Room Conversation with Metaphysics Society

Type:
Room Conversation
Date:
February 21
Year:
1975
Place:
Caracas

[translated throughout by Hṛdayānanda]

Hṛdayānanda: …Universal Brotherhood, which is a yoga group around Latin America, and they say they are trying to re-educate people and help bring understanding between different cultures. He’s originally Mexican.

Prabhupāda: What is the name?

Hṛdayānanda: [Spanish]

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: Jose Maciel.

Prabhupāda: No, what is the name of the group?

Hṛdayānanda: The Great Yoga Fraternity, or The Great Universal Brotherhood.

Prabhupāda: So what is the purpose of this yoga?

Hṛdayānanda: He explained that they…

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] They want to make a synthesis of all the best practices of different cultures to present it to the people so they can have understanding without prejudice.

Prabhupāda: No, prejudice is different thing, but what is the science?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] The basis of the movement is to get knowledge through the use of their faculties in order to raise the consciousness.

Prabhupāda: To which platform, the consciousness?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He said that they do not feel that they can go very high. They feel that they are in the hands of the great spiritual masters such as yourself and others also.

Prabhupāda: So do they aim to go to the highest point?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] They feel the highest point is to understand themselves and…

Prabhupāda: So has he understood himself?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He said that to a certain extent he feels he has achieved this, but that the reality is unlimited, it cannot be described, and that it’s more a certain consciousness or appreciation of life that is beyond words.

Prabhupāda: Not clear understanding.

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He said that they try to have a clear understanding, but he must confess that he is limited.

Prabhupāda: He is limited. Then what is unlimited?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He says that the unlimited is that which always was, is, and always will be, and the limited is that which is in this material phenomenal world.

Prabhupāda: That means that limited is material, he says? And unlimited is spiritual?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Prabhupāda: So what is the conception of the spiritual?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] That which is, has been and will be, and which is not limited to form.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Limited to form. Then how he is unlimited?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Śrutakīrti: [indistinct comments about guests arriving]

Hṛdayānanda: There are some other guests here, so I’m going to have to arrange things at this moment to bring the other guests in. So some of the devotees have to go in the other big room. There’s room.

Śrutakīrti: Okay. Well, there’s ten guests.

Prabhupāda: You can move that. So only three of them can remain. You three or four can remain. Others…

Śrutakīrti: There’s ten people from the Metaphysical Society that have come to see you.

Hṛdayānanda: So Jagajīvana, Viraha, Mahāvir, Mahāviṣṇu, Pramāṇa…

Prabhupāda: Or if that hall is…? [break]

Hṛdayānanda: [Spanish]

Prabhupāda: Now let us distinguish what is limited or what is unlimited. I am asking these gentlemen.

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Prabhupāda: [aside:] Keep Bhagavad-gītā in hand, yes. That’s it.

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] So he is saying that this material world is a combination of so many different elements, intelligence, so on and so forth. And in the center of all of this, the essence is that which is eternal. And this eternal thing cannot have any name because then it would be limited, and that would be a contradiction. And also it has no form.

Prabhupāda: No, that eternity…, that is nice, that the material world is temporary and the eternity is spiritual. That is clear understanding. Material elements, just like earth, water, fire, air, sky, mind, ego, intelligence; and the spiritual element is which is utilizing these material elements. Do you admit this?

Jose Maciel: Si.

Prabhupāda: The others? That is the distinction between matter and spirit. Just like this microphone, it is combination of earth, water, air, fire, like that. But the living being, he has utilized, he has combined this matter into this microphone. Is that admitted? Now, exactly like the microphone, the combination of matter and done by some living entity, similarly, the whole cosmic manifestation is combination of matter, and there is one living being, or the Supreme Being, who has combined them, and it is working. Is that admitted? So that is the difference between limited and unlimited, that I, you are living being.

We can also create something like this microphone or this big aeroplane. We have created. That is limited. But there is another one who has created innumerable planets, and that is floating in the air. Is it not? We are taking credit of becoming big scientist by creating one airship, 747, five hundred passengers carrying. How many we have created? Maybe hundred, two hundred. But there are millions and trillions of planets floating in the same way in the air, and those planets containing so many big, big mountains, ocean, and they are floating in the air. We can create limited things, but He can create unlimited things. Therefore we have got our limited brain, and He has got unlimited brain. Is that correct?

Jose Maciel: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] That suggests that He has a brain.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Thank you very much. [laughter] So as soon as He has got a brain, He is a person. Therefore God is person ultimately. Just like the government. Government is imperson, but the president is person. Similarly, the cosmic manifestation, the energy working, they are all imperson, but the brain behind this is person. That is the distinction between person and imperson.

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] You said that it is person ultimately. What does that mean, “ultimately”?

Prabhupāda: Ultimately, just like the government is imperson, but ultimately the president is person. The government is going on under the order of the president. Therefore impersonal government is not so important as the personal president is important. Another example: just like the sun and the sunshine and the sun-god—three things. The sunshine is impersonal, and the sun globe is localized, and within the sun globe there is sun-god. So in one sense they are all one, means heat and light, but the sunshine is different from the sun globe. When… Just like here is sunshine in this room, but that is not sun globe. Therefore simultaneously they are one and different. Is it clear? Any question about this?

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He says that if God is a person, how can we understand, as there’s a common saying, that “God is and also is not”?

Prabhupāda: God is person. That I have already explained, that the government is impersonal, the president is person, but the president is more important than the whole government. Just like a man in the court of the government is condemned to die. So there is no law in the government which can save him. But if the president shows him mercy, he can save him. Therefore, the president is more powerful than all the laws in the government. Therefore he is important. What does he say?

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He said there are many examples where the laws of the government are superior to the president. For example, in America where Nixon was pulled down by the laws.

Prabhupāda: But one law… When he was president, he was powerful than the government. When he resigned from the presidency, then he became less important. This is a crude example. The another example is that the sunshine is universally spread, and the sun globe is situated in one place. So which is important: the sun globe or the sunshine? And just like this light is situated in one place and the illumination is spread. So what is important: the illumination or the lamp? The fire is one place, and the fire light and heat is expanded. So the fire is localized, and the light and heat is expanded many miles. So which is important: the fire or the heat and light? Therefore God is person, but He is not a person like you and me.

But His personality is expanded just like the heat and light of the fire is expanded. Similarly, whatever we see, that is the expansion of God’s energy. Just like there are many big businessman. The man is person, but he is conducting hundreds of factories, big, big area. The factories are important or the man is important? If an ordinary person in this material world becomes so important and personal, you can just imagine how the person of God is important in spite of unlimited expansion of this material world. So what is his idea? The person is ultimately important. The impersonal feature is there, just like the impersonal feature, sunshine; but the sun globe, and within the sun globe there is sun-god. The sunshine is the expansion of the energy of the sun globe, and within the sun globe there is sun-god. So which is important, the sun globe, the sun-god or the sunshine? Which is important? The sunshine is important?

Guest: All of them.

Prabhupāda: All of them. That’s all right, but comparatively, the sun-god is the source of everything. Therefore he is important. Therefore God is expanded by His energy. And God is the energetic. But comparatively, although there is no difference between the energy and the energetic, the energetic is more important than the energy. When there is sunshine, it is to be understood that sun globe is there and the sun-god is there. But in this sense the sun-god, the sun globe and the sunshine, they are not different—one—because every one of them has the same quality: heat and light. But still, here is the sunshine. It does not mean the sun-god or the sun globe is here. The sun globe is 93,000,000 miles away from us. So therefore, it is to be understood, they are simultaneously one and different. This is the philosophy.

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He said that you said that God expands, but this implies that God modifies Himself or changes.

Prabhupāda: No. That is God. He can expand unlimitedly; still, He remains as He is. That is, means, unlimited. Just like if you have got hundred dollars in your pocket, then if it is spent one dollar, one dollar, one dollar, then ultimately you become zero. But about God it is said, pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya pūrṇam eva avaśiṣyate [Īśo Invocation]. That means you take hundred dollars, still the hundred dollar is there. Similarly, God as He is, He can expand Himself in millions and millions separately; still, He is the same million. That is called God. If we take God in our conception, that “I have got hundred dollars. I spend hundred dollars, it is zero,” but God is not like that.

God can expand Himself as God unlimitedly; still, He remains the same. There is another nice example. Just like you take one candle and you lit up another candle, you lit up another candle, another candle and millions of candle, but this candle remains the same powerful, and all the candles lit up, they are also same power. But for our understanding, we take the original candle as first candle, the next as second candle, the third, fourth, fifth, millions. But each candle is equally powerful, and the original candle is still there. So by this expansion, God does not diminishes. That is the meaning of God, and that is the meaning of unlimited.

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] How can we understand the difference between personality and individuality? And if God expands Himself in everything, then He must be inside all of His creation.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is the difference, that God is situated in everywhere, but you are not situated everywhere. You are situated within your body; I am situated within my body. The pains and pleasure of my body you cannot feel; neither I can feel the pains and pleasure… But God is everywhere. Therefore He can understand what is your pains and pleasure, what is my pains and pleasure, his pains and pleasure. That is unlimited. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Find out, what is that verse? Kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata. Kṣetra-jñam cāpi māṁ viddhi.

Hṛdayānanda:

kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata
kṣetra-kṣetrajñayor jñānaṁ
yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
[Bg. 13.3]

[reads translation in Spanish]

Prabhupāda: Read the purport. [break] Alma and Superalma. [laughter] God is Superalma. [laughter]

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] You have mentioned pain within the body. What is the origin of pain and the origin of imperfection?

Prabhupāda: Origin of pain means as soon as you come to the material world is the origin of pain. Just like the… It can be appreciated very nicely. Just like water. Water is sometimes painful and sometimes pleasing. Is it not? Do you agree or not? No, I just try to… Water is the same thing, but sometimes it is painful and sometimes it is pleasing, is it not? So how the same thing becomes pleasing and painful? This is circumstantial. The same thing is pleasing and the same thing is painful under different circumstances. Similarly, fire. Fire is sometimes pleasing and sometimes painful. The fire is the same, but circumstantially it becomes painful and pleasing. Just like in winter season the fire is pleasing, and in summer season the same fire is painful. Now, these feelings of pains and pleasure is due to this material body. Therefore the material body is the cause of pains and pleasure.

So if you do not get this material body—you remain in your spiritual body—then there is no more pains and pleasure. So that means the origin of pains and pleasure is to our attachment to this material body. If we can somehow or other get out of this material body, then there is no more pains and pleasure, or it is simply pleasure. Therefore in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said, ānandamāyaḥ abhyāsāt: “By nature the spirit soul is joyful.” In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati [Bg. 18.54]: “As soon as you become spiritually self-realized, then there is no more pains and pleasure.”

So pleasure means absence of pain. So in your spiritual identity there is no pain; therefore it is simply pleasure. Therefore our endeavor should be how to get our again original spiritual body. Spiritual body is there already. It is covered by the material body, but some way or other, if we stop the covering of the material body, then we are simply in pleasure. Therefore our only attempt in this human body should be how to revive our spiritual body. And that process is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That… Open that verse, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya.

Hṛdayānanda:

janma karma ca me divyam
evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ‘rjuna
[Bg. 4.9]

[explains in Spanish that he’s reading from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Bhagavad-gītā] That’s where all these verses are from. [reads translation in Spanish]

Prabhupāda: So if you simply understand Kṛṣṇa, then you revive your spiritual body.

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] How or why did this spiritual body become covered by the material body?

Prabhupāda: How your body is covered in a different dress when you go to the prison house? When one goes to the prison, he has to keep his dress separately and take the prison dress. So anyone who comes into this material world, he has to take a material body. This is the law. Unless you have got this material body, how you can feel pleasure in material sense enjoyment? Just like on a stage, if you are going to play, you have to take dress according to the play. Therefore this material body is compared with the dress. That is stated. Find out, vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya.

Hṛdayānanda:

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro’ parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī
[Bg. 2.22]

[reads translation in Spanish]

Prabhupāda: Just like we are sitting, ladies and gentlemen, here. So every one of us, we have got different dress. The dress is superficial, but as ladies and gentlemen, human being, we are one. Similarly, each one of us can have a different dress. So these living entities, they are in different dresses only, and the dresses are calculated 8,400,000 different forms. In the water there are 900,000 different dresses. Similarly, the trees and plants, the two million different types of vegetables. Jalaja-nava-lakṣāni sthavara-lakṣa-viṁśati [Padma Purāṇa]. There are insects, there are 1,100,000 species. Similarly birds, there are ten million…, er, one million. Pakṣiṇāṁ daśalakṣanam.

Daśa-lakṣa means one million, one million types of bird. And three million types of beasts. And 400,000 forms of human being. In this way the living entity is passing through different dresses. And the best dress is this human form, because in this dress you can understand what is God, what you are, what is your relation with God, and then you can act and go back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore if this dress, in this dress… I am living being; you are living being. So we are in this human form of dress. We have got developed consciousness. If we miss the opportunity to understand God, then again we are put into the cycle of this evolutionary process. We should not therefore misuse this form like other forms. We should utilize it properly to understand the unlimited God and our relationship with God and act accordingly. That is perfection of life.

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] How can we relieve ourselves of material pain and live in spiritual pleasure?

Prabhupāda: Yes, as soon as you do not accept this material body, you have no connection with material pains and pleasure. [aside:] Get this light down.

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He has understood from Bhagavad-gītā that Kṛṣṇa says that “As you approach Me, I present Myself.” So in that sense can this movement be compared to also the consciousness of Christ, Christ consciousness?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there is no difference between consciousness of Christ or Kṛṣṇa, provided we follows them. Christ is speaking as son of Godhead, and Kṛṣṇa is speaking as God, so there is no difference. The truth—the father speaks or the son speaks—the truth is the same.

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He understands that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the highest state of the mind. Now he requests that you explain to the people how one can achieve Kṛṣṇa consciousness living in one’s own home with one’s… In other words, for those who are outside the temple—they have their jobs and they live in their houses—how can they achieve Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Prabhupāda: It is very easy. You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [laughter]

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] How do we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: That you are seeing. I am chanting: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma… They all are chanting.

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] What is the meaning of this mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Hare means, “O the energy of God,” and Kṛṣṇa, “O God, kindly accept me again. I am fallen in this material world.” That’s all.

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] She says that she sees it as a mantra, and from her point of view it seems like we’re repeating this mantra over and over again, and it’s something like hypnotism. For example, in some tribes there are different rituals, they are chanting different things, and she would like…

Prabhupāda: That is her opinion. She is not authority.

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] She would like an explanation.

Prabhupāda: This is the statement in the Bhagavad-gītā. Satataṁ kīrtayanto mām [Bg. 9.14]. Find it out.

Hṛdayānanda:

satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
nitya-yuktā upāsate
[Bg. 9.14]

[reads translation in Spanish]

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] She wants to know if it’s the same thing to chant oṁ or to chant “I am, I am.”

Prabhupāda: “I am”? Where is that stated, “I am”? Where is the authority of “I am”?

Lady Guest: [Spanish] Que es, “Yo soy. Yo soy. Yo soy Dios.” [Spanish]

Prabhupāda: He says directly… He says directly, satataṁ kīrtayanto mām [Bg. 9.14]. Kṛṣṇa says, “You always chant My name.” So why should we go to other things? God says that “You chant My name,” so why should we go to others?

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] He says in this western hemisphere the supreme authority is the Saint Germaine, and he says that we should chant “I am.” That’s a quote from the Bible, meaning… Apparently when they asked God, “Who are You?” and God said, “I am that I am,” or somethng like…

Prabhupāda: What you are?

Guest: [Spanish] “I am” es el nombre de Dios… [Spanish]

Prabhupāda: But what you are? “I am,” you are thinking, but what you are? Do you know what you are?

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] I think they mean that it’s like a quotation from God.

Prabhupāda: No, no. There must be your sense also. You are saying “I am,” but if I ask you, “What you are…?”

Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] “I am that I am.”

Prabhupāda: But you do not know what you are. Then you are a nonsense. You say “I am,” but if I ask, “What you are?” you cannot reply. Then you are a nonsense. You must explain what you are. Then “I am.”

Lady Guest: Every time that we say “I am…”

Prabhupāda: But you must explain what you are.

Lady Guest: Yes, sir.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Lady Guest: Every time that we say “I am,” we must be conscious of what we are saying that we are, and it must…

Prabhupāda: That I am asking you, that what you are?

Guest: Why don’t we look at it this other way? You say the name of God is Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: No, that is already separate; now another question. She says “I am.” But I am asking—I am also “I am”—I am asking you, “What you are?”

Guest: May I explain? She says that God says that His name is “I am,” as a name.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Hṛdayānanda: He said that “I am” is a name of God.

Prabhupāda: God never says like that. Where it is? You must quote some authority. Where it is?

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] She said in the Bible, when some people were leaving and they said, “Who is sending them?” God said, “Tell them that it is the God of your fathers and that I am.”

Prabhupāda: In the Bible it is said? Where it is?

Guest: Exodus, Moses, in Mount Sinai.

Prabhupāda: Anyone knows Bible it is said?

Śrutakīrti: It’s in there, yes.

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Śrutakīrti: God says, “I am who am.”

Prabhupāda: No, God said “I am,” you say “I am”—that is all right. But God says “I am”—we can understand God. “I am” means God. But what you are?

Guest: Well, He said, “This is My name, and this is My name forever.”

Prabhupāda: He says like that?

Śrutakīrti: That’s the translation. That’s the way it’s translated, “I am who am.”

Prabhupāda: So nobody knows Bible here? I am not very much conversant with Bible. But so far I know that Christ says that “I am the son of God.” We can understand. So is there any difference? God says or Christ says that “I am the son of God.” So the father is different. The father can say “I am,” and the son also can say “I am,” but everyone is “I.” But what is the relation between this “I” and that “I”? That is wanted to know.

Lady Guest: [Spanish]

Hṛdayānanda: [translating] I am a particle of God.

Prabhupāda: That is this. Therefore I am particle; He is whole. Therefore difference. When God says “I am,” and I say “I am,” there is difference. I am particle “I am,” and He is whole “I am.” [laughter] Another, a millionaire, says “I am,” and his servant says “I am,” but both the “I’s” are same? So God is great. He says “I am.” He is great “I am”; and I say “I am,” I am small “I am.” Therefore this “I am” and that “I am” is different. This “I am,” when I say “I am,” and God says “I am,” this “I am” and this “I am” is different. So not always I am the same. So far I am concerned, my identity, your identity is concerned, that is all right, one. But you “I am” and I “I am” not different.

The soul as soul, it is all right. But as particle, as whole, they are different. Yes, that is to be understood. God says “I am,” means “I am the whole.” And I say “I am”—“I am the particle.” So therefore we should understand that when I say “I am,” and God says “I am,” they are different. [break] Your consciousness, your identification, my identification, my

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