Śyāmasundara: What does the word "cult" mean?
Prabhupāda: Cult means... What do you mean by cult? Cult is an ordinary word.
Śyāmasundara: I've always thought cult meant something sectarian or...
Prabhupāda: Not sectarian. Cult means the natural occupation.
Revatīnandana: It usually means... A group with a common interest is usually called a cult. Some group with some common, agreed-upon interest.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is I was explaining this, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye (BG 7.3). So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not for everyone. It is meant for a certain group. Therefore you can take it as a cult, although it is meant for everyone. But generally we are accepted by the high-class intelligent men. Therefore we can call it cult.
Śyāmasundara: Same word, "cultivation" or "culture"?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Kṛṣṇanuśīlanam. The exact word is kṛṣṇānuśīlanam. Ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanam (CC Madhya 19.167). That is cult, cultivation of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Favorably. Not Kṛṣṇa consciousness like Kamsa, always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, how to kill Him. That is not ānukūlyena. That is not favorable. But you have to cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness favorably: How Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied. How Kṛṣṇa will be pleased. And that is required. This cult is required. Hṛṣīkeṇa-hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir uttamam (CC Madhya 19.170). When your senses will be purified and they will be engaged in serving Kṛṣṇa, satisfying Kṛṣṇa, that is bhakti. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śyāmasundara: He says that there is no such thing as absolute good and bad but that each specific situation must be treated individually. There is no absolute good and bad; that each individual situation must be...
Prabhupāda: Yes. So that situation means Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Anything done in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is good. Anything done not for Kṛṣṇa's satisfaction, it may be ethically, so-called ethically right—it has no use.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the greatest good...
Prabhupāda: That situation... (indistinct) That situation means Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In practical life also we see that the soldier's killing, it is supported by the government. The same soldier killing for his personal satisfaction, he is condemned to death.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the greatest good is the elimination of the greatest evil or the fulfillment of man's greatest needs.
Prabhupāda: That's it. We follow that, that the highest objective, the ultimate objective is Kṛṣṇa, Viṣṇu. So becoming a Vaiṣṇava, the highest perfection of human life is achieved.
Śyāmasundara: So that greatest need is...
Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The greatest need is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Hindi with guest) Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is the supreme consciousness. Yes. That is pure consciousness, Kṛṣṇa. Mamaivāṁśo jīva loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ (BG 15.7). Every living entity is Kṛṣṇa's part and parcel. He always remembers that "I am part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. It is my duty to serve Kṛṣṇa." This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śyāmasundara: He says that...
Prabhupāda: Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa (Cc. Madhya 20.108-109). If he remembers always this.
Devotee: Eternal position of the living entity...
Prabhupāda: Yes. Then he'll be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, perfect consciousness. But they are thinking that "I am Kṛṣṇa. I am God." That is not Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the choice between good and bad is not made on theoretical grounds, but for reducing specific evils. In other words...
Prabhupāda: It is not theoretical that if you accept the universal form of God, then everything within the universe is part and parcel of that form. That is practical.
Śyāmasundara: But say there...
Prabhupāda: Like a big tree, the every leaf, every branch, every twig, every flower is a part and parcel of the whole tree. Similarly, virāṭ-rūpa. Apart from Kṛṣṇa's personal rūpa, the virāṭ-rūpa as it was manifested before Arjuna, if you take the virāṭ-rūpa, the whole universal form of the Lord, then anything within the universe is part and parcel of that virāṭ-rūpa, the resulting form.
Śyāmasundara: So the choice between a good and a bad action should be practiced to reduce evil, not just theoretical. That's his idea. That's his point.
Prabhupāda: Yes. No theory. This is practical. Now, as a big machine, the screw is a part, so if every part works nicely, the machine goes nicely. So if we understand... Just like I think last night I was explaining mukha baho rūpa divya: the gigantic body, the brāhmaṇa class, they are the mouth. So one must do the duty of the mouth. The mouth speaks, vibrates and eats. So our proposition is to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and eat Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Then the mouth duty, the brāhmaṇa's duty, is performed. Similarly, the kṣatriya's duty—again we come to that varṇāśrama-dharma. So everyone is factually part and parcel of God and executes his prescribed duty, then it is perfect.
- puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān
- viṣṇur ārādhyate puṁsāṁ
- nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam
- (CC Madhya 8.58)
If you want to satisfy the Supreme Lord, then you must execute the functions as they are prescribed in the varṇāśrama system. Then everything is all right. The same example: If all the parts of a machine is in order, working, it will make no trouble. If one of the screws, I mean, is slack, or it has fallen down, then another part is dislocated, that whole work is stopped. So we should consider in that way, that we are all part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So according to part and parcel, you must execute your duty—as brāhmaṇa, as kṣatriya, as vaiśya, as śūdra. And the brāhmaṇa being head, he should give the direction. Therefore he is considered the guru of other varṇas. But he... Because if there is no head, no brāhmaṇa, then the whole thing is disturbed. And that is the position at the present moment. Actually there is no brāhmaṇa, or scarcity of brāhmaṇa. So others are not guided properly. Therefore there is chaos in the whole society. So we require to create some brāhmaṇas, and others should understand to abide by the direction of the brāhmaṇas. Then the whole society will be in order.
Śyāmasundara: He says that the world can be made better by man's efforts, but that perfection is not possible.
Prabhupāda: No. Yes. In one sense it is all right, because this world is so made that you make it perfect today, again it deteriorates. Therefore in one sense we cannot make it perfect. That is a fact.
Śyāmasundara: But you can improve it?
Prabhupāda: Improve it. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati (BG 4.7). Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām (BG 4.8). So it can be improved, in any bad condition, by... How you can improve? By this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As Kṛṣṇa says, "I am..." (break) Svarūpa means ādayaḥ. Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the same thing. If you are in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that means you are living with Kṛṣṇa. And if you are living with Kṛṣṇa, then what is your fear? Just like Arjuna, fighting with Kṛṣṇa, he had no fear. Similarly, if you live with Kṛṣṇa and go on with Kṛṣṇa, then what is your fear?
Śyāmasundara: What is that quote you said last night in the taxi, padma, padma...
Prabhupāda: Padaṁ padaṁ yat vipadāṁ na teṣām.
- samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaṁ
- mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
- bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
- padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
- (SB 10.14.58)
Śyāmasundara: And the purport?
Prabhupāda: And the purport is, one who has taken shelter of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, for him, this ocean of nescience, bhavasamudra, because just like a small pit foot created by the cow's hoof.
Prabhupāda: And this place wherein there is step by step danger, this is not God's place. That Kṛṣṇa also says. As soon as he understands Kṛṣṇa, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti (BG 4.9). He immediately becomes eligible to transfer to the spiritual world.
Śyāmasundara: So actually, we're removing people from danger, from evil, by making them Kṛṣṇa conscious.
Śyāmasundara: So this is a welfare activity.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. This is best welfare activity in the world. What others can do in comparison to this?
Śyāmasundara: They may be able to remove some of the temporary dangers...
Prabhupāda: Yes. To give some temporary benefit, but again he is fallen.
Śyāmasundara: Step by step there's danger. When we discussed the utilitarians...
Prabhupāda: (indistinct) In Caitanya Mahāprabhu's address, namo mahā-vadānyāya. If I give some charity to a needy man, it will serve for a temporary period, but if you give him Kṛṣṇa-prema, then immediately he'll be transferred to the spiritual world.
- namo mahā-vadānyāya
- kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te
- kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-
- nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
- (CC Madhya 19.53)
Mahā-vadānyāya. This is the most munificent path—to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, yāre dekha tāre kaha kṛṣṇa: "Whomever you meet, just deliver this message of Kṛṣṇa." That is best welfare activity in the world.
Śyāmasundara: When we were discussing the utilitarians, we discussed that their goal was to achieve what was desired by the people, to do whatever was required...
Prabhupāda: No. Desired by the people-happiness. But they are trying to give happiness temporary, and we are giving happiness direct. Just like Bhāgavata says, yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam, tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena śuddhyed sattvam (SB 5.5.1). Purify your existence, and you'll get perpetual, eternal happiness, bliss. So everyone is working hard for happiness, but how happiness can be attained in diseased condition? So cure the disease and he'll get it eternal. That is... Here is a physician. If you go when there is ailment, if you go to him, "Sir, cure me." "Why?" because it is impediment to happiness. Similarly, the real disease is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). You cure this, then you get real happiness.
Śyāmasundara: These utilitarians said that activity should be to achieve all that is desired by the people, but Dewey says that activity should be to achieve what is worthy to be desired.
Prabhupāda: No, no. First thing is, people are desiring happiness. Whatever one may desire, the ultimate end is happiness. Nobody can deny this. But a diseased fellow, if he thinks that "I am happy," that is false happiness. A diseased man cannot be happy unless the disease is cured. Sometimes we go to a diseased person and ask, "How are you?" "Yes, I am all right." If he is all right, why is he lying down? He is not all right. He is artificially saying that "I am all right." What is this "all right"? Similarly, these foolish people, they are thinking, "I am happy." What is their happiness? If you have to die, then where is your happiness? Janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam. A real intelligent person will see that these are the things which are giving me distress: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi. So where is the happiness? Foolishly if we accept something as happiness, that is not happiness. Real happiness is when you are free from these four principles of distress: janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (BG 13.9). Otherwise, where is your happiness? But if you think that "Although I am dying, I am happy," that is another thing, a fool's paradise.