Prabhupāda: I say any religious stamp, material, there is no benefit. Therefore Kṛṣṇa said sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66). You have to give up all these designations. And bhakti, love of Godhead, or service to God, begins when you are relieved from these designations. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktaṁ tat-paratvena nirmalam (CC Madhya 19.170). When becoming God conscious, you become completely purified, then your devotional life begins. And so long you are entangled with this designation, there is no question of devotional service. Either you Hindu or Muslim or Christian, it doesn't matter. So our business is not that, that we convert a Hindu to a Christian or a Christian to a Hindu. That is not our business. They are thinking, because we dress like that, with tilaka, with māla, they think Hindu. But it's not our business to convert the Christians to become Hindus, as all other missionaries, they are doing. They are trying to increasing the number of Christian or Hindus. So our... There is no question of increasing. It is very difficult to accept.
- manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu
- kaścid yatati siddhaye
- yatatām api siddhānāṁ
- kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
- (BG 7.3)
Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not so easy. Out of millions and millions of persons, one becomes perfect. And out of millions of perfect, one may understand Kṛṣṇa. That is the version of Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa consciousness is not so easy that everyone, each one will become Kṛṣṇa consciousness. It is very difficult. But by the grace of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, this is helping. Otherwise, it is very difficult task. Very difficult. It is recommended in the śāstra, kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet (SB 12.3.51). Simply the Kali-yuga, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. This is the version of Śukadeva Gosvāmī. He described the faulty ocean of this Kali-yuga and at last he encouraged that, "Mahārāja, there is one opportunity in this age." Kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ. Very great opportunity. What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya. Simply by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet. He becomes liberated and he goes back to home. This opportunity we are preaching. That's all. Otherwise, to understand Kṛṣṇa is not so easy thing. This opportunity, kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya. And Caitanya Mahāprabhu also recommends, harer nāma harer nāma harer nāma eva kevalaṁ kalau nāsty eva (CC Adi 17.21). Otherwise, in this age, very difficult. (break)
Guest (4): During the Kumbha-mela we are having our rāma-kṣetra to serve the sādhus directly. We always started our camp on 21st December to last after tenth of February. If Mahārāja and all other devotees, they can definitely offer free arrangements over there because we have got the best camp. We have got the best camp.
Prabhupāda: Why should we spend for our camp? (laughter)
Guest (4): We are just on the bed of the river, far away from the mela, which is about three, four... We have our āśramas at various places, you know.
Prabhupāda: What is this philosophy? What is the philosophy?
Guest (4): Philosophy is bhajana of the Śaṅkarācārya.
Prabhupāda: But whether you recognize Kṛṣṇa...
Dr. Patel: Yes sir, he was our guru. We have published a book from the Calcutta University, so just take your remise. Leave the book for you.
Prabhupāda: Oh, this is for me? Bheṭiye, bheṭiye.(?) Vedānta philosophy (Hindi) Let us discuss. What is Vedānta philosophy? Let us discuss something. You belong to this camp, so what is Vedānta?
Guest (4): Ādi Śaṅkarācārya's preaching, actually defining God as what he thought.
Prabhupāda: Then what is the meaning? Everyone can think of God according to his whim. You say, "As he thought." That is not standard.
Guest (4): So, what he describes...
Prabhupāda: No, first of all, let us... Whether if you think of God in your own way, is that valid or not?
Guest (4): Because he has given a thought to it you know. He has thought over it.
Prabhupāda: Anything, might be the first-class thought, but do you think that any man can think of God and create God? Do you think it is all right?
Guest (4): Well we are guided by those who have given a thought to it and who have meditated actually.
Prabhupāda: You said that "As he thought."
Guest (4): Yes.
Prabhupāda: So God is unlimited and you are limited. So how you can think of God?
Guest (4): You see I'll just quote one of his stanzas which reveal...
Prabhupāda: I am talking...
Guest (4): I understand your point of view, but I'm just, to your holiness, in the last stanza of his advaita philosophy, he says, ahaṁ nirvikalpo nirākāra rūpa vibhur apya sarvatra sarvendriyāṇi sadame sama...(?)
Prabhupāda: Who says "aham"?
Guest (4): Śaṅkarācārya.
Prabhupāda: That means a person is thinking of God. So that is my point, whether an individual person can think of God and ascertain that "Here is God."