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I am writing what I have heard, not that I am speculating. Mostly, the philosophers, they write as they speculate. They write their own opinion. But our process is not that. We don't speculate

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"I am writing what I have heard, not that I am speculating. Mostly, the philosophers, they write as they speculate. They write their own opinion. But our process is not that. We don't speculate"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

We have got about twenty books like this, but they are not speculation. They are simply by hearing. I am writing what I have heard, not that I am speculating. Mostly, the philosophers, they write as they speculate. They write their own opinion. But our process is not that. We don't speculate. We present the statements of God and His devotees. There is the whole book. Anywhere you won't find, "I think," "In my opinion," "Perhaps it should be like this way." No. We don't do that. As soon as there is "perhaps" or "maybe," that is not perfect knowledge. That is speculation.
Room Conversation with Monsieur Roost, Hatha-yogi -- May 31, 1974, Geneva:

Nitāi: Fourteen. Yeah, let me see it to read it. So it says here, "The best process of understanding You is to submissively give up the speculative process and try to hear about You either from Yourself, as You have given statements in the Bhagavad-gītā and many other similar Vedic literatures, or from a realized devotee, who has taken shelter at Your lotus feet. One has to hear from a devotee without speculation. One does not even need to change his worldly position. Simply he has to hear Your message. Although You are not understandable by the material senses, simply by hearing about You one can gradually conquer the nescience of misunderstanding. By Your grace only, You become revealed to the devotee. You are unconquerable by any other means. Speculative knowledge without any trace of devotional service is simply useless waste of time in search for You. Devotional service is so important that even a little attempt can raise one to the highest perfectional platform. One should not therefore neglect this auspicious process of devotional service and take to the speculative method. By the speculative method, one may gain partial knowledge of Your cosmic manifestation, but it is not possible to understand You, the origin of everything. The attempt of persons who are interested only in speculative knowledge is simply wasted labor, like the labor of a person who attempts to gain something by beating the empty husk of rice paddy. A little quantity of paddy can be husked by the grinding wheel, and one can gain some grains of rice, but if the skin, the paddy, is already beaten by the grinding wheel, there is no further gain in beating the husk. It is simply useless labor."

Prabhupāda: So bhakti school does not very much appreciate the speculative method. They surrender and they try to get knowledge directly from the Supreme Lord, as Bhagavad-gītā is being spoken by the Supreme Lord, or statements of the pure highly elevated devotees, just like Brahmā is speaking. This way. Hearing. The main purpose is hearing, hearing from the right source. That is... Especially in the western world, instead of hearing from the right source, they want to speculate about the Absolute. We have got about twenty books like this, but they are not speculation. They are simply by hearing. I am writing what I have heard, not that I am speculating. Mostly, the philosophers, they write as they speculate. They write their own opinion. But our process is not that. We don't speculate. We present the statements of God and His devotees. There is the whole book. Anywhere you won't find, "I think," "In my opinion," "Perhaps it should be like this way." No. We don't do that. As soon as there is "perhaps" or "maybe," that is not perfect knowledge. That is speculation. Just like in the Padma-Purāṇa, there is statement of different species of life, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi, statement that "There are 900,000 species of life in the water." It is not written like this, "Perhaps," "it may be." No. Neither says one million or 800,000. No. 900,000 specifically. So how do they get this knowledge, exactly seeing? Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati (?). Now, in another place, the magnitude of the soul is explained. Keśāgra-śata-bhāgasya (CC Madhya 19.140). In the Upaniṣad also it is stated that 10,000th part of the top of the hair point, is the magnitude of the soul. Our knowledge is accepted in that way, Vedic knowledge. Whatever is stated in the Vedas, that is taken as Absolute Truth and we accept it. And that is fact. If you go to the same point by experimental truth, you will come to the same conclusion. So we think that by experimental knowledge, why should we waste our time? Better take the truth which is already stated in the Vedic literature and build up your farther premises on that basic principle. Just like that small fragment of spirit, 1/10,000th portion of the top of the hair, is there within you, within me, and that is rotating through the air, prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, like that, the vāyu. The yogic process is to capture it. But that is a fact, that the spirit soul is there within this body. It is a fact. So either you try to understand or capture it by the yogic process or you know it, that there is the soul within the body, the result is the same. Therefore you will find in the Bhagavad-gītā at the end of the Sixth Chapter that the bhakta-yogī is the topmost yogi.

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntarātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
(BG 6.47)

So naturally, Kṛṣṇa samādhi. If one continues in this attitude, always to be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa... And Kṛṣṇa recommends, "Such person is the topmost yogi."

yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
mad-gatenāntarātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
(BG 6.47)

So it is confirmed by the greatest authority, and if we practice... This practice can be done in the association of devotees. And that is perfection of life. There are some conditions about self-control: no meat-eating, no fish, no eggs, no illicit sex life, and no intoxication, even smoking, drinking tea, and no gambling. And chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and thinking of Kṛṣṇa. That's all. Very easy. And everyone can perform it without undergoing the bodily exercises, which is sometimes difficult for a common man. So one can adopt this bhakti-yoga process and become perfect. And this is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram (BG 8.6). If one becomes accustomed to this habit and at the time of death, he thinks of Kṛṣṇa, then his life is perfect. Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran?