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Many translations of the Bhagavad-gita and the Upanisads that professors or students have read are all impersonal. What is the best way to convince them that the Mayavada philosophy, or monism, is not the original Hindu tradition of understanding?

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Expressions researched:
"So I was wondering what is the best way to convince them that actually, that is not actually the original tradition of understanding" |"Srila Prabhupada, many times when I am seeing professors or students also, they seem to think that traditional Hinduism or whatever they think it is, they say that the Mayavadi philosophy, or monist, they think this is traditional, and" |"because there's so many translations of the Bhagavad-gita and the Upanisads they've read, and they're all impersonal"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

How they are becoming foolish, that they are reading Bhagavad-gītā and they are accepting original tradition of the Māyāvāda? In the original tradition of Bhagavad-gītā, it is said, Kṛṣṇa said, ahaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān: "I said. I am person." How these rascals are accepting imperson? Why do they read Bhagavad-gītā? If they have got different theory, let them differently... They are cheating. Bhagavad-gītā is popular. Therefore they are taking advantage of Bhagavad-gītā and pushing on impersonalism.
Morning Walk -- May 12, 1975, Perth:

Amogha: Śrīla Prabhupāda, many times when I am seeing professors or students also, they seem to think that traditional Hinduism or whatever they think it is, they say that the Māyāvādī philosophy, or monist, they think this is traditional, and..., because there's so many translations of the Bhagavad-gītā and the Upaniṣads they've read, and they're all impersonal. So I was wondering what is the best way to convince them that actually, that is not actually the original tradition of understanding?

Prabhupāda: How they are becoming foolish, that they are reading Bhagavad-gītā and they are accepting original tradition of the Māyāvāda? In the original tradition of Bhagavad-gītā, it is said, Kṛṣṇa said, ahaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān: "I said. I am person." How these rascals are accepting imperson? Why do they read Bhagavad-gītā? If they have got different theory, let them differently... They are cheating. Bhagavad-gītā is popular. Therefore they are taking advantage of Bhagavad-gītā and pushing on impersonalism. But here the tradition begins, ahaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ. Where is imperson? So if they want to be cheated willingly, who can save them? They are reading Bhagavad-gītā and devīating from the words of Bhagavad-gītā. Then what is the meaning?

Amogha: They don't know. They simply...

Prabhupāda: That means they are so rascal, that... You are reading Bhagavad-gītā. You must take the words of Bhagavad-gītā. Why you are taking other words? What business you have got?

Amogha: They think by majority, most people think like this...

Prabhupāda: Majority or minority, it doesn't matter. But why you should take Bhagavad-gītā to establish your rascal theories? That means you are cheating.

Amogha: But they think that's the meaning of Bhagavad-gītā.

Prabhupāda: That's the meaning how?

Amogha: That's what they think. They think because they've read so many commentaries...

Prabhupāda: Why do they think? If I have written one book, my words are my meaning. Why you should give meaning? I shall kick on your face. What right you have got? You write another book. Why should you take my book and give your meaning? What is this?

Paramahaṁsa: These professors didn't write the books, but they read all these Swami this and that books' translations. And then they think, "Well, all these swamis say it's like this..."

Prabhupāda: No. They should be conscious that if you read one book, you must understand what the author says. Why should you bring something else to understand that book? What is this? If you want to say something else, you write your own book or bring that book. Why you should take my book? If you want to smoke ganja, why should you take my hand? You have got your hand. You smoke ganja. What is this? I take your hand and smoke ganja? (laughter)

Paramahaṁsa: But they say that "We need the help of these different commentaries to understand such deep philosophy."

Prabhupāda: Why should you? Why should you? Why should you take Bhagavad-gītā? There are different philosophers. They have got different theories. You make your theories. But why should you make your theories on the basis of Bhagavad-gītā?

Paramahaṁsa: Well, they say they want to study the Bhagavad-gītā...

Prabhupāda: But that is not... If you study, you study as it is.

Amogha: They can't read Sanskrit.

Paramahaṁsa: They don't know. They think "We have to accept from these different swamis. They are the authorities."

Prabhupāda: Why you should? If you do not know Sanskrit, why don't you learn Sanskrit, one who knows Sanskrit? What is this nonsense? I say, "Give me a glass of water," and you do not know Sanskrit, you say, "No, it is not meant for him; it is meant for me." What is this?

Paramahaṁsa: But the professors aren't doing this. They want to read the Bhagavad-gītā, so they're accepting these Māyāvādī philosophers' interpretations. We're speaking of the professors, not of the ones writing Bhagavad-gītā interpretations.

Prabhupāda: So why Māyāvāda... Interpretation is required when you cannot understand, but when the things are understood very clearly... Just like we had been in Kurukṣetra. That place is there for millions and millions of years. And why one should interpret, "Kurukṣetra means this body"? Why should we accept this meaning? Kurukṣetra is already there. Everyone is going. And if somebody interprets, "No, Kurukṣetra means this body," so why I shall be so foolish to accept this interpretation?

Paramahaṁsa: Well, people say that they're not sure whether it's a symbolic meaning or an actual meaning.

Prabhupāda: That is your conjecture. But when you read book you should understand the wording of the book. You cannot conjecture in such...

Paramahaṁsa: Because they say some of the Vedic literatures...

Prabhupāda: That means willingly they want to become fool.

Paramahaṁsa: There are so many great symbolic literatures.

Prabhupāda: You are seeing this green. If you interpret, "It is not green; it is white," what is this? Can you interpret like that? It is green, and "No, in my interpretation it is white. What you are seeing, it is not actual seeing." You can go on saying like that. But I am an ordinary man. Why shall I take it white? It is green. That's all.

Paramahaṁsa: But that is the way of great writing, to write in symbolism. That is...

Amogha: Great literary works are done in that way.

Paramahaṁsa: They call it "writing between the lines." There's some hidden meaning. Therefore it is very deep.

Amogha: And so if Kṛṣṇa was such a great philosopher, then naturally He would have also used those literary talents to write in between the lines.

Prabhupāda: All right, you become very good bluffer. That's all. We don't accept you. All the ācāryas, they did not accept, those who are authorities. Vyāsadeva, he did not accept these foolish theories. Nārada never accepted. Recent ācāryas, Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Caitanya. Why shall I accept these third-class professors? Kick on their face. We have got authority to support this.

Gaṇeśa: I think they want to interpret Bhagavad-gītā because they do not want to surrender to Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: That is the idea. That is the real purpose. They want to kill Kṛṣṇa. That is the endeavor of Hiranyakasipu, Kamsa, that "We shall kill Kṛṣṇa." And ultimately they become killed. Their faith is like that.

Amogha: Their whole idea of Indian history, of Vedic history, is completely perverted. When we say five thousand years ago Vyāsadeva compiled this in writing, they say, "There was no civilization five thousand..." They said, "Only two thousand years ago there was some tribes, and they were not very moral," and things like this, all completely nonsense, because they misread the Bhāgavata and things like this. And then they teach some of the students these crazy ideas. Not all of them, but I talked to some who teach like this.

Prabhupāda: The more you fight with these rascals, the more you advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You are a fighting soldier. Kṛṣṇa very much appreciates. (long pause) So you take Bhagavad-gītā by your own interpretation, and I take Bhagavad-gītā as it is. So who is right? Who will decide this? You interpret in your own way. I don't interpret. I take it as it is. Now we are two parties. So who is correct?

Amogha: They say because so many others...

Prabhupāda: No, no, there are two parties. That's all. Others means one who interprets, that is one party. And there is one party who does not interpret. So who is correct?

Amogha: They say, "We are right because we are more." They say, "We are many..."

Prabhupāda: Many asses means there is an opinion? Many asses give some opinion. Is that opinion?

Śrutakīrti: They say so.

Amogha: They say we are Ph.D., and there are so many swamis and things like this.

Prabhupāda: Oh, majority.

Śrutakīrti: Democratic method.

Amogha: Majority rules.

Gaṇeśa: The result will show.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That democracy is the ruination of civilization.

Amogha: But actually many of them appreciate the actual translation because it's so much more clear. It's just that before, they didn't read it. Many of them, now they are reading it, they appreciate it very much

Prabhupāda: So we want to remain in the minority. We don't want to be ruled by the majority.

Paramahaṁsa: Actually, anybody who is serious about spiritual life can accept Bhagavad-gītā as it is, and the others take all the other spiritualists'...

Amogha: Actually, these professors aren't interested in spiritual life. They're just thinking. They just think and talk, but they're not interested in spiritual life either way. They don't follow the other commentary...

Prabhupāda: They do not know what is spiritual life.

Paramahaṁsa: They consider spiritual life as simply a department of philosophy.

Prabhupāda: Yes, psychology.

Amogha: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Spiritual life is reality they do not understand. They take it as something mental position. (long pause)

Gaṇeśa: All of these gurus are being exposed. Just like Guru Maharaji.

Paramahaṁsa: Generally people don't believe it if someone says he is God.

Prabhupāda: The first thing is: what wonderful thing he has done, that he is God? People have no common sense. We accept Kṛṣṇa as God. There are so many wonderful things done by Kṛṣṇa. Now what has he done that we accept that he is God? He has fallen in love with his secretary; any common sweeper also becomes.

Paramahaṁsa: That is his līlā.

Prabhupāda: The sweeper's līlā. (laughter) (long pause)