Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Religion, Comparative Religion, and Irreligion

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

This is the ending of a conversation between Guru Prabhupada and Professor Hopkins on July 13, 1975 in Philadelphia, USA:<blockquote>Prof. Hopkins: What is the solution? What is the solution? Devotion to God...

PrabhupAda: First of all you know what is spirit. Then as soon as you know that you are spirit then wherefrom the spirit comes, or wherefrom everything comes? Then it comes to the question of God. And then we understand what is our relationship with God. And then if we act according to that, then it is perfect life.

Prof. Hopkins: So that you would... You would see the GItA then as a guide to understanding.

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: It starts in Chapter Two with the question of what is AtmA?

PrabhupAda: In Chapter Two it is said... Arjuna was lamenting that "I shall fight and the other party they are my brother, so I will be sinful. So many problems will come." He was thinking like that. So KRSNa first gave him lesson that "Why you are thinking on the bodily concept of life? You are not body. You are spirit soul." Then He gave spiritual education.

Prof. Hopkins: So you must start with what the GItA calls sAGkhya-yoga then, but go on, and go on to bhakti-yoga.

PrabhupAda: Bhakti-yoga is said last. Sarva dharmAn parityajya mAm ekaM zaraNaM vraja [bg. 18.66]. People are not prepared to take the sublime lesson immediately. Then he has to go step by step. So that is the system of Bhagavad-gItA.

Prof. Hopkins: Are there other ways besides KRSNa consciousness to reach that same goal?

PrabhupAda: No.

Prof. Hopkins: Or is that the only goal?

PrabhupAda: That is only. That is stated in Bhagavad-gItA. BhaktyA mAm abhi... If you want to know God and your relationship with God then only through bhakti, no other. That is stated in the... BhaktyA mAm abhijAnAti yAvAn yaz cAsmi tattvataH [bg. 18.55]. Otherwise you will never be able to understand.

Prof. Hopkins: If the highest reality is PuruSottama and PuruSottama is manifested in many different ways in the world, can people come to PuruSottama through various paths?

PrabhupAda: Various path means bhakti is the only path. Now all other paths they must come to bhakti. Without bhakti there is no possibility.

Prof. Hopkins: But must bhakti be directed to KRSNa only or...

PrabhupAda: Because KRSNa is BhagavAn. Bhakti means our transaction with BhagavAn. KRSNas tu bhagavAn svayam. So original BhagavAn is KRSNa.

Prof. Hopkins: What about those who would worship RAma, say?

PrabhupAda: RAma is KRSNa.

Prof. Hopkins: RAma is KRSNa.

PrabhupAda: Yes. Another form of KRSNa. RAmAdi mUrtiSu kalA-niyamena tiSThan [bs. 5.39].

Prof. Hopkins: What about those who would worship Siva?

PrabhupAda: Siva is just like milk and yogurt. The yogurt is milk but it is not milk.

Prof. Hopkins: In another form then. So, ah...

PrabhupAda: You will not derive the benefit of milk from yogurt.

Prof. Hopkins: But do you get benefits?

PrabhupAda: Benefit there must.

Prof. Hopkins: Benefits there are but not the same.

PrabhupAda: Yes. Lord Siva means you get material opulence but not salvation.

Prof. Hopkins: So you would see Siva as more related to material.

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: There is a passage in SrImad-BhAgavatam, I forget where, where ViSNu is asked "Why is it that the followers of the ascetic Siva are all wealthy and prosperous people and the followers of You who are the Lord of the universe are all poor?" Is that the way you would see it then, that those that follow Siva are after more material gain?

PrabhupAda: More material gain means you become more implicated.

Prof. Hopkins: More what?

PrabhupAda: Implicated. Our problem is birth and death, old age and disease. [break] ...this birth, death, old age and disease. For them, liberation, the ultimate liberation is to transfer oneself to the spiritual world.

Prof. Hopkins: So you see... You see a clear difference there between those who follow the VaiSNava tradition, which is less worldly, more spiritual...

PrabhupAda: That is the ultimate goal of life. That is stated in the SrImad-BhAgavatam: na te viduH svArtha gatiM hi viSNum [sB 7.5.31]. People do not know what is his self-interest. The self-interest is to approach ViSNu.

Prof. Hopkins: What about Christian, Christian.

PrabhupAda: KRSNa is ViSNu.

Prof. Hopkins: What about Christians?

PrabhupAda: Christian also, that is nice, giving instruction to go back to God. It is not? What is the ultimate goal of Christianity? What do they desire?

Prof. Hopkins: Hard to answer. There's no clear single goal. (laughter)

PrabhupAda: What is the goal, single or plural, doesn't matter.

Prof. Hopkins: Well, some Christians would say the vision of God, the ultimate goal is to be with God.

PrabhupAda: That is really, to realize God. Not only Christian, any religion. That is stated in the SrImad-BhAgavatam. Sa vai puMsAM paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokSaje [sB 1.2.6]. There may be different types of religious systems but that system is first class which directly leads one to understand what is God and how to love Him. That's all. That is perfect religion.

Prof. Hopkins: So the question... The question in one sense is not whether it's Christian or Saivite or VaiSNavite but whether it is directed to a knowledge of God, a devotion to God or not.

PrabhupAda: That is first-class.

Prof. Hopkins: But you would feel that there, what, it is easier to reach that goal by worshiping KRSNa?

PrabhupAda: Yes. KRSNa is the ultimate goal.

Prof. Hopkins: But is it easier or better to be a devotee of KRSNa...

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: A KRSNa bhakta than to be a Christian, say?

PrabhupAda: Yes. Anything genuine is easy. Anything hodgepodge, that is not good. We don't recommend hodgepodge.

Prof. Hopkins: So the advantage then, or the greater value is that it is focused and clear rather than a hodgepodge where the goal and the activities are not clear.

PrabhupAda: The hodgepodge has killed the whole world, that so many pseudo-religious systems. People are misled.

Prof. Hopkins: So the truth may be there somewhere...

PrabhupAda: Truth is everywhere.

Prof. Hopkins: But you can't find it.

PrabhupAda: Just like there is butter in the milk but the milk is not butter. You churn it and then the butter will be there. Similarly, in every religious system... Every milk there is butter, but churning the milk and giving direct delivery of butter, that is the SrImad Bhagavad-gItA and BhAgavata.

Prof. Hopkins: And it's more... It's more clear there, you would say, than it is in any other tradition.

PrabhupAda: Yes. Now God... Ask any religious system "What is God?" he cannot... What is God? They cannot explain. And we are saying, "Here is God, KRSNa." So which is better? If you search after gold and you do not know what is gold... Eh? And if you... If some authorized friend gives, "Here is gold. You take it." That is easier.

Prof. Hopkins: So the strength and the value is in knowing...

PrabhupAda: Oh yes.

Prof. Hopkins: Knowing what gold is.

PrabhupAda: That is the only business of human being, to know the Absolute Truth, God. That is the only business. Otherwise what is the difference between cats and dogs and human being? They do not care to know what is God. So if human being also in the same status, doesn't care to know what is God, then what is the difference between dogs and human being?

Prof. Hopkins: People, various people read your writings, your commentaries, and they, they react to them sometimes with reservation because they see your writings as dogmatic.

PrabhupAda: Hm?

Prof. Hopkins: They see your writings... Some people see your writings as dogmatic.

PrabhupAda: Or "He is dogmatic." (laughter)

Prof. Hopkins: They say, "He is dogmatic," okay. Do you feel that you are dogmatic or...

PrabhupAda: No. You find out any passage in my book dogmatic, then you say dogmatic. Any page you open, where is dogmatic?

Prof. Hopkins: Well, dogmatic, to call someone else dogmatic means to start with that you don't agree with what they are saying. If I agree with you and you...

PrabhupAda: No, you have to agree. You open any passage of my book.

Prof. Hopkins: Well, some people would say to insist that KRSNa is the only way, that KRSNa consciousness is the only way...

PrabhupAda: No, no. The only thing that God is one, that you have to accept. God cannot be many. If God has got competitor, then he is not God.

Prof. Hopkins: Okay.

PrabhupAda: So if we don't admit KRSNa is the only God then you present who is only God. You say me. Either you have to learn from me or I have to learn from you.

Prof. Hopkins: So to insist...

PrabhupAda: If you do not know what is God you cannot say, "KRSNa is not God." As soon as you say, "KRSNa is not God," that means you must know what is God. You present. But if you cannot present, you say, "No, I do not know God," then you cannot say, "KRSNa is not God."

Prof. Hopkins: All right.

PrabhupAda: So they are dogmatic. Dogmatically they are saying, "KRSNa is not God." He does not know God and he says, "KRSNa is not God." So what is this nonsense? You do not know God. How you can say KRSNa is not God?

Prof. Hopkins: I agree with you, I just... I want to get... (laughter) If we're dogmatic, we're on the same side.

PrabhupAda: We are not dogmatic. Those people who are talking us as dogmatic, he is dogmatic. He does not know God, and when God is presented before him, he says, "No, He is not God." That is dogmatic.

Prof. Hopkins: Would you... Do you feel that those who've had genuine religious, spiritual understanding would not have that kind of argument?

PrabhupAda: Yes. One... We say... I do not say, in the Bhagavad-gItA it is said that... Find out this verse,

na mAM duSkRtino mUDhAH

prapadyante narAdhamAH


AsuraM bhAvam AzritAH

[bg. 7.15]

Find out. Seventh chapter.


na mAM duSkRtino mUDhAH

prapadyante narAdhamAH


AsuraM bhAvam AzritAH

[bg. 7.15]

"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."

PrabhupAda: As soon as one denies KRSNa is not God, then he comes within those categories: miscreant, rascal, lowest of the mankind, his knowledge is taken away by mAyA, and he's a demon.

Prof. Hopkins: (laughs) That's a strong statement.

PrabhupAda: KRSNa is God. If he does not know, then he must be amongst these groups.

Prof. Hopkins: What if someone says, "Siva is God?"

PrabhupAda: He may say, but zAstra doesn't say.

Prof. Hopkins: So you...

PrabhupAda: Just like in the Bhagavad-gItA you'll find, mattaH parataraM nAnyat kiJcid asti dhanaJjaya [bg. 7.7], "Nobody or no principle is greater than Me." Then who can be God? God is great. Here the great says, "There is no more greater principle than Me." Then who can be God? People generally know God is great. KRSNa says, mattaH parataraM nAnyat [bg. 7.7]. Not only He says but it is confirmed by great authorities like RAmAnujAcArya, MadhvAcArya, ViSNu Swami, all the big, big AcAryas, Caitanya MahAprabhu, VyAsadeva, authorities. KRSNas tu bhagavAn svayam. So how you can deny?

Prof. Hopkins: You refer to RAmAnujAcArya as an important person. Where does he... Where does he fit into your, the Caitanya tradition? He's accepted as an authority. His, the SrI BhASya is studied, accepted...

PrabhupAda: RAmAnujAcArya has written comment on Bhagavad-gItA. You know that?

Prof. Hopkins: No.

PrabhupAda: Eh?

Prof. Hopkins: No.

PrabhupAda: In the Bhagavad-gItA Caitanya philosophy is discussed.

Prof. Hopkins: So you would see no basic difference between RAmAnuja's position and...

PrabhupAda: They cannot be different because both of them are VaiSNava. So this is the common point, that Caitanya MahAprabhu is preaching KRSNa as the Supreme Lord. RAmAnujAcArya was preaching KRSNa as the Supreme Lord. So where is difference?

Prof. Hopkins: Well, I don't see a difference, but...

PrabhupAda: People know it. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another.

Prof. Hopkins: What about certain other traditions; Ishnamadeva(?), TukArAma, some of the poet saints of Maharastra. Where...

PrabhupAda: Yes, TukArAma accepted ViSNu as the Supreme. He accepted the process of Caitanya MahAprabhu. He accepted Caitanya MahAprabhu as his guru so there is no difference between TukArAma and Caitanya.

Prof. Hopkins: So TukArAma, you would say, is teaching the same thing as Caitanya?

PrabhupAda: Yes, saGkIrtana. And KRSNa is teaching the same thing. SatataM kIrtayanto mAM yatantaz ca dRDha-vratAH [bg. 9.14]. Find out.

Prof. Hopkins: So by saying that the GauDIya VaiSNavism is, and Caitanya, are the central way of... You are not excluding...

PrabhupAda: Eh?

Prof. Hopkins: You would not...

PrabhupAda: No.

Prof. Hopkins: You are not excluding the Pandarpur tradition of TukArAma, RAmanitoba, (indistinct), you are not excluding the Alavars and RAmancha, but you are saying all of these groups, all of these teachers.

PrabhupAda: TukArAma accepts Caitanya Mahaprabhu as his guru. Then where is the difference?

Prof. Hopkins: So that Lord Vitoba and KRSNa...

PrabhupAda: Is the same.

Prof. Hopkins: You see as the same.

PrabhupAda: Vitoba means ViSNu. They call Vitoba.

Prof. Hopkins: And the Alavars, the Alavars of Tamil Nadu.

PrabhupAda: Alavar.

Prof. Hopkins: Alavar.

PrabhupAda: Yes. That is also VaiSNava.

Prof. Hopkins: You would accept their teachings also?

PrabhupAda: Oh yes.

Prof. Hopkins: So the real question then is VaiSNavas and others.

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: The central teaching...

PrabhupAda: VaiSNava and non-VaiSNava.

Prof. Hopkins: VaiSNava and non-VaiSNava. So it's not a question of sectarian differences within VaiSNavism. [break] And you would see the worshipers of Siva as impersonalists?

PrabhupAda: Impersonalists.

Prof. Hopkins: You would see... All of them.

PrabhupAda: The Saivites, the SaGkarAcArya.

Prof. Hopkins: SaGkarAcArya, I know he is.

PrabhupAda: Yes. SaGkarAcArya's theory is the ultimate, the Absolute Truth is impersonal. And one can imagine a personal form for the benefit of the worshiper.

Prof. Hopkins: But there are some worshipers of Siva who would be personalists.

PrabhupAda: No.

Prof. Hopkins: You would deny that.

PrabhupAda: They are all impersonalists. They are paJcopAsana. PaJcopAsana means the ultimate, Absolute Truth is impersonal and SaGkarAcArya recommended that you cannot worship the impersonal, so you conceive a personal form. So that he recommended five: the sun-god, Lord Siva, DurgA, and GaNeza, and? What else? And ViSNu.

Prof. Hopkins: ViSNu. PaJca (indistinct)

PrabhupAda: But after you are per..., become, you are perfect, then you merge into the impersonal. That is SaGkara.

Prof. Hopkins: You would see all worshipers of Siva as following basically that idea.

PrabhupAda: No, there are devotees. Just like we, we offer all respect to Lord Siva. We consider Siva as the best of the VaiSNavas. VaiSNavAnAm yathA zambhu. And we have got sampradAya from Siva. He is considered one of the authority of VaiSNavism.

Prof. Hopkins: So you would, you would include...

PrabhupAda: Our conception of Siva is different.

Prof. Hopkins: Where would Basavana fit in?

PrabhupAda: Eh?

Prof. Hopkins: Where would you place Basavana in relation with...

PrabhupAda: Who?

Prof. Hopkins: Basavana.

PrabhupAda: Basavana?

Prof. Hopkins: Lingayat. Lingayat teacher. The Saivite, Saivite...

PrabhupAda: He is impersonalist.

Prof. Hopkins: You would say impersonalist.

PrabhupAda: Oh yes. They say SivAham, "I am Siva." They are impersonalist. If you are Siva then why you worshiping Siva? That is impersonalist.

Prof. Hopkins: So any position which would deny the difference between the devotee and God, you would see...

PrabhupAda: He is impersonalist.

Prof. Hopkins: Is impersonalist.

PrabhupAda: The impersonalist theory is that I am now devotee. As soon as I become perfect I become one."

Prof. Hopkins: Oh.

PrabhupAda: That is their theory. Then there is no more difference. In the preliminary stage, when I am not perfect, I am worshiping some imaginary form of God. But when I become perfect there is no need of worshiping, I become one with God. This is impersonal. Now, actually, the Supreme has no form so they recommend whichever form you like to worship you can select out of these five. But their destination is the same. So somebody likes "I worship Siva," somebody says "I worship GaNeza," somebody says, "I worship DurgA," and SUrya, or somebody says, "I worship ViSNu." So this VaiSNava is impersonalist. You'll find amongst smArta brAhmaNas there are also some of them VaiSNavas, but they are impersonalists.

Prof. Hopkins: So you would... You would say that those, those smArtas say, and I know smArta brAhmaNas who are worshipers of ViSNu. You would say they still are impersonalists in some ultimate sense because at some point they would deny...

PrabhupAda: No, it is very difficult to pick them out. Most of the so-called VaiSNavas, they are impersonalists.

Prof. Hopkins: Some, I suspect, are more VaiSNavas than they are smArtas.

PrabhupAda: So, satataM kIrtayanto mAm?


satataM kIrtayanto mAM

yatantaz ca dRDha-vratAH

namasyantaz ca mAM bhaktyA

nitya-yuktA upAsate

[bg. 9.14]

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

PrabhupAda: Perpetually. It is not that I am worshiping now and when I am perfect I become one. That is impersonal.

Prof. Hopkins: But someone who sees devotion as the not just a stage...

PrabhupAda: They say everything one; no devotee, no devotion, and no person. Everything becomes one.

Prof. Hopkins: So that would then be the deciding test, as it were, of whether one were a serious devotee or not.

PrabhupAda: Devotee means serious devotee.

Prof. Hopkins: Not only that one is devoted now, but that one sees the goal as perpetual devotion.

PrabhupAda: Yes. Nitya-yukta.

Prof. Hopkins: And which never is there...

PrabhupAda: The word is used, nitya-yukta. Nitya-yukta means perpetually. If a devotee is to merge into the existence of the Lord then why this word is used, nitya-yukta. UpAsana. Not only nitya-yukta, upAsana. UpAsana means "you worship Me." As soon as the word is "he worships" that means the worshipable and the mode of worship and the worshiper must be there. That is indicated, nitya-yukta, perpetual. But the MAyAvAdIs or these impersonalists, they think that it is temporary. I am devotee temporarily. As soon as I become perfect I become one.

Prof. Hopkins: So that you would see then, in terms of, in terms of some kind of theological structure, you would see that PuruSottama as always...

PrabhupAda: Uttama, uttama means the best.

Prof. Hopkins: Always superior.

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: And always...

PrabhupAda: That is the word, puruSottama. PuruSottama means supreme or superior. So there must be inferior, otherwise, how he is superior? Is it not?

Prof. Hopkins: Hm.

PrabhupAda: As soon as he is the superior, professor, or the, what is called? Junior or senior. As soon as called senior, there must be junior. Without junior there is no question of senior.

Prof. Hopkins: So that the PuruSottama always stands beyond, always, is other, in addition to be in also everything that there is.

PrabhupAda: Unless He is eternally there, then how the devotee will eternally, nitya-yukta upAsana, whom to worship? Nitya-yukta upAsana. Unless PuruSottama is everlasting PuruSottama then where is the question of worship everlasting? So the MAyAvAdIs, they do not understand.

Prof. Hopkins: Well, would you... Do you equate then the impersonalists and the MAyAvAdIs? Are they the same?

PrabhupAda: Almost the same.

Prof. Hopkins: At some point I guess they would have to be almost.

PrabhupAda: Eh?

Prof. Hopkins: At some point I suppose they would almost have to be because to be an impersonalist you would have to deny the ultimate reality of phenomenon, which would make you a MAyAvAdI.

PrabhupAda: They accept this form of God as mAyA. Therefore we call them MAyAvAdI.

Prof. Hopkins: Any form of God, including the PuruSa. So that your, your central existence, or certainly one of your central existences would be that the ultimate reality is personal, that it is known as ViSNu, possessing all qualities.

PrabhupAda: Yes. That is stated in the BhAgavatam:

vadanti tat tattva vidas

tattvaM yaj jJAnam advayam

brahmeti paramAtmeti

bhagavAn iti zabdyate

[sB 1.2.11]

Human life is meant for understanding the tattva. Then the question will be what is that tattva or ultimate truth? And that is described. Tattva is realized in three phases: Brahman, impersonal Brahman; ParamAtmA, localized ParamAtmA; and BhagavAn.

Prof. Hopkins: So it's the mistake... The mistake of the impersonalist then is to identify the complete reality with Brahman, which is only one aspect of the complete reality.

PrabhupAda: Just like finger. Finger is one of the item of the whole body. You can't say, "Yes, the finger is my body," because the finger is not the whole body. Similarly, everything is part and parcel of the whole but that does not mean that everything is whole.

Prof. Hopkins: And these realities are in a hierarchy in the sense that Brahman, ParamAtman...

PrabhupAda: Brahman is everything. Brahman is also mAyA Brahman, (indistinct) is Brahman. Sabda idaM khalv brahman. Because it is the manifestation of Brahman. Brahman's energy. Just like here in this room. Daytime there is sun, but sun is ninety three miles away; ninety three millions miles. But where there is sunshine we can say, "Here is sun."

Prof. Hopkins: So that the problem is not the identification of everything with Brahman, which is correct, but the failure to realize that there is the ParamAtmA or the PuruSottama.

PrabhupAda: Supreme Person.

Prof. Hopkins: Which is beyond this and includes...

PrabhupAda: Just like I have got so many branches, hundred branches. So everyone knows that I am something, but that does not mean I am present everywhere. My student(?) has got this tape..., hundreds of thousands of tape recorders to record my speech and then you speak the same thing that I am speaking, but I am not there. And that is explained in the Bhagavad-gItA.

mayA tatam idaM sarvaM

jagad avyakta-mUrtinA

mat sthAni sarva bhUtAni

na cAhaM teSv avasthitaH

Hm? Find out. Everything is God but God is not everything. He is simultaneously one and different. We therefore say that everything is God but not that everything is..., not that God is everywhere. But because everything is God, everything, with everything you can realize God.

Prof. Hopkins: So that the...


mayA tatam idaM sarvaM

jagad avyakta-mUrtinA

mat sthAni sarva bhUtAni

na cAhaM teSv avasthitaH

"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All things are in Me but I am not in them."

Prof. Hopkins: So the failure is a failure to go beyond.

PrabhupAda: Eh?

Prof. Hopkins: The failure is a failure to go beyond, to realize beyond that level of identity, that there is a Lord, who is...

PrabhupAda: MAyAvAdI philosophy is defective. They say if everything is God then where is the Lord's separate existence. That is their defect. That is materialist theory. If you take a big paper and make it into small pieces and throw it away, then the big paper is lost. (laughs) The MAyAvAdI thinks like that, that if everything is Brahman, Brahman is distributed, then where is..., why you call the Supreme Lord? They think that Brahman being distributed, He is finished. This is MAyAvAdI. He does not know the potency of God. And that is stated in UpaniSad. IzAvAsyam idaM sarvam.

pUrNam idaM pUrNam adaH

pUrNAt pUrNam udacyate

pUrNasya pUrNam AdAya

pUrNam evAvaziSyate

[izopaniSad, Invocation]

In the material sense one minus one is equal to zero. In the spiritual world pUrNasya pUrNam AdAya. The one is pUrNa and if you take the whole one it is still one. That they cannot understand, the poor brain. They think materially. If the one is complete and if one is taken away then it becomes zero. What kind of God is only zero? But UpaniSad says pUrNasya pUrNam AdAya pUrNam evAvaziSyate. If from the complete you take the complete, it still it is complete. That they cannot understand. That is God. We say why complete is complete always? Why complete may be zero? No.

Prof. Hopkins: So God can create everything out of Himself.

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: And still be complete as He was before.

PrabhupAda: We can see one material example, that the sun, for millions and trillions of years it is distributing sunshine, heat, but still it is full. If it is possible materially, what about the Supreme Lord? Five thousand years or five millions of years the degree of temperature in the sunshine was the same as it is now. If it is materially so possible how much it is possible spiritually?

Prof. Hopkins: Is that... It's difficult for people outside the KRSNa consciousness group to see what the purpose of the movement is.

PrabhupAda: Eh?

Prof. Hopkins: It's difficult for people outside the society of KRSNa consciousness to see what the purpose is. How would you understand the purpose? Simply to make God known? How would you state...

PrabhupAda: Our purpose is how to become happy. Everyone is struggling how to become happy. Somebody is thinking that "If I can get money then I'll be happy." Somebody is thinking that "If we become one with the Supreme, then I'll be happy." And somebody thinks that "If I can get material power, then I'll be happy." So those who are thinking in terms of money, they are karmIs. And those who are thinking in terms of becoming one, they are jJAnIs. And those who are thinking in terms of getting material power, they are yogis. But the bhaktas, they don't want any such perfection. They, bhaktis, "Let me worship the Supreme, that's all." Therefore he has already (indistinct) and they are all in want. Bhakta is satisfied simply by worshiping the Lord. SvAmin kRtArtho 'smi. And all others, karmIs, jJAnIs, yogis, they want something so they cannot be happy. So if happiness is my aim, then I must become a bhakta, otherwise there is no happiness. You are always in want. Somebody is in want of money, somebody is in want to becoming one with the Supreme, and somebody wants to show some jugglery, mysticism. So they want something. And a devotee, he doesn't want all these things. He wants to serve KRSNa, that's all. No demand. And he serves KRSNa without any motive. Ahaituky apratihatA. That is bhakta.

Prof. Hopkins: So what you are doing is simply showing people how to be happy.

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: I like that.

PrabhupAda: Thank you. That is the real want, how to become happy.

Prof. Hopkins: It's remarkable how complicated simple things get.

PrabhupAda: The example is also very simple. Just like a child is crying and somebody is offering some milk, somebody is offering something but he is still crying. Could not find any cause. Then when the child goes to the mother's lap, immediately (claps)--stops. He understands immediately, "Now I am on the lap of my mother, then everything is all right." YaM labdhvA cAparaM lAbhaM manyate nAdhikaM tataH. Everyone is hankering after making some profit, this way, that way, this way, that way. But when one becomes, gets that supreme thing then he thinks, "Oh, I don't want anything." That is happiness. Unhappiness due to want. So the karmIs, jJAnIs, yogis, they are all in want. They want something. Bhaktas are also sometimes in want. They want KRSNa. And in absence of KRSNa they are very unhappy, but that unhappiness is greater than happiness.

Prof. Hopkins: The gopIs in VRndAvana.

PrabhupAda: Yes. That is greater than happiness. And the MAyAvAdI, karmI, jJAnI, they cannot understand. They will say, "Your gopIs are also crying for KRSNa, for want of KRSNa." But they do not know that this want is different.

Prof. Hopkins: So you have been extremely generous with your time and your wisdom.

PrabhupAda: I enjoy(?) that. And that is what the whole human society (indistinct).

Prof. Hopkins: Well I... I have been a friend for many years now. I suspect... I suspect sometimes that I may end up as a sannyAsI among your line at some point. (laughs)

PrabhupAda: SannyAsa does not mean change of dress. SannyAsa means everything for KRSNa. That is sannyAsa.

Prof. Hopkins: What is your view of SrI Aurobindo? (loud laughter) Or should I have left well enough alone? He is not an impersonalist, he's not a MAyAvAdI.

PrabhupAda: He says that above the MAyAvAda philosophy there is something else, super. That is bhakti. (indistinct) ...bhakti, but he could not understand because he did not take any education from realized person. He wanted to realize himself. That is his defect.

Prof. Hopkins: So one who... You would see his effort to transcend, I suppose you would call it...

PrabhupAda: That effort was for life after life. Then when his effort will be successful he will realize KRSNa. VAsudevaH sarvam iti sa mahAtmA su-durlabhaH. BahUnAM janmanAm ante [bg. 7.19].

Prof. Hopkins: So his problem was the effort to attempt to do this on his own without going through...

PrabhupAda: The guru.

Prof. Hopkins: The guru.

PrabhupAda: Therefore it will take time. Just like a man searching after the right path but he does not care to ask anybody, he is loitering in the forest.

Prof. Hopkins: You... I'm sure you're familiar with his essays on the GItA.

PrabhupAda: Yes.

Prof. Hopkins: Which I think are generally quite good, his essays on the GItA themselves. Are there places there that you would strongly disagree with in his, what he says?

PrabhupAda: No, we disagree with the whole system because he is trying to understand the Absolute Truth by his own effort. That is not possible.

Prof. Hopkins: So you would say then that no matter... He may have the right idea, but he has not, he has not...

PrabhupAda: He may be a great thoughtful man but (indistinct) ...a realized man.

Prof. Hopkins: Not realized. I'm sorry I raised the question right at the last minute but it occurred to me and I was interested in your answer. So, thank you very much.

PrabhupAda: You have given him prasAda?

BrahmAnanda: Yes.

PrabhupAda: You are staying here?

Prof. Hopkins: No, I'm going back to Lancaster this evening. I have tomorrow... Tomorrow morning we are getting a group of students together to go to India.

PrabhupAda: Oh.

Prof. Hopkins: I am not going but we're sending seventeen students to India, leaving tomorrow evening.

BrahmAnanda: You can stay at our guest house in VRndAvana.

Prof. Hopkins: Ah, could I pass on the people an invitation from you that that would be possible?

BrahmAnanda: Yes. Definitely we can arrange it.

Prof. Hopkins: Because I know there are students in the group who would like to visit VRndAvana. And you, I think, talked to some this spring and you were there. I know that the senior student with the group is very interested in going to VRndAvana.

Devotee: We have nice facility there. (indistinct)

Prof. Hopkins: That's true. They're going to be in Delhi for a week or so. It would be great if they could get out to VRndAvana just for a day. They can come back later when they have more time. So... Would they have to make preliminary arrangements or could they...? Is there some way they could make arrangements from Delhi to do that?

BrahmAnanda: Afterwards we can discuss it.

Prof. Hopkins: Okay. So.

PrabhupAda: Thank you very much.

Prof. Hopkins: Hare KRSNa. (end)</blockquote>

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...