Bishop Kelly: Oh, yes. Your Grace, there is one thing I wish to ask you. Do you believe in some sort of universal but inherent deficiency in human nature, in other words, that man irrespective of his environment, irrespective of where he comes from, that he has, he is prone to evil? In the Catholic church we call that original sin. Original sin is an inherited deficiency in which man is turned away from God rather than turned towards God, and that he holds within himself a seed of failure in..., spiritually, and also a seed of unreliability so that the very makeup of man demands the enlightening touch and the helping hand of God so that he may overcome his inherent and abiding deficiency. So we hold that that is the nature of things, that man... It's not just a good thing or an advisable thing that man reaches out to and for God, but it is a necessary thing, that God not merely is there to improve upon what you might say would be a natural goodness of man, but man has a natural deficiency he needs God to overcome. And as he overcomes, of course, he progresses further and he is enriched by God. But we hold that very clearly.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is stated in one of the Vedic literature, that:
- nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema sādhya kabhu naya
- śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya
- (Cc. madhya 22.107)
The inherent principle is eternally a fact, his obedience to God. But artificially he has covered it, artificially. The God consciousness is there in everyone, but by so-called material advancement, he has forgotten. He has his obedience to God, natural. Even the aborigines in the forest, they also submit to the manifestation of God's different energies. As soon as there is some lightning and there is thunderbolt, they immediately... They offer obeisances. As soon as they see a big sea, ocean, they offer obeisances. So that is inherent. But due to the material association it is covered. And therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says,
- jaḍa-vidyā jato, māyāra vaibhava,
- tomāra bhajane bādhā
The more we advance in so-called material, what is called, amenities, we forget God. We forget God. So the inherent, dormant, propensity is to become servant of God, but material association is checking him. Therefore if he... Just like now psychological treatment—a crazy fellow, he goes to the psychiatrist and he talks with him. Gradually, talking, talking, he cures him—similarly, these men who have forgotten or these living entity, if they associate with devotees and they constantly talk and hear about God, then again he revives his God consciousness. Yes. So we are, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement or any other... We open many centers, and we talk, we sell our literature. His lordship has seen our books? You can show some of the books.
Bishop Kelly: Oh, I have, I have. Yes.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So by association with devotee, by hearing, hearing, śravaṇādi... Śravaṇādi means hearing... Beginning is hearing. If you patiently hear, then that dormant God consciousness again becomes revived. Yes. Then his life is successful.
Bishop Kelly: What would you hold about the, what you might term the revelation of God, the ongoing communication of God in revealing Himself and in further making known His will for man at different stages of his own life, say, in his spiritual life, and, of course, in different stages of history and in different cultures?
Prabhupāda: That is recommended. You see. Teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, dadāmi buddhi (BG 10.10). Because the God consciousness is there, God is there, now God is prepared to give Him instruction always. He is giving you instruction. Now, how that dormant consciousness can be revived, that is stated. You read it.
- teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
- bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
- dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
- yena mām upayānti te
- (BG 10.10)
"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
Satsvarūpa: In this verse the word buddhi-yogam is very significant. We may remember that in the Second Chapter the Lord, instructing Arjuna, said that He had spoken to him of many things and that He would instruct him in the way of buddhi-yoga. Now buddhi-yoga is explained. Buddhi-yogam itself is action in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; that is the highest intelligence. Buddhi means intelligence, and yogam means mystic activities or mystic elevation. When one tries to go back home, back to Godhead, and takes fully to Kṛṣṇa consciousness in devotional service, his action is called buddhi-yogam. In other words, buddhi-yogam is the process by which one gets out of the entanglement of this material world. The ultimate goal of progress is Kṛṣṇa. People do not know this; therefore the association of devotees and a bona fide spiritual master are important. One should know that the goal is Kṛṣṇa, and when the goal is assigned, then the path is slowly but progressively traversed, and the ultimate goal is achieved.
When a person knows the goal of life but is addicted to the fruits of activities, he is acting in karma-yoga. When he knows that the goal is Kṛṣṇa, but he takes pleasure in mental speculations to understand Kṛṣṇa, he is acting in jñāna-yoga. And when he knows the goal and seeks Kṛṣṇa completely in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service, he is acting in bhakti-yoga, or buddhi-yoga, which is the complete yoga. This complete yoga is the highest perfectional stage of life.
A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Kṛṣṇa from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Kṛṣṇa, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is intelligent enough, he will make progress on the path of self-realization. If one is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him.
Prabhupāda: So one must be engaged in devotional service, practical. So these our boys and disciples, they are always...
Bishop Kelly: I beg your pardon, your grace. I didn't quite catch what you said.
Prabhupāda: I said that if one engages himself in the service of the Lord some way or other, then the revelation, the original dormant God consciousness and love of God, becomes revived. Exactly in the same way: the psychiatrists, they treat the crazy fellow by talking, talking, talking some way. So if we talk of Kṛṣṇa, then the original Kṛṣṇa consciousness is revived. That is also stated. You find out in the Bhāgavata, śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi... (SB 1.2.17). Yes, purport. So this is very important thing. Therefore we have published so many books about Kṛṣṇa—to hear. Hearing, hearing, hearing, and... Just like man is sleeping. You talk loudly, and he will be awakened. Yes. That's it.
Bishop Kelly: Yes, well, I accept that every man must open himself out to God. And as we say, well, God speaks to the open mind of a generous man and the open recesses of his own heart through His grace. But surely outside of man... See, my difficulty is, you know, that God can speak to me... Let us put it this way. Some God-fearing people and God-dedicated people have done some very strange things. Now, my (indistinct) is, if God speaks to me in the innermost recesses of my heart and He tells me on a certain matter to do this, and He speaks to somebody over here on the same matter, and He tells him to do something different, so straightaway I must ask the question. There must be some way, independent from me and from my fellow man, in which God can make His will known, can reveal Himself in so far to guarantee that I am not merely taking a subjective interpretation of what God is making known to me, and I end up with not really a valid alternative, but I may end up with an opposition or a contradiction. And my big fear there is, if it is a contradiction, well, somebody is going to lose out. Now I wouldn't be quite sure whether it was to be myself or the other person. But if that is so... So I always feel... The Christian religion, of course, feels it very keenly that it is true that God moves the individual soul in a way that is particular to each soul, his own action—we call it His action of grace which is an offering of God's guidance and God's truth, God's riches or God's life—but over and above the individual movements by which he touches and uplifts and enables the individual person, to His outside of that, something which we would say, relatively speaking, in which He is objective, in which God makes known His will as a whole plane and philosophy of life. Now, in the Hare Kṛṣṇa would you have something of that equivalent? You would have sacred writings. I know that. But would you have anything that would sort of correspond to a living interpretive voice or a living interpretation of the will of God irrespective of what God says to me as an individual in the recesses of my heart and soul. I don't know whether I spoke too much there or whether I am clear.
Prabhupāda: I don't think there is individual instruction. There is individual instruction, but that is subordinate. The general instruction is that one should be fully surrendered to God. That is general instruction. Now, if one is fully surrendered, then in a particular case and particular circumstances, God gives him instruction what to do. So because in this material world, circumstances are different, so that is not very extraordinary. According to circumstances, he gives him. But general instruction is there, and they are recorded in the scripture. That general instruction must be followed, that one cannot say that "God is dictating through me something to do even against the general instruction." That is not possible. That is not possible. The general instruction must be followed.