The Lord demands that one surrender unto Him by following these six guidelines, but the unintelligent so-called scholars of the world misunderstand these demands and urge the general mass of people to reject them. At the conclusion of the Ninth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa directly orders, "Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me alone, and offer obeisances unto Me alone." By so doing, the Lord says, one is sure to go to Him in His transcendental abode. But the scholarly demons misguide the masses of people by directing them to surrender not to the Personality of Godhead but rather to the impersonal, unmanifested, eternal, unborn truth.
General mass of people
- 1 Bhagavad-gita As It Is
- 2 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 3 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 4 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 5 Lectures
- 6 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 7 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 13 - 18
Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth—all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance.
SB Canto 1
Persons who are in the modes of passion and ignorance are unable to understand the subject matter of the Vedas. The ultimate goal of Vedic knowledge is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. This Personality is very rarely understood by those who are in the modes of passion and ignorance. In the Satya-yuga everyone was situated in the mode of goodness. Gradually the mode of goodness declined during the Tretā and Dvāpara-yugas, and the general mass of people became corrupt. In the present age the mode of goodness is almost nil, and so for the general mass of people, the kindhearted, powerful sage Śrīla Vyāsadeva divided the Vedas in various ways so that they may be practically followed by less intelligent persons in the modes of passion and ignorance. It is explained in the next śloka as follows.
O twice-born brāhmaṇas, still his mind was not satisfied, although he engaged himself in working for the total welfare of all people.
Śrī Vyāsadeva was not satisfied with himself, although he had prepared literatures of Vedic value for the all-around welfare of the general mass of people. It was expected that he would be satisfied by all such activities, but ultimately he was not satisfied.
The little brāhmaṇa wanted to show his prowess in destruction, and he had the audacity to punish such a great king as Mahārāja Parīkṣit. He wanted to take the place of Lord Kṛṣṇa after His departure. These are the principal signs of upstarts who want to take the place of Śrī Kṛṣṇa under the influence of the age of Kali. An upstart with a little power wants to become an incarnation of the Lord. There are many false incarnations after the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa from the face of the globe, and they are misleading the innocent public by accepting the spiritual obedience of the general mass of people to maintain false prestige. In other words, the personality of Kali got the opportunity to reign through this son of a brāhmaṇa, Śṛṅgi.
At that time the people in general will fall systematically from the path of a progressive civilization in respect to the qualitative engagements of the castes and the orders of society and the Vedic injunctions. Thus they will be more attracted to economic development for sense gratification, and as a result there will be an unwanted population on the level of dogs and monkeys.
It is foretold herein that in the absence of a monarchical regime, the general mass of people will be an unwanted population like dogs and monkeys. As the monkeys are too sexually inclined and dogs are shameless in sexual intercourse, the general mass of population born of illegitimate connection will systematically go astray from the Vedic way of good manners and qualitative engagements in the castes and orders of life.
SB Canto 2
This virāṭ-rūpa of the Lord was especially manifested, not for the benefit of Arjuna, but for that unintelligent class of men who accept anyone and everyone as an incarnation of the Lord and so mislead the general mass of people. For them, the indication is that one should ask the cheap incarnation to exhibit his virāṭ-rūpa and thus be established as an incarnation. The virāṭ-rūpa manifestation of the Lord is simultaneously a challenge to the atheist and a favor for the asuras, who can think of the Lord as virāṭ and thus gradually cleanse the dirty things from their hearts in order to become qualified to actually see the transcendental form of the Lord in the near future. This is a favor of the all-merciful Lord to the atheists and the gross materialists.
The general mass of people, unless they are trained systematically for a higher standard of life in spiritual values, are no better than animals, and in this verse they have particularly been put on the level of dogs, hogs, camels and asses. Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.
When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass. The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving ṭhelā and rickshaws. The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.
The only qualification is that one take shelter of a pure devotee of the Lord who has thorough knowledge in the transcendental science of Kṛṣṇa (Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam). Anyone from any part of the world who becomes well conversant in the science of Kṛṣṇa becomes a pure devotee and a spiritual master for the general mass of people and may reclaim them by purification of heart. Though a person be even the most sinful man, he can at once be purified by systematic contact with a pure Vaiṣṇava. A Vaiṣṇava, therefore, can accept a bona fide disciple from any part of the world without any consideration of caste and creed and promote him by regulative principles to the status of a pure Vaiṣṇava who is transcendental to brahminical culture.
The parts of the body are related to the body; similarly, the living being must know his relationship with the Lord. The human life is especially meant for this purpose, namely to know the factual relationship of every living being with the Supreme Lord. Without knowing this relationship, the human life is spoiled. The intelligent class of men, the brāhmaṇas, are therefore especially responsible for broadcasting this knowledge of our relationship with the Lord and leading the general mass of people to the right path. The administrative class is meant for protecting the living beings so that they can serve this purpose; the mercantile class is meant for producing food grains and distributing them to the complete human society so that the whole population is given a chance to live comfortably and discharge the duties of human life.
Lord Brahmā said: The mouth of the virāṭ-puruṣa (the universal form of the Lord) is the generating center of the voice, and the controlling deity is fire. His skin and six other layers are the generating centers of the Vedic hymns, and His tongue is the productive center of different foodstuffs and delicacies for offering to the demigods, the forefathers and the general mass of people.
The opulences of the universal form of the Lord are described herein. It is said that His mouth is the generating center of all kinds of voices, and its controlling deity is the fire demigod. And His skin and other six layers of bodily construction are the representative generating centers of the seven kinds of Vedic hymns, like the Gāyatrī. Gāyatrī is the beginning of all Vedic mantras, and it is explained in the first volume of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
SB Canto 3
Different people have different theories regarding the supreme cause, but none of them are genuine. The only supreme cause is Viṣṇu, and the intervening impediment is the illusory energy of the Lord. The Lord has employed His wonderful material energy in manifesting many, many wonderful distractions in the material world, and the conditioned souls, illusioned by the same energy, are thus unable to know the supreme cause. The most stalwart scientists and philosophers, therefore, cannot be accepted as wonderful. They only appear wonderful because they are instruments in the hands of the illusory energy of the Lord. Under illusion, the general mass of people deny the existence of the Supreme Lord and accept the foolish products of illusory energy as supreme.
SB Canto 4
To give protection to the general mass of people who are citizens of the state is the prescribed occupational duty for a king. By acting in that way, the king in his next life shares one sixth of the result of the pious activities of the citizens. But a king or executive head of state who simply collects taxes from the citizens but does not give them proper protection as human beings has the results of his own pious activities taken away by the citizens, and in exchange for his not giving protection he becomes liable to punishment for the impious activities of his subjects.
The royal duty or the duty of the head of state is to see that the prajās, or the general mass of people, are doing their respective duties for spiritual salvation. A secular state does not necessitate a king or head of state who is indifferent to the activities of the prajās. In the modern state the government has many rules and regulations for conducting the duties of the prajās, but the government neglects to see that the citizens advance in spiritual knowledge. If the government is careless in this matter, the citizens will act whimsically, without any sense of God realization or spiritual life, and thus become entangled in sinful activities.
An executive head should not be callous to the welfare of the general mass of people while he simply goes on collecting taxes. The king's real duty is to see that the citizens gradually become fully Kṛṣṇa conscious.
SB Canto 5
Sometimes it is very risky to give great philosophical instructions to ordinary people, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, for the benefit of the fallen souls of Kali-yuga, has given us a very nice instrument, the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. The general mass of people, although śūdras and less, can be purified by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Then they can understand the exalted philosophical statements of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement has therefore adopted the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra for the general masses. When people gradually become purified, they are instructed in the lessons of Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Materialistic people like strī, śūdra and dvija-bandhu cannot understand words of spiritual advancement, yet one can take to the shelter of a Vaiṣṇava, for he knows the art of enlightening even śūdras in the highly elevated subject matter spoken in Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
CC Preface and Introduction
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
The Lord demands that one surrender unto Him by following these six guidelines, but the unintelligent so-called scholars of the world misunderstand these demands and urge the general mass of people to reject them. At the conclusion of the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa directly says: "Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me." (BG 9.34) However, the scholarly demons misguide the masses of people by directing them to the impersonal, unmanifest, eternal, unborn truth rather than the Personality of Godhead.
Renunciation Through Wisdom
The sole motive of the karma-yogī, however, is to instruct the members of society for their benefit. As Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, says in the Bhagavad-gītā (3.25) "As the ignorant perform their duties with attachment to results, the learned may similarly act, but without attachment, for the sake of leading people on the right path."
Like others, sages who are in knowledge of the Absolute Truth maintain their bodies, but the difference is that the goal of all their activities is to satisfy Lord Viṣṇu. Although the general mass of people may wrongly think that the sages' activities are the same as their own, in fact the sages are performing karma-yoga, not fruitive activity.
What will soon be discussed is that the kṣetra-jña is completely different from the kṣetra and its transformations. But to properly understand the knowledge concerning the kṣetra and the kṣetra-jña, one must first cultivate at least twenty good qualities listed in the Bhagavad-gītā (13.8-12):
Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age, and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth—all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance.
Light of the Bhagavata
For example, the professional Bhāgavatam reciter will generally speak on the subject of rāsa-līlā, which appears to the layman to be something like the dealings of ordinary men and women. Thus the professional reciters earn money from their so-called admirers. But an ācārya will never speak on rāsa-līlā to the general mass of people. The rāsa-līlā chapters of the Bhāgavatam are the most confidential part of the scripture, and they are meant for advanced students of spiritual realization. In the Bhāgavatam there are twelve cantos, and the rāsa-līlā is in the tenth. So before one comes to the Tenth Canto, the Bhāgavatam tries to convince him of the transcendental nature of the Absolute Truth. Unless one has grasped the spiritual status of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one is sure to accept Him as an ordinary man and thereby commit offenses at His lotus feet by so many unwanted activities.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Not three dollars, I mean to say, dollar is exchange. Say, for less than one dollar, three-fourth dollar. Three rupees. Three rupees. The exchange of dollar and rupees is: five rupees make one dollar. Now, it was selling at 3.8. So about, I mean to, 75 cent. 75 cent for 82 pounds of best rice. I have seen it in my experiencing of life. When I was a boy in India it was selling. Can you imagine that? But that rice all of a sudden rose in 1940, ten dollars. Now, just imagine if something, the price of something, is raised from 75 cent to ten dollars, how difficult it becomes for the public, for general mass of people. So so many people were in difficulty, and so many people died for want of food, diseases, famine, because when there is want of food... But you will be surprised... I inquired in 1942. Persons who were in our line, I mean to say, engaged in devotional service... I also purchased at the same time. I had... In my family life at that time, I had some responsibility: my self, my wife, my five children, servant, and so many, about ten people. And I was purchasing rice. So anyway, management was going on.
This yajña is prescribed for the general mass of people, that they must work sincerely according to their prescribed duties, and by the result of that duty or result of their action, they should offer sacrifices to the Lord.
Now, at the present moment the best sacrifice is recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the sacrifice of chanting the holy name of Lord. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ (SB 11.5.32). So now you come here and sit down here for sometimes and chant the holy name of the Lord. That is also sacrifice. That is also sacrifice. This is recommended for this age especially. Because we cannot make any other sacrifice, so in this age...
This age is called Kali. Kali means the age of quarrel. On minor things we are prepared to fight with one another.
Another thing, one should not think "Because I am in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, therefore oh, I shall not rise early in the morning." This is prescribed duty for one who is... No. You have to do that. Loka-saṅgraha. So he practically has no duty, but to show example to the general mass of people, he has got so many duties. Even Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He was also going to a school to study. He accepted spiritual master. He was offering respect to His elderly brother in relationship. So he does not... A self-realized person is always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but he does not deviate with the prescribed duties also, because others will follow. Others will also, "Oh, I am also self-realized." Therefore one has to do.
So actually this yoga system is very, very difficult. It may be possible by some solitary man, but for the general mass of people it is not possible. The general mass of people, that is recommended in the śāstra that
- harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
- kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā
- (CC Adi 17.21)
There is no other alternative. Nāsty eva, nāsty eva. There is no other alternative, no other alternative, no other alternative. Three times. Three times means yoga, jñāna, and arcana. Yoga system as it was recommended in the Satya-yuga, kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇum, that is yoga—always in meditation of Viṣṇu. That is called yoga.
Brahmānanda: ...lation: "Again there are those who, although not conversant in spiritual knowledge, begin to worship the Supreme Person upon hearing about Him from others. Because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death." Responsively: "Again there are those..." (break)
Prabhupāda: ...ing... (break) ...and it is said clearly that you don't expect the general mass of people to be conversant with spiritual... (break) ...they must preach. Anyebhyaḥ. Hm, what is that? Read the first line.
Brahmānanda: Anye tv evam ajānantaḥ.
Prabhupāda: Ah. Anye tu ajānantaḥ. Generally, people, they do not know what is the value of spiritual knowledge. Mūḍha. They have been called as mūḍha. And duṣkṛtina. Duṣkṛtina means always engaged in sinful activities. If you do not have Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then your eating, sleeping, or walking, whatever you are doing, it is all sinful. All sinful.
So people are being educated like dogs, hogs, camels and asses. So how they can expect any real happiness? That is not possible. The test should be... Public, general public, they may be like cats, dogs, hogs naturally because they have no sufficient education. Not they are expected to be highly educated, general mass of people. But if arrangement is made to give them chance of hearing Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, then they will be very big men, perfect men. That should be the policy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. We should accept the general mass of people no matter than dogs, hogs. It is in your country, "Dog is best friend." Because he is a dog. Therefore he has chosen a best friend dog. And cow, mother, giving milk and actually drinking—"Send her to the slaughterhouse." Just see. Is it not an animal, who is making friendship with dogs and sending mother to the slaughterhouse? What is your answer? This is my charge against your country.
The dog's business is, you are not offender, still it will offend, "Gow! Gow! Gow!" (laughter) "Oh, I have not entered your house. Why you are barking?" No, it is his business. He will disturb you. He'll come. We have experience. Unnecessarily they come. At least, make a show of, to attack. That means offending. If... Suppose you are passing on the road, and if I come with a stick, "Why you have come here?" Is it not offense? All right, if I trespass in your house, you can attack with me a stick. Or no, in your country one can kill. You see. Such a nice mentality. But men are also like that. They deserve to be killed. This is going on. So the animal society. You cannot believe a man, just like animal cannot believe another animal. This is... So it is very rightly written, śva-viḍ-varāha uṣṭra khara. Śva-viḍ-varāha uṣṭra-kharaiḥ saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ. The general mass of people is no better than these animals, and they are voting to select their leader.
Human life means very peaceful life, without any trouble. That is Vedic civilization. These books written by Vyāsadeva, he was writing these books, such exalted knowledge, in Hardwar, in a secluded place, very peacefully situated. And that knowledge was taken by the kṣatriyas, and they were distributing. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Vedic knowledge was first of all taken up by the kṣatriyas. Brāhmaṇas, they used to cultivate knowledge and they used to advise the kṣatriyas, rulers, and they took it and they distributed to the general mass of people for the elevation of the spiritual platform. This is civilization. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). This is creation of God, cātur-varṇyaṁ: brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra. This is called varṇa, and as spiritual cultivation, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa. So our civilization, Vedic civilization, means varṇāśrama-dharma, following the four principles of varṇas and four principles of āśrama. The ultimate goal is God realization. That is the human civilization.
So here, yasyāṅke śira ādhāya. Suppose I am sleeping very comfortably, feeling secure by keeping my head on your lap, yasyāṅke śira ādhāya lokaḥ svapiti, and dreaming very happily. Svaya dharmam adharmaṁ vā na he veda yathā paśuḥ. You cannot expect all men to understand what is religion and what is not religion, general mass of people. So what is the position of a person or any being who does not know to make distinction what is dharma and adharma? So they have been described. He is described as yathā paśuḥ. Paśuḥ. Paśuḥ means animal. An animal cannot make distinction what is right or what is wrong. That is not possible. Therefore it is said, dharmeṇa hīnā paśubhiḥ samānāḥ: "One who is ignorant of dharma-adharma, he is no better than paśu." Āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca sāmānyam etat paśubhiḥ narāṇām. Āhāra, eating. I eat, the dog eats, the cat eats. I sleep, the dog sleeps, and the cat sleeps. I have sex desire, I satisfy it. The cats and dogs also satisfy it. And I am also afraid of my enemy; the cats and dogs are also afraid of enemy.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
Siddhi means perfection. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu advised... That is His propaganda. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-māha-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ sarvātmanaṁ paraṁ vijāyate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam (CC Antya 20.12). That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu's... So His Guru Mahārāja advised Him... He presented Himself like that to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. Presenting Himself as fool means that the general mass of people, they are not fit for becoming very great Sanskrit scholar or very good philosopher or student of Vedānta philo... That is not possible in this age, in Kali-yuga. Mass of people, they are almost śūdra. Śūdra-sambhava. Scholarship, to study Sanskrit, to study Vedas, Purāṇas, they are meant for the brāhmaṇas. Not even for the kṣatriyas, or what to speak of vaiśya. Vaiśya, śūdra and woman, they have been classified in the Bhagavad-gītā as less intelligent. Striyo vaiśyās tathā śūdras te 'pi yānti parāṁ gatim. But Kṛṣṇa is so merciful. If you take the shelter of Kṛṣṇa's lotus feet, whatever you may be... You may be scholar or not scholar.
They are not satisfied simply by his personal comfort. In political history also, you will find so many great leaders. They sacrificed their own comforts. In your country there was George Washington. He sacrificed so many. There were other leaders. In every country, in political field. Similarly, social field also. Even the political leaders, the Marx, they also, he was also compassionate by seeing the terrible condition of the Russian peasants, so he started that communist movement. That is the way. Great men, they work for the general mass of people. They are not... That is their greatness.
So people are gradually losing interest in temple worship even, what to speak of yoga or offering sacrifices. Everything is now finished. Therefore kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt. This is prescribed in the śāstra. That system was introduced by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Because other system will not be successful in this age. May be successful in one or two cases, but not for the general mass of people. Therefore śāstra recommends... There are different incarnation of God, but one incarnation is there, it is mentioned in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other places also, in Upaniṣad and Mahābhārata. These are approved Vedic scriptures. So the Vedic knowledge is summarized in the Vedānta system, Brahma-sūtra, everything done by Vyāsadeva.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1969 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Or another woman from whom I have taken birth, "She is my mother." Similarly father, similarly sons. In this way, country, society, at the most, humanity. That's all. But all these things are illusion because they are in bodily relationship. Yasyātmā-buddhiḥ kunape tri-dhātuke sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Those who are passing on on this illusory condition of life, they are compared with the cows and the asses. So our first business is to wake up the general mass of people from this illusory condition of life. So Back to Godhead is specially meant for that purpose. We are pushing our Back to Godhead to the general mass of people to the first condition, first status of enlightenment.
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Dr. Arnold Toynbee: In India is everybody lost, the Indian culture...?
Prabhupāda: No, not everybody.
Dr. Arnold Toynbee: No, no.
Prabhupāda: Not everybody. But general mass of people, at least, the so-called educated, five to ten percent people, they are lost.
Dr. Arnold Toynbee: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And so-called educated, they practically guide. You'll be surprised to know that in 1950, one of my students, he was a government statistics officer. So he went to some village, and he gave me report that the villagers inquired from him that "Babuji, agar angarej ko vote diya yai pasatela (?)"
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is required, because if the enlightened men of the society does something, others will follow. It is not that the general mass of people has to be educated. They will be automatically educated. They will follow. If the enlightened man is living in such a way that he is going to be transferred to the spiritual world, then others will follow. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). At least, there must be a class of men, ideal men, that they are preparing themselves for transferring to the spiritual world. Then people will see that "Here is the ideal man," and they will try to follow. (French) But if people see that "He is also like us. He is also drinking, he is also eating meat, and he is also having illicit sex," then where is the ideal man? Everyone is implicated with these things, sinful life.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Have they advanced about "Who am I?"
Dr. Gerson: So I would like to inject into this system Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Prabhupāda: Oh, that is very good. If the scientists, philosophers, they take up seriously then it will be good for the general mass of people. Yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21). You are recognized leaders, so if you help them to accept, that will be great service.
Jayatīrtha: Many of them admit that they are very confused, isn't it?
Dr. Gerson: Oh, yes, yes. If you put ten psychologists in a room and ask them for their opinion, you'll get ten opinions on the same subject.
Bahulāśva: Like munis. So many minds, so many ways.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Nāsau munir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam: "If a muni, thoughtful man, hasn't got a different opinion then he is not muni." (laughter) And that is going on. They take it as advancement. There is no standard knowledge. You speak something, and if somebody refutes it with something else, then he is advanced.
Prabhupāda: Anyway, this idea of society, of your culture, general mass of people, especially nowadays, it is very difficult. So if the leaders understand-yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhaḥ (BG 3.21)—then the common mass will follow.
Guest (3): Yes, but here in Mauritius, most of the people are of Indian origin. It is easy for them to understand Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: Therefore I say the Indian, the leading Indians here, if they make a program, the common will follow. And everything is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, how society should be conducted.
Prabhupāda: So similarly, they are keeping men as dogs, and they want peace. How it is possible? They are educating general mass of people like cats and dogs, and they want peace. How it is possible? Make them first of all sober men. Then there is question of peace. (break) ...God consciousness, there is no question of peace. (break) If we know that the Supreme Lord, God, is our father, and He has..., everything belongs to Him, His property; therefore, instead of fighting, let us enjoy father's property peacefully. Then there will be peace. We are peacefully walking in this park because we know that it is commonwealth; it is government's property. I can walk, and the dog can also walk. Then there will be peace. And if I think, "No, it is my property," and you think your property, then there will be fight between you and me. So where is peace? Why you claim South Africa as your property? You are foreigner. You want peace.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: That's all right, general. But you know how to make general mass of people happy. That example we give, that the whole body.... You can make the whole body happy simply by supplying food to the stomach. That is the best way. And if you want to make happy every part of the body, individual, that will never be successful. You must know where to touch. Just like the huge machine is going on by the expert manipulation of the pilot. He is pushing one.... Works. Immediately the plane becomes.... It is.... So you must know where to touch. If.... I am layman, I am put into that, then, instead of putting here, I shall put my here, and then it will go down. "Ohhh." So finished. So this is nature's way, that you supply food to the stomach, and the energy will be distributed every part. You supply water to the root of the tree, it will be supplied everywhere. That you must know.
Prabhupāda: Animal also knows that he's created by another dog. Otherwise why the little, what is called, cab, puppy, goes up to the mother?
Rāmeśvara: They don't have..., the reason they don't have an idea is because before you came to America, the understanding of the science of God was presented on a kindergarten level, the Bible. So it did not satisfy their scientific mind. So because before you came to give them the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, they had not information, and they did not accept the Christian version.
Prabhupāda: No, apart from Christian or Hindu, the general mass of people, how they can say that there is no creator? From common sense?
Rāmeśvara: They are accepting authority, and so they say...
Prabhupāda: Apart from authority, from practical experience....
Prabhupāda: So just we are trying to save men from this go-kharaḥ civilization. Therefore it is not very appealing to the general mass of people. But still we have seen yesterday that as soon as we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, everyone is attracted, everyone. You have seen yesterday? The drunkard, he was also attracted, and the child was attracted, the gray(?) gentleman, he was also attracted, within the park. The child was dancing and the drunkard was dancing. Therefore this is the only means to elevate the modern men to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Harer nāma harer nāma (CC Adi 17.21).
Prabhupāda: No, philosophy is there. Court case means there is philosophy, there is logic. So for that we have got so many books. We can... But general mass of people, chanting. When there is court case we are prepared to defend. We have got... We are not fools. We can talk that what is the aim of life. They cannot say anything. The transmigration of the soul, the aim of life which we are discussing in our book, that's fact. How he can deny the transmigration of the soul from one body to another? And if that is accepted, the whole problem is solved. He does not know what kind of life he is going to get. Therefore they do not accept this philosophy. If once accepted, then next question—"What kind of life we are going to get, either to become a tree or a dog or human being?"
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: They won't take the real culture given by God Himself, Kṛṣṇa, "Do like this." Therefore they are godless. They must suffer. Now the suffering is awaiting to the general mass of people. Durbhikṣa... Anāvṛṣṭi-durbhikṣa-kara-pīḍitāḥ (SB 12.2.9). There will be no rain from the sky, and therefore there will be no sufficient grains. Anāvṛṣṭi-durbhikṣa. And in the name of improving the situation, government will tax. Kara-pīḍitāḥ. In this way, so the people in general, they'll be so much harassed that, without being able to manage things... Ācchinna-dāra-draviṇā gacchanti giri-kānanam. "Let whatever I may have to the family eating. Let me go." This is the position.
1947 to 1965 Correspondence
It is not possible for the masses to study the Vedanta or to undergo the difficult mystic processes especially in the Kali-yuga when the general people is indolent, unfortunate, shortlived and always disturbed by physical and mental tribulations. So they the general mass of people are fallen in the estimation of the great saints and as such for them Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the only hope for deliverance. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Varanasi He was invited to a philosophical discourse by the Prakashananda Sarasvati a great giant scholar and sannyasi of the Mayavadi or Sankara sampradaya and discussion was made on the Vedanta philosophy.
As soon as there are sincere devotees, immediately the situation changes very favorably. So I have read of New York, and I am so pleased with your honest endeavor to open a branch in Buffalo. Those who try to distribute Krishna Consciousness amongst the general mass of people are very much favorite to Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya. So you have all the blessings of Lord Caitanya for your laudable work in Buffalo. It doesn't matter whether there is any future prospect for opening permanent center or not, but to attempt to distribute Krishna Consciousness in that part of the country is very much encouraging.
Sankirtana and distributing BTG and our other literatures is the fieldwork of this movement. Temple worship is secondary. People are invited to come to the temple to see the behavior of the devotees specifically in the matter of purification. There are two kinds of purification methods, external and internal. In our Krishna Consciousness Movement, Deity worship helps to keep us externally purified and Sankirtana helps to keep us internally purified. So as far as possible we shall execute both of these processes simultaneously. And by your exemplary character, the general mass of people will be benefited. Our hearts in material condition are filled with all dirty things, and this Krishna Consciousness Movement is the cleansing process.
The Krishna Consciousness movement is being popularized here by three principles: by temple worship, by sending Sankirtana Party for chanting in the streets and by distribution of small booklets. Although we have got many voluminous books like Srimad-Bhagavatam, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Nectar of Devotion, Krsna, etc., they are selling less from our different centers, So immediately we cannot think of publishing your Srimad-Bhagavatam for two reasons: 1) that we are dealing with the general mass of people, and 2) we talk with high level scholars only occasionally. Recently we had a correspondence with Dr. J. F. Staal, Professor of Philosophy and of South Asian Languages, University of California, Berkeley, and the small pamphlet is sent to you per separate Air Mail in this connection.
Everyone enjoys play-acting, only there is at present a dearth of proper material for elevating the general mass of people to the proper standards. Practically, the whole world is going to hell. There is no decency, no gentleman anywhere. So we have to portray to the people of this fallen Age of Kali-yuga what is the right standard for their behavior. When they see that, Oh, here is such nice activity, such nice people, they will automatically become changed, simply we have to engage their senses in the right taste. So this drama-playing is very good presentation for attracting their attention and displaying Krishna Consciousness very beautifully. Make everything very simple, without too much fancy costumes, and the real message will come out very nicely.
Actually, that is the mood of the devotee, that he is always concerned for the general mass of people, that they should stop their sinful activities and become delivered from the most dangerous conditions of life by taking to this Krishna Consciousness or devotional service. So I am very much pleased that you do not want to leave. Actually, that is our policy, once we enter a place, to sit down, then gradually to lay down and occupy everything! So because there is such good possibility there for preaching, especially in the university, then I am recommending that some men must remain there are work very hard to get a permanent center. If the preaching work is sincere, then there will be no lack either of temple or of devotees to fill it.
With reference to an article entitled "Baptists Besieged" published in the international edition of "Time" Magazine of June 12, 1972, page 66, it is understood that your people are now protesting against atheistic government. So far we know your government is pledged not to believe in God. But this kind of suppression will not be tolerated by the general mass of people. It is understood also that your Constitution allows freedom of religious expression. But it appears from the facts that you do not wish to indulge in religious principles which are simply sentiments. We agree wholeheartedly that without philosophy, religion is reduced to sentiment or "the opium of the masses." We are likewise in full agreement with your national leaders that the state and the citizens in general must be organized upon philosophical principles.
From your report I can understand that you are very enthusiastic. I like also your idea of celebrating Govardhana puja. This should be our programme to attract the general mass of people. If we go on preaching vigorously as we have been for another 25 year then all these other so called religions will disappear. After all what do they have to offer. In the Christian religion all we see is Christ's picture as he was crucified, so how people can be attracted to such thing? There is no science, philosophy, music, art, Prasadam, it is no wonder that the people are rejecting this nonsense. Not that Christ himself was nonsense, but those who are preaching in his name they are nonsense because they do not follow even the simplest of his orders.
Your idea to get our men made as official government guides is nice, also if the government agrees to build one or two room in our temple that will be good. I respectable gentlemen become interested in our Krishna Conscious Movement then our temple in Vrindaban will stand first, because all other temples in Vrindaban gather general mass of people without philosophical understanding. Some 50 years ago some Christian priest went to Vrindaban and inquired from many residents why Krishna enjoyed Rasa dance with other wifes which is against the Vedic principle, but nobody could satisfy him. On this point my Guru Maharaja said that Vrindaban is inhabited by neophyte devotees.
It proves that what Krsna speaks in the Bhagavad-gita is universal and is applicable to anyone and everyone throughout the world. Therefore they are actually accepting and they are taking to our restrictions. They are chanting Hare Krsna and learning Srimad-Bhagavatam and therefore their lives are becoming happy. I am simply trying to repeat the words of Sri Krsna without any adulteration or twisting and I have full faith that by doing so His message will become well-known throughout the world. Now our books are being so much accepted throughout the universities and colleges as well as amongst the general mass of people. It is really astounding. We are selling literally thousands and thousands of full sized volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam everyday, in different parts of the world. I am glad that you enjoyed our article in the Bhavan's Journal.
You will find enclosed one brahmana thread duly chanted on. Now everyone must strictly follow the principles of chanting sixteen rounds japa daily, and refraining from illicit sex-life, intoxication, gambling, and animal slaughter and then they will not be blown away by the material energy. You may perform fire-yajna and brahmanas should hear a tape of me chanting Gayatri mantra through the right ear. I thank all of you for assisting me in spreading Lord Caitanya's Movement throughout the world. People are simply being cheated by so many rascals who pose themselves as big, big leader so you must all strictly follow the principles that I have established and for the general mass of people give them chanting, prasadam, and have them take some of our literature. That will benefit them and gradually they will come to the standard.
Concerning our use of analogy. We do not bring in imperfect analogy, but we follow the instructions of the Sastras strictly. Our authority is on the basis of Sastra, not analogy. So, Vyasadeva while giving the history of creation says "Janmadyasya . . . adhikavaye" . . . so He impregnated the heart of Brahma with all the designs of creation. So what is wrong there? If I instruct someone you do like this, and he does it, then what is the difficulty? This is the system. Our authority is sastra. We give analogy for the general mass of people who have no faith in sastra. Analogy is not proof; sastra is proof. Foolish people cannot understand or accept, so we use analogy. The conclusion is not drawn from the analogy but from the sastra. We don't use a combination of logic and authority, we use authority. Logic we use to convince someone who doesn't accept the authority.