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Purujit Dasa: What Is The Proof That What You Perceive Is Reality? (Interview)

Often students contact us because they want to write about the Hare Krishna movement for their school projects. Ryan from Dawson college in Montreal approached us and the following is the conversation that took place.

Purujit: What attracts you to Hare Krishna?

Ryan: Well, I just find it very interesting.

Purujit: Is there anything that interests you specifically? Or If I may ask you what is your understanding of our philosophy?

Ryan: I don’t actually know what your philosophy is. That's precisely why I would like to interview you, to understand more about your philosophy.

Purujit: So what is your attraction?

Ryan: I wouldn't say I have a specific attraction. I'm just fascinated by the whole idea of renouncing your possessions…

Purujit: All your possessions...Well, you see that's actually not our philosophy.

Ryan: No?

Purujit: That's not at all philosophy. We don't say that. That's a misunderstanding. We say that everything belongs to Krsna. Krsna is God. God is the supreme possessor. Krsna is the supreme possessor. He possesses everything. So if you think that: “I possess something.” That is illusion. But if you think: “I can renounce it”. That’s also illusion because you were never the owner in the first place. You see? So our philosophy is that whatever we have, it does not matter whether you’re rich or poor, you use whatever you have in service to Krsna. For example we do a feast. Whatever we eat, we don’t eat ourselves, we offer it to Krsna. We cook nice delicious preparations and we offer it to Krsna and we distribute to everyone. So in this way, we are satisfied, we eat nice delicious foodstuffs, but the consciousness is purified. Instead of thinking I am the enjoyer, I am the center of the universe,  I transform that into Krsna is the enjoyer, Krsna is the center of the universe and because everyone whether it’s a human, or an animal, or plants, anything living is part of Krsna, that is the true universal brotherhood. That’s a real platform of unity for everyone. Just like if you water a root of a tree, automatically all the branches and leaves are nourished. You don’t have to go separately water every single branch and leaf. If you cover the root, automatically all the branches and leaves are included without separate endeavor. So similarly, if you understand Krsna, if you serve  Krsna, if you love  Krsna, then you love everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, and all these things. These things are keeping us apart.

Ryan: So everyone pretty much can be a Hare Krsna…

Purujit: Not that everyone can be… Everyone is a Hare Krsna. This is called Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is our original consciousness. We’re all looking for eternity. See? No one wants to die. No one wants to die. Why? If we’re simply a bunch of chemicals, if we’re simply a matter as the materialistic scientists they try to say, that consciousness is simply some by-product of chemical processes, why are we hankering for eternity? That doesn’t make any sense. Where is that desire for eternity coming from if everything is just matter, temporary?

Ryan: I do not necessarily hanker for eternity.

Purujit: You do.

Ryan: No, I don’t think so.

Purujit: You do. Well, if I pulled out a gun, you would say: please don’t kill me. Why?

Ryan: I wouldn’t call it a hankering for eternity.

Purujit: Whatever you’re doing in your life, for example you go to school, but why you’re going to school?

Ryan: To better myself. To learn…

Purujit: To learn, to get knowledge, that is another thing. But ultimately if you don’t get a diploma…would you be still going to Dawson college?

Ryan: I guess no.

Purujit: No… so, the diploma is there, because you need work. You need a job. The whole system is based on that.

Ryan: Well, you see I have a problem with that whole system…

Purujit: Ok. That’s ok. But what I’m saying is that whether you have a problem or not, you have have to submit. This is the problem. You can’t say: No, I’m free. You have to follow the system. And why? Because you need a job, to get money, the feed your body, right? You need to eat, you need to sleep, you need all these things. But if you don’t desire eternity, why don’t you just forget about all these things and just die? See? So it’s a contradiction. If you don’t desire eternity, then you should not eat, you should not sleep, you should not do any of these things. All these things are meant to preserve the body, right?

Ryan: You see, for me, I accept death. When it comes I will accept it.

Purujit: That is another thing, but you’re trying to preserve the body. That’s a proof that you want eternity. You want to preserve the body for eternity. Just like old people. If you tell old people: Well, you’re old, you know you’re body is useless, so we’re going to kill you, are they going to agree?

Ryan: I guess no…

Purujit: They’re not going to agree. Even if they had cancer, even if they had such an intense pain, no one is going to agree that yes, I want to die, because we’re eternal. So we’re all looking for eternity. Another thing you have mentioned is knowledge. We want to know, we want to better ourselves, like you said.

Ryan: We want to expand and grow..

Purujit: That’s right. That’s right. Even people who don’t go to university, they read newspaper, they watch TV, there’s an eternal thirst for information or in other words knowledge. So that’s another aspect, the knowledge and we want pleasure. Everyone wants pleasure. No one wants suffering. So these things, these three are called sat cit ananda. These are the characteristics of the spirit soul. So all these are fulfilled when we connect ourselves to Krsna. Krsna, the word Krsna means, the reservoir of all pleasure. The word Krsna is not a sectarian word, the translation of the word Krsna means the reservoir of all pleasure. So everyone is looking for Krsna ultimately and that’s why everyone is a Hare Krsna or a Krsna conscious person. That’s our philosophy. This is not a religion, it’s not a faith, it’s not something sectarian. This is actually a science, which is applicable to everyone. Not everyone is accepting it as a science, but that’s not our problem.

Ryan: So the mantra helps in this?

Purujit: Yes the mahamantra revives this original consciousness. Right now, we’re trying to satisfy these three needs of the soul, eternity, knowledge and blissfulness in a wrong atmosphere. Everything here in the material world is asat, acit, nirananda, in other words noneternal, full of ignorance and full of suffering. Even the most wonderful thing in the material world, sex life, sex pleasure, it doesn’t last. It lasts for a few seconds and then it’s over and because it’s over it turns into suffering. Why is it suffering? Because we lament: Oh it’s over. So it’s not really pleasure, it’s misery, but we think it’s pleasure.

Ryan: So the mantra brings you into another type of consciousness?

Purujit: So the mahamantra brings you not into another consciousness, but it brings you into your real consciousness and takes you from the other consciousness. When we’re trying to reach eternity, knowledge and blissfulness in the material world, it is our adulterated or brainwashed consciousness. Everything here is temporary, whatever you see is going to be deteriorated and it’s going to be finished. Everything is full of ignorance, even your own body. You don’t know what’s going on in that body, right? You don’t know how your organs are working. So everything is full of ignorance and as I explained even the pleasure here where everything is temporary and full of ignorance is not real pleasure, it’s suffering, so because the soul is looking for looking for Krsna and can’t find him in the material world it’s called fanaticism, or dogmatism, or blind faith. So this movement, this Krsna consciousness movement is to get people out of this fanaticism and bring them to real scientific understanding of the self, of God and of the real pleasure.

Ryan: So how did you life change, since you’ve started to practice this type of consciousness?

Purujit: It’s not a question of… It is not something subjective. This is an universal science. You can also understand this. Just like mathematics 2+2 is 4, it’s the same truth for you, for me, for everyone, it’s just a question of learning it. It doesn’t mean that for you, because of your type of conditioning you’ve learned that 2+2 is 4, and because I have a different type of conditioning, I’m going to learn 2+2 is 5. Right? So this is what I’m trying to explain that this is not a faith, this is not a religion, it’s a universal science. Ok?

Ryan: I see. It’s something everyone can have an access to..

Purujit: Just like if I ask you, what is the evidence that what you perceive is reality?

Ryan: I don’t follow.

Purujit: Can you give me any evidence that what you perceive right now is the actual truth?

Ryan: Well, I would give you something empirically proven.

Purujit: Hm?

Ryan: I would give you something empirical.

Purujit: What does it mean?

Ryan: Something tangible, something I can perceive with my eyes, with my senses..

Purujit: Ok…but there might be many things you see, but  they might not be necessarily true, like for example in a dream you see many things, you hear many things, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s true.

Ryan: Because I know.

Purujit: So I’m asking you, ok, you know, but if you want to prove to someone else for example myself, if I ask you ok, you know it, but how do I know that what you know is the truth? What would you say?

Ryan: I would try to give you some universally accepted evidence…

Purujit: No, but let’s say you perceive something, right now you perceive my voice, so what is the evidence that it’s not illusion? That it’s not your dream?

Ryan: Because I know. I’m conscious

Purujit: How do you know? How do you know that you’re conscious?

Ryan: Because I know.

Purujit: How can you empirically prove it to me?

Ryan: Because I just know.

Purujit: Well you know! But how do I know?!

Ryan: Well, I guess it’s not possible to give you an evidence.

Purujit: Yes. So that means that whatever you perceive is a belief. It’s not actually a fact, it’s a belief.  It’s a faith, so you’re going on in your life and you percieve things, but the bottom line is that you simply believe. You might even go through the empirical evidence, the science and this and that, you might be reading books, but ultimately it’s just your faith, right?

Ryan: Right.

Purujit: So this is not science. This is not scientific. As long as we don’t have anything concrete, at any time I can just say to you that it might be just delusion and I can totally smash whatever your science is. So in order to come to real science, the real understanding, we have to come to the Vedas. You see, our movement is based on the Vedic literature, the Vedas…

Ryan: Yes the Vedas, I have heard of it before

Purujit: Ok, so the Vedas they give a very nice definition of how to get out of this belief and come to science. I’m going to read you a small portion here. This is coming from the Sri Isopanisad. There are 108 Upanisads this is one of them, so the first verse says:

oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ

pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate

pūrṇasya pūrṇam ādāya

pūrṇam evāvaśiṣyate

The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete. And because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped -as a complete whole. Whatever is produced of the complete whole is also complete by itself. And because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.

You see? So this is the real science.

Ryan: How can you prove it to me though ?

Purujit: Well, I’m just explaining, I’m not finished yet. Our spiritual master has given us the purport for this verse and explanation and he gives the perfect definition of God. You see the word “God” is rather abstract. It’s very vague, no one really know what it means. We’re using it for all kinds of nonsensical motivations. So here, I’m just going to read you a portion. It’s a long purport, but I’m just going to pick up the important portion. Alright.

“The Complete Whole, or the Supreme Absolute Truth, is the complete Personality of Godhead. Impersonal Brahman forms an incomplete realization of the Absolute Complete, and so also does the conception of Paramātman, the Supersoul. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha: impersonal Brahman realization is the realization of His sat, or eternity aspect, and Paramātman, Supersoul realization, is the realization of His sat and cit, eternity and knowledge aspects.

But realization of the Personality of Godhead is realization of all the transcendental features, sat, cit, and ānanda, bliss. In the Personal concept, this is realized in complete, form (vigraha). And so the Complete Whole is not formless. If He is formless, or if He is less than His creation in any other thing, He cannot be complete. The Complete Whole must have everything, both within our experience and beyond our experience. Otherwise He cannot be complete.

(Sri Isopanisad Invocaton)

You see? This is very important. The Complete Whole must have both everything within our experience and everything beyond our experience, so when we speak of God, He’s the Complete Whole, right?  There are things which are in your experience, like you said : “ I know, because of my empirical, my eyes, and this and that.., but that’s not complete, there are things beyond your experience, right? For example…

Ryan: Yeah but how can you prove it?

Purujit: Well, it’s a fact by experience. Is there anything else besides things which are within your experience and things which are beyond your experience? Is there anything beyond that?

Ryan: I can’t think of anything right now…

Purujit: So? What is the objection then? If there’s nothing beyond that, how can you say that it’s not true? You first of all bring something…

Ryan: I don’t think I can accept that.

Purujit: Why not? Why not?

Ryan: Because I don’t know it for sure.

Purujit: Well, just because you don’t know doesn’t mean that it’s not true. That’s not a valid argument. For example if you’re blind it does not mean that everyone else is blind. That’s not a very good argument. Because I don’t know that means it’s not true. It’s not a very good argument.

Ryan: Well how can you prove that what you experience is the truth?

Purujit: No I don’t say that. You misunderstood. I don’t say that what I experience is the truth.

Ryan: No?

Purujit: No, no, no what I say is that first of all we have to come to reality. What you are experiencing by your senses, what I experience by my senses, by my speculation, by my limited faith(because that’s what it is… It’s a faith. Our limited experience is a faith) then we cannot really discuss anything. You believe in something, I believe in something, he believes in something and there’s a fight. Right?

Ryan: Unfortunately…

Purujit: …unfortunately, so we have to come to some universal understanding, so this is a universal understanding, the Complete Whole is everything within our experience and everything beyond our experience. Imagine everything..everything.. everything within your experience whatever you have experienced since the beginning of you life until now everything everything alright? Take that.. and then take everything that is beyond your experience, everything, everything, everything. Alright?

Ryan: Right.

Purujit: So that’s God. Within your experience, beyond your experience the two together that’s God according to the Vedas. Is there anything else beyond that? Can you come up with anything else beyond that conception? I don’t think so. No, there cannot be anything, it’s impossible. If there’s anything, then ok we can discuss, but if there’s nothing, we can go on. So because the Complete Whole or God must have everything within our experience, beyond our experience, He must be a person, because we have an experience of a personality. That means He must be also a personality. You see? Because if He’s not a personality, as our spiritual master Swami Prabhupada he says: “If He is formless, or if He is less than His creation in any other thing, He cannot be complete.” (Iso, Invocation purport) So if we deny anything : No, God cannot be this, God cannot be that. Then we don’t really understand the meaning of unlimited-ness. We’re trying to bring God into our limited conception, our faith conception.

Ryan: Ok. May ask you about your name? That’s a name that was given to you..

Purujit: Yes.

Ryan: Is there any meaning to it? What does it mean?

Purujit: It’s a name of Krsna’s servant. Krsna’s son. It’s in the Bhagavad-gita. You ever heard of the Bhagavadgita?

Ryan: No.

Purujit: That’s one of our major scriptures. It’s called “ The Song of God” That’s where Krsna explains about His nature. You see, we cannot understand God by our speculation, but when God Himself comes and He explains I’m like this, I’m like this, this and that, then we can have the access to the unlimited knowledge, or the knowledge which is beyond our experience. That is the only way how to understand God

Ryan: Through worshipping Krsna?

Purujit: No, no, no. I’m saying we have to take the information from Krsna directly. We cannot speculate. Worshipping that’s another thing. First why worship?  First, we have to know… We should not be like a nonsense, fanatics, worship but you don’t know what you’re worshipping, right? So we have to know first of all and I’m explaining the process of how we can know that which is beyond our experience. It’s by hearing, not by seeing. For example, you were never here, in the temple, see?  You don’t have time to come, but if I tell you we have an altar here, we have a nice offering here, I’m just cooking something for Krsna, some nice offering, this and that, the candles, this and that, although you can’t see, you are not here present you can see through your ear, provided I’m not lying. Right? So this is a superior process. This is called descending method of acquiring knowledge. The materialistic science is based on the ascending method, the research, that is always imperfect, that is actually a faith.

Ryan: Sorry?

Purujit: It’s faith. A belief. That’s why they change the conclusions, the scientists they change the conclusions, like in Dawson, you have a new book every year, right? A new edition, they update the information, that means that it’s faith, it’s not knowledge. They believe in something.

Ryan: Well, they have new discoveries.

Purujit: Yes, that’s called faith. You never discover knowledge. Knowledge is knowledge forever. Just like 2+2 is 4. Whether you discover it or not doesn’t make any difference, alright? So Krsna explains the Bhagavad-gita, He comes down to the Earth, He came 5000 years ago and He has spoken this science of Bhagavad-gita, where He explains about His nature, about we’re not the body and so on and so on. The first understanding of this  transcendental science is that just like you had a body of a small child in the past, then later on you had a body of a teenager, now you’re a grown up man, similarly, when you’re going to be an old man, you’re going to change your body. You see? This is logic- the childhood body is no longer here. All the cells everything is finished, gone, but you’re still here… you…

Ryan: But it’s the same body.

Purujit: No, it’s not the same. How can you say it’s the same? It’s changing, the form is completely different. All the cells are gone, they are finished…flushed down the toilet, right? The body consists of five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether and then there’s a subtle body: the mind, intelligence and ego, right? So the gross elements, the earth goes to earth, you see? You’re passing stool so the earth goes to earth, you’re sweating, the water goes to water and so on and so on, the air, you know?  So your body is changing constantly but you, the observer, the spirit soul, you don’t change. You are still the same.

Ryan: So there’s the soul.

Purujit: Yes, you are the soul, you’re the observer, or the active principle. If we were just chemicals and nothing else, then it would be possible to inject the chemicals when the body is dead, you just inject the missing chemical and you make him alive again, but that’s not possible, why?

Ryan: Well, it’s happening all the time, they are saving people like that.

Purujit: No, that’s not true.

Ryan: They prolong life.

Purujit: Well, you can’t prolong the life forever.

Ryan: They do!

Purujit: You can’t make the body alive forever.

Ryan: Not forever, but they can extend the life-span

Purujit: Well, that’s ok. As long as you can’t bring it to life when by the laws of karma it is destined to die, you can’t change it. You can bring so many scientific methods, so many medicines or whatever, but you can’t bring it to life, so that’s the proof.

Ryan: So as soon as by the law of karma it is decided…

Purujit: Yes, life comes from life. You can’t see a living child coming from a dead stone, from something dead, but you see there are living parents, the living mum, the living dad, they have a child. If the mum is dead, if the dad is dead, they won’t have any child. So life comes from life. Life doesn’t come from matter. This is empirical science, because you can see it. Nowhere in the nature you can see that life is coming from matter, you can’ see that anywhere.

Ryan: So the Hare Krishnas believe in immortal life…

Purujit: That’s not a belief! That’s a fact. Quite the opposite, what I’m saying is that what the materialistic scientists they say that life is coming from matter, that’s a belief, because you can’t see it. You can’t empirically prove it. It’s the opposite, try to understand. We’re saying that the materialistic science is a belief and the Vedas that’s a real science. That’s our teaching. It’s a very complicated concept, because you see I can understand even from your questions that you already have some preconceived ideas that this is a religion, so…but if you understand this, that we’re actually saying, our teaching is the science and we say that the materialistic science is a belief, then you can understand better.

Ryan: I see. So this is what distinguishes you from other religions

Purujit: Yes.

Ryan: One thing I want to ask, how do you deal with people who call you a cult, a religion…

Purujit: Well, you don’t have enemies?

Ryan: Let me think.., no I don’t think so.

Purujit: You don’t have any people that harass you sometimes?

Ryan: Not that I would know of, at least from the beginning of my life I don’t think I had any enemies. There are people who might not like me, but..

Purujit: That’s it! That’s it! Similarly, we have people who like us and there are people who don’t like us. You can’t avoid this. This is the word of duality.

Ryan: But isn’t that frustrating to deal with…

Purujit: Well, it’s always frustrating if you have enemies, people who don’t like you, it’s always frustrating.  This is not specific about us. Just like everyone if you have friends, you’ll have enemies. If you have enemies, you’ll have friends.

Ryan: Do you consider people who don’t like you your “enemies”?

Purujit: You can call it whichever way, but the point is this is the world of duality. There is good and there is bad. You can’t avoid it. You can’t have good without bad and you can’t have bad without good.

Ryan: Ok I think that would be it. I really thank you.. I really appreciate this…

Purujit: Oh that’s it? You can ask more if you want.

Ryan: Well, if you don’t mind I have here some questions for school which are more about the superficial.

Purujit: Ok.

Ryan: For example about the robes…

Purujit: Well, you like your dress, you like to dress in a certain way and we also like to dress in a certain way. It’s a question of desire. How can you say: “No, you can’t wear this, because I don’t like it. You might not like it, but I like it. You might like something else, that’s ok, we don’t say that you change your dress. We don’t say to anyone.

Ryan: No, what I’m trying to get is…

Purujit: I know I know, but I’m saying. I’m trying to explain this thing. Why even this question? Why even this question?

Ryan: You seem to be getting defensive, don’t get defensive, I don’t mean it in that way

Purujit: No, I understand. I understand that you are a nice boy, but I’m trying to explain a higher point. Why even this question is there? I know that you mean well, but I’m trying to make you understand, why this question… for example there are people who dress in a really really weird way, but you don’t go and ask them why are you dressed like this?

Ryan: I guess what I’m trying to get at is there any significance…

Purujit: It’s like a uniform. It’s like a uniform. Like the police they have a uniform, so everyone knows this is the police so similarly we have a uniform so everyone knows these are the Hare Krishnas, so when someone is interested we can immediately explain about our philosophy and we can immediately preach to him, you know? It’s like a commercial. We’re like a walking commercial. When I go shopping here or if I walk down the street, people they chant: HARE KRSNA! HARE KRSNA! So you’re like a superstar. You put on Hare Krishna dress and you’re like a superstar.

Ryan: So people are appreciating…

Purujit: Yes everyone knows and people are greeting : Hare Krsna! Hey Hare Krishna, how are you? Like that…

Ryan: So they also say the mantra in a way…

Purujit: And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make people chant this Hare Krsna mantra, because this goes even beyond intellectualism, this Hare Krishna mantra it penetrates  right into the soul and it awakens the soul, so it doesn’t matter even if people don’t understand the philosophy, if they simply chant, they begin the process of deprogramming from the brainwash.

Ryan: So you’re trying to engage with the public…

Purujit: Oh yes, definitely. Definitely. Because we see that everyone is suffering on account of this ignorance. Everyone is miserable, you know, so if you see that someone is miserable, someone is going to commit suicide, if you’re a human you have to help him, so we have to help our fellow citizens, because we take them as our brothers and sisters.

Ryan: So that is considered like a great help? Is it considered like a “good deed” in the Hare Krsna?

Purujit: So isn’t that the greatest help in the world? If you tell someone look you are eternal and I’m gonna connect you with the greatest pleasure Krsna, isn’t that the greatest help in the world?

Ryan: Sure it is. I‘m sure many people would appreciate it

Purujit: Everyone. Simply they are miseducated. They have all these misconceptions and that’s why they can’t understand our philosophy. That’s the only problem, otherwise anyone who reads our literature, he will accept, any intelligent man he will accept: ”Yes, this is nice.

Ryan: So your literature is I guess playing a significant role…

Purujit: Our literature is the most essential. If you don’t read our literature, you cant understand this movement. Our spiritual master has translated over 80 volumes of Vedic literature, it’s for the first time that the most ancient knowledge of mankind, the Vedic knowledge is available to the Western world in English language.  So we very much try to distribute this literature and propagate it so people can understand. It’s read all over the world actually and big scholars from Harvard and Cambridge and this and that they appreciated the translations of our spiritual master because he’s presenting the Vedic culture, the original Indian culture as it is without any interpretation.  There are many people who comment on the Bhagavad-gita for example there are 800 different translations of the Bhagavad-gita, but none of them actually present the message of  Krsna as it is, they always put  their own interpretations, their own opinion into the translation.

Ryan: I didn’t know it was so elaborate!

Purujit: Yes. Because this, as we’re discussing, it’s a very new concept especially for the Westerners, it’s a very new concept, we have a completely different way of thinking, so it’s not easy for the general mass to understand our movement. So we’re struggling, we’re very much struggling to make people understand our movement.

Ryan: How do you make them understand?

Purujit: Yes, we follow our teachings. The Vedas describe for this particular age, there is a description of this particular age in the Vedas like a prediction and it’s mentioned that in this age the only way of self-realization to attain self-realization is to chant the name o f Hari, to chant the name of God.

harer nāma harer nāma

harer nāmaiva kevalam

kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva

nāsty eva gatir anyathā

"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way."

This is mentioned in the Brhad Naradiya Purana, one of the Puranas, the ancient Vedic literatures. So we chant Hare Krishna, we try to engage everyone: please, please, come and chant with us, let’s just chant and we distribute what is called Krsna prasadam, food which is offered to Krsna, as I mentioned before we offer nice preparations, vegetarian, we offer it to Krsna and we distribute it to the public. Everyone likes nice chanting, everyone likes nice music and everyone likes eating. So we try to distribute this, in this way please come and chant and eat and if you’re interested, please try to hear this philosophy. Those who are intelligent, those who are intellectual, intellectually based they hear the philosophy and discuss with us. We’re not converting people, we’re not forcing them, we’re not pushing them, we don’t do a guilt trip on them, we simply ask them you please come and hear and try to understand the philosophy. It’s an educational movement

Ryan: So people have to decide for themselves.

Purujit: Always, because unless you decide for yourselves… You see this is the difference between faith and knowledge. You have to go to school, you’re forced by somehow or other, by circumstances you’re forced to go school and you have to learn sometimes it’s not very interesting, but you have to learn it because you have to pass the test whatever whatever, but the real knowledge starts with inquiry. The Vedas they mention the beginning of knowledge is the athato brahma jijnasa, the inquiry. Like now, you’re calling me, there’s some inquiry, so I can tell you. If you were on the street, if you were having fun with your friends and I would say please please, I want to tell you about the Krsna consciousness philosophy, can you stop for a while, you’d be distracted, but because you’re asking me, I can tell you so much information, like that.  So this chanting Hare Krsna and taking prasadam, it spiritualizes the person and the natural inquiry comes on the surface. Who am I? What am I doing here?  Why am I going to die? Who is God? Is there a God? What is the connection between me and other people and other living beings like that… Questions like that they are very important. Unless people ask these questions, they are not better than the animals.

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