Prabhupāda: Is there any knowledge that is to be realized according to the whims of the students?
Indian man: Not the knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Then what is this? Self-realization, what it is?
Indian man: (indistinct)
Prabhupāda: That is knowledge, that is knowledge. Self-realization.
Indian man: This is, one part is true knowledge.
Prabhupāda: No, not, suppose self-realization, what I am, is it not?
Indian man: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So what I am, then you have to study in this way, whether you are this body or you are something else. Is it not? So that is in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gītā explained, dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā (BG 2.13). Find out this verse. This is self-realization. Bhagavad-gītā begins with self-realization, what I am. Am I this body or I am something other than this body? That is self-realization. So that is the beginning of Bhagavad-gītā.
Indian man: Yes, he has spoken on Bhagavad-gītā also.
Prabhupāda: No, I mean to say, this self-realization, as you said, that "There are as many ways as there are students," that is not scientific.
Indian man: That what he says.
Prabhupāda: That is wrong. Not maybe. Then let us try to understand. It is not the question of maybe. Self-realization must be. That is self-realization. Apaśyatām ātma-tattvaṁ gṛheṣu gṛha-medhinām. Śrotavyādīni rājendra nṛṇāṁ santi sahasraśaḥ (SB 2.1.2). (aside:) You come to this side, that's all right. Those who are not self-realized, they have got many questions and many answers. And those who are, one who is self-realized, he has only one question and one answer. One question, that what I am. There is no self-realization, one question, what I am. And now what I am, do you think there is, a student, he is inquiring, what I am, and whatever he thinks, that is his answer? If the student is ignorant... Therefore there are many students and many questions about self-realization. Do you think that there are many answers?
Indian man: Answer will be one.
Prabhupāda: This is self-realization. The answer is one, that "I am not this body." This is self-realization. You cannot say that because there are many students, so there are many answers.
Indian man: But who am I? Every individual starts quest, asking himself, "Who am I?" And everybody is thinking in his own terms that "I am something, I am somebody." Somebody is attached to the upper garments.
Prabhupāda: So long he is student, student means he does not know.
Indian man: Yes, he is ignorant.
Prabhupāda: He is ignorant. So his question is what I am, but he is ignorant. He cannot give the answer. The master. The master will give one answer.
Indian man: His answer will be one, but to how the student understands, for making student understand, he will have to show in different ways. Suppose a person is coming from Himalayas to the Bombay, his path will be different. Greenery will be there, flowing rivulets will be there, mountain peaks scattered with snow will be there....
Prabhupāda: That is another thing. If you have to go to the Himalaya, you must go to the path which leads to Himalaya. You cannot accept a path which leads to Delhi. There is no different answer, the answer is one. Just like Himalaya is in the northern side. The answer would be, "The Himalaya is on the northern side." Nobody will say, "No, Himalaya may be in the eastern side or the western side or southern side." That is not the answer.
Indian man: I was saying something different. That one person is coming from Himalaya towards Bombay. And one is coming from the desert side. No ulti...
Prabhupāda: Then if he is coming from Himalayas, then why is the question about where is Himalaya? Then why will he question where is Himalaya? He is already coming from Himalaya. So there is no question where is Himalaya. For him there is no question. One who does not know where is Himalaya, the answer will be Himalaya is on the northern side. The answer is one. And if you say that there are many students, so you can answer, that "Either you go this side or this side or that side, Himalaya is there," that is not the answer.
Indian man: East is not east, south is not south, north is not north when you go the opposite direction.
Prabhupāda: What. Then what is the meaning of east, west, south? If it is not east? If east is not east, then why do you call it east?
Indian man: Because the paradox, we are having sun rises, sun sets. But why there is two things, the sun never sets. Rises, the sun never sets.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Sun rises from the east.
Indian man: But the fact is sun never rises. Sun is only there.
Prabhupāda: Sun never rises. Then where is the question that "Where is sun?" To your experience? If the sun rises, and if you say the sun never rises, if you know it, then what is your question?
Indian man: That is the question where realization is over.
Prabhupāda: What is your realization over? You see that the sun rises from the east. So everyone knows. Then where is the question? Anyone who has realized the sun never rises, then he has no question.
Indian man: Yes. So that present question is dropped.
Prabhupāda: Then there is no question at all. If one has known it, the sun is always 24 hours on the sky, it never rises, never sets, then where is the question? He knows it.
Indian man: But that present question is dropped. Otherwise, ignorance remains. One says that sun is rising, sun is setting.
Prabhupāda: For him there is question, that what is the process. So therefore the question is by the ignorant, and answer is by the master. The answer is one. Because everyone is coming, student, he is ignorant. So he may question in a whimsical way, but the answer is one. Answer cannot be many.
Indian man: Suppose there is a blind person...
Prabhupāda: Blind person, he should hear. He should hear.
Indian man: But a blind person wants to see. What is milk, it will be complicated if we keep on teaching him it is white or something like that. We have to give eyes. And then he can see.
Prabhupāda: Therefore eyes... What do you give? What you mean by giving eyes? Knowledge.
Indian man: Knowledge.
Prabhupāda: Now where you get the knowledge?
Indian man: From the learned one.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So who can be learned more than Kṛṣṇa?
Indian man: To be honest about this whole thing as for memory level goes, I have forgotten the Kṛṣṇa or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By the virtue of coming in contact with you realized people, we can also understand. Otherwise it's the gospel truth, written in scripture, holy men say we accept it. It's not our experience.
Prabhupāda: No, it's not experience. Then there is no. If you do not accept one authority, then there is no answer of your question.
Indian man: We have to accept. But realization is not there, as you holy men will say.
Prabhupāda: We don't require realization. Realization will be had.
Indian man: How to realize that?
Prabhupāda: No, that is the way. The master will present the answer in such a way that the student will realize. That is master.
Indian man: Then please, bestow your blessings on me, how to realize this.
Prabhupāda: Yes, you can be realized. Just like Kṛṣṇa, in the beginning of His teaching Bhagavad-gītā, He says that... What is the verse?
- dehino'smin yathā dehe
- kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
- tathā dehāntara-prāptir
- dhīras tatra na muhyati
- (BG 2.13)
Prabhupāda: So He answers because Arjuna was disturbed on this battlefield, that "How shall I fight with my relatives. I shall kill them. It is not my duty to kill my brothers or my nephews." He was perplexed. So the answer is given in a suitable way, that "You are thinking of killing the body of your brother. But your brother is not the body. And even if you think that your brother is being killed, so your brother, real, your brother, he will get another body." Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). This is the answer. This is self-realization. That "You are very much disturbed on the bodily concepts of life, but your brother is not this body. Even if you so-called killing of your brother, he will live." That is further explained.