His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
His Divince Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness “By the mercy of the spiritual master one is benedicted by the mercy of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master no one can make any advancement. Therefore I should always remember the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.” – from Sri Gurvastakam (Eight Prayers Glorifying the Spiritual Master) by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur.
[Transcribed from tapes of a conversation with disciples, May 10, 1969, Columbus, Ohio]
When I first started going to see my Guru Maharaj (Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati), he said of me, “This boy hears very nicely. He does not go away. So I shall make him a disciple.” These very words he said. Actually I did not follow him in the beginning. Philosophically speaking, I was a new boy. I could not follow him, but actually I was so glad to hear him, that’s all. (laughs) So that was my qualification, or whatever you may say. I was simply asking when Guru Maharaj would speak; then I’d sit down and go on hearing. I would understand, or not understand; others would disperse, I’d not disperse. Then at first there was one instance, circumambulation of Old Vrndavana. Although I was not initiated then, I was one of the important members. So I thought, “Let me go. What are these people doing circumambulating all over Vrndavana?” So I went to Mathura and then to the Vrndavana interior to a place known as Kosi. In that Kosi one of my Godbrothers declared, “Prabhupada [Bhaktisiddhanta] is going back to Mathura tomorrow, so he’ll speak this evening, and anyone who wants to hear him can stay, and others may prepare to see another temple, which is called Sesasayi Temple.” So although I was new I did not want to see the Sesasayi Temple. I decided to hear instead. Some of my important Godbrothers were sitting about like this. And I was sitting at his left, but he knew, “This boy is new.” Everyone was gone, all others, (laughs) except a few selected Godbrothers. And he marked, “This boy is interested to hear.” So hearing is very important. Hearing, just like Arjuna heard Krsna.
Because I was serious in hearing, therefore I am now serious about kirtanam, which means speaking or preaching. Do you understand? So one who is serious about hearing can become a future preacher. Sravanam kirtanam. The next stage will develop. If one has actually heard nicely, then he will speak nicely. Sravanam kirtanam smaranam. Then consciousness will automatically develop, because when you speak or when you hear, unless your mind is concentrated, your consciousness is slight. It cannot rightly hear or speak. Sravanam kirtanam smaranam pada-sevanam means that activity begins immediately. Just like Bali Maharaja—he was giving, giving, giving, giving, giving, giving, and when Vamandeva said, “Bali Maharaja, you have lost everything,” he said, “Still I have another place for You to place Your foot. Yes, there is a small thing—it is my head.” (laughs) So Lord Vamandeva said, “You have now purchased Me. I shall remain your doorman, standing here always to give you protection.” So Krsna became purchased by him, and He remained his doorman. Dvari means doorman. Just see His mercy. So by serving Krsna no one is loser; he is gainer. Ah, he is gainer, permanently … eternally. And we do not know what is the value of that gain now because we are materially covered.
And what is service? Service in this world is maya. No one will be satisfied. No one. You cannot satisfy; nor will you be satisfied. The best example is in your country. Your President, Mr. Kennedy, gave you the best service, and the result was that you or some of your members killed him. That means his service was not appreciated, although he gave his best service. Similarly, in the material world whatever service you render is spoiling time. But if you render service to Krsna, you will be satisfied, Krsna will be satisfied, and when Krsna is satisfied, everyone will be satisfied. So take to this Krsna consciousness service by hearing, by speaking, by remembering, by giving active service, by worshiping, by making friendship and, after all, doing everything for Krsna. That is perfection. So engage all your service in the service of Krsna. It is very pleasing, encouraging, and enlightening.
After too much material enjoyment, the next stage is frustration. That stage is coming to your country. Therefore the boys are becoming hippies. After too much material enjoyment, the next stage is—that is natural—frustration. There is a good example in our country. One gentleman, who was a great leader, next to Gandhi, an important political leader and a topmost lawyer, a barrister, was earning $50,000 monthly. He was a very rich man, and he was making charity and he was also spending like anything … he was drunkard number one, woman hunter number one, etc., because he had money to enjoy everything. But he was not happy. So oneday he was sitting with his wife in view of the street, and he was drinking. So his wife asked him, “My dear husband, you are earning so much and spending. People are very much fond of you, a great leader. Why do you always remain morose? What do you want to be? You now have everything.” Then at that time one mendicant, a sannyasi, was passing, and so he said, “I want to be like him. Then I’ll be happy. I don’t want to enjoy. I want to go to beggar life.” You see? So that time is coming to your country. These hippies are frustrated. They are giving up everything; we can study their psychic movement. They are not satisfied. That is the main principle. That is natural. To accept adversities voluntarily. So this is frustration. But if you take to Krsna consciousness before reaching that point of frustration, then you will reach the real standard of happiness because everything belongs to Krsna. I shall give you another example. Suppose you have stolen something from somebody’s house or some friends. You know you will not be happy possessing that stolen property. But if some day you come to return that thing to its owner, you will be happy. Then you will feel relieved.
Therefore, the real situation is that everything belongs to Krsna. We are artificially enjoying, and so this frustration will come. But if we return everything to Krsna before coming to that frustration, then it will be all right. So the best thing is to return everything to Krsna. This is Krsna consciousness. Then you will not be loser; you’ll be gainer just like Bali Maharaja. Actually if you do not think that everything belongs to Krsna, that it belongs to you, this is maya. It is Krsna’s property, and you are thinking “mine.” Does this land of America belong to you actually? It is stolen property. There is another example. Hira means diamond, and khira means cucumber. One man has stolen a cucumber from the street, and he is captured. Another man has stolen a diamond, and he is also arrested. But for the police both are thieves. If the man says, “Oh, what have I stolen? I have stolen a little cucumber. It is worth nothing, not even two cents or one cent. Why are you arresting me? No. In the eyes of law, he is a thief, and the other is also a thief. Everyone’s a thief. Anyone who is not in Krsna consciousness is a thief. He’ll not be happy. The best thing is to return whatever you possess. “Krsna, it is Yours. Take it.” Finish with it. Bhaktivinode Thakur has written a song expressing this. Everything we possess in mind, actually we don’t possess. Suppose I am “possessing” all this. As soon as I go from this body, all possessions will remain here. I will not take anything. So I don’t possess, but in my mind I am thinking, “Oh, this is mine, this is mine. Where is my other box? Why is it not coming?” It is possessed in the mind. If I leave this body, I leave the box here or in Chicago or anywhere else. What is the difference? There is no difference. But because I am possessing in the mind, “Oh that box is mine,” therefore I am asking whether it is in Chicago or it is here or there. So possession is in the mind. Actually you don’t possess. By that false possessive attitude we have gotten our mind, our body, then the expansions of the body, wife, children, family, society, country. In this way we possess so many things. Bhaktivinode Thakur says, “Now whatever I possess, either in the mind or in the family, or in the society or in the body, whatever I have, I surrender unto my dear Krsna. Nandakisora, O son of Nanda, I give it unto You. Now whatever You like You can do. Either You kill me or protect me, as You like. You are the proprietor. You have the right to do anything.” This is surrender. This is full Krsna consciousness. But that is not possible immediately. Therefore we have to practice. And if we die in this Krsna consciousness … according to the particular type of consciousness in which one gives up this body, he’s transferred in the next life to the respective position. In this way in Krsna consciousness we are able to be with Krsna, by practicing always, constantly, that situation of consciousness. Then in the next life, after giving up—Why next life? This life also—one who is always in Krsna’s service in this life or the next life is with Krsna. Any person who is in Krsna consciousness is always with Krsna. Krsna is everywhere, though I may not understand that Krsna is everywhere.
So you American boys and girls should take to this Krsna consciousness. You’ll be happy. In your position you should take this up because you are on the top of the material happiness. Now you take it, and you’ll be saved. Otherwise this frustration is coming. That will come. Just like that politician—out of frustration he gave up everything. He sacrificed his life for something political. Why was that a sacrifice? You may become a great man of your country in the estimation of your people, but not in the estimation of Krsna. You may become a great man in the estimation of your country, but in others’ estimation you’re an enemy. “Oh that man is dead now. Our enemy is finished.” So to another side there is imperfection; not everybody is satisfied by your service, but if you serve Krsna everybody is satisfied. If you chant Hare Krsna and dance, nobody will be dissatisfied. They will say, just as they did in the paper, “The boys are very nice.” You see? They were not very sympathetic, but they have remarked, “These boys are very nice.”
So at least people will appreciate these boys. They do not smoke, they do not drink, they have no illicit sex life, they do not kill to satisfy the tongue. They are satisfied with natural food. And their ideals are very good. Who’ll deny it? And the asset! They cannot estimate how much the devotee is in contact with Krsna the Supreme. They have no estimating power. So they will appreciate these external features. While I was going to Hawaii one clergyman was talking with me, and he said, “Swamiji, I have seen that your disciples have very nice glowing faces.” “Yes certainly, they must be making spiritual progress.” So it is not difficult. It is very easy. If you take to this, you have everything sublime, and your life becomes sublime. You don’t have to give up anything. The material needs are there: eating, sleeping, mating and defending. That is not forbidden. But adjust it for Krsna consciousness. We cannot allow eating and mating like animals, cats and dogs, no. That is not possible. You’ll eat and you’ll mate, but just like human beings, civilized men. What is the distinction between animal and man, if we behave like animals? Krsna, God, is pure. So if you keep yourself in an impure condition of life then how can you make progress towards purity, the highest perfection of purity? In the Tenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita Arjuna is accepting Krsna as the purest of all: Param brahma param dhama pavitram paramam bhagavan. If you are going to reach the purest of all, how can you remain impure? And this voluntary restraint means tapasya. The Sanskrit word tapasya means voluntarily restraining or accepting some suffering condition. But that is not actually a suffering condition. Just like a patient. A doctor says, “You cannot take it.” But he mentally thinks, “Oh, the doctor has restricted this. I am suffering.” Actually he is being cured, but he thinks that he is suffering. And when he’s cured, he says, “Oh, the doctor is a good friend. He told me not to indulge in this. Now I am cured.” So tapasya means voluntarily accepting some so-called suffering. That is required to make advancement in Krsna consciousness: voluntary acceptance of so-called suffering. That suffering is for transcendental realization. That is good. It means your existence will be purified. And to purify existence means to advance in realizing unlimited happiness. And what is the disease? Disease means limitation of eating, limitation of sleeping, limitation of mating, Everything limited. A diseased man cannot have sex life unlimitedly. There is restriction. That restriction is for curing him. And the cure means he enjoys. Whatever you think is enjoyment must be unlimited. Eternal happiness, unending happiness. So to acquire unending, eternal happiness, if you have to accept some voluntary suffering in this life, you should do that.
So if you like, you can ask some questions. If you go to a person, superior or a spiritual master, then you should ask questions. You should be inquisitive for better understanding. That means you are inquisitive for higher, happy life. So what is your inquisitiveness?
Student: Would you say something about Christ and his relation to Krsna?
Prabhupada: Christ is Krsna conscious, that’s all. So you become like Christ, Krsna conscious. Don’t you understand that Christ is fully Krsna conscious? You don’t understand it? Then you become like Christ, fully Krsna conscious.
Lokanatha: What was Arjuna’s relation to Krsna. I mean as concisely as you can put it.
Prabhupada: Friendship. There are five kinds of relationships. Just like “God is great.” That is simply feeling the greatness of God. And when one feels exactly how God is great, then naturally there will be an inclination to serve God. That is called servitude. First, neutrality, the estimation that is called santa-rasa, neutral, no activity, but simply appreciating that God is great, simply appreciation. And then servitude. When the appreciation is complete: “Ah! Why not serve God? He is so great. He is giving us so many things. Let me return something. Let me do some service.” That servitude is further development of the appreciation of the greatness of God. And even further development is friendship. Service means I ask you, “Please give me a glass of water,” and you give it to me. And friendship means you are thinking, “How is my friend? Now he may be wanting a glass of water.” So before asking, if you give it to me—”I think you may require a glass of water.”—that is friendship. Friendship means feeling the friend’s welfare always. Su-hrd. Friendship is not simply chatting. Friendship means thinking how my friend will be happy. This is friendship. And then that friendship, when further developed, is parenthood. Parents have no other consideration than wanting to see how their child will be happy always. And further development is conjugal love. Just like man and woman, male and female—that love. That love includes everything. So there is appreciation of greatness, servitude of servant, friendship, maternal love, and finally offering everything to the lover. That is most affectionate stage of love. So in this way we have five kinds of direct relationships. And there are seven kinds of indirect relationships. Those are on the platform of enmity. Just like Kamsa. Kamsa was thinking of Krsna as an enemy. So he was also Krsna conscious; he was thinking of how to kill Krsna. That is also Krsna consciousness. But indirectly. So there are seven indirect rasas: ghastly, comic, wonderful, anger, chivalrous, mercy and shocking. In so many ways there are many different relations. Without relationship, nobody can remain. Seven kinds of relationships are indirect. And five kinds of relationships are direct. So we want to be situated in a direct relationship.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: Although the conditioned souls are in an indirect relationship, everyone is in a relationship?
Prabhupada: Yes, there must be some relationship. Without some relationship one cannot exist. He is part and parcel. Just like persons in the prison house. They are not outside the government; they have a relationship with the government. But that is indirect. The prisoner does not appreciate the service of the government, and the government is bothered by his existence. Instead of receiving some service from him, the state has to spend unnecessarily for him. That is a botheration. So those who are in an indirect relationship with Krsna are a botheration. They are simply giving trouble to Krsna. But there is a relationship.
Hayagriva: Is the humorous a direct or indirect?
Prabhupada: Humor is practically in every direct relationship. And in indirect there is humor also. I am thinking of you as an enemy. That is also another type of humor. (laughs) Yes.
Pradyumna: Do the five direct rasas take place between jiva souls also when there is—
Prabhupada: Everything is for jiva souls. All relationships. And Krsna is one, the Supreme. And all the jiva souls are part and parcel of Krsna. Therefore the eternal relationship is there. Now they’re exhibited in this dual kind of humor, either directly or indirectly. Jiva soul, the part and parcel, cannot be separated from the Supreme. The sun and the sunlight, the electric bulb and the diffusion of light, cannot be separated. But this portion is covered, and it appears to be darkness. So when it is covered, that is called maya. When one thinks that he has no relationship with God, or “I am God; there is no God,” this is maya. He is covered. He cannot see. So he has to be treated by this Krsna consciousness treatment, and maya will go, separated, and he will see, “Ah yes! I am part and parcel of Krsna.” Then he comes to the direct relationship. There are spiritualists or transcendentalists who claim that there is no God, or “I am God,” or that there is only void. All these are disturbing positions, different symptoms of this disease of maya. It is a disease. How can one think that he is God? That means he does not know what is God. If I say here that I am President Nixon, will you accept it? Will you accept it? Any one of you, if I say that I am President Nixon, will you accept? Why? Why?
Student: I don’t know.
Prabhupada: What? Why? Why do you not accept me? I say, “I am President Nixon.” Why do you not accept? Why?
Student: I would say you are, if you say you are. (everyone laughs)
Prabhupada: That means you are not rascal. You have seen that you do not accept me as President. Yes, that is one thing. At least you are not insane. So if I say, “I am God” and you accept me, then how much more insane you are. Just try to understand how much insanity is there. One is claiming that “I am God,” and one is accepting that he is God. This is insanity.
Student: Are we not all one?
Prabhupada: One, that is a different thing. Are you not one with President Nixon?
Student: Yes. He’s a human being.
Prabhupada: That is all right. He is American; he is a human being. In so many qualities you are one. But you cannot claim that you are PresidentNixon. Param brahman. Param means the chief. We are all brahman. Aham brahmasmi Every living entity isBrahman. But Krsna is the chief Brahman. Just like you are all Americans, but your President is the chief American. Similarly, Krsna is the chief Brahman. You are allbrahman, but He is the chief Brahman. Is it clear? You should understandin that way. In so many respects and qualities you are one with God, but that does not mean that you are God. God is one. Just like in spite of your becoming an American or a human being, you do not identify yourself with President Nixon because you have full knowledge of President Nixon and yourself. And as soon as you say, “I am God,” that means that you have not full knowledge of God. You’re insane. You do not know what God is. That very assertion immediately shows that you know nothing about God. God is so great, but you are claiming that greatness. That means you do not know how great He is. A tiny factor claims that he is God without having that greatness. That means insanity, the same as if you claim that you are President Nixon. But how great God is! How much greater than President Nixon! Do you deny being one with President Nixon and accept yourself to be one with God? How insane you are. Just try to understand. Yes?
Hrsikesa: I have read in Bhagavad-gita that he who knows the Self does not do action nor cause action to be done. So, what is the soul’s, the spirit soul’s, relationship to actions performed both in material consciousness?
Prabhupada: Material consciousness means forgetting God. When one forgets God, that is material consciousness. Material consciousness is called maya. Actually one should not forget, but if he forgets somehow or other, that is material consciousness. Naturally, nobody forgets his father and mother, but if somehow or other he forgets, that is a special circumstance, and that is called maya, illusion. Just like any one of NOU who are existing must have a father and mother. That is a fact. Without father and mother your existence cannot be. Now, if you cannot say who is your father and mother, if you do not know, this forgetfulness is called maya. Actually, it should not happen, but somehow or other if you are asked who are your parents, you cannot say. This is called maya. But there must be some father and mother. Without a father and mother there cannot be an existence. You cannot deny that. You may not know who are your father and mother; that is a different thing. But you cannot say, “Oh, I have no father and mother.” So this denial—”I don’t believe in God or His existence.”—is like forgetting your father and mother. That is maya. And that is material consciousness. They deny God in different ways. “There is no God.” That is denial. “I don’t believe in God.” That is also denial. “God is impersonal, void,” or however you say it, that is all insanity, maya. Maya means insanity, for when a man becomes insane that is false; it is expected that he should not be insane. Maya means insanity, forgetfulness of God. And by the Krsna consciousness treatment, one can come to His original consciousness and become a cured man. Actually, maya means that which has no existence. Maya has no existence, but sometimes it is there, just like the clouds in the sky. The covering is not reality. Reality is the clear sky. This is temporary, illusory. If I see the cloud only and if I think there is no sun, no illumination or no clear sky, that is insanity. Because I cannot see under certain circumstances, I deny it, and that is my insanity. Therefore you have to approach the man who knows that there is sunlight, there is sun, and there is clear sky. You require all this education, knowledge. By knowledge, one transcends maya or material existence. What is the difference between an ordinary man and a Krsna conscious man? He also is living in this world, in this apartment and using everything that is being utilized by others. He is also eating and sleeping, but what is the difference? The difference is that he accepts that everything belongs to Krsna. Others do not. That’s all. Everything actually belongs to Krsna. Others do not know. They think it belongs to them, or “This is my nation, this is my country, this that.” So many things they manufacture, but we know the simple truth: everything belongs to Krsna. So let everything be offered to Krsna. That’s all.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: We understand that under material consciousness the living entity is being forced to act.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: His actions are quite automatic under the laws of material nature.
Prabhupada: Yes. Action is there. Because you are a living entity, you are active.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: Yes, but they’re being dictated.
Prabhupada: Yes, just like a man in fever is talking nonsense.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: Yes.
Prabhupada: But this is due to fever.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: In Krsna consciousness are the actions of the jiva similarly controlled by Krsna’s superior energy?
Prabhupada: Yes, certainly.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: But everything is being ultimately controlled by Krsna, either by inferior energy or by superior energy.
Kirtanananda Maharaja: So these activities are never independent.
Prabhupada: Never, never, never. That is his insanity. Anyway, as soon as one thinks, “I am independent,” that is another insanity. He is under control. Just like a man is thinking, “I don’t care for the state laws.” He’s insane. He will be forced to accept state laws in the prison house by the police. But he thinks, “Oh, I am a prisoner, but I am still independent.” He is slapped by the police, but he still says, “I am independent. Go on slapping.” That is insanity. Is it not insanity? The police slap him, and he says, “I am independent.” Do you think that is independence? That is the sort of independence we are having. We are always kicked by maya, yet we are thinking ourselves independent. This is insanity. We do not think how we are independent. One is servant of his senses, he cannot refrain from enjoying his senses for an hour, and he is thinking himself independent. That means he is insane. He cannot think properly. Where is his independence? He cannot be independent. He is born dependent; he is part and parcel of God. His constitutional position is dependent. The child might declare independence, but what is the meaning of that independence? Danger, that is all. He is simply inviting dangers. A child says, “Oh, I don’t care for my parents. I shall cross the ocean; I shall go everywhere.” So if he is allowed to do that, then he’s simply inviting dangers. And if he remains under the protection of the parents, he is always safe. So these living entities declaring independence are insane and are suffering from different kinds of insanity. They cannot be independent. Let them think very deeply, but they cannot be independent. They are thinking themselves independent of God, but they are dependent on their senses, that’s all. And some intoxication. They voluntarily accept dependence of something—maya. That’s all. Who is independent? Is there anyone independent? Nobody is independent. To think of independence is maya. The best thing is that since I am dependent, let me remain dependent properly. Then I am protected. So is your question answered? Material consciousness means thinking oneself falsely independent. That is material consciousness. Falsely. He is not independent, but he is thinking falsely, “I am independent.” This is maya. Just like in a dream, he is falsely thinking there is a tiger. There is no tiger, but he is actuated by this false impression: “Oh, the tiger is eating me! He has attacked me! Save me!” So this material existence means that because he is insane he is thinking there are so many problems. “The tiger is there! He is attacking me!” This, that, oh, so many, he is creating so many things. But they’re all false. But he is attacked by that false hallucination. That’s all. This is maya. Everyone is thinking, “Oh, there are so many problems I have to solve; I have to make this much. I have this—” But he actually has no problems. His only problem is how to accept Krsna. That’s all. And Krsna is so kind He says, “Yes, you accept Me. Simply chant ‘Krsna’; I am yours. That’s all.” But I am so unfortunate that I cannot chant it. All problems are solved simply by chanting Krsna. Etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan. Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “O Krsna, You are so kind that You have come to me in the sound vibration ‘Krsna.’ I can very easily chant, and You will remain with me. But I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction even for this.” When you see people and tell them, “Chant Hare Krsna and you’ll get everything,” they’ll not believe it. And if you say, “I’ll press your nose, you pay me $50, and I’ll give you some nice mantra. And you move your head like this, your leg like this,” then they will say, “Oh! Here is something!” (laughter) “So this Swamiji says simply chant Hare Krsna! What is this?” Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “You have become so easily available in this age, but I am so unfortunate that I cannot accept this.” This Krsna consciousness is so easily being distributed, but they are so unfortunate that they cannot accept. Just see. And if you give them a bluff, if you cheat them: “Ah, yes, welcome!” Yes. They welcome it, and cheaters are always ready. “Customers are being cheated, so let me take advantage of it.” My Guru Maharaj used to say that this world is the society of the cheaters and the cheated. You have the association of cheaters and cheated. So we want to save people from this society of cheaters and cheated.
Hrsikesa: Prabhupad, often I would be performing, doing something, some activity during our day, and so many things will go wrong, and I’ll become frustrated.
Prabhupada: When one is in a profession, there may be something wrong. That doesn’t matter. But you try to discharge your duties rightly, whatever you are prescribed to do. Then everything will come to the right point. Your only business is to follow the four principles of the regulated way of life and chant Hare Krsna, sixteen rounds. So there may sometimes be a mistake. That will be corrected automatically because we are coming from a different platform. It is also said in Bhagavad-gita: api cet-suduracaro bhajate mam ananya-bhak sadhur eva sa mantavyah. “Although one is found committing mistakes or doing something wrong, because he is sticking to this principle of Krsna consciousness, he is a sadhu.” Sadhu means holy man. He is holy. He is not doing any wrong consciously, but due to habit. Suppose, just like most of you, in your former life you were smoking or taking intoxication. But by some influence, if you sometimes again take to it, you may be conscious, “Oh I have done wrong.” But that is excused if you have done so unconsciously. But if you think, “Now that I am Krsna conscious, whatever I do is all right,” then it is bad. But if accidentally it happens, that is excused. So an accidental mistake is not dangerous, but a willful neglect is dangerous. We should be very careful always so that accidental mistakes also may not take place. But if they take place, they will be excused.
Student: Can hatha-yoga hinder or help Krsna consciousness?
Prabhupada: Hinder. Because it is useless, simply wasting time. You cannot follow the rules and regulations. You are simply bluffed. Do you know what are the rules and regulations of hatha-yoga? Actually? You have to select a secluded place. Actually it is not practiced in an assembly of so many men, but they go to a hatha-yoga class where there are hundreds of members practicing. And someone is collecting money, five dollars for a seat, and you are thinking, “Oh I am practicing.” That is useless, a waste of time and money. Hatha-yoga is not practiced in that way. You have to practice in a secluded place, alone. Do you do that?
Student: No, I guess I don’t.
Prabhupada: It is very difficult in this age. Then you have to restrain yourself in so many things, completely free from sex life. You have to eat under certain directions. You have to—so many things. These rules are not followed. Simply they have some bodily gymnastics, sitting postures, and they are thinking, “I will practice.” No, that is just one of the items. So all the items cannot be observed in this age. Therefore, it is wasting time. And what is the real yoga practice? That is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: “Of all yogis, he who always abides in Me with great faith, worshiping Me in transcendental loving service, is most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all.” This is the goal of yoga practice. So that is possible very easily by this movement, Krsna consciousness, not by any other process. The ultimate goal is here. One should be always abiding with God, worshiping Him in loving transcendental service and should be intimately united with Him. Intimately. This “intimately” refers to the five kinds of relationships. That is the perfection of yoga. Krsna advised yoga practice. Sankhya-yoga. So you read about sankhya-yoga in chapter six of Bhagavad-gita in the forty-seventh verse. This is the version.
Student: There is no value in keeping the body fit through exercises?
Prabhupada: Yes, you can become very healthy, but does that mean that health is the perfection of life? Do you mean to say that if one has a healthy life, he will not die? He will not change his body? So health is required, but health is not the ultimate goal of life. The ultimate goal of life is here.
Lokanatha: Buddha taught very similar things to what the Gita taught also, didn’t he? Are there agreements in certain places, what Buddha teaches and what the Gita teaches?
Prabhupada: Do you follow Buddha?
Prabhupada: You simply talk of him? Practice like Buddha and appreciate him. Give up everything like Buddha and meditate. But that you will not do. Then what is the useless talking about? You just talk. Do something! Either you believe Buddha or Jesus Christ or Krsna. Do something! Don’t talk, simply. Lord Buddha is very nice. He gave up his kingdom. He led a full life; he was a prince. He thought it was all nonsense, “Let me meditate.” So do like that. We won’t do anything. That is the disease. We talk much about this, that, this, that. Do anything, but do it perfectly! Jack of all trades, master of none—that is no good. Be master of something! It doesn’t matter. Either you follow Lord Jesus Christ or Lord Buddha, or Krsna, it doesn’t matter much. But do it perfectly. That is all we request.