ISKCON Press


Room Conversation

Type:
Room Conversation
Date:
July 17
Year:
1976
Place:
New York

Indian man: I came to offer my obeisances to you. I became a Life Member as a result of Gopāla Kṛṣṇa’s talking to me.

Prabhupāda: In Bombay?

Indian man: No, sir, here. I came to offer you obeisances in Brooklyn temple, and I asked you a special permission as my Gurudeva, which you gladly gave me, to teach Gītā in Poughkeepsie, where I am. And since then I have been trying to do your work sincerely in Poughkeepsie.

Prabhupāda: Poughkeepsie.

Indian man: Yes, sir.

Prabhupāda: Where it is?

Indian man: It is hundred miles north of New York. I work there. I am an engineer, and I have been trying to spread Kṛṣṇa conscious movement of yours, trying to teach from your Gītā to the Indian community, and I have been slowly trying to get American people also involved. And, as I see, more and more American people are now coming in. And in fact, those people who are very steadfast, who come to attend my class, are the American people. I am very glad to see that they are taking very great interest. And…

Prabhupāda: Indians are not taking so much.

Indian man: No, sir, I’m…

Prabhupāda: Indians are bara sāhīb. [laughs]

Indian man: Ah. You see they have been going to…

Prabhupāda: Ready?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, Śrīla Prabhupāda. I wanted to just finalize when you would join the festival tomorrow. I wanted to fix that up, so I could, you know, just do that. We’re leaving Fifty-ninth Street at two o’clock, and we’re reaching downtown, the park, at four o’clock. In other words, it takes two hours, the route. At four o’clock we’re going to have a Winnebago. Winnebago is like a small bus which has a…, it has a lavatory in it.

Hari-śauri: Like Satsvarūpa Mahārāja’s traveling bus.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Right. It has a bathroom in it. That’s going to accompany the parade in case at any time you require it, that will be right there. So it can pull alongside the cart. At four o’clock we’ll arrive, and at about four-thirty Kīrtanānanda Mahārāja will give a short introduction for you, and at four forty-five you’ll speak. So at four forty-five you’re expected to give the lecture. It begins at two o’clock at Fifty-ninth Street for two hours. Then by five, five-fifteen, the whole thing will be over. So I wanted to know what time you would like to join the parade.

Prabhupāda: So you suggest.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, it depends on a number of things. One thing is that your rest. After taking massage you take prasādam, and then your resting period. Another thing is how long you want to ride along on the cart. It depends on… I think it should depend on… I can’t… No one can make that decision. We’re agreeable to anything that you suggest. Devotees are enlivened simply that you’re here in New York with us.

Prabhupāda: So at two o’clock you start?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Right.

Prabhupāda: You want me at the starting point?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We want you to do simply what you feel would be best.

Prabhupāda: No, no. What is the best? Starting point, my presence required?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, it’s not a question of required. I mean that’s a very exciting time, you know, but I don’t know if it’s…, I wouldn’t say it’s required. We’re going to start. One way or the other, we have to start the parade. It’s exciting at that time, probably, but you could also join midway. Suppose you could also join at Thirty-fourth Street instead of Fifty-ninth Street. Halfway is about Thirty-fourth Street. So you could join there.

Prabhupāda: That will be better.

Hari-śauri: That would be about three o’clock.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That would be at about three o’clock. It depends upon your resting period also.

Prabhupāda: No, that I will adjust. That is not the thing. I want to know when my joining will be very good. That I want to know. In the beginning or the middle, in the last, that you have to decide. Then I shall adjust. In London, I think… Of course, the whole route I was present, but that was little troublesome because sometimes I am called by nature. But you say there will be a car.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, which is equipped…

Prabhupāda: So under the circumstances, which time will be good? That you say. Then I shall adjust. That you consult, which time.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, if I can have about five minutes, I’ll ask a few people.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Then I’ll adjust.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So you’re agreeable at any time as long as that convenience… That’s a good convenience, I think, that we’ll have that vehicle.

Prabhupāda: That’s all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So I’ll just inquire. This is a general idea of what’s going on the whole day tomorrow. I’ll leave it with Hari-śauri.

Prabhupāda: The preaching is going on. Nobody has become our student?

Indian man: Among the Indian people…

Prabhupāda: Indian or European or American, it doesn’t matter. Since you are preaching there, has anybody joined this movement?

Indian man: No, sir. I have been begging. I’ve been begging people. Now I know that two American people will become steadfast, and I will make sure that they join the movement, but among the Indian people…

Prabhupāda: Whether you have joined?

Indian man: I have joined. I’m a Life Member. I come to the temple. I study your books all the time. I have your photo. I do your ārati every day without fail. Without fail. Nayanābhirāma came to my house two weeks ago, and I showed him everything, Kṛṣṇa and your photo next to it, and I every day do pūjā. Complete vegetarian, and we are doing ārati every day, first obeisances to you, my father-mother, and Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Your father-mother here?

Indian man: No, sir. They are dead now. They have expired. But I still offer my obeisances to them. First obeisances to you, then to Kṛṣṇa, then to my father-mother, and then I start my pūjā.

Prabhupāda: That’s…

Indian man: And I do complete ārati and everything, because I want your blessings. I wish that I have a guru like you every birth after birth. But one of the problem, Prabhupāda, personally, I have found among the Indian people is that because we are used to so many demigods, they still don’t accept Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are so many arguments I get that like…

Prabhupāda: There is no question of argument. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, but if they do not accept Bhagavad-gītā as the authority, then they are fools.

Indian man: Yes, they are.

Prabhupāda: So fools cannot be enlightened. That is the difficulty.

Indian man: And this is one of the biggest problems.

Prabhupāda: If they do not accept the authority, then they are fools.

Indian man: Yes. After I teach Gītā and I try to tell them to please sing bhajan…

Prabhupāda: That is not their fault. Even the big, big leaders of India, even Gandhi, they do not know actually. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. The Bhagavad-gītā has been misinterpreted, misused by the leaders, by the politicians, by the so-called philosophers. Everyone has misused Bhagavad-gītā.

Indian man: I’ll tell you one thing, that Swami Chinmayananda…

Prabhupāda: He’s a great…

Indian man: He’s great, but I’ll tell you what happened.

Prabhupāda: “Great” means great fool.

Indian man: Yes. In Third Chapter where Kṛṣṇa is saying, “Renounce your everything to Me.” Okay? And the word matam is used, matam. Now Swami Chinmayananda is saying, “That’s My opinion,” that’s what Kṛṣṇa is telling, and they will be freed of all the work. And you have written matam means scriptural injunctions. And I tried to show the students who come to the class that “This is the difference. Look at this, very big difference,” because if Kṛṣṇa is only giving His opinion, then He’s talking like a diplomat, not talking like God. But if He says, “This is the law…” And I explained to them that like Bible has got ten commandments…

Prabhupāda: And another thing, even Kṛṣṇa says, giving His opinion—that’s taking it as it is—Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat [Bg. 7.7]. So He’s the supreme authority. So supreme authority’s matam is a high court judgment. There is no argument anyone. The judgment is given by the high court. Final decision. So if Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme, then who can give him better opinion than Him? For argument’s sake, even if He says… Any gentleman will say like that, that… Just like Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]: “You do it.” He is Supreme Lord, He can force you, but He does not do that. So although His matam is the Supreme, but as a gentle preacher, He says, “That is My matam.” But if you are sane, if you know that Kṛṣṇa is the supreme authority, then His matam is final.

Indian man: Right. And that’s why I try to show the difference to people, that “Please follow Prabhupāda’s Gītā. And please make sure that when you read, you read Gītā As It Is.” This is why I’m trying to show the differences to people. Personally there is only one question I have, and that is, throughout all the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatams that you have translated so far, I see all the time any, like Kardama Muni or other, all other great sages, whenever they do tapasya, every time Mahā-Viṣṇu comes down. Now I know that throughout other…, even Back to Godhead, you have considered Mahā-Viṣṇu as an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet Mahā-Viṣṇu is coming every time as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So what is the subtle position here?

Prabhupāda: There is no difference between… Just like… It has been explained in the Brahma-saṁhitā. Just like one candle, then you kindle another candle, then you kindle another, another, another, another. So you say, “This is first, this is second, this is third, this is fourth.” But so far candlepower is concerned, they are all the same. Either you take first or the second or the third, so far the candlepower is concerned, that is all the same. Still, you have to say, “This is first, this is second, that is third, this is fourth, this is…”

Indian man: I was trying to… I was trying…

Prabhupāda: So God and His different expansions, they are of same power. Rāmādi-mūrtiṣu kalā-niyamena tiṣṭhan nānāvatāram akarod bhuvaneṣu kintu, kṛṣṇaḥ svayaṁ samabhavat paramaḥ pumān yo…

Indian man: …govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.

Prabhupāda: So He is existing with all the incarnations, rāmādi-mūrtiṣu.

Indian man: Yes, even Rāmacandra is…

Prabhupāda: So Rāma is not less than Kṛṣṇa, but He is incarnation. This is the conclusion.

Indian man: Because I was trying to refer to Govindāṣṭakam, where it says, [sings] śrī kṛṣṇa rādhā āra gokuleśa gopāla govardhana-nātha viṣṇu, jīveti amṛtamedhadevo govindaṁ dāmodaram ada vetti[?]. He’s saying, śrī kṛṣṇa rādhā āra gokuleśa gopāla govardhana-nātha viṣṇu. That is what I was trying to see that is really… I know that Kṛṣṇa’s expansion is Mahā-Viṣṇu, but still, why do they say govardhana-nātha viṣṇu? That’s what I was trying to understand. Please don’t misunderstand me. I am trying to understand from you.

Prabhupāda: No, no, Govardhana… Every one is viṣṇu-tattva. Viṣṇu-tattva, jīva-tattva, śakti-tattva, like that. So all of them on the Viṣṇu category. That’s all. Viṣṇu-tayā vibhāti. Viṣṇu-tayā vibhāti. Dīpārcir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya dīpāyate viṣṇu-tayā vibhāti [Bs. 5.46]. These things are there. So Godhead is viṣṇu-tattva. So sometimes Viṣṇu, sometimes Nārāyaṇa, sometimes Govinda, sometimes Kṛṣṇa, like that.

Indian man: That’s very nice, because one can understand very well. Because I always took Mahā-Viṣṇu as the expansion of Kṛṣṇa, but still, when I went to Govindāṣṭakam and then also like Brahma-saṁhitā says, yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya jīvanti loma-vilajā… [Bs. 5.48].

Prabhupāda: …loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ.

Indian man: …jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ, viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya [Prabhupāda quotes same verse simultaneously] kalā-viśeṣo govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi. So he says Mahā-Viṣṇu is even one expansion of Kṛṣṇa, yet in Govindāṣṭakam they say, govardhana…, gopāla govardhana-nātha viṣṇu, śrī kṛṣṇa rādhā gokuleśa, gopāla govardhana-nātha viṣṇu.

Prabhupāda: They’re all viṣṇu-tattva. Viṣṇu-sahasra-nāma-stotra.

Indian man: Because many people in… At least, among the Indians I get very big argument about it, that it is Mahā-Viṣṇu who is Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Kṛṣṇa is only one avatāra of His. And I try to…

Prabhupāda: That argument is discussed in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Hari-śauri: First volume?

Prabhupāda: Yes, first volume you see. See the contents. You can’t find it? When he is discussing, somebody, says Viṣṇu is the origin? So children, how many?

Indian man: No children.

Prabhupāda: No children.

Indian man: No children

Prabhupāda: That is good than another. [laughs] No responsibility.

Indian man: I have decided that in about five, ten years, I’ll work that much only. Afterwards I’m going to go to work for you.

Prabhupāda: Thank you.

Indian man: Because I don’t find any more pleasures, you know, in anything. As I go on chanting and chanting and chanting, sometime, Prabhupāda… Oh, my first dream that came when I joined your movement… First dream that I came… And I told my wife about it in the morning. I said, first I saw a moon, and then I saw another large planet coming up, and then on the top of it I saw the lotus feet of the Lord. And when I saw the lotus feet of the Lord, I saw you coming on a swan and doing His pūjā. And I kept on shouting to my wife that “Please see, Prabhupāda is here. Please see. He is doing pūjā of lotus feet of the Lord.” And that was my first dream that came. Sometimes after chanting all the time I feel as if He is walking next to me. I can feel as if His bluish body is right next to me, and all the time I have a feeling that somebody is next to me, you know. I don’t know whether I’m going crazy or I’m…

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa is already there. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. [Tamāla Kṛṣṇa enters] So?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So I asked, I took a poll, census poll of about six or seven GBC men, including Kīrtanānanda, Rāmeśvara, Bali-mardana, so many men who know New York, and they all thought that if you join the parade at Twenty-third Street…

Prabhupāda: Twenty-third. At what time?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Ah, it’ll be… It should be at about 3:15, like that.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Then it will be nice. Because the whole parade is about fifty-four blocks, and you’ll be riding for about nineteen blocks. It means your ride will take about forty-five minutes.

Prabhupāda: So what time I’ll have to start?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: From here?

Prabhupāda: Somebody will come?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, I think I will probably come. Kīrtanānanda will also…

Prabhupāda: At what time?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think, say, it’s going to be either 2:45 or 3:00. Tomorrow morning I’ll let you know.

Prabhupāda: So at 3:00 I shall be ready. You can come and take me. That’s all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Well, I think at 3:00… But then by the time we get in the car… I think it will work, 3:00 o’clock.

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. Three o’clock, I’ll be ready. You come and take. In the meantime, I shall finish my…

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, that will leave a little time for resting. The whole program should be over by about…

Prabhupāda: So tomorrow I shall take lunch at 1:00.

Hari-śauri: One o’clock.

Prabhupāda: That’s all. Then, by 3:00 o’clock, I shall be ready.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Jaya, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Prabhupāda: [to Indian man:] Thik hai. Kṛṣṇa is preparing you to join this movement wholeheartedly. It is very nice. [to devotee:] Now you have got it?

Jayādvaita: Yes. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja quotes, ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]: “All these incarnations of Godhead are either plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras, but Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.” Then he says, “The Bhāgavatam describes the symptoms and deeds of the incarnations in general and counts Śrī Kṛṣṇa among them. This made Sūta Gosvāmī greatly apprehensive. Therefore he distinguished each incarnation by its specific symptom. All the incarnations of Godhead are plenary portions or parts of the plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras, but the primeval Lord is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the fountainhead of all incarnations. An opponent may say, ‘This is your interpretation, but actually the Supreme Lord is Nārāyaṇa, who is in the transcendental realm. He, Nārāyaṇa, incarnates as Lord Kṛṣṇa. This is the meaning of the verse as I see it. There is no need for further consideration.’ To such a misguided interpreter we may reply, ‘Why should you suggest such fallacious logic? An interpretation is never accepted as evidence if it opposes the principle of scripture. One should not state a predicate before its subject, for it cannot thus stand without proper support.’ If I do not state a subject, I do not state a predicate. First I speak the former and then the latter. The predicate of a sentence is what is unknown to the reader, whereas the subject is what is known to him. For example, we may say, ‘This vipra is a greatly learned man.’ In this sentence, the vipra is the subject, and the predicate is his erudition. The man’s being a vipra is known, but his erudition is unknown. Therefore the person is identified first and his erudition later. In the same way, all these incarnations were known, but whose incarnations they are was unknown. First the word ete, ‘these,’ establishes the subject, the incarnations. Then ‘plenary portions of the puruṣa-avatāras’ follows as the predicate. In the same way, when Kṛṣṇa was first counted among the incarnations, specific knowledge about Him was still unknown. Therefore the word Kṛṣṇa appears as the subject, followed by the predicate, describing Him as the original Personality of Godhead. This establishes that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. The original Personality of Godhead is therefore necessarily Kṛṣṇa. Had Kṛṣṇa been the plenary portion and Nārāyaṇa the primeval Lord, the statement of Sūta Gosvāmī would have been reversed. Thus he would have said, ‘Nārāyaṇa, the source of all incarnations, is the original Personality of Godhead. He has appeared as Śrī Kṛṣṇa.’ ”

Prabhupāda: So everything is given with logic and argument. Ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. First of all He’s grouped among the incarnations, but Kṛṣṇa is not incarnation. He’s bhagavān svayam.

Indian man: He comes original.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So if you argue against the authority of Bhāgavatam, then that argument has no value.

Indian man: That’s where the problem in India occuring. Everyone is saying God is Mahā-Viṣṇu, and Kṛṣṇa and Rāma are only avatāras, and that’s where the big argument came in. In fact, I talked to so many…

Prabhupāda: Otherwise why Sūta Gosvāmī, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]? And Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat [Bg. 7.7]. So how one can say like that? That means less intelligent. If Kṛṣṇa… If one accepts the authority of Bhagavad-gītā, Kṛṣṇa says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat [Bg. 7.7]. Aham ādir hi devānām [Bg. 10.2]. Then how they falsely say? Aham ādir hi devānām. Find out this verse.

Hari-śauri:

na me viduḥ sura-gaṇāḥ
prabhavaṁ na maharṣayaḥ
aham ādir hi devānāṁ
maharṣīṇāṁ ca sarvaśaḥ
[Bg. 10.2]

Prabhupāda: Sarvaśaḥ. [Hindi]

Indian man: No. Never. He has no reason to cheat us. He has no reason to lie.

Hari-śauri: Shall I read the…?

Prabhupāda: Um-hmm.

Hari-śauri: “Neither the hosts of demigods nor the great sages know My origin, for, in every respect, I am the source of the demigods and the sages.” Purport?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Hari-śauri: “As stated in Brahma-saṁhitā, Lord Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord. No one is greater than Him; He is the cause of all causes. Here it is also stated by the Lord personally that He is the cause of all the demigods and the sages. Even the demigods and great sages cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. They can neither understand His name nor His personality, so what is the position of the so-called scholars of this tiny planet? No one can understand why the Supreme God comes to earth as an ordinary human being and executes such commonplace and yet wonderful activities. One should know, then, that scholarship is not the qualification necessary to understand Kṛṣṇa. Even the demigods and the great sages have tried to understand Kṛṣṇa by their mental speculation, and they have failed to do so. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also it is stated clearly that even the great demigods are not able to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They can speculate to the limits of their imperfect senses and can reach the opposite conclusion of impersonalism, of something not manifested by the three qualities of material nature. Or they can imagine something by mental speculation. But it is not possible to understand Kṛṣṇa by such foolish speculation.

“Here the Lord indirectly says that if anyone wants to know the Absolute Truth, ‘Here I am, present as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I am the Supreme.’ One should know this. Although one cannot understand the inconceivable Lord who is personally present, He nonetheless exists. We can actually understand Kṛṣṇa, who is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge, simply by studying His words in Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The impersonal Brahman can be conceived by persons who are already in the inferior energy of the Lord, but the Personality of Godhead cannot be conceived unless one is in the transcendental position. Because most men cannot understand Kṛṣṇa in His actual situation, out of His causeless mercy He descends to show favor to such speculators. Yet despite the Supreme Lord’s uncommon activities, these speculators, due to contamination in the material energy, still think that the impersonal Brahman is the Supreme. Only the devotees, who are fully surrendered unto the Supreme Lord, can understand, by the grace of the Lord, that He is Kṛṣṇa. The devotees of the Lord do not bother about the impersonal Brahman conception of God. Their faith and devotion bring them to surrender immediately unto the Supreme Lord, and out of the causeless mercy of Kṛṣṇa, they can understand Kṛṣṇa. No one else can understand Him. So even great sages agree, ‘What is ātmā? What is the Supreme? It is He whom we have to worship.’ ”

Indian man: In my class I run into lot of arguments, especially from our Indian people, and this is one of the biggest arguments that people pose. They say, “Why are you calling yourselves Vaiṣṇavas and not Kṛṣṇayas?”

Prabhupāda: Hmm?

Indian man: If I call Kṛṣṇa…, I accept Kṛṣṇa as Supreme Personality of Godhead, then the question comes to me, “Why are you calling yourself Vaiṣṇavas? Why not Kṛṣṇayas?”

Prabhupāda: That already is explained, that Kṛṣṇa or Rāma, Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa, They are all viṣṇu-tattva. Therefore Viṣṇu is the common word for everyone. Just like candle. Everyone is candle, but still, this is first candle, this is second candle, this is third candle, like that. So Godhead means all viṣṇu-tattva. They are not jīva-tattva. So therefore those who are devotee of God, they are called Vaiṣṇava.

Hari-śauri: This specific word Vaiṣṇava, that refers to Viṣṇu? Worshipers of Viṣṇu?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Viṣṇu asya devataḥ iti vaiṣṇavaḥ.

Indian man: Throughout Vedas also, Viṣṇu is the yajñeśvara.

Prabhupāda: The supreme, yes.

Indian man: Yajño vai viṣṇuḥ.

Prabhupāda: Viṣṇur ārādhyate. Viṣṇur ārādhyate, nānyat tat-toṣa-kāraṇam. Varṇāśramācāravatā puruṣeṇa paraḥ pumān viṣṇur ārādhyate [Cc. Madhya 8.58]. Viṣṇor ārādhanam. Ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param. These are the śāstric…, that viṣṇor ārādhana. Kṛṣṇa-ārādhana is also viṣṇu-ārādhana.

Indian man: In fact, even Brahma-saṁhitā, Brahmājī says,

yaḥ kāraṇārṇava-jale bhajati sma yoga-
nidrām ananta-jagad-aṇḍa-saroma-kūpaḥ
ādhāra-śaktim avalambya parāṁ sva-mūrtiṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
[Bs. 5.47]

So “Viṣṇu is creating all the planetary systems. He’s in His yoga-nidrā. He is the original Govinda, and I worship Him.” So that is why both names are used so synonymously. And that is why people are questioning me, and I have difficulty to answer them. Although I accept Kṛṣṇa as original Personality of Godhead, but how to explain to them?

Prabhupāda: No, these are the references.

Jayādvaita: In here also. Should I read the verse? “All other incarnations are potentially situated in the original body of the primeval Lord. Thus, according to one’s opinion, one may address Him as any one of the incarnations.” Purport: “It is not contradictory for a devotee to call the Supreme Lord by any one of the various names of His plenary expansions, because the original Personality of Godhead includes all such categories. Since the plenary expansions exist within the original person, one may call Him by any of these names. In Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata Lord Caitanya says, ‘I was lying asleep in the ocean of milk, but I was wakened by the call of Nāḍā, Śrī Advaita Prabhu.’ Here the Lord refers to His form as Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.”

Translation: “Some say that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is directly Nara-Nārāyaṇa, others say that He is directly Vāmana. Some say that Kṛṣṇa is the incarnation of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. None of these statements is impossible. Each of them is as correct as the others.”

Purport: ”Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta states,

ataeva purāṇādau kecin nara-sakhātmatāṁ
mahendrānujatāṁ kecit kecit kṣīrābdhi-śāyitām
sahasra-śīrṣatāṁ kecit kecid vaikuṇṭha-nāthatāṁ
brūyuḥ kṛṣṇasya munayas tat-tad-vṛtty-anugāminaḥ

‘According to the intimate relationships between Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the primeval Lord, and His devotees, the Purāṇas describe Him by various names. Sometimes He is called Nārāyaṇa; sometimes Upendra [Vāmana], the younger brother of Indra, King of heaven; and sometimes Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Sometimes He is called…’ “

Prabhupāda: They are all viṣṇu-tattva.

Indian man: In fact, I remember very vividly that in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam you wrote that it was Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu who came down to bless Dhruva Mahārāja when the planetary system started trembling due to his tapasya. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. This is why people are questioning me continuously, that “How can you call Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and not Viṣṇu?” And I say “All are viṣṇu-tattva.” But it is very difficult to explain to them the actual position of Kṛṣṇa, because only through chanting…

Prabhupāda: That is decided by Bhāgavatam, ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam [SB 1.3.28]. That tu, the name Kṛṣṇa, in the incarnation of God, Kṛṣṇa is also included, but this Kṛṣṇa is the origin.

Indian man:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam
[Bs. 5.1]

Prabhupāda: So we have to take the direction. So that is also explained. Even if you say, “Kṛṣṇa is Vāmana,” there is nothing wrong. If you believe that Kṛṣṇa is incarnation of Viṣṇu, there is nothing wrong.

Indian man: I don’t believe that.

Prabhupāda: No, no, others. Others…

Indian man: I believe Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Prabhupāda: Others. We simply accept, “Yes, it is all right.” That’s all. So that’s a fact, because when Kṛṣṇa comes, He comes through Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.

Indian man: I ask them then that “Explain the three Viṣṇus—Mahā Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. Even Viṣṇu Himself has expanded, what to talk of Kṛṣṇa.” And then I ask them that “Kṛṣṇa came from which Viṣṇu? You tell me. If you can tell me that, then I will accept that Kṛṣṇa came from Viṣṇu. But if not, you have to accept my statement that Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. And you will not know Him unless you chant. Unless you chant.”

Prabhupāda: Sometimes Mahā-Viṣṇu wanted to see Kṛṣṇa. That is mentioned in the Bhāgavata, and He took Arjuna with Him.

Indian man: That’s right. That’s right. My father-mother did their entire lifetime pūjā of Śrīnāthajī, Śrīnāthajī.

Prabhupāda: Śrīnāthajī is Gopāla.

Indian man: Śrīnāthajī, we consider Him as Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes, He is Kṛṣṇa. He’s our Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava. It is decided by the court. Śrīnāthajī, there are… Mādhavendra Purī’s worshipable Gopāla… He discovered Gopāla in Govardhana. That Gopāla was delivered to… Who is the ācārya? Vallabhācārya. And it is decided by the court that Śrīnāthajī originally belongs to Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava. By the court. This Mādhavendra Purī is the spiritual master of Īśvara Purī. And Īśvara Purī is the spiritual master of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. So from Mādhavendra Purī is Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava. So his Deity is Gopāla. That Gopāla is Śrīnāthajī.

Indian man: When I was a young boy, eight years old, I went to Śrīnāthajī with my father-mother, and there I had to take the brahma-samāna[?], brahma-smārana, which is the oath, taking of the oath in front of the Mahārāja and the priest of the Śrīnāthajī temple. And is that equal unto initiation, or is that just a ceremony by itself?

Prabhupāda: No, initiation is another ceremony.

Indian man: What are the qualifications required for a person in working life like me, household like me, like myself, to get initiated?

Prabhupāda: No, you can be initiated. There is no… Because you are following the rules and regulations. That’s it. We initiate a person who follows the rules and regulations.

Indian man: I am following all your rules and regulations.

Prabhupāda: Then you can be initiated.

Indian man: Yes. I think we have taken enough of your time, Prabhupāda. I would love to stay with you, and I would like to invite you to…

Prabhupāda: Why don’t you stay here in our temple?

Indian man: Probably I might. [laughs]

Prabhupāda: Yes. We have got ladies’ department and gentleman’s department. You can stay.

Indian man and wife: I would like to invite you to Poughkeepsie and stay with us if it is possible.

Prabhupāda: Yes. How long it is?

Indian man: Hundred miles north from here.

Prabhupāda: So by car?

Indian man: Yes, by car.

Prabhupāda: It will take about four, five hours.

Indian man: No, two and a half hours. Two and a half hours.

Prabhupāda: Traveling is little difficult for me. So there are many Indians?

Indian man: There are about hundred and fifty Indian people. Thirty percent of them are Ārya-samājīsts. They don’t believe in anyone except doing havanas.

Prabhupāda: Second edition of Muhammadans.

Indian man: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Ārya-samājī means another edition of the Muhammadans.

Indian man: Some are Śiva followers, Śaivaites, of South India.

Prabhupāda: The Ārya-samājīs, they do not believe in God, so how they are Śiva followers? Hodgepodge. No sāmajīs, but hodgepodge.

Indian man: Yes, it is. They don’t know what is Personality of Godhead.

Prabhupāda: Opportunity followers.

Indian man: Hodgepodge, that’s right.

Prabhupāda: Opportunists. Useless. They have no value.

Indian man: Thirty percent of the Indian families, they are Ārya-samājīsts, and twenty percent are South Indian Śaivaites. I get a lot of argument that “Rāmacandrajī did the pūjā of Śivajī at Rāmeśvaram, so Śiva is greater than Rāma.” I said, “Consider this, that Rāma was so humble to do the pūjā of Śivajī, but in Rāmastotrāṇi it says, rāma rāmeti rāmeti rāmerāma manorāne, śāstranāma tat tulyam śrī-rāma-nāma rāmarāme.[?] That is what Śivajī is telling Pārvatī. Śivajī is telling Pārvatī in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg. 7.19].” I say, “Why does Śivajī say that? Why is Śivajī sitting in samādhi? Why not Kṛṣṇa sitting in samādhi? Why not Rāma sitting in samādhi? Why not Mahā-Viṣṇu sitting in samādhi? Because Śivajī’s position is to serve Kṛṣṇa. But Kṛṣṇa as Rāma is so humble that He came and even did His devotee’s pūjā.

Prabhupāda: Just like Kṛṣṇa is afraid of mother Yaśodā’s rope. But that does not mean He is no longer the Supreme Lord.

Indian man: Exactly, exactly, exactly.

Prabhupāda: He’s afraid of “Mother, don’t bind Me.” So everyone is afraid of Kṛṣṇa, and He is afraid of His mother’s rope. So does it mean Kṛṣṇa has become no more the Supreme?

Indian man: In fact, you might have heard of Satya Sai Baba in India.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Indian man: Now there are some people in our community there at Poughkeepsie, they are all followers of Satya Sai Baba, and they’ve been telling me that “Anyone you pray, Kṛṣṇa, Rāma, Viṣṇu, it comes to Satya Sai Baba.” I said, “Don’t tell me that nonsense,” I said. [laughter] “Satya Sai Baba is not Kṛṣṇa, and don’t tell me that.” In fact for Guru Pūrṇimā they invited me to Satya Sai Baba’s bhajanas. I said, “No, I have my guru. I’m very happy. Don’t disturb me. I have Kṛṣṇa, I have my guru, and I have my path. I don’t have to go to anybody’s guru, and I don’t have to take anyone’s teachings.” I say, “My Gītā is here, written by Prabhupāda. I follow it, and that’s it. I don’t have to have extraordinary brains to follow everyone’s Gītā or everything else. Here is my path.”

Prabhupāda: In South America there was a great criticism?

Hari-śauri: South Africa.

Prabhupāda: South Africa.

Indian man: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Of Satya Sai.

Hari-śauri: One man, he challenged that he could prove that Sai Baba is a fake. So he’s written so many letters to Sai Baba to challenge him, but he’s never received a reply. So that paper gave this article criticizing Sai Baba like that, and other gurus, and then in the same paper there was a very nice article concerning our Jagannātha Cart Festival. So practically they were appreciating that Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is bona fide and these other people are nonsense.

Indian man: Right. In fact, several people, even in our community in Poughkeepsie, received letters from Satya Sai Baba’s followers that “Here is a letter. Make ten copies and send the ten copies to ten different people. If you don’t, Satya Sai Baba’s thunderbolt will come and strike your family, and they’ll be destroyed.” Now no guru ever puts a thunderbolt on his devotee, and I said, “If that is a guru, I’ll stay ten thousand miles away from him, because my guru is very kind and he’ll bless me.” I said, “No guru should ever put a thunderbolt on his devotee.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. [aside:] You can turn towards this.

Indian man: At Monticello in Catskill… I don’t know if you know it. Monticello in Catskill Mountains here? Just about fifty-sixty miles north, there is Muktananda.

Hari-śauri: Muktananda.

Indian man: Muktananda. And he has got his retreat, and some of our people go there. And I heard from them that he is teaching…, he is quoting Gītā. But if you go to his room, oṁ namaḥ śivāya. I said, “This is contradiction.” I said, “If he is a Śiva follower, he should teach Śiva Purāṇa and not Gītā.” I said this is…

Prabhupāda: But they are actually impersonalists. They neither follow Śiva nor Kṛṣṇa. They are impersonalists.

Indian man: Hypocrites.

Prabhupāda: Their idea is the Absolute Truth is imperson. You can worship Him either as Śiva or as Kṛṣṇa, as you like. That is their philosophy. Yes.

Indian man: Yes. But this is the height of hypocrisy, to teach Gītā and to chant oṁ namaḥ śivāya.

Prabhupāda: No, because they say, “Either way, you become impersonal at the end. You brahma-liṅ. You become one with Brahma. But before you become brahma-liṅ, you can imagine some form, either Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu or Śiva or Durgā, the same thing.” That is their…

Indian man: In fact some of the arguments that I received were… “If you go to heaven, let’s say, Vaikuṇṭha, then you become…, you join the impersonal Brahman. Then you have nothing else to do.” He says, “In material world we have family. We have something to do.” I said, “If you believe in impersonalism, you have nothing to do. If you believe in personalism, you will serve the Lord there.”

Prabhupāda: Impersonal means if you have nothing to do, then you’ll become mad.

Indian man: Exactly.

Prabhupāda: And again you come back to this material world.

Indian man: Exactly. Now, Prabhupāda, I have taken too much of your time. I want to thank you very much. I humbly offer my obeisances.

Prabhupāda: Thank you very much.

Indian man: I wish that I can continue your work.

Prabhupāda: Please do. You’ll be happy. Kṛṣṇa will make you happy.

Indian man: And huh…

Prabhupāda: Na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu kas… [Bg. 18.69]. [break] [end]

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