Wherefrom the fire came? That is natural inquiry. Wherefrom the sky came? How the stars are situated, so many millions and millions? So these are the inquiries of the intelligent person. That is the beginning of philosophical life

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"Wherefrom the fire came? That is natural inquiry. Wherefrom the sky came? How the stars are situated, so many millions and millions? So these are the inquiries of the intelligent person. That is the beginning of philosophical life"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

That is our beginning of philosophy: wherefrom this land came? Wherefrom this water came? Wherefrom the fire came? That is natural inquiry. Wherefrom the sky came? How the stars are situated, so many millions and millions? So these are the inquiries of the intelligent person. That is the beginning of philosophical life. Therefore those who are thoughtful human being, gradually they are inquisitive of understanding the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.

Lecture on BG 7.4 -- Nairobi, October 31, 1975:

Harikeśa: "Earth, water, fire, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—altogether these eight comprise My separated material energies."

Prabhupāda:

bhūmir āpo 'nalo vayuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā
(BG 7.4)

Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself. God is explaining what is God. That is real knowledge. If you speculate on God, it is not possible. You cannot understand. The God, Kṛṣṇa, in the beginning said, asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu (BG 7.1). Samagram. Samagra means whatever... Or samagra means complete. So whatever subject for study and knowledge there is, God is the sum total of everything, one. God is the sum total of everything. Therefore He begins to explain Himself that...

First of all, because we have no information of God but practically we see the vast land, the vast water, ocean, the vast sky, then fire, so many things, material things, material things also mind... Mind is also material. And then ego. Everyone is thinking that "I am something. I am..." Kartāham iti manyate. Ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā. This false ego. This ego means false ego. And there is pure ego. That pure ego is ahaṁ brahmāsmi, and the false ego: "I am Indian," "I am American," "I am African," "I am brāhmaṇa," "I am kṣatriya," "I am this," "I am that." This is false ego, ahaṅkāra. So at the present moment... Not at the present, always, we are surrounded by all these things. That is our beginning of philosophy: wherefrom this land came? Wherefrom this water came? Wherefrom the fire came? That is natural inquiry. Wherefrom the sky came? How the stars are situated, so many millions and millions? So these are the inquiries of the intelligent person. That is the beginning of philosophical life. Therefore those who are thoughtful human being, gradually they are inquisitive of understanding the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa.

So Kṛṣṇa is there, and Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself, "I am like this." But unfortunately we'll not understand Kṛṣṇa, but we'll try to speculate what is God. This is our disease. Kṛṣṇa is explaining Himself; God is explaining Himself. We shall not take that statement, but either we shall deny or we shall accept God without any head and leg and so on, so many things. This is our disease. Therefore in the previous verse it has been explained,

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
(BG 7.3)

Out of many millions and millions of persons, actually they are serious to understand, "What is the aim of life? What is God? What is my relation..." Nobody is interested. Just like... Sa eva go-kharaḥ (SB 10.84.13). Everyone is interested with this bodily conception of life like cats and dogs. This is the position. Not only now, always, this is the material condition. But somebody, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu, out of millions, one tries to understand, to make his life perfect. And out of such perfection...

Perfection means to understand his real constitutional position, that he is not this material body; he is spirit soul, Brahman. That is perfection, perfection of knowledge, brahma-jñāna.