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professors from the Theological University of Koenigstein, among them
the spiritualist Professor Pater Felix Porsch, and Dr. P.J. Saher,
author of Eastern Wisdom and Western Thought and Zen
Prabhupada: We are publishing
these books, what is spoken by Krishna or His
representative. We don't speculate, because already there is so much
profound knowledge given by Krishna and His
representative. There is no necessity of researching. If we simply take
advantage of things which are already there, we become perfect. I have
published about fourteen books like this.
Dürckheim: Incredible, incredible. What a thing!
Srila Prabhupada, these gentlemen
are professors from the Theological Philosophical University at
Koenigstein. And this
is Doctor Saher. He is the leader for the Society of Yoga and
Integral Philosophical Studies in Germany.
Yes. It is very fortunate to see so many big men at a
time. So we were also talking to this doctor about this philosophy, how
human civilization should be conducted. I was explaining to Professor
that at the present moment, not at the present moment, always in this
material world, we do not know what is the goal of life. We have got
different philosophies, different mode of life, because we do not know
what is the goal of life. If the goal of life is... [break] ...then
everything is solved. Now it is very good fortune that you are all
present. What is the goal of life? That is my submission. Human life is
there, human intelligence is there. So what is the goal of life to
achieve? The goal of life cannot be different. That is one. That is, we
take from Vedic literature, this goal of life is to understand what is
God. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said, na te
viduh svartha-gatim hi vishnum [Srimad-Bhagavatam
7.5.31]. ... So we are missing the
point, that we do not know what is the goal of life. Different persons,
different philosophers, they have got different proposition of the goal
of life. Similarly, different politician also. But we think the goal of
life is one, to understand God. Then everything is solved.
And we are writing
all these books. These
books will be finished in eighty volumes. And already we have published
fourteen volumes only. And small books also, many, about two dozen. But
our only writing is the goal of life, Krishna.
Dürckheim: May I come back once to my question, master, the
relationship between belief and experience? Because this is a great
question for us today, especially also in the religious circles, and
theologians, the priests and the monks.
No, believe the authority. That is the... That is
better than experience.
Dürckheim: Yes. That is what in our country is... I have very
much to do with people who are living in monasteries or churches and so
Dürckheim: They realize that now belief which is not faith
has to be, well, renewed by real experiences. And, you see, we have so
many priests today who say they can't pray anymore. They lost the
connection because of so much formalism and so much traditional
beliefs. And they are looking for a new source and new beginning in
their hearts, and they don't believe what you tell them. They just want
to feel it, to experience it. And there is a big change today in this
direction, and there is a... big movements. You see all these trends
today to learn meditation. It's only one longing to feel something and
not only to believe. That is the situation now very much in Germany,
isn't it so?
Dr. P. J. Saher:
Yes, it is.
Yes. So thing is that, first thing is that you have to
believe, but whom to believe? If the person whom I believe, if he is
perfect, then my belief is perfect. And if I believe a person who is
not trustworthy, then there is no meaning of this belief. Therefore we
have to find out the person or the statement which are to believe. That
is accepted in the Vedic culture, that the knowledge in the Vedas,
is perfect. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva
abhigacchet [Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12]. If one is
perfect in Vedic knowledge... Veda, Veda means
knowledge, perfect knowledge. So that belief is
Just like we are believing Krishna.
Krishna is accepted as the perfect, the supreme
perfect. So far we Indians are concerned, there are acharyas,
just like Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya,
Ramanujacharya. Actually these acharyas are
controlling the Indian culture. So all of them are unanimous to believe
Krishna, the supreme perfect person.
Dürckheim: May I ask a question, master? You see, the belief,
the understanding, is always depending on the level of the one who
wants to understand, and that's the level of our quite natural, normal
mind of the usual general person. And there is another level where
certain experiences open the door to some deeper consciousness. And, as
you know, one of the key words of the Christian religion is in the
Gospels, that you have to turn around, to the metanoia, to pierce
through a certain skin to get quite another level.
Dürckheim: And from this level the heaven opens to those who
didn't understand what the heaven means. They thought it was behind the
clouds. You see, there is a natural way to look at God, and this
natural way to look at God is lost as soon as people go through the
rational mind. And then there is no other way out but to have a
personal initiated experience. We talk about initiation. When people
are capable to go through a certain death and to discover another
level, and only... And so, the great wisdom which you are talking
about, I am sure that it also touches people on two levels. There is
the ordinary man and he might believe, but there is a deeper level
where things start to change yourself, to transform yourself in deeper
Yes. That is... That is the beginning of instruction
in the Bhagavad-gita. The beginning of knowledge...
Excuse me. Would you please explain for some people who
don't speak English here in German because we don't know all of your
Dürckheim: Yes, but I didn't want to interrupt the master.
No. I have no objection if somebody translates into
Vedavyasa can translate. [German translation follows.]
Dürckheim: Do you permit me to repeat it in German? For those
who are present here?
Yes. Yes. [German translation] [break] So Krishna
begins the first understanding,
'smin yatha dehe
dhiras tatra na
muhyati [Bhagavad-gita 2.13]
Yes. What is the translation?
"As the embodied soul continually passes in this body
from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into
another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such
Yes, translate. [German translation] This is the basic principle
of knowledge, that "I am not this body. I am the active principle
within this body." Then further knowledge can be understood. This is
the beginning of knowledge, that "I am not this..." At the present
moment everything... That I was explaining to the professor, that we
are accepting this body as self, and self-interest means this bodily
interest. Explain this. So the whole trouble is on
platform of this misconception that "I am this body." Therefore
Krishna begins from this platform what is knowledge.
First of all one must know that "I am not this body." When he
understands this basic principle of knowledge, then further knowledge
can be advanced. That is explained very nicely step by step in this
Dürckheim: May I ask a question? If you give us this wisdom,
don't you meet now in the western world an opposition from the
Christian side where the key word that this faith becomes a body, this
faith becomes flesh.
That's all right. We accept it.
Dürckheim: The incarnation. How do you understand
Now, this question, that spirit develops the skin, you
Dürckheim: Spirit? You see I have very often... I saw the
The spirit becomes flesh.
Dürckheim: The spirit becomes flesh.
That's it. So this we can experience, that as soon as
the spirit is entered into the womb of the mother, they develop skin
and the child develops body. So this is very practical, that first of
all, not that simply by sexual intercourse a child is born. Then every
the time sexual intercourse would have caused pregnancy. No. Unless the
spirit soul is there, there is no question of developing body.
Therefore it is natural that the spirit soul creates this flesh and
bone and other things and develops into body. There is no difficulty to
Dr. P. J. Saher:
Yes, but I think the professor was asking how in our
time in the case of a word, as far as spirit becoming flesh, not in the
face of an ordinary child. I think I have understood your point?
Dürckheim: Yes, in principle. You see sometimes, it seems to
me, I might be wrong, that there is one difference between Eastern
wisdom and Christian way to think that whereas in the Eastern way, we
have to become rid of our body, to be liberate from our body, whereas
Christian sense means to realize the spirit within the body.
Now, what is our suffering?
Dürckheim: I am sure it can be reconciled, but I am
interested to know how do you see this question.
Yes, yes. That everyone can understand. It is very
easy. Now, just like we have already heard from Bhagavad-gita
that I am the spirit, I am within this
So my sufferings are on account of this body. This is a fact. Because I
have entered into this body, material body, there are my sufferings.
Therefore my business should be how to get out of this body. Is it
clear or not?
So this incarnation means I am spirit soul, I have
entered this body. Now I can, next life I can enter into another body.
It may be dog's body, it may be cat's body or it may be king's body. So
the standard of suffering is there either in the king's body or in the
dog's body. And the standard of sufferings is enunciated, birth, death,
old age and disease. These are our sufferings. So in order to get out
of these four kinds of sufferings—there are many kinds; these are the
main kinds—we have to get out of this body. That is the problem.
Dürckheim: Through many lives...
Many life or this life. In this life you understand
that "My sufferings are due to this body. Then how to get out of this
body?" If you acquire this knowledge, you know the tricks, then you get
Dürckheim: May I say that way, that you say, if you, for
instance, or I want to go out of this body, it doesn't mean that I will
have to kill my body, but to realize that my spirit is independent from
No, no. There is no question of killing. You be killed
or not killed, you have to go out of this body and accept another body.
That is nature's law. That you cannot avoid. It is not necessarily that
first of all you have to be killed. No.
Dürckheim: No. Certainly not. But I have tried to become
independent from my body.
Yes, you can become.
There I see some points in common with the Christians.
Dürckheim: Lady says that there are some common points with
the Christians who also certainly want to become independent from this
body which wants material life only.
Yes. It doesn't matter whether it is Christianity or
Hinduism or Muslim or... Knowledge is knowledge. Wherever knowledge is
available, you must pick up. So knowledge... Now let us explain, that
knowledge has no color. Knowledge is knowledge. It doesn't matter
whether Christianism or Hinduism or Mohammedan. Now, this is a
knowledge, that every living entity is imprisoned within this body.
This knowledge is equally good for Hindus, Muslim, Christian or
everyone. There is no question of Christianism or Hinduism.
The soul is
imprisoned within this body, and the problem is birth, death, old age
and disease on account of this body. But we want to live eternally, we
want full knowledge; we want full blissfulness. To attain that goal of
life, we must get out of this body. This is the process.
question arises whether the thesis is correct. It seems to me
there is a large misunderstanding due to non-acceptance of humans as
they are, and an attempt to escape this human existence. I can
naturally imagine a pure spirit, and I am very much reminded of
philosophy, even the Gnosis, which naturally regarded the body as
dungeon, from which spirit had to be released in order to come to the
realization of God. But that is not human beings. Human means the
single unit of body and
soul. It would be a misunderstanding to see therein a community with
Christianity, because if we have at all such a thing in
Christianity, then it stirs up Gnosis, Gnostizismus from Hellenic
influence long ago, from Manichaeismus, and so on. In the Christian
sense it is the goal of the life to use our body
and its capabilities well; that is the goal. Not that we don't use,
because then I do
not see the point of it, why wouldn't we draw the conclusion to kill
our body immediately, to release our spirit at once?
[translating] ...stress on this point that we are
existing in a body but we should accept our existence as human being.
Existence as human being, you want. So do you think
human being is existing in this body is perfect?
No, I don't believe it is perfect. In that you are right. We
suffer under it; but that is our current condition, and it does not
much sense to speculate how humans could be, if we
were released from the body. We must resign ourselves now to our life,
how we came into the world.
[translating] So he says yes, he accepts our life now is not perfect,
that we are conditioned. But he says we shouldn't construct an ideal
human being, but we should accept our life as it is now.
No, no. The thing is that you are not perfect.
Therefore the idea should be how to become perfect.
Porsch: As humans or as soul? If I want to become perfect
as humans, in which
measure I can do that, and that I can see that? Where are liberated
humans in this sense?
[translating] So he
asks, "How to become perfect, as human being or as spirit?" Because he
sees now only human beings. So this is the problem how to become
perfect as human being, not as spirit.
Why you are sticking to human being although it is
imperfect? Why you are sticking to human being? You are
accepting this human being is not perfect, and still, why you are
sticking to this imperfect life? Now, in what way you like this human
form of body? What is the purpose?
Porsch: For me the body is a means for communication and a
means to express my spirit. I may be able myself to connect perhaps in
the spirit with someone,
but he is unaware of it. Thus however, with this body, I can
enter into communication with him.
[translating] So he says his body is just an instrument of
communication, and through this body he can communicate with other
So this is also possible by the birds and beasts. They
also talk: "Kichu, kichu, kichu, kichu."
Porsch: There probably is a difference. As far as I know in
psychology, animals do not recognize each other also probably not each
other e.g. and; they do not have self realization. That applies only to
the higher primates. That there is such a communication of the spirit
with the help of the
body with the animals, I do not know, and if there is such a
phenomenon, well, I do
not have anything against it. I believe, however, that the degree of
communication between humans and
animals is probably completely
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