Published on October 28th, 2023 | by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Is There a Place for Speculation in Krishna Consciousness?

If philosophical speculation is directed by Sastra and Guru, and if the goal of such philosophical attempts is to achieve Visnu, then that philosophical speculation is not mental speculation.

Bombay 21 January, 1972

My Dear Chaturbhus,

Please accept my blessings. I am happy to receive your nice letter of January 10, 1972, and I am pleased to note that you are asking very intelligent questions. that is natural position for the neophyte devotee who is sincerely seeking to understand what is the Absolute Truth. So I am very much engladdened to hear that you are very intelligent boy, like your father, and that your whole family is advancing in Krishna Consciousness. May Krishna give you all blessings.

Lord Caitanya met Moulana in Sara, U.P., not at Allahabad. His process was to take a quotation from the Koran and convince the Moulana that Krishna Consciousness or pure love of Godhead in mood of selfless devotional service is the ultimate goal of life.

As for the difference between mental speculation and philosophical speculation, we take it that everything is known by the psychological action of the mind, so that philosophical speculation is the same as mental speculation if it is merely the random or haphazard activity of the brain to understand everything and making theories, “if’s” and “maybe’s.” But if philosophical speculation is directed by Sastra and Guru, and if the goal of such philosophical attempts is to achieve Visnu, then that philosophical speculation is not mental speculation.

It is just like this: Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita that “I am the taste of water.” Philosophical speculation in the accepted sense then means to try to understand, under the direction of Sastra and Guru, just how Krishna is the taste of water. The points of Bhagavad-gita, though they are simple and complete, can be understood from unlimited angles of vision. So our philosophy is not dry, like mental speculation. The proper function of the brain or psychological activity is to understand everything through Krishna’s perspective or point-of-view, and so there is no limit to that understanding because Krishna is unlimited, and even though it can be said that the devotee who knows Krishna, he knows everything (15th Chapter), still, the philosophical process never stops and the devotee continues to increase his knowledge even though he knows everything. Try to understand this point, it is a very good question.

Lord Caitanya may have long hair in his early grhastha life, but that does not mean that we should imitate Lord Caitanya. Caitanya also had shaven head and sikha. The important thing is that we follow the regulative guidelines as laid down by great saints and acaryas in our line, and so it is recommended that we wear clean-shaven heads. but there is no hard and fast rule in this respect. If it is practical to grow hairs out, that can be done. But it is not that we may imitate Lord Caitanya by growing big hairs.

Hoping this will meet you in good health and happy mood. Your father is serving nicely in Delhi by printing our books and magazines in Hindi language, and I am very much pleased with him also. Now you protect your good mother and brothers and sisters, help them to advance more and more in Krishna Consciousness by holding chanting in your house regularly daily and by having altar.

If you become very serious to have the ultimate satisfaction of life, then I think that you will practice this KC process very enthusiastically and be successful in all respects.

Your ever well-wisher,

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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About the Author

Founded the Hare Krishna Movement in 1966 in New York. In only 11 years he spread the movement all over the world. He wrote more than 80 books including Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Sri Isopanisad. Prabhupada's books constitute a complete library of Vedic philosophy, religion, literature and culture.

6 Responses to Is There a Place for Speculation in Krishna Consciousness?

  1. Chetan says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa prabhu,

    Now a days in India, Mutual Funds are getting more popular and many people from Hare Krishna society has said that we can invest in Mutual Funds.

    My question is that if we invest in Mutual Funds then would it be against following four regulative principal or not…which also states that no speculations.

    Please share your thoughts and provide reference from Prabhupada’s lectures (if possible).


    • Hare Krishna Chetan

      It is gambling. And it is a scam also. They get people to invest all their money and then crash the market and everyone looses their money. It happens time and time again but the fools don’t learn they are being cheated.

      Vedic way is to invest in land, cows, grains and gold. These are real practical stores of wealth that actually will always have real value.

      Mutual funds have no actual value. It is only based on what someone else will pay for it. And that can change dramatically overnight.

      So it is gambling, breaking the regulative principles.

      You can search for Prabhupada quotes on this yourself at http://www.prabhupadabooks.com

      There are plenty.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  2. subaiah says:

    Can you please give me the meaning of “hare” in Hare Krishna?


    • Hare has a few meanings. It refers to Hara which is Krishna’s internal pleasure potency–Radharani and also it means “he who takes away.” You can search on PrabhupadaBooks.com and get a better definition from Srila Prabhupada directly and post it here.

  3. Gaurasundara Das says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu Madhudvisa Das.
    All Glories To Srila Prabhupada.
    All glories To the assembly of devottees and
    all glories to your service.

    Mental speculation is not considered devotional service.

    “Therefore devotional service is stressed as more important than deliberation or mental speculation to understand the Absolute Truth.” (SB 4.22.38, PURPORT)

    “The word vāsanā (“material desires”) refers to dry speculative knowledge. Such speculative knowledge is only material. As confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.4), a person without devotional service who simply wants to know things (kevala-bodha-labdhaye) gains only dry speculative knowledge but no spiritual profit. This is also confirmed in the Bhakti-sandarbha(111), wherein it is said:
    jīvan-muktā api punar
    yānti saṁsāra-vāsanām
    yady acintya-mahā-śaktau
    bhagavaty aparādhinaḥ
    “Even though one is liberated in this life, if one offends the Supreme Personality of Godhead he falls down in the midst of material desires, of which dry speculation about spiritual realization is one.”
    (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. Antya-lila: 8.26 : PURPORT)

    “Devotional service to Krishna is exactly like a pleasing, jubilant forest of lotus flowers wherein there is ample honey. I request everyone to taste this honey. If all the mental speculators bring the bees of their minds into this forest of lotus flowers and jubilantly enjoy ecstatic love of Krishna day and night, their mental speculation will be completely transcendentally satisfied.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 25.273)

    “Naya-kovidāḥ. Naya-kovidāḥ means nyāya-nipuṇa. Bhagavad-dūtas, those who are gosvāmīs, they place everything with nyāya, or logic. Their instructions are not blind, dogmatic. Naya-kovidāḥ. Everything, what is said by Krishna or His representative, they are not dogmas. Those who are not representative of Krishna, they will say simply dogmas. Just like in every religion there is a dogma. But in bhāgavata religion, bhāgavata-dharma, there is no dogma.”
    (Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.2.1-5 — Calcutta, January 6, 1971)
    Hare Krishna!

  4. Gourasundara Dasa says:

    Hare Krishna.
    Lectures : Song Purports : Purport to Bhajahu Re Mana — Los Angeles, May 27, 1972 : 720527PU.LA :
    The example is given, just like wood, firewood. If you somehow or other, you can ignite fire, then the fire will vanquish the wood. The blazing fire will consume the whole wood. Similarly, you have got the fire of spiritual consciousness. If you can evoke that spiritual consciousness, this material consciousness will be burnt up. It will come out from this material body, but when it comes out, and then it will vanquish the material body. Very good, good example. The fire, there is…, in the wood there is fire, everyone knows. So you ignite fire, and if you make it dry, then the fire takes place very quickly. And when it is blazing fire, then the wood becomes vanquished. There is no more existence of the wood. Similarly, if you can invoke your spiritual consciousness, Krishna consciousness, when it will be very nicely going on, then your material existence will be finished. This is the process. Durlabha mānava-janama sat-saṅge taraha e bhava-sindhu re. In this way, just get on the other side of this ocean of nescience.
    Bg.9-1.The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence.
    Bg.3-31. Those persons who execute their duties according to My injunctions and who follow this teaching faithfully, without envy, become free from the bondage of fruitive actions.
    Bg.3-32. But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not follow them regularly are to be considered bereft of all knowledge, befooled, and ruined in their endeavours for perfection.
    Bg.introduction. He tells Arjuna that He is relating this supreme secret to him because Arjuna is His devotee and His friend. The purport of this is that Bhagavad-gita is a treatise which is especially meant for the devotee of the Lord.

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