When I speak of Krsna, you must remember that I am speaking of God. There are millions of names of God in different parts of the world, but Krsna is the supreme name according to Vedic knowledge

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"When I speak of Krsna, you must remember that I am speaking of God. There are millions of names of God in different parts of the world, but Krsna is the supreme name according to Vedic knowledge"


Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

When I speak of Kṛṣṇa, you must remember that I am speaking of God. There are millions of names of God in different parts of the world, but Kṛṣṇa is the supreme name according to Vedic knowledge.
Lecture on BG 4.34-38 -- New York, August 17, 1966:

People are anxious to see God. Here Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that as soon as one gets knowledge from the right person, then he never comes into the field of delusion. The whole thing is that in the present stage of our life, we are conditioned and deluded. We do not know things as they are. That is the cause of our all miseries.

Otherwise, constitutionally, we are ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt. By nature, we are jolly. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt. In the Vedānta-sūtra you'll find. The nature of Brahman is ānandamaya. Sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ (Bs. 5.1). Sat, cit, ānanda. Sat means eternity, cit means full knowledge, and ānanda means pleasure. This is our constitution. We are all fragmental portion of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord. Therefore, because He is ānandamaya, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha, so we are also ānandamaya, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. Unfortunately, we have been put in the contact of this material energy. Therefore we are just experiencing the opposite. What is that opposite? That... Sat, sac-cit ānanda. Sat means eternity. So we have got just the opposite, asat. Asat means non-eternity. This body will not exist. We are put into such a condition that however scientifically we may try to keep an youthfulness by so many medicines, injection, and so many things which we have, I mean to say, invented by our advancement material science, but death is sure. This body... Antavanta ime dehāḥ. The body must be finished. Therefore there is no question of sat.

And cit. Cit means knowledge. Knowledge, we have no knowledge. Our... We have got senses, but these are all imperfect senses. We are very much proud that everything we say... Somebody... If somebody preaches about the Lord, we challenge, "Can you show me the Lord? Have you seen the Lord?" or "Can you show me the Lord?" But we do not know that our senses are so imperfect that we cannot see even what we are daily seeing. We cannot... If the light is put off, then we cannot see each other, even in this room. So our seeing person is conditional. It is not perfect. Similarly, all our senses, they are imperfect. So by imperfect senses, by speculation of the imperfect mind, we, we cannot reach to the Absolute Truth. It is not possible. Not possible.

Therefore here it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that tad viddhi praṇipātena: (BG 4.34) "If you are at all serious to understand that transcendental knowledge, then you must approach to a person who has experience of the Absolute Truth." Otherwise, it is not possible. If you think that "I shall realize by mental speculation the Absolute Truth, it is not possible." Because you are sub... I mean, you are fructified with only imperfections. Your senses cannot approach. Therefore Brahman is said, avan mānasa gocara. Avan mānasa gocara: "It is beyond, beyond the mental speculation." And there is another name of the Supreme Lord, Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja. Adhokṣaja means adhah-kṛtaḥ akṣajaṁ jñānaṁ yatra, "where our material senses are defeated." Our material senses are defeated. We are defeated in every respect. So it is not possible to realize the Absolute Truth if we do not find a person who is realized soul, who is absolute, who has understood. It doesn't matter who is he. Lord Caitanya recommended...

Just like in India, generally, the brāhmaṇas are expected to be the spiritual masters. Because brāhmaṇa means who have sufficient knowledge in the transcendental science. That is brāhmaṇa. Brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ. Now, due to this modern age, Kali-yuga, it is very difficult to find out a qualified brāhmaṇa. So therefore it is very difficult also to find out a qualified spiritual master. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He has recommended that,

kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei 'guru' haya
(CC Madhya 8.128)

"Never mind whether he's a brāhmaṇa or a śūdra or a sannyāsī or a householder. Never mind what he is. That doesn't matter. If he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, then he is the bona fide spiritual master." He is the bona fide spiritual master. So here this Bhagavad-gītā is the science of Kṛṣṇa. Every one of you, if you study Bhagavad-gītā very scrutinizingly, with all your arguments, with all your sense, with all your philosophical knowledge... Because it is said here, tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena (BG 4.34).

Not that you have to submit yourself blindly. Although your spiritual master may be self-realized and experienced in the Absolute Truth, still, you have to question. You have to understand from him all critical points by your intelligent questions. That is allowed. So it doesn't matter. If anyone is able to answer about the science of Kṛṣṇa, he is spiritual master. He is spiritual master. It doesn't matter where he's born or what he is, whether he's a brāhmaṇa, or a śūdra, or an American or an Indian or whatever he is. Never mind.

Just like... It is practical. When you go to a doctor, medical practitioner, you do not ask, "Well, Doctor, are you American or Indian? Are you brāhmaṇa? Are you Jew? Are you Christian?" No. Oh, he has got the qualification of a medical man, so you surrender, "Doctor, treat me. I am suffering." So there is no question. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu has given liberal that "Anyone who knows the spiritual science, or the Kṛṣṇa science..." Kṛṣṇa science is spiritual science. Because Kṛṣṇa is the ultimate goal of spiritual science.

When I speak of Kṛṣṇa, you must remember that I am speaking of God. There are millions of names of God in different parts of the world, but Kṛṣṇa is the supreme name according to Vedic knowledge. So therefore Lord Caitanya has recommended—and His recommendation is accepted by the authorities even at the present moment—

kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei 'guru' haya
(CC Madhya 8.128)

And you'll be surprised that Lord Caitanya's principal disciples were all so-called fallen in the society. He appointed one Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. This Haridāsa Ṭhākura was a Muhammadan. He happened to take his birth in a Muhammadan family, but he became a follower of Caitanya, and Caitanya Mahāprabhu, after training him, He gave him the highest post of His spiritual mission. Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared to introduce this system of Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare, chanting of the holy name of God, and He appointed this Haridāsa Ṭhākura, who happened to be a Muhammadan. But he became so much enlightened that Caitanya Mahāprabhu appointed him the supreme minister of administering this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa. He was, he was made the authority, nāmācārya. Ācārya means the prime minister, the authority.

So there are other, six important direct disciples. Just like Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. Now, these gentlemen were formerly known as Sakara Mallika and Dabir Khas. Dabir Khas. That was the Muhammadan period. India was being governed by that time by the Pathans, and in Bengal there was a Pathan ruler whose name was Nawab Hussain Shah. This... But these gentlemen, Sakara Mallika and Dabir Khas, they were appointed minister in the service, in the governmental service of Nawab Hussain Shah. And, in those days, the Hindus were so strict that anyone accepting the service, especially the brāhmaṇas, if he accepts, if a brāhmaṇa accepts the service of anyone, especially who is not a Hindu, he is at once extricated from the society. So these two gentlemen, Sakara Mallika, they almost became... They changed their name also. They were actually brāhmaṇas, very intelligent, learned. They were very good scholars. In Parsee, er, Persian language, and Sanskrit language, they were very good scholars, but because they engaged themselves in the service of the Muhammadan ruler, they were, I mean to say, extricated from the brāhmaṇa society. They also followed Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and they were made the best authorities in this science of Kṛṣṇa science. They... Later on, they became Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī.

So there is no bar for anyone, that one cannot become the spiritual master. Everyone can become spiritual master, provided he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa. That is the only qualification. And that is very reasonable. If you do not this, do not know the subject matter, how can you be a teacher? Eh? A teacher means he knows the thing. He knows the science. So only qualification of the spiritual master, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, kibā śūdra, kibā vipra, nyāsī kene naya, yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā: "Anyone who knows the science of Kṛṣṇa..." This is the science of Kṛṣṇa, this Bhagavad-gītā. If anyone knows perfectly, then he becomes the spiritual master.

And there is need of spiritual master at the present moment. We require thousands of spiritual master to preach all over the world this science of Kṛṣṇa, the science of Kṛṣṇa. That will solve all problems of the world. Take it from me. We discussed amongst our confidential devotees here, and they agreed that actually this is the science which can mitigate all the problems of the world.

So yaj jñātvā punar moham evaṁ yāsyasi. So Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna... He's addressing Arjuna because Arjuna is hearing as representative of us. He was not speaking to Arjuna alone, but He was speaking to all the human race. So yaj jñātvā na punar moham: "By understanding this science then you cannot go, you cannot be illusioned." Because Arjuna was illusioned and he was not prepared to fight, so this instruction was given, this Bhagavad-gītā instruction was given to Arjuna. So He says that "If you have actually undergone the training under the experienced, bona fide spiritual master, then you would not have gone under such illusory energy." Yena bhūtāny aśeṣāṇi drakṣyasy āt...

Then again He says,

api ced asi pāpebhyaḥ
sarvebhyaḥ pāpa-kṛttamaḥ
sarvaṁ jñāna-plavenaiva
vṛjinaṁ santariṣyasi
(BG 4.36)

Now, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says that "Just like if you have got a very good ship, you can very easily cross the Atlantic Ocean without any difficulty, similarly, we are in the midst of the ocean of ignorance." Our, this life, this conditioned life in the material world is just like the ocean of ignorance, ocean of ignorance. So Lord Caitanya, therefore, He prayed to Śrī Kṛṣṇa like this, ayi nanda-tanuja patitaṁ kiṅkaraṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau: "My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, I am just fallen in the ocean of ignorance." So we are in the ocean of ignorance. Now, in the ocean, if you get a very good boat or very good ship, as you can cross over, similarly, if we have the ship or the boat of perfect knowledge, then there is no fear. We can cross the ocean very easily. We can cross this ocean very easily.

Now here Kṛṣṇa says, api ced asi pāpebhyaḥ sarvebhyaḥ pāpa-kṛttamaḥ. If, if a person is the most sinful, the, and the, I mean, the supermost sinful man, but if he gets this knowledge, this knowledge of Kṛṣṇa science, then he can cross over this ocean of ignorance very easily. That means it does not matter what was our past life. Either... Any Vedic literature, especially Bhagavad-gītā... Bhagavad-gītā does not take into account what was you in the past life. That doesn't matter. Because we are in ignorance, we might have done so many things in ignorance, which is not approved, which is not virtuous. That is quite possible. Every one of us, we are subjected. Because due to ignorance, we do so many things, so nobody can say that "I am free from any sinful activities." Nobody can say. So that doesn't matter. But if we get, if we can learn the science of Kṛṣṇa, then, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa says, api ced asi pāpebhyaḥ sarvebhyaḥ pāpa-kṛttamaḥ: "Even one is the most sinful man, but if he gets the Kṛṣṇa science, he is free. He is free, and he can go. He can cross over the material ocean of ignorance very easily."

How it is possible? He's giving a very nice example.

yathaidhāṁsi samiddho 'gnir
bhasmasāt kurute 'rjuna
jñānāgniḥ sarva-karmāṇi
bhasmasāt kurute tathā
(BG 4.37)

"Just like in the fire if you put anything, whatever, it will go on burning. Everything it will burn into ashes. Never mind, either wood or any dirty things, whatever you will, it will turn into ashes. Similarly, if we get this Kṛṣṇa science, if we understand this Kṛṣṇa science, then all our reactions of sinful activities, what we might have done in our past life, that will be all burned into ashes. Burnt into ashes."