"First, Understand Yourself"

April 22, 1976

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Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
 


Prabhupada: We have come to give this message of Krsna. That is our business. We are not tourists.

Michael Gordon: What does being a devotee of Krsna involve? Does it...?

Prabhupada: Krsna involved means you are.... Every one of you, you are Krsna's part and parcel. But on account of your forgetfulness of Krsna, you are suffering. Therefore our message is that "You become Krsna conscious. You'll be happy." This is our message. Otherwise we have no business to bring the message to the forgotten persons, that "You have forgotten Krsna; therefore you are suffering. You awaken your Krsna consciousness. You'll be happy." This is our message.

Brian Singer: What does.... When you become Krsna conscious, does it mean you come into the chapel, or can you lead the sort of life that we lead and still...?

Prabhupada: No, going to the chapel, that is one of the means, but there are nine different processes, of which, hearing about Krsna is the most important thing, sravanam. If you continuously hear about Krsna. Therefore these books are there, hearing and chanting. If you cannot read, I'll read; you hear. I'll speak. Or you will speak; I'll hear. These two processes are very important. Therefore we are presenting in English language the subject matter of Krsna so elaborately. We have published eighty-two books like this. If you read one book.... This is the preliminary study. Then, if you read it with great attention, you become Krsna conscious immediately. Then you understand about Krsna from Srimad-Bhagavatam in sixty books, and then you enjoy the transcendental pleasure in Caitanya-caritamrta in seventeen books. So you cannot finish even within your life. So many books are there. And you'll forget reading other books.

Brian Singer: We'll just...?

Prabhupada: The first book of reading is this, Bhagavad-gita. The Bhagavad-gita is well known all over the world. Every scholar, religionist, everyone reads, all over the world. But sometimes they are misinterpreted foolishly. We are therefore presenting Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any foolish interpretation. What Krsna says, we repeat the same thing.

Brian Singer: In the Krsna teachings, the person is not the body but the soul, which is like many religions. Also, some animals, animals also, are not the body but the soul. This is true? Like the cow and the dog and the cat?

Prabhupada: Yes, everywhere soul is there. Just like the soul is there in the child, in the boy, in the young man, in the middle-aged man, in the old man.

Brian Singer: Yeah, I understand this.

Prabhupada: So similarly, soul is everywhere.

Brian Singer: And in the animal also? In the dog?

Prabhupada: Oh, yes.

Brian Singer: Yeah? And how far down in the animal world? Like you have the worm and also bacteria and the virus. Is also true?

Prabhupada: That is the difference. I have already told you that the soul is in the child, and the soul is in the body of the father, but the child's soul is.... Or.... Soul is everywhere, but the proportionate consciousness is not developed. Just like wood. In every wood there is fire. Do you admit?

Brian Singer: In every...?

Pusta Krsna: Wood.

Brian Singer: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Prabhupada: Now, if a small piece of wood, a small piece of fire. And big piece of wood, big piece of fire. Similarly, according to the body, the consciousness of the soul is present.

Brian Singer: In proportion to the form of life.

Prabhupada: In proportion to the body the.... The same fire, but the proportion of the fire is different, in proportion of the piece of wood. Similarly, according to the body, the consciousness is manifest. The consciousness of a child is different from the consciousness of the father because the body is different. So in the human form of life it is expected that the consciousness should be fully developed. If it does not develop by some reason or other, then it remains like animal. In the human form of life it is expected that the consciousness should be fully developed.

Brian Singer: In animals...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Brian Singer: ...it's there, but it isn't developed.

Prabhupada: Eh?

Devotee (2): Yes, that's correct. In animals the soul is there, but the consciousness is not developed.

Prabhupada: Not developed. But you cannot say there is no soul. Sometimes they say foolishly that the animal, there is no soul. That is foolishness. Everywhere there is soul. It is not developed. So just like a child is as good as animal, but you cannot say in the child there is no soul. The consciousness is not developed. You can say like that. Similarly, there are 8,400,000 species of forms. They are different on account of different development of consciousness. A tree, there is consciousness, but it is very, very covered. If you cut the tree, it does not protest, because the consciousness is not developed. I have seen in children surgical operation. They do not require anesthetics. I remember. My eldest daughter, when she was child, she had some boil here. So the doctor wanted to operate. So I asked him that "Apply anesthetic or do something." "No, no, they don't require." And so the doctor cut the boil, and the child simply, "Ehhh, ehhh," no crying. I have seen it when they did.... No crying. Because the consciousness is not developed. Now, what do you mean by...? When you are unconscious, if your head is cut off, you do not understand. That is practical if by medicinal process you are made into unconsciousness, chloroform anesthetic, so that you don't feel. This is practical. So unless the consciousness is developed, one's soul's full-fledged function does not develop. So this is a chance in the human form of body that the consciousness should be developed. Therefore we are presenting these books. They can understand. We are not presenting the books to the cats and dogs. They cannot understand. Those who are developed conscious, they can understand, and they can understand the value of life, what is the objective of life. Then he acts accordingly, and his life becomes successful. Otherwise, if we do not develop consciousness, simply eat like animal, sleep like animal, enjoy sex life like animal, and try to defend ourself like animal, then where is the difference between man and the animal? At the present moment they are busy with these four things: how to eat, how to sleep, how to have best process of sex life, and how to defend by atomic bomb. This is their advancement of civilization. And this is dog's civilization. A dog is also trying for the same purpose, how to eat, how sleep, how to have sex, and how to defend. That's all. Any animal is trying. Any small insect, it is trying for the same thing. So human life should be utilized only for these four things? No. To understand himself, "What I am? Why I do not like death?" Just like we make some arrangement, struggle for existence for becoming happy, stopping the impediments. So this question should be there in the human form of life, that "I don't want to die. Why death comes upon me? What is the superior power that is enforcing death upon me? I am young man. I don't want to become an old man. Why? Why I am forced to become an old man?" These are the questions of human life. A dog cannot think. A dog cannot think that "Why I have become dog? Why I am barking, and why I am chained?" He doesn't think. And if we remain unconscious like the dog, then where is the advancement of civilization? Dog civilization is not human civilization. Human civilization should be different from the doggish life.

Brian Singer: How do you awake that consciousness?

Prabhupada: Then.... Therefore the books are there. The first of all, you have to understand, "Whether I am this body or I am different from body?" This is the first instruction. If you are.... If you are human being, we should analyze the body. We are now scientist, chemist, physicist. Analyze the body. What is the difference between dead body and living body? The dead body is there. The son is crying, "My father is gone." Where your father is gone? He is lying on the bed. Why you say that "Father is gone"? Hm? What is the answer. The father is lying on the bed, the same coat, pant, and bedding, and everything is there. Why you say that "My father is gone"? Where he is gone? He is lying there. Why do you say he is gone?

Brian Singer: We normally say he's dead.

Prabhupada: No, no, death.... What is the distinction between death and life? You are now dressing with these coat, pants, and this same body, same hair. Now, something will be minus -- you'll be called dead. What is that something? That you do not know. Eh?

Brian Singer: The "you."

Prabhupada: What is that?

Devotee (2): Yes, the person.

Brian Singer: The person.

Prabhupada: Person. But the person you have never seen. You have never seen. I am seeing you: I am seeing your body, hat, coat, pant, hair. That's all. And dead body also, I will see the same thing. But I say, "Now the person is gone." Then but you have never seen the person. Now you say the person is gone, but before that, you were never interested with the person; you were interested with this body, coat, pant, hair, and that's all. That's all. That is ignorance.

Brian Singer: Well, how do you see the person? By understanding? By...

Prabhupada: Yes, by analysis, analysis. Now you.... I say that you are not this body. Now you say, "No, I am.... I am Mr. John. I am this body. I am American," "I am Australian." That is ignorance. You are neither Australian, neither American, neither white, neither black. That you have to understand. Neither coat, neither pant. You are different from all these things. That is the first understanding. If we analyze our body and if we at least theoretically understand that "I am not this body," then you are..., you come to the spiritual platform.

Brian Singer: This is possible to understand...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Brian Singer: ...but what is sometimes difficult to understand, where does...

Prabhupada: Difficult may be.

Brian Singer: ...where does originally the soul come from?

Prabhupada: In the beginning arithmetic, mathematic, to a child it is difficult. And "One plus two equal to three, two plus two equal to four," in the beginning it may be difficult for a child, but the subject matter is very easy.

Brian Singer: How does a soul...

Prabhupada: The child can understand, "Now, two finger and two finger, it becomes four finger." In this way we have to learn it. Therefore there are so many books. It is for the human being to learn. But if we simply remain civilized like cats and dog, then what is your advancement of civilization? There is no advancement. If you sit on this chair, and the others, they are sitting on the floor, sitting purpose is served. But if you say, "Sitting on the chair is civilized, and that is uncivilized," that is mental concoction. You have to serve your purpose. If by sitting on the floor you can understand what you are, that is civilization. And without understanding yourself, if you waste your time for manufacturing a chair, that is cats' and dogs' civilization. So that is going on. They are busy in manufacturing chairs, how to sit comfortably, without any knowledge that what is the value of life and what is life. This is going on. They are thinking that constructing big, big skyscraper building and motorcars and high roads and so many, so many, unnecessary things, that is advancement of civilization. No. Advancement of civilization is there when you know what you are. That is advancement of.... You can.... There is no prohibition. The materialistic way of civilization, constructing big, big house, there is no.... You don't stop it, but if you forget yourself -- you do not know what you are -- then it is wasting time because the human life is specially meant for understanding "What I am?" The cats and dogs, they cannot do. Therefore this Krsna consciousness movement, to enlighten people actually what he is, what is the aim of life and how his life will be successful, how at the present moment he is living, how he is spoiling his valuable life. These are the subject matter dealt in these books.

Brian Singer: How do you treat.... In Australia mostly people are brought up in Christian religion. Do you treat...

Prabhupada: Well, Christian religion.... We are not talking of religion. We are talking of science, fact. When I say that "You are young man. You'll become old man," either you are Christian or Hindu, Muslim, this is a fact. So don't bring in "The Christian believe this" or "Hindu believe this." Fact is fact. A child becomes a boy -- a Christian believes; a Hindu believes; a Muslim believes. Everyone believes. So we are talking of the science. The child becomes a boy, a boy becomes a young man, young man becomes old man, and the old man, when this body becomes rotten, he accepts another body. So this is applicable for Bible or Christian or this or that, everyone.

Brian Singer: It's just different method of teaching.

Prabhupada: No method. Same method. But if you say it, a different method, then we don't mind, but this is the subject matter of study. "Two plus two" is taught by the Christian and the Muslim, the Hindu. "Two plus two equal to four." There is no method of studying. The studying is the same. But if you take that "I'll read 'two plus two' in a Christian school," that is your choice. That's another thing. But wherever you go, "Two plus two equal to four," it is same. You call it Christian or Hindu or Muslim. That's your whims. Science is science. So we are preaching that "You are not this body; you are different from body." So it is equally necessary for the Christian, for the Hindu, for the Australian, for the American, for the African, everyone.

Brian Singer: What's.... What's the concept of...

Prabhupada: If you say that.... I say that "You are not this body; you are soul." Now, if you say that "As Christian, we don't believe in it," then what can I say? Then I have to say that Christian have no clear idea of knowledge. There is no question of belief. Fact is fact. A child will become a boy. That's a fact. How you can say that "We Christian, we do not believe"? That means ignorance, less intelligence. It is a fact. Everyone knows. Child becomes a boy.

Brian Singer: What is the God that these other religions believe in? Is that...

Prabhupada: First of all you try to understand yourself. Then talk of God. If you do not understand yourself, how you'll understand God? That is a big thing. Try to understand the small thing, that you are not this body. Talk on this subject matter, that as.... When you understand that "I, the proprietor of the body, I am different from this body," then you will understand God also, very easily. Because you are the proprietor of this body and you are given the controlling power of the body by thinking, feeling, willing, by acting.... You have got this body. You are sitting here. You can say, "Now I am going away." The body is under your control. You can do that. Similarly, when you understand this fully, then you'll understand that in this huge, gigantic body, material cosmic manifestation, there is a controller, easily. But if you do not understand yourself, how you can understand God? God is not different in quality than from you. God means like you in huge, unlimited quantity. As you have got little intelligence -- you can create a wonderful thing, 747 airplane flying in the air -- so God has got unlimited brain. Millions and trillions of universes are floating in the air. The process is the same. You are tiny. You are very much proud that "I am so advanced that I have manufactured 747." And just why not compare the intelligence of God? Such a huge lump of matter, the sun, is floating also there. That is the difference between you and God. You have got brain, He has got brain, but your the brain is very tiny, little, and his brain very big. That is difference between God and you. So if you understand yourself, sample of God, then you understand the Supreme God. But first of all you do not understand yourself. I am misidentifying, "I am this body." And that is doing.... The cats and dogs, they are doing that. Then where is your human intelligence? Then how you can understand God if you have no human intelligence? These books are meant for the human being. If I give to the dogs that "Read this book; you'll understand God," who cares for it? All these school, college, institution, university, they are meant for human being, not for the cats and dogs. So if we do not take advantage of this human form of life and try to understand ourself and God, then we are simply cats and dogs. That is going on. We are fighting like cats and dogs. And before the Englishman came in Australia, Australia was property of somebody else. And now you have captured Australia, you are barking, "Why you have come, Indian, here?" What is this civilization? Hm? You have taken illegally from others, and now you have become proprietor. You are barking like dog, "Why you have come here?" What is this civilization? The civilization is.... All land belongs to God. We are sons of God. We can go anywhere, everywhere. It is father's property. That is Krsna conscious. If we take it like that -- the United Nation passed a resolution, "The whole world belongs to the whole human society" -- then there is no fight, immediately. But that they'll not do. The dog's quality. And they are fighting always. What benefit you have derived from the United Nation except this big, big barking? That's all. What benefit you have got? The purpose of United Nation was to stop war. Has war stopped? Then what is the use of barking? You could not achieve. Formerly you started League of Nation, after the Second...

Devotee (3): First World War.

Prabhupada: First World War, yes. That was futile. Again you have started United Nation. Where is the benefit? There cannot be benefit. If you keep the dogs as dog, you bring them, "You Australian dog, come here, and American dog, come here, and European dog, come here. Live peacefully," will they live peacefully? So if you keep the human society as cats and dogs, how can you expect peace? They must be human being. Then there will be peace. So this is the training how to make human being, this Krsna consciousness. Now these boys, they are also Europeans, Americans. They are coming from respectable, very educated.... They'll never ask for a chair. "Sit down. That's all." The necessities of life, artificial necessities, reduced, and time is saved for understanding the value of life. Without motorcar your life will not be spoiled. You can walk. But without Krsna consciousness your life is spoiled. So how.... We recommend that "First of all understand yourself." Athato brahma jijnasa. This is your prime business. And so far necessities of body, that can be done according to the circumstances. So if we simply waste our time for increasing unnecessary necessities of life and do not try to understand the value of life, then we remain animal.

Brian Singer: I understand that the body, you know, like the soul is different from the body...

Prabhupada: Then your.... Then your activities will be changed.

Brian Singer: But what.... I would like to know more about the, the soul in so far as, does it have beginning? Does it have end?

Prabhupada: No, soul is always there. Just like the soul in the boy, the soul in the young man, and the soul in the old man -- the same.

Brian Singer: Yeah, and before life...

Prabhupada: Body has changed. Body has changed. The soul is the same. You can remember, I can remember that "I was a small boy. I was a small child." But the body is not there. I remember, when I was six months old I was lying down on the lap of my eldest sister, and she was knitting. I was seeing. I still remember. But where is that body? That body's gone.

Brian Singer: Yeah, this is possible to understand. Before the body, the soul is still there?

Prabhupada: Before the childhood body and..., you were existing. Before your body was formed in the womb of your mother you were existing.

Brian Singer: Existing for millions of years.

Prabhupada: Then you entered a matter, material body created by your father and mother. Then you grew. Then, when you were sufficiently grown, then you have come out. Then again grew, again grow, again grow. Again it becomes old. You give up this body, in the same way again enter another mother's body, again develop another body. This science has to be understood, how it is going on. And that is Bhagavad-gita.

Brian Singer: And in the beginning of time of the soul?

Prabhupada: Why...? There is no beginning. Beginning of the body.

Brian Singer: No, I don't want to know about the beginning of the body. I can understand. I want to know about the beginning of the soul.

Prabhupada: The soul is already there. Soul is already.... Just like this room was already there. Now I have entered. And again I give up this room; I go to another room. Like that. Not that this room becomes another room, room. If I have to go to another room, I have to give up this room. I have to go another room. So I am the same. I am changing different rooms, different body. Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati [Bg. 2.13]. Find out this verse.

dehino 'smin yatha dehe

kaumaram yauvanam jara

tatha dehantara-praptir

dhiras tatra na muhyati

 [Bg. 2.13]

Pusta Krsna: "As the embodied soul continually passes in this body from boyhood to youthhood to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change."

Prabhupada: Hm. Purport.

Pusta Krsna: Purport: "Since every living entity is an individual soul, each is changing his body every moment, manifesting sometimes as a child, sometimes as a youth, and sometimes as an old man. Yet the same spirit soul is there and does not undergo any change. This individual soul finally changes the body at death and transmigrates to another body. And since it is sure to have another body..."

Prabhupada: The example is already given: The child is transmigrating to the boy's body. Already given. Similarly.... Go on.

Pusta Krsna: "And since it is sure to have another body in the next birth, either material or spiritual, there is no cause for lamentation by Arjuna on account of death, neither for Bhisma nor for Drona, for whom he was so much concerned. Rather he should rejoice for their changing bodies from old to new ones, thereby rejuvenating their energy. Such changes of body account..."

Prabhupada: Now, suppose I am old man. If by some medical process, if I am given a young man's body to be more enthusiastic for working, is it not benefit for me? Similarly, in old age, when the body is changed, he gets another new body. That is a profit. There is no loss. The old body, it cannot work nicely. It cannot move nicely. Just old car.... If your old car is changed into new car, will you not accept it? So it is just like machine, car.

Brian Singer: You're not aware of this...

Prabhupada: Aware? You have to aware, become aware by the books, by the knowledge.

Brian Singer: How was the soul originally created? This...

Prabhupada: Eh?

Brian Singer: The original creation...

Prabhupada: There is no creation. That you have to understand.

Brian Singer: It always is.

Prabhupada: It is eternal. There is no creation. If soul is created by some combination of matter, then you could create. That you cannot do.

Brian Singer: So there was no starting point in time.

Prabhupada: No, eternal. And that is explained there. Antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah saririnah [Bg. 2.18]. Antavanta ime deha nityasyoktah saririnah. And another, na jayate mriyate va kadacit: "It is never created; it is never annihilated." You open that verse, na jayate mriyate va kadacit.

Pusta Krsna:

na jayate mriyate va kadacin

nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah

ajo nityah sasvato 'yam purano

na hanyate hanyamane sarire

 [Bg. 2.20]

"For the soul there is never birth nor death, nor having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain."

Brian Singer: Without the consciousness, what happens to the soul when the body dies?

Prabhupada: He enters another body. Suppose if by force I get you out of this room, then you enter another room. That's all. But this is illegal, that you are living in this room.... By force if I get you out, that is illegal. Then I have to await for the punishment, "Why you have driven out this?" So similarly, although soul is immortal, but taking the soul is immortal, you cannot cut anyone's throat. He has got a right to live in that body for some time by the ordained order of the Supreme. I cannot get you out by force. That is sinful. By nature's way, when he gives up this body, that's all right. But I cannot force the soul to go out of this body by killing. That is sinful.

Brian Singer: How do.... In the Gita, Bhagavad-gita, there was a problem to understand when a person was told by Krsna to fight.

Prabhupada: Well, that is.... That.... That we shall discuss. First of all you understand that you are not this body.

Brian Singer: But how can you...

Prabhupada: Then we discuss other things. This is the primary education of spiritual life. First of all you have to understand that you are not this body. You are living entity, different from the body. Just like you are different from the shirt-coat. But the difficulty is, the person who is in a different type of shirt-coat, he is identifying with the shirt-coat, and they are fighting. You have got black coat. You have got white coat. You have got yellow coat. But they do not understand, none of us belong to the coat. We are different from the coat. That is ignorance. The whole world is going on under this impression that "I am this body." So how there will be peace? That kind of thinking is there in the dogs, in the cats. So our point is that if you remain like cats and dogs, how you can attain peace? You are endeavoring for peace. It is not possible. First of all you understand yourself. Brahma-bhutah prasannatma na socati na kanksati [Bg. 18.54]. These things are discussed there.

Brian Singer: It is good to work towards understanding of God and Krsna consciousness. How do you know.... How does the individual person know.... If he makes decision every day.... But we must make decisions on certain things...

Prabhupada: No, in ignorance, whatever decision you make, that is foolishness.

Brian Singer: Any?

Prabhupada: Any decision. If you are on the wrong platform, whatever decision you make, that is foolishness. And therefore we are being baffled. Every time we are making decision, and next time it is found useless, another decision, because on the wrong platform, the basic principle being wrong, whatever decision you make, this is all foolishness. What is the value of the children's decision? Is there any value? Because he's not in proper understanding, what is the meaning of his decision? So one child makes one decision. Another child makes another decision. There is fight. The dog also do that.

Brian Singer: Who made the decision for Arjuna to fight or not to fight?

Prabhupada: That you'll understand when you actually understand yourself. You do not understand yourself. You cannot understand why Krsna said that "You fight." First of all understand yourself. That is the first instruction the Arjuna was given, that the.... Dehino 'smin yatha dehe [Bg. 2.13]. He's not teaching how to fight. He's teaching the philosophy. Try to understand the, I mean, step by step. So this Krsna consciousness movement is a scientific movement. It is not a religious faith. That is not. The beginning is that as the child grows to become a boy and boy grows to become a young man.... This is scientific. It is not the question of religion. It is religion.... According to Sanskrit, the dharma, the word dharma, that is translated into "religion," and religion means a kind of faith. But it is not like that. It is a science to understand your real identification. And because Krsna we worship.... Every big man should be worshiped, so Krsna we accept God. They take it as religion. But He's God. That's a fact. God-worshiping is religion. But Krsna is speaking everything knowledge. Knowledge means you must have knowledge of everything, social, political, religious, cultural, philosophical, chemical, physical, everything. So the Bhagavad-gita is like that. Vedic knowledge is like that. You receive any type of knowledge you want to get. That is called Veda. Veda means knowledge. Knowledge means of anything. That is knowledge. So everything is there. You'll find social, political.... This fighting is political. So in politics sometimes war is necessary. You cannot avoid it when there is politics. That is the whole history, and politics are never settled up without war. There is no history. When you come to the political platform, war is necessary. In logic it is called argumentum vaculum, that when a man is not accepting reasoning, then there must be stick. It is like that. When there are two parties -- there is some disagreement -- so one is not reasonable, then there must be stick. That is war. Just like animal. The animal cannot understand reasoning, so you have to take the stick. Then the animal will agree. If a dog entering room, you don't want him in, so you say, "Dog, don't enter." He'll not hear. And if you show a stick, it will go away. So for the dogs, for the animals, stick is required. That is war. And there is logic. You know this, argumentum vaculum. In logic there is. So when logic fails, you have to take to war. Not whimsically. You try to avoid war. And when the other party does not agree to logic, then there must be fight. So that is also necessary because all men are not abiding by logic. So everything is necessary if it used for good purpose. Just like surgical operation. The patient is crying, "Don't operate me, surgical." So it is necessary. Otherwise he'll not be cured. So war is not always bad. War is meant for good purpose. But if you use it.... Everything you can use for bad purpose. That is another thing, another side. But don't think that war is itself always bad, no.

Brian Singer: Sometimes my understanding of the Krsna teachings in the book is to reach a stage or a state in your person where there is no disappointment or no very happy...

Prabhupada: No. If you follow Krsna's instruction, you'll always be happy. And if you create your own plans, then you'll be unhappy. This is the whole instruction. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "You give up your own plans, nonsense plan. You take My plan. You'll be happy." This is the whole purpose of Bhagavad-gita. You take Krsna's plan and you'll be happy.

Brian Singer: And you avoid disappointment.

Prabhupada: Yes. There will be no disappointment. And as, if you make your plan, it will be baffled and you'll be disappointed. That is going on.

Brian Singer: But sometimes in the past, I have noticed from very bad disappointment that I have learnt very much.

Prabhupada: Well, you were lucky. You are sometimes not disappointed. But generally you are disappointed. So we are teaching that "You take Krsna's plan. You'll be happy. Don't make your own plan. You'll never be happy." This is Krsna consciousness.

Brian Singer: Is Krsna cons..., the Krsna movement, is it still growing?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Devotee (2): Is the Krsna movement still growing?

Prabhupada: What do you think?

Brian Singer: In numbers. Yeah. I think yes, but I don't know.

Prabhupada: Yes. It must grow. If it is good, there must be customer. And if it is bad -- it is cheating -- there may be some customer for some time, then it will be finished. That is the test of reality and false thing. You can cheat persons with false things for some time, but if your commodity is right, the customer will increase. That's a fact. The more people will appreciate, "Oh, here is nice commodity. Purchase it..."

Brian Singer: Do many people follow Krsna consciousness by reading books in this method?

Prabhupada: No, not only reading books. By practicing, by understanding. Then it comes right.

Brian Singer: But what proportion of those people, of all the people...

Prabhupada: You.... You cannot expect any good thing to be taken up by mass of people. That is not possible. In university, when matriculation candidates, there are so many. Then B.A. candidates, so many. And when you come to the M.A., Ph.D., a very few number.

Doug Warvick: Why is that?

Prabhupada: You cannot expect that everyone should be M.A., Ph.D. So Krsna consciousness is like that. It is not meant for ordinary persons. Those who are very intelligent, they can understand it. Ordinary men, they cannot understand even that he's not this body. What he will understand about Krsna? Therefore the beginning understanding is that "I am not this body." When you are firmly convinced about this science that you are not this body, then Krsna consciousness beginning.

Brian Singer: And it's not necessary to live a temple life.

Prabhupada: No, temple life is a.... Just like if you go to school.... Without school you can be educated. It is not that we..., unless you go to school you can be educated. But if you go to school you get greater facilities. And that is the way. Just like in our country Rabindranath Tagore, he never went to school. You have heard the name of Rabindranath Tagore?

Pusta Krsna: Rabindranath Tagore.

Prabhupada: Tagore.

Devotee (2): He's a famous Indian poet.

Prabhupada: So never went to school, but Oxford University gave him Ph.D. That does not mean that "I shall also receive Ph.D. like Rabindranath Tagore. I shall not go to school." The general method is: one must go to the school. Exceptional cases, that without going to school one can become Ph.D.... But we should not imitate that, that "Rabindranath Tagore got Ph.D. without going to school. I shall sit down." But the fact is that even without going to school one can get Ph.D. That's a fact. But that is not the method. The method is that you must go to the primary school, then secondary school, then enter college, then take your degree. Then you become M.A. and Ph.D. That is the general process, step by step. And if you take the example of Rabindranath Tagore, that "He did not go to school. Then I shall not go to school," then you may be spoiled also, without going to school. That is the, generally the case.

Brian Singer: How did you find the transition, or how did it affect you, the transition from leading a life in the business world...

Prabhupada: No, no, business.... Business world is not bad. Why do you think that because I was a businessman, therefore I could not be...?

Brian Singer: No, no. I just want to know how you found the transition.

Prabhupada: No, this is our regulative principle, that first of all you be trained up as brahmacari. Then you be entered into family life. Then you retire from family life. Then you become a sannyasi. This is a general procedure, not that you shall stick to one position. So a businessman does not mean he's fallen man. He can become first-class Krsna conscious.

Doug Warvick: And still be a businessman or...?

Prabhupada: Oh, yes. Why not? Just like Arjuna. He's a military man. That is also another business. He's military man. He knew how to fight. Similarly businessman's how to make trade. So this is different grades of livelihood. And Krsna consciousness does not depend on this life or that life. Everyone can become.

Guru-krpa: They know Ugra-srava(?). He's a businessman here, that's all he does.

Brian Singer: Yeah, I understand.

Prabhupada: Everyone can be devotee.... It is a question to understand that "I am not this body." That is beginning. So a businessman can try to understand, a lawyer can try to understand, or a philosopher can try to under.... Everyone can do that. The real point is, first of all try to understand that you are not this body. So where is the hampering, becoming a businessman or family man or this or that? There is no hampering. We are trained up from the very beginning of our life by our parents. We got the opportunity. And businessman, no businessman, it doesn't matter. Ahaituky apratihata yayatma suprasidati. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo... [SB 1.2.6]. Find out this verse. Ahaituky apratihata. Krsna conscious is unhampered by anything material. It does not mean that because you are a businessman you cannot be Krsna conscious. No. That is not. You may be whatever you are, but you can become Krsna conscious at the same time. [break] (devotees offer obeisances) (background talking) So it is not the superexcellency of English language. It is subject matter. Formerly they used to speak in Sanskrit. Therefore it is recorded in Sanskrit language. It can be transferred to any language. The thoughts are there. That is real point. Just like we are translating the thoughts in English, in Spanish, in Portuguese, in French. The real thing is the thought, not the language. But in Sanskrit language you'll find very, very high thoughts. That is because it is very old language.

Brian Singer: Do you find that in the translation from the thoughts and the Sanskrit to the English words, then from the English words to the mass of the people's heads, do you find that there is much loss?

Prabhupada: No, if you have grasped the thought, that you can express in any language. But if you cannot grasp the thought, then you cannot express. So the.... Our translation is that we have to receive the thoughts as it is by the parampara system. Therefore it is presented so nicely, and people like it. It is.... It is the value of the subject matter. That we have to receive from authorities. Just like any scientific book, say medical science. You cannot understand medical science by reading the books. It must be received through a medical man. Then it will be clear. Therefore the parampara system.... Arjuna said, evam parampara... Krsna said, evam parampara-praptam [Bg. 4.2]. Everything is parampara. If you receive the knowledge from the authority, then you are in perfect knowledge, simply by..., not by reading the books. Therefore our method is to accept the perfect guru to understand the subject matter. But still, if one reads the books as it is from authorities, there is chance of understanding. Real thing is training. So our institution is training, not only training, full knowledge, practical and theoretical. That is real scientific. If you give up one side, then you can give up the theoretical side, but practical side you cannot give up. Then you'll never come. The two sides, practical and theoretical.... So that is real scientific knowledge. So two sides are presented in our Krsna consciousness movement, and they are being thoroughly trained up. (pause) Take prasadam. (end)

 
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation -- April 22, 1976, Melbourne

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