Prabhupāda: There are three kinds of processes to receive knowledge. The first: we believe direct sense perception, pratyakṣa. Just like somebody says, "Can you show me God?" That means they are pratyakṣavādi. They want to see everything direct, experience everything directly. This class of men says that "Can you show me God?" But this is not first-class knowledge. Suppose you ask me, "Can you show me God?" I say, "Yes, I can show you God." "Show me." "I'll show you. So this is God." Will you believe it? Suppose you are asking me, "Can you show me God?" I say, "Yes, I can show you." "What is that God?" "Here is God," I say. So will you accept it that this microphone is God? What is the answer? Huh? Why no?
Viṣṇujana: Doesn't have the qualifications.
Prabhupāda: No. If you ask me, "Can you show me God," I show anything, whatever I like, "Yes, here it is, God . . ." Or why God? Suppose you go to a store. So you ask something, "Can you give me gold?" He'll give you a scrap of iron: "Yes, here it is gold. Take it." So what you will say? What will be the answer? Huh?
If you ask . . . You go to a storekeeper. You do not know where to purchase gold, but you are in need of some gold, and you go to a storekeeper and ask him, "Have you got gold in stock?" So he'll immediately understand that here is a rascal number one, because he has come to purchase gold in a store, ordinary store. If one has to purchase gold, he must go where gold is sold. But he has come to ordinary store to purchase; therefore he's a first-class rascal. So therefore he'll try to cheat him: "Here is a gold." He gives a piece of iron.
Then what he will say? He will accept that iron as gold? Huh? Why no? He does not know what is gold, and he has gone to a store to purchase it, and he gives him one piece of iron, "Here is gold," so he'll purchase it; he'll be cheated. Similarly, those rascals who say that "Can you show me God?" so they must know what is God; otherwise he'll be cheated. That is being done.
So if you want to purchase gold, at least you must have some preliminary knowledge what is gold. Characteristics. Just like in the chemical laboratory, they test. Suppose in the pharmacy or . . . This is the government law, that whatever you accept some chemicals or some drug, you must test it, and the testing characteristics are stated there. Just like soda bicarb: the color is like this, the constitution is like this, the reaction is like this, the taste is like this. So a chemist in the laboratory corroborate the characteristic, then accept it, "Yes, it is soda bicarb."
Similarly, if you want to know God, or if you want to see God, then first thing is that you must know what is the characteristics of God. Otherwise, if you go to another rascal and you ask him, "Can you show me God?" and he shows you something nonsense, you accept it God, is that very nice thing? This is going on. "I want to see God." What qualification you have got to see God? He does not consider his qualification that "Whether I can see God?"
So we do not teach such cheap things. That is our program. Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not to present something nonsense and present something cheap. If you want to see God just face to face, not fiction, then you must follow the rules and regulation, you must chant, you must purify yourself. Then gradually, svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ (CC Madhya 17.136). You must wait. The time will come. When you are purified, you'll see God. Not that immediately, in your present position.
But God is so kind, Kṛṣṇa is so kind, even in your present position He is present, arcā-vigraha. He's open to be seen by everyone, whether he knows and whether he does not know what is God. This arcā-vigraha is not idol; it is not imagination. They are . . . The knowledge is received from the superior ācāryas. Brahma-saṁhitā: veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam (Bs. 5.30). The description is there.
So God realization, if you follow that . . . Immediately, by your blunt senses, either God, His form, His name, His quality, His paraphernalia cannot be perceived. The present senses are blunt. Therefore in the present situation or the civilization they have become godless, because naturally they have no power to understand God, neither they are guided by some persons who can make them understand what is God. Therefore people are becoming godless, atheist. But if you read all these Vedic literatures under superior guidance, if you follow the rules and regulation, then svayam eva sphuraty adaḥ. God will be revealed unto you.
You cannot see God or understand God by your own endeavor. You have to surrender to the process by which God can be known. Then He will be revealed. Otherwise not. He is supreme controller. You are being controlled. So how you can control God? "Oh, God, please come here. I will see You." No, no. God is not so cheap thing that by your order God will come and become seen by you. No. That is not possible. You must always know that "He's the supreme controller and I am also controlled. So if I can please God by my service, then He'll reveal to me." That is the process of knowing God.
Thank you very much.