Prabhupāda: Any science does not depend on East and West understanding. Science is science.
Malcolm: No. I'm talking not of science, but of education which...
Prabhupāda: No, education is different. Education may be wrong or right, but science is always the fact. "Two plus two equal to four,"—that is equally good in the East and West, not that in the western countries, two plus two will be five. So similarly, any scientific knowledge, it does not depend on East and West understanding. It is good for everywhere. Similarly, to understand the science of God, it does not depend on the Western culture or Eastern culture. One must be serious to understand. Then it is equally available. Ahaituky apratihatā. These material impediments cannot check progress in the science of God, cannot. Apratihatā, without any checking. That we are experiencing, that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not checked anywhere. We have got branches all over the world. Any country, there is no language difficulty. Wherever we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, they join, "Hare Kṛṣṇa." There is no checking. Even Africa, they are also chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Even the child will chant. They clap. You have seen that a small child is...? I think he..., about six months old. So there is no checking. For spiritual understanding there is no checking. The child, six months' old child, clapping, that means he's joining with the system. He's not sophisticated. He's new child, but automatically... So there is no checking. (pause)
Śyāmasundara: If the science is available to everyone without impediment, then there must be the proper teacher, isn't it? There must be a teacher of the science...
Śyāmasundara: ...where people learn. That has been a difficulty here. There's been no real teachers until...
Prabhupāda: No, everyone gives his own opinion. Everyone will say... He'll not dare to say that he's speaking right, scientifically. He'll say, "It is my opinion." To avoid any difficulty, he'll say, "In my opinion it is this." I think he's speaking of that, (that) there are so many people, and they have got so many opinions.
Śyāmasundara: How do we know, then, what is the real fact?
Prabhupāda: We have to understand it from a real man who knows it. Upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. Find out that. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā. So we have to approach the real person who has seen. Then you'll get the right goal of life.
- tad viddhi praṇipātena
- paripraśnena sevayā
- upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
- jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
- (BG 4.34)
"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."
Prabhupāda: So we have to approach a person who has seen the truth. It is not difficult. Just like if you are suffering from some disease, you have to go to a doctor who knows how to treat. It is same thing, like that.
Śyāmasundara: How do we know he's a good doctor or not? By his credential or...?
Prabhupāda: No. That also... Therefore it is called sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya. Three things there are for knowledge. Sādhu, saintly person; śāstra, scripture; and guru. So one statement we have to corroborate with other statement. If you accept somebody as guru, then you have to corroborate it whether śāstra says that he is guru or any saintly person says that he is guru. This is the way. Similarly, when you take a scripture, you have to know it from the spiritual master, whether that is actually scripture, whether it is accepted by the saintly person. Sādhu. Similarly sādhu also, whether guru says, "Yes, he is sādhu." Whether śāstra says, "Yes, he is sādhu." There are three things, sādhu-śāstra-guru. So to accept one, you have to take the opinion of the other two. Then you'll get the right way. Just like who is a guru? That is stated in the śāstras. Śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. Śāstra says, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet: (MU 1.2.12) "One must approach a guru." Then the same question comes, "Who is guru?" That is also stated, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. "He's well-versed in Vedas, knowledge of Vedas, and fully Kṛṣṇa conscious." He is guru. Just like how do you know that here is a medical practitioner? Before going for treatment, you find out. How do you find out?
Śyāmasundara: Some friend, perhaps.
Prabhupāda: Anyway, you have to take information. Similarly, guru, according to śāstra, who is guru, he must be confirmed by sādhu, saintly person, by śāstra. Then he's guru. Sadhu-śāstra, guru-vākya, tinete kariyā aikya.