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Sometimes there's a question that I'm asked, that we say we're imperfect so we have to receive perfect knowledge, but they say if you're always imperfect, then how can you know that it's perfect, what you're hearing?

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"Sometimes there's a question that I'm asked, that we say we're imperfect so we have to receive perfect knowledge, but they say if you're always imperfect, then how can you know that it's perfect, what you're hearing"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Yes, we are receiving knowledge from the perfect. Just like a child does not believe, a boy, he has not seen his father. He does not believe that there is father. But if the mother says, "Yes, my dear child, there is father," so then his knowledge is perfect. With his imperfect knowledge, he was disbelieving that there is father, but when the mother says, he has to accept it. Then his knowledge becomes perfect. He has not seen who is father. That's a fact, maybe. And, but the mother is authority.
Room Conversation with Mother and Sons -- June 13, 1976, Detroit:

Satsvarūpa: Sometimes there's a question that I'm asked, that we say we're imperfect so we have to receive perfect knowledge, but they say if you're always imperfect, then how can you know that it's perfect, what you're hearing?

Prabhupāda: Yes, we are receiving knowledge from the perfect. Just like a child does not believe, a boy, he has not seen his father. He does not believe that there is father. But if the mother says, "Yes, my dear child, there is father," so then his knowledge is perfect. With his imperfect knowledge, he was disbelieving that there is father, but when the mother says, he has to accept it. Then his knowledge becomes perfect. He has not seen who is father. That's a fact, maybe. And, but the mother is authority. She says, "Here, my dear child. There is father." Then his knowledge perfect. So we may be imperfect, the child is imperfect, but when he gets the knowledge from the perfect source, mother, then it is perfect. Similarly, we, we never say that we are perfect. If you are perfect, then why you are learning? You are trying to become perfect. So our process is that we are receiving knowledge from the perfect. Therefore whatever we say, it is perfect. A child does not know, "What is this, father?" The father says "My dear child, it is called microphone." So after that, if he takes it and declares to anyone, "This is microphone," that is perfect, although he's a child. Because he's learned it from the perfect father. This is our process. We don't speculate. We don't speculate whether there is father or not. That is not our process. We ask from the mother, "Mother, they say I have got father. I have never seen." So mother says, "Yes, my dear child, you have got a father." Then finish. Knowledge is perfect. And the child cannot challenge, "I have never seen my father. How can I believe you?" This is nonsense. Your mother says, that is fact. That's all, finished. You cannot challenge mother: "Mother, I have never seen my father; how can I believe?" That is nonsense! This is going on. "I have never seen God. Can you show me God?" This rascaldom is going on. First of all you must know you are a rascal. How can you see God? You hear from the authority who knows God. That is the injunction.

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
(BG 4.34)

You have to approach tattva-darśī, who has seen God through spiritual eyes. So one has to approach such a person who actually knows God, seen God, and approach him, praṇipātena. Not like that childish challenge. By surrender, praṇipātena. Then question. First of all surrender. Praṇipātena, paripraśnena. Not by challenging. Tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet (MU 1.2.12). Therefore one has to go to guru, where there is no challenge. There is no question of challenging. You can make question. That is another thing. But not challenge. Then you'll be deceived. Therefore first condition is praṇipātena. Without praṇipāta, you cannot make advancement. So this philosophy, our philosophy or anyone's philosophy.... Philosophy is not for our or yours. Philosophy is philosophy. That is a science. Philosophy is the science of sciences. That is the description of philosophy. In our college days we were philosophy student of Professor, Dr. W. S. Hartford. He defined that "Philosophy is the science of sciences." There are different departments of scientific knowledge. When they are taken together, the original science is philosophy. Philosophy is the science. Tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam etad jñānam. Tad ajñānaṁ yad anyathā. It is not stated in the Bhagavad-gītā? Tattva-jñānārtha-darśanam. To know the Absolute Truth, that is philosophy. So the simple philosophy is there in the Bhagavad-gītā, that:

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā
(BG 14.4)

To understand God, a simple method. Simple method to.... Just like the earth is there, everybody knows. And from the earth different varieties of living entities are coming. The grass is coming, the plant is coming, then insects are coming, flies are coming, then by eating the grass or flies, the bigger animals are coming or they're existing. Take for four-legged animals, they are eating the grass, the plants. So they are living, their generation is going on. Then the human being is coming by evolution. So anyway, ultimately, they are coming from the earth. Is it not? Is there any difficulty? So we are coming from the earth or water or air, fire, there are five elements. Therefore on the total material elements is our mother. The mother means wherefrom one comes. He's your child because his body has come from your body. Everyone knows it. So every living being is coming out of this earth in different forms. Now if it is established, the mother is the earth and everything that is coming out of mother, they are children, then where is father? Is it not the next inquiry?

Mādhavānanda: Is that not the next inquiry?

Prabhupāda: The mother is there, the children are there. The next inquiry is..., suppose unknown man comes to him, "Where is your father?" So who is the father? And father says, ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā: (BG 14.4) "I am father." Finished. Father is God. God has created this earth. He has impregnated the earth with the living entities, and they are coming out. Where is the difficulty? But because they are in ignorance, rascals, it takes long, long time to understand this simple truth. So dull-headed. The children are there and mother is there, and why father, there should be no father? What is the answer?

Satsvarūpa: That the mother is just some symbolic idea, there is no...