Ascending (Conversations)

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Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

There are two processes for understanding the Absolute Truth. One is ascending process, and one is descending process. We accept that descending process. Ascending process means trying to understand the Absolute Truth by dint of one's limited knowledge.
Radio Interview -- February 12, 1969, Los Angeles:

Interviewer: Well, would you say that, agree with those who say that in the people who have understood, in all the great schools of thought they have come to approximately, at least and sometimes almost, identical conclusions. The thinking of the great mystics in all religions have been in essential agreement.

Prabhupāda: The thing is that religion is a different thing. Religion is a kind of faith. You may have your faith in a certain type of procedure; I may have a certain type of procedure. That is different thing. Suppose you are now Christian. You may change your faith to Mohammedanism. But you as person, you do not change. Your faith may change. Similarly, we are concerned with consciousness.

Interviewer: Yes, but so have all of the great teachers been concerned with consciousness. It's a question of whether or not it's achieved. I presume that's why you work at this.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But thing is that there are two processes for understanding the Absolute Truth. One is ascending process, and one is descending process. We accept that descending process. Ascending process means trying to understand the Absolute Truth by dint of one's limited knowledge. Our knowledge... However I may be great, my senses are imperfect. You see? I cannot understand the sun, although I see every day sun, without understanding the sun as it is from authoritative books. Simply by seeing, by, simply by sense perception, we cannot understand. Now, this machine, simply by seeing, I cannot understand. But if I hear from authorities that "This is this; this is that," that understanding is right. Similarly, Absolute Truth cannot be understood by mental speculation, however a great thinker he may be. It must be understood from the authorities. So that... We follow that principle. We try to understand Absolute Truth from the lips of the Absolute Truth, not otherwise. That is the difference.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Your process is, you are trying to ascend. But we are taking knowledge from directly God. That is the difference.
Room Conversation with Krishna Tiwari -- May 22, 1973, New York:

Prabhupāda: Now our, our preaching is, "Here is the controller." Now, you may take it or not take it. That is different thing. But we say "Here is the controller."

Krishna Tiwari: Only difference of opinion is this, that, uh, one... Oh, you say or I say, it doesn't matter. It's not reflected to you. Anybody who says that they know about God, they have actually no, no, no, no way to prove any way, one way or the other.

Prabhupāda: No. We don't know by your process.

Krishna Tiwari: By any process.

Prabhupāda: Your process. Your process is, you are trying to ascend. But we are taking knowledge from directly God. That is the difference.

Vedic process is not to acquire knowledge by ascending process, inductive process. Vedic knowledge is to receive knowledge by descending process, knowledge coming from authority.
Room Conversation with Latin Professor -- December 9, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: So with so many imperfectness, how we can get perfect knowledge? What is your answer?

Professor: I have no answer.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Therefore, our speculative knowledge, intellectual platform, is not helpful. We must receive knowledge from superior source, perfect source. That knowledge is perfect. Just like we give, generally this example, that to find out who is my father, my search out, research, will not help me, but if my mother says, "Here is your father," that is perfect knowledge because she's authority. Therefore, for perfect knowledge, we have to take it from the perfect authority, not by our speculative intellectual gymnasium. No, that will not help. Because our intellectual jurisdiction is very limited. That is Vedic process. Vedic process is not to acquire knowledge by ascending process, inductive process. Vedic knowledge is to receive knowledge by descending process, knowledge coming from authority.

Descending, not ascending. We have to take knowledge from superior. We should not try ourself to know. That will be imperfect.
Morning Walk -- December 16, 1973, Los Angeles:

Viśvareta: Scientists, they have their mental process, but what is our process to understand this knowledge?

Prabhupāda: Ascending. Ah, descending, not ascending. We have to take knowledge from superior. We should not try ourself to know. That will be imperfect. Avaroha-patha. Just like we're receiving knowledge from Kṛṣṇa. We are not researching. Those who are researching, they cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. They understand Kṛṣṇa as ordinary human being, maybe little learned. That's all. The Dr. Frog's calculation of Atlantic Ocean. That's all. Avajānanti māṁ mūḍhāḥ (BG 9.11). (break) ...automatically. You see? But he does not know that behind this automation there is brain. He'll see, "Oh, how nice." That's all. Similarly, child-like scientist, they will say, "Everything is going on automatically." (break) ...but there is brain behind that.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

As he degraded from the body of Brahmā to fly, similarly, he can also ascend from the body of a fly to the body of Brahmā.
Room Conversation with M. Lallier, noted French Poet -- June 12, 1974, Paris:

Yogeśvara: If one has fallen so far that he has taken the body of a fly or a mosquito, can he still return to Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. As he degraded from the body of Brahmā to fly, similarly, he can also ascend from the body of a fly to the body of Brahmā.

Karandhara: The process of falling down, descending, can be reversed, and one can evolve back up, ascend back up. It may take a lot of time and a lot of births, but...

M. Lallier: But why? We, in France, for instance, or in occidental world, we are accustomed to think, to think that the phenomena of consciousness is only a characteristic... (break) What is the signification of...?

Yogeśvara: Of that degradation of the human species?

M. Lallier: Yes, of the flow (?) of the four ages.

Yogeśvara: So, so far, to this point, we've been speaking about a gradual evolution of consciousness through the species. So what is the explanation, what is the reason for which there is a degradation of the human consciousness through the four ages?

Prabhupāda: Where there is evolution, there must be degradation. Otherwise, what is the meaning of evolution? Why it should be stagnant? If you go, ascend, then you can descend also. Now, the Mr. Nixon was elected president, and why he's being dragged, "Come down." He is not coming down, but he has already come down, degradation. Nobody likes him.

We have to receive knowledge from the perfect, not by ascending process, experiencing failure.
Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: Personally, I may be, you may be, not perfect. But because I get the knowledge from the perfect, my knowledge is perfect. This is our process. We are getting knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the most perfect. Or you get knowledge from Jesus Christ, that is also perfect, because source is perfect. I am taking knowledge from God and you are taking the knowledge from the son of God who has come directly from him, the same. So, but we have to receive knowledge from the perfect, not by ascending process, experiencing failure, experiencing failure, experiencing failure, not like that. That will take long time. But if you actually want to be perfect, just approach the perfect, take knowledge from him and you become perfect. That is the injunction.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

There are five stages of ascending to come to the right conclusion. Pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja and aprākṛta.
Room Conversation -- June 10, 1976, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: There are five stages of ascending to come to the right conclusion. This, this is.... Just like pratyakṣa, directly, you do not see the sun on the sky, but the same example, if you phone your friend, "Where is the sun?" then he'll say, "Yes, here is the sun." So this is called parokṣa, mean you get the knowledge by other sources. Your direct sources, you cannot see, but you get from other sources, you understand, "Yes, sun is there in the sky."

Richard: And I have faith that it is.

Prabhupāda: You must have faith.

Richard: I trust that it is.

Prabhupāda: You have to trust.

Richard: Okay, I was listening to him and, you know, I'm hearing a lot, okay, the brain...

Prabhupāda: I mean to say, there are five stages, pratyakṣa, parokṣa, aparokṣa, adhokṣaja and aprākṛta. So our process should be to go to the aprākṛta, transcendental knowledge. This is the stages. Just like.... This is explained. We can directly understand that by directly, I'm seeing there is no sun, but when I ask my friend, he says there is sun. So this is also knowledge. This is called parokṣa knowledge, from other sources. Similarly, there are stages. So when the perfect stage is, that is aprākṛta, no more material, all spiritual.

Compiled byVisnu Murti + and Kanupriya +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryDecember 28, 0008 JL +
Date of last entryDecember 7, 0009 JL +
Total quotes7 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 0 +, Conv: 7 + and Let: 0 +