Lecture

Type:
Lecture
Date:
December 4
Year:
1968
Place:
Los Angeles

Prabhupāda: Govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. [three times with devotees responding]

cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa-
lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam
lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.29]

[three times with devotees responding] Thank you very much. So we are worshiper of the original Absolute Personality of Godhead, Govindam. Govindam. Go means senses, go means cow, and go means land. And vindam, vindam means who gives pleasure—the pleasure potency of all these three things, senses, cows, and the land. The land. Sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29], in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said. The proprietor of all land, the maintainer of all land, to give pleasure to the people of all land, is Govinda, Kṛṣṇa. Govindam. And He is the protector, and pleasing to the cows. You have seen many pictures of Kṛṣṇa, He is loving cow. Why cow is loved by Him? Why not another animal? There are many other animals. Why particularly cow? Because cow protection is the most important business of the human society. In offering obeisances to Kṛṣṇa, it is said, namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca: “I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Person, who is the protector of the brāhmaṇas and the cows.” Go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca jagad-dhitāya. The first qualification is that He protects the brāhmaṇas and the cows. Next, He protects the whole world. Jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇa. And He is Kṛṣṇa, govindāya, this Govinda.

So the example is set by the Supreme Personality of Godhead that human civilization will advance only on the basis of brahminical culture and cow protection. As soon as there is falldown from brahminical culture, and as soon as there is discrepancy in the protection of cows, there will be no more peace in the world. Therefore He specifically said, go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for the protection of brahminical culture and cows. Then automatically the peace of the world will come, if two things are done. This is Vedic literature. They pick up the essence of the things, and all other things follows. Just like meditation. Meditation means… Not meditation, the yoga system. Yoga indriya-saṁyamaḥ. Yoga system means to control the senses. This is the primary factor of practicing yoga. Now the senses, we have got five senses acquiring knowledge and five working senses. So of all the senses, the tongue is considered to be the most powerful sense. The Vaiṣṇava, they therefore try to control the tongue. They do not allow the tongue to eat everything and anything. No. Svāmī or gosvāmī means who has control over the senses. Generally, people, they are servant of the senses. When people, when a man becomes, instead of becoming servant of the senses, when he becomes master of the senses, then he is called svāmī. Svāmī is not this dress. This dress is superfluous, just to… As in everywhere there is some uniform dress to understand that “He is, he…” Actually, svāmī means who has control over the senses. And that is brahminical culture. Satya śama dama titikṣa ārjavam, jñānam vijñānam āstikyaṁ brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. Brahman, Brahman means brāhmaṇa, brahminical culture. Truthfulness, cleanliness, and controlling the senses, controlling the mind, and simplicity and tolerance, full of knowledge, practical application in life, faith in God—these qualifications are brahminical culture. Anywhere we practice these qualifications, he’ll revive brahminical culture. It is not that in a particular country or particular society or particular class of men they are brāhmaṇas. No. Bhagavad-gītā does not say that. Brahma-karma svabhāva-jam. Svabhāva-jam, natural activities. So truthfulness, controlling the senses, controlling the mind, and simplicity, and cleanliness, and tolerance, and knowledge, and practical application of knowledge in life. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for training brahmacārīs. Brahmacārī means who are being practiced to the brahminical culture. So, there must be a portion of the population well versed in brahminical culture. Ekaś candras tamo hanti na ca tara sahasrasaḥ. Just like in a garden if there is one nice flower plant, rose, with good scent, the whole garden becomes flavored, you see? Scented. Similarly, we do not expect that the whole population of the human society will be taking to this brahminical culture; but even one percent of the whole population accepts this brahminical culture, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then the whole world will be peaceful. Not even one percent, less than one percent. It is so nice.

So Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very scientific movement. Unless you raise the population from the animal propensities, how you can expect peace? Do you think is there any peace in the dog society, in the cat society? No, it is not possible. You keep some dogs. They meet. As soon as they meet together there will be howling—“gow, gow, gow, gow.” So you cannot expect if you create dog society, then you cannot expect. You have to create a portion, a certain percentage of the population, brāhmaṇas. Then there is possibility. Just like in the sky the numerical strength of the stars are greater, but there is one moon. That one moon is sufficient to illuminate the sky. Ekaś candras tamo hanti na ca tara sahasrasaḥ. Millions of millions of stars twinkling, they cannot dissipate the darkness. You see. Only one moon, only one sun. So try to make some percentage of the population actually brāhmaṇa. Go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. And protect the cows. Actually, we are taking so much advantages. So from the cows, the milk. And from the milk we can make hundreds of vitaminous foodstuff, hundreds. They’re all palatable. So such a nice animal, faithful, peaceful, and beneficial. After taking milk from it, if we kill, does it look very well? Even after the death, the cows supply the skin for your shoes. It is so beneficial. You see. Even after death. While living, he gives you nice milk. You cannot reject milk from the human society. As soon as there is a child born, milk immediately required. Old man, milk is life. Diseased person, milk is life. Invalid, milk is life. So therefore Kṛṣṇa is teaching by His practical demonstration how He loves this innocent animal, cow. So human society should develop brahminical culture on the basis of protecting cows. The brāhmaṇa cannot take any other food except it is made of milk preparation. That develops the finer tissues of the brain. You can understand in subtle matters, in philosophy, in spiritual science. Just like in a scientific college, not ordinary man can understand the scientific intricacies. They require some preliminary qualification to enter into the scientific college. They require some preliminary qualification to enter into the law college, in the postgraduate classes. Similarly, to understand the subtle or finer implications of spiritual science, one has to become brāhmaṇa. Without becoming brāhmaṇa it is not possible.

Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. There are four classes of men created by God: cātur-varṇyaṁ. How they are divided? How the classification is made? Guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ: by classification of quality and work. Not by birth. In India, of course, this classification of guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ was originally planned from the Vedic age. But later on, a class of men, without any qualification, without any practical work, they claimed that “I belong to such and such class.” Therefore India’s falldown was inevitable. So Bhagavad-gītā says, “Not like that.” Bhagavad-gītā says that these classes of men, cātur-varṇyaṁ—the brahminical class, the kṣatriya class, the vaiśya class, and the śūdra class—is everywhere. Not only in India, but also throughout the whole universe, in every country, in every nation, in every society, there must be some people who have brahminical tendency. Just like from your country, we have picked up some boys and girls who are inclined to adopt this way of life. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is simply picking up where there are brahminical class of boys, girls, men. Not that we are taking account, “Oh, who is your father? Is your father a brāhmaṇa?” No. We don’t take account. His father may be anything; it doesn’t matter. But if he has got tendency to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we immediately welcome: “Come on.” And we teach him this brahminical qualification—to become brahmacārī, not to indulge in illicit sex life, don’t take nonvegetarian diet. We recommend not exactly nonvegetarian diet. We are vegetarian diet, we restrict from nonvegetarian diet, but we recommend Kṛṣṇa prasādam. We have no quarrel with the nonvegetarians, because vegetable also has got life. The plants, the grass, the trees, the fruits, the flowers, they have also life. They are not dead. So simply becoming vegetarian is no great qualification. Somebody is taking meat and somebody is taking vegetable, it does not make any difference. But we are taking vegetables not as vegetarian. We are taking as Kṛṣṇa prasādam, remnants of foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that,

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
[Bg. 9.26]

Kṛṣṇa said that “If somebody offers Me some foodstuff prepared from vegetables and fruits and grains”—grains are also fruits—“so with love and devotion, then I eat.” Therefore we offer these things to Kṛṣṇa. Just like here, we have offered fruits. Not that because we are vegetarian, but Kṛṣṇa wants this. Just like if you invite some of your friend, you ask him, “My dear friend, what do you like to eat?” So if he says, “I like this,” so you immediately supply. This is the sign of love. Similarly, because Kṛṣṇa says, “If somebody offers Me fruits, flowers, grains, milk, with devotion and love, I will eat,” so we are pledged to Kṛṣṇa, I offer these things to Kṛṣṇa, and we eat. That is our process. We have no quarrel with nonvegetarian or vegetarian. No. Because vegetable has also got life. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is also stated that yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. You have to eat after offering sacrifice. Sacrifice means to worship the Supreme Lord. That is called sacrifice. So if anyone eats the remnants of sacrificial foodstuff, then he is freed from all kinds of sins.

The purport is that those who are vegetarian, they are thinking that “We are better than the nonvegetarian.” But it is not the fact. Either you eat vegetables or nonvegetable, you are liable to be punished because you are accepting something without offering to the supplier. That is the law. We must acknowledge at least that “This foodstuff is supplied by the Supreme Lord, and we are obliged to Him.” In Christian Bible also, they pray, “O God, give us our daily bread.” So one should accept that it is supplied by God. So if one does not even accept this obligation, then he is sinful, certainly. So, yajñarthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. One who offers sacrifice and then he takes foodstuff, then he becomes freed from the sinful activities. In the eating there is sinful activity also. But bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt: [Bg. 3.13] anyone who is simply cooking for himself, he is simply eating sins. These are the statements of Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore it is our duty to offer foodstuff to the Lord and then take it: “My Lord, You have supplied so nice foodstuff for my maintaining my life, so You first of all taste it, and then I shall eat it.” It is very nice. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa is not going to take your foodstuff. But simply if you think like that, then you become freed from the implication of sinful activities.

We are in such a position that in every step there is sinful activity, every step. This world is so made. Just like nonviolence. Nonviolence, the Buddhist philosophy, the Jain philosophy, they advocate nonviolence. But how one can be nonviolent? We are walking on the street, there are so many ants and small germs, they are being killed. We are breathing, so many animals are being killed. We are drinking water, so many animals are being killed. How it is possible to become nonviolence? It is not possible. Therefore in every step we have to act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. Then there is indemnity from the sinful activities. That is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā, that yajñarthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra loko ‘yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9]. Unless you act in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness, or as ordered by Kṛṣṇa, or God, then you become bound up by the reaction.

yajñarthāt karmaṇo ‘nyatra
loko ‘yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara
[Bg. 3.9]

“Therefore, My dear Arjuna,” Kṛṣṇa instructing Arjuna, that “you simply act for Kṛṣṇa, or God,” tad-artham, “not for any other purpose.” Don’t create your action. Simply act according to the direction of the Lord. Mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara. Then you will be freed from the reaction of your act. There are many examples. Just like a soldier: when he is killing in the battlefield on the higher authorities of government and commander-in-chief, he is not liable for killing. He is, rather, rewarded. The same man, if he kills on his own account somebody, he is hanged. Immediately he becomes liable to the law.

Therefore the whole life should be so modeled that we shall simply act for God, or Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness activities are called bhakti, devotional service. And how they are discharged, that is very nicely explained in many Vedic literatures, Bhagavad-gītā also. Especially in Nārada Pañcarātra it is stated,

sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-
sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170]

One has to become freed from all designations. Freed from all designation. What is the designation? “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am brāhmaṇa,” “I am kṣatriya,” “I am this,” “I am that.” These are all designations. Actually, I am spirit soul. I have got this designation on account of my accepting this material body, but I am not this body. This is the first instruction in the Bhagavad-gītā. Spiritual instruction begins from this platform, that “I am not this body.” Because bodily concept of life is animal life. The dog thinks that “I am this body”; the cat thinks, “I am this body.” But if a human being thinks that “I am this body,” then what is the difference between cats and dogs? Human being must try to understand, “What I am?” This is called knowledge. And when he comes to the understanding ahaṁ brahmāsmi, “I am spirit soul, oh, I am spirit soul…” Just like Socrates, he realized. When he was asked by the judge, “Mr. Socrates, how you want to be entombed?” he answered, “First of all, capture me; then you entomb me. You are seeing my body. You have no vision that I am soul.” This is right vision.

Bhagavad-gītā says, therefore, paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ.

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 5.18]

Paṇḍitāḥ means one who is learned. He sees everything equally, because he does not see the body. He sees the spirit soul. He sees the spirit soul, both in human being… The different kinds of human being… Somebody may be very high, or somebody may be very, very low, or animal, or… But paṇḍitāḥ, one who is learned, he sees the spirit soul. Paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ [Bg. 5.18]. He knows that this is only dress. Suppose a gentleman has come in this meeting. If he is not properly dressed, that does not mean he should be hated. Similarly, one who is paṇḍita, learned, he does not discriminate between man and animal because they have got different dress. No. The animal life and human life, so far maintenance of the body is concerned, it is equal. The animal eats, the man eats. The animal sleeps, the man sleeps. The animal mates, the man also mates. The quality or degree of mating or eating may be different, but the eating is there, sleeping is there, mating is there, and defending is there. But what is the difference between man and animal? Man knows, at least, he should try to know, “What I am? What is God? What is this world? What is our interrelation?” This is man’s business. This is called athāto brahma jijñāsā. In the Vedānta-sūtra, the first sūtra, aphorism, is atha ataḥ brahma-jijñāsā: “This human form of life is meant for inquiry about the spirit, Supreme Spirit, Brahman.” That is the beginning of spiritual education.

So spiritual education—first to understand “What I am,” then “What is God,” “What is this world.” “What is our interrelation,” then “What is God’s position,” “What is my position,” “How I shall deal with God”—these things are spiritual education, and human life is meant for that purpose. The nature gives chance to the living entity, this developed consciousness of human being, in order to understand these things. And if he is fortunate enough to understand that he is spirit soul, he is Brahman, then the Bhagavad-gītā gives definition of such man that brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā: [Bg. 18.54] as soon as he comes to the understanding of spiritual platform, then he becomes joyful, immediately—freed from all anxieties. Joyfulness means freed from all anxiety. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]. He has no more any hankering and no more lamentation. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati, samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu… And he sees everyone on the spiritual platform, equally. And then the life of devotion, service to the Lord, begins.

So this is the process. This is the process of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the process is recommended that one should become freed from the designation. Because designation, accepting the designation, means ignorance. That is ignorance. So we have to transcend this position of designation. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. And by reviving our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord, we become cleansed. That is brahminical stage. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam. Nirmalam means cleansed, and hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam. When your consciousness is cleansed, then you can only render service to the Lord. Otherwise not. So long our consciousness is not clean, consciousness is polluted, there is no possibility of rendering service to the Lord. Hṛṣīkeṇa hṛṣīkeśa-sevanam. Hṛṣīka, hṛṣīka means senses purified by being freed from designation. When it is purified in connection with activities of Kṛṣṇa, or God, then he can render service to the Lord, Hṛṣīkeṇa. That is called bhakti. This is bhakti. Bhakti is nothing artificial. It is the activity of healthy stage. Just like a man, when he is diseased, his activities are differing from the man who is cured and healthy. To become healthy does not mean to kill the patient. To kill…, not to kill him, but to cure him from the disease, that is real treatment. The whole treatment of the human society should be like that: to cure him from the disease of forgetfulness his relationship with God. Then when he is cured, when he is in healthy state, then there will be no more trouble in the world. Peace and prosperity can be established when people are no more in the designated stage, when he is free. So it is not expected, however, that cent percent population of the world will be such free from all contamination. But even a certain percentage only, even most insignificant, one percent or less than that, millions in one, then the face of the world will change.

So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is just trying to turn the face of the people towards the Supreme Lord and by practical application of the knowledge in life, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa… This is the process. So it is not sectarian process. Just like students can be picked up from any society, similarly, person inclined to understand the science of God can be picked up from any society. There is no question of designation. It is not that it is meant for the Hindu or meant for the Christian, meant for the Buddhist. Anyone who is interested in the science of God, they are welcome in this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Thank you very much. [devotees offer obeisances] Any question?

Madhudviṣa: Prabhupāda, why did Lord Jesus Christ eat meat?

Prabhupāda: That was circumstantial because we have to take into consideration of the situation of the country and the people. Where there is no other food, one must live. Then meat-eating is not bad in that case. Because survival is required. But when there are substitutes… Everyone is eating another life. That is the law of nature. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that sahastānām ahastāni. The animals, animal who has got hands, he eats the animal who has no hand. That means four-legged animals. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām. And the animals or living entities who cannot move, they are foodstuff of the moving. That means the grass, plants, they are the foodstuff for the cows and other animals. Nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra. And the big animal eats the small animal. Just like we see a big serpent is eating a small serpent, a big fish eating a small fish. So this is the law, that nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. So one life is meant for maintaining another life. This is the law of nature. But Upaniṣad says that īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam: [Īśo mantra 1] everything belongs to the Lord. Just like in a hotel there are many kinds of foodstuff, but they all belong to the hotel keeper. And you can take only on your table what is offered to you. You cannot take anything, anything, whatever you like, no. That is illegal. Similarly, everything is food, that’s all right. But you can take only what is allotted for you, that’s all. So human being should take, as far as possible, vegetables. The teeth is made for eating vegetables. That is scientifically true. And if you take vegetables all along, then you will never be diseased. And so far we are concerned, we are taking Kṛṣṇa prasādam. That I have already explained, that Kṛṣṇa wants this foodstuff… If Kṛṣṇa says that “Give Me meat,” then we shall eat meat. Because we are concerned with Kṛṣṇa prasādam. We are not distinguished that “Vegetable eating is nice, meat eating is not nice.” No. The nature’s law is that you must eat, and that eating is something living. Vegetable is also living. But we are not concerned, vegetarian or nonvegetarian. We are concerned with Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, “You give Me fruits, flowers, grains.” We offer that. If Kṛṣṇa says, “You give Me meat, chickens,” we shall offer and we shall take.

Guest: What is the proper spiritual attitude toward rodents, reptiles, and disease-bearing insects? What should be the proper spiritual attitude toward those?

Jayatīrtha: Insects.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: “What is the spiritual attitude towards reptiles, rodents…”

Madhudviṣa: Disease-bearing in animals, something that is diseased and can give you a disease, what is your, what is the Vedic attitude towards protection from these animals?

Prabhupāda: Protection? Cleanliness. Just like if you keep your apartment very cleansed, if you keep your clothes and body very cleansed, you won’t find this insect disturbing you. Just like the flies, they go in a nasty place. So you should be cleansed. You should take protection in that way. You cannot kill them. The cockroaches, the modern method of bathroom attached in 600th floor… So [laughs] this is unclean. Therefore the cockroaches are born there, you see? So if you keep yourself clean, there will be no more disturbances. The incense will keep off all insects. You make fresh food, there will be no germs. You take warm, immediately prepared, that is germicide foodstuff. But if you keep for months together in the refrigerator, that will contaminate with germ, disease. Therefore the brahminical culture means cleanliness is next to godliness. You have to keep your body clean, you have to keep your apartment clean, everything clean, and there will be no more disturbance. Bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ. The Vedic literature says that you should keep yourself externally and internally cleansed. Externally, you can keep yourself clean by soap, water, and change of dress, washed dress, externally. And internally, by thinking of Kṛṣṇa. Then there will be no more disturbance.

apavitraḥ pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato ‘pi vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ

Śuciḥ means cleansed. Therefore we prescribe so many things just to keep you cleansed—cleansed within, cleansed outside. Then there is no affection of māyā. Otherwise, you will be harassed by three kinds of miserable condition: adhyātmika, adhibhautika… I have seen many persons in India, within two or three days, by perspiration, within their coat, they germinate so many germs. Do not take bath, unclean. You see? So cleanliness is the protection from infection. And water is very disinfectant, natural disinfectant. This is the medical opinion, water. Therefore God has supplied unlimited quantity of water. You can spend it as much as you like. Yes?

Guest: Aren’t they allowed to boil water in India?

Prabhupāda: Yes, why not?

Guest: In boiling the water do you kill any little insects that are in the water?

Prabhupāda: Yes. But that I have already explained, that we are killing every moment. Therefore we have to keep from the reaction by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You cannot avoid killing. Whenever we are cooking, we are killing so many germs, the water. While we are burning fire, then so many germs are being killed. So the killing process cannot be stopped, but you should not do it willingly, and you should keep yourself God conscious. Then you are freed from the reaction.

Revatīnandana: What distinguishes bhakti-yoga from karma-yoga?

Prabhupāda: Karma-yoga means karma mixed with bhakti. And bhakti-yoga means pure bhakti. Somebody is attached to some kind of work, so he is advised karma-yoga. Just like in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said,

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
kuruṣva tat mad-arpaṇam
[Bg. 9.27]

“My dear Arjuna, whatever you do,” yat karoṣi, yad aśnāsi, “whatever you eat,” yat karoṣi yad aś…, yaj juhoṣi, “whatever you sacrifice,” dadāsi yat, “whatever you give in charity,” kuruṣva tat mad-arpaṇam, “do it for Me.” This is called karma-yoga. Somebody is very much fond of giving in charity. Just like in your country there are so many foundation for giving charity. But as soon as you go that “We are spreading Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You give us some charity,” they will immediately deny, “Oh, we are, we have no concern with religious movement.” You see? But Kṛṣṇa says, “If you are so much charitable, give Me something, at least portion of your charity, to Me.” Dadāsi yat. Yad aśnāsi. “Whatever you eat, you offer Me.” In this way, when people are not directly coming to the bhakti-yoga, so he’s advised, “All right, you do like this. Whatever you eat, whatever you give in charity, whatever you make in sacrifice, do it for Me.” Then… Just like Arjuna’s example is karma-yoga. Arjuna is a fighter, he’s a warrior, military man. And he fought for Kṛṣṇa. This is called karma-yoga. You be whatever you may be. You may be a brāhmaṇa, you may be a kṣatriya, you may be a vaiśya, you may be a intelligent man, you may be a military man, you may be a administrator, you may be a business man, or you may be ordinary worker, it doesn’t matter. But if you offer the result of your work for the satisfaction of God, then you are perfect. This is the whole thing. That Bhāgavata says,

ataḥ puṁsāṁ dvija-śreṣṭhā
varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
[SB 1.2.13]

There are different classes of men. Generally, they are divided into four classes: the intelligent class of men, the administrator class of men, the business class of men, and the general worker, laborer class of men. So Bhāgavata says, “Whatever you may be, it doesn’t matter. You just try to satisfy the Supreme Lord by your work. That’s all.” If you are intelligent man, oh, write nice books to propagate God consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But if you write books that “God is dead. There is no God. It is all nonsense,” then simply misusing your intelligence. Yes?

Guest: You say we should lose the designations. Now, would you consider the caste system as designations?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest: You would be, then, for abolishing the caste system.

Prabhupāda: Yes. For a devotee there is no caste, because he’s servant of God. He does not belong to any material consciousness. This is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is transcendental. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that one who is engaged in the service of the Lord, he is on the platform of becoming Brahman. Brahma-bhūyāya kalpate. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān…. Guṇān means this world, this material world is full of three qualities: the quality of goodness, the quality of passion, and the quality of ignorance. Or mixed. Three into three into nine, nine into nine equal to eighty-one. There are so many mixture of qualities and different kinds of men, because they are within the material qualities. But as soon as you engage yourself in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, you are no more within these qualities; therefore you are freed from designation. Just like these boys, they are not thinking that they are American. I am not thinking “I am not Indian,” “I am Indian.” Actually, our platform is Kṛṣṇa. We are loving each other. So we have forgotten our designation. Otherwise, how they can work so nicely? Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam [Cc. Madhya 19.170]. They are now thinking in terms of Kṛṣṇa, that’s all. Similarly, if this consciousness is spread, so simple, then they will lose designation, there will be no more distinction, “Oh, I am Chinese,” “I am Russian,” “I am American,” “I am Indian,” “I am this,” “I am that.” The fighting is on the platform of designation. But if you say that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is also a designation, but that is not designation, because in the Vedic literature it is said that ahaṁ brahmāsmi. This is pure consciousness. Asmi, my identification, shall continue because I am an individual soul. That cannot be abolished. So when I am thinking that “I am God’s,” that is my designation-free stage. And when I think that I belong to this family, this country, this society, this group, so many things, then I am designated.

Guest: The basic concept that you are preaching and teaching is the same as the basic content of Christianity, of Buddhism. And if the people of the world would accept this basic principle, there would be no wars and there would be no fighting amongst one another and no disagreement. Because the basic and the fundamental is love.

Prabhupāda: But the thing is…

Guest: If we had that love we would then be united with God. That is our ultimate end.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now, you are already united with God because your relationship cannot be rejected with God. Just like father and son. The son may forget his father. That does not mean the relationship of father and son is no more there. So our relationship is there with God, but we have forgotten. So we have to revive our consciousness. It is not that it has to be manufactured something new. The relationship is there. Just like a son, he has forgotten his father. He is very rich man’s son, but he’s loitering in the street, and he does not know. Just like there is a story of Tarzan. So we are all Tarzans. So we have forgotten, you see? So the whole process is to revive. That is called ahaṁ brahmāsmi. “Oh, I am the son of God. Then where is my distress?” So revival, Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to free, make free the consciousness from all contamination of material existence. You call it Kṛṣṇa consciousness or God consciousness, the same thing. So this is purificatory process, that “I am Kṛṣṇa’s, I am God’s.” Everyone is God’s, but he has forgotten. In the animal species of life, they cannot revive, they haven’t got that chance, but here is the chance, human form of life. If you miss this chance, then you again go to the cycle of so many species of life. Then our human form is spoiled. So we should try for it. That is the perfection of life. Premā pumartho mahān. Lord Caitanya preaches the highest perfection of life, to revive our natural love for God. And any religion which preaches love of God, that is perfect religion. It doesn’t matter whether it is Christianity or Buddhism or Hinduism or anything. That is Bhāgavata religion. Bhāgavata says, sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. That is first-class religious system. What is that? Which trains the followers to love God. That is first-class religion. And religion without God, that is not religion. That is not religion. Because Bhāgavata says, dharmaṁ tu sākṣāt bhagavat-praṇītam. Bhagavad-gītā also says that: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Religion means re-establish relationship with the Supreme Lord. That is religion. What is your question?

Jāhnavā: Śrī Bhaktivedanta, how is it that the Absolute, which is so, at this point, for me, beyond human comprehension, how can it take this form of Kṛṣṇa-Rādhā?

Prabhupāda: It is His mercy. The Bhāgavata says that if you want to understand God, His name, His quality, His paraphernalia, His form, it is not possible to realize by your present senses. It is not possible. Ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. These present senses, they are so contaminated that it is not possible that you can understand God, His form, His name, His quality, His paraphernalia by speculation. No, it is not possible. Then? How it is possible? Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. God reveals to you by your service attitude. And that service attitude begins from your tongue, jihvā. Jihvā means tongue. How? You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and taste Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Then you will realize. Two things. Very simple method. He’ll reveal. You cannot understand what is God, but God will reveal to you, “Here I am.” Just like you cannot ask the sun, “Please rise up. I want to see you.” Oh, he is not your servant. But when sun reveals to you, you see yourself, you see the sun, and the whole world, everything nicely. So you have to wait for that revelation. And you have to practice this, first of all, this tongue. Sevonmukhe hi jihvādau [Brs. 1.2.234]. This particular tongue is mentioned. You can begin to reach that stage of revelation by training your tongue. What is that? Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and taste Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Very simple method. You try it and see. Otherwise it is not possible. God is not so little that you can order Him and He’ll… No, that is not possible. But if He’s pleased, then He’ll reveal Himself. So any other question? Or let us chant. [devotees offer obeisances] [end]

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