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Religious men

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

SB 1.10.1, Translation:

Śaunaka Muni asked: After killing his enemies who desired to usurp his rightful inheritance, how did the greatest of all religious men, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, assisted by his brothers, rule his subjects? Surely he could not freely enjoy his kingdom with unrestricted consciousness.

SB Canto 2

SB 2.2.31, Purport:

Attainment of love of Godhead means complete freedom from all other attractions. The conditioned soul has many aspirations such as becoming a religious man, a rich man, or a first-class enjoyer or becoming God himself, or becoming powerful like the mystics and acting wonderfully by getting anything or doing anything, but all these aspirations should be rejected by the prospective devotee who actually wants to revive his dormant love of God. The impure devotee aspires after all of the abovementioned material things by perfection of devotion. But a pure devotee has none of the tinges of the above contaminations, which are the influence of material desires, impersonal speculations and attainment of mystic powers. One can attain the stage of love of God by pure devotional service, or by "a learned labor of love," for the sake of the devotee's lovable object, the Personality of Godhead.

SB Canto 3

SB 3.31.32, Purport:

Generally, people are concerned with the satisfaction of the tongue and the satisfaction of the genitals. That is material life. Material life means eat, drink, be merry and enjoy, with no concern for understanding one's spiritual identity and the process of spiritual advancement. Since materialistic people are concerned with the tongue, belly and genitals, if anyone wants to advance in spiritual life he must be very careful about associating with such people. To associate with such materialistic men is to commit purposeful suicide in the human form of life. It is said, therefore, that an intelligent man should give up such undesirable association and should always mix with saintly persons. When he is in association with saintly persons, all his doubts about the spiritual expansion of life are eradicated, and he makes tangible progress on the path of spiritual understanding. It is also sometimes found that people are very much addicted to a particular type of religious faith. Hindus, Muslims and Christians are faithful in their particular type of religion, and they go to the church, temple or mosque, but unfortunately they cannot give up the association of persons who are too much addicted to sex life and satisfaction of the palate. Here it is clearly said that one may officially be a very religious man, but if he associates with such persons, then he is sure to slide down to the darkest region of hell.

SB 3.32.2, Purport:

A materialistic person has manifold demands, and thus there are manifold demigods to satisfy his senses. The gṛhamedhīs, who want to continue a prosperous materialistic way of life, generally worship the demigods or the forefathers by offering piṇḍa, or respectful oblations. Such persons are bereft of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and are not interested in devotional service to the Lord. This kind of so-called pious and religious man is the result of impersonalism. The impersonalists maintain that the Supreme Absolute Truth has no form and that one can imagine any form he likes for his benefit and worship in that way. Therefore the gṛhamedhīs or materialistic men say that they can worship any form of a demigod as worship of the Supreme Lord. Especially amongst the Hindus, those who are meat-eaters prefer to worship goddess Kālī because it is prescribed that one can sacrifice a goat before that goddess. They maintain that whether one worships the goddess Kālī or the Supreme Personality of Godhead Viṣṇu or any demigod, the destination is the same. This is first-class rascaldom, and such people are misled.

SB Canto 4

SB 4.19.14, Translation:

King Indra was fraudulently dressed as a sannyāsī, having knotted his hair on his head and smeared ashes all over his body. Upon seeing such dress, the son of King Pṛthu considered Indra a religious man and pious sannyāsī. Therefore he did not release his arrows.

SB Canto 6

SB 6.2.2, Purport:

In human society, properly maintaining religious principles is the duty of the king's court or the government. Unfortunately, in this yuga, Kali-yuga, the religious principles are tampered with, and the government cannot properly judge who is to be punished and who is not. It is said that in the Kali-yuga if one cannot spend money in court, one cannot get justice. Indeed, in courts of justice it is often found that magistrates are bribed for favorable judgments. Sometimes religious men who preach the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for the benefit of the entire populace are arrested and harassed by the police and courts. The Viṣṇudūtas, who are Vaiṣṇavas, lamented for these very regrettable facts. Because of their spiritual compassion for all the fallen souls, Vaiṣṇavas go out to preach according to the standard method of all religious principles, but unfortunately, because of the influence of Kali-yuga, Vaiṣṇavas who have dedicated their lives to preaching the glories of the Lord are sometimes harassed and punished by courts on false charges of disturbing the peace.

SB 6.10.9, Purport:

One cannot continue killing animals and at the same time be a religious man. That is the greatest hypocrisy. Jesus Christ said, "Do not kill," but hypocrites nevertheless maintain thousands of slaughterhouses while posing as Christians. Such hypocrisy is condemned in this verse. One should be happy to see others happy, and one should be unhappy to see others unhappy. This is the principle to be followed. Unfortunately, at the present moment so-called philanthropists and humanitarians advocate the happiness of humanity at the cost of the lives of poor animals. That is not recommended herein. This verse clearly says that one should be compassionate to all living entities. Regardless of whether human, animal, tree or plant, all living entities are sons of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

CC Madhya 24.272, Purport:

In this verse the word sādhu-varya means "the best of gentlemen." At the present moment there are many so-called gentlemen who are expert in killing animals and birds. Nonetheless, these so-called gentlemen profess a type of religion that strictly prohibits killing. According to Nārada Muni and Vedic culture, animal-killers are not even gentlemen, to say nothing of being religious men. A religious person, a devotee of the Lord, must be nonviolent. Such is the nature of a religious person. It is contradictory to be violent and at the same time call oneself a religious person. Such hypocrisy is not approved by Nārada Muni and the disciplic succession.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter Prologue:

From this time, that is, from his 31 st year, Mahāprabhu continually lived in Purī in the house of Kāśi Miśra until his disappearance in his forty-eighth year at the time of saṅkīrtana in the temple of Ṭoṭā-gopīnātha. During these 18 years, his life was one of settled love and piety. He was surrounded by numerous followers, all of whom were of the highest order of Vaiṣṇavas and who were distinguished from the common people by their purest character and learning, firm religious principles and spiritual love of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Svarūpa Dāmodara, who had been known by the name of Puruṣottamācārya while Mahāprabhu was in Nadia, joined him from Benares and accepted service as his secretary. No production of any poet or philosopher could be laid before Mahāprabhu unless Svarūpa had passed it as pure and useful. Rāya Rāmānanda was his second mate. Both he and Svarūpa would sing while Mahāprabhu expressed his sentiments on a certain point of worship. Paramānanda Purī was his minister in matters of religion. There are hundreds of anecdotes described by his biographers which we do not think it meet here to reproduce. Mahāprabhu slept short. His sentiments carried him far and wide in the firmament of spirituality every day and night, and all his admirers and followers watched him throughout. He worshiped, communicated with his missionaries at Vṛndāvana, and conversed with those religious men who newly came to visit him. He sang and danced, took no care of himself and oft-times lost himself in religious beatitude. All who came to him believed in him as the all-beautiful God appearing in the nether world for the benefit of mankind. He loved his mother all along and sent her mahāprasāda now and then with those who went to Nadia. He was most amiable in nature. Humility was personified in him.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 1:

"O great sage, out of many millions of liberated persons and persons who have achieved success in mystic yoga, one who is completely devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who is filled with peace is very hard to find." (SB 6.14.5)

In this way Lord Caitanya explained that of the many thousands and millions of living entities wandering in the material world, one who by the grace of Lord Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master gets the seed of devotional service is very rare and fortunate. A pious or religious man is generally inclined to worship deities in various temples, but if by chance, even without his knowledge, he offers his obeisances to Lord Viṣṇu or receives the favor of a Vaiṣṇava, a devotee of the Lord, he at that time acquires the asset necessary to approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is clearly understood from the life story of the great sage Nārada, which is related in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. By serving Vaiṣṇavas in his previous life, Nārada was favored by the devotees of the Lord and became a great sage. Indeed, amongst sages Nārada Muni is considered to be the greatest.

Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 14:

Lord Caitanya thus explained briefly the transcendental situation and spiritual enjoyment of life, and He taught that the first stage of perfection is to become a religious man in the ordinary sense, as known in the material world. The second stage of perfection is to become materially rich. The third stage of material perfection is the attainment of complete sense enjoyment, and in the fourth stage there is knowledge of liberation. Above this platform are those on the fifth stage who are already liberated and who are established in Kṛṣṇa consciousness or devotional service to the Lord. In the highest perfection of devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one experiences the taste of the ecstasy of spiritual relish.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Lecture on BG 1.21-22 -- London, July 18, 1973:

It is not so easy thing that "I do everything, whatever I like." Some rascals preach that "Oh, religion has nothing to do with your eating. You can eat anything you like, and still you become a religious man." This is all nonsense. Nobody can become religious man if he is attracted by sinful activities. It is not possible. You must stop sinful activities. That is first condition. Otherwise you cannot understand what there... People... Perhaps, in this Kṛṣṇa conscious, except this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, all rascals, they do not know what is God. They have no clear conception of God. Because they are sinful. We can give the name, address and everything of God, clear conception, not vague idea, "God may be like this, God may be like that." Why maybe? He is God.

Lecture on BG 3.21-25 -- New York, May 30, 1966:

It has been described in the Bhāgavata that tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ. If you want to establish religious truth, you cannot establish it by your logic and argument. It is not possible because I may be a very perfect religious man, but I may not be a very good arguer; another strong man who can argue very strongly, who knows logic very nicely, he can defeat me. He can make my all conclusion null and void. So therefore, simply by argument or logical conclusion one cannot reach to the truth, to the religious truth. It is not possible. Tarko 'pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnāḥ. Śrutayaḥ means revealed scriptures. Revealed scriptures. Just like in the world there are many revealed scriptures. There are Vedas, Purāṇas, the Bible, the Koran, and there are so many religious scriptures also. And if you go on reading them, although the aim is one, still, you will find some discrepancy from one to another. Śrutayo vibhinnāḥ. Vibhinnāḥ means they are diverse. They are diverse. Śrutayo vibhinnā nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam. And so far philosophers are concerned, one philosopher tries to defeat another philosopher. That is the philosophical way. So nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam, dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyām. Therefore this truth of religion is very confidential. Nihitaṁ guhāyām. Guhāyām means it is very confidential.

Lecture on BG 9.29-32 -- New York, December 20, 1966:

So now, somebody may say that "If a devotee is engaged in the service of the Lord, that's all right, but if his behavior is not up to the standard, then what happens to him?" Of course, a devotee is naturally developed, developing the twenty-six good qualities, but even if he does not develop those qualities... Of course, that very quality, that he is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, that is sufficient. But still, if somebody is not up to the point, but he is unflinching, not moving, he is perfect devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then Lord Kṛṣṇa says, api cet su-durācāraḥ. Api cet su-durācāraḥ. Durācāraḥ means his conduct is not good, and su-durācāraḥ means still further. So api cet su-durācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk. Ananya-bhāk means "Without deviating his attention to any other demigod or any other business, if one is simply cent percent engaged in My service, but his character is, general activities are not so to the point, still," the Lord says, sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). Sādhu means a pious man or a religious man. Sādhu means the honest man and all good qualities. Still, although he is found that he is not to the standard, but his only qualification is that he is acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness sincerely...

Lecture on BG 9.29-32 -- New York, December 20, 1966:

Suppose I have got some bad character from the beginning of my life, but I have understood that "Kṛṣṇa consciousness is very nice. I shall take to it." So I am trying, trying my best. But at the same time, because I am habituated to something, I cannot give it up. Although I know that this, my habit, is not good, but still, habit is the second nature. I cannot give it up. So Lord Kṛṣṇa recommends that "Still, he is good. There is no question that he is not a sādhu or he is not an honest, he is not religious man. That simple one qualification, that he is Kṛṣṇa conscious, and he is acting sincerely, but failing sometime, but still, he is to be taken as sādhu." Sādhu means honest, religious, pious. Sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ (BG 9.30). And one may say that "Yes, because he is devotee of God, devotee of Kṛṣṇa, we may call him sādhu, but not cent percent." But Kṛṣṇa says, "No, cent percent sādhu. In spite of his bad character, he is cent percent sādhu."

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.5.1-8 -- New Vrindaban, May 23, 1969:

In comparison to such person, those who go to the temple or church, ask something from God, they are better. Because they are accepting. They have at least come to God. Now, gradually, they will be purified, and at a time they will say, svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce (CC Madhya 22.42), "No. No more. I have no demand." What demand? If one gets Kṛṣṇa, then what is the question of demand? He gets everything. Everything. There is no question of demand. So that stage is perfect. So, (reads commentary) Anudita-prāyam anukta-prāyaṁ vimalaṁ bhagavad-yaśo vinā yenaiva dharmādi jñānenāsau bhagavān na tuṣyati(?) Śrīdhara Svāmī gives note that if you become a rigid religious person, that does not mean (chuckling) God will be satisfied with you. That is preliminary stage. Dharmārtha-kāma-mokṣa (SB 4.8.41). If one religious man... But that is not the qualification. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu, when He was talking with Rāmānanda Rāya, He, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, inquired what is the aim of life and what is the procedure of achieving that aim. He prescribed this varṇāśrama-dharma. Because that is the beginning of actual human life, accepting four varṇas and four āśramas. Caitanya Mahāprabhu immediately rejected, eho bāhya āge kaha āra. These are not very important things. Just see. The whole Vedic civilization is resting on the varṇāśrama-dharma.

Lecture on SB 1.5.8-9 -- New Vrindaban, May 24, 1969:

Just like Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī is teaching us: dante nidhāya tṛṇakam. In India there is a system to become humble. If you take one blade of grass in your, between your lips and approach somebody, it is to be understood that you are approaching with great humbleness. Therefore he said, dante nidhāya tṛṇakam. Tṛṇakam means blade of grass. Dante means teeth. Padayor nipatya: "And falling down on your feet." Kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā: "And flattering you hundred times, 'My dear sir, you are so great. You are so big. You are so learned. You are so rich. You are so beautiful,' and everything," although he may be not. So dante nidhāya tṛṇakaṁ padayor nipatya kāku-śataṁ kṛtvā ca. Śatam. Śatam means "Hundred times flattering, I have come to you to say something." "Why you are so humble? What is the... What do you want to talk? " "No, I am..." He sādhavaḥ. "You are very religious man. You are very upright man, sādhavaḥ. Very honest man, saintly man. Yes. But I request you that whatever you learned, please forget. That is my request." [

Lecture on SB 1.10.4 -- Mayapura, June 19, 1973:
Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir a... (SB 1.2.6). It doesn't matter whether you are Christian or Muhammadan or Hindu; we want to see whether you are lover of God, you are a devotee of God, you can sacrifice everything for God. Then you are religious. Otherwise, I..., there is no question of religion. So Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja was that type of religious man, dharmeṇa. And as soon as you become, then ajitāśraya. Your shelter becomes under the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. It is not story. Kṛṣṇa says, ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ (BG 18.66). It is not story. Kṛṣṇa says, confirms: "You just become My devotee, and I'll give you all protection." Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati (BG 9.31). So many assurances. "Immediately I give you protection." Ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo mo... If I am released from all reaction of my sinful activities, then where is my difficulty? Difficulty's there so mo..., so long one is sinful. We suffer the reaction of sinful activities. But if there is no sin, I become purified, then where is suffering? There is no question of suffering.
Lecture on SB 6.2.24-25 -- Gorakhpur, February 13, 1971:

You know the Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's life? A similar rasa-līlā was going on. You know that story? Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was magistrate, and one person in Orissa, he declared himself that "I am Viṣṇu," and in the village he was enticing young women and girls to dance at night. And some of them protested, and they lodged complaint to the government that "This person is doing like that." And the government commissioner, he knew that Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Kedāranātha Datta was a very elevated, religious man, and he was magistrate. So the commissioner entrusted the inquiry to Kedāranātha Datta at that time. So Kedāranātha Datta, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, took the matter and went to inquire at that, in the village of Orissa, with some constables in plain dress. So when he went there... He had some yogic power, so immediately he could say, "Oh, your name is Kedarnatha Datta. I know you are very good man, but don't be after me. You will not be happy. And I shall elevate you to become the king of this country. Don't be after me." Now, if anyone... He was Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, a strong devotee. If any other person would have been addressed like that, he would be immediately puzzled: "How this man is talking about me, that I am Kedāranātha Datta, I am magistrate and...?" So he would not do anything. But Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was so strong, he said, "Yes. Thank you very much, that I shall become king. So why don't you go to Jagannātha Purī and stay there? That is a nice pilgrimage, and you can stay there. Many holy men go there.

Festival Lectures

Ratha-yatra -- New York, July 18, 1976:

In India there is still that place, Kurukṣetra, and religious men go there especially on the occasion of solar eclipse. So recently there was solar eclipse. Still, many millions of Indian population gathered there. Those who have gone to India might have seen this holy place, Kurukṣetra. There is a railway station also of the name Kurukṣetra, and it is a vast field. The Battle of Kurukṣetra took place also during Lord Kṛṣṇa's time, and the Bhagavad-gītā is the product in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. So this ceremony..., Kṛṣṇa, with His elder brother Balarāma and His younger sister Subhadrā, visited in this chariot at Kurukṣetra, and we are observing this festival. Formerly one king of the name Indradyumna, he started the temple of Jagannātha in Orissa at Purī. Perhaps some of you who have gone there, they know there is a very, very old temple, according to modern calculation, not less than two thousand years old. There is the Jagannātha Deity. The King was very much anxious to establish a temple of Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Subhadrā, but there was a contract between the sculptor and the King that the sculptor would go on working in closed door and the King should not disturb him. But when many days passed the King felt, "What this worker is doing?" So he forcefully opened the door, and he saw that the sculptor could not finish the Deity. So this form of Jagannātha, Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Subhadrā, was unfinished. They were going under construction, carving, but the King forcibly opened the door. Therefore the King said, "I shall worship this unfinished Deity. Never mind." So this Jagannātha you see in this form because King Indradyumna wanted to worship Him in that form.

His Divine Grace Srila Sac-cid-ananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Appearance Day, Lecture -- London, September 3, 1971:

Just like you'll find nowadays also, there are so many rascals declaring that "I am incarnation of God." And they know some mystic power, play some jugglery, and foolish people take them: "Oh, he's God." So there appeared one like such pseudo God, Viṣṇu, in a village of Orissa. And he was dancing rāsa dance, and foolish people were sending their daughters and wife to dance with him. You see? There were so many. Not only that. People are so foolish, they do not know... They want to be cheated, and these cheaters come. He declared that "I am God. I am Viṣṇu." So there were sane men also. They took objection, "What is this nonsense? This man is dancing with ladies and gentlemen, er, girls." So they filed a complaint. At that time it was British rule. They complained to the governor or the commissioner, very high officer. The commissioner knew that Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura... His name was Kedāranātha Datta. Datta. Kedāranātha Datta, his household name. So the commissioner of the division, he knew that Kedāranātha Datta is a religious man, and he's magistrate in charge. So he handed over the case for inquiry, "What is this complaint? You please inquire and do the needful." So he was a pure devotee, and he understood that "This rascal is a bogus man, cheating people. I must inquire." So he went to the village in plain dress with some constables, police constables. They were also in plain dress. And as soon as he approached that rascal yogi, he said, "Oh, you are Kedāranātha Datta. So, very nice. You are... I shall make you king of India. Please don't try to bother me." Because he could know that "He has come to inquire about my rāsa-līlā." So Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura first of all said, "Sir, you are such a great yogi. Why you are in the village? Why don't you go to Jagannātha Purī? There is temple and Lord Jagannātha is there. Better you go there and see the Lord and be happy.

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Disappearance Day, Lecture -- Hyderabad, December 10, 1976:

So anyway, from 1922 to 1933 practically I was not initiated, but I got the impression of preaching Caitanya Mahāprabhu's cult. That I was thinking. And that was the initiation by my Guru Mahārāja. Then officially I was initiated in 1933 because in 1923 I left Calcutta. I started my business at Allahabad. So I was always thinking of my Guru Mahārāja, that "I met a very nice sādhu." Although I was doing business, I never forgot him. Then, in 1928, these Gauḍīya Maṭha people came to Allahabad during Kumbhamelā. As the Kumbhamelā is going to be held this year, a similar big Kumbhamelā was held in 1928. In those days they came to open their branch in Allahabad, and somebody recommended that "You go to..." At that time I was running on my big pharmacy and I was very well known man in Allahabad as the proprietor of the pharmacy. So somebody recommended them that "You go to Abhaya Babu. He is a very religious man. He'll help you." So when they entered my shop I was very much pleased that "These men I met in 1922, and now they have come." In this way I became reconnected. And in 1933 I was officially initiated, and my only qualification was when I was introduced to my Guru Mahārāja for initiation, so Guru Mahārāja immediately said, "Yes, I shall initiate this boy. He is very nice. He hears me very patiently. He does not go away." So that was my qualification. The high standard of philosophy which he was speaking at that time, practically I could not follow what was, he was speaking, but still, I liked to hear him. That was my hobby. Whenever... I was asking that "When Guru Mahārāja will speak?" So he took it very seriously.

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada's Appearance Day, Lecture -- Los Angeles, February 7, 1969:

Then, in 1928, there was a big fair which is called Kumbhamelā. At that time I was doing business in Allahabad. My business was very flourishing. It was well-known drug shop. So the persons who went to organize our Gauḍīya Maṭha's camp in that fair, somebody has told that "Here is a Bengali gentleman's business. You can go, and he is very religious man. He will help." So all the disciples of Guru Mahārāja, they approached my shop, my store, drug store. And because I was thinking of them, so I thought, "Oh, here is the men." You see? You see? I was very glad—"So they have come again"—because I was separated from them in 1923, and again I saw them in 1928 after five years, and I was thinking of Guru Mahārāja simply in this way, "Oh, I met a very nice saintly person. Very nice saintly person. If I can see him again?" Like that. So in this way, with my help, the Allahabad center of Gauḍīya Maṭha was established. Then I was initiated in 1933. In 1933. And in 1936 I was, at that time, in Bombay, and Guru Mahārāja was very much indisposed, and he was at Purī, Jagannātha Purī. We have got our temple there. Guru Mahārāja established sixty-four temples, small and big. Just like I am increasing, he increased. So most of the temples were in Bengal.

General Lectures

Lecture at Christian Monastery -- Melbourne, April 6, 1972:

Well, God consciousness does not prohibit war, but it must be for the right cause. Just like in Bhagavad-gītā we see that the instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā was given to Arjuna in the battlefield. And in the beginning Arjuna did not like to fight. He was a good, good man, religious man, devotee. Naturally, he was not inclined to fight with his relatives, kinsmen. He said, "Kṛṣṇa, the opposite side, they are all my brothers and nephews and fathers and grandfathers. So there is no use of fighting like this, to kill them and take the... Let... Let them enjoy." That was his conclusion. But Kṛṣṇa induced them, induced Arjuna, "No. This is the right cause. You must fight." So similarly, war is not always bad. Nothing is bad, nothing is good, unless it is used for God. That's it. Our philosophy is everything is good. God is all-good. So if He advises to fight, that is also good. But we shall depend on the discretion of God. If God wants us to fight, then we shall fight. If God wants us to stop fight, then we shall not fight. Because we are surrendered to God, so whatever God orders, we have to do. That's all. We don't say, "This is good; this is bad." Whatever God says, that is good. What God does not say, prohibit, that is bad. This is our conclusion.

Philosophy Discussions

Philosophy Discussion on William James:

Prabhupāda: So one may not feel like that, that means that God does not exist? Suppose one man does not feel very good talking about God. That means God is null and void?

Śyāmasundara: According to James's philosophy...

Prabhupāda: That means he is an atheist. He's a godless.

Śyāmasundara: He considers himself to be a religious man.

Prabhupāda: Considers... He has no idea of God. What kind of a religious man he is? We say he is a nonsense.

Śyāmasundara: In other words, truth is relative, according to him.

Philosophy Discussion on Carl Gustav Jung:

Prabhupāda: It is because it is simply dogmatic. The preachers of the religion, they have no idea, clear idea, but officially they speak something. Neither he understands, neither he can make others to understand. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not such big thing. It is clear in every respect. Therefore this is the expected movement as Mr. Jung wanted. So every sane man should cooperate with this movement and liberate the human society from the gross darkness of ignorance.

Hayagrīva: He characterizes the true religious man as one who is accustomed to the thought of not being sole master of his own house. He believes that God, and not he himself, decides in the end.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Naturally that is the position. What we can decide? That there is already controller over me, so how I can be Absolute? No. Therefore everyone should depend on the supreme controller. That is called, technical language, it is called śaraṇāgati, full surrender. Full surrender. That is called śaraṇāgati.

Philosophy Discussion on Karl Marx:

Prabhupāda: But practically we see that the Communist are also equally failure, even without God. Now these Chinese and Russians, they are not in agreement. So same thing—that those who believed in God and those who did not believe in God the difference existed. And now amongst the Communist there are coming out so many section. So the difference of opinion is still there even denying God, without God. So that is not improvement. The real purpose is to understand what is really God is. That is required both by the Communist or the capitalist. Denying God and acting independently, that has not brought any peaceful condition of the human society.

Hayagrīva: He felt, like Comte, that the proletariat, the worker, would eventually eliminate religion, and he wrote, "The political emancipation of the Jew, the Christian, the religious man in general is the emancipation of the state from Judaism, from Christianity, and from religion generally." So that the worker would become the savior of mankind in emancipating or freeing man from a religion that worshiped a supernatural being.

Prabhupāda: So that has not actually happened. Marx is dead and gone. The Communist theory is already there, but they are not in agreement. The Russians are not in agreement with the Chinese men. Why it has happened? The God is not there; the working class is there. Then why there is dissension and disagreement?

Conversations and Morning Walks

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- January 17, 1971, Allahabad:

Haṁsadūta: "One Nārāyaṇa is being absorbed by another."

Prabhupāda: One respectable pleader in Allahabad, I said, "Why you are eating this?" We also find that he's a very religious man. So I inquired. He was just like our father; still, I inquired. He said, "No, what is the wrong there? Nārāyaṇa, Brahman. So one Brahman is going into the belly of another Brahman, Brahman being absorbed, brahmeti." So they have got so dangerous theory. But still, we shall not hesitate to kick on their face but because they are making a propaganda, it should be peaceful. But I become very much agitated with this nonsense because I know they are creating havoc. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Come on. (door closes) So many rascals. Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa...

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation and Interview with Ian Polsen -- July 31, 1972, London:

Prabhupāda: Hm. Comparative religion, from our point of view, that there cannot be many religions, cannot be many religions. Religion means... We define religion as the law given by God. So we understand from Bhagavad-gītā that God says, Kṛṣṇa says, man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ, mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru: "Always think of Me, become My devotee, offer your obeisances unto Me." So any religion that has no conception of God, how he can think of God? If I think of something, that something must be known to me; otherwise how can I think of it? If I imagine something, that is not wanted. My imagination of God... God is not a thing to be imagined by me. He is a concrete thing. Therefore according to our philosophy, any so-called religion which has no conception of God, that is not religion. That is simply mental speculation. We accept that religion means the law given by God. But if you do not know what is God, what is His law, then where is religion? Therefore in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that all types of pseudo religion is rejected. You can ask any religious man, "What is your conception of God?" he cannot give any clear conception. So far we are concerned, we can immediately give conception of God—His name, His address, everything. That is the difference. Strictly speaking, we do not accept any system of religion as bona fide. They are all rejected. That is not religion. They do not know what is God. What is that religion? Strictly speaking, that is not religion. But if we speak publicly, they will be angry. So this comparative study of religion, we don't believe in it, because there is no religion.

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Krishna Tiwari -- May 22, 1973, New York:

Prabhupāda: That is real scientist.

Krishna Tiwari: But the question is, on the left hand... Of course, in my opinion, and I think in the opinion of many scientists, there is no difference between a scientist or a common man or a religious man. Both..., all these people are trying to find out about their environment. So are the religious men. They want to find out more about themselves, about the nature they live in. They want to know more about it. They want to find out why they're here, how are they to live in this world, and so I do not think there is any difference between the two.

Prabhupāda: No, there cannot be difference.

Room Conversation with Father Tanner and other guests -- July 11, 1973, London:

Father Tanner: But do you specifically have a precept against telling a lie, or against hypocrisy?

Prabhupāda: Well, hypocrisy and other things, they are subsidiary. If one is pure from the very beginning, then there is no chance of becoming hypocrite. Why he should be hypocrite? If he is open, clear, why one should become hypocrite? Hypocrisy, when there is sinful activity, then hypocrisy. If there is no sin, where is the possibility of hypocrisy? A sinful man may pose himself a religious man. That is hypocrisy. But if there is no sin, then where is hypocrisy?

Father Tanner: What I didn't understand is how this is covered by your four pillars, the four...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Father Tanner: Which of these would cover lying?

Prabhupāda: Lying?

Father Tanner: Yes, telling lies.

Prabhupāda: That I have already explained.

Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest -- July 25, 1973, London:

Mother: Well, a lot of people now are going over to health foods.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Mother: This is thought of by a lot of people.

Prabhupāda: Well, lot of people may do anything.

Mother: I agree with you. Yes...

Prabhupāda: But a reasonable man, a religious man, he should have discrimination, that "If I get my foodstuff from here, why shall I kill a big animal?"

Mother: Well, it's not... I always think it's not for me to condemn people, whatever they do. All I ask for in life is... I'm not condemning you, but uh...

Prabhupāda: No, we are thinking in that way. It is all right that we have to eat some living entity, but a difference... If we can get... Besides that, when you get the grains, it is not actually killing. When you get the fruits, I am getting these fruits from the tree. It is not killing. The fruits are there. I take it. It falls down. I take it. The grains also. It is not killing.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- January 3, 1974, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: The three figures and one is in a suit, one... They all have tilaka, neck beads and bead bag...

Prabhupāda: Religious man may be in saffron color, a sannyāsī, a tridaṇḍī sannyāsī. Our Gurukṛpā Mahārāja? Where is he?

Karandhara: Gurukṛpā Mahārāja.

Prabhupāda: Eh? Here are religious men.

Nara-nārāyaṇa: Oh! (laughter) Jaya!

Prajāpati: How will we distinguish between the other two men? They'll both be in suits.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Karandhara: Well, the one man, the president, will be behind the presidential podium, presidential seal. In the front. And the other man would be a high-court judge with...

Prabhupāda: Yes, yes.

Morning Walk -- April 22, 1974, Hyderabad:

Prabhupāda: They must. That is your inference.

Pañcadraviḍa: What else...? In the middle of desert...? Babylon, Israel is all desert country. What will they do with sheep? They are not making wool coats.

Prabhupāda: Then why he has said, "Thou shalt not kill"? Then hypocrisy. Then you reject Jesus complete. He is a hypocrite. Yes. That is the conclusion. How can you follow hypocrite? Huh? Is that all right? If Jesus Christ himself killed animals and he said, "Thou shalt not kill," then he is a hypocrite. Then he cannot preach. He is a hypocrite. You are bringing Christ for condemnation. But how a hypocrite can be the head or can be the religious man or can be...

Akṣayānanda: It is not that we are saying he is a hypocrite.

Prabhupāda: He is proving.

Room Conversation with Pater Emmanuel (A Benedictine Monk) -- June 22, 1974, Germany:

Pater Emmanuel: And Kṛṣṇa cannot give the same permission for the animals?

Prabhupāda: Yes, the animal kingdom in the nature's way... Just like the grass is the food of the cow, and the cow is the food for man, but not for civilized man, religious man. The crude man. (German) (break) The perfect human being is described: śamo damas titikṣā ārjavam. Find out. (break) ...killing of animals and child, Christ's name. Then it will be perfect. I have not come to teach you, but to request you that your Christian religion prohibit this and encourages chanting of name of the Lord. So you kindly do it, that's all. (German)

Pater Emmanuel: Thank you.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Conversation with Devotees on Theology -- April 1, 1975, Mayapur:

Prabhupāda: Is it possible for a man or for anyone that he can, he should be according to the life of his different friends or servants or sons? That is theology. Next time, when I go to your country, why not hold a meeting of all the theologicians to discuss publicly what should be the nature of God? What do they describe, the nature of God?

Prajāpati: They describe the nature of God simply in terms of how religious men have understood themselves. They talk about, "God is simply men understanding men."

Prabhupāda: That means nobody has approached real God.

Prajāpati: No.

Acyutānanda: No one.

Prabhupāda: That is speculation. If you want to study me, so you can do so either by approaching me or through one of my confidential servant. How one can understand me from outside by speculating? Why do they come to see me? Let them remain far away and speculate. But that is not possible in ordinary common sense also. So how they speculate about God? If you cannot understand even a common man, maybe very big in the society, you cannot understand a common man by hearsay, by speculation.

Morning Walk -- May 8, 1975, Perth:

Prabhupāda: So that is his position. Either he is a foolish rascal or he is not a gentleman, falsely preaching Bhagavad-gītā. That is his position. If you do not know a subject matter, why do you talk about it? Either you mislead or cheat or you are a foolish, you have no science. Similarly, here is a tape recorder, I do not know how the machine is working. If I talk about it authoritatively is it not my foolishness? I can talk about Bhagavad-gītā or something else, but that does mean I know everything about this machine? But he did it like this. He was dealing in politics, and he took up as a mahātmā, a religious man. That was his cheating.

Morning Walk -- June 10, 1975, Honolulu:

Prabhupāda: He has become a very big man.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: By killing chickens.

Siddha-svarūpa: Yes. He actually is beginning to look like a chicken, his face. He's actually starting to look like a chicken.

Ambarīṣa: He claims he is a very religious man too.

Prabhupāda: Ācchā?

Ambarīṣa: Yes.

Prabhupāda: This is the sample of religious man. And what is irreligious? If the religious men kill so many chickens daily, then what is the irreligious man do?

Siddha-svarūpa: They're vegetarians. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: He kills the chicken and fry it in oil. And that is sold.

Room Conversation with Lt. Mozee, Policeman -- July 5, 1975, Chicago:

Lt. Mozee: If I understand you then correctly, sir, you would say that the emphasis should be returned to the religious aspects.

Prabhupāda: Certainly. Without religious aspect what is the difference between dog and man? Man can be turned to be a religious man, the dog cannot be. That is the difference between dog and man. So if you keep the human society to the status of dogs and cats, how you can expect peaceful society? If you bring one dozen of dogs and if you want to keep them peacefully, is it possible? So if we keep human society as dogs, then how you can expect peacefulness?

Lt. Mozee: Some of my questions might sound disrespectful. If they do it is only because I do not understand completely your religious beliefs, and I mean no disrespect whatsoever.

Prabhupāda: No, it is not my religious belief. I am just giving you general description of religious life and animal life. The animal cannot be taken to the churches and teach something about God. It is not possible. But a human being can be. So if the human being is refused this facility, then you keep them as cats and dogs. And you cannot expect any peaceful condition of life in the society of cats and dogs. So therefore it is the duty of the authority, of the government, of the elderly person, father, guardian, to teach the subordinate how to become God conscious. Otherwise, there will be trouble because there is no difference between dogs and man in every respect.

Press Conference -- July 16, 1975, San Francisco:

Jayatīrtha: Śrīla Prabhupāda, would you comment on opposition to the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement in this country?

Prabhupāda: No, why they should oppose? What is the reason? If they are Christian or Jewish, religious men, so we are advocating, "You chant the holy name of God," so why there should be objection? Is there any reason for such objection? What is the objection?

Reporter (1): Some of the objections are that the followers of the Hare Kṛṣṇa sect are, on the streets or in the airports, are bothering people.

Prabhupāda: The airport itself is a botheration, so much sound, so much accident. So why this little botheration they cannot tolerate? That means intolerance. It is full of botheration, and because we are chanting, they very much disturbed? We don't chant in the airport, but we ask people that "Here is a very good book. You will benefit. If you like, you can take." So what is the wrong there? Tell me what is the wrong? If I give you something very nice, is that, I mean to say, wrong? You read any book. We have got fifty books. You find out any fault in that. If we are distributing something, bad literature which is against the social welfare, then you can object. But you see. Bring all our books here, and you will see.

Morning Walk -- November 4, 1975, Bombay:
Prabhupāda: The body has grown from this land. You see, every, the whole world activities is going on on this basis. Sva-dhiḥ kalātrādiṣu bhauma idya-dhiḥ. Idya. Idya means worshipable. The brain is full with this idea, dhiḥ. Dhiḥ means buddhi. The brain is congested with all these ideas. Then he wants to become a religious man. What is that? Now, bhauma idya-dhiḥ. Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile. He goes to some holy place and takes bath. They go to Hardwar. The same Ganges in Calcutta, and the same Ganges in Hardwar, but he will go to Hardwar to take bath so that he may think that "I have come to some holy place." The holy place is Ganges, but Calcutta is not holy place and Hardwar is holy. Yes. Bhauma idya-dhiḥ. Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile. Actually Hardwar or Vṛndāvana, such places are meant to see great saintly persons, to take some knowledge from them. To take some knowledge from them, that is the purport of going to the holy place. But without consulting them, without seeing them, he simply dips into the water and he takes, "My pilgrimage is finished." Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicit janeṣv abhijñeṣv. There are many saintly persons, very experienced. They will not go there. So eva go-kharaḥ. These are asses. This conception of life is go-kharaḥ, animal. Go means the cows and asses. This is the explanation of the verse. All religionists think. They go to Mecca, they go to Jerusalem—to the water. They are not eager, searching out that "Where there is some saintly person in this holy place?" No. They have no search out. They do not want to consult. Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij janeṣv abhijñeṣu sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). And this is further explained by Prahlāda Mahārāja... What is that? Tato vimukha-cetasaḥ: "All these things happen when one is not Kṛṣṇa conscious." Tato vimukha cetasaḥ. Vimukha. "Eh! What is this Kṛṣṇa consciousness?" Tato vimukha... Śoce tato vimukha-cetasaḥ māyā sukhāya bharam udvahato vimūḍhan (SB 7.9.43).

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- April 9, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: That is recommended everywhere. Illicit or legal.... Mahāprabhu has said, asat eka strī-saṅgī: "Anyone who is attached to woman, he is asat." Bas. This is the whole process, how to become detached from the attraction of woman, dhīra. (break) Give up the connection with woman is recommended. So in our society it will be a good test. We are mixed up with men and women. If you in spite of this allurement, if you do not become attracted by woman, then you should know you are paramahaṁsa. Yes. You are worshipable. And this Bhāgavata-dharma is meant for the paramahaṁsas. Paramo nirmatsarāṇām (SB 1.1.2). It is especially. Dharmaḥ projjhita. The other different types of regulated system, to become very religious man or to become very expert money-hunter or accumulation of money, dharma, artha, and enjoying sense enjoyment—the whole world is appreciating these men, who is a religious man, who is very much able to satisfy his senses, dozens of cars and three dozen women, naked dance. They are taking this. Dharma artha kāma. And somebody is trying mokṣa, being baffled or dissatisfied: "These things will not.... I shall become one with." So dharma artha kāma mokṣa (SB 4.8.41, Cc. Ādi 1.90). So Bhāgavata says, "These are all kicked out." Paramo nirmatsarāṇām (SB 1.1.2). For the paramahaṁsas. So anyone who is freed from all these allurement, he is paramahaṁsa. And this paramahaṁsa-saṁhitā, it is called, Bhāgavata.... Paramahaṁsa-saṁhitā. Bhāṣyaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇām **.

Room Conversation with Dr. Theodore Kneupper -- November 6, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: That's it. There is no prescribed duties. Everyone is a butcher. Formerly there was distinction, "Here is a butcher; here is a religious man." At the present moment everyone is a butcher. Who is religious man? There was division, at least one class, first-class man, second-class man, third-class man. Then, if there is ideal first-class man, even the fourth-class, third man, he'll take the idea, "Oh, here is first-class." But there is no first-class man. All fourth-class men. So who will give idea? And they want to remain fourth-class. If you say that "You become first-class," they will laugh. "What is the use of becoming first-class?" First-class means, find out, śamo damas titikṣā, then, brahma-karma svabhāva-jam.

Room Conversation -- November 13, 1976, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: When it will be complete, more facility.

Surabhi: Oh, yes, then it will be... Everything...

Prabhupāda: Take prasādam, see drama, read books, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Bas. And if you like, you can live with us. So where is the difficulty? Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). Ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhis tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā (Bs. 5.37). (pause) That American politician has predicted that "This Hare Kṛṣṇa movement, within ten years, they will capture our government." (laughs) So do it actually. Then it will be very nice. It is not... Simply take the people in your favor; the government is yours. That they are afraid of. The young boys, they are taking Hare Kṛṣṇa movement seriously, so the government can be changed in their favor. After all, it is democracy. So you can do it. You become president. You become senator. In America it is possible. And if America accepts... What about this new president? Or... Formerly I heard about him that he is religious man.

Surabhi: His mother is... She was working in India.

Prabhupāda: Oh.

Surabhi: So she's very favorable towards India. She was some type of social worker.

Prabhupāda: His mother? Oh. Then at least he has got some good thinking.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Conversation on Train to Allahabad -- January 11, 1977, India:

Hari-śauri: All these religious, what they call the religious cults, came immediately after the hippies. That's the big thing now. There was the growth period for those. Now they're trying to destroy them. Of course, they won't destroy us, but they've succeeded in one or two other groups. (break)

Prabhupāda: ...below one person.(?) In the name of religious men, because they are not civilized even, it is further, further. This is going on. Actually there was no such...

Rāmeśvara: And another thing that came out of the hippie movement is this abortion. Because the whole thing... The slogan was "free sex." So now they have free sex.

Hari-śauri: Women's liberation was another thing.

Rāmeśvara: All based on sex. Abortion, divorce—everything related to sex has increased.

Hari-śauri: They used to carry signs, "I want the control of my body," the women, the women's liberation.

Prabhupāda: That is woman's liberation.

Room Conversation with Ratan Singh Rajda M.P. 'Nationalism and Cheating' -- April 15, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: But I have no co-operation of the authorities. That is most regrettable. So now there is change of government.

Mr. Rajda: Yes.

Prabhupāda: And Morarji is very religious person.

Mr. Rajda: Yes, he is a highly religious man.

Prabhupāda: So why not attempt? At least keep an ideal institution. Just like for technical knowledge, if there is a good medical college any part of the world, people go there without any consideration of nationality or anything. Similarly let there be an ideal institution in India so that the whole world will come in there.

Mr. Rajda: We had those universities, Taka(?), Silandar(?), and Narandhara...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Mr. Rajda: ...in ancient days.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Room Conversation -- July 19, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Mango is such a fruit, when it is not ripe, the green from that, up to the full ripe you can have.

Indian man (1): (Hindi conversation about mangoes) (break)

Prabhupāda: ...known as a religious man so that they can do business very exploitively. They were called by Guru Mahārāja, dharma-dhvaji.(?) Exploit (Bengali). Guru Mahārāja used to say dharma-dhvaji. "Daṇḍavat class." Yes. He knows simply to offer daṇḍavats. (laughs) Even so nice word: "Oh, he's a daṇḍavat class." My Guru Mahārāja was very humorous. He was a Calcutta bhap.(?) Therefore he liked me. All others, they came from East Bengal. I was the only disciple, Calcutta. All others...

Correspondence

1968 Correspondence

Letter to Mukunda -- Los Angeles 5 December, 1968:

Actually, we are not preaching a particular type of faith. We are teaching the post graduate studies of all religions: we are teaching people how to love God and who is the man that will deny this principle? This basic principle we can talk with any religious head and any sincere religious man will appreciate it. We simply want people to become God conscious and that will bring forth real peace in the world. So if the Christian heads of the different churches will cooperate with us, we can render very valuable service to the whole of human society.

1969 Correspondence

Letter to Bhakti Sastri Examination -- Los Angeles 4 September, 1969:

Answer any ten of the following questions with reference to the context of scriptures like Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Brahma Samhita and Isopanisad. The full mark for each question is 100.

1. Who is Krsna?

2. What is your relationship with Krsna?

3. What are you expected to do with your relationship to Krsna?

4. What is the aim of Krsna Consciousness?

5. What do you mean by religion?

6. Is Krsna Consciousness a type of religion or religious faith?

7. How do you distinguish between religion and faith?

8. Can religion or faith be changed from one type to another?

9. How do you distinguish between changeable and eternal religion?

10. What are the different types of religious faiths?

11. Can religion be manufactured by philosophical speculation?

Who created religion first?

12. What is the greatest common engagement of religious men?

13. Do you believe that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

14. If you believe, how do you substantiate? If not, what is your reason?

15. What is Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan?

NB: Answer papers with some contribution to my book fund may be submitted to me. I shall personally examine the papers, and those who will pass will be sent a certificate of Bhaktisastri in due course. The minimum passing mark is 300 out of 1,000.

1974 Correspondence

Letter to Trivikrama -- Bombay 1 May, 1974:

It is very good news that you have found Taiwan such a favorable place, with the people and the government inclined towards religious men. Of course only Krsna Consciousness can provide the real understanding of religion beyond sectarian dogmas, and it is the only movement which can really bring benediction in the form of Love of God to everyone, without difficulty. So take it as Krsna's mercy that the atmosphere is somehow favorable and try to recruit Chinese boys to worship of Lord Krsna.