No one can understand Krsna as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him

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"He reveals Himself to the devotees" |"No one can understand Krsna as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him"

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 7 - 12

BG 7.3, Purport:

It is not possible for the Brahman-realized impersonalist or the Paramātmā-realized yogī to understand Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the son of mother Yaśodā or the charioteer of Arjuna. Even the great demigods are sometimes confused about Kṛṣṇa (muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ). Māṁ tu veda na kaścana: "No one knows Me as I am," the Lord says. And if one does know Him, then sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ. "Such a great soul is very rare." Therefore unless one practices devotional service to the Lord, one cannot know Kṛṣṇa as He is (tattvataḥ), even though one is a great scholar or philosopher. Only the pure devotees can know something of the inconceivable transcendental qualities in Kṛṣṇa—His being the cause of all causes, His omnipotence and opulence, and His wealth, fame, strength, beauty, knowledge and renunciation—because Kṛṣṇa is benevolently inclined to His devotees. He is the last word in Brahman realization, and the devotees alone can realize Him as He is. Therefore it is said:

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(CC Madhya 17.136)

"No one can understand Kṛṣṇa as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him." (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234)

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 7

SB 7.7.17, Translation and Purport:

Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: My dear friends, if you can place your faith in my words, simply by that faith you can also understand transcendental knowledge, just like me, although you are small children. Similarly, a woman can also understand transcendental knowledge and know what is spirit and what is matter.

These words of Prahlāda Mahārāja are very important in regard to knowledge descending by the disciplic succession. Even when Prahlāda Mahārāja was a baby within the womb of his mother, he became fully convinced of the existence of the supreme power because of hearing the powerful instructions of Nārada and understood how to attain perfection in life by bhakti-yoga. These are the most important understandings in spiritual knowledge.

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
(ŚU 6.23)

"Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of Vedic knowledge are automatically revealed." (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23)

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ

"No one can understand Kṛṣṇa as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him." (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234)

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato jñātvā
viśate tad-anantaram

"One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God." (BG 18.55)

These are Vedic instructions. One must have full faith in the words of the spiritual master and similar faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then the real knowledge of ātmā and Paramātmā and the distinction between matter and spirit will be automatically revealed. This ātma-tattva, or spiritual knowledge, will be revealed within the core of a devotee's heart because of his having taken shelter of the lotus feet of a mahājana such as Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 4.77, Purport:

The atheists cannot understand how the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing in the form of the Deity, can eat all the food offered by His devotees. In the Bhagavad-gītā (9.26) Kṛṣṇa says:

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it." The Lord is pūrṇa, complete, and therefore He eats everything offered by His devotees. However, by the touch of His transcendental hand, all the food remains exactly as before. It is the quality that is changed. Before the food was offered, it was something else, but after it is offered the food acquires a transcendental quality. Because the Lord is pūrṇa, He remains the same even after eating. Pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate (Īśo Invocation). The food offered to Kṛṣṇa is qualitatively as good as Kṛṣṇa; just as Kṛṣṇa is avyaya, indestructible, the food eaten by Kṛṣṇa, being identical with Him, remains as before.

Apart from this, Kṛṣṇa can eat the food with any one of His transcendental senses. He can eat by seeing the food or by touching it. Nor should one think that it is necessary for Kṛṣṇa to eat. He does not become hungry like an ordinary human being; nonetheless, He presents Himself as being hungry, and as such, He can eat everything and anything, regardless of quantity. The philosophy underlying Kṛṣṇa's eating is understandable by our transcendental senses. When our senses are purified by constantly being engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, we can understand Kṛṣṇa's activities, names, forms, qualities, pastimes and entourage.

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(CC Madhya 17.136)

"No one can understand Kṛṣṇa by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him." (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.234) The devotees understand Kṛṣṇa through revelation. It is not possible for a mundane scholar to understand Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes through research work on the nondevotional platform.

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 3.25.3 -- Bombay, November 3, 1974:

Varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān, viṣṇur ārādhyate... (CC Madhya 8.58). The ultimate goal is to satisfy the Lord, Supreme Lord Viṣṇu. Na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇum (SB 7.5.31). But the foolish people, they do not know. Their ultimate interest is how to satisfy Viṣṇu. Viṣṇur ārādhyate. So when there is dharmasya glāniḥ, then Lord Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa, by His incarnation or personally, He comes. Therefore it is said, yad yad vidhatte bhagavān. But because He comes to paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8), He has no anxiety. Svacchandātmā. And He does by His own internal potency. He does not take anyone's help. That is Kṛṣṇa. That is Bhagavān. Na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate. He has got so varieties of energies that everything is done very correctly and perfectly.

na tasya kāryaṁ karaṇaṁ ca vidyate
na tat-samaś cābhyadhikaś ca dṛśyate
parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate
svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca

(Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport)

Svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā. Everything is being done perfectly. So there are activities. Those who are impersonalists, they cannot understand. They cannot understand what is the Personality of Godhead. Nābhijānāti mām ebhyaḥ param avyayam. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, tribhir guṇamayair bhāvaiḥ, mohitam. Because they are covered by the influence of three kinds of material modes of nature, one cannot understand what is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yogamāyā-samāvṛtaḥ (BG 7.25). But He reveals Himself to the devotees. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ (BG 18.55).

So our business is to understand Kṛṣṇa tattvataḥ, in truth, not superficially. Then our life is successful. Janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ (BG 4.9). Not superficially. Try to understand Kṛṣṇa in truth. Therefore here it is said that tāni me śraddadhānasya kīrtanyāny anukīrtaya. Anukīrtaya. Anukīrtana means don't manufacture. Anu means following. Therefore the bhagavat-tattva, or Bhagavān, can be understood by the paramparā system. Anu. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ (BG 4.2). Rājarṣayaḥ. Formerly, the kings, they were rāja, at the same time great saintly persons, ṛṣi. They were not ordinary this king, Nawab Shah, engaged in drinking and dancing. No. They were all ṛṣis, all ṛṣis. Up to Mahārāja Parīkṣit they were trained up in such a way. Although it was monarchy, one man's control, but that man is not ordinary man. They were called nara-deva. Nara-deva means Bhagavān in the form of a human being.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Catholic Cardinal and Secretary to the Pope -- May 24, 1974, Rome:

Prabhupāda: Read the purport.

Nitāi: There are various grades of men, and out of many thousands one may be sufficiently interested in transcendental realization to try to know what is the self, what is the body, and what is the Absolute Truth. Generally mankind is simply engaged in the animal propensities, namely eating, sleeping, defending and mating, and hardly anyone is interested in transcendental knowledge. The first six chapters of the Gītā are meant for those who are interested in transcendental knowledge, in understanding the self, the Superself and the process of realization by jñāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga, and discrimination of the self from matter. However, Kṛṣṇa can only be known by persons who are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Other transcendentalists may achieve impersonal Brahman realization, for this is easier than understanding Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Person, but at the same time He is beyond the knowledge of Brahman and Paramātmā. The yogīs and jñānīs are confused in their attempts to understand Kṛṣṇa, although the greatest of the impersonalists, Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya, has admitted in his Gītā commentary that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But his followers do not accept Kṛṣṇa as such, for it is very difficult to know Kṛṣṇa, even though one has transcendental realization of impersonal Brahman.

Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the primeval Lord Govinda. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam (Bs. 5.1). It is very difficult for the nondevotees to know Him. Although nondevotees declare that the path of bhakti or devotional service is very easy, they cannot practice it. If the path of bhakti is so easy, as the nondevotee class of men proclaim, then why do they take up the difficult path? Actually the path of bhakti is not easy. The so-called path of bhakti practiced by unauthorized persons without knowledge of bhakti may be easy, but when it is practiced factually according to the rules and regulations, the speculative scholars and philosophers fall away from the path. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī writes in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu:

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-pañcarātra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate.
(Brs. 1.2.101)

"Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas, Nārada Pañcarātra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society."

It is not possible for the Brahman realized impersonalist or the Paramātmā realized yogī to understand Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the son of Mother Yaśodā or the charioteer of Arjuna. Even the great demigods are sometimes confused about Kṛṣṇa: "muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ," "māṁ tu veda na kaścana." "No one knows Me as I am," the Lord says. And if one does know Him, then "sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ." "Such a great soul is very rare." Therefore unless one practices devotional service to the Lord, he cannot know Kṛṣṇa as He is (tattvataḥ), even though one is a great scholar or philosopher. Only the pure devotees can know something of the inconceivable transcendental qualities in Kṛṣṇa, in the cause of all causes, in His omnipotence and opulence, and in His wealth, fame, strength, beauty, knowledge and renunciation, because Kṛṣṇa is benevolently inclined to His devotees. He is the last word in Brahman realization, and the devotees alone can realize Him as He is. Therefore it is said:

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyāiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(Brs. 1.2.234)

"No one can understand Kṛṣṇa as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him." (Padma Purāṇa)

Prabhupāda: So the position is, that hardly, out of many millions, one can actually understand what is God. So our field of activity is everywhere in that sense, not in this particular and that particular... Because in truth hardly very few people understands what is God.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Evening Darsana -- August 12, 1976, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: The subject matter itself is difficult. Therefore ordinary persons or a little advanced person cannot understand. And unless one is fully aware of Kṛṣṇa, one cannot become spiritual master. The subject matter itself is difficult. Therefore you don't find many spiritual masters. Go on.

Harikeśa: "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the primeval Lord Govinda.

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

It is very difficult for the nondevotees to know Him. Although nondevotees declare that the path of bhakti, or devotional service, is very easy, they cannot practice it. If the path of bhakti is so easy, as the nondevotee class of men proclaim, then why do they take up the difficult path? Actually, the path of bhakti is not easy. The so-called path of bhakti practiced by unauthorized persons without knowledge of bhakti may be easy, but when it is practiced factually, according to the rules and regulations, the speculative scholars and philosophers fall away from the path. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī writes in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu:

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-
pañcarātra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
utpātāyaiva kalpate
(Brs. 1.2.101)

'Devotional service of the Lord that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upaniṣads, Purāṇas, Nārada Pañcarātra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society.' It is not possible for the Brahman realized impersonalist or the Paramātmā realized yogi to understand Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the son of Mother Yaśodā or the charioteer of Arjuna. Even the great demigods are sometimes confused about Kṛṣṇa: muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ, māṁ tu veda na kaścana. 'No one knows Me as I am,' the Lord says. And if one does know Him, then sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ, 'Such a great soul is very rare.' Therefore unless one practices devotional service to the Lord, he cannot know Kṛṣṇa as He is (tattvataḥ), even though one is a great scholar or philosopher. Only the pure devotees can know something of the inconceivable transcendental qualities in Kṛṣṇa, in the cause of all causes, in His omnipotence and opulence, and in His wealth, fame, strength, beauty, knowledge and renunciation, because Kṛṣṇa is benevolently inclined to His devotees. He is the last word in Brahman realization, and the devotees alone can realize Him as He is. Therefore it is said:

ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi
na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ
sevonmukhe hi jihvādau
svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ
(Brs. 1.2.234)

'No one can understand Kṛṣṇa as He is by the blunt material senses. But He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him.' (Padma Purāṇa)"

Prabhupāda: (loud chanting from mosques and singing in background) These words, aja, what is the meaning of this?

Ātreya Ṛṣi: Allah, "God is great, God is great, God is great." "God is greater than can be ever described. I accept and witness that God is one and there is no other partner, or any..."

Prabhupāda: Competitor.

Ātreya Ṛṣi: "...competitor to Him. I witness that Muhammad is the prophet of God, is the..."

Prabhupāda: Representative.

Correspondence

1975 Correspondence

Letter to Hiranyagarbha -- Bombay 4 January, 1975:

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated Dec. 25th, 1974 and have noted the contents. Those young boys are living as true brahmacaris. Brahmacari's business is to study and then go to make some collection on behalf of the guru. This is very good engagement for them.

ata sri-krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah
(Padma Purāṇa) (Brs. 1.2.234)

No one can understand Krishna as He is by the blunt material senses but He reveals Himself to the devotees, being pleased with them for their transcendental loving service unto Him. So, keep everyone engaged 24 hours and everything will be all right.

Bring them all to India for Lord Caitanya's appearance day and they can also attend the opening of the Krishna-Balarama Temple in Vrndavana.

I have accept Tausteya (Joseph Fournier) as my duly initiated disciple and his name is Jagamanalobha dasa. Kirtanananda Svami can chant his beads.

I hope this meets you in good health.