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One must know from the authoritative sources and preach that thing. Just like Arjuna was taught by Krsna, and that philosophy is going on

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"One must know from the authoritative sources and preach that thing. Just like Arjuna was taught by Krsna, and that philosophy is going on"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

I do not know anything, but I want to cheat others that I know everything. I don't... I am a fool number one, but I want to start a group of students and teach him foolish things. This is cheating. One must know from the authoritative sources and preach that thing. Just like Arjuna was taught by Kṛṣṇa, and that philosophy is going on. And those who are accepting the principle of Arjuna, they're real student of Bhagavad-gītā.
Lecture on BG 9.15 -- New York, December 1, 1966:

Therefore śravaṇam. Śravaṇam is the... Śravaṇam means hearing. Hearing is the first stage. And hearing is so powerful that simply by hearing from authoritative source, you can become completely perfect, simply by hearing. Submissive hearing, of course. Submissive. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. This is a verse from Bhāgavata, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva. Don't be upstart. Don't try to understand the supreme knowledge, the Absolute Truth, by your strength. You are very poor. Your senses are imperfect. You cannot understand. This, this process, you should give up. Jñāne prayāsam. Attempt to know the Supreme by ascending process. "Oh, I shall know. I'll manufacture my own way." This is the way going on nowadays. Everyone is thinking that "Why shall I accept any authority? I shall think myself what I am and what is my duty." This is going on. But this is not the Vedic process. The Vedic process is to śravaṇam. So simply if we give up this foolish process of understanding the Absolute Truth by my own attempt, we, if we give up and we become submissive... Yes. Submissive means we must know our imperfectness.

Our imperfectness I have several times described in this meeting. So long we are conditioned, there are four kinds of imperfectness, that we must commit mistake. So long we are conditioned, nobody can say that "I'll not commit mistake. I never commit any mistakes." It is not possible. You must have. To err is human. So this is one imperfectness. And to become illusioned. To accept one thing which is not. Illusion means to accept something for something. Just like we accept this body. We identify with this body, every one of us. If we ask you what you are, "Oh, I am American." What is your American? This body is American. But it is not... You are not this body. So this is illusion. So conditioned soul is to commit mistake, to be illusioned, and the senses are imperfect. We are very much proud of seeing, but as soon as the light is put off, we cannot see. So our seeing is conditional. And similarly, all senses are conditional. So therefore imperfect. And there is another thing which is very nice. We have got a cheating propensity. I do not know anything, but I want to cheat others that I know everything. I don't... I am a fool number one, but I want to start a group of students and teach him foolish things. This is cheating. One must know from the authoritative sources and preach that thing. Just like Arjuna was taught by Kṛṣṇa, and that philosophy is going on. And those who are accepting the principle of Arjuna, they're real student of Bhagavad-gītā.

So therefore our attempt to understand the Absolute Truth by our faulty senses and experience is futile. We must hear. Śravaṇam. That is the Vedic process. The student used to go to the master and gurukula. It was known as gurukula. Every brāhmaṇa, every self-realized soul, every vipra, or expert in the knowledge of Vedic literature, he would be provided with some brahmacārīs, group of brahmacārīs. They will follow the rules and regulation of brahmacārī life and live with the spiritual master, and the spiritual master will teach them, from Vedic literature, real knowledge. That is the process. This is called śravaṇam. So one should not adopt the means of ascending process. Jñāne prayāsam udapāsya. Udapāsya means "Give it up." And namanta eva: "And be submissive." Namanta eva jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām. In this way, if one lives and hears, san-mukharitām, from the realized soul... Just like Arjuna is hearing from Kṛṣṇa, from the perfect person, san-mukharitām. Kṛṣṇa or His representative. His representative is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is just like... Arjuna. Arjuna was made representative of Kṛṣṇa. How? Because Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa said, bhakto 'si: "You are My devotee." So nobody can become representative of Kṛṣṇa, or God, without becoming His devotee. One who thinks that "I am God," he cannot become the representative of God. Suppose some of your representatives... You are a businessman.

Just see our imperfectness. (after spitting, coughing:) This body... We have got imperfectness, coughing something. So how we can become perfect? We are under the stringent rules and regulations of the nature. A little difference will put me into difficulty. So we are not all independent so long we are conditioned. So if... Suppose you are a businessman. You send your representative for securing business. And if he represents himself to the customer, "I am the proprietor. I am the proprietor," how long he can prolong? As soon as the master will know that "This foolish man is representing himself as the proprietor of this firm," at once cancel. Because there is cheating. He's not proprietor. Similarly, anyone who says that "I am God" he should not preach. He can think himself for acquiring knowledge of God. That is another thing. "I am God." "I am God" means to understand the quality of God, because I am qualitatively God. Because I am part and parcel of God, therefore my qualities are the same. Just like I have several times repeated that a part of gold, even a molecular part, a particle of gold, so it is gold. It is nothing but gold. Similarly, although we are very minute fragments of the Supreme, still, the quality is the same.

So if I study myself, then I can study God also because I can, I can understand the quality of God. I may not understand the quantity. Suppose if you receive some good grains of rice. You do not concern, think of what is the quantity in the stock, but the, from the sample, you can understand that "This quality rice is there. I can purchase." Then you make your transaction, "How many pounds you have got in your stock? I can take." So quantity is different. But quality, from quality, you can select. You can make your selection, what sort of rice you shall purchase. So you are qualitatively one with God. Therefore, if you study yourself that "I am God," and if you study your all propensities, all qualities, then you can understand God. So that is a process. But you cannot preach that "I am God." Because if you preach yourself as God, then people may ask you, "If you God, if you are God, then show me your all-powerfulness." That you cannot show. So you cannot preach that "I am God."

So far Kṛṣṇa is concerned, He proved that He is God. How? In this Bhagavad-gītā. Now we are reading Ninth Chapter. In the Eleventh Chapter Arjuna requested, "O Kṛṣṇa, that will You kindly show me Your universal form?" So Kṛṣṇa showed him, "Yes." So that... This was Arjuna's teaching to world that in future so many fools will represent himself as God. So don't be befooled by them. Just ask him, "Show me your universal form." Then accept him as God. Don't very cheaply accept any fool as God. So this is the highest imperfection, that he is in the stringent laws of the material nature. If there is simply a toothache, he becomes overwhelmed, and he himself preaches as God. So this sort of thing can be accepted by similar foolish-natured people. God is supreme. Nobody can God. Nobody can be equal with God. God is called in the Vedic literature, asamaurdhva. Asama means nobody's equal to Him. And nobody is higher than Him. Ūrdhva means higher. Nobody can be higher than God, and nobody can be equal to God. Everyone is lower than God, however great he may be. And there is a nice verse, śiva-viriñci-nutam (SB 11.5.33). Śiva-viriñci. Śiva means the Lord Śiva, and viriñci means Lord Brahmā. They are considered to be the topmost demigods in this material world. So they also offer their respectful obeisances to Viṣṇu, or God.