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Srila Prabhupada on Hegel

The following is an excerpt from a series of conversations with Srila Prabhupada on the topic of Western philosophy. These can be found in the book entitled Dialectic Spiritualism.

Hayagriva: And, uh, we can go on to Hegel?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Hayagriva: He did quite a bit of reading in Indian philosophy, but it seems to be confined to impersonal...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Hayagriva: ...the Upanisads.

Prabhupada: It is simply, Upanisads is just the opposite -- spirit is not matter. That is the instruction of Upanisads.

Hayagriva: He writes, "Spirit, in so far as it is the spirit of God is not a spirit beyond the stars, beyond the world. On the contrary, God is present, omnipresent and exists as spirit in all spirits. God is a living God who is acting and working. Religion is a product of the divine spirit. It is not a discovery of man but a work of divine operation."

Prabhupada: This is very important thing, that a man cannot manufacture religion. That is very important point. Therefore we say religion means the words, the order given by God. Just like Krsna says: sarva-dharman parityajya. [Bg 18.66]

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.]

"You have manufactured so many religious system. You give up, kick it out. It has no value. Here is religion." And in the beginning He said, dharma-samsthapanarthaya: "I have appeared to re-establish the principle of religion." [Bg 4.8]

[In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.]

And He says at last that, "Give up. Kick out all this so-called religion. Here is religion." What is that? Mam ekam saranam: "You just surrender to Me." This is religion. And Bhagavata [6.3.19] says, dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam: "The order given by God, that is religion." Otherwise everything is bogus, it has no meaning. The same example: law means which is given by the government. You cannot say, "I have prepared the law." Who will care for you? Even the small law, "Keep to the right," that is religion. If you say, "What is the wrong? If I keep to the left..." No. That will not be accepted. "Keep to the right," is religion and, "Keep to the left" is criminal. So religious, pious and impious, everything on the order of Krsna, or God. If you follow strictly the instruction of Krsna, then you are religious, pious, transcendental, devotee, everything. And if you defy Krsna, you manufacture your own way, then you are rascal, asura: na mam duskrtino mudhah prapadyante naradhamah [Bg 7.15]. He is naradhamah. This is the way. Lowest of the mankind: naradhamah, who do not follow the instruction of Krsna; our God.

[Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.]

Hayagriva: He writes, "The lifting of the spirit to God occurs in the innermost regions of spirit upon the basis of thought. Religion as the innermost affair of man has here its center and the root of its life. God is in his very essence thought and thinking, however His image and configuration, configuration be determined otherwise."

Prabhupada: His image, if God is absolute, His image is also God. If God is absolute, then His words are also God. That is absolute conception. There is not different. So the image which we worship in the temple, if it is actually image of God, then it as good as God. God is absolute. God says that, "This earth, water..., so everything is My energy." So even if you say, "This image is made of stone," but the stone is God's energy, bhumi -- earth. So there is a regulative principle, just like a wire, a copper wire, it is carrying electricity. Although the copper wire is not electricity, but it is carrying electricity. Similarly, if you take even material -- otherwise spiritually everything is God, that is another thing. But materially if we distinguish that the copper wire, it appears as copper wire but if you touch, "Oh, there is electricity." So it is manipulated. Similarly, by the rules and regulation as enunciated by the experienced spiritual master and guru. Ah then even if you think it is stone, it is God. The same example, you see it is electric wire, but it is electricity. Similarly: arcye visnau sila-dhir gurusu nara-matih [Padma Purana]. It is..., this has been warned: don't think that this sila -- stone, is God. Just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as soon as saw Jagannatha, immediately fainted. So we have to be trained up by the instruction of God -- how to realize God everywhere.

Hayagriva: Hegel considered, "History and theodicy to be integral." He looks on history, "As a justification of God," and he rejects the Vedic conception of history because he doesn't see it, "Unfolding any particular meaning." That is, "Universes are created, maintained and annihilated in an apparently meaningless way." For Hegel, "History has to tell the story of man's elevation to God. Apart from the history of man, God would be alone and lifeless. God seems to depend on human history. God is not transcendental but is manifest in the world."

Prabhupada: But if He is dependent on history, how He is God? This is nonsense proposal. [laughing] He is dependent on history!

Hayagriva: Doesn't the history of mankind necessarily...

Prabhupada: Whatever it may be, God is independent -- svatantra. Janmady asya yatah anvayad itaratas ca arthesu abhijnah svarat [SB 1.1.1]. Svarat -- independent. He does not depend on anything; still He is God. That is God. If He is dependent on anything, then He is not God.

Hayagriva: But does the history of man necessarily make any sense? He, he saw it as progressing, as man, here again is evolution...

Prabhupada: As soon, as soon as there is creation there is history. From the very beginning, that this is the point of creation and it will go on, history, until it is ended. Just like as soon as you are born, your horoscope is made -- the history. Now throughout your whole life there are so many activities. And after, we also believe next, next life the history continues. But superficially we make history from the beginning to the end of this body, that's all. But God is not subject to such rule that, "God is created at a certain point and He is ended at a certain point." Then where is the question of history? There is no history. History is for the small things. For me there is past, present, future. For God there is no such thing as past, present, future. So where is the history? History means past, present, future.

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: But God has no past, present, future. So where is history? It is all nonsense. He does not know what is the meaning of God.

Hayagriva: Hegel placed a great deal of emphasis on human freedom.

Prabhupada: There is no freedom. That is another nonsense.

Hayagriva: Yes. [Laughter]

Prabhupada: [laughs] He is subjected to birth, death, old age. Where is his freedom? That is another nonsense.

Hayagriva: He accuses the Orientals, mainly the Indians... He says, "The Orientals do not know that the spirit is free in itself or that man is free in himself. Because they do not know it, they are not free."

Prabhupada: But is he free? Why he died? [laughs] The Orientals he is accusing. Why he died? This is their nonsense speculation.

Hayagriva: He says, "They only know that the one" -- that is, the one Brahman -- "Is free; therefore such freedom is only arbitrary."

Prabhupada: Then why he says that the human being should be free?

Hayagriva: He says, "This one, supreme one is therefore a despot, not a free man, not a man. Only the Germanic nations have in and through Christianity achieved the consciousness that man as man is free and that freedom of the spirit constitutes his very nature. This consciousness arose first in religion and the innermost region of spirit."

Prabhupada: Christian religion is that the man either goes to heaven or goes to hell. So he has got the freedom either go to hell or go to heaven. This freedom he has got. But who gives him hell or heaven? He has got the freedom to make choice, but when he is going to hell, then where is his freedom? That where is the distinction between hell and heaven? These are... If he is Christian he should answer that the man is given chance, once, either to go to hell or go to heaven. So all right, if he goes to heaven it is all right. Then if he goes to hell, where is freedom? This common sense also, that every citizen has got the freedom to live as free citizen or to go to the jail, but one who goes to the jail -- where is freedom? And who gives him the chance of free citizenship or prisoner's life? Therefore his freedom is dependent on somebody, higher principle, who gives him chance to remain free or go to prison. That God is the supreme controller. He gives the living entity freedom to make his choice, either go to hell or go to heaven, but he is not completely free as God is free.

Hayagriva: He says, "The grandeur of Indian religion and poetry as well as Indian philosophy have been acknowledged especially in their rejection and sacrifice of the senses." Now his conception is typical nineteenth century...

Prabhupada: He has no study of the Vedic literature; a still he poses himself to remark on the Vedic literature. That is his ignorance.

Hayagriva: He considers the goal of Indian philosophy to be spiritual as well as physical extinction; nirvana.

Prabhupada: Physical extinction, everyone says that -- even Christian religion says -- you go to hell, go to heaven. So who goes to heaven? Who goes to heaven? What is the qualification? Then reasonably, one who has given up this physical.

Hayagriva: He says, "Spiritual extinction as well as physical, nirvana."

Prabhupada: But then he has no idea what is spiritual. Spiritual is eternal: na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg 2.20]. How does he [indistinct] it. That spiritually... Spirit is also annihilated, then where is the difference between matter and spirit? Imperfect knowledge.

[For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.]

And still they are big philosopher. Scanty knowledge.

Hayagriva: He sees, "The religion of India as a religion in which man is handed laws from a God who is exterior to man, from a will that is entirely foreign to man. And he sees this to be opposed to what he considers to be a more advanced religion, in which the individual soul is lifted to the supernatural through the use of reason, internal sanction or subjective confirmation." In other words, he sees, "The Indian religion as being blind following of an exterior will." He, he says that, "Man can only attain God through the exercise of his own free will."

Prabhupada: Then why the animals cannot? Animal is given complete free will.

Hayagriva: He says, "Animals have no will."

Prabhupada: That is another foolishness. If he has no will, why he goes to different direction?

Hayagriva: He says that, "Animals have no right to life because they have no will."

Prabhupada: Just see. What is the symptom of life? First of all settle up, how do you know? We can distinguish that this table has no life, that a small ant on the table there is life. How you distinguish, that here is life, there is no life? Then what is the symptom of life? If the symptom of life is there in animal, there is life. Why does he say there is no life? What is this philosophy? There is life. He is eating; you are eating. He is sleeping; you are sleeping. He is having sex; you are having sex. He is also afraid of enemy; you are also afraid. Then why do you say that you have life, he has no life? What is the symptom of life? This is the primary symptom of life. So if he has got these primary symptoms of life, how do you say he has no life? That means you have no intelligence even.

Hayagriva: He associates religion with...

Prabhupada: As this table has no life, because the table does not require to eat, the table does not require to sleep... But another thing a small ant, he is hankering after, "Where is a little sugar?" hankering, eating. That is life.

Hayagriva: He would see that as instinct.

Prabhupada: So what is nonsense instinct? The man has got these [laughs] symptoms and the small ant has got these symptoms. That is life. That vague description, and still they are big philosopher. No perfect knowledge.

Hayagriva: He associates religion with art. He says, "Religion represents or pictures the absolute, whereas philosophy conceives or thinks of it."

Prabhupada: Yes. So religion without philosophical basis is sentiment. It has no value.

Hayagriva: And for him God is necessarily manifest in the finite; therefore he places the incarnation of Christ, the incarnation of God as central in the Christian religion. That is in order to, in order to be manifest God has to become finite. God has to become man.

Prabhupada: Then if God is man, if He is taken as man, then why His instruction should be followed?

Hayagriva: Excuse me? Why His instructions...?

Prabhupada: Should be followed? You are man, I am man. Why should you follow my instructions?

Hayagriva: Well he says..., he says you shouldn't, because there's no exterior will to be followed. This is Hegel's philosophy.

Prabhupada: Then he is godless, God has no use [?], will. Either he is godless or God has no will. Is it not? Then he is animal and if he says the animal has no will, then God becomes exactly like animal.

Hayagriva: Speaking of the body and the soul he says, "The body, insofar as it is an uncultivated piece of external existence, is inadequate to the spirit. The spirit must first take possession of it in order to make it it's animated tool. But in reference to other people, I am essentially free even as to my body. It is but a vain sophistry that says that the real person, the soul, cannot be injured by maltreatment offered to one's body. Violence done to the body is really done to me." Since the body, he says is the tool of the soul...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Hayagriva: ...if you injure the body of a person, you are actually injuring the person...

Prabhupada: Yes.

Hayagriva: ...because you are injuring his property.

Prabhupada: Yes. But why the Christians killing?

Hayagriva: How is that?

Prabhupada: Why the Christians are killing -- animals?

Hayagriva: Yes. If that's the case, why, why mistreat the animals, animal bodies?

Prabhupada: Hm?

Hayagriva: The animals have no right to life he says, "Because they have no will."

Prabhupada: That is his foolishness. He has got will. When you take to the slaughterhouse, he protests.

Hayagriva: He says, "Mankind has the right of absolute proprietorship. A thing belongs to the accidental first-comer who gets it."

Prabhupada: What accident?

Hayagriva: To... A thing belongs... Or whoever comes first. Say there's a gold mine. If I get there first, it's mine, because I'm the first-comer.

Prabhupada: That means that, "Might is right."

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: But gold, they say, if he says gold is there, whose gold it is?

Hayagriva: He says the first-comer...

Prabhupada: No, no. First of all you go and say... First of all you become proprietor. But who is the actual proprietor of the gold, when you did not go? You may go first and claim proprietorship, but the gold was there. So whose property it is? Gold was there. Who made that gold? Who kept that gold? This question must be there.

Hayagriva: He says, "It's mine because I put my will into it."

Prabhupada: That's all right. It is mine, you have first gone there, accepted. But who kept the gold there? Who made the gold there? And if somebody has made the gold and kept the gold, you go first and capture it, then you are a thief. Is it not? I have kept something there, and somebody comes first, "Ah it is mine," then he is a thief because the gold is already there, it's kept by somebody. You did not take his permission; you simply claimed, "Because I have come first, I am the proprietor." You are not proprietor. But if the gold was kept there for taking part of it to enjoy it by everyone, and you take it by might -- "I have come here first" -- then you are a thief; you are not a philosopher. You have no sense who kept that gold, who manufactured that gold -- you did not take his permission. Because you have come first, therefore you become proprietor -- then you are not a philosopher; you are thief, ordinary thief. "Might is right," "I have come" philosophy. "Therefore I am proprietor."

Hayagriva: "Because I will it to be mine..." He says, "Because I come first and will it to be mine, it is mine."

Prabhupada: That's all right. By force you can do that, you are doing that.

Hayagriva: "And I can relinquish it because I can will to relinquish it."

Prabhupada: But first thing is that if you have got will, but reasonable will, that first of all you have to think, "Who has kept this gold here? I am claiming proprietorship simply by coming here, but who has kept this gold here?" Why don't you think like that? What kind of human being you are?

Hayagriva: A final point he believed that, "Man should have the freedom to choose his occupation." He writes, "In the Platonic state, subjective freedom was of no account. Since the..."

Prabhupada: That means there are already different occupations, and you have freedom to select one of them. But the occupation is already there, created by somebody else. You have the freedom to make a choice. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita [Bg 4.13], catur-varnyam maya srstam: "I have created these four principles of occupational duties."

[According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.]

Catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah. Now, if according to your qualification you can make a selection, "I, I like this occupation." But the occupation is already there. Just like a shopkeeper, he has got varieties of goods. This the customer goes, he can say, "I like this." "All right, you can take it. This is the price." Similarly, the occupational duties are already there. The [indistinct] is already there. That is created by God. Now you can select one of them according to the price you can pay. That is the...

Hayagriva: Not according..., not according to birth?

Prabhupada: Huh?

Hayagriva: Not according to birth?

Prabhupada: No.

Hayagriva: He thinks... He says, "In many Oriental states this assignment..."


He says, Hegel, "In the Platonic state, in Plato's Republic, the government assigns each individual his occupation. In Oriental states..." In..., for instance in India, he says, "This assignment results from birth." The subjective choice, which ought to be respected, requires free choice by individuals, and he considers this the basic right.

Prabhupada: No. The thing is just like Bhagavan Krsna said: catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah. This is going on all over the world. The occupation is that just like engineering occupation. So who can become engineer? Guna-karma, one who has acquired the qualification of engineering profession and is actually acting as engineer. That is wanted. Guna-karma. Krsna never says, "Birth." But later on because an engineer trains his boy as engineer, so naturally he becomes also engineer. Formerly, as we understand from the history of Ajamila... He was a son of a brahmana, and he was being trained up as a brahmana. That was the system. Not that because he has born in the brahmana family he becomes brahmana. No. He has got the chance of being trained up as brahmana by the brahmana father. So it became later on as caste, by birth, because naturally a brahmana father trains his son to become brahmana. But when the brahmana's son becomes a cobbler, that does not mean he is still brahmana.

[break] If a brahmana's son has become a cobbler, he should be called a cobbler, or a cobbler's son has become a brahmana he should be called a brahmana. Not by the birth. But it became a qualification of birth because formerly it was easy, because he is dealing with his father and father is brahmana. So automatically, fifty percent he becomes brahmana and fifty percent by training, then he becomes complete brahmana by association, by family. So it is not that a cobbler cannot become brahmana, if he also acquires the qualification of a brahmana. Narada said [SB 7.11.35], tat tenaiva vinirdiset.

[If one shows the symptoms of being a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra, as described above, even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification.]

If he has already acquired the qualification of brahmana then he should be called a brahmana. Not that a brahmana's sons becomes qualified as a cobbler, tannery expert and he remains brahmana. That is not. He has no knowledge. Then that means if you have studied all the Vedic literature, he could not say like that. The injunction is: tat tenaiva vinirdiset. The qualification, if you find elsewhere, then he should be designated by the qualification. A doctor's son, instead of taking up the life of medical life, if he becomes engineer, so he should be called engineer, not doctor. Tat tenaiva vinirdiset, it is clearly said. So the Krsna's plan that, "I have created four divisions according to quality and work," catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma [Bg 4.13]; that is final.

[According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.]

One must have the qualification and he must work. If... He must have the brahminical qualification and he must act as a brahmana. Simply theoretical will not do. Just like we are giving sacred thread to a person who is born in low family, but we are training him also to act as a brahmana. Not that you take the sacred thread and go be..., work as cobbler. No. You must be engaged in Deity worship, brahmana's work, business -- then you are a brahmana. Otherwise you are not a brahmana.

Hayagriva: In a very often-quoted passage Hegel writes, "God is only God insofar as He knows Himself. His self-knowledge is more over His consciousness of Himself in man and man's knowledge of God, a knowledge that extends itself into the self-knowledge of man in God."

Prabhupada: That, if he accepts that, then why not man takes knowledge of God from God? Then his knowledge is perfect. Why he should speculate?

Hayagriva: He considers man to be essential to God.

Prabhupada: But he, he has accepted God and man...

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: So to possess the knowledge of God, the best duty of man is to take knowledge from God -- about God. I know myself, that he says, that God knows Himself. So if God knows, that is natural. I know what I am. So if you take knowledge of me from me instead of speculating, that is perfect knowledge. So here in the Bhagavad-gita, the God is explaining Himself. So if you simply take the knowledge given by God, then you're perfect in knowledge of God. Why you are speculating? You are wasting time. Take the knowledge from God about Him, and then you are in perfect knowledge. Why should you speculate? Suppose I am studying you, I am speculating, "Well, Hayagriva may be like this, he might have so much money, he might have so much bank balance, even he is living like that," this is speculation. But if I say, "Hayagriva, what you are?" you say, "I have got this, I do like this," that is my perfect knowledge. Why shall I speculate?

Hayagriva: Well then you wouldn't be able to write so many books.

Prabhupada: Huh? No. When I have got perfect knowledge, then I can write.

Hayagriva: Then.

Prabhupada: Without perfect, whatever I write, that is nonsense! That is nonsense. That is the difference -- parampara system. All these philosophers, they are simply talking nonsense, and whatever we are writing -- there is meaning. Why? Because we are studying God from God. This is our perfection. We are not speculating about God. That is the difference. Now I'm expanding my knowledge so that you can understand. That is my writing. But my basic principle is that I have understood God from God, not by speculation. That is my qualification. If I know God from God, then my knowledge about God is perfect. Then whatever I write, that's perfect. Therefore Visvanatha CakravartiThakura says: saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair [Gurv-astaka 7], that therefore all scriptures accept the guru -- spiritual master, as directly the Supreme Lord.

The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord, because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is a bona fide representative of Sri Hari [Krsna].

Why? He does not speak anything nonsense. That is; therefore he is called servitor God. He is serving God, giving the same knowledge as God has given to him; therefore he is perfect. Saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva. So knowledge, if we, God..., if we take God, what is God, if we understand from God then our knowledge of God is perfect. Simply by speculating you cannot become perfect. That is not possible. So if, if Mr. Hegel...?

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: He is Hegel now God [?] ? What is his...?

Hari Sauri: Hegel.

Hayagriva: Hegel.

Prabhupada: Ah. So if he accepts God and he inducts a man, the man should take knowledge from God about God. Then his knowledge of God is perfect. He should not speculate. And if he has no such source of taking knowledge from God, then his conception of God is also false. If he has got actually the conception of God, then he should take knowledge from God -- what He is. That is perfect knowledge. He was talking of Oriental knowledge. This is Oriental knowledge: they know who is God and they take knowledge from God -- about God. But here, Occidental -- they speculate about God. What they will know about God? Whatever they speculate, that is imperfect -- because he is imperfect.

Hayagriva: He equates idea, reason, God and the Absolute very much like the Greeks.

Prabhupada: Everything is there, but if you take knowledge from God, then that is perfect. And if you make your own ideas -- you do not take the ideas of God -- that is imperfect.

Hayagriva: He does say, "Reason is also infinite form, that which sets this material in motion..."

Prabhupada: This is, this is, this is real reasoning that, "I am imperfect or limited. How I can speculate on the unlimited? So better let me learn from the unlimited about the unlimited." That is perfect knowledge.

Hayagriva: One final point is that he sees, "The worship of animals and plants to be a form of pantheism." He refers to...

Prabhupada: No.

Hayagriva: Indian religion...

Prabhupada: But Indian, that he does not know; a still he speaks. That is the most regretful situation.

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: If God says that, "Amongst the plants I am this plant..."

Hayagriva: Tulasi, Tulasi.

Prabhupada: Whatever it may be.

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: So the Hindus, they worship, follow God's instruction. That is they have got, well in a certain sense. God has said that, "Amongst the plants, I am this plant," so I worship. They are not worshiping all, every plant.

Hayagriva: This isn't..., then this differs from the pantheists, who would worship, say, everything.

Prabhupada: They, they will worship any nonsense, but here it is God consciousness. God has said that, "I am this," so "I am...," I shall worship. That is God, God consciousness. God has said. He has complete faith in God. Just like pranavah sarva-vedesu: "All Vedic knowledge I am the omkara." [Bg 7.8]

[O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.]

Therefore they follow: om tad visnu paramam [Rg Veda 1.22.20], every mantra is followed by.

[The lotus feet of Lord Visnu are the supreme objective of all the demigods. These lotus feet of the Lord are as enlightening as the sun in the sky.]

How he has known omkara is God? That God has said: pranavah sarva-vedesu. So God is giving instruction how He should be realized. So they are following that. They are realized; they realize actually. And what is the use of speculating? He will never understand God because he is speculating with his limited knowledge.

Hayagriva: So...

Prabhupada: God is unlimited.

Hayagriva: So although God is all animals and all plants...

Prabhupada: [coughs] That isn't...

Hayagriva: Although God is everything, we concentrate on...

Prabhupada: No.

Hayagriva: ..these particular...

Prabhupada: That is especially prohibited. Mat-sthani sarva-bhutani: "Everything is in Me, but I am not there." Just like the body of a dog. The body is on the soul; the platform is the soul. Otherwise there is no meaning of the body. So the body of the dog is depending on the soul of the body. But that does not mean the dog's body is God. Na caham tesv avasthitah. Find out this verse, Mat-sthani sarva-bhutani naham tesu avasthitah. They are taking just as Vivekananda; they, the body of a daridra, poor man, is resting on God, Narayana...

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: ...but he is taking the body as Narayana. That is his knowledge, imperfect. He is saying daridra-narayana. God has become daridra. And he is taking the consideration of the body; therefore he is thinking God has become daridra. The body of a daridra, poor man, is depending on Narayana, but he is taking the body [chuckles]...

Hayagriva: Yeah.

Prabhupada: Narayana. He is such a fool, and he is going on. Ah. Find out...

Hari Sauri:

maya tatam idam sarvam

jagad avyakta-murtina

mat-sthani sarva-bhutani

na caham tesv avasthitah

[Bg 9.4]

Prabhupada: Read the purport.

Hari Sauri: Translation. "By Me in My unmanifested form this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them."

Prabhupada: "On service of his origin." What is? On His Majesty's service. What is that slogan?

Devotee: "On His Majesty's service."

Prabhupada: Ah. On every envelope. That does not mean the..., Her Majesty is there. The Majesty, Her Majesty's power, order is everywhere. Mat-sthani sarva-bhutani. The government is acting with the seed on Majesty's service, but that does not mean Her Majesty is there. This is simultaneously one and different, acintya-bhedabheda. Majesty is there because the order is there, but still personally he is not there. So the..., another that Vivekananda say, is that daridra, in daridra -- Narayana is there. But not that daridra -- is Narayana. But he has no vision. He is talking of this daridra as Narayana. This is mistake. Narayana is there undoubtedly, but not that daridra is Narayana. This is impersonalism, Mayavada mistake. That is pantheism.

Hayagriva: Pantheism. So when Krsna says, "I am sex life according to dharma," then this means that He can be perceived in this way.

Prabhupada: Yes. If you, just like garbhadhana ceremony. That is not a secret thing. That garbhadhana ceremony is that, "I am going to beget a child. I am going to have sex with my wife for begetting a Krsna conscious child," so that Krsna is remembered. While having sex, if he remembers, "Krsna, give me a child who will be Your devotee," that is the duty of the father. So this kind of sex is Krsna. And if we have sex for enjoyment, that is not. That is demonic. That is the, Krsna says...

Hayagriva: But Krsna is present nonetheless.

Prabhupada: Krsna is always present, but if when you hold a ceremony, garbhadhana ceremony that, "I am going to have sex with my wife for begetting a Krsna conscious child," then you remember Krsna. And at the time of sex, the mentality of the father and mother, that is acquired by the child. There is rules and regulations for garbhadhana ceremony, and in the Bhagavata you will find that as soon as a..., the..., one gives up the garbhadhana ceremony, he is a sudra. So who is observing this garbhadhana ceremony at the present moment? Therefore everyone is sudra. Kalau sudra-sambhavah [Skanda Purana]. Everyone is born as sudra.

[In the Age of Kali everyone is born a sudra.]

The father and mother gave birth as sudra. So this birthright of brahmana is no longer in this day. Even they falsely claim, "Because I am born of a brahmana father I am brahmana," that sastra will not support. Whether garbhadhana ceremony was performed? And nowadays especially, who knows that he is son of a brahmana? The woman is intermingling with everyone, and who has given birth of the child? Whether he is actually a brahmana's son, a sudra's son, who knows it? [Laughs] So how he can claim by birthright, a brahmana? That is not possible. Therefore everyone is sudra. But he can be trained as a brahmana. That is pancaratriki-vidhi. We are following this pancaratriki-vidhi, not Vedic vidhi. Vedic vidhi is different. Pancaratriki. By training. He has got little tendency, little fire, to become Krsna conscious. All right, fan it, make the fire bigger than this. But if he gives up the firing process, he remains fire, cutting more [?] unfinished. Sravana-kirtana-jale karaye secana [Cc Madhya 19.152], that a small seed, you sow it and regularly pour water... Just like Govinda dasi introduced this Tulasi. She is responsible for introducing Tulasi in the Western countries.

[When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of sravana and kirtana [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout.]

Hayagriva: So, so the Tulasi, the actual... To get back to the original point, the actual philosophy behind reverence for the Tulasi plant or the cow or the sexual ceremony, the basis then would be remembrance of Krsna, that these can bring remembrance of Krsna.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Hayagriva: Because Krsna says so, but...

Prabhupada: Just like Krsna says: satatam cintayantam mam, "Always thinking of Me," that is the process of consciousness, Krsna consciousness. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantasca drdha-vratah [Bg 9.14].

[Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.]

Man-mana bhava mad-bhakto [Bg 9.34]. "Always think of Me." So somehow or other you think of Krsna, then you will become Krsna conscious, purified.

[Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me.]

Hayagriva: But you shouldn't think of Krsna in any..., in another way, for instance a palm tree or...

Prabhupada: Then every, every can be. Eh? Then He is giving indication that, "Amongst the trees I am this." So you take it.

Hayagriva: Yes.

Prabhupada: Just like Krsna said: raso 'ham apsu kaunteya [Bg 7.8]. He said that, "I am the taste of the water." So you are drinking water always.

[O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.]

The taste which quenches your thirst and you feel satisfaction, that is Krsna. Now if you follow Krsna's instruction, "Now I am drinking water. Now I am feeling satisfaction. Now this satisfaction is Krsna," then you remember Him.

Hayagriva: Hegel mistook this for pantheism.

Prabhupada: Hm?

Hayagriva: Hegel mistook this for pantheism.

Prabhupada: He has mistaken in so many ways. [laughs] Sarvange gha, kotha deba malama. Just like our... Not Pradyumna. If somebody has boils all over the body, then where it will be operated? Better kill this body. [laughing] So he has got so many boils, this Hegel and Segel, all, [laughs] you see? Because they are speculators. They have no definite knowledge. Speculators cannot have definite knowledge. Therefore our Professor Dimmock has said, "Here is definite definition of Gita." What is that? Just see. Then it is so. He has appreciated it. You cannot see, on the...

Hari Sauri: They only put two lines of what he said in there. He says this...

Prabhupada: Yes. That is his word.

Hari Sauri: Oh.

Prabhupada: Read it all whole thing.

Hari Sauri: "Definitive English edition of Bhagavad-gita. By bringing us, bringing us a new and living interpretation of the text already known to many, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada has increased our own understanding manyfold."

Prabhupada: That is a definite, not vague, speculative. That is the difference between my translation and others. Therefore I have given the name, "As It Is." So there will be no scope for speculation. As soon as you speculate, you are rejected. Therefore others are seeing some danger that, "This Bhaktivedanta's..., this Bhagavad-gita As It Is is accepted, then where we are?"

Hayagriva: Everybody wants to speculate.

Prabhupada: That's all. [laughs] We are, I have stopped it. They cannot speculate on the words of Bhagavad-gita. That is our mission. Won't allow you to speculate. You are finite, imperfect. How you can by speculation give the unlimited, infinite? How it is possible? That is reasonable... Waste of time, misleading others. Andha yathandair upaniyamanah [SB 7.5.31].

[Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Visnu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.]

You are blind; how you can show others, blind men? They are already blind. You open your eyes, then take the leadership of the blind. Ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya. [Gautamiya-tantra] That is our process.

[I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master who, with the torchlight of knowledge, has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance.]

Devotee: That's all.

Hayagriva: That's all.

Prabhupada: All right. [end]

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