ISKCON Press


Kṛṣṇa, the All-Attractive

Bob: What is a scientist? id1

Śrīla Prabhupāda: One who knows things as they are. id2

Bob: He thinks he knows things as they are. id3

Śrīla Prabhupāda: What? id4

Bob: He hopes he knows things as they are. id5

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, he is supposed to know. We approach the scientist because he is supposed to know things correctly. A scientist means one who knows things as they are. Kṛṣṇa means “all-attractive.” id6

Bob: All-attractive. id7

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. So unless God is all-attractive, how can He be God? A man is important when he is attractive. Is it not? id8

Bob: It is so. id9

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So, God must be attractive and attractive for all. Therefore, if God has any name, or if you want to give any name to God, only “Kṛṣṇa” can be given. id10

Bob: But why only the name Kṛṣṇa? id11

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Because He's all-attractive. Kṛṣṇa means“all-attractive.” id12

Bob: Oh, I see. id13

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. God has no name, but by His qualities we give Him names. If a man is very beautiful, we call him “beautiful.” If a man is very intelligent, we call him “wise.' So the name is given according to the quality. Because God is all-attractive, the name Kṛṣṇa can be applied only to Him. Kṛṣṇa means “all-attractive.” It includes everything. id14

Bob: But what about a name meaning “all-powerful”? id15

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes…. Unless you are powerful, how can you be all-attractive? id16

Śyāmasundara: [an American devotee, Śrīla Prabhupāda's secretary] It includes everything. id17

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Everything. He must be very beautiful, He must be very wise, He must be very powerful, He must be very famous… id18

Bob: Is Kṛṣṇa attractive to rascals? id19

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes! He was the greatest rascal also. id20

Bob: How is that? id21

Śrīla Prabhupāda: [laughing] Because He was always teasing the gopīsid22

Śyāmasundara: Teasing? id23

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Sometimes when Rādhārāṇī would go out, Kṛṣṇa would attack Her, and when She would fall down—”Kṛṣṇa, don't torture Me in that way“—They would fall down, and Kṛṣṇa would take the opportunity and kiss Her. [He laughs.] So, Rādhārāṇī was very pleased, but superficially Kṛṣṇa was the greatest rascal. So unless rascaldom is in Kṛṣṇa, how could rascaldom be existent in the world? Our formula of God is that He is the source of everything. Unless rascaldom is in Kṛṣṇa, how can it be manifest… because He is the source of everything. But His rascaldom is so nice that everyone worships His rascaldom. id24

Bob: What about the rascals who are not so nice? id25

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, rascaldom is not nice, but Kṛṣṇa is absolute. He is God. Therefore His rascaldom is also good. Kṛṣṇa is all-good. God is good. id26

Bob: Yes. id27

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Therefore, when He becomes a rascal, that is also good. That is Kṛṣṇa. Rascaldom is not good, but when it is practiced by Kṛṣṇa, because He is absolutely good, that rascaldom is also good. This one has to understand. id28

Bob: Are there some people who do not find Kṛṣṇa attractive? id29

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. All people will find Him attractive. Who is not attracted? just give an example: “This man or this living entity is not attracted to Kṛṣṇa.”Just find such a person. id30

Bob: Somebody who wishes to do things in life that he may feel are wrong but who wishes to gain power or prestige or money… id31

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. id32

Bob: … may find God unattractive. He may not find God attractive, because God gives him guilt. id33

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, not God. His attraction is to become powerful. A man wants to become powerful or rich—is it not? But nobody is richer than Kṛṣṇa. Therefore Kṛṣṇa is attractive to him. id34

Bob: If a person who wants to become rich prays to Kṛṣṇa, will he become rich? id35

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes! id36

Bob: He can become rich through this means? id37

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Because Kṛṣṇa is all-powerful, if you pray to Kṛṣṇa to become rich, Kṛṣṇa will make you rich. id38

Bob: If somebody lives an evil life but prays to become rich, he may still become rich? id39

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Praying to Kṛṣṇa is not evil. id40

Bob: Oh, yes. id41

Śrīla Prabhupāda: [chuckling] Somehow or other he prays to Kṛṣṇa, so you cannot say that he is evil. id42

Bob: Yes. id43

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā, api cet sudurācāro bhajate mām ananya-bhāk [Bg. 9.30]. Have you read it? id44

Bob: Yes. The Sanskrit I don't know, but the English I do. id45

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Hm-m. id46

Bob: “Even if the most evil man prays to Me…” id47

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. id48

Bob: ”… He will be elevated.“ id49

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. As soon as he begins to pray to Kṛṣṇa, that is not evil. Therefore He is all-attractive. It is said in the Vedas that the Absolute Truth, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the reservoir of all pleasure—raso vai saḥ. (Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2.7.1) Everyone is hankering after someone because he realizes some mellow in it. id50

Bob: Excuse me? id51

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Some mellow. Suppose a man is drinking. Why is he drinking? He is getting some mellow out of that drinking. A man is hankering after money because by possessing money he gets a mellow out of it. id52

Bob: What does mellow mean? id53

Śrīla Prabhupāda: [to Śyāmasundara] How do they define mellow? id54

Śyāmasundara: Taste, pleasure. id55

Bob: OK. id56

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Pleasing taste. So the Vedas say, raso vai saḥ. The exact translation of mellow is rasa. [Mālatī, Śyāmasundara's wife, enters with a tray of food] What is that? id57

Mālatī: Eggplant, fried. id58

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Oh! All-attractive! All-attractive! [Laughter.] id59

Śyāmasundara: How is Kṛṣṇa the greatest scientist? id60

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Because He knows everything. A scientist is one who knows a subject matter thoroughly. He is a scientist. Kṛṣṇa—He knows everything. id61

Bob: I am presently a science teacher. id62

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, teaching. But, unless you have perfect knowledge, how can you teach? That is our question. id63

Bob: Without perfect knowledge, though, you can teach— id64

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is cheating; that is not teaching. That is cheating. Just like the scientists say, “There was a chunk… and the creation took place. Perhaps. Maybe…” What is this? Simply cheating! It is not teaching; it is cheating. id65

Bob: Let me repeat what you said this morning—that was interesting. I asked about miracles, and you said that only a fool would believe in miracles because—let us say you are a child and an adult lifts this table. That's a miracle. Or you're a chemist and you combine acid and base and you make smoke, an explosion or whatever. To somebody ignorant, that's a miracle. But for everything there is a process, and so when you see a miracle, it's just ignorance of the process. So that only a fool would believe in miracles, and—you correct me if I say wrong… id66

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. id67

Bob: You said when Jesus came the people then were somewhat more ignorant and needed miracles as aid. I wasn't sure if that's quite what you said. id68

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. Miracles are for the ignorant. id69

Bob: I had asked this in relation to all the miracle men you hear about in India. id70

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is the highest miracle man. id71

Bob: Yes. id72

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is stated by Kuntī… id73

Bob: Without perfect knowledge, can I not teach some things? For example, I may— id74

Śrīla Prabhupāda: You can teach up to the point you know. id75

Bob: Yes, but I should not claim to teach more than I know. id76

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, that is cheating. id77

Śyāmasundara: In other words, he can't teach the truth with partial knowledge. id78

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. That is not possible for any human being. A human being has imperfect senses. So how can he teach perfect knowledge? Suppose you see the sun as a disc. You have no means to approach the sun. If you say that we can see the sun by telescope and this and that, they are also made by you, and you are imperfect. So how can your machine be perfect? Therefore, your knowledge of the sun is imperfect. So don't teach about the sun unless you have perfect knowledge. That is cheating. id79

Bob: But what about to teach that it is supposed that the sun is 93,000,000 miles away? id80

Śrīla Prabhupāda: As soon as you say “it is supposed,” it is not scientific. id81

Bob: But I think that almost all science, then, is not scientific. id82

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is the point! id83

Bob: All science is based on, you know, suppositions of this or that. id84

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. They are teaching imperfectly. Just like they are advertising so much about the moon. Do you think their knowledge is perfect? id85

Bob: No. id86

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Then? id87

Bob: What is the proper duty of the teacher in society? Let us say a science teacher. What should he be doing in the classroom? id88

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Classroom? You should simply teach about Kṛṣṇa. id89

Bob: He should not teach about… id90

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. That will include everything. His aim should be to know Kṛṣṇa. id91

Bob: Can a scientist teach the science of combining acid and alkaline, and this kind of science, with Kṛṣṇa as its object? id92

Śrīla Prabhupāda: How can it be? id93

Bob: If you—when one studies science, one finds general tendencies of nature, and these general tendencies of nature point to a controlling force…. id94

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That I was explaining the other day. I asked one chemist whether, according to chemical formulas, hydrogen and oxygen linked together become water. Do they not? id95

Bob: It's true. id96

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Now, there is a vast amount of water in the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. What quantity of chemicals was required? id97

Bob: How much? id98

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. How many tons? id99

Bob: Many! id100

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So who supplied it? id101

Bob: This was supplied by God. id102

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Somebody must have supplied it. id103

Bob: Yes. id104

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So that is science. You can teach like that. id105

Bob: Should one bother teaching that if you combine acid and alkaline they form a neutral? id106

Śrīla Prabhupāda: The same thing. There are so many effervescents. So, who is performing it? Who is supplying the acid and alkaline? [There is a long pause.] id107

Bob: So this comes from the same source as the water. id108

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. You cannot manufacture water unless you have hydrogen and oxygen. So, here is a vast—not only this Atlantic or Pacific: there are millions of planets, and there are millions of Atlantic and Pacific oceans. So who created this water with hydrogen and oxygen, and how was it supplied? That is our question. Somebody must have supplied it, otherwise how has it come into existence? id109

Bob: But should it also be taught how you make water from hydrogen and oxygen? The procedure of burning them together—should this also be taught? That is, you burn hydrogen and oxygen together… id110

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is secondary. That is not very difficult. Just like Mālatī made this puri [a kind of bread]. So, there is flour, and there is ghee [clarified butter], and she made a puri. But unless there is ghee and flour, where is the chance of making a puri? In the Bhagavad-gītā there is this statement: “Water, earth, air, fire—they are My energies.” What is your body? This external body—that is your energy. Do you know that? Your body is made out of your energy. For example, I am eating… id111

Bob: Yes. id112

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So I am creating some energy, and therefore my body is maintained. id113

Bob: Oh, I see. id114

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So therefore your body is made out of your energy. id115

Bob: But when you eat the food, there is energy from the sun in the food. id116

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So, I am giving an example. I am creating some energy by digesting the food, and that is maintaining my body. If your energy supply is not proper, then your body becomes weak or unhealthy. Your body is made out of your own energy. Similarly, this gigantic cosmic body—the universe—is made of Kṛṣṇa's energy. How can you deny it? As your body is made out of your energy, similarly the universal body must be made by somebody's energy. That is Kṛṣṇa. [There is a long pause.] id117

Bob: I'll have to think about it to follow that. id118

Śrīla Prabhupāda: What is to follow? It is a fact. [He laughs.] Your hair is growing daily. Why? Because you have some energy. id119

Bob: The energy I obtain from my food. id120

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Somehow or other you have obtained that energy! And through that energy your hair is growing. So if your body is manufactured by your energy, similarly the whole gigantic manifestation is made of God's energy. It is a fact! It is not your energy. id121

Bob: Yes. Oh, I see that. id122

A devotee: Just like—aren't the planets in this universe the sun's energy—a product of the sun's energy? id123

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, but who produced the sun? That is Kṛṣṇa's energy. Because it is heat, and Kṛṣṇa says, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ: [Bg. 7.4] “Heat—that is My energy.” The sun is the representation of the heating energy of Kṛṣṇa. It is not your energy. You cannot say, “The sun is made by me.” But somebody must have made it, and Kṛṣṇa says that He did. So, we believe Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we are Kṛṣṇa-ites. id124

Bob: Kṛṣṇa-ites? id125

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Our knowledge is perfect. If I say that heat is the energy of Kṛṣṇa, you cannot deny it, because it is not your energy. In your body there is some certain amount of heat. Similarly, heat is someone's energy. And who is that person? That is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, “Yes, it is My energy.” So my knowledge is perfect. Because I take the version of the greatest scientist, I am the greatest scientist. I may be a fool personally, but because I take knowledge from the greatest scientist, I am the greatest scientist. I have no difficulty. id126

Bob: Excuse me? id127

Śrīla Prabhupāda: I have no difficulty in becoming the greatest scientist because I take the knowledge from the greatest scientist. [There is a long pause.] “This earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and ego—they are My eight separated energies.” id128

Bob: They are separated energies? id129

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Just like this milk. What is this milk? The separated energy of the cow. [Śyāmasundara and Bob, stunned, laugh in realization.] Is it not? It is the manifestation of the separated energy of the cow. id130

Śyāmasundara: Is it like a by-product? id131

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. id132

Bob: So, what is the significance of this energy's being separated from Kṛṣṇa? id133

Śrīla Prabhupāda: “Separated” means that this is made out of the body of the cow but it is not the cow. That is separation. id134

Bob: So, this earth and all is made out of Kṛṣṇa but it is not Kṛṣṇa? id135

Śrīla Prabhupāda: It is not Kṛṣṇa. Or, you can say, Kṛṣṇa and not Kṛṣṇa simultaneously. That is our philosophy. One and different. You cannot say that these things are different from Kṛṣṇa, because without Kṛṣṇa they have no existence. At the same time, you cannot say, “Then let me worship water. Why Kṛṣṇa? The pantheists say that because everything is God, whatever we do is God worship. This is Māyāvāda philosophy—that because everything is made of God, therefore everything is God. But our philosophy is that everything is God but also not God. id136

Bob: So what on earth is God? Is there anything on earth that is God? id137

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Because everything is made out of the energy of God. But that does not mean that by worshiping anything you are worshiping God. id138

Bob: So what is on earth that is not māyā [illusion]? It is… id139

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Māyā means “energy.” id140

Bob: It means energy? id141

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. Māyā—and another meaning is “illusion.” So foolish persons accept the energy as the energetic. That is māyā. Just like sunshine. Sunshine enters your room. Sunshine is the energy of the sun. But because the sunshine enters your room, you cannot say that the sun has entered. If the sun enters your room, then your room and yourself—everything—will be finished. Immediately. You will not have the leisure to understand that the sun has entered. Is it not? id142

Bob: It is so. id143

Śrīla Prabhupāda: But you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. Without the sun, where is the sunshine? So you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. But at the same time, it is not the sun. It is the sun and not the sun—both. That is our philosophy. Acintya-bhedābheda—inconceivable. In the material sense, you cannot conceive that a thing is simultaneously positive and negative. That you cannot think of. That is inconceivable energy. And because everything is Kṛṣṇa's energy, Kṛṣṇa can manifest Himself from any energy. Therefore, when we worship Kṛṣṇa in a form made of something—of earth, water or something like that—that is Kṛṣṇa. You cannot say that it is not Kṛṣṇa. When we worship this metal form of Kṛṣṇa [the Deity form in the temple], that is Kṛṣṇa. That's a fact, because metal is an energy of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, it is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is so powerful that He can present Himself fully in His energy. So this Deity worship is not heathenism. It is actually worship of God, provided you know the process. id144

Bob: If you know the process, then the Deity becomes Kṛṣṇa? id145

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Not becomes—it is Kṛṣṇa. id146

Bob: The Deity is Kṛṣṇa, but only if you know the process? id147

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. just like this electric wire—it is electricity. One who knows the process, he can derive electricity out of it. id148

Śyāmasundara: Otherwise it's just wire. id149

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Just wire. id150

Bob: So if I build a statue of Kṛṣṇa, it is not Kṛṣṇa unless… id151

Śrīla Prabhupāda: It is Kṛṣṇa. But you have to know the process of understanding that it is Kṛṣṇa. It is Kṛṣṇa. id152

Bob: It is not just earth and mud. id153

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. Earth has no separate existence without Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, “My energy.” You cannot separate the energy from the energetic. It is not possible. You cannot separate heat from fire. But fire is different from the heat, and heat is different from the fire. You are taking heat; that does not mean you are touching fire. Fire, in spite of emanating heat, keeps its identity. Similarly, although Kṛṣṇa, by His different energies, is creating everything, He remains Kṛṣṇa. The Māyāvādī philosophers think that if Kṛṣṇa is everything, then Kṛṣṇa's separate identity is lost. That is material thinking. For example, by drinking this milk, little by little, when I finish, there is no more milk; it has gone to my belly. Kṛṣṇa is not like that. He is omnipotent. We are utilizing His energy continually; still He is there, present. Just like a man begetting children unlimitedly, but the man is there. A crude example. It's not that because he has produced hundreds of children, he is finished. So, similarly, God or Kṛṣṇa, in spite of His unlimited number of children, is there. id154

pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya
pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate
(Invocation)

“Because He is the complete whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.” This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is never finished. Kṛṣṇa is so powerful. Therefore He is all-attractive. This is one side of the display of Kṛṣṇa's energy. Similarly, He has unlimited energies. This study of Kṛṣṇa's energy is only one side, or a portion only. So in this way, if you go on studying Kṛṣṇa, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is not a bogus thing—”maybe,” “perhaps not.” Absolutely! It is! id155

Śyāmasundara: And the study itself is never finished. id156

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No. How can it be? Kṛṣṇa has unlimited energy. id157

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