"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name." So He has name. You find out what is His name and chant it. And if you do not know, then take it from us. 
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Continued from p. 4

Zen, Christian Teachings and Krishna Consciousness

Conversation with Professor Dürckheim, German Spiritual Writer, June 19, 1974, Schloss Rettershof, Germany

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the world-wide Hare Krishna Movement, Brahma Sampradaya Acharya

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Vedavyasa: [translating] He thinks there's a great difference between the talking of birds and bees and our talking.

Prabhupada: Why difference? They are talking in their community, you are talking in your community.

Hansadutta: No, he [Professor Pater Porsch] has said a very good point. He said there is a difference because an animal has no self-consciousness. He does not understand what he is in essence.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is the real point. That is the real point, that you can try to understand what you are. The birds and beasts, they cannot understand. That is the difference. So our human effort should be utilized for that realization, not to act like birds and beasts. Therefore the Brahma-sutra, Vedanta-sutra, instructs in the beginning, athato brahma jijnasa: "This life is meant for inquiring about the supreme spirit or Absolute Truth." That is the aim of this life, not like birds and beasts, simply talking and eating and sleeping, but extra responsibility, extra intelligence is there to understand the Absolute Truth. You take the Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto, first part, yes. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa nartho yash cheha karmabhih.

Satsvarupa: It's not here. First part is not here.

Prabhupada: No. First of all find out from the index this verse. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa nartho yash cheha karmabhih. Kamasya nendriya-pritir labho jiveta yavata, jivasya tattva-jijnasa yash... Kamasya nendriya-pritih [Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.10]. Have you found?

Satsvarupa: Chapter Two, verse 10. But the verse is not here. It is in the first volume.

Devotee: Some[one] is bringing.

Prabhupada: So he has gone?

Devotee: Yes.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is explained, that how this human form of life should be utilized, these necessities of life, not for to complete the necessities. Necessities of life, they are already supplied by God. Just like the birds and beasts, they are getting their necessities of life. They have no organization or no business, no factory, but they are getting their necessities of life. So Bhagavata says, "This is not the problem, to acquire only the necessities of life. The only business is to inquire about the Absolute Truth. That is human life." [to Satsvarupa:] Read this verse.


kamasya nendriya-pritir
labho jiveta yavata
jivasya tattva-jijnasa
nartho yash cheha karmabhih
[Srimad-Bhagavgatam 1.2.10]

"Translation: Life's desires should never be aimed at gratifying the senses. One should desire to live only because human life enables one to inquire about the Absolute Truth. This should be the goal of all works."

Prabhupada: Te... what is that? Jivasya tattva-jijnasa, inquiring about the Absolute Truth, that is the only business of human being.

Professor Dürckheim: Now may I put a question? Just I think there is one way to reconcile. This was given just now as a Christian view or of the other side, as far as the body is concerned, because I think there are three consciousness, conscience of body. The one looks only at health, the second one only of beauty, but the third one we are never talking about has to look to transparence of our body consciousness, to become transparent in a way that in our body and through our body we might look for the Absolute Truth.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Professor Dürckheim: That this goes together.

Prabhupada: Yes. So the thing is that if my life is based on false conception that "I am this body," so the bodily appreciation of beauty or any other thing, that is also false. That is also false. If I am not this body, then anything conceived in relation with this body, that is false.

Professor Dürckheim: That is perhaps not completely like that, because we see the body usual in health or beauty, and to that extent we remain certainly attached to the body, but there is also a third possibility: that the body is experienced as transparency to something different.

Vedavyasa: [translating] He says that usually we see the body in connection with beauty or health. But there is another possibility, to use the body as a transparent medium to conceive the Absolute Truth.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is explained here. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa. That means with this body you should not waste your time like the birds and beasts but utilize it for inquiring about the Absolute Truth. That is reality.

Professor Pater Porsch: Not only to the Absolute Truth, but to communicate together. Think of the smiling of a child, its first communication between man. It's not only the body as instrument for the eternal truth but under, among us.

Prabhupada: So that you have to learn, how with this body you can utilize your energy to understand the Absolute Truth and reestablish your relationship with the Absolute Truth.

Professor Pater Porsch: Is it a waste to use this body to do good for others? If I smile, if I am pleased, if I express something, is that a waste of energy?

Vedavyasa: [translating] He says it's a waste of our energy if we try to do good for others, if we smile and be kind...

Prabhupada: But you cannot do good to others because you do not know what is good.  You are thinking of good in terms of your body, but body is false. Therefore the conception of goodness is also false. [German]

Professor Pater Porsch: I cannot accept that the body is false.

Prabhupada: No, no. I withdraw that word false. But it is not you. It is false in this sense, that you are accepting this body yourself, but that you are not. Just like...

Professor Pater Porsch: But I live my identity with the body.

Prabhupada: With the body. But the body is false, false in this sense, that you are not this body. You are simply... Just like I am occupying this apartment, but I am not this apartment. I am different from this apartment. This is understanding. So if you take interest of the apartment and you forget yourself, that is false. If I simply decorate this body, apartment, and I don't eat myself, then what is the... This is false attempt, that we are trying... This is called. In the Bhagavata it is said that apranasya hi dehasya mandanam loka-ranjanam. Now, this body, just you or I, everyone, we are nicely dressed. But if the life is gone from the body, if you dress the body, is that very good intelligence? You have understood? That I am dressing, so long my life is there, I am dressing very nicely this body, but when the body is dead, if you dress the body or somebody or your relative dresses nicely, it is very good intelligence?  [break]

Professor Pater Porsch: To be frank, this example seems erroneous—comparing a room, which I inhabit, to the body and its relationship with the soul.

Vedavyasa: [translating] ...example of this comparison with a room and the body is not very good because he says...

Prabhupada: But because he does not know that he is not this body.

Vedavyasa: Yes, but he says because if we go out of the room, the room remains as it is, but if we go out of the body, the body doesn't remain. So he says there must be an intimate connection between the soul and the body.

Prabhupada: No, remains means in the same way. Just like if I leave this room and it remains here, in a few years time it will be destroyed. Similarly, if you leave this body, in a few hours... It is a question of hours and years. [break]

Professor Pater Porsch: As long as we live, soul and bodies comprise a unit!

Vedavyasa: [translating]...saying that this body is, the soul is a unit.

Prabhupada: The soul is different from the body.

Vedavyasa: Yes, but at the same time, he says there must be a very intimate connection of, actually a oneness of body and soul. That is what is now.

Prabhupada: No, no.

Professor Pater Porsch: As long as we are alive.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is not oneness. Just like this room is important so long I am living. Otherwise it has no importance.  [break] ...soul is gone from the body, even the body is very dear, I throw it away.

Vedavyasa: He doesn't want to separate.

Prabhupada: But you must separate. [laughter] As soon as your death comes, your body will be kicked out by your relatives.

Professor Dürckheim: I think the difference is now just one, that Professor Pater Porsch spoke about our lifetime, that during our lifetime there is an intimate unity between life and soul, as we experience it, and he now has no doubt that the soul is something different of the body, and when soul goes out, there is no life anymore.

Dr. P.J. Saher: May I please add one thing? Perhaps it makes a difference if the person thinks "I am the spirit. I have a body." or he thinks, "I am a body, and I possess a soul." That is an important point.

Prabhupada: Yes, yes. That is his mistake, that he is body and he possesses soul. But not that. He is soul; he is covered by this body. Another example. Just like your coat. So long you use it, it is important. And if you don't use it, it has no importance. But if he takes coat is very important... Important, it is important, so long you use it. But if you don't use it—it is torn—you throw it away. You take another coat. 

Prof. Pater Porsch: Can we not also say that self and not self must separate, either in death involuntarily, or through destiny.

Prabhupada: Must separate, must separate.

Prof. Pater Porsch: Either through death or destiny.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is called death. You separate from this body; you accept another body. This period is called death. So the body which you occupied previously, that is false now. Now the body which you have occupied now, that is important now. So you are giving stress on the body which I am changing after few years. That is the problem, misunderstanding.

Professor Dürckheim: I think it would be important for us all to know what you would say to the question, "How to realize the last truth, and what do you mean by realize the eternal truth?"

Professor Pater Porsch: I would like to give an example from the Gospel of John, in order to see the similarity. There it means, and that is a quasi definition: "It is eternal life that we recognize you." The life consists of recognizing the Father.

Vedavyasa: [translating] He said that in the Bible it is said that our aim should be to know the Father.

Professor Pater Porsch: Not only the aim, but the life consists in this: to know the Father, God, by this... [indistinct]

Professor Dürckheim: That is exactly what you say, that real life, real eternal life, means nothing but to recognize the Father in the son.

Prabhupada: Yes, that is real business. And we have created so many unnecessary, superfluous business. We have set aside the real business, to know the father. And that is the mistake of this civilization.

Hansadutta: Professor Dürckheim's question was: "Very simply, what is our way or what is our method to realize the highest truth, the absolute truth?" What is our process?

Prabhupada: The simplest method is to associate with the Father, or the Absolute Truth. By association. This association can be possible. God, His name, His form, His pastimes, His abode, His paraphernalia, everything is God, because absolute. First of all you should understand this Absolute Truth. Just like here in the relative world the name of a person is different from the person. But in the absolute world the name and the person the same. So we are teaching or preaching this, that you chant the holy name of God, you associate immediately with God. And if you associate immediately with God then gradually you become Godly. The example is, just like you put one iron rod in the fire it becomes warm, warmer, warmer and, at last, red-hot. When it is red-hot, it is no longer iron rod, it is fire. Similarly, if you simply associate with God then gradually you become Godly or or all the qualities of God. Then you understand God and your life becomes perfect.

Professor Dürckheim: Do you mean communion with God by way of the holy name of Krishna?

Prabhupada: Holy name of God.

Professor Dürckheim: Of God.

Prabhupada: If you don't like to chant Krishna you chant in your own way. Chant the name of God. If you know the name of God chant it. If you do not know then take it from me. [laughter] We are recommending to chant the holy name of God. If you know, you chant that name and if you don't know then take it from me. [break] ...explained by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that God has many thousands of names or God has no name. No name means He has, He has got so many thousands of millions of names that you cannot say, "This is only God's name." This is one sense. But how God names are understood? The God names are understood by His action. Just like we say Krishna. Krishna means all-attractive. God is all-attractive. God is attractive for the Hindus, for the Muslim, for the Christians, for everyone. Therefore, being all-attractive, there's a Sanskrit word of all-attraction, Krishna. This is the explanation of the attribute of God. Similarly, if you've got similar name which explains the attributes of God, that is also God's name. I think Lord Jesus Christ said "God, hallowed be Thy name."

Satsvarupa: The Lord's Prayer: "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name."

Prabhupada: So He has name. You find out what is His name and chant it. And if you do not know, then take it from us. That is all. He has name. He has name. He's not without name.

Professor Pater Porsch: May I comment? It seems to me nearly the same opinion as given in the Old Testament of the Jewish religion. If Christ says, "Hallowed be Thy name", or if it means, "the names of God be glorified", then it implies no definite name is given on account of awe and reverence before God, so it is only an expression to say "in Thy name". When Moses asked, "What is Your name?" There was no other answer other than "I am, who am. I have actually no name like the gods and idols." The meaning is to have power over a god if His name is known.

Vedavyasa: [translating] He says from the Old Testament that Jesus said, "Hallowed be Thy name," so he didn't say a particular name because, he says, God has actually no name because if we...

Prabhupada: So how He can be no name? He says, "Hallowed be Thy name." He has name. Therefore he says like that.

Vedavyasa: But there's no name in the Bible...

Prabhupada: That doesn't mean... He might not have mentioned or you have not noted. But when he says, "Hallowed be Thy name," there must be the name. Therefore I said if you don't know the name, you take it from us. That is intelligence. Why should you say that there is no name. He says the "Hallowed be Thy name." There must be name but you do not know.

Professor Pater Porsch: Name of God, this expression actually stands for God in Judaic tradition, because one wants to keep respectful distance from God.

Vedavyasa: [translating] He thinks that it's purposely done not to say the name of God, to...

Prabhupada: Because there is name, you find out.

Vedavyasa: He said that when it says, "Hallowed be Thy name," it's meant in this way: that there's no mention of a particular name to be respected...

Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. So that we say that God has no particular name. But according to His action His name is there. Just like Krishna. Krishna is not the name. Krishna means all-attractiveness.

Professor Dürckheim: Just as Buddha is not a name.

Prabhupada: Hm. Because He's man of knowledge, therefore He's called Buddha.

Dr. P. J. Saher: The one who has reached...

Prabhupada: Buddha. Buddha means one who has perfect knowledge.

Professor Dürckheim: Buddha is not a name of somebody, yes.

Prabhupada: Just like you say, "Hallowed be Thy name." President. President. Now the president has a name but you do not know. But the president must have a name. [German]    Previous Page   |   Next Page

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