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CC Madhya-lila mahajano yena gatah sa panthah... cited

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 2

SB 2.4.21, Purport:

The Lord is what He is, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, and He demands absolute surrender unto Him only. The pure devotee, however, by following the ways of previous ācāryas, or authorities, can see the Supreme Lord through the transparent medium of a bona fide spiritual master (anupaśyanti). The pure devotee never tries to see the Lord by mental speculation, but by following in the footsteps of the ācāryas (mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)). Therefore there is no difference of conclusions amongst the Vaiṣṇava ācāryas regarding the Lord and the devotees. Lord Caitanya asserts that the living entity (jīva) is eternally the servitor of the Lord and that he is simultaneously one with and different from the Lord. This tattva of Lord Caitanya's is shared by all four sampradāyas of the Vaiṣṇava school (all accepting eternal servitude to the Lord even after salvation), and there is no authorized Vaiṣṇava ācārya who may think of the Lord and himself as one.

SB Canto 3

SB 3.16.23, Purport:

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared in this material world just to show the example of perfect authority, and people have to follow His path. The Vedic injunction is that one cannot understand the Absolute Truth simply by mental speculation or logical argument. One has to follow the authorities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Great authorities should be followed; otherwise, if we simply depend on the scriptures, we are sometimes misled by rascals, or else we cannot understand or follow the different spiritual injunctions. The best path is to follow the authorities. The four brāhmaṇa-sages stated that Kṛṣṇa is naturally the protector of the cows and brāhmaṇas: go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. When Kṛṣṇa was on this planet, He set a practical example. He was a cowherd boy, and He was very respectful to the brāhmaṇas and devotees.

SB 3.24.35, Purport:

Kapila Muni, and thus his householder duty was also performed nicely, and now his duty was to leave. Even though he had the Supreme Personality of Godhead as his son, he had to respect the authority of the Vedas. This is a very important lesson. Even if one has God in his home as his son, one should still follow the Vedic injunctions. It is stated, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) one should traverse the path which is followed by great personalities.

SB Canto 4

SB 4.18.4, Purport:

The Vedic principles (mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)) urge us to follow in the footsteps of great liberated souls. In this way we can receive benefit in both this life and the next, and we can also improve our material life. By following the principles laid down by great sages and saints of the past, we can very easily understand the aim of all life. The word avaraḥ, meaning "inexperienced," is very significant in this verse. Every conditioned soul is inexperienced. Everyone is abodha jāta—born a fool and rascal. In democratic government at the present moment all kinds of fools and rascals are making decisions. But what can they do? What is the result of their legislation? They enact something today just to whimsically repeal it tomorrow.

SB 4.23.4, Purport:

Mahārāja Pṛthu followed exactly all the rules of vānaprastha life, which is technically known as vaikhānasa-āśrama. The word vaikhānasa-susammate is significant because in vānaprastha life the regulative principles are also to be strictly followed. In other words, Mahārāja Pṛthu was an ideal character in every sphere of life. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) one should follow in the footsteps of great personalities. Thus by following the exemplary character of Mahārāja Pṛthu, one can become perfect in all respects while living this life or while retiring from active life. Thus after giving up this body, one can become liberated and go back to Godhead.

SB Canto 6

SB 6.1.17, Purport:

This is a groundless accusation. The bhakti path is followed by the most learned scholars, such as the Gosvāmīs, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rāmānujācārya. These are the actual followers of the bhakti path. Regardless of whether or not one is educated or aristocratic, one must follow in their footsteps. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) one must follow the path of the mahājanas. The mahājanas are those who have taken to the path of devotional service (suśīlāḥ sādhavo yatra nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇāḥ), for these great personalities are the perfect persons. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.18.12):

SB 6.1.40, Purport:

The servants of Yamarāja replied quite properly. They did not manufacture principles of religion or irreligion. Instead, they explained what they had heard from the authority Yamarāja. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) one should follow the mahājana, the authorized person. Yamarāja is one of twelve authorities. Therefore the servants of Yamarāja, the Yamadūtas, replied with perfect clarity when they said śuśruma ("we have heard"). The members of modern civilization manufacture defective religious principles through speculative concoction. This is not dharma. They do not know what is dharma and what is adharma. Therefore, as stated in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra: (SB 1.1.2)

SB Canto 7

SB 7.9.8, Purport:

Thus he considers himself unqualified, lower than the worms in stool, and more sinful than Jagāi and Mādhāi. A pure Vaiṣṇava actually thinks of himself in this way. Similarly, although Prahlāda Mahārāja was a pure, exalted Vaiṣṇava, he thought himself most unqualified to offer prayers to the Supreme Lord. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Every pure Vaiṣṇava should think like this. One should not be falsely proud of his Vaiṣṇava qualifications. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore instructed us:

SB 7.9.18, Purport:

In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the chanting is powerful when one follows the disciplic succession (evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2)). Manufacturing many ways of chanting will never be effective. However, chanting the song or the narration left by the previous ācāryas (mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)) is extremely effective, and this process is very easy. Therefore in this verse Prahlāda Mahārāja uses the word añjaḥ ("easily"). Accepting the thoughts of exalted authorities through disciplic succession is certainly much easier than the method of mental speculation, by which one tries to invent some means to understand the Absolute Truth. The best process is to accept the instructions of the previous ācāryas and follow them. Then God realization and self-realization become extremely easy.

SB 7.9.24, Purport:

One should understand Kṛṣṇa in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee. Thus Prahlāda Mahārāja prays that Lord Nṛsiṁha-deva place him in touch with a pure devotee and servant instead of awarding him material opulence. Every intelligent man within this material world must follow Prahlāda Mahārāja. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Prahlāda Mahārāja did not want to enjoy the estate left by his father; rather, he wanted to become a servant of the servant of the Lord (CC Madhya 13.80). The illusory human civilization that perpetually endeavors for happiness through material advancement is rejected by Prahlāda Mahārāja and those who strictly follow in his footsteps.

SB Canto 8

SB 8.2.6, Purport:

Although they cannot even estimate the varieties existing throughout the universe, they are very proud of their knowledge, and they are accepted as learned by persons of a similar caliber. As described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.3.19), śva-vid-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ: materialistic leaders are praised by dogs, hogs, camels and asses, and they themselves are also big animals. One should not be satisfied with the knowledge imparted by a big animal. Rather, one must take knowledge from a perfect person like Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) our duty is to follow the instructions of the mahājanas. There are twelve mahājanas, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī is one of them.

SB 8.24.53, Purport:

Similarly, following in the footsteps of Śrī Arjuna, who is a personal devotee of the Lord, one should accept the supremacy of Lord Kṛṣṇa, as supported by Vyāsa, Devala, Asita, Nārada and later by the ācāryas Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka and Viṣṇu Svāmī and still later by the greatest ācārya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Where, then, is the difficulty in finding a guru? If one is sincere he can find the guru and learn everything. One should take lessons from the guru and find out the goal of life. Mahārāja Satyavrata, therefore, shows us the way of the mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). One should surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead (daśāvatāra) and learn from Him about the spiritual world and the goal of life.

SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13

SB 10.2.30, Purport:

If things are made easy, this affords facility for the person who has made them easy and also for others who follow the same principles. The process recommended in this verse for crossing the ocean of nescience is easy not only for the devotee but also for common persons who follow the devotee (mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)).

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 17.185, Purport:

A sādhu is a great personality like Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the śāstras are the injunctions of revealed scriptures, and the guru, or spiritual master, is one who confirms the scriptural injunctions. Accepting the guidance of these three is the actual way of following the great personalities (mahājanas) for real advancement in life (mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)). A man covered by illusion cannot understand the proper way; therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, dharma-sthāpana-hetu sādhura vyavahāra: "The behavior of a devotee is the criterion for all other behavior." Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself followed the devotional principles and taught others to follow them. Purī-gosāñira ye ācaraṇa, sei dharma sāra. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally followed the behavior of Mādhavendra Purī and advised others to follow his principles. Unfortunately, people have been attracted to the material body sinc

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.13-14 -- London, July 14, 1973:

Therefore sometimes these cheated people, they deny to accept that Bhāgavata is written by Śrī Vyāsadeva. But those who are actually ācāryas, those who can guide us, like Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, big, big..., Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they do not say like this, that "It is mythology. It is imaginary." They accept as it is. So we have to follow these mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ dharmasya tattvaṁ nihito guhāyām (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow great personalities, ācāryas. ācāryavān puruṣo veda. One who has got, one who has taken shelter of ācārya, bona fide spiritual master, he knows. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. Because he is receiving the right knowledge from the right source, ācārya... Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Ācārya means by disciplic succession. As Kṛṣṇa says, disciplic succession, all the ācāryas will say the same thing. They will not change, they will not interpret. They can explain. But the original fact is not distorted. That is ācārya.

Lecture on BG 1.20 -- London, July 17, 1973:

Dhvajaḥ. Dhvajaḥ means the flag. The flag was on the top of his chariot. And it was marked with Hanumān, Vajrāṅgajī, Vajrāṅgajī, Hanumān, who fought for Lord Rāmacandra. He is fighting for Kṛṣṇa. So he is also following the footsteps of Vajrāṅgajī.

Vaiṣṇavism is like that. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Vaiṣṇava should follow his previous mahājana, authority. That is Vaiṣṇavism. We don't manufacture ideas. We don't commit such rascaldom. We simply accept the behavior or the activities of previous ācāryas. There is no difficulty. There is no difficulty.

Lecture on BG 1.20 -- London, July 17, 1973:

As dog keeps watch, so I will watch so nobody can come to disturb you. And whatever little prasādam you'll give me, I'll be satisfied." That dog's qualification. The master is eating, but the dog will never come, unless the master gives little morsel. He is satisfied. He is satisfied.

So this is Vaiṣṇavism, to follow the previous ācārya. This is Vaiṣṇavism. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ.... Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā. Tarko, if you are very great logician, you can argue, "Oh why Kṛṣṇa can be God? I can be God," by logic you may defeat an ignorant devotee, but śāstra says by becoming a big logician, you cannot understand transcendental knowledge. Transcendental knowledge you have to understand by submitting, praṇipātena, tad viddhi praṇipātena (BG 4.34). First of all surrender. Tad viddhi. If you want to know this transcendental science, then you must fully surrender. This is first qualification. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā. Three things.

Lecture on BG 2.1-10 and Talk -- Los Angeles, November 25, 1968:

So far we do, that is pure. So pure devotee does not mean one has to become immediately cent percent pure. But if he sticks to the principle that "We'll follow a pure devotee," then his actions are... He is as good as a pure devotee. It is not I am explaining in my own way. It is the explanation of Bhāgavata. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the footprints of pure devotees. It is said that tarkaḥ apratiṣṭhaḥ. If you want to become pure by your arguments and logic, that is not possible. I may be defeated by another strong man who is stronger in argument than me, so this is not the way of becoming purified, tarka, simply arguing. Tarkaḥ apratiṣṭhaḥ smṛtayo vibhinnāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186) . Śrutayaḥ, scriptures. Suppose somebody sticks to the scriptures. So scriptures, there are different types of scripture. So they are vibhinna. Vibhinna means different types.

Lecture on BG 2.1-10 and Talk -- Los Angeles, November 25, 1968:

Therefore to become pure or to understand the essence of purity is very confidential. It is not to be acquired by our own efforts, by argument or by being expert in scripture or by becoming a philosopher or a similar way. It is very confidential. Then how? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to follow a pure devotee, acknowledged devotee. Similarly, in the Bhagavad-gītā, if we follow Arjuna, then we understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. But if we don't follow Arjuna, if we follow somebody, Dr. Frog, or create our own interpretation, then we remain impure. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. We have to follow the footprints of mahājana, great soul. So here is directly you are meeting great soul, Arjuna. He is directly being taught Bhagavad-gītā by the original teacher. Who can be greater authority than Arjuna?

Lecture on BG 2.7 -- London, August 7, 1973:

You have to approach. That is guru. So we consider, we take Brahmā... Because he's the first creature within this universe, he's accepted as the guru. He imparted... Just like we belong to the Brahma-sampradāya. There are four sampradāyas, Brahma-sampradāya, Śrī-sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya and Kumāra-samapradāya. They're all mahājanas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to accept the line of action which is given by the mahājana.

So Brahmā is mahājana. You'll find Brahmā's picture with Veda in his hand. So he's the, he gave the first instruction of Veda. But wherefrom he got the Vedic knowledge? Therefore Vedic knowledge is apauruṣeya. It is not man-made. It is God-made. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). So how God, Kṛṣṇa gave to Brahmā? Tene brahma hṛdā. Brahma, brahma means the Vedic knowledge. Śabda-brahma.

Lecture on BG 2.12 -- New York, March 7, 1966:

Then how to conclude what is the right path? I cannot establish it by my imperfect arguments. I cannot consult even the scriptures. Neither I can take real instruction from different philosophers. Then what, what is the way of having the real thing? So it says that dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: "The truth of religiosity is very confidential, very secret." So how to know it? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "We have simply to see that great personalities, as they have taken up, we have to follow. That's all." Just like in your Christian religion you may not understand all the Biblical injunctions or you may not have the time, but you'll simply, if you follow the ideal life of Lord Jesus Christ, then you get the same result. Similarly, the Muhammadans, if they follow the ideal life of Muhammad, Hazrat Muhammad, so they get the result. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Lecture on BG 2.13 -- Hyderabad, November 18, 1972:

So the Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, they have all accepted Kṛṣṇa: the ultimate knowledge of Vedic understanding. Many ācāryas, they have written notes on Vedānta, targeting Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we have to follow the footprints of the great stalwart ācāryas. Ācāryopāsanam. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If we follow the footprints of the ācāryas, then we find there is no distinction between Vedānta and Bhagavad-gītā. Vedānta, you might be referring to the Vedānta-sūtra of Śaṅkarācārya, but all the ācāryas, the have written notes on Vedānta. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the original comment on Vedānta. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam begins with the Vedānta-sūtra: janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). So Vedānta does not mean godlessness. Vedānta means to know God. That is real study of Vedānta.

Lecture on BG 2.46-62 -- Los Angeles, December 16, 1968:

This Mādhavendra Purī was the grand-spiritual master of Lord Caitanya. Mādhavendra Purī's disciple Īśvara Purī, and Īśvara Purī was accepted as spiritual master of Lord Caitanya. Nobody can become a spiritual master of the Supreme Lord, but in order to teach us that even the Lord, He also accepted a spiritual master. That is the system. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Unless He shows us the way, people will say, "Oh, Lord Caitanya did not accept any spiritual master." They can give example. But therefore Kṛṣṇa also accepted spiritual master. This is the system. One has to. Tad vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). One must accept a spiritual master if he at all wants to know the spiritual science. Without that, it is not possible. Kṛṣṇa science, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, cannot be developed without the assistance of a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa. Naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghrim (SB 7.5.32).

Lecture on BG 3.21-25 -- New York, May 30, 1966:

Now, Mahatma Gandhi worked throughout his whole life just to make a unification of the Hindus and Muslims. Unfortunately, at last, he had to see that the Hindus and Muslims of India were divided into Pakistan and India. And his nonviolence also failed.

So, because if we do not follow the right person, mahājana—mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)—then however I may be great in the estimation of the innocent public, that is wrong path. That is wrong path. Therefore the right thing is to follow the succession. Now, we have to follow the principle which Kṛṣṇa sets. Kṛṣṇa is not advocating, I mean to say, nonviolence. You cannot eradicate violence from this world. That is not possible because Kṛṣṇa Himself is on the battlefield and He is trying to induce Arjuna. Arjuna is declining and He is inducing, "No, you must fight."

Lecture on BG 3.21-25 -- New York, May 30, 1966:

That is the philosophical way. So nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Therefore this truth of religion is very confidential. Nihitaṁ guhāyām. Guhāyām means it is very confidential.

Now, how to know it? Now, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "You just try to find out great men, great men of religious life, and you just try to follow." Now, you may have in your own ideal some great men. No. They are also checked. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam twelve different personalities have been described that "These persons are great men." So we have to follow their principle and, or their, in the principle in their disciplic succession. Then we can fulfill. The same thing is here also described. Yad yad ācarati śresthas lokas tad anuvartate (BG 3.21).

Lecture on BG 4.1 and Review -- New York, July 13, 1966:

Now, you'll find in the Tenth Chapter how Arjuna understood Bhagavad-gītā. So you have to follow the footprints. The whole thing is... I have several times repeatedly saying to you that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ. It is said that you cannot reach to the right conclusion of the Vedic literature simply by your argument, by your force of argument or logic. That is not possible. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ. There are many things which do not come within our argument, within our sense of logic. So tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ. You cannot understand the Supreme Truth simply by argument. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ.

Lecture on BG 4.1 and Review -- New York, July 13, 1966:

So neither you can understand the real truth simply by going through different scriptures, nor you can understand the real truth simply by your logical force or argument. So dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. The, the, I mean to say, the mystery of Absolute Truth is very confidential, very confidential. Then how I can understand? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "If you follow the mahājana, the authorities, then you can understand." Therefore, this authority, this disciplic succession...

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

I am speaking especially of India because this Bhagavad-gītā was first seen in India, in the Indian plain. Of course, it is not meant for India. It is meant for everyone. Just like the sun rises in the east first, then comes to the west, but that does not mean east has the monopoly of the sun and not the west. Similarly, the sun of Bhagavad-gītā might have arisen in the land of India, but that does not mean that it is the monopoly of India. It is meant for everyone. It is meant for everyone. So it is an accepted authority. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). So we have to follow great personalities. Yes.

Lecture on BG 4.12-13 -- New York, July 29, 1966:

So just believe it. It is standard. It is accepted by all the great stalwart scholars and ācāryas of repute. Just like Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, great scholars and ācāryas. They have accepted it. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the footprints of great saints and sages, those who have achieved success by this indication of Bhagavad-gītā. Don't follow your whims. Take the standard advice. Just try to become Kṛṣṇa conscious. Just try to understand Kṛṣṇa, what is Kṛṣṇa. And the result is that after leaving this body, you are no more going to accept any material body, but you enter into the spiritual kingdom and you have your spiritual body which is eternal, full of knowledge and blissful. This is the chance.

So Kṛṣṇa says... Although the chance is there, people, out of foolishness... Exactly this very word has been used in the Seventh Chapter.

Lecture on BG 4.15 -- Bombay, April 4, 1974:

Why meaning is that? What right you have got to say like that? But these rascals are doing and spoiling the whole country. You see? Misinterpreting. There is no misinterpretation. Try to understand Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Your life will be successful. So try to follow Arjuna. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. (aside:) Take this.

So the śāstra says, tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ: "If you simply want to know what is self-realization, what is religion, simply by argument, logic, it is not possible." Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ: "If you want to learn by studying scriptures, Vedic literature, you will find different scriptures." Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva, then different Purāṇas. There are eighteen Purāṇas, Mahābhārata. That is also impossible, means you cannot understand.

Lecture on BG 4.37-40 -- New York, August 21, 1966:

We have confidence that "This bank will not fail." Similarly, if we can keep our faith in an ordinary bank or a traveling agent, can we cannot keep our faith Kṛṣṇa, who is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by all other big authorities, even by Śaṅkarācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Lord Caitanya and all these. So we have to follow the footprints of great authorities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). He'll be situat... Just like we also follow others. Just like if I put some money in a bank, I see, "So many people are keeping their money. So I may also keep." So if Kṛṣṇa has been accepted as the supreme authority by so many big, big men, why should we not keep our faith in Kṛṣṇa? Or Jesus Christ? That's all right.

We must keep our faith, and faithfully we shall discharge our duties. And if you follow the principle the result is guaranteed. Thank you very much. Any questions? You can ask.

Lecture on BG 4.39-42 -- Los Angeles, January 14, 1969:

Besides that, any path you follow, you have to follow the regulative principles as they are enacted by authorities. So in our disciplic succession, previous ācāryas, they have advised that you should have your dress like this, you should have your head like this, you... So we have to follow that. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Our principle is to follow the footprints of authorities. So these things are not unauthorized. These are being followed from time immemorial. This dress, this tilaka, this chanting. Everything. Just like you see the picture of Lord Caitanya, we are following the same principles. This was being enacted five hundred years ago. The same principle we are following. We are not introducing anything new. We are simply following the footprints of our predecessors. That's all.

Lecture on BG 4.39-42 -- Los Angeles, January 14, 1969:

"You give up all other engagements. You just surrender unto Me." And what we are preaching? We are also saying that "You surrender unto Kṛṣṇa." Kṛṣṇa said, "You surrender unto Me," because He is the Supreme Person Himself. And we are canvassing, "You surrender to Kṛṣṇa." So what is the difference? There is no difference. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The spiritual path is to follow the footprints of predecessors, great ācāryas who has realized. Then you become perfect.

Not imitate, but to follow. Imitation is different thing. So this is not imitation, but this is following the footprints. So one who wants to become devotee, he has to follow certain rules and regulation which are enacted by authorized persons in this line. We cannot deny it. Therefore there is necessity. Yes?

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Hong Kong, January 25, 1975:

Just like Kṛṣṇa instructed Brahmā, so Brahmā is one of the gurus. So Brahma-sampradāya there is. Brahma-sampradāya. Our this Gauḍīya-sampradāya belongs to that Brahma-sampradāya. In this way there is Rāmānuja-sampradāya. This sampradāya comes from the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmījī. Śrī-sampradāya. In this way there are twelve mahājanas. They are stated in the śāstra. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to take the path of mahājana, and the purpose is how to increase your attachment for Kṛṣṇa. This is the business. And this business, you can occupy yourself in this human form of life. In other form of life...

We are changing our form of life from one body to another, but if we want to understand God... That is essential. So long we do not understand God, so long we do not go back to home, back to Godhead, our struggle for existence will continue. Manaḥ ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati (BG 15.7). They struggle.

Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Fiji, May 24, 1975:

"You chant this particular name." Caitanya Mahāprabhu never says. But we selected to chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra because Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the inaugurator of the saṅkīrtana movement, He personally chanted this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma... So we follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow some authority.

Lecture on BG 7.2 -- San Francisco, September 11, 1968:

Kṛṣṇa says that "I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Don't interpret this version with your foolish interpretation, but accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And by His acts, by His sastric knowledge, wisdom... Everyone accepted previously, all the ācāryas.

So we have to follow the footprints of the ācāryas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We cannot understand higher things unless we follow the footprint of great personalities. Just like even in the scientific world, the law of gravitation. You do not know anything about law of gravitation, but Sir Isaac Newton, he said that there is law of gravitation. You accept it. That's all. That means you follow a great personality. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa should be accepted the Supreme Personality of Godhead not by whims. But He has been accepted like by personalities like Lord Caitanya, Rāmānujācārya, Śaṅkarācārya, great personalities who are guiding the destiny of spiritual world. Therefore you have to accept in that way.

Lecture on BG 7.28-8.6 -- New York, October 23, 1966:

And he is taking instruction from Kṛṣṇa. If Arjuna has taken instruction from Kṛṣṇa... He's a... Rāmānujācārya has taken, accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme. He... Śaṅkarācārya has accepted the Kṛṣṇa as Supreme. And all the ācāryas... Lord Caitanya has accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme. Then what is the difficulty of my understanding about His greatness? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Just like when we go to the market, if we see that everyone is purchasing at the same time, then I think, "Oh, undoubtedly it is the exactly price. Oh, let me purchase at this price." The doubt is gone at once, because I see several persons, they're accepting at that price. So it is right price. That is the standard. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Lecture on BG 7.28-8.6 -- New York, October 23, 1966:

So you cannot conclude what is real thing. Nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: "Therefore the truth, real truth, is lying in the very confidential part of your body." Then what is to be done? Now, best thing is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "You just try to follow the higher authorities."

So Kṛṣṇa is the higher authority. Kṛṣṇa is the higher authority. If we accept Him and follow this instruction, and if we believe Him, then we get perfection. There is no doubt about it. Of course, these philosophical questions are difficult. It may not be very interesting. But it is..., they are to be understood. Actually, if we want to get out of ignorance, these books are meant for driving our ignorance. And as we become out of the ignorance, so we become free from this material entanglement. But at the present age people are not so intelligent that they can follow.

Lecture on BG 8.5 -- New York, October 26, 1966:

So this is very nice. Bhakti-yoga. Simply surrender and pray. And that is the best and the highest type of yoga. If you accept this Bhagavad-gītā, if you believe in this Bhagavad-gītā, if you follow the footprints of great personalities who have followed this Bhagavad-gītā, then your life is perfect. There is no doubt about it. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot... Everyone is following the footprints of great personalities in every department of knowledge. Even scientific, scientists, they are also following the law of gravitation, basing their further progress on the law of gravitation. There are so many laws. How the laws are there they do not know, but that law is found out and scientific advancement is going on. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. So as in the material field also we are following the great personalities and authorities, similarly, in spiritual realization, if you follow the great personalities... There are specifically mentioned, the great personalities in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Lecture on BG 8.5 -- New York, October 26, 1966:

"You stop this nonsense, Hare Kṛṣṇa." He would not. So the father wanted to kill him—put him into so many tortures. At last he came out successful, and he was blissful. So therefore he is mahājana. In spite of so much tortures by his father, he did not give it up. Similarly, if we stick to the principle, as it was done by great personalities, Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Nārada, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja... Their stories, their life history is there everywhere in the Purāṇas.

So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to accept the path of great personalities. Otherwise, if we want to understand the Absolute Truth simply by arguments and logic, oh it will never be achieved.

Lecture on BG 9.26-27 -- New York, December 16, 1966:

He is the principal ācārya. From Kṛṣṇa, Brahmā learned this Vedic literature. From Brahmā, Nārada learned this Vedic literature. From Nārada, Vyāsadeva; from Vyāsadeva, Madhvācārya. From Madhvācārya, so many. In this way the paramparā system, the ācārya system, is coming down. So we have to believe that. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to follow the footprints of ācārya. Not only in the... Everywhere, the footprints of ācāryas are followed. Just like in your country you are following the footprints of Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, that is the way. Or any ācārya. Because the ācārya, they come here to teach us about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. That is their business. They have no other business. That is bona fide ācārya. If somebody claims that "I am God," then he is fool number one. At once reject him. One who teaches about the message of God, he is ācārya.

Lecture on BG 9.26-27 -- New York, December 16, 1966:

Because one philosopher is giving one opinion, another philosopher is... Because nāsāv ṛṣir yasya...: "A philosopher is not philosopher if he does not cut another philosopher." That is going on. Nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: "Therefore the purport of spiritual life is very confidential." How I can learn? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "Therefore we will accept the footprint of those recognized ācāryas." Ācāryopāsanam.

Lecture on BG 13.8-12 -- Bombay, September 30, 1973:

The Vedic literatures are different: Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Artharva. And not only that, other scriptures there are. So Śrutayor vibhinnāḥ nāsau ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnā, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihito guhāyām. To understand religious principle, it is very difficult.

Therefore our duty is, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). "We have to accept that way which is given by the mahājana." Mahājana. So śāstra... We are sometimes in difficulty to find out the mahājana, who is mahājana. That mahājana is also described in the śāstras, who can be accepted the greatest authority, mahājana. That is stated in the Sixth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Svayaṁbhur nāradaḥ śaṁbhuḥ (SB 6.3.20). They are mahājanas. Svayambhuḥ means Brahmā. Brahmā is mahājana.

Lecture on BG Lecture -- Ahmedabad, December 8, 1972:

We follow the shastric injunction, what is Nārāyaṇa. We cannot accept Nārāyaṇa as daridra. Daridra-nārāyaṇa. What is this? Nārāyaṇa is the husband of the goddess of fortune. Lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi (Bs. 5.29). How Nārāyaṇa can become daridra? So these are manufactured words. You cannot find all these words in the śāstra. They are manufactured, concoction. So we are not concerned with this concoction. Yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya. We must follow the śāstras, the mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We are not perfect. Therefore we have to follow the footprints of the perfect. And that is given in the śāstra, whom you have to follow.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.2.2 -- London, August 10, 1971:

Then Śrī Rādhā. Not Kṛṣṇa directly. Śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca. Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa means they are always associated by the gopīs, of whom Lalitā-Viśākhā are the chief out of the aṣṭa-sakhīs.

So this is the paramparā system. So here also, we see, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to accept the path of the authorities. Here is authority, Sūta Gosvāmī. He is offering his respect to his spiritual master, Śukadeva Gosvāmī. As soon as you offer... Just like we sung this Gurvaṣṭaka. Gurvaṣṭaka, vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. Vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam. You can say simply "I offer my respectful obeisances to my spiritual master." No. You must describe his activities. What is the activity of spiritual master?

Lecture on SB 1.2.7 -- Vrndavana, October 18, 1972:

Then you'll have to inquire, inquiry, sad-dharma, about pure devotional service. That is sad-dharma. Sad-dharma-pṛcchā. Sādhu-vartmānuvartanam. Sad-dharma-pṛcchā. You learn something about devotional service, but the devotional service should be executed by following mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Therefore we are Rūpānugas. We follow the footsteps of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī.

Lecture on SB 1.2.18 -- Vrndavana, October 29, 1972:

If you hear from a Māyāvādī who misinterprets things according to their whims, so then you'll be spoiled. You'll not get any benefit. And Svarūpa Dāmodara, secretary of Lord Caitanya, he has also the same thing, that bhāgavata paro giya bhāgavata sthāne. Those who are practical bhāgavata, life bhāgavata, from them, from him try to understand Bhāgavata.

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu's instruction, His secretary's instruction, and Sanātana Gosvāmīs... These are mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the path of great personalities. Not of the fools and rascals. Then you'll get the result.

Lecture on SB 1.2.19 -- Calcutta, September 27, 1974:

. To cure the heart disease of lusty desires and greediness is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. These are the shastric injunction, and spoken by personalities like Lord Caitanya and other ācāryas.

So we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Don't follow rascals and fools. Then it will be useless waste of time. Follow the great ācāryas. Ācāryavān puruṣo veda. One who is ācāryavān, who has accepted ācārya, he knows. Others, all are fools, rascals. Ācāryavān. Ācāryopāsanam. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, amānitvam adambhitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam, ācāryopāsanam (BG 13.8). You have to first of all worship the ācārya. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12).

Lecture on SB 1.2.34 -- Vrndavana, November 13, 1972:

We don't follow these rascals, duṣkṛtina, mūḍhāḥ, narādhamāḥ. We don't follow them. We follow Caitanya Mahāprabhu. We follow Rāmānujācārya. We follow Madhvācārya. We follow the great authorities-Vyāsadeva. We follow Nārada, Asita, Vyāsa. Because that is the only way to understand. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. You cannot understand His incarnation. You have to follow the footprints. Then you'll understand who is avatāra. Otherwise, instead of Kṛṣṇa, you will accept another demi-kṛṣṇa. Somebody will say, "I was Kṛṣṇa." "Oh, he's avatāra." And what is the proof that he was Kṛṣṇa? Why you are so fool? If somebody says... If I say that "I was Kṛṣṇa," so only the fools will take me that I was Kṛṣṇa, now I am dog. It is not like that.

Lecture on SB 1.3.19 -- Los Angeles, September 24, 1972:

Out of the twelve authorities, first is Lord Brahmā; the next, Nārada; the next, Lord Śiva; then next, the Kumāras; then Kapiladeva; then Manu, Vaivasvata Manu; then Prahlāda Mahārāja; then Janaka Mahārāja; then Bhīṣmadeva; then Bali Mahārāja; then Śukadeva Gosvāmī; and then Yamarāja. It is stated in the śāstra that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot understand transcendental subject matter simply by dry speculation and argument. You cannot understand. Neither by reading Vedic literature. The conclusion is that you have to follow those who are authorities. Mahājano yena. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Guhā. Guhā means the cave, mountain cave, and guhā means the heart. So suppose something is very valuable is there in the cave of the mountain, and you do not know how to search it out. But if you know somebody who knows it, if you follow him, that "He is going there so I may also follow..."

Lecture on SB 1.3.29 -- Los Angeles, October 4, 1972:

The yoga-māyā curtain is there." So first of all, before asking anybody, "Can you show me God?" you must be qualified to see God. That is required. That qualification is taught in Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, how to see God, how to understand God. Otherwise it is mysterious. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

So seeing God is very mysterious, but it is very easy also, very easy, provided we know the method how to see God. So that is bhakti-yoga. And therefore Kṛṣṇa recommends in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ: (BG 18.55) "Only through devotional service one can understand Me as I am." Otherwise he will commit mistake. There are different processes undoubtedly: jñāna, yoga, karma, bhakti. But if you want to see God, then you have to accept this bhakti-yoga, no other yoga. Neither jñāna-yoga, nor karma-yoga, nor haṭha-yoga. You cannot see.

Lecture on SB 1.5.24 -- Vrndavana, August 5, 1975:

So Nārada Muni is the original spiritual master of Vyāsadeva, and from Vyāsadeva our disciplic succession is coming. Therefore guru is representative of Vyāsadeva. On his birthday the ceremony is offered as Vyāsa-pūjā. This is the disciplic succession. So we should try to follow Nārada Muni. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). There are twelve mahājanas, great authorities, of whom, out of the twelve, Nārada Muni is one of them. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ (SB 6.3.20). Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ, yes. Is not that the verse? Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ kumāro manuḥ. So Nārada's name is there, the, one of the mahājanas. So Nārada Muni is mahājana, and he became mahājana on account of his austerity and following the principles. So anyone who follows Nārada, he also becomes mahājana. This is the disciplic succession.

Lecture on SB 1.7.23 -- Vrndavana, September 20, 1976:

So we have to follow. People are searching after God. They do not know God. They are asking this question, "Can you show me God?" So, so many questions are there about God, but here is God, pointed out by Arjuna, a mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Why should you not accept? That is our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. "Why you are searching God. Here is God, as Arjuna says." Tvam ādyaḥ puruṣaḥ: "You are the original person." Tvam ādyaḥ puruṣaḥ. Puruṣa means enjoyer. God is not female. Sometimes they worship a female as God, like Durgā, Kālī, and so many others. But God is puruṣa. Everyone is prakṛti. Prakṛti means female. Everyone knows it. There are two things, prakṛti and puruṣa. The puruṣa is the enjoyer, and prakṛti is the enjoyed. Or, in other words, puruṣa is the predominator and prakṛti is predominated. So we are prakṛti.

Lecture on SB 1.7.23 -- Vrndavana, September 20, 1976:

Whole world, especially at the present moment, it is a great disastrous condition, godless civilization. They won't accept the real God, and they'll create some artificial God and become God, "Everyone is God," like that. No.

Therefore if you want to be benefited, then you must take the shelter of mahājana, great personalities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you are perplexed that "Who is mahājana? How can I find him?" that is also explained in the śāstra. Mahājana, dvādaśa-mahājana:

Lecture on SB 1.7.23 -- Vrndavana, September 20, 1976:

So where is the difficulty? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You follow the path of mahājana-Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Bhīṣma. There are gṛhasthas, there are brahmacārīs, sannyāsī. Brahmā, Lord Brahmā is mahājana; he's gṛhastha. Svayambhū, Nārada, he's brahmacārī. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ (SB 6.3.20)—Lord Śiva, he's also gṛhastha. Prahlāda Mahārāja, he's also gṛhastha. It doesn't matter whether you are gṛhastha or sannyāsī or brahmacārī. You must become actual representative of Kṛṣṇa. That is mahājana. And that is also not very difficult. How you can become representative of Kṛṣṇa? That is explained by Caitanya Mahāprabhu:

Lecture on SB 1.7.36-37 -- Vrndavana, September 29, 1976:

Means he does not know that at any moment Yamarāja can come and kick him out from this position. At any moment. Mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś ca aham. Yamarāja is the representative of Kṛṣṇa, a servant of Kṛṣṇa. He is Vaiṣṇava. Yamarāja, we are very much afraid of Yamarāja, but he Vaiṣṇava. Not only Vaiṣṇava, but he's one of the mahājanas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). He's mahājana in this sense: All the sinful living entities are brought before him, and according to the gravity of criminality, sinful action, he punishes. Just like magistrate. Magistrate, before the magistrate all criminals are brought in, and he considers the gravity of the case, and according to the case, somebody is hanged, somebody is put into the jail for three years, somebody for six years, somebody for six months. That is Yamarāja's duty. So that is... He's also dharma-vit. His name is Dharmarāja. Not that because he is punishing... Simply his only business is to punish. But still he's Dharmarāja, dharma-vit. He knows how to punish a person on religious principles.

Lecture on SB 1.7.49-50 -- Vrndavana, October 7, 1976:

"Yes, what Draupadī is saying is all right." Not only he, but also others. Nakulaḥ sahadevaś ca yuyudhāno dhanañjayaḥ bhagavān. Ultimately, bhagavān devakī-putro cānye yāś ca yoṣitaḥ.

So, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is dharma-suta. He is not ordinary person. He is the son of Dharmarāja, Yamarāja. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's mother, Kuntī, had the power to call any demigod. She got this benediction from Durvāsā Muni. So he (she) had his (her) three sons, means Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma, and Arjuna. She got Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira from Dharmarāja, Arjuna from Indra, and Bhīma from Varuṇa..., Vāyu, yes. Similarly, still she is one of the chaste women. These things are there. But still, they are not polluted. But in the Kali-yuga these things are prohibited. Devareṇa sutotpattiṁ kalau pañca vivarjayet (CC Adi 17.164).

Lecture on SB 1.8.19 -- Mayapura, September 29, 1974:

Mahājana means the person who knows Kṛṣṇa. The mahājanas are described, you know. Twelve mahājanas. Nāradaḥ svayambhūḥ śambhuḥ. Nārada is mahājana, and Brahmā is mahājana, Svayambhū. And Lord Śiva is mahājana. Kapilaḥ kumāro manuḥ prahlādo bhīṣmaḥ. The mahājanas are there. So we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We should not remain mūḍha-dṛśā. We should follow the mahājanas and the sādhus, śāstra. And they recommend... The most important process is śravaṇam. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). If we don't hear about Kṛṣṇa, then how we'll make advance? We have to hear. My Guru Mahārāja was very kind upon me because I was very much interested to hear him. That you know. I hear him. I did not understand him, actually. In the beginning I could not understand him. He was speaking in so high philosophical way that it was not... Still, I wanted to hear him. That was my only qualification.

Lecture on SB 1.8.28 -- Mayapura, October 8, 1974:

And third-class lawyer means one who does not know how to follow it. Good lawyer in the court—who can give reference from the lawbooks: "My Lord, you refer to such and such section of such and such law book, and you will find what I am stating." And the judge, when he sees: "Yes, it is all...," then his case is owned. So authority. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana. Authority means mahājana. Ordinary, common people is called jana, ordinary man. And those who are authority, they are mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ.

So the statements of Kuntī is recorded here, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, not that he's (she's) ordinary woman. Otherwise her statements should not have been mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Lecture on SB 1.8.35 -- Mayapura, October 15, 1974:

"I am offering worship to that Supreme Personality of Godhead. Simply by remembering Him, simply by glorifying Him, simply by seeing You, so many things happen." So Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the authority... He is one of the authorities, Vaiyāsaki. Balir vaiyāsakiḥ. Out of twelve authorities, Śukadeva Gosvāmī is authority. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the authority. So he says by..., simply by performing these processes, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, then what you are? Lokasya sadyo vidhunoti kalmaṣam: "This material contamination will be washed off." Lokasya sadyaḥ. When washed off? Immediately, sir, immediately, no waiting, sadya. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement.

Lecture on SB 1.8.41 -- Mayapura, October 21, 1974:

It is not that we have manufactured... It is stated, dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Nobody knows what is dharma, neither the human being, nor the demigods, nor big, big sages, saintly person, and whatever you say, philosopher. No, nobody knows what is religion. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana means those who are authorized person by God, one who knows what is the law of God, he's mahājana. He mahājana. So a guru is mahājana because he knows what is religion and what is the law given by God. Therefore he's mahājana. How he has become mahājana? Because he is following the previous mahājana. That's all. It is not difficult. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). So mahājana... So therefore sampradāya. Just like we are Mādhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya. Madhvācārya.

Lecture on SB 1.8.44 -- Mayapura, October 24, 1974:

Kṛṣṇa, when His name is attached with the activities of a devotee, He becomes very much pleased. But sometimes Kṛṣṇa is called Kaṁsa-nisūdana, Madhusūdana, Kaṁsāri. That is also Kṛṣṇa's pleasure. He appears to be enemy, Kaṁsāri, to the demons.

So these are the description of Kṛṣṇa. We have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Don't manufacture something which will not be compatible. You just hear, sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatā..., from the realized soul, how Kṛṣṇa should be described. Here... Just like Kuntī is describing Kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-sakha. He's Kṛṣṇa, and Draupadī is also called Kṛṣṇa, and Arjuna is also called Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa is both, friends for both of them. Kṛṣṇa supplied unlimited measurement of cloth to Draupadī because Draupadī was crying to Kṛṣṇa, "Save my honor." Similarly, Arjuna also, he accepted Kṛṣṇa as the supreme guide. Śiṣyas te 'haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam: (BG 2.7)

Lecture on SB 1.10.3 -- Mayapura, June 18, 1973:

Bhīṣma, he is authority. Next to Kṛṣṇa, Bhīṣma is one of the authorities. There are twelve authorities. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ kumāro manuḥ, prahlādo bhīṣmo janakaḥ (SB 6.3.20). They are the authorities of piety, religion. They are... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We cannot decide what is actually piety, religion. But if we follow mahājana, great authorities, then certainly we are unmistaken. So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, now all the Pāṇḍavas along with Kṛṣṇa, they have come to Bhīṣmadeva for taking his last instruction. He was lying on the bed of arrows for death. So his father's benediction was that Bhīṣmadeva would not die unless he desires to die. He was a very avowed brahmacārī, truthful. And Bhīṣmadeva recommended in the rājasūya-yajña that "Kṛṣṇa is greater brahmacārī than me.

Lecture on SB 1.10.3 -- Mayapura, June 18, 1973:

Therefore, in the human society, there are educational institution. Children are sent there for education, and they become learned scholars later on. And if they are fortunate, by good education, they become vijñāna-vidhūta-vibhramaḥ. Vijñāna-vidhūta-vibhramaḥ. By instruction of high personalities, mahājana... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Bhīṣma is also one of the mahājanas, a great authority.

So this is the position of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, that completely being confident, completely being freed from all ignorance, then he sat on the throne. Just imagine what is the position of this monarch and these rascal so-called presidents. Sanātana Gosvāmī presented himself... Sanātana Gosvāmī and Rūpa Gosvāmī, he presented, both of them presented themself by Caitanya Mahāprabhu as nīca-jāti. Nīca.

Lecture on SB 1.13.15 -- Geneva, June 4, 1974:

That twelve men are authorized to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Therefore we have created these GBC. So they should be very responsible men. Otherwise, they will be punished. They will be punished to become a śūdra. Although Yamarāja is a GBC, but he made a little mistake. He was punished to become a śūdra. So those who are GBC's, they should be very, very careful to administer the business of ISKCON. Otherwise they will be punished. As the post is very great, similarly, the punishment is also very great. That is the difficulty. You can see from this example, Vidura. He was immediately punished. He did little mistake at Maṇḍūka... Because the ṛṣis, the munis, they will curse. Dealing is very... Even Yamarāja is not taking.

Lecture on SB 1.15.44 -- Los Angeles, December 22, 1973:

And then, after Arjuna, disciplic succession. Lord Caitanya accepted. All the ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, accepted Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality. Śāstra says, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). So we have to follow these mahājana. Otherwise we cannot get the right knowledge. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow great authorities. So who are authorities? They are mentioned in the śāstras:

Lecture on SB 1.15.44 -- Los Angeles, December 22, 1973:

Even if you get the American body again, but there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to live. If you get the American body of a cow, you will be slaughtered, even though you are American. So this is ignorance. Therefore Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja has accepted mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), to follow the footprints of great personality. That is advancement. Otherwise degradation, degradation.

Now the real solution is... Here it is stated, dhyāyan na āvarteta yato gataḥ. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā also, yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama (BG 15.6). Tad dhāma paramaṁ mama. Dhāma means place. Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram (BG 5.29). He is the proprietor of all planets. So every place belongs to Him. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram. But He has a supreme place, tad dhāma paramaṁ mama, where, if you go, you will never return.

Lecture on SB 1.16.20 -- Hawaii, January 16, 1974:

Therefore we must abide by the sādhu-śāstra-guru. (aside:) Ah, what is this sound, is going on now? You can ask somebody to stop. Sādhu means saintly person. Śāstra means revealed scriptures. Sādhu, śāstra and guru, spiritual master. So we must follow the footprints of saintly persons, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is the way. We have to follow great superior personalities, just like ṣaḍ-gosvāmī. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says, ei chay gosāñi jāṅr mui tāṅr dāsa: "I become servant, servant or disciple, of such a person who follows the footprints of the six Gosvāmīs." Otherwise one becomes guru, anyone, just like nowadays they become. They are manufacturing guru. Guru is not manufactured. Guru is in the disciplic succession, one who is strictly follows the footsteps of the ṣaḍ-gosvāmīs. Ei chay gosāñi jāṅr. Anyone who is following the footsteps of the gosvāmīs, Rūpa Gosvāmī... Rūpa Gosvāmī gives his Upadeśāmṛta instruction:

Lecture on SB 3.25.5-6 -- Bombay, November 5, 1974:

And svayambhūr nāradaḥ. Nārada Muni, he's also authority. And Śambhu, Lord Śiva, he's authority. Similarly, Kapiladeva, He's also authority. These authorities should be followed. If we want to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and if we want to understand what is the purpose of religious life, then we have to follow these mahājanas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Dharmasya tattvam.

So dharmasya tattvam is explained by the Dharmasetu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa; sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). That is actually dharma. And all these mahājanas—svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ (SB 6.3.20)—they also follow the same principle.

Lecture on SB 3.25.5-6 -- Bombay, November 5, 1974:

Therefore we cannot understand very easily what is the truth of religious system, but if we follow these mahājanas, then we can understand. So that Kapila Muni is explaining to His mother the glories of devotional service. So if we follow Him, then we also get informed what is the truth of devotional service. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Here another feature is that pitari prasthite araṇyam. So it is the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, pañcāśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet. One who has passed over fifty years of age, he must give, leave home, and go to the forest, and completely devote his life for spiritual realization. That is the system, varṇāśrama-dharma. The name "Hindu" is a foreign name, given by the Muslims on the other side of the ocean. They used to say the inhabitants of this part of the world as "Hindu." Actually, you won't find this word Hindu in any Vedic literature. The Vedic literature you'll find: varṇāśrama-dharma.

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

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant for giving education to the people of this sāṅkhya-yoga system or bhakti-yoga system, because it is the recommended process by authorities. And all the āmnāya, origin of the āmnāya, just like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, then Kapiladeva—here is Kapiladeva—they are mahājana. Mahājana means great authorities. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). It is very difficult to understand the path of perfection. Therefore the śāstra recommended that "You follow the mahājana." This is called āmnāya. "You follow the mahājana." And who are mahājana? They are also described in the śāstras: svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ (SB 6.3.20). Svayambhū means Lord Brahmā. Lord Brahmā is... Another name is Svayambhū. He was found in the lotus flower emanating from the navel of Viṣṇu. So practically, he was not born of father and mother; therefore he is called Svayambhū. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ. Nārada Muni is authority.

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

He is also authority. In this way, Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Kapiladeva, Manu, and Bhīṣmadeva, Janaka, Janaka Mahārāja, Bhīṣmadeva, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Prahlāda Mahārāja—in this way there are twelve authorities, and all of them are following the Sāṅkhya philosophy or bhakti-yoga, all of them.

So we have to accept one of these mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Then you will be successful. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ: If you want to learn the Absolute Truth by logic and argument, it will never be possible. Logician... You may be one logician, better logician than me, and another logician may be better than you. But the Absolute Truth is avan manasa-gocara. By logical arguments how you can reach? That is not possible. Tarko 'prati... Therefore it is useless waste of time. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ. Scriptures, even you take the Vedic scriptures, there are so many: four Vedas... Some of them are following the Yajur-veda, some of them following Ṛg-veda, some of them Sāma-veda, Atharva-veda. Then there are Upaniṣads.

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

Therefore it is said, nāsāv munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Why? You cannot become a muni unless you propound a different system of philosophy. So this is the position. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Therefore the truth of spiritual life is very complicated. It is very difficult to understand. Then how I shall be able to understand? The conclusion is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You follow the mahājana. Out of these twelve mahājana, you follow any one of them, and you will be successful.

Lecture on SB 3.26.4 -- Bombay, December 16, 1974:

Do you mean to say they did mistake? As some people of our India, they say, "There is no need of worshiping in the temple." No. Why not need? Ācāryopāsanam, that is recommended, jñāna. Ācārya... Ācāryas, they have established temples, many hundreds of thousands of temples, of Viṣṇu mandira.

So this should be worshiped. Otherwise you cannot... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you do not follow ācāryas, then...

Lecture on SB 3.28.20 -- Nairobi, October 30, 1975:

The Māyāvādīs, they think that it is imagination. No, it is not imagination. It is confirmed by the śāstras, sādhu śāstra guru vākya.

So don't be misled by the Māyāvādīs. As we have got our ācāryas, they are instructing, as Bhāgavata is instructing, Bhagavad-gītā is instructing, we have to follow. And if we cannot follow, then we should see the ācāryas, how they are doing. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). In this way we have to make our life perfect.

Thank you very much.

Lecture on SB 5.5.2 -- Hyderabad, April 11, 1975:

Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ (SB 6.3.20). Kapila, Kapiladeva, who gave us the Sāṅkhya philosophy, Devahūti-putra Kapiladeva, Devahūti-putra; and Kumāra, Catuḥsana Kumāra; Manu, Vaivasvata Manu. Manu... Imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam, vivasvān manave prāha (BG 4.1). This Manu is mahājana. So we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot manufacture. Then you are going to hell. Follow these big, big personalities. Then you'll get.

Lecture on SB 5.5.2 -- Hyderabad, April 11, 1975:

So śāstra says that śrutayo vibhinnaḥ. You hear different types of philosophy from different sources. Na cāsāv munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. One cannot be accepted as a great saintly person unless he puts forward his own theory. Therefore mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to accept the mahājana. Now, apart from accepting mahājana, we have to use our senses also. Of course, unless we are advanced in our sensual speculation, that is also not possible. But one common sense is: if brahma-satyam, how jagat can be mithyā? It is a common sense. The brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā... This jagat is created by Brahman. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Athāto brahma jijñāsā. Brahman means... What is that Brahman? The original source of everything. Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). Why jagat should be mithyā? Huh? Suppose somebody has created this microphone with hard labor, and if I say, "This is all mithyā," is it very good thing? If Kṛṣṇa has created...

Lecture on SB 5.5.2 -- Hyderabad, April 13, 1975:

All these consciousness is just the opposite number of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, when we shall always think of Kṛṣṇa, satataṁ cintayanto mām: always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, how to spread Kṛṣṇa's glories. How it is possible to adopt the means and ways and plans and always thinking. Just like Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu did and all the ācāryas, the Gosvāmīs. We have to follow mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

That mahājana yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ is situat..., explained here, mahat-sevā, mahat-sevā. Mahājana..., to follow the mahājana means to serve their mission.

Lecture on SB 5.5.14 -- Vrndavana, November 2, 1976:

You have to take that. Not that you can say, nitāi-gaura rādhe-śyāma, hare kṛṣṇa hare rāma, no. Why? Is there any in the śāstra? No, you have invented. What is the value of your invention? You are not perfect. But they like that "It is my guru, I have got some followers, I invent some type of chanting." This is nonsense. You must follow, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot invent. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu... (break—end)

Lecture on SB 5.5.32 -- Vrndavana, November 19, 1976:

So you should learn from the... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), learn from the mahājana. Mahājana means the devotees. Mahājana. Mahājana is also addressed in India to the baniers, means the mercantile class, mahājana. The brāhmaṇa is addressed as paṇḍita, and the kṣatriya is addressed as ṭhākura, and the vaiśyas are addressed as mahājana, and the śūdras are addressed as chaudhuri. This is Indian etiquette. So we are not talking of this banier mahājana. Mahājanas are described in the śāstra, twelve mahājana:

Lecture on SB 5.5.32 -- Vrndavana, November 19, 1976:

So they are twelve mahājanas, and we have to follow these mahājanas. The Ṛṣabhadeva is also mahājana, and the greatest mahājana is Kṛṣṇa. Nityo nityānāṁ cetanaś cetanānām (Kaṭha Upaniṣad 2.2.13). Jana, jana means life, and mahājana, the supreme person. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Don't argue unnecessarily. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā. You cannot come to conclusion by this method or that method. Just try to follow. Sādhu-mārga-anugamanam, ādau gurv-āśrayam sad-dharma-pṛcchā, sādhu-mārganugamanam. We have to follow the footprints of great saintly persons, devotees, mahājana. Here is Ṛṣabhadeva. But in the Kali-yuga it is not possible to imitate ājagara-vṛtti. It is not possible because we are already so weak. Mandāḥ sumanda-matayo manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ (SB 1.1.10). This is our position. We are very unfortunate. Every one of us, we are very bad, mandāḥ, bad habits.

Lecture on SB 6.1.7 -- San Francisco, March 1, 1967:

As from the sound the whole material existence has come into being, similarly, from sound also, you can go back to the spiritual existence. So this sound vibration... The oṁkāra is also the same sound as..., om, but this is easier, Hare Kṛṣṇa. You cannot have so ecstasy by vibrating om, but because it was chanted by the greatest authority, Lord Caitanya, it has got special power. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The scriptures indicate that we have to follow the footprints of great authorities. Tarko apratiṣṭham. You cannot come to the right conclusion simply by arguing. You may be a very good logician and you can argue very nicely, but another man, he may be a greater logician than you. He can nullify all your arguments. There is possibility. So tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ.

Lecture on SB 6.1.7 -- San Francisco, March 1, 1967:

Because the philosophy, one philosopher is big philosopher if he can defy his predecessor philosophers. Matam na bhinnam. Therefore, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Therefore the truth of a religious path is in oblivion. How one can understand what is actual Absolute Truth, what is the religious path? The last instruction is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Therefore you have to follow the footprints of authority. You can take anyone as you authority, as authority, but according to Bhāgavata there are twelve authorities. That is also mentioned. They are authorized persons from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they have got disciplic succession. The twelve authorities are Brahmā, Nārada, Lord Śiva and Kumāra, Manu and Lord Kapila, Bhīṣma and Prahlāda, Janaka and Yamarāja and this Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who is speaking the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

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

So as soon as the money payment is stopped, immediately servant becomes disobedient. Therefore there is no service in the material world. It is exchange of money. The service is niṣkāma. That is brāhmaṇa, devotee. They do not expect anything from the Personality of Godhead. They want simply His satisfaction. Sādhava niṣkāmān yatra yasmin mārge. Therefore we have to follow mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), great personality, the path of the great personalities. The great personalities means the devotees. We have to follow the path of the devotees.

(reads Sanskrit commentary) Śrīdhara Swami says that bhakti mārga, the path of devotion, is immune from all kinds of fearfulness because jñāna-mārga, jñāna mārga, the path of knowledge is full of difficulties. Because I am trying myself, I have no protector. I do not know if I am in danger who will give me protection. Jñānīs, they try to understand the Absolute Truth by dint of their knowledge.

Lecture on SB 6.1.34-39 -- Surat, December 19, 1970:

Then Manu is one authority, Prahlāda Mahārāja is authority, Bali Mahārāja is authority, Śukadeva Gosvāmī is authority. So similarly, Yamarāja is also authority. They are authority who know exactly what is God, or Kṛṣṇa, and they can direct. Therefore śāstra says you have to follow the authority. Otherwise it is not possible. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot understand the path of religion by your mental speculation. Dharmāṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharma, religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No ordinary man can enact dharma. Therefore there is dharma-viparya. Real dharma, actual dharma, is to abide by the words of the Supreme Lord. That is dharma. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ.

Lecture on SB 6.1.40 -- Los Angeles, June 6, 1976:

So dharma, the path of religiosity, is very confidential. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Then how I shall accept what is dharma, what is religion? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. You just follow the footsteps of authorized persons. Then you understand what is dharma. You cannot manufacture. So, here is the same system, the Vedic system is the same. Either you hear from the direct Vedas or scriptures following the Vedas.

So here the Yamadūtas says that dharma means what is spoken or directed in the Vedas. And what is Veda? Veda nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt. Veda means God Himself. Just like... We can understand very easily. Just like the king and the king's law. What king has said, that this should be done like this, keep to the right, king or government, whatever it may be, authority... So that is Veda. What is... Just like the law means what the government says. You cannot manufacture law. Similarly, veda nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt.

Lecture on SB 6.1.48 -- Detroit, June 14, 1976:

Over and above that, they are always disturbed. This is the condition of life.

So those who are saintly persons or those who are following the path of Yamarāja... Yamarāja is mahājana. As Yamarāja knows, anyone who follows the mahājana... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We cannot ascertain what is our aim of life, so we have to follow these mahājanas. Yamarāja is mahājana. Baliḥ vaiyāsakir vayam. So, (reading:) "One should not consider Yamarāja an ordinary living being. He's as good as Lord Brahmā. He has the complete cooperation of the Supreme Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart, and therefore by the grace of the Supersoul he can see the past, present and future of a living being from within. The word anumīmāṁsate means that he can decide in consultation with the Supersoul. Anu means 'following.'

Lecture on SB 6.2.24-25 -- Gorakhpur, February 13, 1971:

So as far as possible, let us follow the footsteps of mahājana-mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186)—and depend on Kṛṣṇa and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Everything will be all right. The simple method. Try to follow Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teachings. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and be sincere, and, as far as possible, worship the Deity. Everything is all right. (break) ...camp, the servant's camp was overcrowded, and people would come to our camp.

Lecture on SB 6.3.16-17 -- Gorakhpur, February 10, 1971:

By worshiping ācārya... And Bhagavad-gītā it is said, ācāryopāsanam. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34). These things are there.

So these, I mean to say, assistants and associates of Viṣṇu, Viṣṇudūta, it is stated, Yamarāja says... Yamarāja is Mahājana, therefore we have to accept. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The Yamarāja says that bhūtāni viṣṇoḥ sura-pūjitāni durdarśa-liṅgāni mahādbhūtāni. Durdarśa. It is very difficult to find out them, because in our experience within this material world, perhaps only Brahmā has four hands, and Viṣṇu has four hands, and sometimes Lord Śiva has also four hands because they are biggest of all the demigods. But ordinary living entities, hardly one can find out a person with four hands. Therefore it is said here, durdarśa liṅgāni: "They are very rarely to be seen." But mahadbhūtāni: "They are wonderful." Mahādbhūtāni.

Lecture on SB 6.3.18-19 -- Gorakhpur, February 12, 1971:

Therefore paramparā system is so necessary, disciplic succession. Kṛṣṇa has got direct confidential servants. They know what is religion. Therefore it is said, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If we are puzzled about the principles of religion, then we must follow the mahājanas. Mahājana. These mahājanas are described here. Who is mahājana? Svayambhū. Svayambhū means Brahmā. Svayambhū. He is called Svayambhū. Svayambhū means "one who is born by himself." Of course, he is not born by himself, but he is not ordinarily born. Just like a child is born by the sex intercourse of the father and the mother, Brahmā is not born like that. There was no sex intercourse to beget Brahmā. Therefore he is called Svayambhū. Svayambhū. Automatically he has come out. He has come out from the father without the help of the mother. Therefore he is called Svayambhū.

Lecture on SB 6.3.27-28 -- Gorakhpur, February 20, 1971:

"We may not go, but the time factor will act on them." So that is also, "No. There is no question of time factor for them." Such are the facilities. Now, Yamarāja is a mahājana. We have to take his statement, how devotees are stated. Kṛṣṇa says summarily that "I'll give you protection." And how they are protected you have to learn from the mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Then next question will be: "Then what is our business? Where to go? Suppose they're all devotee?" Sometimes a rascal question is there, that "If everyone becomes devotee, how this world will go on?" That is their concern. If everyone becomes honest, how the prison house will go on? What is the use of prison house? If it is closed, that is good. Similarly, if the whole world becomes devotee and the business of the material world is closed for good, that is very good. But that will not happen. That is not possible.

Lecture on SB 6.3.27-28 -- Gorakhpur, February 20, 1971:

Duṣṭān tān eva āha mukunda-pādāravindayo yo makaranda-rūpa tasmād vimukhān. Kathām bhūtat? Niṣkiñcinair ajasram juṣṭād tesam jñāpakam aha niraya-vartmani sva-dharma-sunye gṛhe baddha trsnad ye tan.(?) So what is their symptoms? Their symptoms we shall describe tomorrow. (break)

The advantages of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Yes. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Yamarāja personally explains. He is mahājana. Anyone who is not Kṛṣṇa conscious, he's a candidate for Yamarāja. (break) ...incarnations are as unlimited as there are waves in the sea. As there is no limit how may waves are there, similarly there is no limit of Kṛṣṇa's incarnation. But some of the prominent incarnations connected with this world, they have been mentioned. Now this boy is advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by this method. So Kauśalyā has transferred Kṛṣṇa consciousness to him?

Lecture on SB 7.5.22-30 -- London, September 8, 1971:

Even Aristotle, he is talking so many things nonsense. So mental speculators, philosophers. In this way you cannot.

Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: "Actually, the purport of religion and God is very confidential." Therefore, to understand it, one has to follow the great authorities, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana. So that mahājana, great authorities, are also mentioned, who are mahājanas. Authorities.

Lecture on SB 7.6.1 -- Hong Kong, April 18, 1972:

And those who are just the opposite number, they are called daitya or demon. So Hiraṇyakaśipu was atheist. Fortunately, he was so fortunate that he got a great Vaiṣṇava devotee son, Prahlāda Mahārāja. You have heard his name, Prahlāda Mahārāja. He is one of the mahājanas. There are twelve mahājanas in the śāstras. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ.

Lecture on SB 7.6.1 -- Vrndavana, December 2, 1975:

Prahlāda Mahārāja, our predecessor guru... There are twelve mahājanas: Brahmā, Svayambhu, Nārada, Śambhu, Kapilo, Kumāra, Manu, Prahlāda, Janaka, Bhīṣma, Bali, Vaiyāsakir, vayam. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). It is said in the Vedas that we have to follow the footprints of mahājana. Mahājana means great authorized devotees. And they have been described, twelve. Svayambhūr means Lord Brahmā; Nārada, Nārada Muni the great saint; Śambhu, Lord Śiva... Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kaumāra (SB 6.3.20)—the four Kumāras, sanat-kumāra ādi. Then Kapila, Kapiladeva, Devahūti's son. There are two Kapilas. So one is imitation; one is real. The real Kapila, He is known therefore Devahūti-putra, "the son of Devahūti."

Lecture on SB 7.7.29-31 -- San Francisco, March 15, 1967, (incomplete lecture):

That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, in the Tenth Chapter: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). He accepted that "You are Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nobody knows about Your personality." These things are described there.

So you haven't got to labor very hard. If you simply follow mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), if you follow the footprints of great personalities like Arjuna, like Nārada, like Brahmā, like Śaṅkarācārya, like Rāmānujācārya, oh, they are there. Their precepts and their injunction is there. But you have to select a person, a bona fide spiritual master. You have to see that whether he's actually in that disciplic succession. And how you can test it? You'll test it that a bona fide spiritual master will instruct you the same thing as Kṛṣṇa instructed. How it is that? That Kṛṣṇa said that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66)

Lecture on SB 7.9.4 -- Mayapur, February 11, 1976:

We are trying to approach the topmost goal of life by bhajana, by sādhana. So anyone has got the potency to come to the stage of mahā-bhāgavata provided he follows the mahājana. You can become mahā-bhāgavata if you follow mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you follow the mahājana's path then everyone can become. Of course, it is not possible everyone to become mahā-bhāgavata, but there is possibility. Simply we have to become serious to follow the path of mahājana. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ. Simply by argument, you cannot make advancement. Simply by neti neti, or there are many other processes, mystic yoga process to become very austere, remain silent, mauna-vrata śruta-tapa, tapasya, education, austerity. None of them are the cause, but becoming bhakta, only devotional service, if one is fixed up, dṛḍha-vratāḥ.

Lecture on SB 7.9.5 -- Mayapur, February 25, 1977:

We cannot... We shall try to follow. Don't try to imitate. That is very dangerous.

Some of our devotees, they left, that "There is no bhajana here," (laughter) and asking me my blessing to find out another guru. So he wants my blessing for find out a guru. So this rascaldom is no good. So best thing is that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Here is mahājana. Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the mahājanas. Out of the twelve mahājanas, Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the mahājanas. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilo manuḥ prahlādaḥ (SB 6.3.20). Prahlāda Mahārāja name is there. Janako bhīṣmo balir vaiyāsakir vayam. So Prahlāda Mahārāja is mahājana. So follow, try to follow, Prahlāda Mahārāja. Anusaraṇa. Sādhu-mārgānugamanam. So what Prahlāda Mahārāja did? He was put into so many troubles by his father, and what did he do? He was simply thinking of Kṛṣṇa, "What can I do? My father is against."

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

So therefore, this process Prahlāda Mahārāja is demonstrating by his personal behavior because he is mahājana. He is mahājana. Out of the twelve mahājanas. The śāstra says, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), one has to follow the mahājana, authorized person. Mahājana means authorized person. Ordinary jana, common man, and mahājana means authorized person. We cannot take lesson, instruction from unauthorized person. This authorization must come through the disciplic succession. If the spiritual master, authorized spiritual master says, "You do this," that we have to do.

Lecture on SB 7.9.7 -- Mayapur, February 27, 1977:

That is the difference between jīva and śiva, or Lord, that we are minute part and particle of the Supreme; therefore we may forget. But Kṛṣṇa does not forget. That is the difference. So nitya-siddha. Prahlāda Mahārāja is to be understood as nitya, mahā-bhāgavata, nitya-siddha. They appear to complete the līlā of Kṛṣṇa.

So we should not try to imitate Prahlāda Mahārāja. That is not good. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. I have already explained yesterday. Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the mahājanas, authorized persons, authorized devotee. We should try to follow him. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ.

Lecture on SB 7.9.7 -- Mayapur, February 27, 1977:

You cannot neglect anything. If you think that "I shall simply worship...," oh, that is a great offense, "...Caitanya Mahāprabhu or only Caitanya-Nityānanda" No. You must worship Pañca-tattva, pañca-tattvātmakaṁ kṛṣṇam, in full. Similarly, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, sixteen names, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ (devotees chant) Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So you cannot mix up. You must do according to śāstra. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you deviate from the śāstra, then you will never be successful.

Lecture on SB 7.9.8 -- Mayapur, February 28, 1977:

So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We can learn Kṛṣṇa consciousness perfectly well if we follow the mahājanas. Mahājana means great personality who are devotees of the Lord. They are called mahājanas. Jana means person. Just like in ordinary way, in India a person is called mahājana who is very rich. So this mahājana means one who is rich in devotional service. He is called mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. So we have got Ambarīṣa Mahārāja. We have got Prahlāda Mahārāja. There are many, many kings—Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, Parīkṣit Mahārāja—they are rājarṣi. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness, actually, it is meant for very great personalities.

Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Montreal, July 9, 1968:

Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "I think..." Whatever he thinks is right, because he is a great devotee. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The Vedic literatures indicate that you have to follow the footprints of great personalities, devotees. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ. If you want to understand the Absolute Truth by your argument and logic, oh, it is not possible. Because our argument, logic, may be defeated by another man. Another man's argument may be defeated by another man. Because all of us, we are limited. Whatever qualification we have got, they are all limited, and there is greater and greatest, comparative, superlative degree in every field of activities.

Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Montreal, July 9, 1968:

And what is that? Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: (BG 18.66) "Give up everything. Simply surrender unto Me."

So the Vedas indicate therefore that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you want to understand the Absolute Truth, then you have to follow great personalities, great devotees. Just like in the Western world, Lord Jesus Christ, you have to follow his principles. This is all right, his Ten Commandments. But we do not follow. We simply fight. "Oh, I am Christian, you are Hindu," "I am Muhammadan," "I am this." Nobody tries to follow. You see? That is not the way. You have to follow. If you believe in certain personality... Of course, not believe, not blind believing. He must be authority. Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam they have indicated twelve authorities.

Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Montreal, July 9, 1968:

Therefore I say, when Prahlāda Mahārāja says manye, "I think," it has to be taken as authoritative statement. We have to follow. If we follow the footprints of great personalities, then there is no danger. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Just like in the villages there is a track. One who follows that track, he is not lost. He... Similarly, if we follow the track of mahājana on which great personality has traversed, then we'll not fall.

Lecture on SB 7.9.10 -- Mayapur, February 17, 1976:

Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). This is Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction, that don't be falsely proud unless you have got the qualification. That is our mistake, dambha, dambha. And the pure life begins when we give up dambha, false prestige. Adambhitvam amānitvam ahiṁsā kṣāntiḥ ārjavam. This is the begin... One who is falsely proud, he is... (aside:) What is that sound? One should not be falsely proud. Everyone... Material world means everyone is falsely proud. Everyone is thinking, āḍhyo 'smi dhanavān asmi ko 'sti mama samaḥ, everyone. This is the disease. "I am the richest. I am the powerful. I am the very intelligent." Everything, "I am."

Lecture on SB 7.9.12 -- Mayapur, February 19, 1976:

Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, one becomes completely purified. Pūyeta yena hi pumān anuvarṇitena. Anu means repetition, and anu means following the footsteps of authority, spiritual master, anu. Our process is anu. We don't manufacture anything. We simply follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājanas. Great personalities, great authorities, that is our process. Guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete kariyā aikya, āra na koriya mane āśa **. This is the process. The guru-mukha-padma-vākya **, whatever is coming out of the mouth of the spiritual master... Because he'll never speak nonsense. He'll also speak the same thing which he has heard from his guru. That is called anu, anu, following. So this is very easy. We don't manufacture things. What is the use of manufacturing things? We are imperfect; what we can manufacture? Whatever we shall manufacture, that is imperfect because we are imperfect. The modern scientists, they are manufacturing some ideas.

Lecture on SB 7.9.22 -- Mayapur, February 29, 1976:

"These living entities," Kṛṣṇa said, "they are My part and parcel." So they should remain with Him just like the fire and the spark. Unfortunately we have fallen down. And the result is niṣpīḍyamāna, being crushed.

So if one is serious to be saved from this crushing process of time factor, then they should learn from Prahlāda Mahārāja. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That... What is that? Niṣpīḍyamāna upakarṣa: "Kindly pick me up." Vibho: "You are vibhu, most powerful, the great omnipotent." "Yes, I am, all right. But why shall I pick it up?" Now, prapannam: "Now I surrender. I rebelled against You, and I was put into this wheel of time, and suffering one after another life. Now I have realized that I am in a precarious condition of life." So niṣpīḍyamānam. This is called human life, when one understands... The animal life, they do not understand what is suffering. The cats and dogs, they are thinking they're living very happily. But in the human life they should come to the understanding that "Actually we are not living happily.

Lecture on SB 7.9.23 -- Mayapur, March 1, 1976:

As many numbers of atoms are there, so many number of living entities are there, and there is struggle here. So in this human life the chance is how to get out of this material atomic combination and go back to home, back to Godhead. This is the chance. So we have to follow the examples of Prahlāda Mahārāja, and there are... He's mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Let us try to follow Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction and make our life successful.

Lecture on SB 7.9.31 -- Mayapur, March 9, 1976:

A devotee sees a tree, but he does not see the tree. He sees: "It is Kṛṣṇa's energy." Immediately he remembers Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. When every step you'll simple see Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa... That is possible, provided you follow the footstep of Prahlāda Mahārāja. That will be possible. Or devotees. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is the way. If you speculate nonsensically, it will be not possible. If you follow the devotees, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ, then you'll be successful.

Lecture on SB 7.9.43 -- Calcutta, March 23, 1976:

It is not possible. Ahaituky apratihatā. Apratihatā means it cannot be checked by any material condition. You go on with your duty sincerely. There will be no power to check your progress. That is, Prahlāda Mahārāja says. But endeavor must be there, as Prahlāda Mahārāja says.

So we are followers of mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the mahājanas, out of the twelve mahājanas. There are also described, who are mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. The indication is there. The question will be, "Who is mahājana?" So mahājana means... That is also stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, svayambhūr nāradaḥ śaṁbhuḥ kapilaḥ kaumāro manuḥ prahlādaḥ (SB 6.3.20). So Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the mahājanas. So we are discussing Prahlāda Mahārāja's instruction and his character, his ability. This is Vaiṣṇava.

Lecture on SB 7.9.53 -- Vrndavana, April 8, 1976:

The rascal does not know that if he cuts the mouth, there will be no egg. Similarly, if you make cut short of Bhagavad-gītā according to your whims, you'll never understand what is Bhagavad-gītā. You have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Arjuna understood. Sarvam etam ṛtaṁ manye: "Whatever You have said, I understand. I have accepted it." So you accept it blindly even; then you are benefited. We may not understand.

Just like Kṛṣṇa says, aham ādir hi devānām (Bg 10.2). Aham ādir hi devānām. Devānām means all the demigods, beginning with Brahmā. So Kṛṣṇa says, "I am prior to Brahmā," ādi. Ādi means at the beginning. So who will understand Him? Even one who believes in the śāstra, believes in the Brahmā's āyuḥ... Sahasra-yuga-paryantam ahar yad brahmaṇo viduḥ (BG 8.17). His one day, twelve hours, is forty-three lakhs of years multiplied by one thousand—means forty-three crores of years, our calculation.

Lecture on SB 7th Canto -- Calcutta, March 7, 1972:

They are full in knowledge. One many not be personally very learned, but because we follow the disciplic succession, the conclusion given by the learned scholars like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, therefore, we follow the conclusion, therefore we are also learned. Because we do not follow any other path, we follow mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), we follow Jīva Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī. Therefore, we are called Rūpānuga Vaiṣṇava. Vaiṣṇava, who are followers strictly. My Guru Mahārāja is described, rūpānuga-viruddha-apasiddhānta-dhvānta-hāriṇe. Rūpānuga-viruddha. There are certain principles given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Just like Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, he is giving the definition of bhakti.

Nectar of Devotion Lectures

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, October 27, 1972:

They are not vibhinnā. But to our limited knowledge, sometimes they appear as vibhinnam, different. Śrutayo vibhinnaṁ nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And you won't find a philosopher who does not agree, who does not disagree with our philosophers.

Therefore dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the footsteps of great ācāryas. That is the way. These mahājanas are described in the śāstra like Lord Brahma, Lord Śiva, svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ kumāro manuḥ (SB 6.3.20). They are all mentioned. So you follow any one of these great personalities, Brahmā... Brahmā is the greatest personality within this universe, and he has got his sampradāya which is known as Brahma-sampradāya. Similarly Lord Śiva has also a sampradāya which is called Rudra-sampradāya.

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 12, 1972:

Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You cannot come to the conclusion what is śraddhā and sādhana by simply argument. Tarko apratistha. By argument, we cannot establish. Śrutayo vibhinnā. The scriptures are many varieties. Śrutayor vibhinnā nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And every philosopher must differ with another philosopher. Therefore, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: We have to follow the footprints of great authorities. They are also mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, great authorities:

The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 13, 1972:

When it is confirmed by the spiritual master, yes, it is right. Sādhu guru, sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, tinete kariyā aikya. The same statement of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. Sādhu, principles which are followed, sādhu-mārga-anugamanam. We cannot follow asādhu-mārga. We must follow sādhu-mārga. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We cannot follow an upstart, manufacturing some song, manufacturing some ideas. We cannot follow that. What is authorized song, we shall sing. What is authorized method, we shall follow. Sādhu-guru-śāstra-vākya. Sādhu and guru means on the basis of śāstra. And śāstra means the statements of sādhu and guru. Therefore sādhu and guru and śāstra, they are identical. So they must be corroborated. If somebody's sādhu is speaking against śāstra, then he's not sādhu. If somebody's guru, if he's going against śāstra, then he's not guru. And śāstra means the original guru and sādhu. What do you mean by śāstra? Just like in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 1.7 -- Mayapur, March 31, 1975:

We are seeking after ānanda. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). By our nature we want to be very blissful, always happy. That is our nature. And we can possess, revive our nature of eternal happiness, provided we try to get it in this human form of life. There is no difficulty if we follow the path enunciated by great authorities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). So Nityānanda Prabhu, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Their disciples, they are all mahājanas, great personalities. If we follow their principles, then it is very easy. There is no difficulty. But difficulty is that we do not follow.

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 3.87-88 -- New York, December 27, 1966:

They have accepted. Even in the modern age, Śaṅkarācārya, he accepted Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And what to speak of other ācāryas. They have... They are Vaiṣṇavas. They will naturally. So we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). So there are opinions of great scholars and stalwarts, and there is mention in the śāstra, in the scriptures. And the activities have shown practically. So these things are there. And still, those who are atheists, they will not do it. They will not do it.

Lecture on CC Adi-lila 7.5 -- Mayapur, March 7, 1974:

Therefore our process is to chant the holy names of the Pañca-tattva and then we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. That is perfect. And neither mixing. The mixing taste is called rasābhāsa. Rasābhāsa. And we don't manufacture anything. Just follow. We disagree with the persons who chant that bhaja nitāi-gaura rādhe-śyāma. No. We must follow strictly. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We cannot manufacture simply for some worldly cheap reputation and prestige. If we manufacture something, that will not help us. We must follow. Mahājano yena. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. We must follow the mahājanas. So you'll find in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, the Kavirāja Gosvāmī, in every chapter he begins, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda, jaya advaita..., gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. This is the process.

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 8.128 -- Bhuvanesvara, January 24, 1977:

By the mercy of Vyāsadeva. So we have to see. Instead of criticizing in that adverse way, we have to follow the ācārya. Ācāryopāsanam. So you'll find Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, they have accepted in that way. So what is the use of our questioning? We should follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Otherwise it is not possible.

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

So Caitanya Mahāprabhu is teaching how to become that mahātmā, su-durlabhaḥ. Koṭiṣv apy mahāmune. Muktānām api sahasrāṇām. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching is so sublime and very easy also. We should take it up—this is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement—and execute it as it is enjoined in the śāstras and following the footsteps of mahājana. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is also described in the śāstra. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ (SB 6.3.20). And... Dvādaśa mahājana. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ, and prahlādo janako bhīṣmo balir vaiyāsakir vayam. Everything is there in the śāstra. So to become actually devotee we have to follow these mahājana. Svayambhūḥ is Brahmā, and... Svayambhūr... Nārada Muni, and Śambhu, Lord Śiva. They have got their parties, or their paramparā system—Brahmā-sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya Śrī-sampradāya, and Kumāra-sampradāya. In this way we have to accept the sampradāya and follow. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2).

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.144-146 -- New York, December 1, 1966:

Tasmāt parataraṁ. Viṣṇu ārādhanam is the best. And better than the best worship is to worship the devotees of Viṣṇu, Vaiṣṇavas. This is recommended in the Śiva Purāṇa.

So Lord Caitanya making an analytical study of the Vedic literature, and He is giving His conclusion. This is called mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the footprints of great ācāryas. Lord Caitanya is playing the part of an ācārya; so His conclusion should be taken. Lord Kṛṣṇa said also that kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajanti anya-devatāḥ: (BG 7.20) "Those who are worshipers of other demigods, they are mad after sense gratification." Oh, that means they are third-class men. Those who are mad after sense gratification, they are not considered first-class men because they are not transcendentalists; they are materialists, just like animals. They do not know anything. Simply sense gratification—āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithuna: eating, sleeping, mating and defending—that is their business.

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.313-317 -- New York, December 21, 1966:

They are also transcendental to the three material modes of nature. This is from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, quotation by Lord Caitanya.

So we have to accept these authorities, quotation from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Vedic literature, and quoted by authority, Lord Caitanya. We have to follow in that way. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Therefore we have to accept this, that if we be engaged in devotional service of the Supreme Lord, then we are transcendental to these material modes of nature. Therefore anyone who is so engaged, he is liberated. He is liberated. Officially he is liberated. But if he falls down by the attraction of these three modes of nature, that is a different thing. That is possible. That is possible if we are not strong enough because... Always remember that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a sort of declaration of war with this illusory material nature.

Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.334-341 -- New York, December 24, 1966:

Just like Kṛṣṇa, when He was present, His activities were more or less political. He established the Pāṇḍavas on the throne, and He vanquished the other party, and there were many such instances. Dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya. Formerly the modes was if the king was pious, naturally the citizens were also pious. And that is a fact. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If the leader is all right, the followers also all right. If the leader is a fool, the followers also fool. So in the days bygone, the kings were made as ideal king, and by his ruling capacity, all the citizens, they become nice. So this was Kṛṣṇa's mission, to establish ideal king of the world, and that was Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. The description of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira you will find in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, how nice he was and how the condition of the world was there. There was, during the reign of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, even there was no severe cold and severe heat. Sometimes at this present age we are disturbed in so many ways.

Sri Isopanisad Lectures

Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 5 -- Los Angeles, May 7, 1970:

Acintyāḥ khalu ye bhāvā na tāṁs tarkeṇa yojayet. Things which are inconceivable by you, you cannot argue. Then it will be a failure. You have to accept that axiomatic truth. It is not dogmatic. It is not dogmatic in this sense, because our predecessor ācāryas, they accepted. What you are that you are arguing? So that is the proof. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā. If you argue, there is no conclusion. The argument will go on. You put some argument; I put some argument. That is not the process. Śrutayo vibhinnā. Scriptures, in different countries, different circumstances, different scriptures, they're also different. Then tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And so far philosophical speculation is concerned, one philosopher is putting some theory, another philosopher putting some theory—there is contradiction. And unless you defy another philosopher, you cannot be a famous philosopher. That is the way of philosophical...

Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 5 -- Los Angeles, May 7, 1970:

Then where, how to get real information? That is stated, that dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. The secret of religious process is lying in the cave or within the heart. So how to realize it? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to follow great personalities. Therefore we are trying to follow Lord Kṛṣṇa or Lord Caitanya. That is perfection. You have to take evidences from the Vedas. You have to follow the instruction. The success is sure. That's all.

Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures

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

So if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Kṛṣṇa says. And Kṛṣṇa says, bhakto 'si priyo 'si rahasyam etad uttamam (BG 4.3). Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, "This science of God, Bhagavad-gītā, kṛṣṇa-tattva..." Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: yei kṛṣṇa-tattva vetta sei guru haya (CC Madhya 8.128). Guru does not become. Guru is not so cheap thing. One must know what is kṛṣṇa-tattva. One must know what is Kṛṣṇa.

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

You are My very dear." So in order to understand Kṛṣṇa, one has to first of all become a great devotee, dear friend of Kṛṣṇa. Then he can understand. Otherwise, vedeṣu durlabham adurlabham ātma-bhaktau (Bs. 5.33).

So this Brahma-saṁhitā describes about Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā is mahājana. I've already told you: mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). So in the śāstras, twelve mahājanas are accepted:

Festival Lectures

Nrsimha-caturdasi Lord Nrsimhadeva's Appearance Day -- Boston, May 1, 1969:

So Prahlāda Mahārāja is the symbolic representation of Vaiṣṇava. So try to be not imitator, but follower. Don't try to imitate: "Oh, Prahlāda Mahārāja was thrown into boiling oil. Let me try, fall into the boiling oil." No. That is imitation. Just first of all you become like Prahlāda Mahārāja, then that will be possible. Don't try to make experimental. (laughter) That is not good. But follow, try to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājanas, great personalities, what they have done, you cannot imitate them. You have to follow them. You have to follow the instruction of Kṛṣṇa or His representative, but you cannot imitate them.

Nrsimha-caturdasi Lord Nrsimhadeva's Appearance Day -- Bombay, May 5, 1974:

Therefore his name is Svayambhu. Of course, his father is Nārāyaṇa, but not in the usual way. Therefore his name is Svayambhu. Nārada. Nārada Muni is also one of the mahājanas. And Śambhu, Lord Śiva. Kapila, Kapiladeva, the son of Devahūti. Svayaṁbhur nāradaḥ śaṁbhuḥ kapilo manuḥ (SB 6.3.20). And Prahlāda Mahārāja. Prahlāda Mahārāja is our guru in the disciplic succession. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. We cannot chalk out what is the path of religion. It is very difficult to find out because there are many different scriptures and there are many philosophers. Nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Each philosopher has got different opinion. So how to get real path of religious way? That is recommended in the śāstra that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to follow the footsteps of great personalities. And Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of them.

Nrsimha-caturdasi Lord Nrsimhadeva's Appearance Day -- Bombay, May 5, 1974:

Three times. Three times means yajña-dāna-tapaḥ-kriyā. There are many other things: meditation, sacrifices, worship in the temple. So in this age all these things are impossible to be performed, but even a child can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. That is proved here. Whenever there is Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, even the child can take part, old man can take part. So this is the only method for God realization. There is no expenditure, but the gain is very, very great. That was the teaching of Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja, and we are following his footsteps. Let us stick to his principle, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), and thus become more and more advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

His Divine Grace Srila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Appearance Day, Lecture -- London, September 3, 1971:

One philosopher is differing from another philosopher. Just now today Śyāmasundara has purchased one book about different philosophers. So that you also cannot ascertain what is truth. Therefore śāstra says, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. The truth is very confidential. So if you want to know that truth, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), you should have to follow the great ācāryas. Then you will understand. Therefore ācārya-upāsanā is essential. Ācārya-upāsanā is very essential. In all the Vedic śāstras the injunction is that. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). Tasmād gurum prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). Anyone who is inquisitive to understand higher truths, he must surrender to guru. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta, jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam. One who is inquisitive, who is now inquiring about transcendental subject matter. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (BG 4.34).

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Appearance Day, SB 6.3.24 -- Gorakhpur, February 15, 1971:

"Only we, these twelve men, representatives of Kṛṣṇa, we know what is bhāgavata-dharma." Dvādaśaite vijānīmaḥ. Vijānīmaḥ means "we know." Dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ, guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute. "We know." Therefore it is advised, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). These mahājanas, as they have prescribed, that is the real way for understanding Kṛṣṇa, or spiritual salvation (service?).

So we are following the Brahma-sampradāya, the first, Svayambhū. Brahmā. Brahmā, then Nārada, from Nārada, Vyāsadeva. In this way, Madhvācārya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, in this way. So today, because we are following the footsteps of Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, so this is, today is his appearance day. So we should honor this tithi very respectfully and pray to Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī that "We are engaged in your service.

Initiation Lectures

Initiation Lecture -- Los Angeles, December 19, 1968:

Jaya-gopāla: If he plays...

Prabhupāda: Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to simply follow the footprints. Yes.

Jaya-gopāla: If we were in plays and we are playing such great personalities, how should we be thinking?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Jaya-gopāla: In plays if we would be...

Prabhupāda: Play is play. Suppose you are playing the part of Cromwell, are you Cromwell? So similarly, why do you think like that you have become Cromwell?

Gayatri Mantra Initiation -- Boston, May 9, 1968:

This mantra is secondary. Of course, one who has purified himself by Hare Kṛṣṇa, this mantra is not very important. But, according to the tradition of Vaiṣṇava smṛti, it is offered better, better, to make the position still confirmed and better. But even this mantra is not given, simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, everything is done. This is extraordinary so that... In the other, other feature of this sacred ceremony, is that one may not commit offense at the feet of a Vaiṣṇava by thinking him, "Oh, he's a mleccha, he's a yavana, or he's lower class, he's higher class," like that. Therefore this is offered. No, he's brāhmaṇa. He's brāhmaṇa. Otherwise, still in India, a person born in a brāhmaṇa family, the most wretched condition and most abominable habits, and he claims to be a brāhmaṇa. And a person who is highly elevated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he's not accepted. So in order to save one from the injustice, this ceremony is required that it is bona fide. He's a bona fide brāhmaṇa. As it is prescribed and ordered in the Nārada Pañcarātra or Vaiṣṇava smṛti. So my Guru Mahārāja, His Holiness Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja, he introduced this, and we are following. So there is no question. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Sannyasa Initiation Lecture -- Calcutta, January 26, 1973:

That's all. Therefore we must suffer. We should be careful. Bhuñjate te aghaṁ pāpā. This is parātma-niṣṭhā, that we should not accept anything which is not offered to Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. Parātma-niṣṭhām. Etāṁ sa āsthāya parātma-niṣṭhām. This niṣṭhā is not invented by us. Pūrvatamair mahadbhiḥ upāsitām. All great predecessors... There were other sannyāsīs, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, even Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He was a sannyāsī. So pūrvatamair mahadbhiḥ upāsitām. These actions were executed by our previous ācāryas. Pūrvatamair mahadbhiḥ upāsitām. Mahadbhiḥ. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to follow the ācārya. Ācārya upāsana. Aham... The, what will be the result? Now, ahaṁ tariṣyāmi. I shall cross over.... Tariṣyāmi. Duranta-pāram. The extensive, unlimitedly extensive, the ocean of material existence. Ahaṁ tariṣyāmi duranta-pāraṁ tama. Tama means this material world, which is darkness. Because our business is to go out of this darkness to the light.

Initiations -- Los Angeles, April 16, 1973:

Prabhupāda: What are the rules and regulations?

Michael: No eating meat, fish or eggs, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no mental speculating.

Prabhupāda: Mahājana dāsa. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana means great authority. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Brahmānanda: Jim?

Prabhupāda: What are the rules?

Jim: No meat-eating, no gambling, no illicit sex and no intoxication.

General Lectures

Lecture on Maha-mantra -- New York, September 8, 1966:

This picture is before you so that gradually, when you feel ecstasy, you will also dance like Him. And when you automatically dance, then you will know that the thing is already realized. Not artificially, but when you feel, "Oh, let me dance. It is so much ecstatic. Let me dance." Nothing should be done artificially. Let everything come automatically. And only we have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. This is a verse from scripture, that tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ, if you simply go on arguing about spiritual matters—"This is not, this is not, this is not, yes, this is not..." I say something; you say something. No, no, no. You cannot realize spiritual objects simply by this speculation, argument. Our argument or logical, I mean to say, strength has no access in the spiritual world. The Vedic mantra says, nāyam ātmā pravacanena labhyo na medhayā na bahunā śrutena: "Atma, the supreme self, cannot be realized pravacanena."

Lecture on Maha-mantra -- New York, September 8, 1966:

Of course, we are delivering speeches from authoritative book, Bhagavad-gītā. I am not speaking before you of my own imagination. I am speaking from the authorized book. Therefore it is not exactly pravacana, neither I am squeezing out some meaning for my purpose. I am just presenting you the same principle. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). As Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu preached, I am trying to present the same thing before you in a different language only. That's all. Because in India He preached in Sanskrit. He was a very learned scholar in Sanskrit. Formerly, any big man, any big scholar, they would be big scholar in Sanskrit. Sanskrit was the written language. Even in the beginning of the British period, Sanskrit was written language. It is the policy of Lord McCauley that he transformed the whole attitude.

Lecture on Maha-mantra -- New York, September 8, 1966:

Then how to catch up the Absolute Truth? What is the way? Now, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: "Therefore the Absolute Truth is concealed within your heart." Nihitaṁ guhāyām. Now, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "You just try to follow the great personalities, what they are doing, what they are doing." Now, about this mahājana, there is also difference of opinion who is mahājana. But so far our Vedic culture is concerned, there are specific mention, mahājana. And so far Lord Kṛṣṇa is concerned, so there is no two opinions about His authority throughout the whole world. And so far we are concerned, Hindus, or the followers of the Vedic religion, there is no difference of opinion so far Kṛṣṇa's authority is concerned. There are five authorities, recognized authorities, in India so far this is..., spiritual life is concerned.

Lecture on Maha-mantra -- New York, September 8, 1966:

I mean to say, student of this Bhagavad-gītā. Hitler was a great student of Bhagavad-gītā. So many, in all the countries. There are so many Muhammadans in India, oh, they are devout student of Bhagavad-gītā. I know one Dr. Inrai(?) of Allahabad University. Oh, he is so devoted to Lord Kṛṣṇa that on the birthday of Lord Kṛṣṇa he must write one nice article and publish in the paper. So this instruction, that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ... (CC Madhya 17.186). We cannot have the knowledge of the Absolute Truth simply by argument or simply by philosophy or simply by big brain or speaking power. No, no. All these things will not do. Simply we have to follow the great authority.

So Lord Kṛṣṇa, Lord Caitanya, He introduced this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare for this age. And He recommended, kalau... Not recommended by His own brain, but it is recommended in the scriptures:

Lecture -- Montreal, June 26, 1968:

So tarkaḥ apratiṣṭhaḥ, the path of so-called logic and argument, is not perfect. Then, simply if you study different books of knowledge, that will also not give you perfect knowledge. If you consult so-called mental speculators, their different views, then dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. The ultimate goal of life is very confidential and mysterious. And how to know it? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana means the perfect realized souls who have realized, you have to follow them. That's all. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Therefore this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is accepting the mahājana, the authority. The first authority is Kṛṣṇa. From Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna is hearing. There is no question about it. Now if you simply understand as Arjuna understood, then you have got the perfect knowledge. And if you speculate, if you try to comment in your own nonsense way, then you are misled immediately. So this is the way. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana means those who are perfect personalities. That will give you (?).

Lecture -- Seattle, October 4, 1968:

Everything. That is intelligence. Don't say... Just like in modern science says that "There was a chunk and there was creation—perhaps." That is also "perhaps," you see. So this kind of knowledge is useless. You must find out. If I ask the scientist, "What is the cause of this chunk?" they cannot reply. So find out the cause, and you'll find that... If I cannot find, then we have to follow... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186), we have to follow the authorized ācāryas. If you be Christian, just follow Jesus Christ. He says, "There is God." Then you accept there is God. He says that "God created this. He said that 'Let there be creation,' and there was creation." So we accept this, "Yes. God created." Here also in the Bhagavad-gītā God says, Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo (BG 10.8), "I am the origin." So God is the origin of creation. Sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam: (Bs. 5.1) He is the cause of all causes.

Lecture -- Boston, April 25, 1969:

Muni means thinker, thoughtful man, muni, from mind. Nāsāv munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām.

Therefore to understand the Absolute Truth, it is very difficult to find out how to have it. But the only one way recommended in the Vedic scripture, that mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ... (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana. Mahājana means great personality. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. That is the real path, if you follow the great personality. Now, there is a difference of great personalities also. You think that he is great personality; he thinks another great personality. But there is a definition of great personality.

Lecture -- Boston, April 25, 1969:

So far we are concerned, a great personality is he who is a devotee of God. He is great personality. Just like in your country, you accept Lord Jesus Christ as great personality. He is son of God. Or take him as personality, one of the human beings; still, he is great because he preached God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the test of great personality. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). So in Buffalo I was instructing the younger boys and girls in the college that "You are very nicely situated. Your country is economically very well equipped. You are very good looking. Your education is very nice. You have got hundreds of universities in your country. Practically there is no man or woman illiterate. So your situation, comparatively with other nations or other country, is very good. That is admitted by everyone. So you should utilize this opportunity.

Lecture at International Student Society -- Boston, May 3, 1969:

No. Authority is in, not that way. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that authorities are accepted by disciplic succession. And just like Bhagavad-gītā, it is accepted. There are authorities like... In our India there are authorities like Śaṅkarācārya, authorities like Rāmānujācārya, authorities like Madhvācārya, authorities like Viṣṇu Svāmī, authorities like Lord Caitanya. They have all accepted that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme authority. So you have to accept that. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to follow the footprint of higher authorities. So if you say that "I don't accept anyone authority," then your authority is sufficient. Whatever you like, can do.

Lecture at International Student Society -- Boston, May 3, 1969:

Yes. Now you can. What is that? Take it. Chant. Authority, it is accepted like that. Because other authorities whom we are accepting, they have accepted... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the footprints of other authorities. Leadership. In every society they are accepting leadership. So in that way you have to accept authority. There is no other process.

Lecture at International Student Society -- Boston, May 3, 1969:

Authority, everywhere authority is there. You have to accept authority. Without authority there is no, I mean to say, advancement. That is impossible. Now you have to select your authority. That is a different thing. But you have to accept the authority. In every society there is leadership, there is authority. So people accept it, and that is the way. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is stated, that "We have to follow the footprints of the authorities." Now the next question will be whether you will accept this man as authority or that man as authority. That is a different question. But if you want to advance, you have to... Just like even in the crossing, you ask the police authority, "Whether I shall go this way or that way?" Authority is to be accepted because we are not independent. So you may select a different kind of authority. That is your selection. But authority you accepted, even if he is wrong. Without that, you cannot make progress. Yes?

Pandal Lecture -- Bombay, April 6, 1971:

One has to develop his mind being always attached to Kṛṣṇa. Āsakta. Āsakta means attachment. This āsakti is also not attained very easily, but there is a process. If we follow the process, as recommended by the authorities, then there is way. And one who is serious to understand God, or Kṛṣṇa, they must follow the methods prescribed by the mahājanas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you follow the footsteps of great personalities, great ācāryas, then that is the way. You don't manufacture your own way. Then you will be frustrated. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. So who can be greater mahājana than Kṛṣṇa? All mahājanas, they are great devotees of Kṛṣṇa; therefore they have become mahājanas. Just like Svayambhū, Lord Brahmā, Nārada Muni... Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ (SB 6.3.20). Śambhu, Lord Śiva. Svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kapilaḥ kaumāraḥ, kapilo manuḥ.

Pandal Lecture -- Bombay, April 6, 1971:

Therefore we should not be so much proud of our seeing power that we'll say that "I want to see God. Can you show me God?" This is not possible.

So these four deficiencies of conditioned soul are there; therefore we cannot have perfect knowledge by our mental speculation. That is not possible. We have to receive knowledge from authorities. That is the process. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If we receive knowledge... Our process is that we are trying to receive knowledge from Kṛṣṇa, the greatest mahājana, the greatest authority, and if we follow the instruction of Kṛṣṇa, then we are perfect.

Lecture -- San Francisco, June 28, 1971:

So the Gosvāmīs showed us the way. Then next, śrī-gaurāṅga-guṇānuvarṇana-vidhau. They were very expert in describing the transcendental qualities of Lord Sri Caitanya, Gaurasundara, śrī-gaurāṅga-guṇānuvarṇana-vidhau. So in this way they passed their life in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and if we'll follow the footsteps of such mahājana, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Our business is, we haven't got to make research work. Everything is there, given by the Gosvāmīs and ācārya. We have simply to follow. That's all. Who, what is Kṛṣṇa, what is God, you haven't got to make research. Kṛṣṇa is personally saying about Himself, Bhagavad-gītā, "I am like this." Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya (BG 7.8), mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate. So these are thing there. You have simply to accept it, to know it and follow it. Then your life is successful.

Pandal Lecture -- Delhi, November 20, 1971:

The educational system must be reformed. Not that godless, no education, secular government, no education of God in the schools and colleges. This is not a very good proposal. Here we get authoritative statement of Prahlāda Mahārāja. He is one of the mahājana. Our process is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the footsteps of great personalities. That is our method. We don't manufacture our own way of living. We simply follow the great personalities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ. You cannot come to the right conclusion simply by argument. You may be very good arguer; another comes better arguer than you. So simply by argument, you cannot come to the conclusion. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā.

Lecture at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan -- Bombay, October 18, 1973:

Why you present competitors of Kṛṣṇa? Don't do this. Take this instruction of Bhagavad-gītā, that sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (BG 18.66). You will be successful. If you manufacture something, you will never be successful. I tell you. So anyone. The standard is there, the instruction is there, everything is there. Why should we try to manufacture something new? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhayaṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. That is our process. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhanam. Simply by argument, you cannot reach the confidential part of dharma. Śrutayo vibhinnā. And if you study Vedas, that is also..., Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva, you will be puzzled. So, nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. He is not a philosopher or a muni who cannot give a separate theory.

Lecture at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan -- Bombay, October 18, 1973:

And if you study Vedas, that is also..., Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg, Atharva, you will be puzzled. So, nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. He is not a philosopher or a muni who cannot give a separate theory.

So these things are going on. Therefore how to know what is the purpose of dharma? That is stated that dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Just follow, try to, mahājana. Who can be better mahājana than Kṛṣṇa? Is there anybody in this world still now better than Kṛṣṇa, who can give good instruction, more beneficial than Kṛṣṇa? No. There is not. So take this principle, Bhagavad-gītā as it is, the instruction of Gītā, instruction of Kṛṣṇa, and try to follow. It will be successful not only in India, all over the world. That is my practical experience.

Thank you very much. (applause) (break) (end)

Lecture -- Honolulu, May 25, 1975:

So Prahlāda Mahārāja is one of the great personality in devotional line. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). It is very difficult to understand what is the purpose of religious principle. People actually do not know what is religion; therefore we have got so many religious system, man-made, or concocted ideas. Actually, religion means the law given by God. That is religion. Dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītam (SB 6.3.19). Just like the law given by the state, by the government, you have to accept it. There is no question that the government is Christian government or Muhammadan government or Hindu government. It doesn't matter. The law given by the government, you must accept. You cannot deny it. So actually God is neither Hindu God nor Muhammadan God nor Christian God.

Lecture Excerpt -- Vrndavana, December 6, 1975:

Etāṁ sa āsthāya parātma-niṣṭhām. Parātma-niṣṭhām, Viṣṇu, to keep firm faith in Him. So it is not a new thing. Pūrvatamair upāsitāṁ mahadbhiḥ. Before us there were so many exalted ācāryas-Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Nimbārka, and, in our line, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So our process is to follow the predecessor ācārya. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is the way. So although you are young men—there are many difficulties to keep sannyāsa—but if you keep faith, full faith in Kṛṣṇa, the māyā will not be able to touch you. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). Māyā is very strong, but if we-mām eva ye prapadyante—if we keep ourself fully surrendered unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, māyā will not be able to counteract this process.

Tenth Anniversary Address -- Washington, D.C., July 6, 1976:

And He started this movement with Arjuna as His disciple. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu, five hundred years ago, He revived again the same movement. He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. And that is going on. Don't think that this is a manufactured movement. No. It is the authorized movement and confirmed by the authorities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). There are mahājanas mentioned in the śāstra. So be fixed up in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and try to understand Kṛṣṇa. We have got so many literatures, authorized literatures. And make your life success.

Evening Lecture -- Bhuvanesvara, January 23, 1977:

He's the puruṣa Purāṇa, Kṛṣṇa, but now He has appeared as Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. So he also accepted guru, what to speak of our... Kṛṣṇa also accepted guru. So how you will get the ultimate goal of life without accepting guru? Why do you manufacture this idea? There is no need of manufacturing this. You have to follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you manufacture, then you'll be cheated. Don't do this. That has become a fashion, that you manufacture your own way of service. That is not possible. Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī stresses, ādau-gurvāśrayam: "The first business is that you must find out a bona fide guru." Then other things.

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on Henri Bergson:

Prabhupāda: Sarva-kāraṇa. Kṛṣṇa also said, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcit asti dhanañjaya: (BG 7.7) "There is no more superior." (indistinct) Brahmā said, "He's God." Now Śrīdhara said, "He's God." My Guru Mahārāja said, "He's God," and Caitanya says, "He's God." Then where shall I go? (indistinct) God. (indistinct) rascal, God? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). I shall accept the path of the great (indistinct).

Devotee: (indistinct) this thirteen year old god (indistinct). Then you ask them, "Who says he is God?" They really don't know what to say.

Śyāmasundara: We asked him in Bombay, "Are you God? Are you Kṛṣṇa?" And he laughed and said, "I never say I am God, but my disciples feel."

Prabhupāda: He did not want to be (indistinct). So why does he not stop his disciples to speak like that?

Philosophy Discussion on John Stuart Mill:

Prabhupāda: That means... People desire so many things. Just like hog desires stool. Is that desirable? So similarly, the Bowery bums, they desire simply drinking. Is that very desirable thing? Desirable by the quality. Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu desires, that is desire, not the bums. If something is desired by a personality like Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that is standard of desire. He desires Kṛṣṇa. That is real standard of desire. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The greatest personalities, what they are desiring, that is standard.

Śyāmasundara: Yes. There would seem to be a fallacy in what he says, because...

Prabhupāda: He does not know anything. For the fools he is hero, that's all.

Philosophy Discussion on John Stuart Mill:

Prabhupāda: But because it is desirable, the force was applied.

Śyāmasundara: So we cannot judge what is desirable. Only...

Prabhupāda: No. Therefore our philosophy is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). The great personalities, what do they desire? Therefore we accept spiritual master, higher authority. Whatever he desires, that should be standard of desire, not my desire. Just like Kṛṣṇa desired the fight, not Arjuna's desire. Arjuna desired not to fight, but he changed his desire not to fight, to fight, because Kṛṣṇa desired, wanted it. Therefore our standard of desire should be that which is desired by greater personalities, not by me. What I am? I should always think of me as fool. Just like the same, when I was child, I was not desiring to take medicine, but my parents desired. That desire should be forced.

Philosophy Discussion on Soren Aabye Kierkegaard:

Prabhupāda: Yes. These modern economic concept, they think that this anxiety is the impetus for economic development. They also say like that. Just like in America especially, they are never satisfied. They are manufacturing another machine, another machine, another machine. That hankering after another, another, they think it is really progress. In one sense it is all right, all right, but the attempt should be made, when there is goal. Just like you know how to rise up to the 102nd story that Empire Building. Now they're going step by step, and you know that "I have not completed the step, that I will go further, further, all right," but you know that "I have to go to 102nd story." But if you do not know, this is simply waste of energy. Or you should take the path of mahājana, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Purports to Songs

Purport to Parama Koruna -- Atlanta, February 28, 1975:

That Supreme Personality of Godhead... Vairāgya-vidyā-nija-bhakti-yogaṁ śikṣārtham ekaḥ purāṇaḥ puruṣaḥ (CC Madhya 6.254), śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya-śarīra-dhārī: "Now You have assumed the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa-caitanya, but You are Kṛṣṇa." That is also..., Rūpa Gosvāmī said. We have to follow the mahājanas, great personality, authorities. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We cannot manufacture a way of life. We have to follow the footprints of mahājana, great personalities. That is the way. Here, at the present moment, everyone is speculating. What is the use of speculation? You are imperfect. Your senses are imperfect. Whatever you establish, because you have established by imperfect senses, they are all imperfect. Therefore, that suffering, there is no solution. So speculative method will not help us. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu's teaching is It is not as He had manufactured something. He is also following. He quoted one verse from the prayers of Lord Brahmā.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1969 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation With John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison -- September 11, 1969, London, At Tittenhurst:

Prabhupāda: No. Just like in drug shop they sell all medicine for disease, curing disease. But still, you have to take doctor's prescription to take a particular type of medicine. They will not supply you. If you go to a drug shop and you say, "I am diseased. You give me any medicine," that is not... He'll ask you, "Where is your prescription?" So similarly, in this age, in Kali-yuga age, this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, is recommended in the śāstras, and great stalwart—we consider Him the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He preached this. Therefore our principle is everyone should follow. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We should follow the footprints of great authorities. That is our business. The Vedic mantra says, tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ. If you simply try to argue and try to approach the Absolute, it is very difficult, simply by argument and reasoning, because our arguments and reason are limited because our senses are imperfect. (break) So tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ.

Room Conversation With John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and George Harrison -- September 11, 1969, London, At Tittenhurst:

Prabhupāda: Nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Philosophers, every philosopher has got a different opinion, and unless a philosopher defeats other philosopher, he cannot become a big philosopher. So therefore philosophical speculation also will not make a solution. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. So it is very secret. Then how to get that secret thing? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You simply follow great personalities, how they have achieved success. So our, this Vaiṣṇava philosophy is to follow the great personality, just like Kṛṣṇa or Caitanya Mahāprabhu or ācāryas of His succession, to take shelter of authority and follow. That is recommended in Vedas, that you follow great authorities. That will take you to the ultimate goal. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. So... Kṛṣṇa also recommends in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fourth Chapter, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). This science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness was understood by disciplic succession.

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Dr. Weir of the Mensa Society -- September 5, 1971, London:

Prabhupāda: So far I remember, I was also a student of philosophy, Dr. Urquhart, he said the philosophy is science of sciences. The science, there, I mean theory, begins from philosophy. Philosophy is the science of sciences. But according to Vedic verses, a philosopher is not a philosopher if he has not a different opinion from another philosopher, nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na... Therefore, through the philosopher you cannot come to the right conclusion. Tarkeṇa aprāptaś ca. If you simply go on arguing that will also not help you. If you simply read scriptures that will also not help you. Because there are different scriptures. Bible is different from Vedas and Vedas is different from Koran. So tarka... by argument you cannot come to the conclusion, by simply reading scriptures you cannot come to the conclusion. By following the philosophers you cannot come to the conclusion. Therefore the truth is very confidential. Dharmasyārtha... guhyam. It is kept very confidential. Then how to have it? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to follow the great personalities who have actually realized God. That is the conclusion.

Room Conversation with Dr. Weir of the Mensa Society -- September 5, 1971, London:

Dr. Weir: This is what they call "Solution by Denial".

Prabhupāda: It is not called solution. It is a fact because it is followed... Then you have come to the original position, to follow the mahājanas. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Our (indistinct) is guided by that, mahājana. We accept the mahājanas, the great personalities who have achieved success. We follow.

Dr. Weir: Let us now praise famous men and our fathers who beget us as they oddly enough seem always to be (indistinct) but I've never been able to understand why.

Śyāmasundara: But the whole idea is that these personalities have to be in a living form, not just in the past. But they live in the form of the spiritual master who's there to guide us personally. Not just praise someone in the past. Unless this process is transmitted in a human form personally, it's not...

Prabhupāda: That is the process in the material world also. You are lawyer because you have studied law under some big lawyer. So the process is coming.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation With Three College Students -- July 11, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Just see. Immediately he understands Kṛṣṇa. Sarvam etad ṛtaṁ manye: (BG 10.14) "Whatever You have spoken, I accept it," Then there is no difficulty. And You are accepted by Devala, Nārada, Vyāsa, and You are speaking Yourself, and later on, all the ācāryas have accepted. Then I'll follow: mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). I'll have to follow great personalities. The same reason mother says, this gentleman is my father. That's all. Finish business. Where is the necessity of making research? All authorities accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You accept it; then your searching after God is finished. Why should you waste your time?

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Richard Webster, chairman, Societa Filosofica Italiana -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: Yes. And śrutayo vibhinnaḥ. Literatures are also, authentic literatures... Śrutayaḥ means authentic literature, which is acceptable. They are also various type. Just like Vedas. There are four Vedas: Sāma-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Atharva-Veda, Ṛg-Veda. Then the Upaniṣads are there. Then the Vedānta-sūtra is there. So if we study all this Vedic literature or any other similar literature, it is very difficult to find out the Absolute Truth. Śrutayo vibhinnaḥ. And if we take the philosophers, so one philosopher differs from another philosopher. Na cāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Therefore, to approach the Absolute Truth, God, is very difficult subject matter. Therefore our principle is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Mahājana means the recognized persons, recognized by the Supreme Lord, such persons we follow. We have got a list of recognized persons, just like Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, the Manu.

Room Conversation with Christian Priest -- June 9, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: We want to see the quality, not the quantity. So our process is paramparā. Just like in India—you have been in India—there are ācāryas: Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Caitanya. If the ācārya accept, then we accept. This is our process. We don't go the millions; we see the quality. Rāmānujācārya, high quality devotee; Madhvācārya, high quality devotee; Caitanya, high quality devotee. If they say he is God, then we accept. This is our process. We don't see how many millions of followers. No. We want to see the quality man. He says yes. So Śaṅkarācārya says "Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead," Rāmānujācārya says "the Supreme Personality of Godhead," Madhvācārya says "Supreme," Caitanya says "Supreme," then we accept. That's all. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Room Conversation with Christian Priest -- June 9, 1974, Paris:

Prabhupāda: A muni, a saintly person, a philosopher is not a philosopher or muni if he does not agree with others. He must disagree, then he becomes. So that is also not the way. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām: it is very confidential. Then how to know? Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Big personalities, ācāryas—that is the process. Ācāryopāsanam. What is that, in the Thirteenth Chapter? Ācāryopāsanam, we have to understand through the ācāryas. That is our process. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). We accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not by our experience but by the experience of the acaryas who are recognized, and then we follow. Just like Arjuna accepts Kṛṣṇa in the Tenth Chapter. Find out, paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān (BG 10.12). Read it.

Room Conversation with Christian Priest -- June 9, 1974, Paris:

Bhagavān: Yes. I have prasādam in my office.

Prabhupāda: Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Bhagavān: Have you seen our Bhagavad-gītā?

Prabhupāda: He saw our all books. He is a scholar.

Devotee: This is a translation of Bhāgavata Purāṇa.

Prabhupāda: Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Devotee: In sixty volumes we will translate this.

Bhagavān: We have Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Indian Guests -- March 13, 1975, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: Where you are going?" They didn't care. Society, friendship, love—all sacrificed: "We shall go to Kṛṣṇa." This is kṛṣṇa-bhakti. That is the highest perfection of life, to sacrifice everything for Kṛṣṇa. "Only Kṛṣṇa should be satisfied." That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But that is not very easy job. But one can do if he likes, everything for Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says also, sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). Gopīs did not care for social, for religious or family and nothing. Sarva-dharmān parityajya. They went: "Kṛṣṇa now is calling. Let us go." This is the typical example of sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ. So, of course, it is not possible to become on the standard of gopīs. That is not possible. But at least we shall try to follow these devotees. Arjuna is there, gopīs are there, Uddhavas are there—many devotees. Lord Brahmā is there. Lord Śiva is there. Kapiladeva is there. The four Kumāras are there. Bhīṣmadeva is there. Prahlāda Mahārāja is there. Janaka Mahārāja is there. Śukadeva Gosvāmī is there. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If we simply follow these big, big devotees, then our life is successful. For authorized persons' name, to follow them:

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

Prabhupāda: And the Vedānta-sūtra, the Absolute Truth, janmādy asya yataḥ: (SB 1.1.1) "the origin of everything." Now, here it is. Kṛṣṇa says, "I am the origin of everything." You are making search, but here is the origin here. Now you study Kṛṣṇa, whether actually He is the origin of everything. At least we know that this universe, the origin is Lord Brahmā. But we know that the Brahmā is also emanation from Kṛṣṇa. Brahmā's knowledge also comes from Kṛṣṇa. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Tene brahma hṛdā ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. And Kṛṣṇa says. Arjuna accepts, sarvam idam ṛtaṁ manye: "Yes, I accept." So that should be the process of understanding Kṛṣṇa. If you manufacture your own way, that is different thing. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). All the ācāryas... Take all the ācāryas. At least in our country we are guided by the ācāryas. Take any ācārya. They have accepted. Brahmā has accepted. So in this way you have to understand. We cannot manufacture our own way.

Morning Walk -- April 8, 1975, Mayapur:

Prabhupāda: Well, that is not done by the ācāryas. But there is no harm chanting "Rādhe." But sometimes it is degraded to make something new, invention. Therefore better to stick to "Hare Kṛṣṇa" and to "Śrī-Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Prabhupāda-Nityānanda." Otherwise... Just like the sahajiyās, they have invented: "Nitāi-Gaura Rādhe Śyāma, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Rāma." These things will come gradually. But they are not approved. They are called chara kīrtana (?), means "concocted kīrtana." But there is no harm chanting "Rādhe, Nitāi-Gaura." So better stick to this Pañca-tattva, and mahā-mantra. Just like "Nitāi Gaura Rādhe Śyāma, Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Rāma." There is "Nitāi-Gaura, Rādhe Śyāma," but it is not approved. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have to follow the mahājana. In Caitanya-caritāmṛta you'll find "Śrī-Kṛṣṇa-Caitanya Prabhu-Nityānanda, Śrī-Advaita Gadādhara...," never "Nitāi Gaura, Rādhe Śyāma." So why should we do that?

Room Conversation with Dr. Copeland, Professor of Modern Indian History -- May 20, 1975, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: That is the way. It is going on. So nāsau munir yasya... So if I take the opinion of one muni and another muni, another muni, then where is the real view? Therefore it is said mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Big personalities, what they have done, we have to follow that. So our principle is that, that we are following Caitanya Mahāprabhu, mahājana, a great personality. Or the Christians are following Christ, a great personality. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. You follow some mahājana, great personality. Don't take opinion, this man, that man, this man, this man. Then you will be bewildered. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. So you have to follow one great personality, ācārya. That is also recommended in the Bhā... ācāryopāsanam, following the ācārya. So we have got recognized ācārya, just like you said, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Nimbārka, Viṣṇu Svāmī, Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Or Śaṅkarācārya even. You follow one ācārya, like Christians, they follow Christ, ācārya.

Room Conversation with Yogi Bhajan -- June 7, 1975, Honolulu:

Prabhupāda: Mahā. Mahā means very great. So unless one has very big understanding, he cannot understand God. God is unlimited. So you have (to) come to that platform to understand. Those who are limited, they cannot understand God. That is not possible. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye, yatatām api siddhānām (BG 7.3). Siddha. Siddha means one who has become unlimited, Brahman, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, Brahman realization. So Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu: "Out of many millions of person," kaścid yatati siddhaye, "somebody is trying to become unlimited." And yatatām api siddhānāṁ: (BG 7.3) "Those who have become unlimited, out of millions of them, one can understand Me, Kṛṣṇa." So Kṛṣṇa understanding, God understanding.... When I say Kṛṣṇa, God. God understanding is for the perfect unlimited, not for common man. Common man should accept the ācāryas. They must follow. Ācāryopāsanam. Just like in India the Sikhs, they follow Guru Nanak. So Guru Nanak says, "Yes, Kṛṣṇa, incarnation of God." So they should accept, that's all. Not that every Sikh is expected to be unlimited as Guru Nanak. That is not expected. But they should follow Guru Nanak. Then they will understand. Guru Nanak says, "Kṛṣṇa is incarnation of God." The all the Sikhs should accept, "Yes, Kṛṣṇa is..." Then it is all right. It is not expected that every Sikh will understand Kṛṣṇa. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Morning Walk -- June 23, 1975, Los Angeles:

Bahulāśva: Uh huh.

Prabhupāda: Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). This is the secret of devotional service: nothing to do independent. Then it will be all right. (break) ...the particular, specific qualification of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. How they are doing? They have got so many other institutions. So what is the result? The Graduate Theological Union... So I saw so many names. What they are doing?

Dharmādhyakṣa: Well, that's why they want us to join.

Prabhupāda: But we cannot join like that way.

Dharmādhyakṣa: Oh, no. On our own standards.

Garden Conversation with Professors -- June 24, 1975, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: "By argument, you cannot come to the right conclusion." You can argue in a way; I can argue a better way, he can argue in better way. That is not the system. That will not help. Tarko apratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). If you study scriptures, so in the world there are many varieties of scriptures. There is Bible, there is Bhagavad-gītā, there is Koran, there is so on, so on. So which one is correct? That also you cannot decide. Śrutayo vibhinnāḥ, and nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And if you consult philosophers or scientists, every scientist, every philosopher, differs from the other. Otherwise he cannot become a big scientist. He must give a different view; then he is big scientist. So nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. Then where is the way to understand? The conclusion is mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ: (CC Madhya 17.186) "Mahājana, great personalities, recognized ācārya, what they say, you follow." That is the best system. So anyone who is speaking about God with authority—take for example Jesus Christ; he is speaking in the western world—you accept him.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- April 21, 1976, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That "First of all help people to think of Kṛṣṇa, and then later on, the rules and regulations..."

Guru-kṛpā: But we follow in the footsteps.... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We must follow what the spiritual master is doing. We cannot create our own way. Then we will not be successful.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: No, that's true, but...

Guru-kṛpā: That is their idea. They have created their own way to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that idea is there. They are thinking of their own way. That is bad. We have got so much, so many literatures. They are printing their own literature and.... That is disturbing, yes. What he'll prepare? He's not a liberated person. He's thinking, somebody said, that "I'll give my interpretation on Bhāgavata." If these things are going, they are.... It is against our principles. (break)

Morning Walk -- April 26, 1976, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: There is no argument. "You remain yourself. Let us remain peaceful. You remain peaceful. We are following our mahājana." Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We have got so many exalted mahājanas. Vyāsadeva, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Nārada, Asita, Devala, Arjuna, in recent, in the recent years, within two thousand years, all the ācāryas. So we are safe. We don't require your help. Bas. If you are satisfied with whatever you have understood, you remain. (break) ...authorities. And the most exalted of them is Kṛṣṇa, so we have no doubt. You cannot make us doubtful. That is not possible.

Guru-kṛpā: But I think they are doubtful, though.

Room Conversation -- May 2, 1976, Fiji:

Prabhupāda: Yes, traveler is the loser. If you have no faith, then loser, you are loser. You will never understand. Therefore śāstra says, Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Big, big stalwart ācāryas, mahājanas, they are accepting. Therefore we accept. That is sense. And if you sit down, "No, no, I have no faith," you'll sit down and remain a rascal, that's all. Ādau śraddhā. Therefore faith is the first thing. Ādau śraddhā. If he has got intelligence, he'll see: "So many big, big.... Lord Brahmā accepts. Lord Śiva accepts. Vyāsadeva accepts. Nārada accepts. The ācāryas accept. So am I more than them? No. I will accept." And that is perfection of.... Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). And if still you remain faithless, then you are rascal. Same example can be.... Quantas. So many hundreds are purchasing ticket. They have also never seen London, but on faith they're purchasing ticket.

Room Conversation -- May 2, 1976, Fiji:

Prabhupāda: He can immediately cut. But why do you do this? Because you have faith that "These people are professional barbers. They are shaving so many other people. They will not kill me. All right. Go on." This is faith. And if you have no faith, then you will never have clean shaven. You go away. So beginning is faith, but faith should not be blind. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). You have to take faith from great personalities. That is faith. Just like you American boys and girls. You began with faith. Without faith nothing can be.... Ādau śraddhā. Just like people come, and they get some faith that "So many people are following Swamiji." So he associates for some time. Then he offers himself for initiation. This is the way. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo 'tha bhajana-kriyā (Cc. Madhya 23.14-15). And bhajana-kriyā, if he agrees with spiritual master and takes his word, then anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt. Spiritual master says, "You should not do this," and if he follows, then automatically his unnecessary burden is cleansed. This is the way.

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

That is called mahājana. Or who know the things as they are. They are called mahājana. And that means paramparā system. Just like Arjuna. Arjuna is learning Bhagavad-gītā directly from Kṛṣṇa. He's mahājana. So you learn from Arjuna. And after hearing Bhagavad-gītā, as Arjuna acted, as Arjuna understood Kṛṣṇa, you follow that. Then mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Then you are following the mahājana. You are on the real path. Just like we are. Here it is said, mahājana, Svāyambhu. Svāyambhu means Brahmā, Lord Brahmā. So our, this sampradāya, Gauḍīya sampradāya, is Brahma-sampradāya. And Svāyambhu, Nārada. Nārada is also in the brahma-sampradāya. And Śambhu, Lord Śiva, he is also mahājana. He has got his sampradāya, Rudra-sampradāya. And similarly, Śrī-sampradāya. So all these sampradāya we must follow. Sampradāya vihina ye mantras te niṣphala mataḥ. If you do not belong to sampradāya, mahājana, then you are useless. You cannot concoct any religious system. So either you be Christian or Hindu it doesn't matter.

Evening Darsana -- July 7, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Prabhupāda: That is not possible. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā. By argument we cannot come to the conclusion. I can argue, and you can argue, but you may argue more than me. Another person can argue more than you. In this way, you do not come to the conclusion. And śrutayo vibhinnā. So far scriptures are concerned, there are also different scriptures. Nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And a philosopher is not a philosopher if he does not agree with others, if he does not agree other philosophers. So in this way, you are perplexed. Therefore it is advised, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We should accept the authority, and then we shall be benefited. So the authorities are mentioned in the śāstra, who are authorities. So if we follow the authorities, then we get the conclusion. So Kṛṣṇa is the authority accepted. At least in India, all the Vedic authorities, Vedāntists, they have accepted, Kṛṣṇa is the authority. So we simply follow what Kṛṣṇa says, and we get benefit out of it. Then it is all right.

Evening Darsana -- August 12, 1976, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: Now if you take it, that it is spoken by Bhagavān svayam, then it is blind faith. It may be blind faith, but it is right. If you don't want, then Kṛṣṇa says, iti te jñānam ākhyātaṁ guhyād guhyataraṁ mayā. Then you check it by your knowledge. Yathecchasi tathā kuru (BG 18.63). Both ways you can accept. Therefore we have to follow mahājana. Our knowledge is always scanty. So mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is the way. Tarkaḥ apratiṣṭha. Tarka, by argument you'll never come to the conclusion. Śrutayor vibhinnam. There are śāstras for different persons, in different way they are presented. So they appear to be contradictory from one another. Not contradictory; at least, different from one another. So śrutayor vibhinnam. Na cāsav ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And a great philosopher is not a great philosopher if he does not present a different view. So therefore, the spiritual essence is very confidential. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihita guhyayam.(?)Therefore we have to follow the mahājana, great personality. That is the system, Vedic system.

Evening Darsana -- August 12, 1976, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: So that paramparā is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, mahājana. Kṛṣṇa said imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ. Rājarṣi, mahājana. Mahājanas are explained also. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja, he's mahājana; Bali Mahārāja, mahājana; Brahmā, mahājana; Nārada, mahājana; Lord Śiva, mahājana. Balir vaiyāsakir vayam. Janaka Mahārāja. So we have to follow them. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā: evaṁ paramparā prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). So there is no question of blind faith. If we follow the mahājana, example of the authorities, then our life is success. And guru means he is mahājana or follower of mahājana. So we have to select the mahājana process. According to our process, we follow the Brahma-sampradāya. And Brahmā is one of the mahājanas. So Brahmā has his disciplic succession, paramparā. Brahmā's disciple is Nārada, Nārada's disciple is Vyāsadeva, and Vyāsadeva's disciple is Śukadeva Gosvāmī. In this way, we come to Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Then Caitanya Mahāprabhu's disciples, the six Gosvāmīs.

Evening Darsana -- August 12, 1976, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: Then others, then our Guru Mahārāja. But the same thing we are speaking. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We are not manufacturing anything. That is the guru-paramparā system. And if we follow strictly the line of mahājana, then there is no question of mistake. It is not blind faith. The superiors are following, and we are also following. Of course, there are books, there are everything. Śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañcarātra-vidhi (Brs. 1.2.101). Everything is there. So there is no question of being mistaken. The guide is there, the spiritual master is there. So there is no difficulty. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). That is the best way, follow the mahājana. Unfortunately, the mahājanas, without following mahājana, everyone is becoming mahājana in his own way. And that is being supported, that you manufacture your own way of spiritual progress, that is all right.

Evening Darsana -- August 12, 1976, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: And that is going on now. You can manufacture in your own way. And there are thousands who are coming, manufacturing their own way and spoiling the whole thing. That is the... Otherwise there is no difficulty, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ. We are therefore requesting people that don't be misled. Here is the greatest mahājana, Kṛṣṇa Himself. You follow His instruction. It is very easy, there is no complication. This is our propaganda. But we don't make any compromise. Why shall I make compromise? If we are presenting the right thing, why shall I make compromise with something wrong? (Hindi) Baliye(?). If we are confident that we are presenting the right thing, why shall I make compromise with the wrong thing? (Hindi) No, you are intelligent. You can say if I am saying something wrong. Our culture has been spoiled by interpreting wrongly Kṛṣṇa's words. Bhārata-bhūmi, puṇya-bhūmi... still, thousands and millions are there. If there is Kumbhamelā, millions of men are coming.

Room Conversation -- September 17, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: ...one horse within the mouth—that is God. One hill. One Pūtanā, sucking the breast, her life goes. That is God. Why shall I take some cheap God? We are not so foolish. Here is the... So many great saintly persons hearing about God. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ (SB 1.2.17). They are fools, hearing about Kṛṣṇa? Such great, great personalities? And Śukadeva Gosvāmī is speaking. Are they fools? All of them fools? One, two may be fool. They were wholesale fool? All the great personalities, they're all fools? Asita, Devala, Vyāsa, Nārada—all big personalities. Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Caitanya Mahāprabhu—they're all fools? I may be fool. They are not fools. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Why shall I accept a rascal God? Varīyān eṣa te praśnaḥ (SB 2.1.1).

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Evening Darsana -- May 9, 1977, Hrishikesh:

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) A young girl cannot go out without father's, mother's... She cannot mix with any other young man. Strictly prohibited. (Hindi) If you want to revive real Indian civilization or Vedic civilization for the good of the whole human society, take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You'll be happy. There is no doubt. (Hindi) Why do you try to undo something which is spoken by Bhagavān, Vyāsadeva? (Hindi) So how can you make nonviolence? (Hindi) Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). We are not following mahājana, but we are transgressing. (Hindi) (aside:) Bring. Bring cutting. Dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ.

Conversations with Kirtana Groups -- May 29, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: The meaning, that "I am taking this sannyāsa for the purpose of crossing over the ocean of nescience." Etāṁ sa āsthāya parātma-niṣṭhām. Parātma-niṣṭha, Bhagavān, Paramātmā. Simply to serve Kṛṣṇa... So here are three daṇḍas. One daṇḍa, person. There are four daṇḍas. He is person, "I am." And the other three daṇḍa—my mind... Kāya manaḥ vākya: my mind, my body and my words. "So I dedicate my mind, my body and my activities, parātma-niṣṭha, only for the service of the Supreme. So being situated in that position, following..." Pūrvatamair maharṣibhiḥ. It is not that I have introduced something new. All big, big ācāryas, they took sannyāsa for this preaching work-Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Śaṅkarācārya even. And that is pūrvatamair maharṣibhiḥ. Mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186).

Discussion about Bhu-mandala -- July 5, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Yes. You're simply insisting on things by "probably." "Probably beyond the Himalaya there is something." That is one thing. We say "Definitely, here is. Beyond the Himalayas like this, that." That is the difference. You say "probably," I say "definitely." Father, mother said, "Here is your father." You can say "probably," and mother is saying "definitely." She knows perfectly. You may say probably he may be your father, but mother knows that definitely. Therefore we take Vedas as mother, Purāṇas as sister. Śukadeva Gosvāmī is explaining it. Iti śuśruma. But śuśruma, why he should waste his valuable time? He knows it is definite. So unless you come to this standpoint that whatever is spoken in the Vedic literature, that is definite, you cannot be convinced by argument. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ (CC Madhya 17.186). Śukadeva Gosvāmī said—that's all. Mahājano yena. Vaiyāsakiḥ.

Correspondence

1970 Correspondence

Letter to Rudra -- Los Angeles 9 March, 1970:

I am also glad to note that you are making practice of keeping in mind various important verses from our scriptures. This is the approved process: mahajano yena gatah sa panthah (CC Madhya 17.186) to "follow in the footsteps of the great authorities in Krishna Consciousness like Narada Muni and our other Acaryas." Now we are requiring our students to be very well familiar with all our literatures so that we may present our philosophy before even the most educated persons. This is very important as our movement is now growing and attracting greater notice.

Visnu Murti +  and RupaManjari +
March 28, 0012 JL +
March 29, 0012 JL +
BG: 0 +, SB: 13 +, CC: 1 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 149 +, Conv: 30 +  and Let: 1 +