A Fish out of Water


The other day I was talking with one guest, explaining that we are actually sac-cid-ānanda; (eternal, full of knowledge, and bliss), eternal spirit souls, but are, at the present moment, in a temporary position, just like a fish out of water. This is a very good analogy that Srila Prabhupada has used often in his preaching. I did a search this morning on Prabhupada Books.com and found a few references that I am posting here, as well as one very nice Bhagavad-gita Lecture wherein Srila Prabhupada is describing the nature of the soul.

Everyone in the material world is engaged in all kinds of political, philanthropic and humanitarian activities to make material life happy and prosperous, but this is not possible. One should understand that in the material world, however one may try to make adjustments, he cannot be happy. To cite an example I have given many times, if you take a fish out of water, you can give it a very comfortable velvet bedstead, but still the fish cannot be happy; it will die. Because the fish is an animal of the water, it cannot be happy without water. Similarly, we are all spirit soul; unless we are in spiritual life or in the spiritual world, we cannot be happy. That is our position. (Srila Prabhupada; Krsna Consciousness The Topmost Yoga System)

Śrīla Prabhupāda: The Vedic injunction is that people are searching after knowledge, and that when one understands the Absolute Truth, he understands everything. Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati. People are trying to approach an objective, but they do not know that the final objective is Kṛṣṇa. They are simply trying to make adjustments with so many materialistic revolutions. They have no knowledge that they are spiritual beings and that unless they go back to the spiritual world and associate with the Supreme Spirit, God, there is no question of happiness. We are like fish out of water. Just as a fish cannot be happy unless he is in the water, we cannot be happy apart from the spiritual world. We are part and parcel of the Supreme Spirit, Kṛṣṇa, but we have left His association and fallen from the spiritual world because of our desire to enjoy this material world. So unless we reawaken the understanding of our spiritual position and go back home to the spiritual world, we can never be happy. We can go on theorizing for many lifetimes, but we will only see one revolution after another. The old order changes, yielding its place to the new. Or in other words, history repeats itself. (Srila Prabhupada; The Journey for Self Discovery)

A fish that is taken out of the water cannot be happy by any arrangement on land. He must be supplied with water. In the same way, the minute sac-cid-ānanda living entity cannot be really happy through any amount of planning conceived by his illusioned brain in this material universe. He must therefore be given a different type of happiness which is spiritual in essence. Our ambition should be aimed at enjoying spiritual bliss and not this temporary happiness. Some philosophers claim that spiritual bliss is attained by negating material happiness and material existence. Theoretical negation of material activities as propounded by Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya may be effective for an insignificant section of mankind, but the best and surest way for everyone to attain spiritual bliss was propounded by Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by means of devotional activities. These devotional activities can change the very face of material nature. (Srila Prabhupada; Elevation to Krsna Consciousness)

Bhagavad-gītā Lecture
Chapter Seven, Text 1-3
given in London, August 4, 1971


om ajñāna-timirāndhasya jñānāñjana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai śrī-gurave-namaḥ

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]

śrī-caitanya-mano-‘bhīṣṭaṁ sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ dadāti sva-padāntikam

[When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]

vande ‘haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gaṇa-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇavas and unto the six Gosvāmīs, including Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the gopīs, headed by Lalitā and Viśākhā.]
You can take. All right.

he kṛṣṇa karuṇā-sindho dīna-bandho jagat-pate
gopeśa gopikā-kānta rādhā-kānta namo ‘stu te

[O my dear Kṛṣṇa, ocean of mercy, You are the friend of the distressed and the source of creation. You are the master of the cowherdmen and the lover of the gopīs, especially Rādhārāṇī. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.]

tapta-kāñcana-gaurāṅgi rādhe vṛndāvaneśvari
vṛṣabhānu-sute devi praṇamāmi hari-priye

[I offer my respects to Rādhārāṇī, whose bodily complexion is like molten gold and who is the Queen of Vṛndāvana. You are the daughter of King Vṛṣabhānu, and You are very dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa.]

vāñchā-kalpatarubhyaś ca kṛpā-sindhubhya eva ca
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇava devotees of the Lord. They can fulfill the desires of everyone, just like desire trees, and they are full of compassion for the fallen souls.]

mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha
yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ
asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ māṁ
yathā jñāsyasi tac chṛṇu

[Bg. 7.1]

Kṛṣṇa is speaking to Arjuna that mayy āsakta-manāḥ, “You have to train your mind to become attached to Me, Kṛṣṇa.” Actually, that is yoga system. Our mind… Mind has got two business: something accepting and rejecting. That’s all. So we have to train our mind in such a way that we become simply attached to Kṛṣṇa. That is called mayy āsakta-manāḥ. Mayi, “unto Me,” āsakta, “attachment”; manāḥ, “mind.” Mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha, “My dear Arjuna, you just become one of the persons who are attached to Me.” Mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogam… This is the yoga. Yuñjan. “If you execute this yoga…” Mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. “This yoga can be practiced by taking shelter of Me or My representative.” Not alone. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. Āśrayaḥ means shelter. Kṛṣṇa says mat. Mat means “Me.”

So either you take shelter of Kṛṣṇa or you take shelter of a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa. Just like if you do a business, either you transact a business in agreement with the proprietor or the proprietor’s representative, the business is all right. If the representative of the firm signs that agreement, then even the proprietor does not know, it will be accepted as bona fide agreement. Is it not? So even though you cannot see eye to eye Kṛṣṇa, you can execute this yoga system, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, through the agency of His bona fide representative. Mayy āsakta-manāḥ pārtha. And how it is? Asaṁśayam. Asaṁśayaṁ samagraṁ mām [Bg. 7.1]. “By practicing that yoga, you will understand Me, or God,” asaṁśayam, “without any doubt.” Asaṁśayaṁ samagram, “and in full.” Not that partially. Yathā jñāsyasi, “as you can understand”; tac chṛṇu, “now hear attentively.” Kṛṣṇa is beginning to speak to Arjuna about this bhakti-yoga system, and He’s drawing attention, śṛṇu, “Please hear attentively.”

Yesterday there was a question. Somebody—I do not know whether the gentleman is present here—”Whether you have seen God, or Kṛṣṇa.” Not only me, everyone has seen Kṛṣṇa. Everyone has seen Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa… It’s not that… You can see Kṛṣṇa in this form. He is playing flute and enjoying with Rādhārāṇī. That is His natural picture or natural form. But He has got multi other forms also. If you are not fortunate enough to understand this form, then you can turn your attention to other, many other forms, and you can see Kṛṣṇa. Actually, we cannot see spirit. Spirit soul even we cannot see. The modern advancement of science, they cannot see even the particle of the spirit. They have no power. Just like I am, you are, we are all spirit souls. We are in this body, but the medical science after dissection of the body cannot find out where is the spirit soul. But there is. That’s a fact. But you have no instrument or power to see it. In spite of your advancement of so many scientific instruments, you cannot see. Therefore in the śāstra it is said, ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grāhyam indriyaiḥ [Cc. Madhya 17.136]. Our, these senses are so imperfect that we cannot perceive even what is spirit soul. We cannot see. That’s a fact. And we cannot… It is very difficult to perceive also. But you can see also, you can perceive also, by accepting a certain method.

That method is called yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. “You have to practice this yoga system under My shelter or My representative’s shelter. Then you can understand samagram, fully, completely; asaṁśayam, without any doubt.” That you have to practice. And that is, that practice is also not very difficult. Simply one should be serious that “I want to see God.” Everyone is seeing God, but he does not know that he’s seeing God. That is māyā. There are so many examples. Just like you can… Although you are in this room, you can know that sun is not yet set because you can see your watch and you can understand the sunset time is not yet there. So you can understand perfectly that there is sun in the sky. It is a method. Similarly, you can understand God is there. You have to accept the method. If you accept… That method is recommended here: yogaṁ yuñjan mad-āśrayaḥ. “You have to practice this yoga system under the shelter of Me.” “Me” means… Just like the same example, a business firm signs “We.” “We agree to this point.” The manager signs, the proprietor signs, he says “We,” means “We, the company, any one of us.” Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa says mad-āśrayaḥ, “under My shelter,” it means that taking shelter of Kṛṣṇa or anyone in the disciplic succession of Kṛṣṇa. The same example: anyone attached to that business transaction, he’s as good as the proprietor or the manager.

So Kṛṣṇa says, jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam… The yoga system… Yoga system is a type of knowledge. Jñānam. Jñānam means knowledge. Jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ [Bg. 7.2]. “I’m just trying to explain the knowledge, or the devotional knowledge, or the yoga system, by which you can understand Me perfectly. That I am speaking to you in full knowledge.” Jñānam, and sa-vijñānam, “with scientific knowledge.” Not that bogus knowledge. Sa-vijñānam. Vijñānam means science. With scientific knowledge. Now, modern days, people are advanced. They like to talk on scientific basis. And here is the Kṛṣṇa’s statement: sa-vijñānam, “with scientific knowledge.” Vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ: “And I shall explain,” aśeṣataḥ, “in full explanation, without any reservation.” Not that summarily I say something, you do not follow, you do not understand, I finish. No. “I shall fully explain,” aśeṣataḥ. Yaj jñātvā, “And if you fortunately can understand,” yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo ‘nyaj jñātavyam avaśiṣyate, “if you understand this science, then you finish your process of acquiring knowledge.”

Every one of us acquiring knowledge. That is called experience, one after another. So Kṛṣṇa says that “If you understand this science,” sa-vijñānam, “then your knowledge will be complete. You have nothing to hanker after any further knowledge. Knowledge is complete.” That is also Vedic injunction. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijñāte sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati. Kasmin vijñāte, if you can understand the supreme knowledge, the Supreme, then sarvam idaṁ vijñātaṁ bhavati, everything becomes known to you. Just like in arithmetic, if you simply learn 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, then you learned all the arithmetic process. Because in the arithmetic there is nothing but 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… That’s all. Whatever you see, big, big calculation, that is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9… That’s all. Similarly, if you simply understand Kṛṣṇa, then you’ll see the whole arithmetic, whole world, whole universe is full of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That’s all. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā you’ll see that bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. When actually one becomes wise, full of wisdom, jñānavān… How? After many, many births of speculation and calculation, when he actually becomes… Just like the same example. A very expert mathematician, he sees the whole mathematic, arithmetic is full of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… That’s all. So actually when one is in knowledge, then he can see Kṛṣṇa everywhere. Not that… Those who are in the lowest stage, they think that Kṛṣṇa is here in the temple and not anywhere else. That is the lowest stage of understanding Kṛṣṇa. But the highest stage of understanding Kṛṣṇa: the Kṛṣṇa conscious person sees everywhere Kṛṣṇa, even within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham [Bs. 5.35]. Kṛṣṇa can be found within this universe, in everyone, as well as in the atoms also, within the atoms. Samagram.
But this knowledge is little difficult. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Out of many millions of human beings, one becomes interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. When I speak “Kṛṣṇa,” you should understand “God.” So Kṛṣṇa says manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu. Sahasreṣu is plural number, means among thousands and thousands of men, millions and thousands of men, one become interested. Manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye. Siddhaye means perfection. Perfection of life. One should be very cool-headed. The distinction—the human being and animal—the animal does not know what is perfection of life. They are simply interested with four principles of bodily necessities: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. That’s all. They have no other inquiries, “What is the perfection?” That means that is not possible in that body. In that animal body, cat’s and dog’s or hog’s or elephant, very big body, or tiger, very powerful body, but they cannot inquire what is the perfection of life. That inquiry is possible in the human form of life. The tiger has got body and a man has got body. Tiger may be very powerful, a man may be very weak, but there is a great distinction between the tiger and the man. Because tiger, becoming so powerful, he has no power to understand what he is or what is the perfection of life. But a human being, although he may be very feeble and very weak than the tiger, he has got the developed consciousness to understand what is perfection of life and what he is. That is the distinction.

So people are trying to be like tiger. In India, a certain section of people, the Muhammadans, they say that “We want to be like śera.” Śera means tiger. And more or less in the Western countries also, everyone is trying to become a tiger, very powerful. But one should be very cool-headed. A tiger is very powerful; a tiger can attack anyone and kill him. That is very good, but what is the use of tiger? Nobody is interested in tiger. Rather, if the tiger comes within the city, immediately it will be shot down. Because it has no use. But a humble, meek cow… Of course, here there is no protection of cow, but in India the cow is protected. It is the duty of the human being to give protection to the cow.

Just like we offer Kṛṣṇa our obeisances: namo brahmaṇya-devāya go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca: “Kṛṣṇa, You are worshipable by the brahminical culture, brahmaṇya-devāya,” not by others, “because You are go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, You are well-wisher of the cows and the brāhmaṇas.” Why Kṛṣṇa is not said tiger? Why this prayer is devoid of tiger? Hitāya ca, Kṛṣṇa is always, I mean to say, thinking how to protect the cows and the brāhmaṇas. When Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet He became a cowherd boy to give protection to the cows. He was tending cows by His personal example. You will read in the Kṛṣṇa book how He was taking care of the cows. Therefore go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca. The first prayer is that “You are protector of the cows and the brāhmaṇas.” Jagad-dhitāya. “You are well-wisher of the whole universe, but Your special interest is to give protection to the cows and the brāhmaṇas.” Why that special interest? Because if the human society does not give protection to the cows and does not cultivate the brahminical culture, then it is cats and dogs society. Therefore it is given. And as soon as the whole society becomes full of cats and dogs, how can you expect peace and prosperity? The dog’s business is “Gow gow gow gow! Why you have come here? Why you have entered in our neighborhood? Please get out. Please get out.” Not “Please.” “Get out.” (laughter)

So we are…, we have cultivated a nice human society that there are all, I mean to say, what is called? Dogs. The immigration department: “Why you have come here? How!” (laughter) “Yes, sir, I have come here not to harm you. I have to speak something nice thing.” “How long you shall stay?” (laughter) “Oh, not more than one month.” “All right.” (laughter) So immediately watchdog. In every house, “Beware of dog.” “Don’t enter. Beware of dog.” This is human civilization. You see. You cannot enter anyone’s house, you cannot enter anyone’s country. And if you do… This means this want of this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But the Vedic culture says, gṛhe śatrum api prāptaṁ viśvastam akuto bhayam. Even if your enemy comes to your home, you should receive him in such a way that he’ll forget that you are his enemy.
Devotees: Haribol. Jaya.

Prabhupāda: Gṛhe śatrum api prāptam. Śatrum means enemy. If you see that an enemy has come to your house, śatrum api. Śatru means enemy; api, although. You should receive him in such a way that he’ll completely believe you that you are his enemy…, you are not his enemy. That was the system. In the Kurukṣetra war, the two brothers, I mean to say, cousin-brothers are fighting. But after finishing the fighting there is no enmity. These people are going to their camp, they are coming, talking or taking lunch. Very friendly. Friendly. There was another fight between Bhīma and Jarāsandha. The whole day there was fighting. It was decided that one should be killed. That’s a fact. The fighting between kṣatriyas it will not end unless one of them is killed. That is kṣatriya spirit. So they know… Bhīma and Jarāsandha knew it very well that this fighting is going on until one is dead, one of the belligerent parties. But at night Bhīma is the guest of Jarāsandha, eating together, talking friendly. This is brahminical culture. For duty’s sake, for some cause, we may fight. That’s all right. But that does not mean we shall remain inimical always. Gṛhe śatrum api prāptaṁ viśvastam akuto bhayam.

There is another example. The fighting was going on between Arjuna and Duryodhana. So Duryodhana criticized the commander in chief, Bhīma, Bhīṣmadeva. “My dear grandfather, you are affectionate to the other parties, my other cousin-brothers; therefore you are not fighting very nicely.” “Oh, you think like that, that I’m not fighting very nicely?” “Yes.” Just to enthuse him. Yes. So he said, “All right. Tomorrow I shall kill all these five brothers. Is that all right?” “Yes, that’s nice.” “So I’ll keep these five arrows reserved for killing these five brothers.” So Duryodhana did not believe, that “He may miss these five arrows,” but he said, “My dear grandfather, better I keep these five arrows with me. I shall deliver you tomorrow morning.” “All right, you keep it.” Kṛṣṇa understood. Kṛṣṇa is all-pervading. He immediately said Arjuna, “Tomorrow you are going to be killed. Be assured.” Why? “Now this is the position.” “Then what to do?” “Now, you go to Duryodhana and take away all those arrows. Otherwise you’ll be killed.” So Arjuna remembered that Duryodhana once promised—Duryodhana was elderly, Arjuna is young, younger brother—that “My dear brother, I promise, whatever you want I can give you.” So Duryodhana said, “All right. I shall ask you some days later. Not now.” So Arjuna thought, “Now this is the opportunity. I shall go and ask Duryodhana to give me those arrows.” So Arjuna went to the other camp, and immediately Duryodhana received him as his brother: “My dear brother, you have come? What do you want? You want the kingdom without fighting? Therefore you have come? I can give you. I can stop this fighting if you want without fighting.” No. Arjuna said, “No, I have come for some other purpose.” “All right. Whatever you want, you can…” “Yes, you sometimes promised that whatever I want you will give me.” “Yes, I am keeping my promise. What do you want?” He said, “Give me those five arrows.” (laughter) “Yes.” Immediately. This is kṣatriya spirit. This is brahminical culture. “Yes, you take it. Go on.”

Rāmacandra was going to be enthroned and the stepmother said the same to Daśaratha Mahārāja, that… They were stepmothers, Mahārāja Daśaratha’s three wives. So one wife wanted that her son should be king. So immediately she proposed that “Instead of Rāmacandra, my son should be king.” Mahārāja Daśaratha said, “How it can be? It is already arranged. He is the eldest son.” “No, you promised sometime that you will keep your promise and satisfy me. So this is my demand.” “So what do you want?” “That Rāmacandra should be banished immediately and my son should be enthroned.” He agreed. He called Rāmacandra, “This is the demand of Your stepmother. Kindly go to the forest for fourteen years, and Your stepbrother will be king.” Rāmacandra agreed immediately. “Yes, that’s all right, father.” This is brahminical culture. Is there any single instance in the history that a king which is going to be enthroned next morning and by the order of his father immediately he goes away to the forest? Therefore there is no harm that we make materially very much advanced, but not like cats and dogs. Take brahminical culture. Then it will be perfect, the whole society. Go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya govindāya… That brahminical culture can be established only by understanding Kṛṣṇa. Without understanding Kṛṣṇa, whatever we do, we shall remain simply animals. That’s all.

So how the animals can be interested in Kṛṣṇa? That is not possible. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says, manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu [Bg. 7.3]. “Out of many thousands of people.” Just like we have started this movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, in the Western countries for the last five years, but how many people have come to take to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement? Not very many. We have got about three thousand followers. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that it is not attractive for everyone. But if one is attracted, his life is successful. His life is successful. Lord Caitanya also said the same thing. Brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva. There are many, innumerable living entities. They are wandering within this universe in different forms of body and different planets, transmigrating from one body to another, one planet to another. Ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa, kona… Out of them, if one is fortunate enough to associate with a bona fide spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, his life is becomes successful.

ei rūpe brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-kṛpāya pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]

Bīja means seed. As from the seed a big tree come out, similarly, if one is injected with this Kṛṣṇa consciousness understanding, then, gradually, it will grow into a big tree. And when the fruits will be there, he’ll enjoy life.

So although this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, God consciousness, yoga system is very easy, still, Kṛṣṇa says that

manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānām…
[Bg. 7.3]

Not only perfect… Perfection of human consciousness is there when one understands that “I am not this body. I am spirit soul.” Ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That is perfection. But if you study scrutinizingly so many men, every one is bodily conscious. In Moscow I was speaking with a great professor, Kotovsky. He’s in charge of Indology department of the government. He said… Although I defeated him in argument, he said that “After finishing this body, everything is finished.” Just see. No. The spiritual knowledge begins when one is perfectly aware that “After finishing this body, I am not finished.” That is perfection. Not that those who are in this concept of life, that with the finishing of this body everything is finished. That is nonsense. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. Kṛṣṇa teaches. Na jāyate na mriyate vā kadācin…, nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre [Bg. 2.20]. “This ātmā is never born and he never dies.” Na jāyate mriyate vā. Nitya, eternal; śāśvata, ever-existing, śāśvata. Na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre. “Don’t think that because the body is finished, therefore he is finished. No.” In another place Kṛṣṇa says, tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ [Bg. 2.13]. As we are changing body from babyhood to childhood, childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youth-hood, youth-hood to grown-up and old age—this is our practical experience, I have several times explained—similarly, this old body, when I give it up, I shall accept another body. What is that body? That will be given to you by the laws of nature according to your mentality. As you create your mentality, yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran loke [Bg. 8.6], absorb your thought and mind at the time of death, then you are given a particular type of body, either in the womb of a human being or a cat or a dog or a demigod or a tree or so many.

There are 8,400,000’s of species of life. If you want the body of a tiger, if you have exercised very nicely to become like a tigerlike strong, then God will give you next life to become a tiger, actual tiger. “Why tigerlike? Become a tiger. I give you all facility. Become a tiger.” So what is the use of getting tiger’s life? You know… Perhaps you all know, the tigers cannot get food every day. And naturally, if in the forest there is a tiger, the other animals, they are very careful. But when he’s too much hungry God provides him one animal. Because God provides everyone’s food, so tiger also must have food. Eko bahūnāṁ vidadhāti kāmān. That one Supreme is maintaining all these living entities. So tiger is also part and parcel of God, and he has got that body. So God is kind even upon the tiger, and what to speak of the devotees.

So this human form of life, Kṛṣṇa is stressing on this point, that manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye [Bg. 7.3]. Out of many millions, at least at the present moment, nobody is interested to know what is the perfection of life. They think or one thinks that perfection of life means to enjoy the senses to the best capacity, and as soon as the body is finished, everything finished. Just like Professor Kotovsky told, with the body everything is finished. Therefore people are so much anxious to enjoy sensually because he knows as soon “As this body is finished, everything is finished. So let me enjoy.” This is the misconception, or illusion, or māyā. Body’s not finished. You are creating another body. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]. And you’ll get another body, karmaṇā, according to your karma. Therefore the intelligent person, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante… [Bg. 7.19]. That intelligence comes after many, many births. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān. One who is actually wise. Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate. Kṛṣṇa says, “He surrenders unto Me.” Why? How he…? Because he’s wise. How he’s wise? Because he knows, vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg. 7.19]. He understands that Kṛṣṇa is everything. Not that he’s falsely surrendering. He knows that Kṛṣṇa is everything. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. Kṛṣṇa says also that “I am the root.” Bījo ‘haṁ sarva-bhūtānām [Bg 7.10]. “I am the root, I am the seed, of everything.” Therefore, when one becomes actually wise, full of knowledge, then he surrenders to Kṛṣṇa.

Now, intelligent persons, they will see this instruction of Kṛṣṇa, “Kṛṣṇa says…” That is our method. Our method of acquiring knowledge is to hear from the authority. That’s all. Now, who can be better authority than Kṛṣṇa? The Bhagavad-gītā is a book of authority, is acknowledged in every part of the world. Not that simply Indians or Hindus are interested. Any scholar, any philosopher, throughout the whole world. Any religionist, any scientist. Even Professor Einstein, he was interested in Bhagavad-gītā. He was reading it daily. So wise man means one who understands Kṛṣṇa. So our formula is if one is not God conscious, or Kṛṣṇa conscious, we immediately reject him. We immediately accept that he has no qualification. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇāḥ. One cannot be qualified unless he is God conscious. His all qualities immediately become rejected. “Why? He has passed M.A., Ph.D. and D.A.C., and he’s honored…” That’s all right, but in spite of all his education, he will create simply havoc in the world. That’s all. Harāv abhaktasya kuto mahad-guṇā mano-rathenāsati dhāvato bahiḥ [SB 5.18.12]. Because he is hovering over the mental plane, he’ll simply create havoc. His education will be utilized for his sense gratification, and he will not care for anything. Just like great scientists have discovered the atom bomb, by scientific research. What is the effect? Now by one drop you can kill many millions of people. That is his advancement of science. “Oh, why don’t you create something that people will not die?” That is not… “I can assure death, but I cannot save death. That is not in my power.” Then what kind of scientist you are? You create something, you create some medicine, that “Take this tablet and no death, no more, at least, no disease.” That is not possible. There is disease, development of different kinds of disease, and they are discovering different kinds of medicine. That is a struggle. That is not scientific improvement. There is one problem before you, and you are creating some antidote. That’s all. This is struggle, struggle for existence. This is not scientific advancement.

But how one can be stopped from repetition of birth and death? That is here in the Bhagavad-gītā. What is that? Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyaṁ yo jānāti tattvataḥ [Bg. 4.9]. You try to understand Kṛṣṇa only, what is Kṛṣṇa. Janma karma yo jānāti tattvataḥ, anyone who knows in truth, not superficially: “Oh, Kṛṣṇa I know. In the Seven…, there is a place. They have got an idol of Kṛṣṇa. They are worshiping. I know everything about Kṛṣṇa.” Not like that. Try to understand Kṛṣṇa, what He is. He is Kṛṣṇa undoubtedly, but people want to know actually what is Kṛṣṇa. That we are open. So if one simply understands what is Kṛṣṇa, the result is tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Simply by understanding Kṛṣṇa, there is no more taking birth. Punar janma. If you take birth, then there is death. If you stop your birth, then you can stop your death also. Because birth and death is in relationship with this body. If you don’t have a material body, then there is no question of birth, death, old age and disease.

So this is the process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. People should be interested by hearing the words of Kṛṣṇa. That is intelligence. Kṛṣṇa says that “In this way you can stop your birth and death process.” So why don’t you do that? Why you are after so many things? If you simply try to understand Kṛṣṇa and if you perfectly understand, then immediately you can stop your birth and death process. You are eternal. That is intelligence. That is intelligence. Just like Kṛṣṇa says, “After many, many births, one comes to this conclusion that Kṛṣṇa is everything.” So why shall I wait for another many births? Why not accept Kṛṣṇa as everything? This is intelligence. Kṛṣṇa is saying, He’s not bluffing. So why not take Kṛṣṇa’s word as truth and immediately, mam prapadyate, immediately surrender? “Kṛṣṇa, I do not know anything. I simply surrender unto You. Please protect me.” That’s all. Finish business. Very simple thing, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Everyone can take. Doesn’t require to become very highly, scientist, philosopher and something like that. Simply accept Kṛṣṇa’s words and see the result. And the result is happening also. Those who are accepting Kṛṣṇa in that way and trying their best to please Kṛṣṇa with this human form of life, how much they are happy, how they are enjoying life.

So this is practical. So our request is that everyone should try to understand the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and be happy. Thank you very much. [break] Yes. Yes. What is that?

Guest (1): Why does Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself as māyā?

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa has not extended māyā. You wanted māyā, therefore He has given the facility to enjoy māyā. Just like the government creates the prison department. It is not the government’s desire that “There must be some prisoners.” But you are criminal, therefore there must be prisonhouse. So you create the prisonhouse, not the government. Government creates university. “Come there, take education.” Māyā is created by you. As soon as you forget Kṛṣṇa, the māyā is there. Just like there is sunshine and darkness, side by side. If you want to keep yourself in the sunshine, there is no darkness. But if you voluntarily come to the darkness, what the sun will do? Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. “You surrender to Kṛṣṇa.” But why don’t you do it? That is māyā. It is up to you. Therefore you create māyā. Kṛṣṇa does not create. A man is hanged. Does it mean that the high-court judge who orders that “This man should be hanged,” the high-court judge is enemy of that man he’s hanging? No. He has created his situation that he should be hanged. God is very kind to everyone, but we have created situation so that we suffer. Karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]—by our own work and under the supervision of the Supreme. Just like in the state you create some criminal activity. Under the supervision of the government you are punished. All right. [break]

Guest (2): How do you recognize someone who has already a family and he’s working and who wants to progress in Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Is he, does he have to give up his job and shave his hair and wear robes?

Prabhupāda: No, no. No, never. Simply you have to see, what you are doing, by such action Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. That’s all. You can do anything. The test is… That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,

ataḥ pumbhir dvija-śreṣṭhā
svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya
saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam
[SB 1.2.13]

The example is… Just like Arjuna. Arjuna was a warrior, fighter. So when he proposed that “I shall not fight. They are my brothers, my grandfathers, my nephews,” that was his proposal. Kṛṣṇa said, “Wherefrom you got this nonsense idea? You are in the warfield and are denying to fight.” That means by his nice proposal that “I shall not fight,” Kṛṣṇa was not pleased. But after understanding Bhagavad-gītā, when he saw that “Kṛṣṇa wants this fight,” “Yes. Kariṣye vacanaṁ tava [Bg. 18.73].” That is perfection. So he remained a warrior and still he became perfect. So everyone can remain in his own occupation, varṇāśrama-vibhāgaśaḥ, but one has to see that whether Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. Then whatever he is doing, that is perfect. That is Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Guest (3): Is it possible for any entity to do something until the Lord hears him?

Prabhupāda: Yes. God sanctions, but you desire. “Man proposes, God disposes.” Whatever you desire, if you insist, God will sanction. And without His sanction you cannot do. Therefore your doing something is dependent on God’s sanction. But you desire something out of your own will. You are not a stone. You are a living entity. So you can desire anything. Kṛṣṇa conscious, they do not do anything without Kṛṣṇa’s sanction.

Guest (3): The Kṛṣṇa consciousness say, you cannot do anything unless the Lord desires it.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Not God desires. God sanctions. Don’t say like that. Desire is yours, but sanction is God’s. Just like you want to do some business. You must take sanction from the government. You take license. You cannot do out of your own will. Similarly, you can desire and propose, “God, I want to do this,” and God will sanction. So those who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious, they want. “I want this. I want this. I want this. I want this.” Kṛṣṇa says, “All right. Take this.” But Kṛṣṇa says that “You give up all this nonsense,” that we do not take. Kṛṣṇa says, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekam: [Bg. 18.66] “Simply take Me.” But that we do not do. We ask Kṛṣṇa, “Please let me do this.” “All right, do it.” Yathecchasi tathā kuru [Bg. 18.63]. Kṛṣṇa inquires from Arjuna after teaching him Bhagavad-gītā, “Now I have spoken to you everything. What you want to do, you can do.” That is Kṛṣṇa’s proposal. Kṛṣṇa says that best thing is that you simply take to Kṛṣṇa. But Kṛṣṇa gives you the opportunity, liberty, that whatever you do, whatever you like, you can do. Now it is your choice. Just like father, (and) grown-up son. He says, “My dear boy, you do like this. That is my opinion.” But when the son says, “No. I shall do like this.” “All right, you do whatever you like.” But without father’s sanction, as the son cannot do anything, similarly, without Kṛṣṇa’s sanction you cannot do anything. But the proposal is yours. Therefore this maxim: “Man proposes, God disposes.” So God is not responsible for your work. If you act according to the order of God, then He’s responsible. And if you act against the will of God, then you are responsible. Yes?

Guest (4): (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: I cannot hear him.

Devotee: Is desire, desire is due to the material contamination, or is it…?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Desire is according to association. You mix with the drunkards, you’ll desire to drink. And you mix with us, you’ll desire to worship Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we are giving you facility. You associate with us and desire only Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. Yes.

Indian man: But why there is so…, there is duality in this world?

Prabhupāda: There is no duality. There is one, Kṛṣṇa. But you have created duality. That is māyā. When you forget Kṛṣṇa, that is duality. When you think that there is something else other than Kṛṣṇa, that is duality. So people are not coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that is duality. They are thinking that “We can be happy without Kṛṣṇa.” That is duality. If they know it perfectly well that “Kṛṣṇa is one, and therefore my interest is with Kṛṣṇa. My interest should not be different from Kṛṣṇa’s interest,” that is oneness. Just like in a family the head is the father. So if anyone acts according to the head of the family, there is no duality. If some of the members says, “No. I’ll act like this,” there is duality. So if every one acts according to the desire of Kṛṣṇa, there is no duality. There is oneness. But we don’t act; therefore there is duality. Therefore duality is māyā. So you have question? All right.

Guest: (indistinct)

Devotee: If you must have a spiritual body in order to go back home, she asks, is it only with this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and by taking prasāda that we achieve that body?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Devotees: Haribol! Jaya! Haribol!

Prabhupāda: You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and eat nice kṛṣṇa-prasādam, you go back to home. Rest assured.

Devotees: Jaya, Prabhupāda!

Prabhupāda: That’s all right. It is so nice. And don’t you feel how you are becoming nicer and nicer? Practically. The news reporter… One lady in Philadelphia, she saw our students and she was surprised. She inquired, “Are you Americans?” So we are creating such devotees that people are becoming surprised how this is possible. Yes, it is possible by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is simple method. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take Kṛṣṇa prasāda. That’s all. Don’t require any education, philosophical theorizing. Simply do these two business, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and take kṛṣṇa-prasāda. And our temple is open for that. Everyone. No fee. No charge. So why do you lose this opportunity? Yes?

Guest (4): Why do some people want to approach Kṛṣṇa in hatred?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Śyāmasundara: Why is that some people want to approach Kṛṣṇa in hatred?

Prabhupāda: Because… Hatred? That is always. Not today. Every day. When Kṛṣṇa was born, there was a Kaṁsa who was planning how to kill Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa was born, you know that? So Kṛṣṇa… To kill Kṛṣṇa… There is a section of men who want to kill Kṛṣṇa always. They are called demons, or rākṣasas. So the rākṣasas… More or less, everyone in this material world are demons. But those who are intelligent, from this demonic life they come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Others who do not come God consciousness, they remain demons, and their business is just like Kaṁsa, Rāvaṇa, simply making plan how to kill God or kill Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. “There is no God.” That is their propaganda. “I am God.” That’s all. So these demonic elements are always there. You have to do your own business. That’s all.

Guest (5): Why is there soul and Supersoul in the body when soul is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Not why. It is always there, soul and Supersoul. There is no question of why. But soul and Supersoul, they are qualitatively one. Just like you have got your body. If you say, “Why there is hand?” so how can I answer? As soon as there is body, there is hand, there is a leg, there is a mouth. That is the creation. The creation is like that. There is soul and Supersoul. Just like you have got the whole body, and there are parts and parcels of the body, the limbs of the body. That is the beauty of the body. If you simply keep a lump of body it is not beautiful. Therefore the body should be nicely constructed, and there must be different parts and parcels of body. There is a design. But if simply there is soul, super, and there is no under soul, then how Kṛṣṇa becomes ānandamaya? About the Absolute Truth in the Vedānta-sūtra it is said ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt. “The Absolute Truth is full of bliss.” So in order to enjoy bliss there must be Supersoul and under soul. Otherwise it is not blissful. Is it clear? Yes. There must be. Yes.

Indian man (2): Swamiji, in India, among the Bengali societies, many people worship demigods and demigoddesses. Now…

Prabhupāda: They have been explained in the Bhagavad-gītā as lost of intelligence. Kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ yajante anya-devatāḥ [Bg. 7.20]. One who does not worship the Supreme Lord, but worships demigods or his officer in the office, his boss in the office, like that, but reject God, that person is considered as less intelligent.

Indian man (2): How they can become God conscious?

Prabhupāda: By taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This is… Therefore this movement. This movement is to make everyone… Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān [Bg. 7.19]. They have suffered under misconception many, many births, and here is the opportunity that they can stop their birth and death process and take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and go back to home. That’s all.

Indian man (2): Does that means they should not worship these demigods and goddesses?

Prabhupāda: Yes, there is no need.

Indian man (2): Sarasvatī and Lakṣmī and…

Prabhupāda: There is no need. Just like here. Take practical example. They are not worshiping demigods. How they are advancing. You see practically. And what the Sarasvatī worshiper has advanced? They fight simply. During the martial (?) ceremony in Calcutta… So what is benefit? You should judge by the result, not by sophisticated ideas. There is no necessity. Therefore our ācārya Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that you haven’t got to take shelter of any other demigods. Why? If Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, if He is all powerful, then even if you want something from Kṛṣṇa, do you think that Kṛṣṇa is unable to deliver to you? Why should you go to demigods? That is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām [Bg. 7.23]. The benefit derived from the demigods, that is temporary. But rascals who have got less substance of brain, they are after that. It is clearly said. Antavat tu phalaṁ teṣāṁ tad bhavaty alpa-medhasām. Alpa-medhasām means one who has got brain substance very little, they are attracted by all these things. They are meant for third-class, fourth-class men. Because they will not worship God, “All right you worship these demigods. At least, you try to worship something instead of becoming atheist.” That is the process. But when one is actually intelligent, after many, many births, he should worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Indian man (3): Śrīla Prabhupāda, Rāmacandra also worshiped Durgā.

Prabhupāda: Well, Rāmacandra also, I mean to say, constructed a bridge over the ocean. Can you do that? So why do you bring Rāmacandra? He can do anything He likes. He’s God. You cannot do. God is so kind, sometimes He worships His devotees.

Guest (6): What are the qualities of the holy name?

Prabhupāda: Transcendental qualities. What is the question?

Śyāmasundara: What qualities is the holy name invested with?

Prabhupāda: It is not clear. Holy name of God is God Himself. As in this material world there is difference between the name and the substance, in the holy name, as soon as you call holy name, that name is not different from the substance. Is it clear or not? First of all answer this.

Guest (6): I want a quote for each.(?)

Prabhupāda: No, your first question was “What is this holy name?” First of all try to understand this. Then put another question. Don’t disturb. First of all try to understand this question. Holy name means the name is nondifferent from the substance. Here if you become thirsty, you want water, the substance. If you simply chant “water, water, water,” it will not act. But holy name means if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, then you are associating with Kṛṣṇa personally. That is holy name. Here the name is contaminated, whatever name you… But God’s name, Kṛṣṇa’s name, is holy name. That is nondifferent from God. Otherwise, don’t you see, they are chanting “Kṛṣṇa.” If Kṛṣṇa name is not Kṛṣṇa, how they are making advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness? They are associating with Kṛṣṇa directly. That is the holy name.

Indian man (4): Prabhupāda, is the best method to read Bhagavad-gītā?

Prabhupāda: To surrender to Kṛṣṇa. You do not know this? You read Bhagavad-gītā? You’ll see that is the best method, to surrender to Kṛṣṇa. That is the best method. What is the difficulty?

Indian man (5): Prabhupāda, how can we (indistinct).

Prabhupāda: That you have to practice and see.

Indian man (5): We can persuade my family to my religion. Instead of worshiping…

Prabhupāda: First of all you persuade yourself; then you talk of your family and relatives. If you understand factually, then you will be able to convince others. But if you don’t understand yourself, what is the use of talking family and friends? First of all you. Āpani ācari’ prabhu jīvera śikṣāya. First of all, you have to act accordingly; then you can teach others. And if you are not pure, if you indulge in all kinds of sinful activities and you talk of Bhagavad-gītā, what will be effect? There will be no effect. This is going on. They are doing all nonsense, and talking of Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore it is not effective. For last one thousand years Bhagavad-gītā was known in the Western countries, but there was not a single kṛṣṇa-bhakta. Because they did not act accordingly. Simply talked of Bhagavad-gītā. That’s all. Simply talking will not do. You have to behave as these people are, these boys and girls are behaving. Then you will understand Bhagavad-gītā. Yes.

Guest (6): Can you explain about taking a spiritual body after death?

Prabhupāda: After death you take another body. Do you understand it? Similarly, you take
spiritual body. What is the difficulty? Can you understand that you take another body?

Guest (6): Yes.

Prabhupāda: Then why do you don’t (understand) another spiritual body? What is the difficulty. You accept another body after death. Dehāntaram. So instead of accepting a material body, you accept a spiritual body. That’s all. What is the difficulty to understand? Just like you have accepted now this body, American body or English body. You cannot say, “I have an Indian body” or Chinese body or Russian body. In the same way, after giving up this body you can accept spiritual body. What is the difficulty to understand? There is no difficulty. Just like if you take birth in the sun planet, you have to take a body of fire. There are different planets, and the climatic influence are different, but here the scientists, they are calculating from their own point of view. They do not know that God’s creation there are different types of body, different types of atmosphere. Just like the fish. They are living in the water. But you take out the fish on the land, immediately he dies. So your body, you have got a particular type of body. If you are thrown in the water you immediately die. But you can understand that within water there is life, on land there is life, there is body. So when you go to a certain different atmosphere, you have to accept a different type of body. Similarly, when you go to the spiritual world, you’ll accept a spiritual body. What is the difficulty to understand? Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti [Bg. 4.9]. One should be qualified to enter into certain association, atmosphere. That… If you spiritually qualify yourself, then after giving up this body you get a spiritual body and you enter in the spiritual world. That’s all. Very easy. You make yourself spiritualized in this life. That example is… Just like you put one iron rod in the fire; it becomes warmer, warmer, warmer, and at the end it becomes red hot. At that time it is no longer iron rod. It is fire. You touch that iron rod anywhere; it will burn. Similarly, by spiritual activities you can make this body spiritual so that there will be no more material activities. That is spiritual body. Just like in this body we are training our boys and girls… They are young boys and girls, but they are no more interested to go to the restaurant, hotel or cinema or dancing party. They are simply interested to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. How they have given up all these young men’s demand? How it is possible? You can see. So when your material activities are stopped, that is spiritual body.
Indian man (6): It is written in Gītā the soul never dies. When the soul does not die, where does it go after that?

Prabhupada: He goes as he likes. Yes. He can go to hell, he can go to heaven, he can go to God, he can go to China. Anywhere he likes. (laughter)

Woman: Śrīla Prabhupāda, what does it mean practically to surrender unto Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Surrender to Kṛṣṇa means you have to accept things which is favorable for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Just like we restrict our students, no illicit sex, no gambling, no meat-eating, no intoxication. If you surrender to this process, that is surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Is it clear? If you don’t surrender, there is no surrender. Then you are not surrendered soul. Chant sixteen rounds, and if you follow, that is surrendering to Kṛṣṇa. Don’t take anything except kṛṣṇa-prasādam. That is surrendering to Kṛṣṇa. So many we have got. So if you surrender to these principles, that means you surrender to Kṛṣṇa. Just like a good citizen surrenders to the state. What does it mean? He abides by the law. That’s all. He does not do anything which is against the will of the state. That’s all. So you surrender to the principles; then you surrender to Kṛṣṇa.

That’s all. All right.

Thank you very much. (end)

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