Press Conference
18 Apr

Prabhupada: ...I shall speak.

Mahamsa: First His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada will speak something about our philosophy for a few minutes, and then you can ask questions.


yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akiñcana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate suraḥ;
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
mano-rathenasati dhavato bahiḥ;
[SB 5.18.12]

yasya—anyone; asti—one, anyone who has; bhagavati—in the Supreme Personality of Godhead; akiñcana-bhakti—unalloyed devotion, faith; sarvair gunais tatra samasate suraḥ;—with all the good qualities of the demigods, he is bestowed upon.

Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-gunaḥ;: If one is not a devotee of the Lord, he has no good qualification. He cannot possess any good qualification. Why? Mano-rathena. He is simply hovering on the mental plane. Therefore mind's business is to accept and reject. There cannot be any permanent thing. So one has to transcend above the plane of mind and fixed up in the spiritual platform. Then he can have all the good qualities.

So at the present moment, the godless civilization... Therefore the leaders, they do not know how to lead people so that they may become happy. It is the duty of the leader, government, father, teacher, gurus, to see that the subordinates are very, very happy. We find in the history of Mahabharata that during the time of Maharaja Yudhisá¹­hira people were not suffering even from excessive heat or cold or any anxiety. So it is the duty of the leaders of the people and the government to see that the citizens are perfectly happy in their occupational duties and they are advancing in spiritual knowledge, because human life is not to live a polished animal life. That is not human life.

In the sastras we see that Ṛsabhadeva, the father of Maharaja Bharata, under whose name this planet is called Bharata-varsa, He taught His one hundred sons, "My dear boys, this human form of life is not meant for working hard like cats and dogs for sense gratification." Ultimate end is sense gratification, satisfying the senses. This is the business of the cats and hogs, or dogs and hogs. The hog is whole day working to find out stool: "Where is stool? Where is stool?" And as soon as he gets some stool, little strength, immediately sex life, without any discrimination whether she is mother or sister or daughter. This kind of life is described in the sastras as hog civilization. So at the present moment, without any reference to God consciousness, people are being taught to satisfy the senses, work very hard, and ruin the chance of human life.

This human life is especially meant for solving all the problems of live. There are so many problems of life, but the four problems, as indicated in the Bhagavad-gita, janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duḥ;kha-dosanudarsanam... [Bg. 13.9]. People have no knowledge how to stop birth, death, old age and disease. Because every living entity is eternal. That we learn from Bhagavad-gita. Na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]. The living entity does not die even after the annihilation of this gross body. This is the first knowledge to understand. Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara, tatha dehantara-praptiḥ; [Bg. 2.13]. We have to transmigrate from this body to another body. As I have transmigrated already from my childhood body to boyhood body, boyhood body to youth-hood body, now I am in a body very old, so similarly, as I am existing in spite of changing so many types of body, similarly, after changing this body, I will have to accept another body. This is the fact. But the modern education, they do not know it, neither they believe, even the practical example is there. And who is giving the example? The most authoritative Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Tatha dehantara-praptiḥ;. And there are so many different varieties of bodies.

jalaja nava-laksani
sthavara laksa-vimsati
krmayo rudra-sankhyakaḥ;
paksinam dasa-laksanam

There are nine lakhs varieties of life in the water. Similarly, twenty lakhs varieties of life in the trees and plants. Then there are insects, then there are birds, then there are animals, then there is human being. So this human form of body is obtained after evolution of many millions and trillions of years. It should not be... This is a chance for stopping this business of repetition of birth and death. But people, they have no knowledge how to stop it. Although everything is there in the Bhagavad-gita, everything is explained, but we are not utilizing. We are manufacturing our own concocted knowledge. Therefore we are suffering. If we read Bhagavad-gita as it is, then all the solution of human society's problem are there. Economic, social, political, religious, cultural, philosophical—everything is there.

So this Krsna consciousness movement is meant for spreading the knowledge contained in the Bhagavad-gita as it is, without any malinterpretation. Bhagavad-gita as it is. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhavan [Bg. 10.12]. After understanding Bhagavad-gita from Krsna, Arjuna affirmed, "Krsna, You are Parabrahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Brahman... Every living entity is Brahman, or everything is Brahman. Sarvam khalv idam brahma. That is a fact. But Parabrahman is Krsna, the Supreme. Nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam (Kaṭha Upanisad 2.2.13). That is the Vedic version. He is the Supreme. So unless we accept Krsna the Supreme, what is the use of reading Bhagavad-gita? So that we have to accept, and His instructions, as they are given, everything. Just like economic solution, there is in the Bhagavad-gita, annad bhavanti bhutani [Bg. 3.14]. There is need of anna to feed the animals and the human being. Simply by passing resolution, conference, it will not do. You must produce anna so that animals and men, they may be fed sumptuously. They will get strength, then they can work for yajña. Yajñaḥ; karma-samudbhavaḥ;. In this way people can be happy.

So everything, solution is there in the Bhagavad-gita, and we are trying to spread this knowledge of Bhagavad-gita all over the world, and people are accepting. Now we have started in America a political party, "In God We Trust." So they are doing very successfully. People are accepting. They are criticizing the so-called leaders. After Nixon, people are disgusted with the so-called leaders. So we are teaching them what kind of leaders should be selected. The king, the public leader, the brahmana, and... At least these three men, they should be free from the four kinds of sinful activities. If they are personally sinful, how they can lead other people? That is not possible. Andha yathandhair upaniyamanaḥ; [SB 7.5.31]. If a man is himself blind man, how he can lead other blind men? That is not... It is dangerous for both of them. So the leaders, the politicians, the king, the brahmana, they should be very much pure, without any sinful tinge of life. And the pillars of sinful life is illicit sex life and meat-eating and intoxication and gambling. Now, unfortunately, the leaders are teaching people how to enjoy illicit sex life, meat-eating and intoxication. Then how the society can be happy? It is not possible. If you become criminal or if you infect some disease, you must suffer. Similarly, in the material world there are three gunas: sattva-guna, rajo-guna, tamo-guna. So if you associate with sattva-guna, then you become enlightened. If you associate with rajo-guna, then you are, I mean to say, pushed through passion. And if you are in ignorance, then you do not know what is right and wrong. Kama-lobhadayas ca ye. The symptoms of rajo-guna is excessive lust and greediness. And sattva-guna, they are in knowledge.

Therefore the society must be divided into four classes of men, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: catur-varnyam maya srsṭam guna-karma-vibhagasaḥ; [Bg. 4.13]. There are three gunas, and the sattva-guna, brahmana, a class of ideal men, must be there in the society so that people can follow them. Yad yad acarati sresṭhaḥ; lokas tad anuvartate [Bg. 3.21]. If there is no ideal men in the society, how they can be of good character? Therefore the brahminical class of men, I mean to say, in quality, satyam samo damas titiksa arjava, jñanam vijñanam astikyam brahma-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.42]. There must be an ideal class of men, brahmana. The next class, ksatriyas, who can give protection to the society, they should come forward whenever there is danger. They will come forward to give protection to the society. Similarly, next, the vaisya, they must produce. Krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam vaisya-karma svabhava-jam [Bg. 18.44]. The class of men should be interested, produce foodgrains and give protection to the cows.

So where are these things? How you can expect good society, good management? If you want good society, good management, people happy in this life and next, then you have to adopt the principles given by Sri Krsna Himself in the Bhagavad-gita. And we are preaching the cult of Bhagavad-gita all over the world. That is Krsna consciousness movement. Thank you very much.

Mahamsa: Now we open the placement to your questions.

Prabhupada: Yes, upon this, what I have already stated, you can...

Guest (1): Since you are following Bhagavad-gita, do you believe in dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy?

Prabhupada: Well, first of all try to understand what is written in the Bhagavad-gita. Then you try to understand the philosophy. It is simple thing. Krsna says that annad bhavanti parjanyat. So there is no need of dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy. You require anna to maintain the animals and living men. Practically. Dvaita philosophy and advaita philosophy, this is controversial. But even though we agree to dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy, the question of food grain will be required, either you become dvaita philosophy or advaita philosophy.

Guest (1): What I mean to say is do you believe that the soul and God is one as Ramanuja and Sankaracarya says, or as Madhvacarya says...

Prabhupada: We are speaking from the Bhagavad-gita as it is. What Sankaracarya says, what Ramanujacarya says, that we shall consider there. You try to understand Bhagavad-gita as it is. Bhagavan says in the Bhagavad-gita that dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara tatha dehantara-praptiḥ; [Bg. 2.13]. So dehinaḥ; means the possessor of the body, the owner of the body. That is the soul. So that you cannot deny, either you follow Sankaracarya or Ramanujacarya. There is soul within the body. This is Bhagavad-gita says. Dehino 'smin, asmin dehe. Just like I was a child, I remember; you remember also. So that body is now gone. But I have got a different body, you have got a different body. But I am existing. So I am dehinaḥ;, dehi, and my body is deha. So deha-dehi, there must be distinction. The body is not the owner. I am the owner. Just like I am sitting within this room, I am not this room; similarly, I am sitting within this body, you are sitting within your body. So you are not body. This is call illusion.

Guest (2): What is the ultimate aim of this Krsna consciousness?

Prabhupada: Yes, ultimate aim is that there is spirit and matter. As there is material world, there is spiritual world also. Paras tasmat tu bhavaḥ; anyaḥ; avyaktaḥ; avyaktat sanatanaḥ; [Bg. 8.20]. The spiritual world is eternal. The material world is temporary. We are spirit soul. We are eternal. Therefore our business is to go back to the spiritual world, not that we remain in the material world and change body from bad to worse or worse to bad, er, good. That is not our business. That is a disease. Our healthy life is to enjoy eternal life. Yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama [Bg. 15.6]. So our human life should be utilized for attaining that perfectional stage—not to get any more this material body which we have to change. This is the aim of life.

Guest (3): Is that perfection possible in one life?

Prabhupada: Yes, in one moment, if you agree. Krsna says that

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucaḥ;
[Bg. 18.66]

We change our body on account of sinful activities, but if we surrender to Krsna and take Krsna consciousness, immediately you are on the spiritual platform.

mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate
[Bg. 14.26]

As soon as you become unalloyed devotee of Krsna, you immediately transcend this material platform. Brahma-bhuyaya kalpate. You remain in the spiritual platform. And if you die in the spiritual platform, then you go to the spiritual world.

Guest (3): But isn't the bhajana that you do for concentration?

Prabhupada: Yes, bhajana is concentration, reading is concentration...

Guest (3): No, besides that, any other type of concentration you do?

Prabhupada: What do you mean by concentration?

Guest (3): Meditation.

Prabhupada: Yes. When you think... Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginaḥ; [SB 12.13.1]. The yogis, in dhyana, in meditation, they always see the Supreme Lord Visnu within the heart. So that is meditation. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pasyanti yam yoginaḥ; [SB 12.13.1]. The jñanis, they see by cultivation of knowledge, and the bhaktas, they see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So Supreme Lord, the Absolute Truth, is understood from different angles of vision. Brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam [SB 1.2.11]. That is Absolute Truth. Yaj jñanam advayam. There is no difference between Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. The same thing in different angle of vision. The jñanis, they realize as impersonal Brahman. The yogis, they realize as Paramatma situated in everyone's heart. And the bhaktas, they realize as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But the thing is the same. It is the different angle of vision only.

Guest (2): What exactly is guru's role in your system?

Prabhupada: To teach how to get rid of this disease of birth, death and old age. That is guru's business. That is also father's business, that is also guru's business, or the caretaker's business, the government's business. Because this human life is meant for getting out of these clutches of maya, constantly, repeatedly changing body. Tatha dehantara-praptiḥ; [Bg. 2.13], bhutva praliyate. This business should be stopped. Na mocayed yaḥ; samupeta-mrtyum gurur na sa syat. Sastra says, "One should not be guru if he cannot deliver the disciple from the chain of birth, death, old age and disease."

Guest (4): (indistinct-question about why there is a better response to Krsna consciousness in foreign countries than in India)

Prabhupada: The Americans and the Europeans, they are fed up with this material type of civilization. They are... They know that spiritual life is there in India. They understand it. Therefore, any swami goes there, they go round him to take some spiritual instruction. Unfortunately, mostly they go who have no knowledge. They cannot give them right knowledge. So for the time being they may surround them, but after some time they disperse. Because they do not get actually. Because so far Krsna consciousness movement, now many swamis went there and they preached Bhagavad-gita also, but not a single person became a devotee of Krsna for the last hundreds of years. But now Bhagavad-gita is being presented as it is, and people are taking it by hundreds, thousands. So they are after some knowledge, spiritual knowledge, from India, but our so-called swamis, they go, they do not give actual information of the Indian spiritual culture. Therefore they are practically deceived. But this Bhagavad-gita as it is, we do not change anything. In the Bhagavad-gita you understand that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mattaḥ; parataram nanyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg. 7.7]. So we are teaching them that "Here is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna." So they are accepting. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. So we are teaching that "Just always think of Krsna, chant Hare Krsna mantra, and you will remember Krsna." Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktaḥ;. "And just become devotee. Worship the Deity of Krsna. Become His bhakta." Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji. "Worship Lord Krsna." Mam namaskuru. "Offer your obeisances to Krsna." So we are teaching this arcanam. We have got hundred temples like this all over the world. And hundreds and thousands are joining. So this is practical. So they are accepting. Now it is our duty to give the actual Vedic culture which is concise, summarized in the Bhagavad-gita. Sarvopanisad-gavaḥ;, the essence of all Upanisad teaching. So there is very good demand for this culture, but unfortunately we give some rubbish things, and they come. Sometimes they go, that he becomes himself God. What is this nonsense? God is so cheap? So they have been frustrated, and our people go and still more frustrate them by giving some cheating type of... But here Bhagavad-gita is very simple. There is no need of great education. What is the difficulty to understand? If Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65], where is the difficulty? "You always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, offer My obeisances." Catur-varnyam maya srsṭam: [Bg. 4.13] "Divide the society in four classes of men." Annad bhavanti bhutani: [Bg. 3.14] "You just produce sufficient foodgrain and eat sufficiently. Be strong. Perform yajña." Where is the difficulty to understand Bhagavad-gita?

Guest (5): Do you think that the Russian society is not put off by this bhajana?

Prabhupada: Russian?

Guest (5): Society.

Prabhupada: I do not know Russian society, but I can say I have been in Moscow. The people are not happy. That I can say.

Guest (1): How many of your disciples would have seen the vision of God in the sense of seeing the Lord given in their heart.

Prabhupada: Vision of God you can see also. Here is vision of God.

Guest (1): In the sense of seeing the Lord in their own heart?

Prabhupada: No, no. That is, of course, later on. First of all see here is God, vision of God. Everyone can see. It is public. Why you ask my disciples? You can see also. No, no. That like, vision of God, here is Krsna.

Guest (1): That is physical vision.

Prabhupada: That's all. Physical means vision; your vision is also physical. Your vision is not spiritual. Whatever you see with your eyes, that is physical. That is not anything beyond physical.

Guest (1): See with spiritual eyes.

Prabhupada: Spiritual eyes, that's all right. But first of all you have to see whatever eyes you have got. You have got physical eyes. Why you are talking of spiritual eyes?

Guest (1): Well, sir, that only, we are, all these things would learn that spiritual eyes.

Prabhupada: That you will learn. That is stated in the sastra. Premañjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ; sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti [Bs. 5.38]. When you develop love for God, then you can that spiritual eyes. Premañjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ; sadaiva. He sees everywhere, always. Santaḥ; sadaiva hrdayesu vilo... That you have to develop that position. Immediately you cannot do that. Yes, immediately you have to see physically. Then gradually, when by offering service, you develop your dormant love for God, then you can see spiritual. It is not immediately or for everyone. So you have to wait for tha position.

Guest (6): Consciousness movement in the West-like you said, the Western people are fed up with materialism. Is it that they are fed up only with materialism or with...?

Prabhupada: Well, people, people have become godless everywhere. It doesn't matter whether he is a Christian or Muhammadan or Hindu. That is a general disease. So actually, everyone is concerned now with material comforts. But these material comforts mean wine and women, that's all. Substance of material comforts. So that they have enjoyed enough. The facility of enjoying woman and getting money, there is no limit. There is no limit. Anyone, the money is thrown in the street. You can simply collect. And similarly, women are available. So actually, they do not get any happiness by these material elements. They are seeking after something, that's a fact.

Guest (7): But isn't the Krsna consciousness has not spread in the Arab world?

Prabhupada: Yes, it is spreading. We have got branch in Iran.

Guest (7): Yes?

Prabhupada: Yes, yes. We have got branch in Moscow, we have got in China. But they are taking gradually. Everything will take time. But we have got many Muhammadan students. Yes.

Guest (8): You have got a center established in Iran?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Guest (8): Within what time? Recent?

Prabhupada: I think about two years. Yes. We have got African students also, many African students. And everywhere we are spreading this Hare Krsna. We go village to village, they accept. In African village, with big, big earrings, they also dance in Hare Krsna mantra.

Guest (8): How do they respond in China?

Prabhupada: Yes, China also. They also receive very nicely. They are intel... Everywhere the people are always good. They are made bad by the leaders. That's all.

Guest (9): You know, it sticks in the mind, about the leaders and the government, you said it. Is the duty of the leaders of the government to see the people are happy.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Guest (9): In this context, how do you see the government of India?

Prabhupada: I do not wish to speak of any particular government. But generally, everywhere the government is not very good. Even in America, the president is not liked.

Guest (5): Swamiji, India is supposed to be a land of spirituality.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Guest (5): How is it that there is so much moral degradation in our country?

Prabhupada: Because you did not lead them, you did not teach them spiritual books. You allowed them to read Communist books.

Guest (5): Is it the failure of our spiritual leaders?

Prabhupada: What is a spiritual leader? First of all we have to think..., if the businessman is not spiritual leader.

Guest (6): So you mean the lack of spiritual leadership has driven us to this state of affairs?

Prabhupada: Yes. Because there have been so many. Just like Bhagavad-gita, it is standard book. The so-called spiritual leaders, they give different interpretation. Why different interpretation? One interpretation is there. Anyone can understand. Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. It is plain thing, Krsna says that "You always think of Me." Man-mana bhava mad-bhaktaḥ;. "You become My devotee, you just worship Me, offer your obeisance." And Dr. Radhakrishnan says, "It is not to Krsna personally." What right he has got to say like that? Krsna says, man-mana bhava. Dr. Radhakrishnan says, "It is not to Krsna." This is going on. Just see. He is scholar, he is a philosopher. Even Gandhi says that "There was no Krsna; it is all mythology." Then? How people will learn it? If Krsna becomes mythology, the Bhagavad-gita becomes imagination and anyone can interpret in any way. Then where is the teaching?

Guest (7): Are the teachings themself spiritual?

Prabhupada: No, no. First of all try to understand that what is the defect. The defect is that malinterpretation, bad interpretation. Interpretation is required when a thing you cannot understand. But if a thing is clearly understood, why you interpret to mislead the leader? That is our protest. It is clearly understood. Krsna says, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. Then what right you have got to say that "It is not Krsna; it is something else"? That has misled our country. Do you admit or not? This misinterpretation. Why should you misinterpret in the Bhagavad-gita? If you have got a different philosophy, you can write your own books, but why through Bhagavad-gita? This is very dangerous. This is very, very dangerous. It has spoiled the whole country. You write your own philosophy. But why do you take advantage of Bhagavad-gita and misinterpret it and mislead the people? That is my protest.

Guest (8): What is the plan of the Hyderabad project?

Prabhupada: Hyderabad project. That he knows, Mahamsa.

Guest (9): What your goal, to plan Northern India? Your goal to plan Northern India? How long you will be staying and...?

Prabhupada: No, I am going to see Balaji. That's all. Balaji.

Guest (9): And then go back to the States?

Prabhupada: No. I will go to Europe and... I'll go to London, then to Paris, then Germany, then Sweden, then Switzerland. I have got temples there. In Germany we have got four temples. In Sweden we have got. In Switzerland we have got. France we have got. In England we have got four, five.

Guest (9): No government is placing obstacles?

Prabhupada: No, they receive it very nicely. They understand that "Swamiji is doing something nice." Thank you very much.

Devotees: Jaya, Srila Prabhupada! (end)