Los Angeles, Jan. 8, 1968
śikṣārtham ekaḥ puruṣaḥ purāṇaḥ
kṛpāmbudhir yas tam ahaṁ prapadye
Nowadays it has become a fashion to manufacture a certain type or system of religious or yoga principle. Caitanya Mahāprabhu did not do that. What He introduced, that is recommended in the scriptures, that “In this age, for spiritual realization, one may simply chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa.”
“Kṛṣṇa” means God. If you have got any other name for God, you can chant that also. It is not that you have to chant “Kṛṣṇa.” But “Kṛṣṇa” means God. The word meaning of Kṛṣṇa means “all-attractive.” Kṛṣṇa, from His beauty, all-attractive. From His strength, He’s all-attractive. From His philosophy, He’s all-attractive. From His renunciation, He’s all-attractive. From His fame, He’s all-attractive. Five thousand years before, Kṛṣṇa spoke this Bhagavad-gītā; still going strong. He is so famous.
And Kṛṣṇa claims that sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4].
Most of you must have read Bhagavad-gītā, and in the Fourteenth Chapter you’ll find that Kṛṣṇa says, “My dear Arjuna, in all species of life there may be as many varieties of forms.” We are all living entity. Here even, even in human society, we have got different types of form. Nobody will be exactly like the form of other gentleman. There is difference. So this is the beauty of creation. If you go to a tree, there are millions and billions of leaves, and you won’t find one leaf exactly like the other.
So there are varieties of living entities. Out of the varieties of the living entities, the human kind living entities are very small. From śāstra, from scripture, we understand that there are 8,400,000 species of life—8,400,000 species of life. Out of that, aquatics, water animals or water-living entities, are 900,000.
The botanist or the physiologist, how many they have seen or how many they have experimented or how many we have seen? But from the śāstra, from the Vedic scriptures, we find that there are 900,000’s of species of life in the water, and 2,000,000 species of life in the botanical department. Similarly, there are birds, there are beasts, there are four-legged animals, and at last, the human beings.
The human life is considered to be the developed form of all species of life. Darwin’s theory also, some idea, gives some idea. I think he might have taken this idea from Vedic literature. But the gradual evolution is recommended, is, I mean to say, mentioned in the Vedic literature that from aquatic to plant life, then worms’ life, then birds’ life, then animal life… There are thirty-three hundred thousands of animal life.
So at last this human form of life. And the human form of life, there are many species, some of them civilized, some of them not civilized. Some of them have no religion. But we can know from the history of human civilization that any civilized nation, it doesn’t matter whether he’s Christian, whether he’s Muhammadan or he’s Hindu or Buddhist—there is some type of religion.
So in the Vedic literature [it] says that without religion, without accepting religion… Dharmeṇa hīnāḥ paśubhiḥ samānāḥ [Hitopadeśa].[Both animals and men share the activities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But the special property of the humans is that they are able to engage in spiritual life. Therefore without spiritual life, humans are on the level of animals.]
If in some society there is no religion… Religion means to abide by the laws of the Supreme. That is religion. It doesn’t matter whether it is Christian religion or Muhammadan religion or Hindu religion, religion means… Just like citizen, good citizen. Good citizen means who abides by the law of the state.
It doesn’t matter what he is. Similarly anyone, either he may be Christian or may be Muhammadan or may be Hindu, that doesn’t matter. Anyone who accepts the Supreme Lord, God, and abides by the laws of God, or laws of nature, he’s called religionist or an advanced human being.
But Kṛṣṇa says, “Either advanced or not advanced, that doesn’t matter. It is a kind of dress only. But I am the father.” Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā [Bg. 14.4].
Just like father is the seed-giving agent into the womb of the mother, and then the child, baby, comes out… Without the combination of father and mother, there is no possibility of generation. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa says that “In all species of life, the living entities, I am the seed-giving father, and this material nature is the mother.”
Nobody can deny it. Because our this body… Just like the child’s body is made by the mother. Father gives the opportunity to develop the body, and the mother supplies the ingredients for developing the body. Similarly, God impregnates, God impregnates material nature with the living entities, and they come out in different form: aquatics, birds, beasts, animals, trees, plants, vegetables—so many. And Kṛṣṇa says that “I am the father of all of them.”
So my request to you, that don’t accept Kṛṣṇa as something Indian god or Hindu god. No. Kṛṣṇa is the original father of all living entities. He claims. If you don’t accept… If the father says, “You are my son,” and the son says, “No, I am not your son,” oh, that is son’s prerogative. He may deny it if he doesn’t believe his mother. Now what is the proof that one man is my father? The mother is the proof.
There is no other source of understanding who is my father. If a boy wants to understand, “Who is my father?” the only authority is the mother. Mother will say, “My dear boy, my dear child, here is your father,” you have to accept. If you say, “I don’t accept. I must have proof that he is my father,” how it is possible? It is not possible.
Similarly, the Vedic literature is to be considered the mother, and Vedic literature says, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]: “The Supreme Absolute Truth is that who is the source of all generation, all emanations.” And what is that source? Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that “I am the father.” So if you believe scriptures, Vedic literatures, if you believe Bhagavad-gītā, then you have to accept Kṛṣṇa as the supreme father, because the mother…
Vedic literature is considered to be the mother. She gives evidence that Kṛṣṇa is the father. Just like mother gives evidence who is your father, similarly, the Vedic literatures is compared to a mother, and the Vedic literature says that Kṛṣṇa is the father.
In your Christian literature, Bible, Jesus Christ is accepted as the son of God. He presented himself as son of God. And here Kṛṣṇa says that “I am the father.” So there is no contradiction. The son of God also says about God, and the father also says about the God, Himself. The son of God says that “You surrender unto God,” and God says, “You surrender unto Me.” Then where there is contradiction? There is no contradiction.
So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s movement is to understand the father. It is nothing new; it is old—but in a new process, convenient for the people of this age. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12].
We have forgotten our father. We have forgotten God. The modern civilization, wherever you go, they say that “We are secular state.” Secular state. Secular state means without knowing who is the father of the mankind. That is secular state. But the Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, a great logician during the time of Lord Caitanya, he was also godless. And generally, the so-called learned philosophers, scientist, or so-called educated, they deny the existence of God. They depend more or less on their experimental knowledge of science.
But actually, the fact is that there is God. There is God. In every religion they accept there is God, and actually, the fact is there is God. In the Vedic literatures it is accepted, janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. And in the Bhagavad-gītā it is clearly said by Kṛṣṇa that “I am the father.” Not only one place, in many other places.
I am especially referring to the Bhagavad-gītā because most of you, you are acquainted with the study of Bhagavad-gītā. Similarly, in the Tenth Chapter you’ll find, ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavaḥ: “I am the origin of everything.” Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “Whatever you see, that is from Me.” Iti…
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
One who understands this perfectly… One has to understand. It is not that you blindly follow something. One has to understand. So Kṛṣṇa says, “One who has understood that I am the origin of everything…” Budhā. Budhā means one who is learned. Bhāva-samanvitāḥ. Bhāva-samanvitāḥ means “with thoughts.” Not that whimsically or sentimentally to accept something, but with thought. “With thoughtful attitude or mood, one who has understood this fact,” budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ, “he worships Me.” These things are there.
So Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, he was a great logician. He was unfaithful. Not… He was moralist, but he had no faith in God, or impersonalist. There are many persons who have faith in something superior or absolute, but they do not believe in the personal nature of God. But here, from the Bhagavad-gītā, we can clearly understand, from Bhāgavata we can clearly understand, from Vedānta philosophy we clearly understand that God is person, a person like you and me.
Take, for example, in the Vedānta-sūtra, the first aphorism is janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The first sūtra is athāto brahma jijñāsā: “Now you have to understand what is Brahman, or what is the Absolute Truth.” The next aphorism is, immediately, that “The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything emanates, the original source of all emanation.” Janmādy asya yataḥ. Janma. Janma means birth. Ādimeans etcetera. But janma, where there is birth, there is death and there is existence. Whenever there is birth, you must know there is death also. There is not a single instance you have got experience where birth is possible and death is not possible.
This material world is going on in that way: birth, then existence, then development, then by-product, then dwindling, then vanishing. Six changes, everything. Either take your this body or a fruit or a flower, anything material you take, these six changes are there. First of all birth, then growth, then existence, then by-product, then dwindling, then vanishing. Six changes. Everything. Either take your this body or a fruit or a flower, anything material you take, these six changes are there: first of all birth, then growth, then existence, then by-product, then dwindling and then vanishing.
So Vedānta-sūtra says, janmādy asya yataḥ. The original source of birth, the source of maintenance, the source of growth, the source of development and the source of dwindling, and after all, vanishing, or the conservation of the vanishing elements, everything is the Supreme Brahman.
So this janmādy asya śloka has been interpreted in various ways, but the most important commentator is Vyāsadeva. He’s the original writer of Vedānta-sūtras. Not only he’s the writer of Vedānta-sūtra, he’s the writer of all Vedic literature. Vedic literature means four Vedas: Sāma, Atharva, Yajur and Ṛk. And from the Vedas, there are Upaniṣads.
There are 108 Upaniṣads. And there are Purāṇas. Purāṇas means those who will not understand the Vedic aphorism and the Upaniṣads, statement of the Upaniṣads, for them, for ordinary men, there are many stories. The stories are concluded with the Vedānta-sūtra.
Then there is Mahābhārata. You have heard all these names. Mahābhārata, the history, history of Indian royalty. The Mahābhārata is the history of fighting between two groups of royal family, the Pāṇḍavas and the Kurus. And in that Mahābhārata you’ll find all kinds of sociology, politics, religion and military science.
Everything is complete there. And in that Mahābhārata is put this Bhagavad-gītā. The Bhagavad-gītā is only a portion of the Mahābhārata. This was also written by Vyāsadeva. But at last, he was not satisfied. Or even after writing so many big literatures, he was not satisfied.
So one day he was sitting very morose, and in the same time, his spiritual master, Nārada, came to see him. Because Nārada is not an ordinary spiritual master. He could understand that “My disciple is sitting morose. So I must go there and give him some encouragement, because he’s a great personality. He is giving human society so many nice things, but he’s not very happy in his mood. So I shall go and give him some encouragement.”
So I am reading from the Bhāgavata this, I mean to say, introduction, how Bhāgavata was compiled by Vyāsadeva. I am reading that chapter. This is the First Canto, Fifth Chapter. So when his spiritual master, Nārada, came… It is the custom of disciple to receive him, and to give him nice seat and offer obeisances, and then talk on different subject matters. So when Nārada came, Vyāsadeva offered him good seat, and…, comfortable seat, and offered his obeisances. Then Nārada is preaching to him. He saw his disciple Vyāsadeva very much morose. So he’s asking,
bhavataḥ kaccid ātmanā
ātmā mānasa eva vā
There are two classes of men in the material world—I mean to say intelligent class. I am not speaking of the ordinary class of men. Those who are interested in knowledge, in higher thoughts, in philosophy, in religion, ethics, morality… So many things there are. In science, in literature… So Vyāsadeva is everything in one person. And he has written so many books, as I have described.
Now Nārada is asking him, “My dear Pārāśarya…” Pārāśarya means Vyāsadeva was the son of Parāśara. His father’s name was Parāśara; therefore he’s addressing him, pārāśarya mahā-bhāga. Mahā-bhāga:“You are very fortunate. You have got the opportunity of doing the best service to the humanity by presenting such important literature. Therefore you are mahā-bhāga.“[break] the human society is not ordinary task. And it is not possible for any ordinary man. All great men or great, I mean to say, personality who has appeared on this earth and rendered great service to the humanity, they are still remembered. Just like in your country, President Washington, he rendered very valuable service to your country.
He’s still remembered. Recently, President Kennedy. He’s still remembered. Similarly, those persons who have dedicated their life for the welfare of the human society, they are not ordinary men. Therefore he is addressed as mahā-bhāga, the most fortunate personality, because he dedicated his life for the good of the humanity.
The greater man is engaged for the service to the humanity, he is considered the great man. Similarly, Lord Caitanya, He also renounced this world. You see His feature is just eighteen years to twenty years boy. And after this movement, saṅkīrtana movement, at Navadvīpa during His householder life… He was married at the age of seventeen years.
So He was considered to be a householder. And His first wife died at the age of twenty years. Then His mother requested to marry again. So He married again, at the age of twenty years. And…, but He took sannyāsa at the age of twenty-four years.
He renounced the order, or, I mean to say, household life, in twenty-four…, when He was only twenty-four years old. His wife was only sixteen years old, and His mother was about seventy years old. But He still He took sannyāsa. Why? For the good of the humanity. He was very well-to-do, He was brāhmaṇa, He was learned, and He had many followers, and still, when He saw that “If I remain a householder, and they will not care for My instruction,” therefore He was obliged to accept the sannyāsa order. Because in India, the system is that sannyāsī, renounced order, a gentleman in renounced order, he is accepted as spiritual instructor.
So this Caitanya Mahāprabhu was so dedicated His life for the whole humanity. In His preaching there is clear statement why He was preaching this movement all over India. He instructed every Indian. The exact verse in Bengali language is said,
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
He ordered that anyone who has taken his birth in India as a human form of life, he must take up this responsibility of preaching this saṅkīrtana movement all over the world to do the best service to the humanity. That is His order. To do the best service to the humanity. He was so much compassionate with the human society. So by His grace, His philosophy, His teachings are now being spread in the Western countries. And I have taken up the humble responsibility. Please help me. You will be happy. It is such a nice movement.
So Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He was also humanitarian. He’s not a religionist. He was not meant for preaching a particular cult to gather some followers. No. It is the need of the human society, and He wanted to preach all over the world. Because it was not possible at that time, in His time. He lived only for forty-eight years.
He took sannyāsa at the age of twenty-four years, and He passed away in… Twenty-four years He was very busy all over India. Therefore He left His legacy to the Indians, any Indian, to take up this cause and preach this cult of saṅkīrtana movement all over the world.
So I shall request you to understand the philosophy of Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His movement. We have got already six centers; five centers in your country. I started first in 1966, July, in New York. Then I started in San Francisco, then Boston, then at Montreal. Of course, I did not go everywhere.
These boys, the sincere boys and girls who are helping me, who have joined this movement, they are doing. This center was started also by one boy. I have come for the first time here. Now I will request you that this movement is nothing sectarian or anything bluff. It is the movement as the necessity of the human society. You join it; you consider it; you put your logic, arguments. In every way, you’ll find that this is the necessity of the present day.
So not only one center in Los Angeles, but you open centers in every village, every country, every home. And the process is very simple. You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and dance in ecstasy and everything will come within yourself gradually. Everything will come. You’ll practically feel how you are becoming reformed. There is no need of wasting time.
This Hare Kṛṣṇa movement can be done at home, outside home, when you are working, when you are walking, every moment. So try to understand this movement and try to follow it. It is not sectarian; it is the need. I shall discuss all these points gradually. If you kindly come and attend our classes, I shall be very much thankful.
Thank you very much. If there is any question, you can ask.
Yes? [pause] Any question?
Guest or devotee: What should you be thinking about when you’re chanting?
Prabhupāda: Beg your pardon?
Guest or devotee: What should you be thinking of when you’re chanting…
Devotee: What should you be thinking about when you’re chanting? What do you think about when you’re chanting?
Prabhupāda: Chanting? You simply hear. When you say “Hare Kṛṣṇa,” you try to hear the very sound, “Hare Kṛṣṇa.” That’s all. Nothing more. This is meditation. Your tongue and your ear should be engaged in sounding this transcendental vibration, “Hare Kṛṣṇa.” Best meditation. This is also accepted in Bhagavad-gītā: the best meditation. You don’t keep your mind elsewhere.
You keep your mind on the chanting. “Hare Kṛṣṇa,” and hear. So this is responsive. When I was chanting, you were hearing; when you were chanting, I was hearing. So it is exchange. I hear your chanting, you hear my chanting. This is the process. So there is no possibility of thinking anything else. Best and the easiest type of meditation. Fully. Actually. You at once become on the transcendental plane. Therefore we feel dancing. You see?
So practice it and you’ll see how spiritually you are making advancement. And it is very simple. When you are walking on the street, you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There is no tax. There is no expenditure. There is no loss. But the gain is very great. Why don’t you try it? If without any loss, without any expenditure, you gain something, the supermost sublime thing, spiritual realization, why don’t you try for it?
We are not asking any money. We are not asking $250 for paying for hearing. No. It is freely distributed. Please take it and try it. Make an experiment. There is no business here. You simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and try to hear the sound, that’s all. Nothing more.[pause] Any other question?
Guest: I have a question. I was wondering why Kṛṣṇa is always portrayed as being blue.
Prabhupāda: Why the sky is blue? Can you explain?
Guest: Because the sky is blue?
Prabhupāda: Yes, why the sky is blue? First of all, you try to explain this. This is you are seeing every day. Can you explain? You don’t? You cannot? Sky is blue! That’s all. Therefore it is blue. Kṛṣṇa is blue; therefore He’s blue. [laughter]
Guest: But His consort, His consort is not blue.
Prabhupāda: Sky is the reflection of Kṛṣṇa’s bodily effulgence; therefore it is blue. Just like if the cover of the light is blue or, I mean to say, red, the radiance also becomes… Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is blue. It is described in the Vedic literature,
God’s bodily hue is just like bluish cloud. But it is very beautiful. These are not imagination. They are taken from Vedic literatures. So His bodily luster is like that. Therefore He is blue. It is not that we have painted blue by imagination. No. It is authoritative.
Venum kvanantum [Bs. 5.30]. He is always engaged… He is God, therefore He is always enjoying, playing flute. Oh, He hasn’t got to do anything, and there is stated in the Vedic literature,
svābhāvikī jñāna-bala-kriyā ca
God has nothing to do, work. Under what kind of body that He has to work? This is Vedic literature. Parāsya śaktir. He has got immense energies; they are doing everything. Just like a big man, a rich man, he is sitting silently in his room, but his assistants, his secretaries, his managers, they are doing everything. You will find Kṛṣṇa always in enjoyment. Ānanda-mayo ‘bhyāsāt [Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12].[By nature, the Supreme Lord is blissful.]
These are Vedānta-sūtra. He is jolly by His nature. And if we associate with Him, then we become jolly. We are also part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Now we are materially encumbered; therefore we have to transfer any of this material encumbrancy to spiritual life. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
So Kṛṣṇa is blue because He is described in the Vedic literature as such.
Devotee or guest: If we were in Kṛṣṇa’s abode at one time, why is it necessary that we come here?
Devotee or guest: I said if we were with Kṛṣṇa before, why is it that we’re here now?
Prabhupāda: Why you are here now?
Devotee or guest: Yeah.
Prabhupāda: Why you are here now, in this store?
Devotee or guest: I was born.
Prabhupāda: No, I mean to say in this room.
Devotee or guest: To learn.
Prabhupāda: To learn. So that is your choice. You have come to learn here. So you have got little independence. Because you are part and parcel of Supreme, the Supreme has got complete independence. Therefore the independence quality is there also in you. Just like gold: the particle of gold is also gold. Similarly, because you are particle of Kṛṣṇa, so you have got all the qualities in minute quantity, although you have got all the qualities of Kṛṣṇa.
As Kṛṣṇa is…, God is fully independent, therefore you want to be independent. Your inclusion is to always to remain independent. But you have been conditioned. You have been conditioned. When you regain your spiritual life, you also become as independent as Kṛṣṇa.
So that independence, when we want to imitate Kṛṣṇa by misusing our independence, then we are given the chance of so-called material enjoyment in this material world. [end]