Prabhupāda: What is the meaning of Sufism? Literary meaning?
Yoga student: Well, Sufism in a sense is what bhaktism is in the Hindu context.
Prabhupāda: Bhakti mean to offer service to the Lord. Does it mean?
Yoga student: Absolutely.
Prabhupāda: So then if the Lord is to be served, then He must be a person; otherwise where is the question of service?
Yoga student: Well, the Sufis do see that, the personal aspect of the Lord...
Prabhupāda: Unless one is person, how can I serve him? I cannot serve the air or the sky. I must serve a person. Love does not exist in the sky or in the air. It must be a person. Man or woman, it doesn't matter. Otherwise where there is love? Whom to love?
Yoga student: The Sufis find love in these figures... For example, the Sufi Ibn 'Arabi, through of the face of a beautiful woman...
Prabhupāda: Through the face of beautiful woman?
Yoga student: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So there the materialists also find.
Yoga student: That is the material aspect, absolutely.
Prabhupāda: Therefore in Islam religion the form is rejected because it will come to that. As soon as they think of form, they think of this material form, beautiful face of woman. That is degradation. Therefore you are strict not to conceive material form. That is Vedic conception. Apāni-pādaḥ javano grahītā: "He has no legs and no hands." This is..., denying the form. And next he says, the Vedas say, javano grahītā: "He can accept whatever you offer to Him." That means God has no material form, but He has form; otherwise how He can accept? How He can understand my love? So therefore in the original Islamism the form is not accepted. So that is Vedic description, form and formless. Formless means no material form, and form means spiritual form, simultaneous. Just like I am; you are; we are. I am within the body, but I am not this body. This form is not "I am." But wherefrom the form of the body came into existence? Because I have got form. The sweater has got hand because I have got hand. The sweater is the covering. If I haven't got form, then how the sweater has got hand, the pant has got leg? So the pant practically is not the leg. The real leg is within the pant. Similarly, this is not my form; this is like pant, leg of the pant or hand of the coat. Real form is within, asmin dehe. That is not material form. If the real form I could see, you could see, then there was no controversy, the spirit. But they cannot see. Therefore they say "formless." If it is formless, then how the outer form comes out? How it can be? The tailor makes the coat because the man has got form. As the coat has got hands, so it is concluded that the man for whom the coat is made, he has got form. How you can say without form? The difficulty is that we can see the form of the coat, but we cannot see the form of the man. That is my defect with the eyes, not that the God is formless. God is not formless.
Yoga student: God is seen in the form of the saints.
Prabhupāda: That is another. That is secondary. But God has got form. That is the conclusion. But we cannot see with our present eyes. That is described, ataḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmādi na bhaved grahyam indriyaiḥ (Brs 1.2.234). By your these blunt senses... The same thing, just like I see you. What I see you? Your body. You see me—my body. And when the body is there and the soul is not there, then it is lump of matter. You kick it out and nobody will protest. If a dead body you smash with your legs and boots, nobody will say that "Why you are doing this?" But so long the soul is there, if somebody is smashed like that, immediately there will be protest from all side, "Why you are doing this?" So the people have no knowledge about the real form. Therefore they say formless.