Testing stone. And by seeing the color and by testing it with acid, they will immediately evaluate the big lump of gold, what is the value. Similarly, we are a small fragmental portion of God. God is suppose the lump of gold and we are a little particle of gold. So although we are little particle, by quality we are gold. God is gold, we are gold. So if you can understand your position, then you can understand God also. Just like from a bag of rice you take a few grains and see, then you can understand what is the quality of rice in the bag and you can evaluate it, price. So if you try to understand yourself, then you can understand what is God. Or other way, if you understand God, then you understand everything. One way is ascending process, one process is descending process. Just like on the roof there is some sound. Now we are here, we are not on the roof, we may conjecture or theorize what is that sound. Somebody will say some cat must be there, somebody will say that some man must be there. In this way, we can go on speculate. This is also one process. This is called ascending process. And descending process means if there is one person on the roof, he says, "This sound is due to this," then that is also perfect knowledge. So we get knowledge from the higher authorities, that is perfect knowledge and that is easier.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Our process is descending process. We are not trying to understand by the ascending process. Inductive or deductive. We accept the statements of the Vedas. Therefore we haven't got to make much effort to understand a thing. Veda-vacana, śruti, śruti-pramāṇa. There are three kinds of evidences: direct perception, and evidence from the Vedas, and evidence from history. Aitihya. Pratyakṣa, aitihya, śruti. Three kinds of evidences. So pratyakṣa and aitihya is neglected. According to our Vedic system, śruti-pramāṇa, if it is statement, the statement is there in the śruti, in the Vedas, then we accept. We have got a society in India. They call veda-pramāṇa. "We cannot accept without it is not mentioned in the Vedas." That's a, that's nice. But there is another class who are described in the Bhagavad-gītā by Kṛṣṇa Himself: veda-vāda-ratāḥ. They are simply unnecessarily fight on the basis of so-called Vedic knowledge. Vedic knowledge must be understood from the guru. That is injunction. They defy that.
So our so-called scientific advancement always remains indefinitely imperfect because it is not possible to understand the whole thing as it is. But we can understand from Bhagavad-gītā that there is heart. Now if you go to the laboratory to find out where is the heart of the small creatures, you have no capacity, neither you have instruments. No. Therefore your knowledge will always be imperfect because this process of acquiring knowledge is always imperfect. But this knowledge, as we hear from Bhagavad-gītā that there is heart in every living entity, this is perfect.
Therefore there are two kinds of processes to receive knowledge. The Vedic process says, avaroha-panthā, descending process. And the material process is āroha-panthā, ascending process, research. This is āroha-panthā, find out whether this, what is this, what is this, neti, neti, neti, neti, analysis, dissection, and so many. This is called āroha-panthā. Trying to ascend by dint of one's material knowledge. Then spiritual knowledge, you cannot have perfect knowledge... Why spiritual knowledge? Even material knowledge. Now there are so many attempts to go to the moon planet. They are trying to go there by so many ascending processes, sputnik, airplanes, and so many things. Still, we do not know what is this planet.
Suppose if you want to learn engineering, so you cannot go to a butcher. You must find out an engineer. You must admit yourself into the engineering college, learn how to practice engineering. Suppose if you want to become a medical practitioner, so you have to admit yourself in some medical college. Similarly, if you want to know about spiritual matter, then you must approach a spiritual master who knows the things. How you can learn it from anywhere and everywhere? One must be expert in spiritual knowledge. From him you have to learn. Therefore it is said here, "Just try to learn the truth by..."
Here truth means the Absolute Truth, not relative truth. Or even if you want to know relative truth, you have to approach a particular expert. But here, it is indicated, truth means the Absolute Truth. So Kṛṣṇa indicates that "Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master." Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). That is the Vedic injunction. In the Kaṭhopaniṣad the Vedas says that "If you want to learn transcendental science, so you have to approach a bona fide spiritual master."
And who is bona fide spiritual master? That is also described, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham: "One who has heard from his spiritual master." This is... Spiritual master becomes by disciplic succession, ascending process. Just like we learn "Man is mortal" from higher authority, from my father, from mother or any other authority.
The yoga system, you will find that all the yogis formerly... Still in India there are many yogis. They come at Kumbhamela. We have seen some of them. They are some of them are 700 years old, and you'll see him just like a boy of 25 years. They are doing something, yoga. So they, rarely they come when there is some special function. In India there are four places. Just like in the modern days there are conferences of different parties, similarly, in India there are still about thirty hundred thousands of saintly persons. Not one, two. And they, not all, but at least, major portion of them, they meet together after twelve years in some particular places. There are four places. One at Prayāga. You have heard the name of Allahabad city. That is called Prayāga. And one at Hardwar, and at Kanchi. In this way they have got four places. That means every four years they have meeting. So in that meeting many yogis come. And when... Not in my this renounced order, when I was living for some time at Allahabad... Not some time. I lived there for thirteen years, at Allahabad. So I was seeing this Mela. Although it was taking at at least 12 years, I have seen twice or thrice. So these yogis, they are so calm and quiet and looking... Of course, I do not know. Somebody said this man is 700 years old, this man is 300 years old, but they look like young boys.
So they, such yogis, as it is recommended here, yogī yuñjīta satatam ātmānam. One who is actually ascendent on the yogic principles, his first function is that he remains alone. He has no society. He cannot remain in society.
Jñāna-yoga process means to search out the Absolute Truth or to understand the nature of the Absolute Truth by philosophical way. And this is called jñāna-yoga. And our is bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga means, the process is the same, target is the same. One is trying to reach the supreme ultimate goal by philosophical way, one is trying to concentrate his mind on the supreme and the other, the bhaktas, they are simply engaging themselves to serve the Supreme Lord so He reveals. One process is to understand by the ascending process. And another process is the descending process. Just like in darkness, if you try to understand what is sun by ascending process, by flying your very powerful airplane or sputniks, just go round over the sky, you cannot see. But the descending process, when the sun rises, you understand immediately. Ascending process—my endeavor, what is called inductive process. Inductive process. Just like my father says that man is mortal. I accept it. Now if you want to study whether man is mortal, you study, you see many thousands of men, whether he is immortal or mortal. That will take so much time. But if you take the knowledge from the superior authority, that man is mortal, your knowledge is complete.
So athāpi te deva padāmbuja-dvaya-prasāda-leśānugṛhīta... jānāti tattvaṁ bhagavan-mahimno na cānya eko 'pi ciraṁ vicinvan (SB 10.14.29). Therefore it is said, "My dear Lord, a person who has received a little favor from You, he can understand You very quickly. And others who are trying to understand You by the ascending process, they may go on speculating for millions of years, they will never understand." They will never understand. They will come to the point of frustration and confusion. "Oh, God is zero." That's all, finished. If God is zero, then how from zero so many, I mean to say, figures coming out? God is zero. Bhāgavata says, Vedānta says janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Everything is generates from the Supreme. Now we have to study how it is generated. That is also explained, what is the way, what is the process, how to know it. This is Vedānta-sūtra. Vedānta means the ultimate knowledge. Veda means knowledge and anta means ultimate. So Vedānta means the ultimate knowledge. The ultimate knowledge is the Supreme Lord.
Question: Prabhupāda, you said that Kṛṣṇa has no limbs, no eyes, no form that we can comprehend. How then are we to understand the form of Kṛṣṇa that's given to us in the pictures and the mūrtis?
Prabhupāda: Yes, that I have explained. That you are to simply serve Him, then He will reveal. You cannot understand Kṛṣṇa by your ascending process. You have to serve Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa will reveal to you. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find in the Tenth Chapter.
- teṣām evānukampārtham
- aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ
- nāśayāmy ātma-bhāva-stho
- jñāna-dīpena bhāsvatā
- (BG 10.11)
"Those who are always engaged in My service, just to show them a special favor," teṣām evānukampārtham, aham ajñāna-jaṁ tamaḥ nāśayāmi. "I vanquish all kinds of darkness of ignorance by the light of knowledge." So Kṛṣṇa is within you. And when you are sincerely searching after Kṛṣṇa by the devotional process, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, you'll find in Eighteenth Chapter, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). "One can understand Me simply by this devotional process." Bhaktyā. And what is bhakti? Bhakti is this: śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). Simply hearing and chanting about Viṣṇu. This is the beginning of bhakti.
So if you simply hear sincerely and submissively, then you will understand Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will reveal to you.
Āroha-panthā means trying to ascend, trying to ascend. There are two kinds of ways to understand knowledge. One process is āroha-panthā, ascending process, and another process is descending process. Descending process. What is that āroha-panthā? Āroha-panthā means that "I shall understand what is God by my own knowledge. I don't care for any authority, any books. I'll understand, I'll meditate, I'll think, I'll philosophize, and I'll understand what is God." This is called āroha-panthā. And against this, there is avaroha-panthā. Avaroha-panthā means getting knowledge from the authority.
There are two processes. Now, out of these two processes, the āroha-panthā, one who is trying to understand the Supreme by his own limited knowledge, for him, it is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā,
- panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo
- vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām
- so 'py asti yat prapada-sīmny avicintya-tattve
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
- (Bs. 5.34)
Now, panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyaḥ. By the ascending process, if anyone makes progress with the speed of mind and speed of air... You, you know the speed of mind, how it is powerful. You are sitting here, and you can think of thousands and thousands and thousands of miles away immediately. Just see the speed of mind. Similarly, the velocity of air is very thousands of miles in a second, velocity of air. So the example is given here that if anyone traverses on the path of ascending process with the velocity of mind and air... Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vat... And if he makes progress not only for one day, two days, three days, one month—koṭi-śata-vatsara, millions and millions of years, if he goes in that speed... Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi manasaḥ (Bs. 5.34). Vāyu. Vāyu means air. By the airplane or sputnik, or by the speed of the mind, if he makes progress... Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām. And not very ordinary man, but muni-puṅgava. Muni-puṅgava means the highest thoughtful. Puṅgava means the greatest, and a muni means thoughtful, thinker. If he goes on for millions of years in the speed of mind and speed of air, still, he will find still not knowable, not knowable. Panthās tu koṭi-śata-vatsara-sampragamyo vāyor athāpi manaso muni-puṅgavānām, so 'py asti yat prapada-sīmny avicintya-tattve (Bs. 5.34). Still the subject matter remains inconceivable, inconceivable, not definite.
Even in the warfield, you can hear from the authoritative source. So that was the process of acquiring knowledge, hearing. Hearing means receiving the knowledge, not manufacturing. There are two process of knowledge. There are some persons who think, "Oh, why shall I hear from him? Oh, I can think. I can speculate. I can manufacture something new of my own group." These are nonsense. This is not Vedic process. Vedic process is hearing, ascending process, er, not..., descending process. There are two processes of knowledge: ascending and descending. Ascending means trying to go high by your strength, and descending means the pure knowledge which comes from up, you receive it. Inductive and deductive process.
So ascending process is not recommended in the Vedic process of knowledge. Vedic way of receiving knowledge—by aural reception, by submissive aural reception from the spiritual master to the student. This is the way. It is coming. As we have read in the Fourth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2): "In this way, traditionally, from the spiritual master to the student, this knowledge was imparted." The Lord said that "I imparted this knowledge first of all to the sun-god, and the sun-god imparted this knowledge to his son, Manu, and Manu imparted this knowledge to his son, Ikṣvāku." Ikṣvāku was the king of this planet. So from Ikṣvāku, this knowledge is coming down from the master, or from the father to the son, or from the master to the disciple. It is coming on. And because that disciplic succession was broken, therefore Lord Kṛṣṇa said that "I am speaking again that old system of knowledge to you, Arjuna, because you are My devotee, you are My dear friend." We have already studied this fact. So this is the way.
Hearing is the first stage. And hearing is so powerful that simply by hearing from authoritative source, you can become completely perfect, simply by hearing. Submissive hearing, of course. Submissive. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. This is a verse from Bhāgavata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. Don't be upstart. Don't try to understand the supreme knowledge, the Absolute Truth, by your strength. You are very poor. Your senses are imperfect. You cannot understand. This, this process, you should give up. Jñāne prayāsam. Attempt to know the Supreme by ascending process. "Oh, I shall know. I'll manufacture my own way." This is the way going on nowadays. Everyone is thinking that "Why shall I accept any authority? I shall think myself what I am and what is my duty." This is going on. But this is not the Vedic process. The Vedic process is to śravaṇam. So simply if we give up this foolish process of understanding the Absolute Truth by my own attempt, we, if we give up and we become submissive... Yes. Submissive means we must know our imperfectness.
So conditioned soul is to commit mistake, to be illusioned, and the senses are imperfect. We are very much proud of seeing, but as soon as the light is put off, we cannot see. So our seeing is conditional. And similarly, all senses are conditional. So therefore imperfect. And there is another thing which is very nice. We have got a cheating propensity. I do not know anything, but I want to cheat others that I know everything. I don't... I am a fool number one, but I want to start a group of students and teach him foolish things. This is cheating. One must know from the authoritative sources and preach that thing. Just like Arjuna was taught by Kṛṣṇa, and that philosophy is going on. And those who are accepting the principle of Arjuna, they're real student of Bhagavad-gītā.
So therefore our attempt to understand the Absolute Truth by our faulty senses and experience is futile. We must hear. Śravaṇam. That is the Vedic process. The student used to go to the master and gurukula. It was known as gurukula. Every brāhmaṇa, every self-realized soul, every vipra, or expert in the knowledge of Vedic literature, he would be provided with some brahmacārīs, group of brahmacārīs. They will follow the rules and regulation of brahmacārī life and live with the spiritual master, and the spiritual master will teach them, from Vedic literature, real knowledge. That is the process. This is called śravaṇam. So one should not adopt the means of ascending process. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya. Udapāsya means "Give it up." And namanta eva: "And be submissive." Namanta eva jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām. In this way, if one lives and hears, san-mukharitām, from the realized soul... Just like Arjuna is hearing from Kṛṣṇa, from the perfect person, san-mukharitām. Kṛṣṇa or His representative. His representative is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is just like... Arjuna. Arjuna was made representative of Kṛṣṇa. How? Because Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa said, bhakto 'si: "You are My devotee." So nobody can become representative of Kṛṣṇa, or God, without becoming His devotee. One who thinks that "I am God," he cannot become the representative of God.
So tattva-jñāna, those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by mental speculation or mental exercises... There are many parties, they are, they are called theosophists and many others, they are trying to understand. So those who are trying to understand the Absolute Truth by their own knowledge, not from the knowledge of the Supreme... Our process is avaroha panthā, descending process, and the Māyāvādī philosopher's policy or system is ascending policy. I want to understand the Absolute Truth by exercising my mental power—that is called ascending process or inductive process. But our process is deductive process. We, Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7). We take it, we immediately take it, that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We are not going to search out who is the Supreme. Because we are hearing from the Supreme, Kṛṣṇa, then our business is finished: "Here is the Supreme." So this is very natural. You are searching after the Supreme. This is one process, by your own dint of knowledge, and another person is getting the knowledge directly from the Supreme—he is perfect. This is perfect process
Now we are discussing instruction of Nārada to his disciple, Vyāsadeva. Such a learned scholar, Vyāsadeva. He's known as Vedavyāsa, the authority on all Vedic literature. And he's supposed to be incarnation of Nārāyaṇa, exalted position. Still, he requires the instruction of a spiritual master. That is the way of Vedic way. Avaroha-panthā, āroha-panthā. Āroha-panthā means inductive process. To know from here, from the lower status to the higher status, speculative method, or ascending process. And avaroha-panthā is deductive process, getting knowledge from higher authorities. So our Vedic understanding is to receive knowledge from the authorities. That is perfect knowledge.
So actually, everything is existing. We have to simply take the knowledge. The modern method is ascending process. The knowledge is there, but still, they are trying to understand it by āroha-panthā, ascending process. It is called inductive knowledge. Inductive knowledge means that... Suppose a man is mortal. So the so-called scientists, they are trying to discover the law, why man is mortal. They are studying, "This man is mortal, this man is mortal, this man is mortal. Therefore it is concluded that all men are mortal. Nobody is immortal." But another man will argue that "You have not studied all the human society. How you can conclude? Therefore we must study." So this study will go on for life after life. They will never come to a person who is immortal. But they will protest that "We cannot accept." But our process is deductive. We say that man is mortal, first of all. Therefore John is a man. He is also mortal. This is deductive process. First of all we accept, man is mortal. The inductive process is that "Why shall I accept man is mortal? I may not have seen a person who is immortal." So that argument can be given.But we accept this Vedic knowledge, the first premises, accept, accepted. Just like we accept that God is the source of everything.
There are two ways: āroha-panthā, avaroha-panthā. Āroha-panthā means to know something by your dint of knowledge, ascending process, ascending process. Just like these people are trying to know the moon planet, the Venus planet, or other planets. They're going, ascending by airplane. And to know it. But they're doing it for the last twenty years. They do not know what is the actual position of the moon planet. That is not known. They're coming, going. Or whether they have gone, that they know. But from the situation it is understood they're not going. Maybe some other planet they are going. That is my opinion. Because the description of the moon planet does not tally. We have got in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam... The, this moon planet is one of the heavenly planets. There, high class of demigods, they live. Or one who is elevated to the moon planet, he is living there for ten thousands of years. Ten... What kind of ten thousands of years? In the moon planet, one day equal to our six months. Such months' year, and ten thousands of years. That is the duration of life in the moon planet. Those who are karma-kāṇḍīya, perform ritualistic ceremonies very nicely, they are promoted to the moon planet. And there are other planets also. This is Svargaloka. There are seven planetary systems upwards, and seven planetary systems downwards. Now we are living in the Bhūrloka, middle. Then above this, there is Bhuvarloka. Above this, there is Svarloka. Above this is Janaloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka, Brahmaloka. So this āroha... You cannot go to the Brahmaloka, although there is śāstra... Or you cannot go to the sun planet also. You are seeing every day, but go there. But you have no right. You cannot go.
So you cannot understand Kṛṣṇa, or God, or His abode by the speculative, ascending process. That is not possible. You have to inquire from. Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, "What is my duty now I am going to die?" He was cursed by a brāhmaṇa boy to die within seven days. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was quite competent to counteract the curse of the brāhmaṇa boy, but he decided that "I shall die." Because he thought that "I offended the boy's father by encircling a dead snake on the neck of the ṛṣi. So his son became angry that 'You have insulted my father. You die with this snake.' " So he accepted. So this, on the death point, he immediately left his kingdom, family, and everything, and went down to the river, bank of the river Ganges, and many... Because he was king, so many big, big men, even demigods, great saintly persons, they came to see Mahārāja Parīkṣit at his last stage of life, seven days. And so he asked, "What is my duty?" So he was a devotee, Parīkṣit Mahārāja. From his childhood, he was a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. So he inquired, "What is my duty to know about Kṛṣṇa?" And that is being welcomed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī, that "Your, to inquire about Kṛṣṇa, this question is very much welcome."
So this Kapila, Devahūti, son of Devahūti Kapila, His sāṅkhya-yoga means bhakti-vitāna-yogam, how bhakti, devotional service to the Lord, is expanded. That is sāṅkhya-yoga. And how it is received, that is also stated here, tattva āmnāyaṁ yad pravadanti sāṅkhyam. Āmnāyam, by disciplic succession. No philosophical speculation, but as it is received by predecessor, by tradition, āmnāyam. Tattva āmnāyam. We cannot manufacture tattva. That is improper way of understanding the truth. Generally, the Western philosophers, they try to understand the Absolute Truth by the ascending process. There are two processes of understanding the Absolute Truth. One is called ascending process, or inductive logic, and another process is descending process, or deductive logic. So ascending process is based on speculation, and descending process is based on fact.
This man and woman is educated that he or she is not this body. Therefore advancement of this education will stop him for this bodily enjoyment. Just like eating also. We are eating; we are not fasting. We are eating. But we are eating just to maintain the body and soul together, not extravagantly. Although we have very nice plates, kṛṣṇa-prasādam, but we do not make any palatable dishes for enjoyment. We make all nice things for Kṛṣṇa, and we take prasādam. Therefore the material effect of eating, it does not act upon the devotees.
So therefore Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, "By one stroke, kevalayā—without waiting for the austerity, undergoing severe penance, austerities, celibacy, controlling the mind, controlling the senses, and giving in charity, performing great sacrifices, to become, becoming very truthful, clean—but without waiting for all these things, simply by one stroke, accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one immediately ascends the highest position." There is ample proof in our Society. They had never any austerity, penance or celibacy, or they tried to control the senses or mind, or they gave any big amount of charities, or they observed cleanliness. Nothing of the sort. But immediately, simply by accepting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, just see how they are nice. Practical proof.
Govinda's bodily rays is brahmajyoti. The impersonalists, by their ascending process they realize brahmajyoti and they think, "This is end." No. You have to go further, further. Brahmaṇo 'haṁ pratiṣṭhā, Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the," what is called, "reservoir, or the background of this brahmajyoti." Background. Because Kṛṣṇa is there, therefore brahmajyoti is there. You'll find always in Kṛṣṇa's picture there is a auri. It is called auri?
So who cannot stay in the Brahman platform? The nondevotee. That is stated. Āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ patanty adhaḥ (SB 10.2.32). Just like as you go to the moon planet but if you cannot stay there, you must have to come down again to this planet; similarly, one may rise up to the Brahman platform, paraṁ-pada, which is called paraṁ-pada, but if you cannot stay there, then again you fall down. Just like many so-called sannyāsīs, they rise to the brahma-pada, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, but because they cannot stay there, they come down again to this material world and they are busy for opening hospitals, schools, and philanthropism. My wife, you have left already all this nonsense, you say that this world is mithyā, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā. So if you have ascended to the brahma-pada, why you come down again to the mithyā-pada? That means you have no taste. Actually you have not arrived, the same thing. You are going, the so-called advertisement, "I am going to the moon planet," but because you cannot stay there, you come down. So we have to stay there, brahma-pada. That brahma-pada staying means devotional service. Brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate (SB 1.2.11). So brahma-pada, you can rise up. But if you do not engage yourself in the service of Bhagavān, then again you come down.
When Kṛṣṇa from within yourself will give you right direction, then you'll come to the ultimate destination. Otherwise, whatever, however a great philosopher, scientist, or anything you may be, you'll simply hover on the material, mental plane. That's all.
So either you call perfect knowledge or you call happiness, anything, what you call, if you want to know the ultimate goal of your life perfectly, you have to follow a different method. A different method. That method is called avaroha-panthā. There are... All methods of acquiring knowledge can be divided into two groups. One group is called āroha-panthā, or research, inductive process. And another method is called deductive process, or avaroha-panthā. The knowledge coming from the supreme source, that is called avaroha-panthā, and the knowledge which is being sought after by using our imperfect senses, that is called āroha-panthā. Ascending process and descending process. So by ascending process, we can never come to the real knowledge. That is not possible, because our senses are imperfect. How we can ascend? Just like people are trying to ascend to the higher planetary system, but the instrument, sputnik itself, is imperfect. How you can go there? You can go 25,000 miles, again come back. Punar mūṣiko bhava. So this is going on. Because we are imperfect in every respect, so therefore we have to receive knowledge from the perfect. That is the process, real process.
As soon as one is situated in that Brahman platform, he is free from all anxieties immediately. Caitanya Mahāprabhu explains that brahma-bhūtaḥ situation, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). Immediately. So the brahma-bhūtaḥ platform, which we have to ascend after so much qualification, so much understanding, so much practice of yoga, dhyāna, meditation, can be achieved in this age by the blessings of Lord Caitanya simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Transcendental life must be purified from mental concoction or bodily concept of life. It is the transcendental platform. Tayor mitho hṛdaya-granthim āhuḥ.
So these things are very restricted in order to reach that transcendental platform. But in this age, in this age of Kali, where everything is disturbed, always full of anxieties, and the life is very short... That is also explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: prāyeṇa kalau asmin yuge janāḥ. Life is very short, and they are not interested for any transcendental subject matter. They are interested only with the bodily concept of life. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10). And always disturbed by so many anxieties. How he can ascend to the platform of transcendental realization? It is very difficult in this age. Therefore Arjuna, who was being taught by Kṛṣṇa that "You try this practice of transcendental life," but Arjuna said... Arjuna means he was taking this instruction five thousand years ago. He was a royal prince. He was very much advanced in so many things. He said, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, it is not possible to practice this transcendental process of ascending by yoga practice, this haṭha-yoga practice. It is not possible." He refused. He refused that "Because I am a family man, I have come here to fight for my, I mean to say, political interest, how I can practice this system, that I have to go to a solitary place, I have to sit down like this, I have to practice like this, I have to cease from sex life? It is not possible." Just try to understand.
God is unlimited, and your speculative power is limited. So you cannot understand God without the mercy of God. That is the verdict of the Vedic literature. It is very easy to understand. Suppose here is a big man, rich man, learned man. You want to know about him. So you cannot understand him by speculation: "He may be of this standard. He may be like this. He may have so much money." You suggest; another friend suggests. In this way the study of that particular man is not complete. But if the same person kindly speaks and explains about himself that "Sir, I am like this." (aside:) Water. "My position is like this. I have got so much bank balance," that is the way. This is the way of understanding. It is called descending process. And there is another process, which is called ascending process. In Sanskrit it is called āroha-panthā, avaroha-panthā. Āroha-panthā... You want to go, to know about the sun planet or any other. Just like they are trying. They are trying to go there, Mars planet, Moon planet, by rising on the sky by their aeroplanes, sputniks. But they have not been able to understand what is the position of these planets. This is called āroha-panthā. But if somebody comes from the planet and explains everything, then you know it very easily. Similarly, God has come to explain Himself. You'll find in the Bhagavad-gītā.
Śyāmasundara: The synthesis would be perhaps that man's body is mortal and he's immortal.
Prabhupāda: Perhaps. There is no certainty.
Śyāmasundara: Man's body is mortal and he's immortal.
Prabhupāda: What is this conclusion?
Śyāmasundara: I'm only using it as an example. You said that... You gave a proposal that man is immortal, that John is a man, therefore John is immortal. That's Aristotelian logic, Aristotle's logic.
Prabhupāda: That means his business is to defeat Aristotle's philosophy.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. He says that that kind of reasoning is static, that it...
Prabhupāda: That means he... All right, there are two processes. One is inductive and one is deductive. This is deductive process.
Śyāmasundara: It's a syllogism.
Śyāmasundara: It deals with the "isness" of something.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And there is another process, inductive. Now let us see whether man is mortal or immortal. So go and study. So there are two processes. We say in our Sanskrit language, avaroha panthā, āroha panthā, knowledge coming from up, and knowledge for trying to go up. Ascending process and descending process. So we say that descending process is perfect.
Śyāmasundara: Our knowledge is what you call a modern scientific findings or evidences always subject to changes also...
Prabhupāda: This must be changing because the instruments by which we acquire knowledge, they are imperfect. So by our so-called research and sensuous acceptance of knowledge, that is never perfect. It cannot be perfect.
Śyāmasundara: Just like they say that the rate of disintegration of the atomic particles of an element is constant. But it may not be constant; perhaps in earlier times it was faster or slower, there are so many possibilities.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So the so-called scientists and philosophers who do not follow the system of (sic:) ascending knowledge, knowledge received from higher authorities, they are not perfect. They cannot have any perfect knowledge, either research work with the blunt imperfect senses. They will not... So whatever they say, we take it as imperfect-dream.