Bob: What is a scientist?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: One who knows things as they are.
Bob: He thinks he knows things as they are.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: What?
Bob: He hopes he knows things as they are.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, he is supposed to know. We approach the scientist because he is supposed to know things correctly. A scientist means one who knows things as they are. Kṛṣṇa means "all-attractive."
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. So unless God is all-attractive, how can He be God? A man is important when he is attractive. Is it not?
Bob: It is so.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: So, God must be attractive and attractive for all. Therefore, if God has any name, or if you want to give any name to God, only "Kṛṣṇa" can be given.
Bob: But why only the name Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Because He's all-attractive. Kṛṣṇa means"all-attractive."
Bob: Oh, I see.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. God has no name, but by His qualities we give Him names. If a man is very beautiful, we call him "beautiful." If a man is very intelligent, we call him "wise.' So the name is given according to the quality. Because God is all-attractive, the name Kṛṣṇa can be applied only to Him. Kṛṣṇa means "all-attractive." It includes everything.
Bob: But what about a name meaning "all-powerful"?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes.... Unless you are powerful, how can you be all-attractive?
Śyāmasundara: (an American devotee, Śrīla Prabhupāda's secretary) It includes everything.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Everything. He must be very beautiful, He must be very wise, He must be very powerful, He must be very famous...
Bob: Is Kṛṣṇa attractive to rascals?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes! He was the greatest rascal also.
Bob: How is that?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: (laughing) Because He was always teasing the gopīs.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Sometimes when Rādhārāṇī would go out, Kṛṣṇa would attack Her, and when She would fall down - "Kṛṣṇa, don't torture Me in that way" - They would fall down, and Kṛṣṇa would take the opportunity and kiss Her. (He laughs.) So, Rādhārāṇī was very pleased, but superficially Kṛṣṇa was the greatest rascal. So unless rascaldom is in Kṛṣṇa, how could rascaldom be existent in the world? Our formula of God is that He is the source of everything. Unless rascaldom is in Kṛṣṇa, how can it be manifest... because He is the source of everything. But His rascaldom is so nice that everyone worships His rascaldom.
Bob: What about the rascals who are not so nice?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, rascaldom is not nice, but Kṛṣṇa is absolute. He is God. Therefore His rascaldom is also good. Kṛṣṇa is all-good. God is good.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Therefore, when He becomes a rascal, that is also good. That is Kṛṣṇa. Rascaldom is not good, but when it is practiced by Kṛṣṇa, because He is absolutely good, that rascaldom is also good. This one has to understand.
Bob: Are there some people who do not find Kṛṣṇa attractive?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. All people will find Him attractive. Who is not attracted? just give an example: "This man or this living entity is not attracted to Kṛṣṇa."Just find such a person.
Bob: Somebody who wishes to do things in life that he may feel are wrong but who wishes to gain power or prestige or money...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes.
Bob:... may find God unattractive. He may not find God attractive, because God gives him guilt.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, not God. His attraction is to become powerful. A man wants to become powerful or rich - is it not? But nobody is richer than Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is attractive to him.
Bob: If a person who wants to become rich prays to Kṛṣṇa, will he become rich?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes!
Bob: He can become rich through this means?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Because Kṛṣṇa is all-powerful, if you pray to Kṛṣṇa to become rich, Kṛṣṇa will make you rich.
Bob: If somebody lives an evil life but prays to become rich, he may still become rich?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Praying to Kṛṣṇa is not evil.
Bob: Oh, yes.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: (chuckling) Somehow or other he prays to Kṛṣṇa, so you cannot say that he is evil.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā, api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk (BG 9.30). Have you read it?
Bob: Yes. The Sanskrit I don't know, but the English I do.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Hm-m.
Bob: "Even if the most evil man prays to Me..."
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes.
Bob: "... He will be elevated."
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. As soon as he begins to pray to Kṛṣṇa, that is not evil. Therefore He is all-attractive. It is said in the Vedas that the Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the reservoir of all pleasure - raso vai saḥ. (Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.7.1) Everyone is hankering after someone because he realizes some mellow in it.
Bob: Excuse me?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Some mellow. Suppose a man is drinking. Why is he drinking? He is getting some mellow out of that drinking. A man is hankering after money because by possessing money he gets a mellow out of it.
Bob: What does mellow mean?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: (to Śyāmasundara) How do they define mellow?
Śyāmasundara: Taste, pleasure.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Pleasing taste. So the Vedas say, raso vai saḥ. The exact translation of mellow is rasa. (Mālatī, Śyāmasundara's wife, enters with a tray of food) What is that?
Mālatī: Eggplant, fried.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh! All-attractive! All-attractive! (Laughter.)
Śyāmasundara: How is Kṛṣṇa the greatest scientist?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Because He knows everything. A scientist is one who knows a subject matter thoroughly. He is a scientist. Kṛṣṇa - He knows everything.
Bob: I am presently a science teacher.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, teaching. But, unless you have perfect knowledge, how can you teach? That is our question.
Bob: Without perfect knowledge, though, you can teach -
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is cheating; that is not teaching. That is cheating. Just like the scientists say, "There was a chunk... and the creation took place. Perhaps. Maybe..." What is this? Simply cheating! It is not teaching; it is cheating.
Bob: Let me repeat what you said this morning - that was interesting. I asked about miracles, and you said that only a fool would believe in miracles because - let us say you are a child and an adult lifts this table. That's a miracle. Or you're a chemist and you combine acid and base and you make smoke, an explosion or whatever. To somebody ignorant, that's a miracle. But for everything there is a process, and so when you see a miracle, it's just ignorance of the process. So that only a fool would believe in miracles, and - you correct me if I say wrong...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.
Bob: You said when Jesus came the people then were somewhat more ignorant and needed miracles as aid. I wasn't sure if that's quite what you said.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Miracles are for the ignorant.
Bob: I had asked this in relation to all the miracle men you hear about in India.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is the highest miracle man.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is stated by Kuntī...
Bob: Without perfect knowledge, can I not teach some things? For example, I may -
Śrīla Prabhupāda: You can teach up to the point you know.
Bob: Yes, but I should not claim to teach more than I know.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, that is cheating.
Śyāmasundara: In other words, he can't teach the truth with partial knowledge.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. That is not possible for any human being. A human being has imperfect senses. So how can he teach perfect knowledge? Suppose you see the sun as a disc. You have no means to approach the sun. If you say that we can see the sun by telescope and this and that, they are also made by you, and you are imperfect. So how can your machine be perfect? Therefore, your knowledge of the sun is imperfect. So don't teach about the sun unless you have perfect knowledge. That is cheating.
Bob: But what about to teach that it is supposed that the sun is 93,000,000 miles away?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: As soon as you say "it is supposed," it is not scientific.
Bob: But I think that almost all science, then, is not scientific.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is the point!
Bob: All science is based on, you know, suppositions of this or that.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. They are teaching imperfectly. Just like they are advertising so much about the moon. Do you think their knowledge is perfect?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Then?
Bob: What is the proper duty of the teacher in society? Let us say a science teacher. What should he be doing in the classroom?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Classroom? You should simply teach about Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: He should not teach about...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. That will include everything. His aim should be to know Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: Can a scientist teach the science of combining acid and alkaline, and this kind of science, with Kṛṣṇa as its object?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: How can it be?
Bob: If you - when one studies science, one finds general tendencies of nature, and these general tendencies of nature point to a controlling force....
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That I was explaining the other day. I asked one chemist whether, according to chemical formulas, hydrogen and oxygen linked together become water. Do they not?
Bob: It's true.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Now, there is a vast amount of water in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. What quantity of chemicals was required?
Bob: How much?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. How many tons?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: So who supplied it?
Bob: This was supplied by God.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Somebody must have supplied it.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: So that is science. You can teach like that.
Bob: Should one bother teaching that if you combine acid and alkaline they form a neutral?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: The same thing. There are so many effervescents. So, who is performing it? Who is supplying the acid and alkaline? (There is a long pause.)
Bob: So this comes from the same source as the water.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. You cannot manufacture water unless you have hydrogen and oxygen. So, here is a vast - not only this Atlantic or Pacific: there are millions of planets, and there are millions of Atlantic and Pacific oceans. So who created this water with hydrogen and oxygen, and how was it supplied? That is our question. Somebody must have supplied it, otherwise how has it come into existence?
Bob: But should it also be taught how you make water from hydrogen and oxygen? The procedure of burning them together - should this also be taught? That is, you burn hydrogen and oxygen together...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is secondary. That is not very difficult. Just like Mālatī made this puri (a kind of bread). So, there is flour, and there is ghee (clarified butter), and she made a puri. But unless there is ghee and flour, where is the chance of making a puri? In the Bhagavad-gītā there is this statement: "Water, earth, air, fire - they are My energies." What is your body? This external body - that is your energy. Do you know that? Your body is made out of your energy. For example, I am eating...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: So I am creating some energy, and therefore my body is maintained.
Bob: Oh, I see.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: So therefore your body is made out of your energy.
Bob: But when you eat the food, there is energy from the sun in the food.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: So, I am giving an example. I am creating some energy by digesting the food, and that is maintaining my body. If your energy supply is not proper, then your body becomes weak or unhealthy. Your body is made out of your own energy. Similarly, this gigantic cosmic body - the universe - is made of Kṛṣṇa's energy. How can you deny it? As your body is made out of your energy, similarly the universal body must be made by somebody's energy. That is Kṛṣṇa. (There is a long pause.)
Bob: I'll have to think about it to follow that.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: What is to follow? It is a fact. (He laughs.) Your hair is growing daily. Why? Because you have some energy.
Bob: The energy I obtain from my food.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Somehow or other you have obtained that energy! And through that energy your hair is growing. So if your body is manufactured by your energy, similarly the whole gigantic manifestation is made of God's energy. It is a fact! It is not your energy.
Bob: Yes. Oh, I see that.
A devotee: Just like - aren't the planets in this universe the sun's energy - a product of the sun's energy?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, but who produced the sun? That is Kṛṣṇa's energy. Because it is heat, and Kṛṣṇa says, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ: (BG 7.4) "Heat - that is My energy." The sun is the representation of the heating energy of Kṛṣṇa. It is not your energy. You cannot say, "The sun is made by me." But somebody must have made it, and Kṛṣṇa says that He did. So, we believe Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we are Kṛṣṇa-ites.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Our knowledge is perfect. If I say that heat is the energy of Kṛṣṇa, you cannot deny it, because it is not your energy. In your body there is some certain amount of heat. Similarly, heat is someone's energy. And who is that person? That is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, "Yes, it is My energy." So my knowledge is perfect. Because I take the version of the greatest scientist, I am the greatest scientist. I may be a fool personally, but because I take knowledge from the greatest scientist, I am the greatest scientist. I have no difficulty.
Bob: Excuse me?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: I have no difficulty in becoming the greatest scientist because I take the knowledge from the greatest scientist. (There is a long pause.) "This earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego - they are My eight separated energies."
Bob: They are separated energies?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like this milk. What is this milk? The separated energy of the cow. (Śyāmasundara and Bob, stunned, laugh in realization.) Is it not? It is the manifestation of the separated energy of the cow.
Śyāmasundara: Is it like a by-product?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes.
Bob: So, what is the significance of this energy's being separated from Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: "Separated" means that this is made out of the body of the cow but it is not the cow. That is separation.
Bob: So, this earth and all is made out of Kṛṣṇa but it is not Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: It is not Kṛṣṇa. Or, you can say, Kṛṣṇa and not Kṛṣṇa simultaneously. That is our philosophy. One and different. You cannot say that these things are different from Kṛṣṇa, because without Kṛṣṇa they have no existence. At the same time, you cannot say, "Then let me worship water. Why Kṛṣṇa? The pantheists say that because everything is God, whatever we do is God worship. This is Māyāvāda philosophy - that because everything is made of God, therefore everything is God. But our philosophy is that everything is God but also not God.
Bob: So what on earth is God? Is there anything on earth that is God?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Because everything is made out of the energy of God. But that does not mean that by worshiping anything you are worshiping God.
Bob: So what is on earth that is not māyā (illusion)? It is...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Māyā means "energy."
Bob: It means energy?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Māyā - and another meaning is "illusion." So foolish persons accept the energy as the energetic. That is māyā. Just like sunshine. Sunshine enters your room. Sunshine is the energy of the sun. But because the sunshine enters your room, you cannot say that the sun has entered. If the sun enters your room, then your room and yourself - everything - will be finished. Immediately. You will not have the leisure to understand that the sun has entered. Is it not?
Bob: It is so.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: But you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. Without the sun, where is the sunshine? So you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. But at the same time, it is not the sun. It is the sun and not the sun - both. That is our philosophy. Acintya-bhedābheda - inconceivable. In the material sense, you cannot conceive that a thing is simultaneously positive and negative. That you cannot think of. That is inconceivable energy. And because everything is Kṛṣṇa's energy, Kṛṣṇa can manifest Himself from any energy. Therefore, when we worship Kṛṣṇa in a form made of something - of earth, water or something like that - that is Kṛṣṇa. You cannot say that it is not Kṛṣṇa. When we worship this metal form of Kṛṣṇa (the Deity form in the temple), that is Kṛṣṇa. That's a fact, because metal is an energy of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, it is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is so powerful that He can present Himself fully in His energy. So this Deity worship is not heathenism. It is actually worship of God, provided you know the process.
Bob: If you know the process, then the Deity becomes Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Not becomes - it is Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: The Deity is Kṛṣṇa, but only if you know the process?
Śrīla Prabhupāda:Yes. just like this electric wire - it is electricity. One who knows the process, he can derive electricity out of it.
Śyāmasundara: Otherwise it's just wire.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Just wire.
Bob: So if I build a statue of Kṛṣṇa, it is not Kṛṣṇa unless...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: It is Kṛṣṇa. But you have to know the process of understanding that it is Kṛṣṇa. It is Kṛṣṇa.
Bob: It is not just earth and mud.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. Earth has no separate existence without Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, "My energy." You cannot separate the energy from the energetic. It is not possible. You cannot separate heat from fire. But fire is different from the heat, and heat is different from the fire. You are taking heat; that does not mean you are touching fire. Fire, in spite of emanating heat, keeps its identity. Similarly, although Kṛṣṇa, by His different energies, is creating everything, He remains Kṛṣṇa. The Māyāvādī philosophers think that if Kṛṣṇa is everything, then Kṛṣṇa's separate identity is lost. That is material thinking. For example, by drinking this milk, little by little, when I finish, there is no more milk; it has gone to my belly. Kṛṣṇa is not like that. He is omnipotent. We are utilizing His energy continually; still He is there, present. Just like a man begetting children unlimitedly, but the man is there. A crude example. It's not that because he has produced hundreds of children, he is finished. So, similarly, God or Kṛṣṇa, in spite of His unlimited number of children, is there. (Īśo Invocation):
- pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
- pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate
"Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance."
This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is never finished. Kṛṣṇa is so powerful. Therefore He is all-attractive. This is one side of the display of Kṛṣṇa's energy. Similarly, He has unlimited energies. This study of Kṛṣṇa's energy is only one side, or a portion only. So in this way, if you go on studying Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not a bogus thing - "maybe," "perhaps not." Absolutely! It is!
Śyāmasundara: And the study itself is never finished.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. How can it be? Kṛṣṇa has unlimited energy.