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Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.44 -- London, July 31, 1973:

So our business is, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that we have to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That reference by that Professor Zaehner, that one rogue, he did by his whims, and he alleged that "After reading Bhagavad-gītā violence, he committed this violence." So did he take permission from Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa's representative? But he does not know the technique. He has unnecessarily accused, committed a great offense to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. So therefore inexperienced persons, they should not try to teach Bhagavad-gītā to others because he has no knowledge. This knowledge has to be received by paramparā system. Evam paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). So simply by academic career, by knowledge of ABCD, you cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, bhakto 'si priyo 'si me (BG 4.3), without becoming bhakta... Therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī has forbidden that "Don't hear anything about Kṛṣṇa from a person who is not a Vaiṣṇava." Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇa-pūta-hari-kathāmṛtaṁ śravanaṁ na karta... This is prohibited. You cannot hear. But this audience or the students, they also do not know that "Here is a rascal, he is not a devotee, he is not a Vaiṣṇava. Why shall we hear from him Bhagavad-gītā?" The first condition is bhakto 'si. And the prohibition is also by ācāryas. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇa-pūta-hari-kathāmṛtaṁ śravanaṁ na kartavyam. Pūta-hari-kathāmṛtam. Hari-kathā, talks of Kṛṣṇa, they are by themselves pure. But still, it is prohibited that if it is spoken by an avaiṣṇava, nondevotee, one should not hear, should not hear. Must immediately reject.

Lecture on BG 2.1 -- Ahmedabad, December 7, 1972:

Indian: All these things. Then there is only soul.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is perfectional, liberated stage.

Indian: Liberated stage.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Indian: And have you explained anything about this in your Gītā, in fifteen... You see? These three...?

Prabhupāda: Gītā is just to understand what is God. And then, when you are actually engaged in God's service, these things come. That is higher stage. Gītā is the ABCD of understanding God.

Indian: So it will give you some more reflection... You see...

Prabhupāda: Yes. But if we accept the ABCD, then we come to literature. Then we pass M.A. examination. Yes. So Gītā is the preliminary step, first step of understanding God.

Indian: I am reading Gītā from my childhood. I like it.

Prabhupāda: Very good.

Lecture on BG 2.11 -- New York, March 4, 1966:

Gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ (BG 2.11). "One who is actually learned, he does not, he has no concern of this body. He's concerned with the activities of the soul. So you are speaking of so many things that 'If these, my friends, die, the, I mean to say, their wives will become widow.' These are all... According to the bodily relation, you are speaking. And you are posing yourself just like a very learned man, but you are a fool number one because your whole conception is on the body. Your whole conception of argument with Me was on the body, but you are, you are posing himself just as if you are very learned man." So anyone who has got conception, the identification of this body, he's not a learned man. He's a fool. He may be, in the calculation of academic education, he may be B.A., M.A., Ph.D., DAC, or something like, doctors and..., but if he has got his identification with this body, he's not a learned man according to Bhagavad-gītā. Not only according, according to whole Vedic literature. This is the first instruction. This is the... If we want to make progress towards spiritual advancement of knowledge, this preliminary knowledge we must have, that "I am not this body. I am not this body." This is the preliminary standing of spiritual knowledge. This is not advancement. This is simply A-B-C-D, ABCD of spiritual life. In the Bhāgavata there is a very nice verse in this connection in which it is stated, yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma-ijya-dhīḥ (SB 10.84.13). Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke. Kuṇape means this bag, this bag made of three elements. Now, according to Āyurvedic medical system, this body is made of three elements: kapha, pitta, vāyu.

Lecture on BG 2.13 -- New York, March 11, 1966:
So this is the arrangement. Every living being has got a particular type of body. Dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). And what is the nature of that body? Now, here the matter is being explained that how we change our body, how... But, but, but, because that is a difficult problem for us because we are engrossed with the idea of identifying this body with the soul. Now, the first A-B-C-D of spiritual knowledge is to understand that "I am not this body." Unless one is firmly convinced that "I am not this body," he cannot progress in the spiritual line. So the first lesson in the Bhagavad-gītā is taken in that way. So here it is, that dehino 'smin. Now, dehī, the soul, soul. Dehī means soul. One who has accepted this body, material body, he's called dehī. So asmin, he is there. He is there, but his body is changing. You see? The body is changing. Now, our body was formed in the womb of my mother. That is also described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, the physiology, physiology of this body. It is said there that according to our karma we are put through the semina of the father, injected into the womb of the mother. And the father's secretion and the mother's secretion, that is emulsified and takes the form of a pea, and that pea gradually develops. In three months, there are holes, nine holes: the eyes, ears, nose, and the..., just like we have got nine holes. And in seven months the whole body is complete. Then the child gets consciousness. And in ten months it is just ready to come out. So by air, the same air, forces the child to come out of the mother's connection.
Lecture on BG 2.13-17 -- Los Angeles, November 29, 1968:

The yogis are trying to reach a platform after so much exercise of the body. We are giving that thing immediately, that "Be Kṛṣṇa conscious." You are eternal part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is the Supersoul. Why should you take so much botheration to find Him within? He's without also. He's all-powerful. He can accept your offerings, and you can take prasādam. This is practical yoga. So we are not beginning from the gross stage. The Bhagavad-gītā, although it is ABCD of spiritual instruction, it begins from that stage, which stage the jñānīs, the philosophers and the yogis, they are trying to reach. But we have no time. In this age by yoga practice, to come to this stage, that "I am not this body"... Ask any student who are practicing yoga, so-called meditation, they are inclined to this body. They are trying to exercise this body and they think that this is the final. No. Simple truth, very simple truth. Kṛṣṇa, as the supreme authority, presenting very simply, that dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13). As in this body there are different changes, similarly the ultimate change is called death. But the spirit soul, as he's existing within this body in spite of all changes, similarly the spirit soul will continue to exist even after the final change of this body. This simple truth. Try to understand this. This is the basic principle of further progress. If one does not understand this point of view, there is no progress. This is ABCD, that "I am not this body."

Lecture on BG 3.17-20 -- New York, May 27, 1966:
So Bhagavad-gītā is not very high class Vedic literature. It is just the entrance, ABCD of Vedic literature. ABCD, entrance. Just like matriculation examination, school-leaving examination, then you enter into college, and then get your graduate, become a graduate, and then post-graduate, so the Bhagavad-gītā is just entrance for, entrance examination for spiritual education. It is not very... It is written for the common men, common men, common men, householders, less intelligent men, woman class, like that. And originally the Veda is one, Yajur Veda. And because it was very difficult to understand... Veda was spoken by Lord Himself to Brahmā. So seeing, foreseeing the condition of the present age, Vyāsadeva divided four Vedas, one Veda into four. The original Veda is Yajur Veda. Then he divided into Sāma, Yajur, Ṛk, Atharva. Then again the Vedic literatures were explained in Purāṇas, eighteen Purāṇas. Then Mahābhārata. Then again he summarized all the Vedic knowledge into Vedānta-sūtra, Vedānta-sūtra, summarized. Then again the Vedānta-sūtra is explained by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. These are the all Vedic literature. When you read this book, in the preliminary, those who have got books, you will find all this description.
Lecture on BG 4.1 -- Delhi, November 10, 1971:

Prabhupāda: Now, the student goes to learn from the teacher A, B, C, D. The teacher says "This is A," but the student has to accept that this is A. The student cannot argue, "So why not this way?" That is not a student. When a teacher says that this A, so you have to accept this is A, you cannot argue. That is the relationship between the student and the teacher. A student cannot argue. The teacher says, "This is A," the student has to accept that is A. He cannot argue. If he argues, then he cannot learn. That is the first proposition.

Guest (2): That is correct.

Prabhupāda: Yes. He must surrender.

Guest (2): But the master is showing A.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that's all right.

Guest (2): That's why the, what you call, when this guru is coming, we are calling sad-guru, or the perfect master, he should show that the ocean of the God. God, he should show us, ourself...

Prabhupāda: But first of all you learn A, B, C, D, then. Without a learning A, B, C, D, how you want to pass any examination? (laughter) That is not student. The student must submissively learn from the teacher, from the A, B, C, D, and if he makes progress then one day he will be able to pass the examination.

Lecture on BG 4.1 -- Delhi, November 10, 1971:

Guest (2): When the Lord Kṛṣṇa...

Prabhupāda: He, you cannot learn what is there in the examination by studying A, B, C, D. That is not possible. You have to wait. You cannot say immediately, you pass me immediately. That is madness. You must learn first of all A, B, C, D. Gradually, not all of a sudden. That's all right. Any other question?

Guest (3): Yes. Your Divine Grace. I'd like to ask a very, very lowly and simple question. For some time (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: We cannot hear him.

Devotee: I can, we can hear, barely hear you.

Prabhupāda: (Ask) him to come forward. Come forward.

Lecture on BG 4.7-10 -- Los Angeles, January 6, 1969:

So try your best to execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness fully. That should be the motto of our life. But if, by chance... We shall not allow us to fall down, but even if we fall down, there is no loss. But that does not mean I shall be slack and allow me to fall down. Yes. We must be very serious. That should be our motto.

Just like... It is very easy to understand. A person trying to appear in the M.A. examination, if he passes, he's all right. Otherwise next chance he will have, another. It does not mean that he has to study again from ABCD. No. Next year he can appear. But his motto should be: "Why shall I wait for next year? Let me pass in this year." Similarly, we should be very serious: "Why we shall wait for the next life? Let us finish this life and go back to Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, and dance there."

Lecture on BG 4.11 -- New York, July 27, 1966:

So as the woman or the child requires the protection of somebody, similarly, by nature we are under the protection of some leader. But that supreme leadership is vested in the Supreme Lord. And when we do not accept the leadership of the Supreme, then we have to accept somebody else, ABCD, as our leader and they will misguide us. Andhā yathāndhair upanīya... How they are misguiding, just try to understand. How our leaders are misguiding us, just try to understand.

In the Bhāgavata it is said,

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
(SB 7.5.31)

"People deluded by the material nature do not know what is the ultimate goal of life. The ultimate goal of life is Viṣṇu." Viṣṇu means self-realization, the supreme soul. Why they do not know it?

Lecture on BG 5.3-7 -- New York, August 26, 1966:

All right. People may come in. One student, he was studying trigonometry. After passing his matriculation, in the college he was studying. So he was reading, "Let A and B, a straight line, and C, another straight line." So just like he was reading. So his mother thought, "Oh, my son has again begun A, B, C." You see? So he was asking, she was asking his son, "Oh, my dear son, you have passed your school ending examination? You have again begun A, B, C, D? What is that?" That means she, she's not so intelligent. She thought that "My son has begun again A, B, C, D from the infant class." No. It is higher mathematics. The same A, B, C, D is there, but that is higher mathematics. Similarly, the Truth, Absolute Truth, is always the same. But that Absolute Truth is expressed according to the different situations. The position of certain scriptures in certain countries in certain circumstances may be described in a certain particular way, but the aim is the same. Aim is the same. So those who are interested in higher mathematics, they take to higher mathematics. Or those who have developed themselves from infant class. But the truth, "two plus two is equal to four," that does not any circumsta...become false. That is the truth.

Lecture on BG 6.6-12 -- Los Angeles, February 15, 1969:
Even one is illiterate. Even he does not know what is ABCD, he can realize God provided he engages himself in this submissive transcendental loving service. And one may be very learned, high scholar, but he cannot realize God. God is not subjected to any material condition. He is supreme spirit. Similarly, the process of realizing God is also not subjected to any material condition. It is not that because you are poor man you cannot realize God. Or because you are very rich man, therefore you shall realize God. No. Because you are uneducated, therefore you cannot realize God, no, that is not. Because you are highly educated, therefore you can realize God. No, that is not. He's unconditional. Apratihatā. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmaḥ. In the Bhāgavata it is said, that is first-class religious principle. Bhāgavata does not mention that this Hindu religion is first-class or Christian religion is first-class or Mohammedan religion is first-class or any other religion. We have created so much, so many religions. But Bhāgavata says that religious principle is first-class. Which one? Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje (SB 1.2.6). That religion which helps you to advance your devotional service and love of God. That's all. That is the definition of first-class religion. We do not analyze that this religion is first-class, that religion is last-class. Of course, according to, as I have told you, that there are three qualities in the material world. So according to the quality, the religious conception is also created.
Lecture on BG 7.1 -- San Diego, July 1, 1972:

So hearing is very important. Therefore our bhakti process, bhakti-yoga process is hearing. The more you give aural reception to the transcendental message, more you become expert. You haven't got to become a Ph.D. or very learned fellow, or very scholar. No. Even a child, without any education, he can also become Kṛṣṇa conscious simply by hearing. In New Yor... In Los Angeles, our child friend, he's only three years old. Oh, he cites so many mantras. He has learned. Yes. So many. Of course, one child may be specially intelligent, but anyone can learn. The method is simply hearing and seeing the behavior. You put one child in this association; automatically, with his growth, he'll become a Vaiṣṇava, a Kṛṣṇa conscious devotee. Automatically, by seeing these activities, man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65), by thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Because the child will get the opportunity for hearing the word "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa." Everyone has got God-gifted instrument, this ear. And if we give aural reception, we'll learn. There is no need of education, ABCD. No.

Lecture on BG 7.7 -- Bombay, February 22, 1974:

Therefore Bhagavad-gītā is perfect. Otherwise where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā. If we do not accept the author, or the speaker, of the Bhagavad-gītā, and if we do not accept the student of Bhagavad-gītā, Arjuna, then where is the study of Bhagavad-gītā? It is something nonsense. You have to accept the version of Bhagavad-gītā as it is stated by Kṛṣṇa, and you have to accept the version of Arjuna as it is admitted by Kṛṣṇa. Then you are perfect in Bhagavad-gītā. Otherwise you have simply wasted your time.

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam
(SB 1.2.7)
dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam
(SB 1.2.8)

This is the version of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Śrama eva hi kevalam. Simply laboring. Simply uselessly laboring. If you do not awaken your Kṛṣṇa consciousness by studying the Vedas, by studying Bhagavad-gītā, by studying Bhagavad... Simply Bhagavad-gītā. This is the essence of all Vedic literature, although it is ABCD, beginning of spiritual life, spiritual understanding. Unfortunately, people do not understand even the ABCD of this Bhagavad-gītā. And what to speak of becoming graduate and postgraduate? This is the difficulty. If we try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, at least we understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is God. God is explaining Himself. And we are searching after God, making sear... There are so many institutions. In Oxford University there is a big research department. But here God is canvassing. He's explaining. There was a great controversy.

Lecture on BG 9.3 -- Melbourne, April 21, 1976:

So aśraddadhānāḥ, those who are faithless. So those who are faithless... Faithless means, anyone can understand, those who do not believe in the words of God. They are faithless. Just like a child. By nature, he has to believe his parents, his superiors, his teacher, but if he does not believe in the words of the superior, then where is the possibility of education? There is no possibility. This is the first qualification. If you go to a teacher to learn ABCD the teacher says, "My dear child, you begin from the left side, in this way." Then, if the student says, "Why shall I begin in this way? I shall begin this way," then he's faithless. He cannot make any progress. It is not possible. The first qualification is śraddadhānāḥ, faithful. If you go to a teacher you must be faithful; otherwise there is no need of going to a teacher. If you cannot believe in the words of somebody whom you are going to appoint as your teacher, if you have no faith in his words, then what is the use of going to such teacher? There is no use. Don't waste your time and don't waste his time. Therefore those who are going to learn to become a disciple or teacher, he must believe in the words of teacher. Or if you are doubtful, you should not go to such teacher. This is first qualification. If you do not believe somebody, then you find out someone else upon whom you can put your faith. "Yes, here is the right man who can teach me." Otherwise there is no use of going to a teacher. This is the Vedic principle.

Lecture on BG 13.1-2 -- Bombay, September 24, 1973:
But in the Western countries, where they have tasted very well the fruits of material advancement of life... Therefore the young men there, they are not very much interested to live like their fathers and forefathers. They are taking very much interest in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So in India they have come that "Material happiness is not all." That is required. To make the best use of a bad bargain.

But our ultimate goal of life is spiritual realization. The Bhagavad-gītā is there. So many other śāstras are there, but Bhagavad-gītā is the beginning of spiritual life, ABCD. So even if we do not learn the ABCD of spiritual life, how our life will be successful in the mission? So our only aim is to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, spiritual life, all over the world. We have got more than a hundred temples all over the world, but we wanted one also in Bombay. Therefore we took this land. It was not meant for making any business. Even if we had this land after paying so much money, we are not going to make any profit out of it. The money will be blocked(?). But if we want to have it, it is for the reason that the people of Bombay may take interest in Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement so that their life may become successful.

Lecture on BG 13.1-2 -- Bombay, September 25, 1973:
Therefore you are individual, localized, but Kṛṣṇa is all pervading. Kṛṣṇa knows the pains and pleasure of your body. Kṛṣṇa knows the pains and pleasure of my body. Kṛṣṇa knows the pains and pleasure of dog's body, cat's body, everyone's body. That is Kṛṣṇa. Sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. Sarva-kṣetreṣu. He knows everything. That is Paramātmā feature. Paramātmā feature means He is even within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-shtaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **. So this subject matter is very interesting. Of course, Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD of spiritual knowledge. If we do not understand even the ABCD of spiritual knowledge, then where is the progress? Unfortunately we are neglecting, but it is our duty to propagate this knowledge of Bhagavad-gītā. So we are doing our best and we wish that everyone, especially Indians, should cooperate with this movement.
Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Bombay, September 28, 1973:
So when one accepts Kṛṣṇa as the supreme authority, then he can be... Just like after passing your entrance examination, you can be admitted in the degree college, similarly, Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD of spiritual knowledge. People even cannot understand the ABCD, what to speak of graduation, bas, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. They have become so fool, so degraded. Simple thing they cannot understand. This is the position. Therefore our Kṛṣṇa consciousness is trying its best to make people to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without any nonsensical interpretation. This is our mission. But people will not take that. If we give some bluff, that "Kṛṣṇa means... You are also Kṛṣṇa. I am also Kṛṣṇa. Why Kṛṣṇa alone shall be God? You are also God, I am also...," these things will be very much appreciated. Because he bluffs. But that bluffing may be very pleasing to the demons, but those who are actually student of Bhagavad-gītā, they'll not accept this bluff.
Lecture on BG 13.18 -- Bombay, October 12, 1973:
So this Vedic civilization is meant for Brahman realization. Therefore we have got so many Vedic literatures. Bhagavad-gītā is only a part, ABCD, the first book of spiritual knowledge. Still, people are so degraded that they cannot understand even Bhagavad-gītā, the ABCD. What they will understand, other things? Their education is so poor and they are so unfortunate that even Bhagavad-gītā which Kṛṣṇa left behind Him... Kṛṣṇa was present five thousand years ago on this planet, and just to benefit us He left His instruction, Bhagavad-gītā. Arjuna did not require the instruction of Bhagavad-gītā. He was already enlightened, but he presented himself as a fool just to induce the Lord to speak on Bhagavad-gītā, and it is noted by Vyāsadeva, Vedavyāsa, in the Mahābhārata, so that people may take advantage of the instruction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everything is there, what is this brahmajyoti, what is this material world, what is that spiritual world, what is our object of life, what we should know.
Lecture on BG 13.22-24 -- Melbourne, June 25, 1974:
So if we read the Vedic literature, and you get full knowledge, and the essence of Vedic literature is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And the Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. ABCD. This Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD of knowledge. This is entrance examination, matriculation examination, school-leaving examination. And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is graduate. When you become graduate in spiritual knowledge, then you can understand Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And when you have passed your Bachelor degree, when you are post-graduate, that study is Śrī-Caitanya-caritāmṛta. So we have got three different status of reading capacity. We have got already twenty books. So don't waste your time. Try to understand what is Kṛṣṇa and what is spiritual life by reading these books. Everything is explained there.
Lecture on BG 13.24 -- Bombay, October 23, 1973:
So karma, the karmīs are also working, and the devotees are also working, but karmīs are working—their words and mind is differently engaged. Because they are working very hard day and night, but they are thinking of, manasā, sense gratification. Karmaṇā manasā vācā And they are talking only sense gratification. Therefore their mind and words are engaged differently. But one whose mind, words, and activities are engaged in the service of the Lord, īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaṇā manasā vācā, so he may be situated in any position, jīvan-mukta sa ucyate, he is liberated. The same thing is confirmed here. Sarvathā vartamāno 'pi na sa bhūyo 'bhijāyate. Unless he is liberated, how he can stop his next birth? Here it is clearly said, na bhūyaḥ abhijāyate. Abhijāyate means to take birth again, to accept another material body. That... Unless you become liberated, mukta, you have to accept a material body. Mukti means to stop accepting this material body. That is called mukti. To remain in a spiritual body. But they do not know even what is spiritual body, what is material body. Simply like cats and dogs, they are engaged in sense gratification, eating, sleeping, mating. And this Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD, preliminary knowledge of spiritual understanding. People are unaware of... And misleaders, they give misinformation, mal-interpretation.
Lecture on BG 18.67-69 -- Ahmedabad, December 9, 1972:

Atapaskāya. Actually, one who is sinful, who is not undergoing the method of austerities, penance, what he will understand about Bhagavad-gītā? It is not a table talk. People are taking it as a table talk. By so-called scholarship... That is not possible. Just like it is said that unless one is a brāhmaṇa, qualified brāhmaṇa, he should not touch the Vedas. That means what he'll understand? Unless one has attained the brahminical qualification: truthfulness, cleanliness, controlling the senses, controlling the mind, simplicity, tolerant, full of Vedic knowledge, practical application in life, and full faith in the Vedas... This is, these are the brahminical qualifications. So unless one has attained the brahminical qualification, what he will understand, the Vedas? It is not that Mr. Max Muller translates Vedas. This is all nonsense. What Max Muller will understand Bhagavad, uh, Vedas? It is, these are not the subject matter of advanced in A-B-C-D. No. These are transcendental subject matter. Tat. Oṁ tat sat. Unless one is advanced... Everything... Just like on our ordinary life also, unless one has graduated, he cannot enter into the law college. So it is not prohibition. The law college is open for everyone. But he must be properly qualified to get entrance. Similarly, one must be properly qualified to enter into the transcendental subject matter. Everyone and anyone cannot. Śūdras, those who are in śūdra qualification, how they can understand Vedas? It is not possible.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.5.11 -- London, September 12, 1973:

We have no information in this age, at the present time, what is that spiritual world, but they are all stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). Everything is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary study of spiritual life, ABCD of spiritual life. The people cannot understand even the ABCD of Bhagavad-gītā, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the graduate study. So everything is there. Unfortunately it was not distributed. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has started to distribute this literature, especially Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We have already translated about twenty books. They are present before you, and our aim is to present to the human society sixty books. Still translation is going on. So our request to the publishers and book sellers, that "Let this literature be distributed properly. People will be benefited." Because, after all, each and every human being is a spiritual being. He is not this body. That is the mistake of the present civilization. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). Ātma-buddhi, "self." People, everyone thinks that this body, "I am this body." If I ask any gentleman, "What you are?" He'll say, "I am Mr. Such-and-such. I am born in this country," "I am American," "I am Englishman," "I am Indian." These are all bodily description. But basically I am not this body. This is called illusion. You have got practical experience.

Lecture on SB 1.7.16 -- Vrndavana, September 14, 1976:

From Brahman everything is emanating. Without being in Brahman, nothing can be manifest or existing within this world. So these love affairs between young girls and young boy, is there in Brahman. That is the dealing of Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. So that dealing is pervertedly reflected within this material world. It is not the same thing. It is different. But those who are not in the knowledge, they take it that the dealings... Idam Viṣṇu and the vraja-vadhū... It is so nice that actually if one hears about the dealings of the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa, then he becomes so elevated in devotion that he forgets the lusty dealings between man and woman. That is the result. It is stated in the Bhāgavatam, apahinoti, bhaktiṁ pratilabhya apahinoti kāmam.. If one is eligible to hear the dealings of gopīs and Kṛṣṇa, the result will be he'll forget the lusty desires of this material world. Therefore it is not for all. These dealings of gopīs and Kṛṣṇa is meant for the liberated person. They can hear, not the ordinary persons. Therefore this kṛṣṇa-līlā is given in the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. So don't jump over. First of all you try to understand Kṛṣṇa, Acyuta. Janmādy asya yataḥ anvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ (SB 1.1.1). To understand Kṛṣṇa, not only... The Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins when one is actually Kṛṣṇa conscious. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam (BG 18.66). Then Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins. So don't jump over the kṛṣṇa-līlā or jump over Rādhā-kuṇḍa unless you are a liberated person. This is the instruction. Acyuta. You must be also acyuta—not falling down from the standard of pure devotional service. Acyuta-gotra.

Lecture on SB 1.7.44 -- Vrndavana, October 4, 1976:

So anyway, this guru-māra-vidyā should be avoided. That is the instruction in this verse we can get, and that is the Vedic way. It is not that Draupadī is speaking, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu is also speaking... Caitanya Mahāprabhu was very strict on this point. As soon Vallabhācārya spoke that "I have written a better comment than Śrīdhara Svāmī," immediately Caitanya Mahāprabhu become offended. He said, "Oh, you have become more than Śrīdhara Svāmī? You don't care for Svāmī?" So he remarked immediately, svāmī yei jana na māne veśyara bhitare. That is the system. You cannot overrule ācārya. Ācārya... Ācāryopāsanam. Ācārya should be always worshiped. Even if you, by ABCD, you have become more learned than the ācārya... That is not possible, but if you foolishly think like that, still, you should not exhibit your foolishness, that you know more than the ācārya. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's... By His life example, He has taught us that the more we remain ignorant, foolish before the ācārya, or before the guru, that is more we advance. Real success is how one is faithful to his guru. That is real success. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau. It is not by education or grammatical knowledge you can learn anything. No. It is by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And that grace comes down through the grace of guru. That grace also does not come directly. We should not be neglecting this point.

Lecture on SB 1.8.19 -- Mayapura, September 29, 1974:
Just the Rāvaṇa. He wanted to make a staircase up to the heavenly planet. It is like that. Ugra-karma. Why they are doing so? Ajñā, ajñā. Foolish people. Now, if we say that "You are all foolish, rascal people. You are wasting your time in this way," they will think us crazy. And they think us like that, that we do not recommend these things. So it is very, very difficult to understand Kṛṣṇa in this condition, in this situation. Māyā-javanikācchannam and ajñā, foolish people. Ajñā. And the other, other side, Kṛṣṇa is adhokṣaja. Even one is advanced in knowledge... Knowledge means, our knowledge means we manufacture words or syllables from A to Z. That's all. ABCD. We compose words with these twenty-six, or how many? A to Z?
Lecture on SB 1.8.44 -- Mayapura, October 24, 1974:

So the baby, packed up, cannot move, cannot say anything but feels pain, therefore moves. And the pregnant woman therefore feels that the child is moving at the age of seven months in the womb. So therefore the struggle begins from the womb. And when the child comes out, again struggle. And he is lying on the bed; some bug is biting. He cannot express. He is crying, and the mother thinks that he's hungry. In this way, wrongly understands, cannot give relief him. And he is going on, crying, crying, crying. We have seen it. We have... Everyone has got experience. Then as soon as he is grown up, he is given responsibility for learning ABCD, or going to school. He doesn't like. No child likes. At least I did not like to go to school. So this is also another struggle. Then, when he is grown up, he is given more and more responsibility, examination, and then married life, then family maintenance. In this way, struggling, struggling, struggling—again death. Again enter into the womb of mother. Again the same struggle. So where is happiness? Therefore when Kṛṣṇa says, duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam: (BG 8.15) "This whole material world is a place for suffering only," that is a fact. But mūḍho 'yam, being enamored by māyā, he does not know. He forgets. This life is of forgetfulness, ignorance.

Lecture on SB Excerpt -- New York, March 7, 1975:

Prabhupāda: So, do you understand this verse?

Indian woman: But this is from first verse from Brahma-sūtra, right?

Prabhupāda: No, no, Brahma-sūtra and first verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Do you understand this Bhāgavatam, this śloka?

Indian woman: Not actually.

Prabhupāda: Then why do you jump over there? Education means from the beginning. Therefore a small child, he wants to be educated. He immediately goes to the M.A. class? Or he learns ABCD? So therefore those who have given you this task, they are not realized souls. All fools and rascals.

Indian woman: (giggles) Thank you very much.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. First of all you understand two plus two equal to four. Then you go to higher mathematics. And all of a sudden higher mathematics? What is this? Is that very good intelligence? You have questioned already.

Lecture on SB 2.1.2 -- Paris, June 11, 1974:

Therefore, in the Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa first of all begins the constitution of the ātmā, or spirit soul. He begins. When He began to teach Arjuna Bhagavad-gītā, the A-B-C-D lesson was to make him convinced about the soul within the body. That is called ātma-tattvam. And nobody knows. Therefore, bahir-artha-māninaḥ: they are accepting this external feature. Just like we have got external feature. We can understand very easily that this body, this body is external feature. Real "I" am within. As soon as I go away from this body, this external feature, as good as the garbage in the street. That they do not understand. They are busy piling garbage. "Bring more garbage, more garbage." And this is the working capacity. Bahir-artha-māninaḥ. They think, "This garbage will save me." Very important question. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). The ātma-tattvam means "I am now within this garbage for the present. And after leaving this, in this garbage, I pile up so many other garbages. And in this way, working uselessly the whole life, then I transmigrate from this body to another garbage body." That I do not know. This is called apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). Apaśyatām means "not seeing." A means "not," and paśyatām means "seeing, one who sees." He's seeing, "This garbage is everything." He does not see ātma-tattvam.

Lecture on SB 2.3.23 -- Los Angeles, June 20, 1972:

I have seen many scholars, they cannot understand Bhāgavata. Sanskrit scholars, they will read, but they will not be able to understand. Similarly, Bhagavad-gītā also. If anyone studies Bhagavad-gītā from scholarly point of view, a-b-c-d, he'll not understand. Kṛṣṇa therefore says that "Arjuna, I shall speak the lessons of Bhāgavata unto you because you are My very dear friend and you are My devotee." Kṛṣṇa did not want to speak Śrīmad-SB.. Bhagavad-gītā to a scholarly student. No. These books are not to be understood by mundane scholarship. That is not possible. All the Vedic śāstras, all the Vedic śāstras. There is a big commentary on Bhagavad-gītā by a great scholar and political leader, Lokamanya Tilak. So one of his devotees, he's also politician. When I was in London in 1968... So he has got a society there. They're preaching the Tilak's political view, like that. He has got a... So he came to see me, and he was very much eulogizing Lokamanya Tilak, that he has written his big commentary, Karma-yoga.

Lecture on SB 2.4.1 -- Los Angeles, June 24, 1972:

Just like here it is said, vaiyāsakeḥ. You have to hear from Vaiyāsaki or his representative. Vaiyāsaker iti vacas tattva-niścayam ātmanaḥ. If you hear from the right person, then tattva-niścayam, then positively you can realize self. And if you hear from some rascals, they have no connection with Vaiyāsaki, simply by dint of mental speculation, interpreting, "I think this may be this, I think this,"... What you are, nonsense? You think? We don't accept such nonsense things. It must be positively authorized. As it is said here, vaiyāsaker iti vacas tattva-niścayam ātmanaḥ. When we hear from the right person...

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

Jñāna and tattva-darśī. Simply jñānī, simply a-b-c-d knowledge, academic education will not help. You must be jñānī, at the same time, tattva-darśī. That tattva-darśana cannot be possible by mental speculation. Ciraṁ vicinvan.

Lecture on SB 3.25.9 -- Bombay, November 9, 1974:

So an intelligent man can see God even while walking on the beach. That requires intelligence. Therefore mūḍhāḥ. Na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ (BG 7.15). Those who are asses, they cannot see God. Those who are intelligent, they can see God everywhere. Everywhere. God is present everywhere. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). Eko 'py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭi. He is within this universe. He is within your heart. He is within everything, even within the atom. Why you cannot see God? And God says that "Try to see Me in this way. If you are so dull, then you try to see Me in this way." What? What is that easy way? Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya: (BG 7.8) "I am the taste of the water." And Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the taste of the water." So have you not tasted the water? You are drinking water. Who has not tasted? Everyone has seen God. Why he says that "I do not see God"? Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ. "I am the sunshine." Who has not seen the sunshine? Everyone has seen the sunshine. Why he says that "I have not seen God"? First of all, try to see God, A-B-C-D; then you'll see the personal God. You'll see everywhere.

Lecture on SB 3.25.11 -- Bombay, November 11, 1974:

Just like law means to obey Kṛṣṇa, or God. Kṛṣṇa means God. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). So dharma means if one does not care for Kṛṣṇa, or God, that is not religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat... (SB 6.3.19). You cannot make your law at home. Law means the law given by the government. Similarly, dharma means the orders given by God. That is dharma. You cannot manufacture, that "We have manufactured this dharma." That is not dharma. That is, in the Bhāgavata, is called cheating. Dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavaḥ atra: "The so-called dharmas, which are cheating the public in the name of dharma, such kind of dharma is kicked out from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam." Dharmaḥ projjhita. Projjhita means prakṛṣṭa-rūpeṇa ujjhita. Just like you sweep over the floor and the dust throw away. Similarly, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam the real dharma is there. Real dharma. Dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90), this is ordinary dharma. Real dharma is, as Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That is real dharma. And all other dharmas, so-called dharmas, they are simply cheating. Because that will not benefit anybody, the followers or the dictators. So real dharma is... And Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins from there. if you accept the principles of Bhagavad-gītā, that is the preliminary study, A-B-C-D of dharma, and if you accept this principle, that to surrender to Kṛṣṇa, śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyam...

Lecture on SB 3.25.31 -- Bombay, December 1, 1974:

So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to present the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or the conclusion given by Kṛṣṇa, or the conclusion in the Bhagavad-gītā, in this āmnāya Sāṅkhya philosophy, disciple after disciple, not that "I know little more ABCD. I am, therefore, a big scholar. I can interpret Bhagavad-gītā in my own way." This is useless. This is useless. You cannot make your own comment. But that is not also good. So many commentaries which have been made without this āmnāya, Sāṅkhya process, they are useless. There is no effect. This is very essential. Therefore Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa says in the Fourth Chapter, evaṁ paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). That is required, paramparā, āmnāya, disciplic succession. Otherwise it will be useless. This is the secret of success. You have to accept the same philosophy as it was contemplated by Brahmā, by Nārada, by Brahmācārya, er, Madhvācārya, by Mādhavendra Purī, by Īśvara Purī, by... You cannot make any new thing beyond the scope of the āmnāya Sāṅkhya philosophy system. That is called āmnāya. Because we are imperfect. We must first of all know that we are all imperfect.

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

This is called material disease. One is infected by the prākṛta-guṇa. The prākṛta-guṇa... Guṇa means quality, mode. So prākṛta means this material prakṛti, and spiritual means aprākṛta. There are different stages of knowledge: pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja, aprākṛta. One has to go step by step. General knowledge means pratyakṣa, whatever you perceive by the senses. That is called pratyakṣa. And the knowledge which you receive from authorities, that is parokṣa. Then aparokṣa, realization. Then adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja means knowledge which beyond your perception. But there is source of knowledge, adhokṣaja. Therefore God's another name is Adhokṣaja. Adhaḥ. Adhaḥ means subduing, bring under subjugation. Adhah-kṛta, akṣaja. Akṣaja means the knowledge directly perceived by the senses. Akṣa means eyes and akṣa means atukya(?). So any knowledge within the alphabets, ABCD, that is called akṣaja. And the knowledge which is beyond that, that is called adhokṣaja. And beyond the adhokṣaja knowledge there is aprākṛta. Aprākṛta knowledge.

Lecture on SB 3.26.16 -- Bombay, December 25, 1974:

So the spiritual life is very delicate. We have to conduct the spiritual life very cautiously. Little deviation may create great havoc. Great havoc means again material life. And material life means suffering, bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ, always in fearfulness. So long we are in this material life, there must be fearfulness. Bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syāt. That is described here. Kālam eke yato bhayam. So long you are wrapped up within these twenty-four elements, under the influence of time factor, then you will have to feel fearfulness, although actually by constitutional position, you have no fear. Every one of us, we know... Not everyone. At least, those who are little advanced in understanding Bhagavad-gītā, the A-B-C-D of spiritual knowledge, at least theoretically, one knows that he is not this body. But still, when the body is in danger, we become fearful because we are existing in this material environment. Bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syāt. So in order to get out of this fearful situation of life... That is material life. If we take shelter of the lotus feet of abhaya-caraṇāravinda re, Kṛṣṇa, then this bhayam element, fearfulness element, will be completely nil.

Lecture on SB 3.26.26 -- Bombay, January 3, 1975:

So therefore this planning, real planning, is this varṇāśrama-dharma. Varṇāśrama means a regulative, regulative life. So we have come to this world. There will be no difficulty for our maintenance. Peacefully let us live and save time for spiritual consciousness, for advancement of. Tapo divyaṁ yena śuddhyet sattvam (SB 5.5.1). We have to rectify, purify our existence. This present existence is not purified. Otherwise, why we are accepting death? Because the existence is not purified. But we don't care for it. We are so dull, mūḍha. Mūḍhatvam. Mūḍhatvam. There are so many big, big scholars of Bhagavad-gītā, but they do not know the first lessons of Bhagavad-gītā, first lessons of Bhagavad-gītā. First lesson of Bhagavad-gītā is there. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācit, nityaḥ śāśvato 'yaṁ na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. Who is thinking of this, that na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20), if after the destruction of this body, I am not annihilated—that is a fact—but who is making research about it? And still, they are big, big scholars of Bhagavad-gītā, and they do not know even the ABCD of Bhagavad-gītā.

Lecture on SB 5.6.6 -- Vrndavana, November 28, 1976:

So in the Kali-yuga we do not expect everyone to be very great scholar. That is not possible. But if he knows what is the aim of education, what is the objective of education, then he is also scholar. Just like our Gaura-Kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. He was illiterate. He could not sign his name even. But he became the spiritual master of the best scholar of his time, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī. So it is not the education, ABCD. In Bengal we say anguam(?). No. What is the purport of education? The purport of education is spoken by Kṛṣṇa Himself: vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam (BG 15.15). If one understands Kṛṣṇa and takes to the shelter of His lotus feet, he is also the biggest scholar.

Lecture on SB 6.1.14 -- Bombay, November 10, 1970:

Prabhupāda: This is easier process. "This child belongs to Kṛṣṇa. He has kindly given me prasādam." This is not easier? Which is easier?

Guest: That is a particular kind of approach of...

Prabhupāda: Eh? It is not a fact?

Guest: It's a fact.

Prabhupāda: But it is not easier? If you teach one child that "If you meditate upon Kṛṣṇa within," that is easier? Or if you say that "The fire which you are cooking on, this is Kṛṣṇa's"? Which is easier? So why you become more than child? You should remain always child, then you will get knowledge, real knowledge. That is the mistake. "I am now grown up. I cannot accept as child." What is the difference between child? A child also learns ABCD and a grown up man also uses ABCD. In what sense he is grown up? The ABCD is there. But when you are grown up can you give up ABCD? Can you give up ABCD when you are grown up? What do you mean by grown up? What is the difference between child and you? You also use ABCD, he also uses ABCD. But his knowledge of ABCD is not so perfect as yours.

Guest: (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Eh? Yes, actually.

Lecture on SB 7.5.1, Pandal Lecture -- Bombay, January 12, 1973:

So Kṛṣṇa, by His Paramātmā feature, He is all-pervading. He is in all universes. He is all, everywhere, in the heart of all living entity. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ... Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). And He is also within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham (Bs. 5.35). Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān. This is Kṛṣṇa. So one has to understand Kṛṣṇa perfectly. So for preliminary study of Kṛṣṇa, there is Bhagavad-gītā, how to understand Kṛṣṇa. And next... Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD, primary entrance to the understanding of spiritual life. This is ABCD. But people are so fallen that they cannot understand even ABCD, what to speak of becoming graduate or postgraduate. In this age people are so fallen. This Mahābhārata... Mahābhārata was given by Vyāsadeva for the less intelligent class of men: strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā (SB 1.4.25). Śruti means Vedas. Vyāsadeva considered that stri, woman; śūdra, the fourth-class men... Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnām... Dvija-bandhu means those who are born in higher-class society—brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya—but they are not qualified. They are simply proud of getting birth in higher families. They are called dvija-bandhu. They are equal to woman and the śūdra. Strī-śūdra-dvija-bandhūnāṁ trayī na śruti-gocarā. Trayī means the Vedas. Karma-kāṇḍa, jñāna-kāṇḍa, upāsana-kāṇḍa. There are three methods in understanding Vedas, and their language, their process, is very difficult. Therefore Vyāsadeva, considering the immediate inauguration of Kali-yuga... Because Vyāsadeva appeared at the end of Dvāpara-yuga.

Lecture on SB 7.6.1 -- Montreal, June 10, 1968:

So unless we train the children from the very beginning of life, just we send to school, they learn so many things, ABCD... Similarly, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness should be taught from the very beginning. Otherwise, while he's grown up, either he'll be engaged in searching after boy or girl or in playing or in family matters, or so many problems, to solve, so many problems, political, social. They'll be all engaged. Then one day, (makes sound) khat!, the death will come. The cruel death will not wait. "Oh, my dear sir, now come on." "Oh, I have got so many duties." "No. Finished. Come on."

Lecture on SB 7.9.7 -- Mayapur, February 14, 1976:

So after reading Bhagavad-gītā, if one does not get this faith in Kṛṣṇa, then it is useless waste of time. There are many so-called scholars, politicians, they declare that "I read Bhagavad-gītā daily, three times," but the result is no faith in Kṛṣṇa. This is called useless waste of time. If you do not get the faith which is required by studying Bhagavad... Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD reading for understanding God. That is ABC. So if you do not understand even the ABCD, how he'll advance in higher studies? That is not possible. So, even we cannot understand Bhagavad-gītā, the ABCD, Kṛṣṇa says one thing and they make, I mean to say, interpretation in a different way. Kṛṣṇa says aham ādir hi devānām (Bg 10.2), mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate. They do not believe it.

Lecture on SB 7.9.19 -- Mayapur, February 26, 1976:

Just like we are teaching these boys. They are simply chanting, dancing. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not that useless education—after some years they will learn how to smoke bidi. It is not like that. They'll never touch bidi. This is education. Tan manye adhītam uttamam. Even they are not literary person, they will have character and they'll become Kṛṣṇa devotee. That is real education. Don't think that "These boys are brought here. They're not giving any education, academic. They do not know what is history, what is geography." They know little, little, not very much. We don't require to know very much, neither we are very much concerned, learning A-B-C-D. Even without A-B-C-D, they will be advanced in education. This is Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction. Tan manye adhītam uttamam. One who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness directly, he is actually advanced in education. What is this education? This education has no value.

Lecture on SB 7.12.2 -- Bombay, April 13, 1976:

Māyāvādī guru means one who thinks that everyone is God. That is Māyāvādī guru. If you approach such guru, then your life is spoiled. Māyāvādī-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa. Finished. Your spiritual progress finished. So in this way, guru, arka, these are the training. Where is that training? Where is that school? So why they will not learn from eight years, ten years of age, smoking bidi and cigarette? When I was in America first, I saw some little boys, not more than ten to twelve years, smoking cigarette. I was astonished that "What kind of education is there?" But they don't mind. Even in their classroom, the elderly young boys and girls, they smoke before the teacher. I have seen it in New York University. So this is not training. Training is he must be very controlled. And if you teach from the beginning, then he will be trained up. There is a Bengali proverb, gancai noale vas, mas korbe tans tas(?): "When the bamboo is green, you can bend it, but when it is yellow, dried, it will crack." So education begins from the very childhood. That is education. Therefore gurukula is required. It doesn't require how much he has learned ABCD and grammar. No. First of all character. That is gurukula living. Let him become dānta, guru-gṛhe. Brahmacārī guru-gṛhe vasan dāntaḥ. How to become sense controller, that is first education.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 2, 1973:

So in this way we have to understand Kṛṣṇa. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). We have to understand Kṛṣṇa through the paramparā, disciplic succession, not by our ABCD knowledge. That is not possible. One has to accept the disciplic succession, line. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). That guru... Guru means Kṛṣṇa's representative, Kṛṣṇa's... Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ **. Sākṣād dharitvena. Because guru is representative of Kṛṣṇa, therefore he should be respected as good as Kṛṣṇa. Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. But because a guru is respected as Kṛṣṇa, the guru does not think that he has become Kṛṣṇa. No. That is foolishness. He's the most confidential servant of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore... Just like most confidential secretary, he acts as the master. His signature, his settlement will be accepted by the master. Similarly yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasya prasādād na gatiḥ kuto 'pi **. We have to select the right representative of Kṛṣṇa, and accept him as guru. And if I please him, then Kṛṣṇa will be pleased.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 5, 1973:

That is wanted. One has to go back to home, back to Godhead. That is the perfection of life. This human life should be utilized for going back to home, back to... But they have no idea. They do not know what is God, where is back to home, back to Godhead—nothing, no education, although the knowledge is there in the Bhagavad-gītā and other śāstras. Everything is there, but we have become so fools that we take Bhagavad-gītā and comment in a different way so that people may not understand. He does not understand himself, and how he'll explain? Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25). Because without becoming a devotee, nobody can understand Bhagavad-gītā. That's a fact. So they, one may be very good scholar, ABCD, but the ABCD knowledge is not sufficient to understand. Bhakto 'si priyo 'si me rahasyaṁ hy etad uttamam (BG 4.3). Simply by erudite scholarship you cannot understand. Then Kṛṣṇa would have selected somebody else who is scholarly advanced. But He was selecting Arjuna, although he was a soldier. He was not a Vedantist, he was not a brāhmaṇa, but he was ordinary soldier. Maybe royal family. Gṛhastha. But He selected him. Why? Bhakto 'si: because he was devotee. Therefore Bhagavad-gītā is to be understood by devotee from the very beginning.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Bombay, January 9, 1973:

So one who does not understand Kṛṣṇa, if they speak to the public about Kṛṣṇa, about Bhagavad-gītā, they are nonsense, simply misleading people. Andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās te 'pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhaḥ (SB 7.5.31). They are themselves blind, and there are other blind men there also, therefore they do not get any profit out of it. So many Gītār jñāna, Gītār version is going on, but still they are in the same darkness. Same darkness. Not a single staid(?) is follower. Why? Well, that is not the way of understanding Kṛṣṇa. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12).

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

Such, you have to approach a jñānī who has seen the truth. And how the truth can be seen? Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55). The tattva-darśinaḥ and tattva. It is through the devotional service. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa, there are so many versions about this thing,

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(CC Madhya 17.136)

Kṛṣṇa reveals. You cannot order Kṛṣṇa, "Please come here, I'll see You." No, that is not possible. Kṛṣṇa is not your order-supplier. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. You have to surrender. Then Kṛṣṇa will reveal unto you. Being pleased by your service, He will reveal. Not that because you are very nice scholar, you know much a-b-c-d, Kṛṣṇa will come to you. No. Kṛṣṇa is not subjected to such order-supplying agency.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 30, 1972:

There are so-called pseudo devotees. They say, "What we have to do with Bhagavad-gītā?" They think that they are so advanced that they will jump over immediately to the Kṛṣṇa's rasa-līlā. That means Kṛṣṇa's līlā in the Kurukṣetra is not very much important for them. But no. Kṛṣṇa's līlā, either in the Kurukṣetra or in Vṛndāvana, the same thing. We should know. Abhinnatvād nāma-nāminoḥ. So better, first of all, read Bhagavad-gītā, the preliminary study of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Try to read, or try to learn. Of course, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is everything. But for ordinary persons, because Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD of spiritual knowledge... People even commit mistakes in studying the ABCD of spiritual knowledge. People have become so much degraded that they cannot understand even ABCD of spiritual knowledge. They'll make their own interpretation. Such is the horrible condition. They'll try to make minus Kṛṣṇa Bhagavad-gītā, go on reading Bhagavad-gītā for millions of years, setting aside Kṛṣṇa. That is scholarly. This is going on. Scholar means they say, openly... I have seen Dr. Radhakrishnan. When he's explaining man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru (BG 18.65), he's saying openly, "It is not to the person Kṛṣṇa." He's saying. Just see the attempt. He's writing comments on Bhagavad-gītā and he's trying to make Kṛṣṇa away, minus Kṛṣṇa. Simply mental speculation. This is going on.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 7.1 -- Mayapur, March 1, 1974:

The Bhagavad-gītā is the A-B-C-D to entrance, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the graduate study, and Śrī-Caitanya-caritāmṛta is the postgraduate study of spiritual life. My Guru Mahārāja, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, whenever he got some time he used to read Caitanya-caritāmṛta. And he predicted that the whole world like to read Caitanya-caritāmṛta, and for this reason they'll learn Bengali. Therefore, following his footsteps, I have kept the Bengali character and tried to give the literary meaning of each word of the Bengali poem. This is, of course, Sanskrit. This book is full of Sanskrit verses. Some of them are composed by the author himself, Kavirāja Gosvāmī, and some of them are quoted from various literature, Vedic literature.

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 7.106-107 -- San Francisco, February 13, 1967:

Just like Lord Caitanya confirmed that brāhmaṇa, he was illiterate, but he was studying Bhagavad-gītā, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, "Yes." He embraced him. "My dear brāhmaṇa, you are really understanding Bhagavad-gītā." Because he knows the central point of Bhagavad-gītā. The central point. I have several times recited this narration, that Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was traveling in South India, He saw that one brāhmaṇa was reading Bhagavad-gītā, and his neighbors, they knew it that "This brāhmaṇa is illiterate and he does not know even what is ABCD, and still he's reading Bhagavad-gītā." So they were joking, sometimes criticizing him. The brāhmaṇa, of course, he was reading as far as possible. What possible? So Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw the fun and approached the brāhmaṇa, "Oh, My dear brāhmaṇa, what you are reading?" He understood that "Here is a sincere person. He's not joking me. He's simply inquiring." So he said, "My dear Sir, I am illiterate. I do not know even the alphabets. But my Guru Mahārāja asked me to read every day eighteen chapters of Bhagavad-gītā. So what can I do? I have taken this Bhagavad-gītā in pursuance of my spiritual master. I am simply seeing the cover and trying to understand what is there." Now he's illiterate. By seeing the cover, he's trying to understand Bhagavad-gītā by the order of his spiritual master. This is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.98-102 -- April 27, 1976, Auckland, New Zealand:

Dehinaḥ means the proprietor of the body. But every one of us, thinking "I am this body." They have no first lesson of Bhagavad-gītā. First lesson only, ABCD, that "You are not this body." This is the first lesson. When Arjuna was talking in bodily relationship, so, and he accepted Kṛṣṇa as guru... Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam (BG 2.7). "There is perplexity. I cannot understand, Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa was his friend, but he accepted Him guru. Accepting guru means if you accept somebody guru, then whatever he will say, you have to accept. Śiṣya. Śiṣya means one who is ruled. So if you voluntarily accept somebody, that "I shall be ruled by you," that is guru. Not that "I shall rule over you by giving some money." Then it is not accepting guru. Guru means in all circumstances. Guror hitam. Brahmacārī guru-kule vasan dānto guror hitam (SB 7.12.1). Therefore the first training is to live in gurukula, to learn how to respect guru, how to abide by the orders of guru. So Kṛṣṇa is guru. So Arjuna accepted Kṛṣṇa as guru. Śiṣyas te 'ham (BG 2.7). "I am Your now disciple. Now give, teach me." Then Bhagavad-gītā was begun. Not before that.

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.120 -- Bombay, November 12, 1975:

So people are unaware of Kṛṣṇa and His position. Therefore one should go to the guru-tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12)—eva, "must," in order to learn Kṛṣṇa. That is... The example is being shown by Sanātana Gosvāmī, the minister. He is not ordinary man. He is trying to know from guru what is his actual position. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu knew Sanātana Gosvāmī, intelligent, advanced. So he doesn't require to be educated by teaching Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā is the ABCD of spiritual life, preliminary study. Bhagavad-gītā is not meant for persons who are advanced. They know Kṛṣṇa. One who does not know Kṛṣṇa, for them, first reading book is Bhagavad-gītā, so that he can know what is Kṛṣṇa. But here Sanātana Gosvāmī is advanced; therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu is teaching him from the point where Bhagavad-gītā was ended.

Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures

Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture -- Bombay, January 3, 1973:

There is no difference between Brahman and the literature which is describing Brahman. The same thing: just like Bhagavad-gītā and Kṛṣṇa, there is no difference. Bhagavad-gītā is also Kṛṣṇa. Otherwise why this book is worshiped since so, for so long time, since five thousand years, unless the Bhagavad-gītā is Kṛṣṇa? There are so many literatures, books, are published nowadays. After one year, two years, three years—finished. Nobody cares for it. Nobody cares for it. Nobody reads for... Any literature you take in the history of the world, no literature can exist for five thousand years, repeatedly being read by many, many scholars, religionists and philosophers, all. Why? Because it is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa... There is no difference between Bhagavad-gītā and Bhagavān. Śabda-brahman. So Bhagavad-gītā should not be taken as ordinary literature, that one can comment on it by so-called ABCD knowledge. No. That is not possible. The fools and rascals, they try to comment on the Bhagavad-gītā by their ABCD scholarship. That is not possible. It is śabda-brahman. It will be revealed to the person who has devotion to Kṛṣṇa. Yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve... These are the Vedic instructions.

Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture -- Bombay, January 3, 1973:

They become revealed. Therefore Vedic literatures are called revealed. It is not that I can understand by your ABCD knowledge; I can purchase one Bhagavad-gītā, and because I have grammatical knowledge, I can understand. No. Vedeṣu durlabha. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is said, vedeṣu durlabha. You go on studying all Vedic literature by your literary capacity or scholarship—durlabha. It is not possible. Vedeṣu durlabha. Therefore there are so many persons, they are trying to interpret Bhagavad-gītā by their so-called scholarship, but nobody cares for them. They cannot turn even one person, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. This is a challenge. In your Bombay there are so many persons, they are explaining Bhagavad-gītā for so many years, but they could not turn even a single person a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. This is our challenge. But this Bhagavad-gītā, now it is being explained as it is, and thousands and thousands of Europeans and Americans, whose forefathers or family never knew the name of Kṛṣṇa, they are becoming devotees. This is the secret of success.

Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Lecture -- Bombay, January 3, 1973:

Nobody knows Kṛṣṇa. They may speculate by their so-called scholarship, ABCD knowledge, but Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is not there. They cannot turn even a single man to become a Kṛṣṇa devotee. That is not possible. They can be fool. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: śva-viḍ-varāha-uṣṭra kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ. The, one who is not devotee, he is described as a paśuḥ, as an animal. And such animal is eulogized, glorified, by another animal. What are they? Now, dogs, camels, asses and hogs. Śva-viḍ-varāha-uṣṭra kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ. These description is there. Therefore if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, we have to follow these mahājana. Just like Brahmā. Brahmā is the original.

Arrival Addresses and Talks

Arrival Lecture -- Dallas, March 3, 1975:

So I am very much pleased to see the atmosphere here. Education means Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is education. If simply we understand that "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Person. He is great, and we are all subordinate. So our duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa," these two lines, if we understand, then our life is perfect. If we simply learn how to worship Kṛṣṇa, how to please Him, how to dress Him nicely, how to give Him nice foodstuff, how to decorate Him with ornaments and flowers, how to offer our respectful obeisances unto Him, how to chant His name, in this way, if we simply think, without any so-called education we become the perfect person within the universe. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It doesn't require A-B-C-D education. It requires simply change of consciousness. So if these children are being taught from the very beginning of their life... We had the opportunity of being trained up by our parents like this. So some way or other, they have come to... (break) Many saintly persons used to visit my father's house. My father was Vaiṣṇava. He was Vaiṣṇava, and he wanted me to become a Vaiṣṇava. Whenever some saintly person would come, he would ask him, "Please bless my son that he can become a servant of Rādhārāṇī." That was his prayer. He never prayed for anything. And he gave me education how to play mṛdaṅga. My mother was against. There was two teachers-one for teaching me A-B-C-D, and one for teaching me mṛdaṅga. So the one teacher was waiting and the other teacher was teaching me how to play on mṛdaṅga. So my mother would be angry that "What is this nonsense? You are teaching mṛdaṅga? What he will do with this mṛdaṅga?" (chuckles) But perhaps my father wanted that I should be a great mṛdaṅga player in the future.

General Lectures

Lecture -- Los Angeles, February 2, 1968:

Just like the gopīs. They were village girls, not even born of very high family. Cowherds, ordinary agriculturists, cowherds men. So their daughters. So how much education you can...? There was no education practically. In the village even men... In India still, they are ninety-percent illiterate. And what to speak of the girls, the men are not even literate. Because according to Vedic civilization it was not necessary that everyone should go to school. There was no necessity. Because things were being learned by śruti, by aural reception. Knowledge from the perfect man, one would hear, and he would become learned. There was no necessity of, I mean to say, learning ABCD. No. Even in Vedic age, everything was memorized. There was nothing in writing. People were so sharp in brain that once heard from the spiritual master, they will never forget. The brahmacārī system made their brain so powerful that whatever they will hear from the spiritual master, they will keep in the brain and never forget. They will repeat verbatim. Smṛti. It is called retaining power.

Sunday Feast Lecture -- Los Angeles, January 19, 1969:

So these things are very nicely, clearly explained in the Vedic literature. If you take advantage of this Vedic literature, especially of the... Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary study, ABCD. Bhagavad-gītā is not very high standard spiritual knowledge. It is simply elementary, ABCD knowledge of spiritual life, rudimentary knowledge. And if you want to study more and more, there is Vedānta-sūtra, there is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Upaniṣad, so many things. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to give people chance to take advantage of this Vedic literature.

Lecture -- Bhuvanesvara, January 21, 1977:

Just like a student is admitted in the school for learning ABCD, and if he follows the rules and regulations and continues his studies regularly, then one day he would be able to pass M.A. examination, so from the very beginning we have to execute these processes because our life is impure at the present moment, and we have to purify this life.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- June 14, 1972, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: No. Their policy is that they want to keep the people in that way-rascals and fools—then they'll vote and they'll enjoy the political power. That is their policy. Actually they do not want to see their countrymen elevated good character. They don't want to see. If the people become... Just like the British government in their time, they wanted to give education. Their education means A-B-C-D-half, mediocre, so that the government may be run on. They require clerks, servants, so much, not high education. As soon as there was question of high education, they stopped. And actually it so happened that as soon as the Indian people became highly educated and they learned the history of the world, they kicked them out. So these people, these rascals, Nixon and company, they want to keep the people in ignorance so that they'll get vote and enjoy. If the people become intelligent brāhmaṇas, then immediately he'll be kicked out. What is his value? He has no value. This is policy. They don't want to see that people become elevated in knowledge. That is not their policy. Therefore, they do not agree. Actually they are seeing that "These Hare Kṛṣṇa people, they're so nice character, they're religion, God conscious, so if all people become like this, then where we are?" Because as soon as people become Kṛṣṇa conscious, they'll noncooperate with the slaughterhouse, liquor industry, gambling, illicit sex. They will noncooperate. Then the whole plan of civilization will be collapsed.

Room Conversation -- July 4, 1972, New York:

Prabhupāda: That's nice. Rising early in the morning?

Devotee (6): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Attending maṅgala ārati?

Devotee (6): Yes

Prabhupāda: Chanting? Dancing? These are our programs. Class, little a-b-c-d, no?

Devotee (6): But no force, yes?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

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.

Room Conversation with Indian Guests -- July 11, 1973, London:
Prabhupāda: So this institution is meant for training people from different stages, and beginning with this faith, that kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta... "Simply by becoming devotee of Kṛṣṇa, my life will be perfect." This faith is the basic principle. So unless one comes to this basic principle of faith, there is no question of progress. So little faith, even. Not full faith. It develops by sādhu-saṅga (CC Madhya 22.83), by association with the devotees. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (Cc. Madhya 23.14-15). Everything is there. If we adopt, then everyone can make his life successful. There is no doubt about it. Just like if you enter into a school, if you follow the regulative principles of the school and study, you, one day, you become M.A. Where is the difficulty? Where is the difficulty? But if from the beginning, if you have no faith, then what progress you'll make? If you, from the very beginning, if you think, "What will be, this school will do me? They're learning ABCD. What...?" (laughter) There is no faith. You may call it blind faith. But that is required.
Room Conversation With David Lawrence -- July 12, 1973, London:
Prabhupāda: Those who are advanced in devotional service, they accept this principle. But why? Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya. Because he is the most confidential servant, representative. Vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. This is, we pray, offer our prayers to our spiritual master. So it is very nice. You are attempting. I am very glad. So you can inquire from me anything. The first thing I shall request you, the first principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or the first ABCD of spiritual education, is to understand the constitutional position of the living entity. He is, he is spirit soul. He's not this body. The spirit soul is living within this body, but the, the body's not the spirit soul. This thing must be understood very clearly. You know, in the Bhagavad-gītā, it is said, dehino 'smin yathā dehe (BG 2.13). Dehinaḥ, the proprietor of the body, is within this body. Dehinaḥ asmin dehe yathā. And the body is changing, from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, like that. So when this body will be useless, we will take another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ. This first education of spiritual life should be understood first. Then one can make progress. Then one can understand what is the constitution of God, what is our relationship with Him. But if, so long we shall remain under the bodily concept of life, this subject matter will remain difficult.
Room Conversation with Anna Conan Doyle, daughter-in-law of famous author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle -- August 10, 1973, Paris:

Prabhupāda: Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Very nice.

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, yes. That is a very complicated book. To read many, many, many times.

Prabhupāda: That is the elementary ABCD. Yes. Here is a statement of my interview with the Vice-president. (break) Just Arjuna, he was a family man. Is it not?

Guru-gaurāṅga: Arjuna, in the Bhagavad-gītā.

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, Arjuna, yes.

Prabhupāda: Not only family man, he was in the battlefield. So if he could understand Bhagavad-gītā in that position, why we cannot?

Anna Conan Doyle: Yes, that's right.

Prabhupāda: So it is no question of you have to give up family life. There is no such thing. You have to understand the science. Arjuna was a family man. After understanding Bhagavad-gītā, he did not give up family.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- March 4, 1974, Mayapura:

Jayapatākā: This is a short cut.

Prabhupāda: Oh, all right. (break) ...pūjyante dhanya yatra sucancitam (?), "Where a rascal is not worshiped, where foodstuff is kept very carefully," and dam-patyoḥ kalaha nāsti, "and when there is no fight between husband and wife, or family-wise," tatra śrīḥ svayam āgataḥ, "there goddess of fortune is always present." Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is the principle given by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, the greatest politician and moralist. Mūrkha means who is not pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa. He's a mūrkha or mūḍha. Not that ABCD learned. ABCD learned is no use. And another śloka, Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says who is learned man. Mātṛvat para-dāreṣu: "One who does not think of any illicit sex life." Mātṛvat... Every woman-mother. Except his married wife, every woman is mother. Mātṛvat para-dāreṣu para-loṣṭravat "And others' money, just like garbage." Nobody touches. Mātṛvat para-dāreṣu para-dravyeṣu loṣṭravat, and ātmavat sarva-bhūteṣu: "And one who sees like himself all other living entities, he's paṇḍita, he's learned." Not by MA, Ph.D. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break) ...yaḥ paśyati. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. (break) ...nihāram iva bhā... It is called nihāra. As long, as soon as the sun becomes strong, immediately, everything finished. Just see.

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

Professor Durckheim: They are educated too.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So they are always engaged in devotional service. So unless there is some realization, how they can engage their time in this way? (break) "You are human being. You can eat. I have given you fruits. I have given you vegetables. I have given you food grains. I have given you milk, very nutritious, palatable, containing all vitamin ABCD. And why should you kill animals? Why should you give trouble to the others?" This is self-realization, that "Here is another self. The same active principle is working there. The body is different. Why shall I kill him?" So they have realized it. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu. Equal vision to all living entities, that the self, that active principle, is working in the fish, in the insect, within the tree, within the plant, within the animals, within the birds and within me. This is self-realization. That active principle is soul, and the soul is migrating from one body to another as you are migrating from childhood to babyhood, babyhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood. So the soul is the same. The body is different. The body is material and the soul is spiritual. When one comes to this understanding, that is self-realization.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Yoga Student -- March 14, 1975, Iran:

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa of Bhāgavata and Kṛṣṇa, Mahābhārata—the same.

Indian man: Thank you. I know a little about that, but still, if you we take Kṛṣṇa of Bhāgavata, and if you want to say, explain all the things that had happened pertaining to Kṛṣṇa, it would be very difficult to explain the same thing with Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā. That Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā will be separate to everybody.(?)

Prabhupāda: No, therefore... No, therefore... Therefore we say that first of all you understand Kṛṣṇa of Bhagavad-gītā. That is the ABCD of Kṛṣṇa. Then you go to Bhāgavatam.

Room Conversation with Press Representative -- March 21, 1975, Calcutta:

Guest: Process as laid down in Gītā?

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the ABCD. Then you can go further on. If you read Bhagavad-gītā as it is, there is everything explained, everything. All problems are solved. Any problem you propose, there is solution in the Bhagavad-gītā. Now this poverty, as you raised this question, poverty, so what is written there in the Bhagavad-gītā? Annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14). This is instruction, that "You produce food grain." Now, suppose Calcutta is a big city. Who is producing food grain? Everyone is trying to purchase food grain. But who is thinking that "Wherefrom the food grain will come?" Just see the foolishness of the people. You have to produce food grain. And there is ample facility. But throughout the whole world there are hundreds and thousands of cities. Now, who is producing food grain? The solution is there in the Bhagavad-gītā. He said, annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Kṛṣṇa never said, "By motor tire bhavanti bhūtāni." Bhavanti means flourish. Everyone is engaged in producing motor tire, car, and they are flattering the Arabians for petrol. The same energy, if it would have been engaged in producing food grain, then where is the poverty?

Morning Walk -- June 25, 1975, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Now big, big scholars, they have taken the trouble to write on Bhagavad-gītā. But nobody has taken the trouble to write on other scriptures like Bible or Koran. Nobody has taken. No scholar, no philosopher have tried to comment or study because they know it is not very important. Here is important. This is the proof, wisest. And that is only ABCD of God's knowledge. So people should take advantage. It is accepted indirectly. There are so many editions of Bhagavad-gītā, in your country, English. Why they take trouble to read Bhagavad-gītā so carefully? Big, big scholars, philosophers, why? (break) It is the impersonal, cloth. So Śaṅkarācārya has tried to impress this fact, but the rascals followed in a different way. Just like a cloth, big cloth, that is impersonal. Now, you cut it into coat. It becomes like person. So similarly this whole material world is impersonal, but because we have taken a certain portion of it and make my body, it looks like person. And God is not like that. He is spiritual person. He has nothing to do with material. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). What Śaṅkarācārya impressed, that they are after demigods, so "The demigods, they are not actual person. Real person is Nārāyaṇa." That is Śaṅkarācārya's version.

Morning Walk -- July 10, 1975, Chicago:
Prabhupāda: These two qualifications required. She must learn how to prepare first-class foodstuff, and she must learn how to become chaste and faithful to the husband. Only these two qualification required. Then her life is successful. So try to do that. (Car doors open, walk begins) Ordinary education is sufficient, ABCD. This is all nonsense, so big, big, sound education and later on become a prostitute. What is this education? (laughter) To make them prostitute, it doesn't require education. (break) Yesterday we saw in the television how these rascals are wasting time, talking nonsense. There was nothing, valuable talk. Foot... No, no, hand... What is that? Handprint? And the addicted murder? That was the case? (break) Within two weeks, two divorces.
Morning Walk -- October 18, 1975, Johannesburg:

Prabhupāda: You have no position. You cannot take the Western culture properly, and you have lost your own culture. This is India's bad luck. They never taught Indians how to become actually Westernized. No. They were not giving them sufficient education. They were very much against higher education in the beginning. They wanted some clerks to conduct their activities, mercantile and government, some third-class, fourth-class men. Educated means ABCD, that's all. "They may know ABCD and take fifty, sixty rupees salary, and go home outside the town and come in daily passenger train, and work hard here and simply get your money so that you can maintain yourself." Nothing more. No education, no money, no industry. They were not taught properly. Here I see the factories, and the arrangement is so nice. But Indian factories, go—it is hell. Hell, simply hell. The Britishers exploited the Indians, and the capitalist class of India, they have learned how to exploit only.

Room Conversation -- October 29, 1975, Nairobi:

Prabhupāda: Yes. By reading, you'll understand. Hm? What is that?

Brahmānanda: He's asking that it states in part one of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that one should not jump to the Tenth Canto without having read all the previous.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Yes. Knowledge has got step. You are learning ABCD. How you can go to higher studies?

Brahmānanda: But the prabhu is feeling that he likes to read all of your books and sometimes he reads one book and sometimes another book. Is that bad?

Prabhupāda: No, that is not bad, but better go by step by step.

Morning Walk -- November 17, 1975, Bombay:

Dr. Patel: Whatever type of education may be, but that is the real education.

Prabhupāda: No, no. Not whatever. This is the education, that the...

Dr. Patel: (Hindi)

Prabhupāda: (aside:) Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. This is education. There is no question of ABCD. First of all brahmacārī gurukule vasan dantaḥ. He is to be trained how to become sober and gentle.

Dr. Patel: Self-controlled.

Prabhupāda: That is required. That is education. This is not education. They are killing the teachers. They are killing teachers. You do not know?

Morning Walk -- December 18, 1975, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Saṁsārīs, (indistinct) for the saṁsārīs. When Kṛṣṇa says, annād bhavanti bhūtāni (BG 3.14), this is for saṁsārīs. Saintly person doesn't require anna. It is meant for the saṁsārī. Annād bhavanti bhūtāni. Catur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭam: (BG 4.13) This division of society is meant for the saṁsārī, to control division of labor. Everything is for the saṁsārī. It is not meant for the paramahaṁsa. Paramahaṁsa-saṁhitā is Bhāgavata. This is ABC. These people, they do not understand even the ABC. This is the difficulty. They cannot learn even the ABCD of spiritual knowledge.

Morning Walk -- December 19, 1975, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Culture means human being.

Dr. Patel: Human...?

Prabhupāda: Human being. Just like Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, mātṛvat para-dāreṣu. This is culture to see every woman as mother. This is not education. Education, the modern meaning of education is rubbish, to learn ABCD. This is not education. Without culture, what is the meaning of education?

Dr. Patel: So culture is the background for all these things.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- January 16, 1976, Mayapur:

Hariśauri: Anything apart from the Vedas is not really knowledge.

Prabhupāda: No. May be some fragmental knowledge, but if one wants full knowledge in life, then he must read Bhāgavatam. Bhagavad-gītā is the preliminary ABCD, and then let him read Bhāgavatam. They have been taught like that. Andhā yathāndhaiḥ. They are passing as great leader for giving men wrong direction and spoil the life. He cannot save himself and he can spoil himself very nicely.

Room Conversation -- April 20, 1976, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: Yes, any.... Guru means the teacher. So if the teacher does not give you real knowledge, then he is not teacher. He is cheater.

Mike Barron: And there are some around.

Prabhupāda: Almost everyone, because they do not know what is the subject matter of teaching. The subject matter of teaching is beginning with this understanding, that life is different from matter. That is the beginning, ABCD. So if your basic knowledge is wrong, then what is the use of going further? It is all false knowledge.

Morning Walk -- June 7, 1976, Los Angeles:

Rāmeśvara: You gave the example of trying to get an M.A. degree.

Prabhupāda: Yes. One has to come to that highest stage. It is not forbidden. That may be ideal, but not for the neophytes. You must.... One who does not know ABCD, what he will know about M.A. degrees? That they do not know. They think that they have already passed M.A. degree. That is their fault.

Answers to a Questionnaire from Bhavan's Journal -- June 28, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: That's it. The aim is to please the Supreme through the spiritual master. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo **. This is the idea. Now, who is teaching this tapasya? Where is the school, college? Smoke: this is tapasya. And they are smoking before teacher. No offense. What you'll expect from such student? Animal civilization. This is not civilization. No tapasya, no brahmacārī. Tapo divyaṁ (SB 5.5.1). And tapasya begins from brahmacārī. Tapasā brahmacaryeṇa śamena (SB 6.1.13), to control. Brahmacārī guru-gṛhe vasan dantaḥ. How to control senses, that is the beginning of life. Not ABCD learning and maybe your character may be less than an animal's, and you have got a degree of the university. You become a learned man. No. That is not accepted. Even from moral instruction, who is educated? That is described by Canakya Pandit.

Radio Interview -- July 27, 1976, London:

Mike Robinson: And what difference would it make to him, being taught what the Hare Kṛṣṇa people...

Prabhupāda: This is the beginning of education, that you are a spirit soul. Because you are spirit soul you are changing bodies. This is the understanding, beginning A-B-C-D. So when the body is finished, annihilated, you are not finished—you get another body. Just like you have got this coat and shirt. If you change tomorrow, you come to me in another shirt or another coat, that means you are not finished. This science has to be understood. Then one can make progress about the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.

Room Conversation -- July 31, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Prabhupāda: Yes. Sixty-four arts, Rādhārāṇī did. Then She could control Kṛṣṇa.

Jyotirmāyī: So after they have learned all the academics, reading, writing, all these.

Prabhupāda: Academic is ordinary, ABCD, that's all. Not very much. But these arts. They should learn how to cook nicely.

Jyotirmāyī: And what should the boys be taught from ten to sixteen?

Prabhupāda: The principle is same, that when they grow up they learn the śāstra. The more they read, the more they learn. Then they become preacher, teacher. The grown-up children, those who are fifteen, sixteen, they can teach five-, six-years-old.

Room Conversation With French Commander -- August 3, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Translator: He is explaining that there are so many things to understand about Kṛṣṇa, but we do not have the capacity to understand always. But he feels that at one point, when the soul is pure, these things will be understood automatically, but because we are very far, these commentaries are needed to bring us closer to Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the first study of Kṛṣṇa. ABCD. When we learn Bhagavad-gītā, then we can have some glimpse of idea of Kṛṣṇa. Then we go further in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Meeting with Italian Printer -- August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm):

Bhagavān: He is printing the scriptures, so he must accept them.

Yogeśvara: He finds it difficult to accept that the truth is something that you can put down in black and white. He seems to feel that it's more something you can realize through meditation.

Prabhupāda: How you'll realize? Unless you learn ABCD, how you can realize truth?

Translator: He's saying that we believe in the spiritual truth, but does that mean that our material truth does not exist?

Prabhupāda: It is conditional. Just like your body exists for a certain days only. But it is not eternal. But you, soul, you are eternal.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Conversation with Yogi Amrit Desai of Kripalu Ashram (PA USA) -- January 2, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Factories and industry and export and import and then slaughterhouse, drinking, prostitute—these are all British contribution. In India, before that, they did not know, although there was Muhammadan kingdom. Muhammadans were happy as ruler. They did not... They thought that "Let them execute their own religion, and let us our religion." That was the relation. And Hindus, they took it that "Somebody must be government..." (break) ...policy that "If the Indians remain as Indian, it will be impossible to govern. Give them education and condemn everything Indian." And they engaged their own men, engaged our men, and gradually they developed the industry. Naturally people became very much astonished: "Oh, they are making such a nice bridge. We have now laid down the railway. We have got facilities, so on, so on..." They gave them, for developing these enterprises, a little knowledge in English, ABCD, they would get good job. In this way they established. Money and export, import... This business enterprise and industry, these..., all these things, were introduced. There was not a single factory before British days. Industry idea is completely Western. And tea garden.

Room Conversation with Film Producer about Krsna Lila -- January 22, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Guest (1): No, we understand. We are depicting the...

Prabhupāda: Begin.

Indian man: ...aspect, supreme superman.

Prabhupāda: Just like one learns from ABCD, not jumping over M.A. class. That is my point. Teach people from the ABCD. So this is the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). What Kṛṣṇa? He is the original. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ (BG 10.8). Show that by film, how He is sarvasya prabhavo. That will be...

Guest (1): So He is always supreme power.

Room Conversation with Film Producer about Krsna Lila -- January 22, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Prabhupāda: Just like our this Kṛṣṇa book, from the very beginning, or Bhagavad-gītā. You try...

Guest (2): So eleven or twelve days' time... We have posted the letter on seventh, and yesterday this gentleman from here rang me that "You were searching for the Guruji, and he is at..." "Nonsense." When I am busy giving some dictation to my steno. "He is humbug." So from there we came here.

Prabhupāda: Thank you. Hare Kṛṣṇa. So if you want to give education, take it from the very beginning, ABCD, and present nicely so that people may..., can take advantage.

Evening Darsana -- February 15, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: And they thought, "Oh, how beneficial the English, British Company. They're giving us so much facility." And English education, they wanted to conduct their office affairs. They required some clerk. They did not want any highly educated. "Work here—ABCD—that's all. 'Yes, no, very good.' Bas." (laughs) So... And as soon as you learn "Yes, no, very good," you get fifty rupees' salary. So they gave up living in... That time fifty rupees is now five thousand. Yes. So they all entered school, English education—"ABCD, yes, no, very good. Bas." And this is British policy. Otherwise India was very happy.

Evening Darsana -- February 26, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Karmaṇy evā...

Guest (1): (Sanskrit)

Prabhupāda: No, simply you do not quote that verse. You first begin from ABCD. Dhīras tatra na muhyati. Unless you begin ABCD, you cannot go, immediately jump up to the M.A. class.

Guest (1): No, that karma itself is not something...

Prabhupāda: No, why do you quote karma? Why you do not quote the beginning, the beginning of ABCD? If you have no knowledge of the ABCD, then karma... The monkey is also very busy, jumping, but as soon as a monkey comes, "Eh! Get out! Get out! Get out!" But he is thinking he's very busy. That, such kind of karma, will simply create disturbance. We must know what is karma. Karmaṇo hy api boddhavyam. We should understand what is karma.

Evening Darsana -- February 26, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: And therefore I say that education has been so wrongly given that they are restless like animals due to the modern civilization. The beginning of spiritual education they cannot accept. What they will make, further progress of spiritual life? Beginning, ABCD, they are so restless, they cannot take. This is the position. Therefore I'm speaking that it is meant for the dhīra, for the rājarṣi. Not for the men who are like animals. Sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Their bodily conception is so strong that they cannot hear even what is said. They are so dull. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyāḥ (SB 1.1.10).

Room Conversation -- April 19, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Little ABCD, and they are trying to challenge the laws of nature. Little learning dangerous. Alpa-vidyā bhayaṁ kare(?). Just like in our society. Some of them have got little Sanskrit—they have become scholar, Sanskrit scholar. They're reading only Sanskrit. Rascal cannot read anything, and they are wasting money, four hundred, five hundred, like that, "Sanskrit Department," dozen men. You were speaking. So I have stopped it. Unnecessary. I have talked with so many foreign Sanskrit scholars. They do not know anything. Still, they are passing as Sanskrit scholar.

GBC Meets with Srila Prabhupada -- May 28, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: A realized soul, must be. Otherwise, simply by imitating A-B-C-D will not help. My purports are liked by people because it is presented as practical experience. (aside:) It is within the mouth.

Bhavānanda: I'm sorry.

Prabhupāda: Such a nice instrument, (laughter) that it must enter into the mouth. Then it will act. That kind of instrument not required. It must remain three miles off. Our translation must be documents. They are not ordinary... One cannot become unless one is very realized. It is not A-B-C-D translation.

Facts about "ABCD"
Compiled byMadhuGopaldas + and Serene +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryMarch 18, 0013 JL +
Date of last entryMarch 18, 0013 JL +
Total quotes92 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 59 +, Conv: 33 + and Let: 0 +