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Vedic sastra says that to understand the divine you must have divine mercy

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"Vedic sastra says that to understand the divine you must have divine mercy"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

That speculation means I shall speculate with limited mind and imperfect senses. So however carefully or expertly I manage with the instruments, they are themselves imperfect. Therefore Vedic sastra says that to understand the divine you must have divine mercy. You must possess. One can understand the truth by the grace of... So searching after divine means we must search after the grace of the divine.
Interview -- July 5, 1972, New York:

Prabhupāda: Yes. When you are searching with some hope, what is that hope? Why you are searching? When you are missing something, then there is a question of searching for that missing point. You said religion means searching after the divine. So that means you are missing the divine. Is it not?

Guest (1): That's right.

Prabhupāda: Now, the next question will be, What do you mean by this "divine"?

Guest (1): Oh, I'm not..., I'm not sure, Your Grace.

Prabhupāda: The other day we were talking with some scientists. We came to this conclusion, that the scientists, big scientists, they are simply concerned with the laws of nature, because the laws of nature are very stringent. For example, there is death. Everyone will die. So nobody can check death. However great scientist he may, he cannot stop death. By laws of nature one is becoming old. By your scientific advancement you can stop first of all. So the science means they are trying to overcome the stringent laws of nature, but so far... Not so far—even in the past in the human history they could not. In the present also they are unable. They say in future they will be able. But how we can believe it? Because in the past they could not; in the present also they are unable. How they can overcome the laws of nature in the future? History repeats. Same failure there is (indistinct). Therefore the divine means, as we define, the divine means the controller of the laws of nature. Laws of nature there is, and everyone is under the laws of nature. Nobody can overcome the laws of nature. Just like state laws. Every citizen is bound to abide by the state law. He cannot overcome it. If..., if he overcomes it then, or violates it, the violation of law, and he becomes punishable. Similarly the laws of nature means laws of God. Just like your president is the giver of your state law. Similarly, as soon as we say laws of nature, there must be giver of them. In our śāstra, the Vedic literature, it is said, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma, religion, means the codes given by God, and we have to abide by those laws. When we do not abide by those laws, then we violate the laws of nature, of God, and we become punishable.

Now, who is that person, or the authority, who is giving that law, who is controlling that law? That is divine search. But that divine search cannot be completed by the speculation of our imperfect senses. Our senses are imperfect; therefore whatever knowledge we gather by speculating our imperfect senses, that is imperfect. Just like the sun. The sun is very big, bigger, fourteen hundred thousand times bigger than this earth, but with our imperfect eyes we see just like a disk. If we remain satisfied with this imperfect knowledge, then we remain in darkness. We have to know the sun from the astronomer. They have calculated. They know. In this way knowledge, perfect knowledge, can be attained—when it is received through the perfect knower, not by speculation. That speculation means I shall speculate with limited mind and imperfect senses. So however carefully or expertly I manage with the instruments, they are themselves imperfect. Therefore Vedic sastra says that to understand the divine you must have divine mercy. You must possess. Athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta eva hi jānāti tattvaṁ (SB 10.14.29). One can understand the truth by the grace of... So searching after divine means we must search after the grace of the divine. Just like a very big man, just like President Nixon. So I am speculating that President Nixon is like that, like that, like this, his function is like that, he eats like this, he sleeps like this. That is speculation. But if I hear directly from President Nixon or his representative, very confidential representative, then it is perfect knowledge. I cannot speculate to know about President Nixon by my imperfect senses. I must know about President Nixon when he speaks personally about himself or his personal associate speaks about. That is the way.