The real question is, How can we remain unpolluted by material contamination while in the material world? Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī explains that we can remain uncontaminated while in the world if we simply make it our ambition to serve Kṛṣṇa. One may then justifiably ask, "How can I serve?" It is not simply a matter of meditation, which is just an activity of the mind, but of performing practical work for Kṛṣṇa. In such work, we should leave no resource unused. Whatever is there, whatever we have, should be used for Kṛṣṇa. We can use everything—typewriters, automobiles, airplanes, missiles. If we simply speak to people about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are also rendering service. If our mind, senses, speech, money and energies are thus engaged in the service of Kṛṣṇa, then we are no longer in material nature. By virtue of spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we transcend the platform of material nature. It is a fact that Kṛṣṇa, His expansions and His devotees—that is, those who work for Him—are not in material nature, although people with a poor fund of knowledge think that they are.
- 1 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 2 Lectures
- 3 Conversations and Morning Walks
CC Preface and Introduction
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
So our business does not finish there. Our business is more business, that "If I am eternal as God is eternal, then why I am subjected to birth and death?" This is real question. This is called brahma-jijñāsā. The Vedānta-sūtra, the Vedānta philosophy, begins from this inquiry, athāto brahma jijñāsā: "This human life is meant for inquiring for the Absolute Truth, what is the ultimate truth of life." Janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1). So when we forget completely our real problems of life, that is animalism.
Guest: I have noticed when everybody touches their head to the floor. And this I find so disturbing (indistinct) another man and kiss their boots. I found that (indistinct). And to tell you frankly, I find it quite shocking, too, that people place their head on the ground before another man. And you are a man like that. You are a man of knowledge, and you're (indistinct). But yet I can't see of people their heads to the floor...
Prabhupāda: You have been asked to do that?
Guest: Nobody asked me, but I see everybody else does it.
Prabhupāda: Then why you are feeling so disturbed?
Guest: Because to me, people are people, and there's... No man is a God, and it's just appearing as if you were...
Prabhupāda: But as you are thinking that they should not, they are thinking that you should. (laughter) As you are thinking they should not do like that, they are thinking you must do that. Then what is it? Difference of opinion. Your vote is single and they are so many. So you have to follow the greatest majority vote.
Guest: Unless I am given a very good reason to do so...
Prabhupāda: No, I am answering your question. As you are thinking in that way, they are also at liberty to think otherwise. So you cannot encroach upon their thinking.
Guest: I will not do that.
Prabhupāda: So therefore as you are thinking that they should not have done, they are thinking you should have done. The real question is that they are following a system. So in that system the spiritual master is offered respect in that way. There is a system. And they don't feel any uneasiness by doing that.
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures
Real civilization is athāto brahma jijñāsā. That is, Sanātana Gosvāmī, he is asking this question, ke āmi kene āmāya, jāre tāpa-traya. This is real question: "What I am?" So Sanātana Gosvāmī's question is being answered by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, that "Because you have this inquiry, this is the beginning of human life." So if one is little inquisitive to know what I am, then his real life begins. And if he is kept in the darkness and he remains in the darkness, that "I am this body," there is no value of so-called civilization, education, nothing. It is a very important question, ke āmi kene āmāya. One must be inquisitive. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. He must be conscious that "I do not want all these things, miserable condition of life, and they are enforced upon me. I cannot check them; they are coming. No, there must be somebody superior who's law is being forced." That is the factor. That is religion. Religion means to find out the supreme controller who is forcing everything. That is religion. That is stated in the dictionary. Religion is not some sentiment, some ritualistic ceremony. No. This inquiry about the supreme controller, that's a fact. We see in every step there is a supreme controller, and we are foolishly declaring that we are independent. This is called foolishness. So real religion means to come out from this foolish conception of life, that "There is no controller. We are everything. Whatever we like, you can do. There is no life after death, and there is no life in other planets..." These are all ignorance. Simply fool's paradise. It has no meaning.
So our real problem is that we... Every one of us, we are the spirit soul, part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. We are struggling for existence within this material world. So manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati (BG 15.7), struggle for existence. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that "Your real problem is janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam (BG 13.9)." We are eternal. We understand from Bhagavad-gītā, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). So if I am eternal, nityaḥ śāśvata, then why I am accepting death? This is real question. But foolishly we are thinking, "I am this body." Therefore we remain as an animal. So we should be interested to understand actually "What I am," ahaṁ brahmāsmi. That is real solution of all problems. This is called knowledge. But sometimes we are misled by misleaders; therefore we still remain in darkness in spite of cultivating knowledge. But actually, when we cultivate knowledge under the guidance of real guru, then we can understand vasudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ (BG 7.19).
Conversations and Morning Walks
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Guest (1): Both. For me, the word "anything" covers both.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So that also we understand, "anything." There are so many varieties of things, and you can take any one of them. That is "anything." But your question should be, "Wherefrom these things coming?" That should be the proper question.
Professor: What is the reason of this (indistinct) "anything"?
Prabhupāda: Yes. There are so many things, and you can take any one of them. That is "anything." But the real question should be "Wherefrom all these things are coming?" That is real question, "What is the origin of all these things?"
Prof. Hopkins: You are not excluding the Pandarpur tradition of Tukārāma, Rāmanitoba, (indistinct), you are not excluding the Alavars and Rāmancha, but you are saying all of these groups, all of these teachers.
Prabhupāda: Tukārāma accepts Caitanya Mahaprabhu as his guru. Then where is the difference?
Prof. Hopkins: So that Lord Vitoba and Kṛṣṇa...
Prabhupāda: Is the same.
Prof. Hopkins: You see as the same.
Prabhupāda: Vitoba means Viṣṇu. They call Vitoba.
Prof. Hopkins: And the Alavars, the Alavars of Tamil Nadu.
Prof. Hopkins: Alavar.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is also Vaiṣṇava.
Prof. Hopkins: You would accept their teachings also?
Prabhupāda: Oh yes.
Prof. Hopkins: So the real question then is Vaiṣṇavas and others.
Prof. Hopkins: The central teaching...
Prabhupāda: Vaiṣṇava and non-Vaiṣṇava.
Brahmānanda: But by our technology we will change the laws of nature.
Prabhupāda: That is your foolishness. What you have changed? Can you stop the fire burning your hand? Can you change this? Then why you talk foolish? These are foolish propositions. Nature will act. You may be so-called advanced in science. What is, your science will do? Will you not die? Will you not be diseased? Will you not become old? Then where is your advancement? You are strictly under the laws of nature. You cannot violate a single inch even. Daiv hy eṣ guṇamay mama māy duratyayā. One sane man should consider that "Why I am strictly under the laws of nature? I am prime..." This question was put by Sanātana Gosvāmī, that "I am prime minister. People adore me as paṇḍita, very learned, but why I am put into these tribulations of the laws of nature? Why as prime minister and learned paṇḍita I cannot counteract it?" This is real question. Simply doggish mentality: "Yes, why shall I not do it? Why shall I?"—what will benefit you? That means you are not even sober. You are not human being. Human being should question "Why?" That is human being. Now by nature's law the river is full with water. If the nature does not supply, what you can do, your so-called science? Can you fill up with water? Then what is your science? Bogus. You cannot counteract the laws of nature. Hm? Can you? Brahmānanda can. (laughter) He is strong enough. Kartikeya, you can do it?
Kartikeya (Indian Life Member): No, I can't do it.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Viśvakarmā: Yes, it's a very big exhibit, scientific achievements. (break) ...come and see it.
Prabhupāda: (break) ...their achievement, no more death? As soon as you ask this question, matte kara heṭ. Baḍo baḍo baḍo badora(?) baro baro pet laṅkā diṅgaya matte karo heṭ. "Big, big monkey, big, big, belly, Ceylon jumping, melancholy." What scientific advancement? Do you think there will be no more death? Matte kore heṭ: (?)"Yes, we are trying." Answer them, "What is your achievement?" All achievement will be, remain in your back and you'll have to die. So what you have done, insurance, that you'll enjoy this? You'll be kicked out of the scene at any moment. What you have done for this? What is the answer? Mattaḥ kore heṭ "Yes, we are trying." (laughter) Nonsense, you are trying. And we have to see this nonsense. We are not so fool. And if they say, "What you are doing?" "Yes, we are doing that. How to conquer over death." Tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti, mām eti (BG 4.9). That is we are trying. That is real scientific. And what is method? Very simple: man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru mām evaiśyasi asaṁśayaḥ (BG 18.65). "Without any doubt, he comes to Me." This is science. Why shall I waste time? Svarūpa Dāmodara challenged one scientist in California that "If I give you the chemicals, can you manufacture life?" He said, "That I cannot say." What you have spoken all this nonsense? Mattaḥ kore heṭ. And when there is challenge, mattaḥ kore heṭ. Otherwise, baro baro bagara, baro baro phet, big, big monkey, big, big belly. And when the real question is there, mattaḥ kore het. Ceylon jumping, melancholy. Hanumān jumped over the ocean, so other monkeys, they also become very proud: "I am..., Hanumān is our leader, we can...," "Can you jump over Ceylon?" Mattaḥ het. (break) ...speak all these things, Indian villagers, they will immediately believe. One cobbler.... I think I narrated this story. Nārada Muni was going to Vaikuṇṭha. Did I say that?