Knowledge is the solution–First Find A Bona Fide Guru (MP3 Audio from 1966)
May 7, 2011 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Filed under Guru, MP3 Audio
For knowledge we have got to go to the right person, one who has actually seen or experienced the Absolute Truth. Unless we find such a person who has actually seen the Absolute Truth or who has in his experience what is Absolute Truth, there is very little chance of our spiritual advancement.
[Bhagavad-gita 4.34-38 New York, August 17, 1966]
tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
For knowledge we have got to go to the right person, tattva-darsi. Tattva-darsi means “one who has actually seen or experienced the Absolute Truth.” So unless we find out such a person who has actually seen the Absolute Truth or who has in his experience what is Absolute Truth, so there is very little chance of our spiritual advancement.
If we can find out such a person who is experienced in the Absolute Truth, and if we follow the principles, as it is stated here, pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya. Pranipata means to surrender, and pariprasna means to inquire, and sevaya means service. Three things. You should find out a person who is self-realized, who has experience in the Absolute Truth, and, on your part, you have to surrender there, and you have to inquire, and you have to render service. When these things are completed, there is no doubt about one’s spiritual salvation.
If we have actually found out a person who is self-realized and we have surrendered there honestly, with inquiry and service, then we must know that our spiritual salvation is guaranteed. Guaranteed. There is no doubt about it.
So Lord Krishna says,
yaj jnatva na punar moham evam yasyasi pandava
yena bhutany asesani
draksyasy atmany atho mayi
People are anxious to see God. Here Lord Sri Krsna says that as soon as one gets knowledge from the right person, then he never comes into the field of delusion. The whole thing is that in the present stage of our life, we are conditioned and deluded. We do not know things as they are. That is the cause of our all miseries.
Otherwise, constitutionally, we are anandamayo ‘bhyasat. By nature, we are jolly. Anandamayo ‘bhyasat. In the Vedanta-sutra you’ll find. The nature of Brahman is anandamaya. Sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. Isvarah paramah krsnah sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah. Sat, cit, ananda. Sat means eternity, cit means full knowledge, and ananda means pleasure. This is our constitution. We are all fragmental portion of Krsna, the Supreme Lord. Therefore, because He is anandamaya, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, so we are also anandamaya, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha. Unfortunately, we have been put in the contact of this material energy. Therefore we are just experiencing the opposite. What is that opposite? That… Sat, sac-cit ananda. Sat means eternity. So we have got just the opposite, asat. Asat means non-eternity. This body will not exist. We are put into such a condition that however scientifically we may try to keep an youthfulness by so many medicines, injection, and so many things which we have, I mean to say, invented by our advancement material science, but death is sure. This body… Antavanta ime dehah. The body must be finished. Therefore there is no question of sat.
And cit. Cit means knowledge. Knowledge, we have no knowledge. Our… We have got senses, but these are all imperfect senses. We are very much proud that everything we say… Somebody… If somebody preaches about the Lord, we challenge, “Can you show me the Lord? Have you seen the Lord?” or “Can you show me the Lord?” But we do not know that our senses are so imperfect that we cannot see even what we are daily seeing. We cannot… If the light is put off, then we cannot see each other, even in this room. So our seeing person is conditional. It is not perfect. Similarly, all our senses, they are imperfect. So by imperfect senses, by speculation of the imperfect mind, we, we cannot reach to the Absolute Truth. It is not possible. Not possible.
Therefore here it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that tad viddhi pranipatena: “If you are at all serious to understand that transcendental knowledge, then you must approach to a person who has experience of the Absolute Truth.” Otherwise, it is not possible. If you think that “I shall realize by mental speculation the Absolute Truth, it is not possible.” Because you are sub… I mean, you are fructified with only imperfections. Your senses cannot approach. Therefore Brahman is said, avan manasa gocara. Avan manasa gocara: “It is beyond, beyond the mental speculation.” And there is another name of the Supreme Lord, Adhoksaja. Adhoksaja. Adhoksaja means adhah-krtah aksajam jnanam yatra, “where our material senses are defeated.” Our material senses are defeated. We are defeated in every respect. So it is not possible to realize the Absolute Truth if we do not find a person who is realized soul, who is absolute, who has understood. It doesn’t matter who is he. Lord Caitanya recommended…
Just like in India, generally, the brahmanas are expected to be the spiritual masters. Because brahmana means who have sufficient knowledge in the transcendental science. That is brahmana. Brahma janatiti brahmanah. Now, due to this modern age, Kali-yuga, it is very difficult to find out a qualified brahmana. So therefore it is very difficult also to find out a qualified spiritual master. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He has recommended that,
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei ‘guru’ haya
“Never mind whether he’s a brahmana or a sudra or a sannyasi or a householder. Never mind what he is. That doesn’t matter. If he knows the science of Krsna, then he is the bona fide spiritual master.” He is the bona fide spiritual master. So here this Bhagavad-gita is the science of Krsna. Every one of you, if you study Bhagavad-gita very scrutinizingly, with all your arguments, with all your sense, with all your philosophical knowledge… Because it is said here, tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena.
Not that you have to submit yourself blindly. Although your spiritual master may be self-realized and experienced in the Absolute Truth, still, you have to question. You have to understand from him all critical points by your intelligent questions. That is allowed. So it doesn’t matter. If anyone is able to answer about the science of Krsna, he is spiritual master. He is spiritual master. It doesn’t matter where he’s born or what he is, whether he’s a brahmana, or a sudra, or an American or an Indian or whatever he is. Never mind.
Just like… It is practical. When you go to a doctor, medical practitioner, you do not ask, “Well, Doctor, are you American or Indian? Are you brahmana? Are you Jew? Are you Christian?” No. Oh, he has got the qualification of a medical man, so you surrender, “Doctor, treat me. I am suffering.” So there is no question. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given liberal that “Anyone who knows the spiritual science, or the Krsna science…” Krsna science is spiritual science. Because Krsna is the ultimate goal of spiritual science.
When I speak of Krsna, you must remember that I am speaking of God. There are millions of names of God in different parts of the world, but Krsna is the supreme name according to Vedic knowledge. So therefore Lord Caitanya has recommended–and His recommendation is accepted by the authorities even at the present moment–
kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya yei krsna-tattva-vetta sei ‘guru’ haya
And you’ll be surprised that Lord Caitanya’s principal disciples were all so-called fallen in the society. He appointed one Haridasa Thakura, Namacarya Haridasa Thakura. This Haridasa Thakura was a Muhammadan. He happened to take his birth in a Muhammadan family, but he became a follower of Caitanya, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, after training him, He gave him the highest post of His spiritual mission. Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared to introduce this system of Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare, chanting of the holy name of God, and He appointed this Haridasa Thakura, who happened to be a Muhammadan. But he became so much enlightened that Caitanya Mahaprabhu appointed him the supreme minister of administering this Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna. He was, he was made the authority, namacarya. Acarya means the prime minister, the authority.
So there are other, six important direct disciples. Just like Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. Now, these gentlemen were formerly known as Sakara Mallika and Dabir Khas. Dabir Khas. That was the Muhammadan period. India was being governed by that time by the Pathans, and in Bengal there was a Pathan ruler whose name was Nawab Hussain Shah. This… But these gentlemen, Sakara Mallika and Dabir Khas, they were appointed minister in the service, in the governmental service of Nawab Hussain Shah. And, in those days, the Hindus were so strict that anyone accepting the service, especially the brahmanas, if he accepts, if a brahmana accepts the service of anyone, especially who is not a Hindu, he is at once extricated from the society. So these two gentlemen, Sakara Mallika, they almost became… They changed their name also. They were actually brahmanas, very intelligent, learned. They were very good scholars. In Parsee, er, Persian language, and Sanskrit language, they were very good scholars, but because they engaged themselves in the service of the Muhammadan ruler, they were, I mean to say, extricated from the socie…, socially, brahmana society. So Caitanya… They also followed Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and they were made the best authorities in this science of Krsna science. They… Later on, they became Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami.
So there is no bar for anyone, that one cannot become the spiritual master. Everyone can become spiritual master, provided he knows the science of Krsna. That is the only qualification. And that is very reasonable. If you do not this, do not know the subject matter, how can you be a teacher? Eh? A teacher means he knows the thing. He knows the science. So only qualification of the spiritual master, as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, kiba sudra, kiba vipra, nyasi kene naya, yei krsna-tattva-vetta: “Anyone who knows the science of Krsna…” This is the science of Krsna, this Bhagavad-gita. If anyone knows perfectly, then he becomes the spiritual master.
And there is need of spiritual master at the present moment. We require thousands of spiritual master to preach all over the world this science of Krsna, the science of Krsna. That will solve all problems of the world. Take it from me. We discussed amongst our confidential devotees here, and they agreed that actually this is the science which can mitigate all the problems of the world.
So yaj jnatva punar moham evam yasyasi. So Krsna says to Arjuna… He’s addressing Arjuna because Arjuna is hearing as representative of us. He was not speaking to Arjuna alone, but He was speaking to all the human race. So yaj jnatva na punar moham: “By understanding this science then you cannot go, you cannot be illusioned.” Because Arjuna was illusioned and he was not prepared to fight, so this instruction was given, this Bhagavad-gita instruction was given to Arjuna. So He says that “If you have actually undergone the training under the experienced, bona fide spiritual master, then you would not have gone under such illusory energy.” Yena bhutany asesani draksyasy at…
Then again He says,
api ced asi papebhyah sarvebhyah papa-krttamah
Now, Lord Sri Krsna says that “Just like if you have got a very good ship, you can very easily cross the Atlantic Ocean without any difficulty, similarly, we are in the midst of the ocean of ignorance.” Our, this life, this conditioned life in the material world is just like the ocean of ignorance, ocean of ignorance. So Lord Caitanya, therefore, He prayed to Sri Krsna like this, ayi nanda-tanuja patitam kinkaram mam visame bhavambudhau: “My dear Lord Krsna, I am just fallen in the ocean of ignorance.” So we are in the ocean of ignorance. Now, in the ocean, if you get a very good boat or very good ship, as you can cross over, similarly, if we have the ship or the boat of perfect knowledge, then there is no fear. We can cross the ocean very easily. We can cross this ocean very easily.
Now here Krsna says, api ced asi papebhyah sarvebhyah papa-krttamah. If, if a person is the most sinful, the, and the, I mean, the supermost sinful man, but if he gets this knowledge, this knowledge of Krsna science, then he can cross over this ocean of ignorance very easily. That means it does not matter what was our past life. Either… Any Vedic literature, especially Bhagavad-gita… Bhagavad-gita does not take into account what was you in the past life. That doesn’t matter. Because we are in ignorance, we might have done so many things in ignorance, which is not approved, which is not virtuous. That is quite possible. Every one of us, we are subjected. Because due to ignorance, we do so many things, so nobody can say that “I am free from any sinful activities.” Nobody can say. So that doesn’t matter. But if we get, if we can learn the science of Krsna, then, Lord Sri Krsna says, api ced asi papebhyah sarvebhyah papa-krttamah: “Even one is the most sinful man, but if he gets the Krsna science, he is free. He is free, and he can go. He can cross over the material ocean of ignorance very easily.”
How it is possible? He’s giving a very nice example.
yathaidhamsi samiddho ‘gnir bhasmasat kurute ‘rjuna
bhasmasat kurute tatha
“Just like in the fire if you put anything, whatever, it will go on burning. Everything it will burn into ashes. Never mind, either wood or any dirty things, whatever you will, it will turn into ashes. Similarly, if we get this Krsna science, if we understand this Krsna science, then all our reactions of sinful activities, what we might have done in our past life, that will be all burned into ashes. Burnt into ashes.”
yathaidhamsi samiddho ‘gnir bhasmasat kurute ‘rjuna
bhasmasat kurute tatha
Bhasmasat means “turns into ashes.”
na hi jnanena sadrsam pavitram iha vidyate
tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah
Therefore knowledge, we must seek knowledge. And the perfection of knowledge, as we have several times explained in this meeting, the perfection of knowledge is to understand Krsna. That’s all. As in the Seventh Chapter you’ll find, that, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate. Now, after culturing many, many births knowledge, one comes to Krsna and he understands, vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma sudurlabhah. Vasudeva, Krsna is everything, all causes of causes. He’s the cause of all causes. Always remember. When I speak of Krsna, He’s God. God. God is the cause of all causes.
Now, in these days of Communism, the idea of Communism… Now, in the Krsna science, there is very nice conception of spiritual communism, in the Krsna science. In the Srimad-Bhagavata you’ll find that there was a discussion between Narada and Yudhisthira, and Narada was explaining that in this manifested material world, either in the higher planets or in this planet or in the outer space, whatever wonderful things and resources, material resources are there, they are all manufactured by the Supreme Lord. Just try to understand. Everything in this world, whatever there is, that is not done by any human being. That is done by God. Nobody can deny it. Isavasyam idam sarvam. Therefore all living entities, beginning from the ant to Brahma, the highest human being or the highest demigod, all of them, they have got the right to use them. They have got the right to use them.
Now Narada says that “You can use all these material resources as much as you require, but, if you want more, if you get more, then you’ll become the thief, and you are punishable.” Just see the idea of communism. Everything in the world, in this planet or in other planets… Just like people are trying to go to the moon planet. The Russians are trying to put their flag first so that if they go to moon planet, they will conquer. Just like you came from Europe. You have conquered this tract of land, America, and you have put up your flag. So now they are trying to go, trying to go to the moon planet. But this putting, I mean to say, this digging the flag, it is called ignorance. This is called ignorance. Where you are putting your flag? It is not your property. It is God’s property. This is knowledge. This is knowledge. And if I think, “It is my property. I must dig my flag here,” that is ignorance.
So in the Srimad-Bhagavata you’ll find that whatever property is… In this morning also I was speaking. Just if you throw in the street some bags of grains, the pigeons will come, but they will pick up only four, five, six, eight, ten grains, and they will go away. They will not take even one grain more than it needs. As soon as he’s satisfied to his heart’s content–”Oh, I am full now”–oh, he’ll go away. It will go away. He’ll not stock. Similarly, this is natural. This is natural.
But if we put here a hundred bags of flour and if we ask people that “Come and take,” then somebody will take ten bags, somebody will take fifteen bags, somebody will take, will not take any bags because, if he’s weak, he cannot take. So the distribution will not be equal. That is our advancement of civilization. The knowledge which the pigeons, the cats and dogs have got, we are lacking in that knowledge, that the whole thing belongs to the Supreme Lord and we can accept them, whatever we need, not more than that. That is knowledge. That is knowledge. There will be no difficulty. The whole world is made by the Lord’s arrangement that you have no scarcity. Everything is sufficient. Everything is sufficient. There will be no scarcity, provided you know the distribution. The distribution is… There is fallacy, distribution: one is taking is more and the other is starving. Therefore, the starving population, they are making protest, “Why we shall starve?” But that is also defective.
But here is the perfect knowledge, that isavasyam idam sarvam. We have to take everything as God’s property, nobody’s property. And we can use things which are available by the nature’s product. Suppose there is iron ore, mine. So everyone has got the… Whatever iron he requires, he can take. But if somebody makes the, the iron mine as his own property, then he, according to Srimad-Bhagavata and, it is, he becomes a thief. He becomes a thief, and he’s punishable because that is God’s property. Nobody can create the iron mine. We cannot create anything. Even in the economic laws, we cannot create anything. We can simply transform just like worker or laborer. That’s all. Suppose we manufacture a very nice table, but the ingredients, the wood, and the instrument, iron, oh, this is supplied by God. You cannot manufacture iron. You cannot manufacture the woods. So how, why do you claim that it is yours? This is ignorance. This is ignorance.
So by culture of Krsna science, when we understand the Krsna science, then we become free from this ignorance. And Lord Krsna recommends that “By this knowledge, you can very easily cross over the ocean of nescience, ocean of ignorance.” The whole thing is: we are suffering due to… Just like ignorance is no excuse in the law court. Suppose you have done something wrong and if you say to the judge, “So I, I did not know, sir, this law,” oh, that is no excuse. You’ll be punished. You’ll be punished. Now, in the sastra, in the Vedic literature, it is said that “Everything belongs to God. Everything is manufactured by God. So everyone has right, not only human being, even the animals, everyone has got the right to live and use things as much as he requires. But if he stocks more, if he acquires more, he becomes the thief, and he is punishable.” Now, suppose if I say, “Oh, I do not know this law. Therefore I have accumulated so much things in my control,” oh, that does not mean that you’ll not be punished. You’ll be punished. You’ll be punishable. This knowledge we require to know. And people at the modern age, they are lacking this knowledge.
So we require hundreds and thousands of spiritual masters who has understood this Krsna science and preach all over the world. That is the problem. Therefore we have formed this society and we, we invite all sincere souls to take part in the society and become a spiritual master, and preach this science all over the world. This is the… There is a great necessity of this knowledge.
Don’t think that Krsna was born in India, and because He spoke on the Vedic principle, that is a sectarian thing. No. Krsna says that
sarva-yonisu kaunteya murtayah sambhavanti yah
tasam brahma mahad yonir
aham bija-pradah pita
Just like children, they are born after the conjugation of the father and mother, similarly, the father is God; the material world is the mother. We have got this body just like the child gets his body from the mother’s womb. The father is the seed-giver. Similarly, as spiritual souls, we are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, but we are put into this material world because we wanted to enjoy this material world. Therefore we are put into this material world. And we have got this body, this material body. So in whatever form we may be, either as human being, or as a cat and dog or more than human being, demigod… So whatever forms there are, many thousands… Eighty, eighty lakhs. Eighty-four lakhs, species. Oh. Eight hundred millions of species of life, there are. But all of them claimed by Krsna that, “I am their father. I am their father,” aham bija-pradah, “because I am the seed-giving father.”
So Bhagavad-gita, the science of Krsna, is not meant for any particular party or particular nation or particular country. It is all meant for everyone, even for the animals. We have to learn this science and preach this science all over the world so that they can be out of the ignorance. They are committing theft. They are committing theft. So we have to save them from the ignorance, from their state of ignorance. This is required.
So we have formed this association, Internal Association for, of, for Krsna, International Society for Krsna Consciousness. And I invite everyone of you, not only in America, from all parts of the world, come and join and learn this Krsna science, and preach all over the world that people will be happy. It is the business of the human being not to exploit each other. The human being is meant for doing good to others. Lord Caitanya preached this philosophy. Especially He advised to the Indians,
bharata-bhumite haila manusya-janma yara janma sarthaka kari’ kara para-upakara
He said that “Anyone who has taken birth in the land of India…” Because India is the land of religion. India is the land of philosophy. India has got many, good many asset of this science of Krsna and science of spiritual knowledge. So anyone who has taken his birth in India, they can fulfill the mission of human life. They have got very good asset. But unfortunately, they have rejected all this asset. They are now enamored by the glamour of material civilization. They are looking to Europe and America and they want this skyscraper building and industry. And in that way they want to be happy now. So…
But actually, that is not the way. That is, rather, misleading. The more we shall advance this material way of life, the more we shall be away from spiritual life. The human, human life, is meant for spiritual realization. Nothing more. We shall be satisfied whatever is supplied by nature, by the order of God. Nature supplies us many things for our maintenance. There are number of grains. There are number of fruits. There is ample supply of milk. So you can satisfy yourself. You can keep your body very healthy, and culture this spiritual knowledge. That is the plan. That is the plan of Krsna. But if we want to possess more, then, er…
(sirens extremely loud in background)
So this is another example of punishment. (laughter) We are also punished and they, for whom they are going, they are also punished. So we are all being punished. As we are making progress, as we are violating the law of nature, the law of God, we are being punished in every step. But due to ignorance, we do not know how we are being… We have been accustomed. We have been callous, “Oh, let us be punished. Go on. Go on like this. Go on.” Oh, this is not human life. We must make a solution of this punishment. That is human life. Because I am put into jail, “All right, it is very good. Without working, I am getting three times food. Let me remain in the jail.” Oh, that is not very intelligent question. You see. We must get out of the jail. So this material world is just like a prison house. We must get out of it. We must get our freedom, the absolute freedom, sac-cid-ananda-vigraha, full of knowledge, full of bliss and eternal. That is our mission. So this knowledge we must get. “Knowledge is the solution.” This is the subject matter of our speech today, “Knowledge is the solution.” This is knowledge, that everything belongs, it belongs to Krsna, or God. We can use them as much as we like.
Just like the elephant is eating hundred pounds. Oh, God is supplying. “Yes. Come on. Take hundred pounds.” But he’s not stocking. He’s eating both times, hundred pounds in the morning, hundred pounds in the evening. He’s supplied. Nature supplies. Come on. You know, gorilla. They are very big animals. And where gorillas are prominent in the African jungle, there is a tree which produces a nut which is stronger than the iron bullet. And the gorilla uses those as peas and chew it nicely. So there is food supply there even for the gorilla, for the elephant, and for the ant also. The ant requires one grain of sugar. And he’s also struggling. So here is a struggle. But the supply is there. Supply is there. Supply is already fixed up.
So your struggle should be–human form of life–the struggle should be how to realize yourself, how to go to, to go back to Godhead, back to Krsna. That should be your struggle, not for economic development. The economic solution is there. If it is there for the elephant, for the ant, why not for you? Because we are in ignorance, we are thinking that we have to devote more time for economic development than to spiritual realization. No. The whole thing is planned like that, that for economic development you need not, you need not try, you need not attempt. You simply try for spiritual realization, for getting out of this entanglement of material life. That is knowledge. And that will make your solution. Thank you very much. If there is any question, you can ask. (end)
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada