"My dear king..." Śukadeva Gosvāmī is speaking to King Parīkṣit that "There are many subject matters for the persons who are materialistic." What sort of... Why they are engaged in so many topics? Ātma-tattvam apaśyatām. They do not see what is self-realization. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvam (SB 2.1.2). Apaśyatām... Generally, we do not know, we cannot see what is ātmā in these material eyes. Therefore the material scientists, they say that there is no soul, because they cannot see. With their instruments or with their knowledge it is not possible. Apaśyatām. They do not see it. Therefore we cannot believe our eyes. These eyes are not fit to see anything. It is under certain condition it gives us some impression. Otherwise... Therefore my Guru Mahārāja used to say that saintly persons should be seen not through the eyes, but through the ears. There are different processes of seeing. Don't believe that eyes are sufficient to see everything. No.
My Guru Maharaja used to say that saintly persons should be seen not through the eyes, but through the ears
Śāstra-cakṣuṣāt. This is Vedic knowledge, that "Don't be simply after your, these defective eyes." What is the value of these eyes? There are so many things. Just like this morning we were discussing: you take photograph from the sea. What you will see? But there are many millions of fishes within the sea. What you will take, photograph? They say that "We have taken photograph on the moon planet. There is no life." What is the value of this photograph? Can you take photograph in the water, how many fishes are there? So what is the value of your photograph? This is the difficulty, that these rascals, they do not accept that they are defective. That is the difficulty. With their defective senses they are thinking, "We are perfect. Because we have got a photograph, telescope, therefore it is sufficient." It is made by you. You are defective, and whatever you make, that is defective. This is the conclusion. This is right conclusion. If blind man, if he creates some telescope or..., can he see? You are blind. What you can see? But they are taking evidence: "We have seen with photograph, with telescope."
So these questions were never raised. We are now raising these questions. And they were passing on. No. This is not the process. The process is śāstra-cakṣuṣāt, śabda-pramāṇam. That is the Vedic injunction, śabda-pramāṇam. Just like you are sleeping, and somebody is coming to kill you with knife. So how you can take precaution? You are sleeping. But some of your friend or relative: "Get up! Get up! Get up! There is enemy! There is enemy!" Immediately you wake up. That means you see with the ear, not with the eyes. The real seeing is through the eyes, er, through the ears. Suppose one does not know who is your..., who is his father. So how he can see the father? Through the ear, not with the eyes. That is not possible. The mother says, "My dear child, here is your father," and you see through the eyes: "Here is my father." So therefore real eyes—the ear, not these eyes. Real eyes. That is real seeing. Therefore śāstra says, Vedic knowledge, that śāstra-cakṣuṣāt, paśyati jñāna-cakṣuṣāt: "One can see by the eyes of knowledge," not by these blunt eyes. This is useless. They cannot see. And how you can see through the śabda? Śāstra means śabda. Through the ear... My Guru Mahārāja used to say, "Don't try to see a saintly person by your eyes. You see a saintly person by the ear." Because if you hear from the saintly person and if he is speaking from the experience which he has heard from the, another saintly person—this is called guru-paramparā—then the knowledge is perfect.
So these are the statements in the śāstra about bhāgavata-dharma. Not that we accept Kṛṣṇa blindly as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is a science. Bhāgavata-tattva vijñānam. But this vijñāna, this scientific knowledge, is understandable not by your imperfect speculation. You have to accept the proper method of understanding. That method is called bhakti. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti (BG 18.55). You cannot understand Kṛṣṇa simply by speculation. That is not possible. You cannot understand Kṛṣṇa simply by meditation. That is also not possible. If you actually seriously want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then you have to take the process of bhakti. Jñāna-vairāgya yuktayā (SB 1.2.12). Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. There is a statement, the Absolute Truth can be understood by bhakti, and that bhakti received through the aural reception of your ear. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that if you want to know a saintly person, you try to understand him by your ear, not by the eyes. You cannot understand a saintly person by staring your eyes, "Let me see what kind of..." No. That is not possible. Therefore śāstra says, bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. You have to understand the Absolute Truth by devotion. At the same time, śruta-gṛhītayā. Śruta means taking information by hearing from the śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭhaṁ guru (MU 1.2.12), by hearing from the right source and with bhakti. Bhaktyā śruta-gṛhītayā. This is the process.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Indian man (1): We are still attached to material side.
Prabhupāda: Whatever it may be, but we are denying. Is it not? When... Suppose a big man. You do not know what he is. But if the man says, "You want to know me? All right, I shall disclose all my secrets to you. Try to understand." So why don't you..., do not take it? If you want to know the person, and the person is explaining himself, why don't you take it? Why theorize that "God is like this. God is like this"? What is the meaning? When the person has come to explain about himself... Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu: (BG 7.1) "Hear." Hearing is the process of knowledge. Therefore our Vedas are called śruti. The knowledge has to be acquired through ear. My Guru Mahārāja used to say that "Don't try to see a sādhu by your eyes. You try to see a sādhu by ears." Karṇe sādhu dekhi. (Hindi) Tāvac ca śobhate mūrkhaḥ yāvat kiñcin na bhāṣate. (Hindi) For real perfect knowledge, one has to hear. Śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum eva abhigacchet, śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham (MU 1.2.12). Śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. That is guru. One who has heard perfectly from the authority, he is guru. Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam (SB 11.3.21). And who is guru? Śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam. Everything direction is there.