is our understanding. God is unlimited; we are limited. We are also producing so many things through our body. Similarly, God is unlimited. His body has got unlimited potency. So everything comes from the body of God. This is our simple understanding. God is the origin of everything.

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ
(BG 10.8)

One who understands this philosophy, he becomes a devotee. Budha. He's in full knowledge. This is from our tree? No.

Room Conversation with Sir Alistair Hardy -- July 21, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: No... When we speak of Veda, Veda means knowledge. So knowledge means knowledge of God. Any scripture that gives knowledge of God, that is Vedas. Don't think that Vedas means that only the Sāma, Yajuḥ, Atharva. Those who are following the principles to give knowledge about God, that is Veda. Veda means knowledge. Vetti veda vido jñāne. Vid-dhātu is called veda, vetti. Jñāne when there is question of knowledge, these three forms are used: vetti, veda, vido, jñāne. Vinte vid vicaraṇe vidyate vid saptāyāṁ labhe vindati vindate. (?) This is the vid-dhātu description. So vid-dhātu means to know. So ultimate knowledge is to know God. That is real knowledge. Vedaiś ca sarvaiḥ. Sarvaiḥ, all kinds of Vedas. All kinds, sarvaiḥ. So Bible can be taken as Vedas because it is trying to give knowledge about God, maybe for a certain class of men. That is another thing. But the subject matter is how to know God. So that can be taken as also, as Vedas. Because ultimate knowledge is how to know God. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate (BG 7.19). So we accept Bible also as Vedas, but we simply say that they misinterpret the Biblical commandments. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not kill," and the Christian people are killing, maintaining slaughterhouse. What is this? This is my question. How they'll understand God if they are so much implicated in sinful activities? According to Vedas, there are four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex, unnecessary killing of animals, intoxication and gambling. Yatra pāpaś catur-vidhaḥ. So God is purest. Paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). How one can approach God if he leads a sinful life? That is our propagation. You give up this sinful life. Then you'll be able to understand God. You follow Christianity or Mohammedanism or Buddhism. It doesn't matter. You give up this sinful life.

Room Conversation with Sir Alistair Hardy -- July 21, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Our Vedas are not meant for the cats and dogs. All śāstras and scriptures and Vedas, they are meant for human being. So if human being remains on cats and dogs, how he can understand? If he voluntarily remains like the cats and dogs, then how he can understand the Vedas or Bible or Koran? He cannot. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25). We have to become pure before understanding what is God. Therefore every civilized society has got a type of religion to become purified so that he can understand God. Without being purified, how it is possible? That is not possible. So at least these things should be accepted as they are in the Bible, "Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not covet." Illicit sex life, intoxication, and killing of animals. These are in the Bible. Why they are not accepted? This is not our impositions. This is already there.

Room Conversation with Sir Alistair Hardy -- July 21, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Simply by becoming Sanskrit scholar or Latin scholar, it is not sufficient. He must be God-realized, purified. Then it is possible. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ: (Brs. 1.2.234) "By your these blunt senses it is not possible to understand what is God, what is His form, what is His name, what is His quality, what is His kingdom, what is His paraphernalia." These things are to be understood. God means... Just like when we speak of "king." King does not mean alone. King means he has got his queen, he has got his kingdom, he has got his secretary, he has got his minister, he has got his palace, he has... so many things, king, royal. When we speak of Queen, we immediately remember the Buckingham Palace, his (her) bodyguards and so many, so many other things. Similarly, God means He has got His entourage also, everything. He's not alone. To understand God means to understand everything of God—His name, His fame, His līlā, His pastimes.

Room Conversation with Lord Brockway -- July 23, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: That is not perfect God conscious. That is partial. Perfect consciousness means full understanding also. That is perfect God consciousness. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.3). This is the Vedic injunction. If you understand only God, then you understand everything. But if he does not understand everything rightly, that means he's not fully understanding God. This is the... If, as you say, that a man is fully God conscious, but he cannot do this, cannot do that, that means his understanding of God consciousness is still lacking. It is not full understanding. A full understanding of God consciousness means he's a perfect man. He's a perfect man. He'll never commit anything mistake. Because he's guided. Teṣām... What is that? Bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, buddhi-yogaṁ dadāmi tam... Find out. A God conscious person is getting direct instruction from God. How it can be defective? It cannot be. Practical. But if one is defective, he's not yet fully God conscious.

Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest -- July 25, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: So who is a brāhmaṇa? Who knows God, he is called brāhmaṇa. Therefore culmination of education is to understand God. That is education. Otherwise, to get education how to nicely eat, how nicely sleep, how nicely have sex life, and how to defend, this education is there even in the animals. The animals also, they know how to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life and how to defend.

Mother: Yes. It seems to worry you, this sex life. I mean, we, we don't take...

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. I'm not worried.

Mother: ...any notice if... It fits into its place.

Prabhupāda: This is also necessary. This is also necessary.

Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest -- July 25, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: So to understand God or how to love God, there is religious system. In every civilized human society, it doesn't matter whether it is Christianity or Hinduism or Mohammedanism or Buddhism, the aim, religious system is there in human society besides the education of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That is there in the animal society. So a human being is distinct from the animal when he has education how to understand God and how to love Him. That is perfection.

Mother: Well, you've got a good tape there now, haven't you?

Prabhupāda: Hmm.

Mother: You've got a good tape there now. Yes.

Prabhupāda: So that is now wanting. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not depriving people of their education. You get education how to eat, how to sleep, and that's all right. But side by side, you take education how to know God and how to love Him. That is our proposition.

Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest -- July 25, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: In the Vedic literature it is said the animal killers cannot understand God.

Mother: Well, this is very good, sir, that you find this, and I say, this is not my argument... Yes. Hmmm.

Prabhupāda: No, no. Not practical also. I have seen the animal killers. They do not understand what is God. That is a fact. Neither they have got brain to understand it.

Mother: But you don't need brain if you're not going to study or to do anything further. If you just sit and sleep like...

Prabhupāda: No, we are studying. Because we are preaching, we are studying that. The animal eaters, they cannot have any conception of God. The brain is so dull.

Mother: What about your children? Where do they? Do they go to school?

Prabhupāda: Why not.

Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest -- July 25, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Let me engage my time for understanding God.

Mother: You should be self-supporting in that way.

Prabhupāda: Self-supporting. We are self-supporting. Just like... I have given the example. The body, the social body... You can take of this body. There are four divisions: the head division, the arm division, the belly division, and the leg division. So belly is doing the work of the belly, stomach. The leg is walking. The hand is doing, defending, and the head and the brain is giving instruction to everyone. This is cooperation. So that is Vedic system of civilization. Brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. There must be divisions of work. Not that everyone has to learn everything.

Mother: No, I don't mean that. You're misunderstanding me.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. Then your question is replied. When I need the help of a medical man, I go to the medical man.

Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest -- July 25, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: That, that I was trying to explain, that nobody can understand God and God's conception, being sinful.

Jesuit Priest: There's a vacuum created, and so they'd rather take it up in...

Mother: It's very extraordinary, though, that every boy that I have spoken to here...

Prabhupāda: Yes. So that is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: yeṣāṁ tv anta-gataṁ pāpam... (BG 7.28).

Mother: ...have all taken LSD or drugs of some kind.

Prabhupāda: ...janānāṁ puṇya-karmaṇām.

Revatīnandana: That was one who hasn't.

Room Conversation with Mister Popworth and E. F. Schumacher -- July 26, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: That's all. And that God consciousness cannot be achieved without being pure. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). God is the supreme pure. You cannot approach God, you cannot understand God, in impure condition. And without God consciousness, there cannot be any purification. You try to understand this simple fact, that without God consciousness, you may prescribe so many things—they will be all failure, all failure. And God consciousness cannot be achieved without being pure. This is the problem. Now you can think over it.

Schumacher: I agree with that.

Room Conversation with Cardinal Danielou -- August 9, 1973, Paris:

Prabhupāda: But if, under certain circumstances, you are obliged to eat meat, eat the flesh of some lower animals. Don't kill cows. It is the greatest sin. And so long one will be sinful, he'll not be able to understand what is God. But human being, main business is to understand God and to love Him. But if he remains sinful, neither he can understand God, and what to, what is the question of loving Him. Therefore at least from the human society, this cruel maintenance of slaughterhouses must be stopped.

Cardinal Danielou: (French)

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Cardinal Danielou: Oui, oui. I think that this is perhaps not an essential point. I think that in this realm the uses of various religions can be good. The importance is to love God.

Room Conversation with French Journalist and UNESCO Worker -- August 10, 1973, Paris:

Prabhupāda: I work at night, writing books. My work is going on. At night, I write. (break) In the UNESCO, to understand God or spiritual life, they do not think it a necessary?

Dr. Inger: Well, that's a very, very important question. I think that the real trouble is that all of them are bureaucrats, sitting in offices, creating more jobs for other officers. I was one of the earliest members. I came when Dr. Radhakrishnan was the, was our president. And... At the very early stage. In those days, there was that feeling, that some importance should be given, but because it became a governmental organization, because every religion thinks that they should have a part to play in it, what they did was, they brought out, in ten volumes, a scientific and cultural history of mankind. But it has, it's only incidentally philosophy, only incidentally religion. The only religious books that have come out are those that have been translated. Old books like the second book to the East, for instance. Max Muller's books. And they have been reprinted. And occasionally a few translations have been done from Tulasidāsa or some other philosophers, rewritten, like Śaṅkara later on. But, but all of those have been done because somebody else has commissioned them. But otherwise, there isn't... Except they have had some meetings in various placed. But at none of these meetings do they really discuss the problem that of the, well occasional people, occasional philosophers, they never really discuss that.

Room Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- August 10, 1973, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Oh, that's nice. It is very nice. So intelligent men and women should take interest in this great movement. It is a very scientific spiritual movement. People are suffering for lack of spiritual knowledge. They have become materially like animals. Materialism means animalism. Yes. Materialism means animalism. Animalism means in the lower grade of existence. What is the difference between dog and a human being. He has got a lower grade body, and the human being has got a higher grade body. So the more we become materialistic, we get lower grade body. In the lower grade body, the consciousness works only on four activities, eating sleeping, sex life and defence. This is lower grade activities. And higher grade activities: working for understanding God. That is higher grade life. In the lower grade life, nobody can understand God. In the higher grade life, one can understand God, yes. One can feel with intelligence. Just like dog may understand this is day, this is night. But he does not understand why it is day, why it is night. But a man can understand that it is day because the sun is there. And it is night because sun is now set. That is the difference dog and man. Better knowledge. So as we advance in better knowledge, that is perfection of life. And the topmost knowledge is to understand Kṛṣṇa.

Room Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- August 10, 1973, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Better knowledge. So as we advance in better knowledge, that is perfection of life. And the topmost knowledge is to understand Kṛṣṇa. Then he's most perfect being. That is perfection. Knowledge other than Kṛṣṇa consciousness-degraded knowledge, or lower grade knowledge. So at the present moment, although superficially, we have got very nice building, nice apartment, but the knowledge is doggish. How to eat, how to sleep, how to have sex life and how to defend. That's all. No more. The same degraded life as the dog. Dog is also trying how to live, how to sleep, how to have sex, and how to defend. He's making: "bak bok bok bok." (barking sound) That is defence. His way of defence. That is defence. He's defending for the master. Similarly dog has also sex life, dog has also sleeps, dog also eats. So if a human being is also engaged in these four principles of business, then where is the difference between him and the dog? He must be interested in the business of understanding God. Then he's human being. Otherwise, he's a dog. Do you agree? Eh?

Room Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- August 10, 1973, Paris:

Anna Conan Doyle: We are, in a sense, to a dog, we are God to him. As man is a dog, we are God to him, to the dog. Because the way he loves us, his fidelity to us, he doesn't understand God, and we understand God.

Prabhupāda: No, he's not in position to understand God.

Anna Conan Doyle: He doesn't understand. He understands only us.

Prabhupāda: He understands that he has got a superior, but he does not understand who is the most superior. A human being can understand who is the most superior, topmost superior.

Anna Conan Doyle: Well, we have also superior, but we have forgotten to understand that.

Prabhupāda: Yes, we have forgotten. Everyone is... Dog is also forgotten. But his forgotten stage is more acute. More acute. And human being is advanced.

Bhagavān: Should we distribute this?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Room Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- August 10, 1973, Paris:

Bhagavān: Would you like some, Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: In the human form of life, if we do not try to understand God, then we are committing suicide. Yes. Because we got the chance. Nature gave us the chance to understand God. But if we do not divert our attention in understanding God, then we are making suicide. Misuse of human life. For a human being, the only business is how to understand God. Not for economic development. What economic development? This Napoleon planned so many things. But where he is now? Can anyone say where is Napoleon? One astrologer in India has said that Jawaharlal Nehru is now a dog in the house of a gentleman in Sweden.

Guru-gaurāṅga: Could you understand that?

Anna Conan Doyle: Not exactly.

Room Conversation with French Nun -- August 13, 1973, Paris:

Prabhupāda: ...say mystic means rahasya.

Yogeśvara: Rahasya.

Prabhupāda: Rahasya means it is little difficult to understand. (break) Just like Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā: rahasyam, rahasyam etad uttamam. Rahasyam etad uttamam. This Bhagavad-gītā is the first-class mystic. Rahasyam etad uttamaṁ bhakto 'si me priyo 'si me (BG 4.3). "Because you are My devotee, you are My dear friend, you'll understand." So mysticism is not understandable by common man. It requires a special qualification. Just like to understand. It is also mysticism. Understand, to understand God. This is also mystic. It is not understandable by ordinary man.

Room Conversation -- September 2, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: First of all, you must become graduate, then you should take entrance in the law college, then you must learn. So what is God, that is the inquiry, but it requires training. And that is Vedic dharma, varṇāśrama-dharma. Varṇāśrama-dharma. Varṇāśramācaravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān (CC Madhya 8.58). Anyone who has taken to this system of varṇāśrama-dharma, four varṇas: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra; and four āśrama: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. Unless one takes to this institutional education, he's no more than an animal. So to know God means he must become a brāhmaṇa, real, qualified brāhmaṇa. Therefore brāhmaṇa is respected. Because, brahma-jānātīti brāhmaṇa. But there is no law. Lawless country. Therefore one is passing as a brāhmaṇa without any knowledge of Brahman. That is the defect. Formerly the government will see... I was explaining this, this morning. That it is the kṣatriya's duty to see that one is passing as a brāhmaṇa, whether he's qualified. Why he should pass? Suppose he says, "I'm medical man." He must be qualified. And if he says, "I am medical man," then he's cheating. So you cannot call yourself a brāhmaṇa unless you are qualified. But that is going on. And this cheating is being accepted. Therefore this varṇāśrama-dharma. Hindu dharma or Vedic dharma means varṇāśrama-dharma. One must first of all accept the principles of varṇas and āśramas. Then there is question of understanding God. God is not so cheap thing, "What is God?" and you understand immediately. You must become first of all brāhmaṇa.

Room Conversation -- September 2, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: The prescribed methods are there. We have to adopt it. Without adopting the prescribed method, nobody can advance. But in this age the prescribed method is very simple. Simply to hear the holy name of the Lord.

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
(CC Adi 17.21)

So an urge for understanding God, there is, after struggle for material sense gratification. Bodily concept of life means material sense gratification. The Western world is after that, material sense gratification. One who is little advanced, he wants to know more than material sense gratification. That is good sign and those who are simply absorbed in material sense gratification, they are in the lower stage of animal life. So what is the present civilization, Western, what is your opinion? What they are for?

Room Conversation with Indian Ambassador -- September 5, 1973, Stockholm:

Prabhupāda: I was invited there to speak: "East and West." So I explained that so far we are concerned, we have no such thing as east and west. But still, there is difference between east and west that in the Eastern countries, especially in India, even in the remotest part of the village, a cultivator, poor cultivator, he'll understand God consciousness very easily. And so far in the West, I talked with Professor Kotofsky... Perhaps you know.

Ambassador: Yes. In Oriental Institute.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He said, "Swamiji, after this body's finished, everything is finished." You see? Such a big professor. He...

Ambassador: That is Marxist materialism.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Interviews with Macmillan and various English Reporters -- September 12, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Central point is to understand God. People have become so foolish. They have forgotten to know about God, know about himself, what he is. Everyone is under the impression that "I am this body," which he's not. He's spirit soul. They're so much in ignorance, and there is no education. Even big, big professors. Prof. Kotofsky, in Russia, he told me, "Swamiji, after this body's finished, everything is finished." That is not the fact.

Reporter (1): Can you tell me who is Lord Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Well, Kṛṣṇa is God, the Supreme Personality of God.

Reporter (1): And what will it profit us if we get to know about Him?

Prabhupāda: The profit means you'll be saved from the material existence. Material existence means repetition of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Room Conversation -- September 18, 1973, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Still, they won't believe that there is life after death. Dehāntara-prāptiḥ we are experiencing in this life. But they won't believe that after this deha, there is another deha. That they won't believe, such dull-headed. (Hindi) Are they dull-headed or (are) they intelligent scholar and scientist? What is your opinion? What is your opinion? You are practical man. (break) That is later on, so 'ham. First of all, understand what you are aham, then so 'ham. You do not know what is aham. So these rascals, they do not know aham, and they're speaking, so 'ham. (break) When you understand yourself, then you understand God also. Then you'll understand that God and yourself are of the same ingredient, so 'ham. Just like if I say, so 'ham. "I am just like Indira Gandhi." Indira Gandhi is the big personality. So, "I am as good as Indira Gandhi." So this is applicable in this sense, that Indira Gandhi is Indian. I am also Indian. Indira Gandhi is a human being. I am also a human being. In this way, go on, analytical study. You'll find so many things, you are as good as Indira Gandhi. But still, you are not Indira Gandhi. So so 'ham means to understand that I am not this matter. I am the spirit soul, as good as the Supreme Lord. But that does not mean I am Supreme Lord, or as good as Supreme Lord. Qualitatively, I am one, not quantitatively. Just like a drop of water from the sea. (aside:) You can come here. (break) All the chemicals in the drop of the sea water, you'll find in the sea also. But still, the drop of water is not equal to the sea. So so 'ham means qualitatively one with God, the Supreme. That not means that "I am the Supreme Lord." That is nonsense.

Room Conversation -- September 19, 1973, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Yes, because they are not God conscious, they are thinking like that. Now, suppose in the hospital, there are many patients. They are starving, many patients in the hospital. Do you know that or not? So why don't you give them food? They are starving. Why? Why don't you go to the hospital and you'll find hundreds of patients, they are starving... So similarly, why you are bothering? You are not bothering the hospital because you know that is right, they are starving. That is the physician's prescription. They must starve. So if you know God, then you will understand that you cannot help anyone. They are put into the starving condition under certain condition. So you cannot help them. You are simply thinking that "I will help." There are hundreds and thousands, millions of people starving. What you can do? Even if you try to give some something. Just like this Vivekananda philosophy, daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā, to serve the poor Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa has become poor. These are manufactured things. This is not with reference to the authorized śāstras or knowledge. What they can do? They raise subscription, huge subscription, on this plea, daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā. And Swami Nikhilananda in New York, he personally said, "Now these Americans ask me that you take from us so much money for daridra-nārāyaṇa-sevā, but when we go to India, we see all these daridra-nārāyaṇas are lying on the footpath." What you are doing for them? What you can do? You are simply thinking falsely. What you have got to give? Just oil in your own machine. Try to understand God, instead of thinking foolishly, "Oh, what I shall do, this? What I shall do, that?" First, of all try to understand the situation.

Morning Walk -- December 3, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Yes. (laughs) God has given them everything actually, to live peacefully and try to understand God, but that they will not do. They will do something to try to forget God. That is their aim.

Yaśomatīnandana: Prabhupāda, is it true that if a person is very sinful, he reduces some years from his life? If a person is very, very sinful, extremely sinful, then he reduces some...

Prabhupāda: Reduce or increase, what is the profit?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: We see the practical example. If you are alcoholic...

Prabhupāda: Even if you reduce or increase, suppose you are to live for hundred years, if you make it hundred and ten, so what is your profit? And if you are to live for hundred years, reduce time ten years, so what is the profit? You cannot live here, that is a fact, reduce or increase. This is all nonsense. What is increase? The trees, they have more longer period, increased the period, of life. Is, that kind of living is very profitable? What for increasing? To suffering? Your life is already suffering. Why you are covering this body? You cannot stand here, open body.

Room Conversation with Latin Professor -- December 9, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Then it is corroborated. And that is perfect knowledge of God. Kṛṣṇa's, God's feature—everything is described in the Vedas: Brahma-saṁhitā, Yajur-veda, Sāma-veda, like that. And when Kṛṣṇa descends, He practically demonstrates all the symptoms of God. So then we accept God. And it is confirmed by authorities. Just like Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa Himself says that "I am the Supreme." Arjuna accepts, the direct listener from God. And later on, the ācāryas, big, big ācāryas, who control the society, just Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, they accept. Latest, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He accepts. So our guru-paramparā all accepts Kṛṣṇa. And Kṛṣṇa describes Himself. So where is the difficulty to understand God? The symptoms are there in the śāstras. And those symptoms are visible in Kṛṣṇa. Just like everyone can understand, "God is all powerful." So Kṛṣṇa showed that He is all powerful. So there is no difficulty to understand. So our method is easy. Instead of intellectual gymnastic, we take it very easily. And that acts. Now, so far our Society is concerned, we accept Kṛṣṇa as God. We're preaching Kṛṣṇa as God. So we have no difficulty. It is acting practically. So we... I may be Indian, Hindu, I may accept Kṛṣṇa as God. Maybe superstition, you may say. But why these European, Americans, Africans, they are accepting?

Morning Walk -- December 11, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Anyone who is not believer in God, he should be punished. Because he's animal. He is animal, and he is posing himself as human being. Cheater. Human life is meant for tapasya, for understanding God. That is human life. This dog's life, cat's life, this is not human life. If you become a very powerful tiger, is that human life? They're thinking like that. "If I become as strong as a tiger, then there we are perfect nation." Then what is the use of tiger? It is simply kill only. What other intelligence he has got? So in your country there are so many things to be done. I give you the idea, now you take the leaders. (break) Rascal. Sentimental. Be yourself leader. (break) ...you give up all this material advancement. But there must be Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Otherwise it is waste of time. Live very comfortably, gentlemanly. Kṛṣṇa never says that "You live like wretched urchins." Kṛṣṇa never says that. Yuktāhāra-vihārasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā. And this was practically introduced by my Guru Mahārāja, that living in palatial building and riding on first-class cars, one can become the best devotee. Not that one has to live underneath a tree, imitating Rūpa Gosvāmī. That is not possible in this age.

Morning Walk -- December 30, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Oh yes, you do it. Do it. That is intelligence. Here is the only systematic way to understand God. You simply try to understand the first verse of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Then everything is explained there. Now you can... I have explained that, what is meant by God. God means the source of everything. Where is that theologician who can deny it? The first proposition is "God is that which is the source of everything." Now the next question will be, "What is that source, animate or inanimate?" Just like the scientists, they are claiming matter. This should be discussed. Then you come to the conclusion, "He must be animate." Then next question is "Wherefrom the animation came?" Then the conclusion should be that "He is self-sufficient. There is no need of cause." Then "Why people cannot understand?" That answer is that "Even great, great personality like Brahmā, Indra, they also bewildered." In this way, everything is there in that verse, systematical. Yatra tri-sargo 'mṛṣā. Now this material world is also creation of God, but it is shadow; it is not reality. The reality is where there is no illusion, and that is spiritual kingdom. That is the place of God. Everything is there in that verse in the beginning.

Morning Walk -- December 30, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Yes. You present Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in true perspective. Then it will be perfection of your education. The so-called theologicians, they cannot understand God. It is not possible. That is not the way, that "I put my theory." He does not understand his value first, that "What is the value of my theory? If I am imperfect, so what is the value of my theory?" He does not understand the first principle, and he puts theory. Another rascal, he is putting theory. So what is the value of these theories?

Nara-nārāyaṇa: Actually they are simply selling their theories. Whoever will buy it, they are selling it to.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- January 9, 1974, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Then develop... So you develop your consciousness. Then you will understand Kṛṣṇa.

Gurukṛpā: So I must be more fortunate than the other living entities in my body.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Gurukṛpā: The other living entities.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore it is called, human life is so valuable. You are not cats and dogs. You have got the opportunity to understand God, Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: Only by your mercy, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Morning Walk -- February 17, 1974, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: No, no. Human being, that is a chance given to you to become human being, to understand God. And if you do not place yourself as human being, you must suffer. Just like (Hindi). Ācchā post. If you do not behave rightly, you are degraded. You are going to animal become.

Guest (1): No, but,...

Prabhupāda: No, no, this is the nature's law. This is the nature's law, that some way or other, by evolutionary process, you come to the human being form, but if you remain as animal, then you go to animal again.

Guest (2): So animal me āpne bolte hai (?).

Prabhupāda: He.

Guest (2): Ācchā. So if population increase...

Morning Walk -- March 23, 1974, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: No, no, no. Own one who cannot understand rightly. That is another rascaldom.

Dr. Patel: Understanding God is always supraconscious with them. Never by the mind.

Prabhupāda: They... One has to rise, rise... understand rightly from the right person. He cannot. He's imperfect. How he can understand rightly?

Dr. Patel: Yes, that's right.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Dr. Patel: If a man has seen a place, that man will show you that place. That is how it is.

Morning Walk -- March 31, 1974, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Why do you not understand? God does not create. But you create. Just like you infect some disease. So you create your disease. Nobody's creating your disease. The simple thing, why don't you understand? If you... Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya. Kāraṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya. Guṇa-saṅga. If you associate with the different qualities of this material nature, then you inf..., you become infected. You, if you associate with the tamo-guṇa, then you become lower class man, animals. That is your fault. It is not Kṛṣṇa's fault.

Dr. Patel: All your actions and their effects, which are collecting on you... (break)

Guest (5): ...knows the procreating from the first word or some people would exercise their so-called free will and choosing sin, and still He creates them. If He were not to...

Room Conversation with Richard Webster, chairman, Societa Filosofica Italiana -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇa... Ignorance is no excuse. If there is law and if you do not know the law, and you commit offense, that is no excuse, that you do not know the law. Similarly, human life is meant for understanding God. That is the main business of human life. If one does not know this law, then he is sinful.

Richard Webster: Yes, but the difficulty is for me, for instance, that I have the pope here who is telling me perhaps the same thing in spirit but with different rules, different laws practically. I mean the spirit seems to me to be the same, but...

Prabhupāda: Law cannot be different, but it can be modified according to the time and circumstances. But the law cannot be different.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Maybe you could ask specific examples of differences.

Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: If you want to be happy, then you must take to the superior type of religious system which teaches the followers how to love God without any motive, and which is never checked by any material condition. God's name is given here as Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja means beyond experimental knowledge. God has got many name according to different situation, and one of the name, for the materialistic person, adhokṣaja. Akṣaja means experimental knowledge. Akṣa means eyes or senses. Beyond sense perception. So we cannot speculate about God, but we can understand about God from authorities. This is the conception of Bhāgavata-dharma. So the human life is especially meant for understanding God. That is the version of the Vedānta-sūtra, Vedānta philosophy. The Vedānta philosophy teaches, athāto brahma jijñāsā, "Now this human form of body, which is above the lower grades of forms..." There are 8,400,000 forms of body. The soul is transmigrating, evolution. But when we get this human form of body, our main business is to inquire about God.

Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: Now, if somebody inquires what is God, the immediate reply is, God is the source, original source of everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). So the human form of life is meant for understanding God, and according to our philosophy, if human body is not utilized for understanding God, then it is misused. If we simply spoil our life like the animals, eating, sleeping, sex life and defending, then the human life is spoiled like animals. The real necessity of human life is to understand God. Not only to understand God superficially, but to understand our eternal relationship with Him, and then prayojana, the ultimate goal of life, is to go back to home, back to Godhead. That is ultimate goal. And if you simply try to understand God, as we get it from the revealed scriptures, then after giving up this body, tyaktvā dehaṁ... Deham means this body. After this death... There are many deaths in many bodies, but after this death, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9), he does not enter again into the material body. In his original spiritual body he goes back to home, back to Godhead.

Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: The publisher is Messrs. MacMillan and Company, and we are selling. It has already gone fifth edition. And each edition they have published fifty-thousand copies and this is the preliminary study book, to understand God. And then, when one is passed of this knowledge, then he can be given the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam which we have published like this, sixty volumes, all original verses from Bhāgavatam, and explained. Then... This is graduate study. Then after this there is post-graduate study, this Caitanya-caritāmṛta. This book is in twelve volumes, and other book, Bhāgavatam, is sixty volumes. There are many other corollaries, just like Science of Devotion. Have you got this book? No. Nectar of Devotion. So we have already published about two dozen books of this nature. So people are accepting, especially in the western countries. Recently we have received report. Some of the learned scholar professors, they have ordered all the books. They have introducing in their class. Yale University, Temple University. And they are enlisting my books in the bibliography, of Indian philosophy, and they are distributing to the learned circles.

Room Conversation with Mr. C. Hennis of the International Labor Organization of the U.N. -- May 31, 1974, Geneva:

Prabhupāda: So according to our Vedic conception, the labor class man is supposed to be the fourth-class man. First-class man, intelligentsia, very intelligent, learned. Or intelligent—one who can understand up to God. To understand God requires great intelligence. So first intelligent class of men, up to, so they are called brāhmaṇa. The next intelligent class man, those who give protection to the society, kṣatriya. And the third class, those who produce food and distribute. They are third class. And other, all others, they are fourth class.

C. Hennis: My organization is in fact concerned with the well being of all four classes. It is not only with the laboring man. It's also primarily with the producers, but also with the managers, leaders, and to a certain extent also with the protective classes in that we are interested in the well-being of policemen, hospital personnel, doctors, nurses, that kind of social security workers, and that kind of person. We are interested in the intelligentsia in that they are professional workers, often independent, whose professional rights and obligations need to be safeguarded and codified. That's a standard laid down in the form of international labor standards. One of our activities, not perhaps now the most important, but one of the first.

Morning Walk -- June 6, 1974, Geneva:

Prabhupāda: Not Vedic philosophy. They will understand God.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: So does this mean that by their activities that they're engaging in now their incentive is that they want to enjoy these four sinful activities...? And that really they're not looking for truth? That's...

Prabhupāda: They have no inquiry for truth. Animal life. As soon as there will be inquiry for the truth, that is human life.

Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: They will naturally perform some tapasya?

Prabhupāda: Yes, then other things will follow. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. They do not inquire. That means animal life. As soon as there is inquiry, jijñāsu, jñānī jijñāsu... They're not jijñāsu even. Neither jñānī. (pause) The path must be very old. The trees are very aged.

Morning Walk -- June 9, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Yeah. Because this is the beginning of higher principles. "No, no, this may let... Let it remain. Let us go to the higher principles." The rascal does not know that you cannot go without learning A,B,C,D, how you can ask for passing M.A. examination? But "No, I do not know A,B,C,D, but let me go for passing M.A. examination." You see. This is A,B,C,D, that yeṣām anta gatam... Any sinful man, he cannot understand about God. It is not possible. Paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān. But without being pavitra, they want to go to the platform of understanding God.

Yogeśvara: Just like that Gene Herbert.

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Yogeśvara: Just like that Sanskritist in Geneva.

Prabhupāda: Yes. "I, I am smoking. I do not like to give it up." (laughter) You see.

Bhagavān: I think from here we have to walk on the sidewalk. There may be cars coming.

Room Conversation with Christian Priest -- June 9, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: So at least in the human society, everyone must have understanding of God, that is expected. It is not expected in the society of cats and dogs because they are animals. The human being, dharmasya glāniḥ, there is dharma, some sort of religious system. And religious system means to understand God. That's all. Just like to become a lawyer means to understand the laws of the state. Similarly, religious system means the process by which one can understand God. And that is the summary of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). That is first-class religious system which trains the followers to understand God and love Him. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir, ahaituky apratihatā (SB 1.2.6). If somebody says, "Oh, it is a very great thing to understand God and to love Him," they are thinking it is not possible. No. The answer is ahaituky apratihatā. It can be learned by anyone. It is not checked by any material condition. If one wants to know what is God and to love Him, the path is open for everyone. It does not require high intelligence, high education, high culture. No. Anyone. The process is śravaṇam, the beginning. One has to hear. One may be fool number one, it doesn't matter. No education, it doesn't matter. Poor, doesn't matter. Black, doesn't matter.

Morning Walk -- June 10, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Responsibility is that you have got this human form of life, realize God, this is wanted. Otherwise you are finished. Three words. You have got this human form of life, your only responsibility is to understand God. This is your responsibility. That is Vedic culture. For understanding God, many, many kings, many, many saints, they left everything and went to the forest to realize God. That is Vedic culture. Bharata Mahārāja, under whose name India is called Bhāratavarṣa, he was the emperor of this planet, and at the age of twenty-four years he left everything to realize God. This is Vedic culture. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, His position was very, very nice as a gṛhastha. A nice beautiful wife, affectionate mother, good influence, brāhmaṇa family, learned scholar—everything first class. He left everything, just to show us. He was God Himself, but to set the example, tyaktvā su-dustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīm (SB 11.5.34), He gave up a kingdom, a fortune, which is aspired by the demigods. Such a nice life, such a nice family, (indistinct). Tyaktvā su-dustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīṁ dharmiṣṭha ārya (SB 11.5.34), just to teach us the process of realizing God. This is Vedic culture. Be careful, somebody may not (indistinct). There is enough water? No.

Morning Walk -- June 11, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Well, the thing is that this, actually, to understand Kṛṣṇa is not easy job. Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye: (BG 7.3) "Out of millions." But Caitanya Mahāprabhu's mercy, we are trying to understand little, little. Otherwise, it is very difficult to understand it. And if there is any understanding of God, that is in this Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, especially in this Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya. Others, they do not know. They cannot know. Kṛṣṇa will never reveal to them. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (Brs. 1.2.234). If you engage your tongue in His service, then God reveals to you. You cannot understand God.

Paramahaṁsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, how can one remain humble?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Morning Walk -- June 11, 1974, Paris:

Paramahaṁsa: People often argue that they don't understand how they can have faith if they don't understand God.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Paramahaṁsa: They don't see how they can have faith if they have no knowledge of God. And they argue, "Well, I don't know God. So how can I have faith in Him?"

Prabhupāda: You learn from me. I am your spiritual master. You tell him. You are asking me. Why you are asking me? What is...? Why you are asking me?

Paramahaṁsa: Well, I was just giving an argument that people...

Prabhupāda: No, argument, that's all right. Why you are asking me?

Paramahaṁsa: For knowledge.

Prabhupāda: For knowledge. So take knowledge from me.

Room Conversation with Monsieur Mesman, Chief of Law House of Paris -- June 11, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Well, Christianity also, they are trying to understand God, and we are also trying to understand, not only understand, but we, we are trying others to understand what is God. (French)

Pṛthu-putra: He asks if we have temple in France or if we do in apartment or if we do in conference, private conferences. How we are doing it?

Prabhupāda: Anyway. We welcome all, all learned men, or leading men, to understand this philosophy. And the book is... You show Bhagavad-gītā. And all other books also show him. (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, unfortunately, he doesn't read English.

Prabhupāda: Here is French. French language. (French)

Bhagavān: We have practical political philosophy.

Morning Walk -- June 14, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Yes. For whom? Who is actually searching after success? Not for the fool. Anyone who is trying for attaining success, for him, failure is also success because he's making progress. Harer nāma harer nāma... (CC Adi 17.21). God says, "Many ways." That's all right. But why does He says that "If you want to know Me perfectly, and without any doubt, then this is the process, bhakti"? Other processes are there but by those processes you cannot understand. Just like practically, call anyone, so-called yogis, so-called jñānīs, they'll not understand Kṛṣṇa. They'll not understand Kṛṣṇa. So all other paths that are recommended, by those paths you cannot understand God perfectly and without any doubt. Therefore God says clearly, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ: (BG 18.55) "Actually, what I am, that can be understood by bhakti-yoga." Other systems, you'll... I explained that last night. That is partial understanding. That is not full understanding.

Room Conversation with Professor Oliver La Combe Director of the Sorbonne University -- June 14, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Because the church could not help them in understanding God. The Christian church has no idea what is God. Therefore there is no name of God. Actually, they have no idea about God. Is there?

Devotee: I was raised up a very strict Catholic, going through Catholic school till I was fifteen years old, but I could not... They were trying to teach love of God, but I could not see that they were also loving God. Even the head priest, he was found having illicit sex relationships with one of the young nuns, and she became pregnant by that and he had to leave. They quietly sent him away without anybody knowing, but later on it came out.

Prabhupāda: That is going on everywhere.

Room Conversation with devotees about Twelfth Canto Kali-yuga, and Conversation with Guest -- June 15, 1974, Paris:

Jyotirmayī: They are saying that according to their understanding, God revealed Himself little by little, and then at certain moment, He revealed Himself in His totality. But in the Vedic literature, there it is said that the whole knowledge was given at the beginning. Everything together. He said that he's very much respecting your research, and that he's asking that we should not say that these two research in Christianism and the Vedas, the scriptures, are the same. They are two different things. (French)

Yogeśvara: He says, for example, the verse you read yesterday, that was similar to what is taught in the Vedas, but if we take the rest of that chapter from the Bible, we find some discrepancies, differences.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Room Conversation with devotees about Twelfth Canto Kali-yuga, and Conversation with Guest -- June 15, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: That is very simple. It is not at all difficult. Just like in your body, you are, the soul, important active principle... (to Jyotirmayī:) Explain. (French) Similarly, this huge, gigantic, cosmic manifestation must have some active principle. That is God. So where is the difficulty to understand God? (French)

Yogeśvara: For example, in our prayers, in our studies, what is our...

Prabhupāda: Now first of all, let us understand what is God. Then prayer. If you do not understand God, then what you'll prayer? If we understand that there is the active principle, then the prayer we have already described, janmādy asya yataḥ anvayāt itarataś cārtheṣu abhijñaḥ: (SB 1.1.1) "I pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vāsudeva who is the origin of all creation." This is the active principle. There is. So... And how He is working? (To Jyotirmayī:) You have to explain. (French) In the beginning of Bhāgavatam, I offering the prayer. So the process is that I offer my all respect to the Absolute Truth, Supreme Truth, from whom the creation has taken place, everything is resting, working nicely, and after annihilation, it will go there. And when you study what is the nature of the original source, it is said, abhijñaḥ, cognizant. He knows everything. Just like I am the owner of this body, I, the soul, but still, I do not know how the body is working.

Room Conversation with devotees about Twelfth Canto Kali-yuga, and Conversation with Guest -- June 15, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: No, no, you understand. You say, "God is word." That means you understand God.

American Man: No.

Prabhupāda: Then why do you say, "God is word"?

American Man: I say God cannot be explained with words.

Prabhupāda: No, no, why do you say? If you do not know God, how do you say like that?

American Man: Because I...

Prabhupāda: If you do not know the subject matter... You say that "God is not knowable," then how can you speak of God?

Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatim. Their aim of life is God realization, but they do not know that. And why they do not know that? Bahir-artha-māninaḥ: "They are thinking by these external features of the material nature they will be happy." That is very quite visible in the western countries. They are thinking that by constructing big, big, high skyscraper building their civilization is advancing, or machine, or technology. But they do not know this is not the aim of life. Real aim of life—to understand God. And na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ durāśayā (SB 7.5.31). Durāśayā means something, utopian hope, which will be never fulfilled. Durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ. Piling up simply bricks and stone, they are thinking, "In this way we shall be happy." That is durāśayā. That is never to be fulfilled. And then how this society is being led? Andha. The leader is a blind man. The so-called scientists, technologists, philosophers, others, they do not know what is the aim of life. He is a blind man, and he is trying to lead other blind men. This is the position. So if a blind man tries to lead other blind men, what benefit they will get? Because they do not know what is the...

Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: Because we are eating, if there is anything sinful, that is Kṛṣṇa's. We are taking His remnants of foodstuff. So this is our philosophy. We don't advocate vegetarianism or nonvegetarianism. We advocate, "Eat Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, the remnants of foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa." This is our philosophy. And apart from this philosophy, because one living entity is food for another living entity, it does not mean that I shall eat my children also. There is discretion, that human being, they should offer these fruits, vegetables, milk as it is prescribed in the śāstra to God, Kṛṣṇa, and take. That is human civilization, not for the satisfaction of the tongue we have to maintain big, big slaughterhouse and eat them. No, that is not human civilization. The main business of the human society is to understand God, and as soon as he understands God, he understands that every living entity is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Then how we can eat? That because Kṛṣṇa eats, Kṛṣṇa allows, then we eat. So responsibility is Kṛṣṇa's. This is our philosophy. Yes.

Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: Yes. It is very fortunate to see so many big men at a time. So we were also talking to this doctor about this philosophy, how human civilization should be conducted. I was explaining to Professor that at the present moment, not at the present moment, always in this material world, we do not know what is the goal of life. We have got different philosophies, different mode of life, because we do not know what is the goal of life. If the goal of life is... (break) ...then everything is solved. Now it is very good fortune that you are all present. What is the goal of life? That is my submission. Human life is there, human intelligence is there. So what is the goal of life to achieve? The goal of life cannot be different. That is one. That is, we take from Vedic literature, this goal of life is to understand what is God. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said, na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). (aside:) That is one. You serve it out. So we are missing the point, that we do not know what is the goal of life. Different persons, different philosophers, they have got different proposition of the goal of life. Similarly, different politician also. But we think the goal of life is one, to understand God.

Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: The simplest method is to associate with the Father, or the Absolute Truth. By association. This association can be possible. God, His name, His form, His pastimes, His abode, His paraphernalia, everything is God, because absolute. First of all you should understand this Absolute Truth. Just like here in the relative world the name of a person is different from the person. But in the absolute world the name and the person the same. So we are teaching or preaching this, that you chant the holy name of God, you associate immediately with God. And if you associate immediately with God then gradually you become Godly. The example is, just like you put one iron rod in the fire it becomes warm, warmer, warmer and, at last, red-hot. When it is red-hot, it is no longer iron rod, it is fire. Similarly, if you simply associate with God then gradually you become Godly or or all the qualities of God. Then you understand God and your life becomes perfect.

Morning Walk -- June 21, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: What these theologicians think about God? It is already 1,500 months' substance to read. What they will discover? Teeny discovery? We have already stock for 1,500 years' understanding. So what we have to understand from them? (break) ...anādir ananta-rūpam. This is only for Kṛṣṇa. But Kṛṣṇa has got expansions—unlimited. Advaita, acyuta, ananta. Ananta means unlimited. God, His one feature is Kṛṣṇa, and He has unlimited features. If a gentleman simply reads the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam quietly at home, he will be fully conversant, fully aware of what is God. Just like a scholar. He is not limited in one university or in one book. He reads various books to understand the subject matter of his research. Similarly, those who are actually serious about understanding God, they should not stick only to a particular scripture. They should read all others where the information of God is there. Just like we sometimes quote from Bible, but the Christians, they cannot quote from Bhagavad-gītā or Bhāgavata. They cannot do that. But they do not read. Even they do not read fully their Bible.

Morning Walk -- June 21, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: Just see. And still, they want to be masters of understanding God. I have seen many scholars in the western countries. They are well known as Sanskrit scholar. But they cannot quote even a verse.

Professor Durckheim: I see. Well, it's a pity. Sanskrit scholars...

Prabhupāda: Yes. But I understand in Germany there are many Sanskrit scholars.

Professor Durckheim: It seems so.

Prabhupāda: In Germany there are many learned Sanskrit scholars. But till now I have not met any one of them.

Professor Durckheim: Well, to be a scholar in the usual sense of the word and to really go into the meaning, they are two different things. There are sometimes people who seeks to be a scholar, but in their actual knowledge, they have no insight. And that's also the case in the, with the theologian and the Bible. They know the Bible sometimes...

Room Conversation with Pater Emmanuel (A Benedictine Monk) -- June 22, 1974, Germany:

German devotee: He believes that to understand God is not a question of intelligence but it is a question of humility.

Prabhupāda: Yes. "The humble and meek shall go to the kingdom of God." Is it not? It is Bible statement?

Haṁsadūta: "The humble and meek shall inherit the earth."

Prabhupāda: So nowadays the rascal philosophy has spread that everyone is God, and therefore nobody is humble and meek. If everyone thinks that he is God, then why he should be humble and meek? So they are being educated how to become humble and meek. In the temple, to God, or to the spiritual master, the God's representative, they offer always respect by offering obeisances. That is humble and meek. They are doing very easily progress, you see, only on account of this humbleness and meekness. Even on the road, if they see me, they immediately fall down flat. Never mind there is dust. This very qualification is pushing them towards spiritual realization.

Facts about "Understand God (Conv. 1968 - 1974)"RDF feed
Compiled byMayapur + and RupaManjari +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entry1 October 11 +
Date of last entry3 November 11 +
Total quotes101 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 101 + and Let: 0 +