If you can analyze the characteristics of the living entity, then you can at least understand what is God, what is the characteristics of God. Therefore the beginning of spiritual education is to understand one's self, this self-realization

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"if you can analyze the characteristics of the living entity, then you can at least understand what is God, what is the characteristics of God. Therefore the beginning of spiritual education is to understand one's self, this self-realization"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

If you can analyze the characteristics of the living entity, then you can at least understand what is God, what is the characteristics of God. Therefore the beginning of spiritual education is to understand one's self, this self-realization. How to realize self? We have to take knowledge from others. Knowledge means..., to acquire knowledge, to learn from the teacher.
Lecture on BG 2.13 -- Hyderabad, November 18, 1972:

So living entity, living being, is energy of the Supreme Lord. Energy. Just like the sun and the sunshine. Sunshine is the energy of the sun globe. Similarly, we living entities, we are also energies of the Supreme Lord. What is this sunshine? It is a combination of a very small shining particles, molecular. That is sunshine. It looks like one homogeneous thing, but they are small particles. That is scientific understanding. Similarly, we are also a small particle of the Supreme Lord. Mamaivāṁśo jīva-bhūtaḥ (BG 15.7). We are a small particle. How much small? What is the magnitude? That is also described in the śāstra. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya śatadhā kalpitasya ca, jīva-bhāgo sa vijñeyaḥ sa anantyāya kalpate (CC Madhya 19.140). There is dimension of the living entity—one ten-thousandth part of the tip of the hair. So it is very difficult with our, these material eyes. We are very much proud of our eyes. But here is the indication from the śāstra, the length and breadth of the living soul. Now, you find out, with your eyes, your microscope. That is not possible. Because they cannot find out, they say, nirākāra. Nirākāra. In one sense, it can be supported that we cannot ascertain the forms of the soul. And what, how we can ascertain the form of the Lord? Aṇor aṇīyān mahato mahīyān.

So spiritual education means, spiritual enlightenment means, first of all, we must try to understand the jīva. Because jīva is the small particle of the Lord. So that we can understand the quality of the Lord. Just like if you test a small particle of gold, then you can understand the composition of gold. If you test a little drop of water from the ocean, you can analyze the chemical composition of the sea. Similarly, if you can analyze the characteristics of the living entity, then you can at least understand what is God, what is the characteristics of God. Therefore the beginning of spiritual education is to understand one's self, this self-realization. How to realize self? We have to take knowledge from others. Knowledge means..., to acquire knowledge, to learn from the teacher. So here is the supreme teacher, Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is accepted as the supreme teacher by everyone, by all the great sages formerly, like Vyāsadeva, Nārada, Devala, Asita. All other great sages. And recently, in the modern age, by our ācāryas, Śrī Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Rāmānuja, yes, Śaṅkarācārya, Viṣṇu Svāmī. All these great sages, great ācāryas, they came from your South India. So you are fortunate in that sense. So we have to follow the ācāryas. All these ācāryas accept Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord. All these ācāryas. And later, lately, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, five hundred years ago, He also accepted that Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). That is the acceptance in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Similarly, Lord Brahmā also accepted Kṛṣṇa:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam
(Bs. 5.1)

So we have got so many evidences. So we have to accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no doubt about it. But why people do not accept? Why are so many big, big scholars and big, big scientists, why they do not accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead? That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, how these people do not accept. The statement is there:

na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
māyayāpahṛta-jñānā
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
(BG 7.15)

Those who are duṣkṛtina, sinful, duṣkṛtina... Kṛti means meritorious, and duṣ means..., means miscreants, meritorious for mischief-making. We, everyone has got merit. The mischief-maker, he has also got merit, but one who uses his merit for mischief-making... Just like a great rogue, a thief. When he steals, he requires brain. So he's applying his brain, how to steal tactfully, how to become a great rogue tactfully. How to become a smuggler... They require also brain. So the brain is being misused for mischievous activities. They are called miscreants, duṣkṛtina. So those who are duṣkṛtina... Na māṁ prapadyante, na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ (BG 7.15). One class is duṣkṛtina and the other class is mūḍha. Mūḍha means less intelligence, or no intelligence. na māṁ duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ prapadyante narādhamāḥ. And narādhama means the lowest of the mankind. And māyayā apahṛta-jñānāḥ, those whose knowledge have been taken by māyā, āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ. These classes of men do not surrender unto Kṛṣṇa. We are not manufacturing these words. These words are in the Bhagavad-gītā. If we study Bhagavad-gītā, we have to accept the statements, Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā means the speeches which is delivered, or the song which is sung by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to preach all over the world that kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam (SB 1.3.28). You are searching after God. You are taxing your brain so much. But in spite of taxing your brain, you say sometimes that "There is no God," or "God is dead," or "Everyone is God," and so on, so on. But our proposition is that why you are taxing your brain? Here is God. Here is God, Kṛṣṇa. By authorities, by Vedic version, by His activities. If we read life of Kṛṣṇa, we can see that He's Kṛṣṇa, God, from the very beginning of His birth. God is not manufactured by some mystic power. God is God, and dog is dog. A dog cannot become God; God cannot become dog. That is the difference.