We do not consult the śāstra or the unmistakable way of improvement. We manufacture our own concoction. And therefore we are becoming more and more entangled. We do not take right direction. That is our folly in this age. We do not accept authority. We want to become authority ourself: "I am authority." Everyone wants to become authority. And that is being supported by so-called swamis, "Yes, you can manufacture your own religion."
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Lectures
- 3 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 4 Correspondence
SB Canto 3
If anyone wants to derive transcendental pleasure by hearing the pastimes of the Lord, he must hear from the authoritative source, as explained here. Maitreya heard the narration from his bona fide spiritual master, and Vidura also heard from Maitreya. One becomes an authority simply by presenting whatever he has heard from his spiritual master, and one who does not accept a bona fide spiritual master cannot be an authority. This is clearly explained here.
SB Canto 4
According to the foolish Darwinian theory of the anthropologists, it is said that forty thousand years ago Homo sapiens had not appeared on this planet because the process of evolution had not reached that point. However, the Vedic histories—the purāṇas and Mahābhārata—relate human histories that extend millions and millions of years into the past. In the beginning of creation there was a very intelligent personality, Lord Brahmā, and from him emanated all the Manus, and the brahmacārīs like Sanaka and Sanātana, as well as Lord Śiva, the great sages and Nārada. All these personalities underwent great austerities and penances and thus became authorities in Vedic knowledge. Perfect knowledge for human beings, as well as all living entities, is contained in the Vedas.
SB Cantos 10.14 to 12 (Translations Only)
The disciples of Vaiśampāyana became authorities in the Atharva Veda. They were known as the Carakas because they executed strict vows to free their guru from his sin of killing a brāhmaṇa."
So Kuntī is authority. Kuntī is authority. How she has become authority? Because she has followed the authorities, Brahmā, Nārada, Svayambhū... Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ kumāro manuḥ (SB 6.3.20). Those who are strictly following the statements of the authorities, they are also authorities.
Perhaps you know several times that the Vedas, how it should be accepted as it is without interpretation. Just like Vedas says that if you touch stool, immediately you have to take your bath. You have become impure. This is Vedic injunction. If you touch bone, then you have become impure. You have to take your bath immediately, full. Then Vedas say, "Now, the stool of cow is pure, cow dung." Now, with your reason you can say, "First of all you said that stool is impure, and as soon as you touch you must take your bathing. Otherwise you remain impure. So another stool, cow stool, you say pure? This is contradiction. You say that the bone is impure, and you are keeping the bone in the Deity's room?" The conchshell is bone. You know this conchshell is a bone of an animal. So it is being used in the Deity room, and the cow dung is also used in the Deity room. Even Kṛṣṇa is smearing His whole body with cow dung. You know Kṛṣṇa's līlā. So if you say, argue, with your poor knowledge, then it becomes contradiction. One stool is good; another stool is bad. But because it is said by the Vedas, you have to accept it. This is Vedic knowledge. You cannot argue. There is no scope of argument. Whatever is said, you have to accept. Otherwise how Vedas become authority? You can change in your own way.
Devotee (1): Does one have to be a pure devotee to be a...? The twelve authorities, are they all pure devotees?
Prabhupāda: Why do you ask this question? You have no sense. Without pure devotee, how they became authority? You are ask the question, "Is Mr. Rockefeller a rich man?" Your question is like that. He is known a very rich man, and he has foundation. If you ask, "Is he a rich man?" is that very intelligent question? Unless pure devotee, how they are authorized?
Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilaḥ (SB 6.3.20). Kapila is the son of Devahūti, and he's also considered as the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ kumāraḥ manuḥ (SB 6.3.20). And manuḥ, manuḥ means the father of the mankind. From manuḥ, the word man is derived. Or, in Sanskrit word, manuṣya. So in Latin and Sanskrit, man, manuṣya, and manuḥ, they are almost on the same level. So svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilo kumāraḥ manuḥ (SB 6.3.20), then prahlādo janako bhīṣmaḥ. So now this Prahlāda's name comes. Prahlāda's name comes. Prahlāda and Janaka, the great king, Janaka, whose daughter was married to Lord Rāmacandra. Jānakī. Therefore, Sītā's name is Jānakī, daughter of Mahārāja Janaka. So he is also a great authority. Prahlādo janako bhīṣmaḥ, and Bhīṣma, you have heard the name of Bhīṣma, the grandfather of Arjuna. He is also one of the authorities. And, prahlādo janako bhīṣmo balir, Mahārāja Bali, a king. He was a grandson of this Prahlāda Mahārāja. He became mahājana. All these persons, they became authorities by their exemplary character for advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore they are considered as authorities.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated, "If if you want to make progress in knowledge, then you have to follow." Ācāryopāsanam: "You have to worship ācārya." Ācāryopāsanam. In the Veda it is: ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Veda means knowledge, one who knows. Who knows? "Who has got ācārya to guide him." Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. So similarly, therefore, this Vedic system always gives us injunction. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet: (MU 1.2.12) "One must go to the authority." And how to become authority? There is no question of research, this research. Just like in the material world one becomes doctorate by research work, here there is no question of research. You simply have to accept what is stated in the Veda. That's all. That makes you all right. Research is already done. There is no question of taking trouble yourself. You simply accept.
Bali-mardana does not mean that he was... Because he was punished by Kṛṣṇa, he is not ordinary person; he is authority. So even a person punished by Kṛṣṇa becomes authority. Kṛṣṇa is so nice. What to speak of a person who is directly loved by Kṛṣṇa, even one is punished by Kṛṣṇa, he becomes authority. So therefore Kṛṣṇa's name is Bali-mardana. And Bali-mardana dāsa means Kṛṣṇa dāsa, one who is servant of Kṛṣṇa. Is that clear? Yes.
Śyāmasundara: His idea is first of all you have to understand what is leaf or what is father. Then you can understand where the leaf came from, where the father came from. He wants to start from the point of having no knowledge about anything and building up gradually. So they begin with only the bare phenomenon, understanding what is the bare phenomenon. Because there's no authority for them to ask, these Western philosophers. They don't know where is the authority. So the only authority you can rely on is that which is self-evident, those things, those intuitive...
Prabhupāda: So if there is no authority, then why he is anxious to become authority? Why he's philosophizing? Let everyone learn from intuition, self-study. Why he's writing such books?
Śyāmasundara: Because he wants to understand the nature of things.
Devotee: He wants to help other people understand the nature of things.
Prabhupāda: He does not want that his books should be read by anyone.
Śyāmasundara: Yes. He wants to understand the nature of things so that he can help others...
Prabhupāda: That means that he becomes authority. He becomes authority. If he wants to become authority, why he should deny other authority?
Hayagrīva: In the United States all of the successful utopian communities have had a strong religious leader.
Prabhupāda: Leader must be there, religious or not religious. Everyone has leader. The Communist has got leader, and the spiritualists, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we have also leader. So without leader nothing can be done. They may defy leadership, they may defy authority, but one who defies authority, he wants to become authority. So this is natural. Without leader nothing can be done.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Outlaws, they are called outlaws. Just the outlaws, they do not accept any authority, government authority, or authority of the law, they're called outlaws. Rejected.
Umāpati: Yeah, well, this is a nation of outlaws.
Prabhupāda: So they are rejected. If anyone, everyone becomes his own authority, then it is chaos.
Umāpati: Well, that is the fashion today.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Fashion means...
Umāpati: It's called "Do your own thing."
Prabhupāda: No, who are you to say me, "Do your own thing"? Then you become master. You are directing me. Why should you direct me, "Do your own thing"? You stop. Don't talk. If your philosophy accepted that everyone is authority, you cannot say, "Do your own work." Why should you say? Then you become authority. You should not speak at all.
Karandhara: Well, their process is to discredit all scriptures so that they don't have to follow anything.
Prabhupāda: Then you are discredited. Who follows your version? If you discredit others' version, who follows your version? Who are you? If you don't accept other authority, and who is going to accept your authority? Why shall I? You cannot become authority, that "I don't accept any authority." I have to follow that? Then you become authority.
Sudāmā: They also argue, though, that...
Prabhupāda: No, first of all, understand. If he says that "I don't accept any authority," that means he becomes authority. I have to follow him.
Hṛdayānanda: Then they say it's a, it's just like a stand-off then.
Hṛdayānanda: That... Then they say "Well, it's a stand-off, that I say I'm right and that you say you are right. So it cannot be..."
Prabhupāda: But that, therefore there is confusion. The world position is like that. Now it is confusion. Everything is...
Bali Mardana: Conflict.
Prabhupāda: ...in confusion. That is chaotic condition. Every citizen says, "I don't accept government law. I have got my own law." It is confusion.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: They want to stop spread of communism.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Similarly, now America has to do the same thing to stop demonism. Then your nation will be leader. You understand; you have trust in God. Now it is your business to trust in real God and work for Him. You cannot... I have explained already. You cannot stop communism. You have to stop demonism. That is your real business. Communism is another type of demonism. So if you remain a demon, so what is the use of stopping another demonism? The same example: stool, the upside is dried up. You cannot say, "Because it is upside of stool, it is better side." Stool is stool. Guer ei pita en opita. (?) (dog barking loudly) Come on. That's all right. He cannot make the condition of the world better by... Just like Professor Kotofsky. He was saying that there must be revolution. I was talking of authority. So the authority you must have to accept. So he said that authority is accepted upon revolution.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: After revolution?
Prabhupāda: Ah. Because I said about authority... So this is fact. Now, in Russia the authority was the Czar. Now, after this Bolshevik revolution, Lenin became authority. That was his point. I said that you have to accept one authority. That you cannot change. That he said, that "Yes, that I accept, but authority has to be changed by revolution." And yes, we accept that. But the ult... When you come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness authority, then there is no more necessity of change." Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ. Everyone is trying to achieve the greatest profit. So when he gets Kṛṣṇa, he is satisfied. No more profit. Final profit.
Prabhupāda: Who was telling that the medical man is considered to be first-class authority?
Devotee: That was Prajāpati.
Prajāpati: That's what the people believe. They have more trust in medical men than they do in anything else.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But medical man also does not understand what is that thing missing which makes this body dead. And still, he is placing himself as authority, as scientific man, and people are accepting. That is demonism. He cannot explain. A man is dying. He is applying his scientific processes, what is called that gas, oxygen gas, and other injection, and in spite of doing all these things, he finds at a moment that the man is dead. And when you ask him that "In spite of your all scientific appliances, why the man is dead?" And still, he has become authority, such foolish man that this man cannot explain that in spite of all his efforts, scientifically, a man is dead. Now what he will answer? He has seen his all kinds of scientific appliances and applied but the man is dead. Now let him explain why the man is dead. Can he explain?
Prajāpati: Not to our satisfaction.
Prabhupāda: No, no, satisfaction or not satisfaction, what he will answer possibly? Now, you are scientist. You can... What he will say?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: He will say that it is above his means.
Prabhupāda: Therefore you are a fool. Why you are becoming authority?
Svarūpa Dāmodara: He will say that "I have tried my best, but I cannot do it."
Prabhupāda: That's all right. That means you do not know. A child also tries his best, but he cannot do. That does not mean he becomes authority.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: When I hear in the United States there's a saying, a slogan, amongst the young people: "Do your own thing." And also in India now when I go there they say, "So many men, so many minds."
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is Vivekananda. Yata mata tata patha. That means everyone can become authority. This is their philosophy.
Satsvarūpa: And this they praised as good.
Satsvarūpa: And others praise this as...
Puṣṭa-kṛṣṇa: Very tolerant, liberal.
Prabhupāda: :Yes, but our philosophy, Kṛṣṇa says, "You rascal, give up everything. Just surrender unto Me." This is our philosophy. "You rascal, you give up everything and surrender unto Me." This is our philosophy.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Church... Church is following Bible.
Prabhupāda: So ultimately Bible becomes authority.
Paramahaṁsa: Many of them say we cannot prove there is any life after death.
Prabhupāda: Yes, this if proof. Just as the boy is there and the father is there, the boy is going to become father. This is future. Both of them are there. The boy is going to be the father, and the father is going to be the grandfather. Where there is no future? The rascals, they do not know, say that, but there is future. How can you stop it? The boy is going to be father, the father is going to be grandfather. This is future.
Amogha: But then he dies, and they cannot see any future after that.
Prabhupāda: Your seeing has no power. This is no argument, "I cannot see." I cannot see the other side. That does not mean there is nothing. This is all rascaldom. He has become authority "I want to see." What you can see? Now this is Indian Ocean. On the other side there is India, and other islands, but you cannot see it. Does it mean there is nothing? So, these are foolish questions. Because they are rascals they put such questions and nonsense. That is the proof that they are rascals.
Prabhupāda: This world is full of problems. I have said. If you go this way, sense gratification, then you will have only problem. And if you go this way, towards God, there will be no problem. Because nature will put forward so many obstacles if you go. Because this is not the way of life, human life. Animal life, that is another thing. But they do not know. But human life, he is given the opportunity to go towards God, but he does not take this opportunity. He goes towards animal. Then there will be problem. Nature will not excuse. "So you are given the opportunity, and you are again becoming animal? You must suffer." This is nature's way. Therefore they are suffering problems. So many directors, so many government, the problem cannot be solved. That is nature's way. These foolish persons, they should know how nature is working. Find out this verse. Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ, ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā (BG 3.27). They are thinking, "I am director," "I am minister," "I am this, I am..."
What is...? You are all rascals. Nature is working differently. That they do not know. They do not believe in the nature's authority. They think, "We have become authority."
Prabhupāda: (Hindi) ...mandāḥ, all bad men. Mandā sumanda-matayaḥ. And if he is supposed to be a good man, he will manufacture some mata, manda-mata, not approved by the śāstras. This is going on. They will not hear Kṛṣṇa. They will give quotation from Brahma-kumārī. This is the greatest defect of modern civilization, that they won't accept real authority. They will create some authority. Or rascal, he becomes authority. Especially in India, this is the drawback. In the Western countries they do not know much about this. Therefore they accept what I say. But here they bring so many. So such an important man, he is bringing authority, Brahma-kumārī, a house of prostitution. If he is bringing their quotation as authority, then what to speak of others?
Prabhupāda: ...machine is recording, but as soon as electricity stops—the machine is there—it will not record. You cannot say the machine is the ultimate. Machine is there; it will not record as soon as the electricity is missing. So that electricity, either you say soul or something else, you replace it. Just like electricity means the battery you charge, it will work, again record. Similarly, if you say "That is not soul, something missing," so you can replace it. What is that something? That something also you do not know. Then how can you refute my argument, soul? You do not know anything. I at least know something on the basis of śāstra. But you have neither śāstra nor experiment, nothing else. So who is strong? I am strong or you are strong?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Our position is very weak against these arguments.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I have got some evidences—Kṛṣṇa is speaking, the Vedic śāstra... And what you have got? Simply your speaking? What you are, nonsense? Your speaking should be accepted? And Kṛṣṇa's speaking will be rejected? I have got some support, but what support you have got except your statement? Then everyone can give a statement and he becomes an authority.
Yaśomatī-nandana: They don't accept it as... They do not accept Gītā as spoken by some person Kṛṣṇa five thousand years ago.
Prabhupāda: Anyway, do they accept the authority of Bhagavad-gītā or not?
Yaśomatī-nandana: They say it's a very nice book of knowledge. They don't want to pursue spiritual life.
Prabhupāda: Then why they become authority?
Yaśomatī-nandana: Yes, that is their rascaldom.
Prabhupāda: If they do not accept authority, why they become authority? Who will accept them? If everything is depending on mental speculation, then why they should be accepted as authority?
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Satsvarūpa: But they say that..., When we say that everything is done by Kṛṣṇa, they say that's also "perhaps, maybe." They don't see...
Prabhupāda: No, we have got evidence. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate (BG 10.8). We have got evidence.
Satsvarūpa: As we don't accept theirs, they don't accept ours.
Prabhupāda: You don't accept... You don't... Why shall I accept you? You don't accept me, I don't accept you. Why you become authority?
Guru-kṛpā: Then they say "Finished. Get out."
Prabhupāda: Yes. No, my question is that "Why they become atheists, a little knowledge, so-called scientists?"
If we take the instruction of God and His representative as temporary, then he is not representative, He is not God. Whatever is spoken by God and His representative, that is eternal. You cannot change by your whims. So that is going on. We..., I do not wish to discuss very much, but that is actually going on. As people they, by votes in the Parliament, they pass any nonsense thing, so they want to do that in the case of Bible also. Then where is the authority of Bible? If Christ says that "Thou shall not kill," and if people, say ten thousand people in a meeting pass resolution, "No, this is wrong," then where is the authority of Bible? Then you become authority.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Pṛthu-putra: Some of the people became seeing things.
Prabhupāda: They came. Nobody could see. Only he could see. This is bogus. You should never encourage that. This is bogus! That's all. If somebody comes, everyone will see. And "If I see only; nobody can see," this is bogus. Don't encourage these bogus things.
Pṛthu-putra: I don't encourage these things.
Prabhupāda: "Only he could see." He's so advanced, his eyes are only fit to see that and nobody, others. That is bogus. Others have also eyes. But oh, he has got transcendental eyes.
Pṛthu-putra: No, no. It wasn't like this. It's not thing like this. It's not... No, but from...
Prabhupāda: Why you become authority of understand? That is not good.
Pṛthu-putra: Because I had these experiences, and they don't me deviated from studying...
Prabhupāda: That is not experience. That is only dream. That is not experience. Nobody has seen. Somebody came, (indistinct) only saw. And there are other devotees, he is so advanced, only he could see. This is bogus. This is bogus. They came. Nobody could see, only he could see. This is bogus. You should never encourage it. This is bogus, that's all. If somebody comes, everyone will see. If I see only, everyone... This is bogus. Don't encourage it, bogus.
Pṛthu-putra: I'm not encouraging these things.
Prabhupāda: Only he could see, he's so advanced, for his eyes only. He could see, and nobody else. That is bogus. Others have also eyes. But he has got transcendental eyes.
Svarūpa Dāmodara: The real scientists, they must be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Otherwise he cannot be a scientist.
Prabhupāda: No. The real thing he does not know. We know. We know on the basis of śāstra, authorities, ācāryas, so many. And what is your support? Your support is yourself. Then everyone will do that. His support is himself. Everyone will become authority. "I think, I believe." What is this nonsense, your belief? These things should be stopped now.
Prabhupāda: No, no. We have to study the Indian constitution. It is defective because by the same constitution our present Prime Minister was put into custody for nineteen months. And we are working on the same constitution. So the constitution itself is defective. Anything man-made will be defective.
Indian man (3): It will never be perfect.
Prabhupāda: Therefore I am insisting that "Take the instruction of Kṛṣṇa. You'll be perfect. Don't manufacture."
Indian man (5): You can't have that in authoritarianism. You get that in Delhi, where they feel that they are authority.
Prabhupāda: So become authority. That is... We said that. You become guru, authority. But you learn first of all as celā from the guru. And then you become guru. And without any learning, without any..., how become a guru? That is going on. Everyone is self-made guru. That has to be stopped.
So far as we are concerned, we do not make any alterations in the statements of Krishna. Therefore we are also authority. Just like 2 plus 2 equals four is mathematical truth. Anyone who accepts this axiomatic truth and works on this principle is also authority. To become authority is simply to follow the authority. If someone makes 2 plus 2 equal to 3 or 5, he is a rascal. That means he does not follow the authority and thus he fails to become himself an authority.
Regarding, Bon Maharaja, I am actually authority accepted by authority. In the Caitanya Caritamrta it is said, krsna sakti vina nahe nama pracar. So, now the Hare Krishna movement is world known, and learned scholars, etc. give plaudits to me as Professor Judah has. So, then why I am not authority? Nobody says Bon Swami has done it, or Vivekananda, or any other swami. There are so many yogis and swamis coming, but nobody is giving credit to them, they are giving the credit to me. So, why I am not an authority? If Krishna accepts me as authority, then who can deny it? Besides that, in 1933, Bon was given the first chance to preach Lord Caitanya's movement in London. He remained there about four years and not a single person could be converted to become a Vaisnava and he was receiving regularly 700rs. per month for his expenditure, being supported by the whole Gaudiya Math institution, and still, as he could not do anything appreciable, he was called back by Guru Maharaja. Then where is his authority? Our authority comes from Parampara system. If the Guru was not satisfied with him and called him back, and since then, he gave up connection with Gaudiya Math and started his own institution, then how he becomes authority? And in spite of all these things, if he is still authority by his own imagination, then people should ask him what he has been doing for the last 40 years, about the objective of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Even if he thinks that he has done, certainly he has not done better than me. Under the circumstances, accepting him as an authority, I am greater and better authority than him. So, all Vaisnavas are authorities to preach Krishna Consciousness, but still, there are degrees of authorities. On the whole, if his motive is to supress me and that is why he has come here, how we can receive him? He has already given one Professor a wrong impression. He may be treated as a guest, if he comes to our center, give him prasadam, honor him as an elder Vaisnava, but he cannot speak or lecture. If he wants to lecture, you can tell him that there is already another speaker scheduled. That's all.