Lecture at a School, Srila Prabhupada

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Yamunā: [tests microphone chanting japa] [break] Up is on, down is off.

Prabhupāda: Up, on.

Yamunā: Up is on, down is off.

Prabhupāda: So I should make it on? [break]

Devotee: Since everyone is here now, we can start now?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee: All right. [sounds of setting up for kīrtana] [aside:] We should have the words to the chant. We should have the words to the chant, Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Devotee: [to audience:] Everybody move forward, so everybody can come in this room now. What we’re [indistinct] the Hare Kṛṣṇa chant. The words to this chant are Hare… Only three words: Hare, Kṛṣṇa and Rāma. The chant itself, we will repeat over and over: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. And these are all words to God.

Prabhupāda: Please join us.

Devotee: Please join in. You’ll be [indistinct]. Please clap your hands, and some of us will get up and dance. But please get up and dance and clap and sing the chant. That way it will be very nice. And following the chant, Swami Bhaktivedanta will tell you a little bit about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and we’ll have some more chanting and [indistinct] food and some [indistinct]. [kīrtana]

Prabhupāda: [prema-dhvani] [devotees offer obeisances] [taps microphone] It is working?

Devotee: Yes.

[22:12]

Prabhupāda: So one intelligent boy should come forward. Who is intelligent, most intelligent boy? You come forward? Come on. Eh? Somebody come forward, some of the boys. Come on. You come on. No? All right. Very good. Stand up here.

Can you say what is this? What is this?

Boy: Hand.

Prabhupāda: Whose hand?

Boy: Your hand.

Prabhupāda: Your hand. And what is this?

Boy: Your head.

Prabhupāda: My head. Yes. And what is this?

Boy: Your knee.

Prabhupāda: Yes. My leg. And what is this?

Boy: Your clothes.

Prabhupāda: My cloth. Similarly, you have got your head, you have got your hand, you have got your leg, you have got your coat, you have got your pant, but do you know where you are? Can you say where you are?

Boy: I am here. [laughter]

Prabhupāda: You are here, but that is your coat, that is your pant, that is your hand, that is your leg, that is your head. But where you are? It is your coat, it is your pant, it is your hand, it is your leg. Where youare? Do you know that? Can you say, any of the boys or girls here, where you are?

Boy: No.

Prabhupāda: No? Oh. So you are not taught in this school where you are? Then what is that education? You do not know where you are.

Boy: I do know where I am. I’m in this school.

Prabhupāda: You do not know, because as you say you are here—here your coat is there, your pant is there, your hand is there, your body is there—but you cannot explain where you are. All right. Sit down. I shall explain.

[laughter]

This is the defect of modern education. We are educated in a way in which we have misunderstood. “This is my body. This is my hand. This is my leg. This is my country. This is my mother. This is my father. This is my school.” “This is my,” I know. I have the concept of “my.” But who is conceiving “my”? We have no information where it is. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is said that yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke [SB10.84.13].

[One who identifies his self as the inert body composed of mucus, bile and air, who assumes his wife and family are permanently his own, who thinks an earthen image or the land of his birth is worshipable, or who sees a place of pilgrimage as merely the water there, but who never identifies himself with, feels kinship with, worships or even visits those who are wise in spiritual truth—such a person is no better than a cow or an ass.]

Under misconception we understand my body as myself. I say, “It is my body,” but I misidentify my body with myself. Is it not?

So the basic principle of mistake… Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke. According to Vedic literature, this body is prepared in three elements: fire, water and clay. So I am not the combination of fire, water and clay. Then I am this house, I am this room. So yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke. So basic principle of my knowledge is false, that I am considering this material body as “I am.”

And if the basic principle is wrong, then, in relationship with this body, because I am born in this land of America… “I am born” means my body is born. Or because my body is born from another body—my father and mother—so I think that “This body is my kinsman, and this country is mine,” and so on. But the basic principle is false, that “I am considering…, falsely identifying myself with this body. But I am within this body.” That is a fact.

And how can I understand how I am within this body? I can understand I am within this body by my feeling. If there is some pain or pleasure on my body, I can feel. I am conscious that I am there. In consciousness, I am there. And what is this consciousness? This consciousness is the reflection of real myself. Myself means soul.

So as soon as the soul is within this body, there is perception of pains and pleasure, heat and cold, and so many things. That is consciousness. And as soon as the soul is out of this body, there is no more pain, pleasure or heat and cold. A dead body, if you cut it into pieces, it will not protest. Therefore the soul, or consciousness, the symptom of soul, consciousness, is my self. My consciousness is the seat of my real self.

Similarly, there is another consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gītā there are description of two consciousness. Just like I am conscious throughout my body. If you pinch any part of my body, then I feel. That is my consciousness. So I am spread…, my consciousness is spread all over my body. This is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, avināśi tad viddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam [Bg. 2.17]:

[Know that which pervades the entire body is indestructible. No one is able to destroy the imperishable soul.]

“That consciousness which is spread all over this body, that is eternal.” And antavanta ime dehā nityasyoktāḥ śarīriṇa [Bg. 2.18]:

[Only the material body of the indestructible, immeasurable and eternal living entity is subject to destruction; therefore, fight, O descendant of Bharata.]

“But this body is antavat,” means perishable. “This body is perishable, but that consciousness is imperishable, eternal.” And that consciousness, or the soul, is transmigrating from one body to another. Just like we are changing dress. I may have this dress. You may have another dress. I may exchange your dress with me. So this changing of dress is going on every moment. How?

Now, these children, they are now so small. When they’ll become young, this body will grow. We do not know… We say, “It is growing,” but growing or not growing, this body will not remain. This body will go; another body will come. Medical science also says that every second we are changing blood corpuscles, and therefore change in the body is going on. So you say or I say that “Body is growing,” but in the Vedic language it is said that “Body is changing.”

Just like a child is born so small from the mother’s womb, and it changes body every second. Then he becomes a young child or a boy, then young man, then old man like me, and so on. In this way this changing, body changing, is going on. And the final change is called death. Death means… Just like the too much old garments cannot be used, similarly, this body is the garment of the soul. When it is…, no longer can be used, we have to accept another body. This is called transmigration of the soul.

Now, consciousness, the symptom… The presentation of the soul within this body is proved by consciousness. So from Bhagavad-gītā we can understand there are two different qualities of consciousness. One consciousness is that I know about the pain and pleasure of my body, you know about the pains and pleasure of your body, but I do not know the pains and pleasure of your body, neither you know the pains and pleasure of my body. Therefore each and every one of us is individual soul, and our consciousness is limited within the body.

Similarly, there is another consciousness and another body. That body is universal body, and that consciousness is universal. That universal consciousness knows your pains and pleasure, my pains and pleasure, and millions and trillions of living entities and bodies, He knows the pains and pleasures of everyone. These are the statements in the Bhagavad-gītā. Kṣetrajñaṁ ca māṁ viddhi sarva-kṣetreṣu bhārata [Bg. 13.3]:

[O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its owner is called knowledge. That is My opinion.]

“As individual soul is conscious, is, only of his body, similarly, I am also conscious of everyone’s body.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead says that “I am conscious of everyone’s body,” because He is all-pervading. He is all-pervading. That is all-pervading consciousness.

So this all-pervading consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are preaching—consciousness; all-pervading consciousness, universal consciousness. So our consciousness, when it is dovetailed with universal consciousness, then our consciousness also become universal consciousness. What is that? I will give you one example.

Just like a motorcar is running at hundred miles’ speed, and you are running on your cycle at ten miles’ speed. But if you catch that motorcar, you will also run in hundred miles’ speed. Although your capacity of bicycle is only ten miles’ speed, but because you catch the motorcar which is running at hundred miles’ speed, you also run at hundred miles’ speed.

So unless we dovetail our activities with the supreme consciousness, or God consciousness, there cannot be equality, fraternity or universality as we are hankering after. It is not possible. You can go on crying in the wilderness for universal fraternity, friendship, equality, but if you keep your individuality, individual consciousness, selfish consciousness, there is no possibility of peace or tranquillity in the world.

Therefore people are very much anxious at the present moment for peace and tranquillity over the world, but they do not know how that peace can be attained. Peace can be attained. The formula is there in the Bhagavad-gītā: bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram [Bg. 5.29].

[The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.]

You can attain peace only when you understand that God is the proprietor of everything.

Actually, God is proprietor of everything. Now, take for example this house. This house is made of wood, stone, clay, sand and everything, materials. But who is the proprietor of this wood, sand, clay? God is the proprietor. You cannot produce wood. You cannot produce sand. You cannot produce clay. You can simply work as a laborer to bring the clay, to bring the wood, to bring the stone and collect them and stand, make, construct a very big skyscraper house.

But actually, the proprietor is God. This land, this land, America, it was lying before you came from Europe, before you colonized. And it may be, some days after, it will be lying here, and you shall have to go. Therefore who is the proprietor of this land? God is the proprietor.

In this way, if we study that “Everything belongs to God. I also belong to God—my self, my body, my mind, my activity, my energy, everything…” Just take for example, I am claiming that “This is my hand,” but if God withdraws the energy of the hand, your claim for “my hand” at once goes. So we have to develop that God consciousness and Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

When we speak of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, it is God consciousness. People have become degenerated, forgetting God consciousness. Therefore in the present world there is no peace. Materially, they are very much advanced. They are advanced in so-called education, but they do not know what is “I.” The everything, they are claiming, “my” and “mine,” but they do not know what is “I.”

So this consciousness, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is scientifically presented. It is not a sentiment. It is not a sentimental movement. It is very scientific movement. And the easiest process to come to this Kṛṣṇa consciousness is by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. So we are presenting very easy formula for coming to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness platform. Just a moment before, we were dancing and chanting equally, the boys, the girls, the men, the women.

So there is no distinction. Even if we do not understand the language, what is the meaning of “Hare Kṛṣṇa,” but because it is transcendental, because it is spiritual, from the spiritual platform, everything is equal. We forget that we are American or we are Indian, we are child, we are youth or man or woman, because in the spiritual platform there is no such bodily distinction.

So our request to all the guardians of the boys and girls present here, or the teachers, that they should teach from the very beginning this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness. Otherwise the future of the world is not very bright. It is recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. We are having our class in our temple: the instruction of Prahlāda Mahārāja.

Prahlāda Mahārāja was a five-years-old boy, and he was agitating this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement in his school. The schoolteachers would not allow him to speak about God, but as soon as there was some recess and the child, the boy, five-years-old boy, he would take the opportunity, call his friends and speak on Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

And he said, kaumāra ācaret prājño dharmān bhāgavatān iha [SB 7.6.1].

[Prahlāda Mahārāja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life—in other words, from the tender age of childhood—to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.]

The Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or God consciousness, should be taught from the very beginning of education. This is the greatest drawback of modern education, that, not only in your country or any country, they have completely neglected what is meant by God. And in India, they are especially… Now, as soon as there is any question of God, they see phobia: “Oh, this is all nonsense.” They have become so clever.

So anyway, my appeal to you, American people, that you are considered to be the leader of the all nations of the world. You should take this Kṛṣṇa conscious movement very seriously. It is good for you. It is good for the whole world. It is individually, collectively, without any consideration of caste, creed or color.

Everyone can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, anyone and everyone, at home, on the street. There is no expenditure. Suppose while you are walking if you chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, there is no loss, there is no expenditure, but you see how much you are profited by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. This is practical. We don’t say that “You come to our temple and give us some subscription. Become our member.” No, that is a secondary question.

Our primary movement is that everyone may take advantage of this movement and simply chant wherever possible—at home, at work, on the street, anywhere. There is no regulation where you have to chant and how you have to chant. It is spontaneous. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. There are only three words there: Hare, Kṛṣṇa and Rāma, but they are adjusted in a different position. There are sixteen words.

So it is not very difficult. You can make an experiment. The children also may take pleasure. We have got our records. If you play those records and chant with it, you will find a transcendental pleasure in you. These are facts. So our request to you, that you take this movement a little seriously, and you will be happy by grace of Kṛṣṇa.

Thank you very much. If you have got any question, you can ask.

[pause]

Devotee: [whispering aside to Prabhupāda] We should chant about five minutes. Then we’ll serve milk.

Prabhupāda: Yes. No, let, if there is any question, we shall answer. That is not yet one hour.

Devotee: Some of the older boys want to stay after, and you can discuss with them then. They may have some questions.

Prabhupāda: So first of all you want to chant? All right. Please join with us and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Yes?

Yamunā: Swāmījī, may I say something before we chant?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Yamunā: I want everybody to listen very carefully. This is a new song that… It would be very nice if you could learn how to sing and learn how to sing it very well. And the only way you can do it is by listening very carefully, everybody. So give your attention to these words: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Now, if everybody will do this, and stand up, close your eyes very tight, put your hands up in the air and sing this song, so you really learn the words, and you can go home and teach it to your brothers and sisters and your mother and your father, and tell them what you learned today. You have to say you learned something. So if you teach them this song, that would be very nice.

But you must learn it by listening. So listen to the words. Then get up, close your eyes and just sing. And you’ll find it’s a very nice song. But unless you try it, you won’t learn it, just like all the other songs you learn in your class. So try it. So I’m going to say the words, and then you say the words after me. We’re going to practice it once. Okay.

[with children repeating] Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Okay. Now we’re going to clap our hands too. First I’ll start by clapping. Now you follow. Okay, get all ready to clap. So, we’ll go like this: [claps] one, two, three; one, two, three; one, two, three; one, two, three; one, two, three. Everybody. One, two, three… [continues as they clap, then has them repeat mantra along with clapping] Everybody stand up.
[52:00] [kīrtana, with Prabhupāda]

Prabhupāda: [prema-dhvani] Thank you very much. [devotees offer obeisances]

You can distribute prasādam. Distribute prasādam.

Devotee: Do you want this? It’s pineapple.

Prabhupāda: What is this?

Devotee: Pineapple. There’s apple too.

Prabhupāda: Pineapple? Oh. [eats] There is water?

Devotee: Excuse me?

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotee: Oh, there’s milk and apples.

Prabhupāda: Oh!

Devotee: Warm milk and bananas. [end]

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