"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. 5

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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Dr. P. J. Saher: Has the name a special esoteric meaning? And is the technique of chanting the name, has this a special hidden purpose that the unenlightened...

Prabhupada: No, not hidden but open because Absolute is not different from His name. Therefore when you chant the name of the Absolute that means you associate with the Absolute. And as soon as you associate with the Absolute you become purified.

Dr. P. J. Saher: Like iron in fire.

Prabhupada: Yes, that's right. [break] ...Vedic injunction:

harer nama harer nama harer nama eva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Chaitanya-charitamrita Adi-lila 17.21]

For your perfection you simply chant the name of the Lord—harer nama, harer. Harer means of the Lord and nama means name. Thrice. Just like we give stress three times, "You do it. You do it. You do it." This is a good stress. Similarly, the shastra says harer nama harer nama harer nama, nama eva kevalam, simply chant the Lord's name. Kalau, in this age of Kali. Nasty eva, nasty eva, nasty eva gatir anyatha. There is no other alternative for self-realization, no other alternative for self-realization, therefore stress should be given for everyone to chant the holy name of the Lord. [German] Kali means the age of quarrel, the age of quarrel. This age is simply for fighting and quarrel. They're not interested to understand the Absolute Truth. But they're interested in fighting and quarreling. Therefore this age called Kali. Kali means fighting.

<>Professor Dürckheim: The answer to the question thus, how you find out God, is: sing or speak the name of God, Krishna.

Dr. P. J. Saher
: Will you please be so kind as to further elucidate your technique of that one chants the name of God and will you please be so kind as to elucidate further in some particular way or what comes, what should be done in relation to that or how it is, how it is formulated in that, in that total, in that complete system of your reverent teachings?

Prabhupada: Yes. This is the bhakti-marga, means, the first thing is shravanam, hearing. Just like these books are being written to give chance people to hear. That is first business. If we don't hear about God we simply imagine something. No. We must hear about God. We are publishing eighty books like this, simply to hear about God. Then when you hear perfectly then you can describe to others. That is called kirtanam. Shravanam, kirtanam. And when the process goes on hearing and chanting or describing... kirtanam means describing. Just like our, this whole society is hearing from these books and they're going out to describe. This is called kirtana. Then by these two process, hearing and chanting, you remember, smaranam. That means remembering, you always associate with God.

Dr. P. J. Saher: So at all times, "Remember Me."

Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. Shravanam kirtanam vishnoh smaranam pada-sevanam [Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.23]. Then worshiping the Deity, to offer flowers to the lotus feet of the Lord, to garland, to dress, pada-sevanam, archanam vandanam, offer prayer, dasyam, serve. In this way, there are nine different processes.

Dr. P. J. Saher: We have a similar thing in the Christian.

Prabhupada: Yes. Christian method, the offering prayer. That is bhakti, that is bhakti.  [break]

Guest: What is the meaning of Kali-yuga?

Prabhupada: Kali-yuga means fight. Nobody is interested to understand the truth but they'll simply fight, "In my opinion, this." I say, "My opinion, this." You say, "His opinion." So many foolish opinions and fight within themselves. This is the age. No standard opinion. Everyone has got his own opinion. Therefore there must be fighting. Everyone says, "I think like this." So what is your value, your thinking like that? That is Kali-yuga. Because you have no standard knowledge. If a child says the father, "In my opinion, you should do like this." Is that opinion to be taken? If he does not know the thing, how he can give his opinion? But here, in this age, everyone is prepared with his own opinion. Therefore it is fight, quarrel. Just like the United Nation, all the big men go there to become united, but they're increasing flags. That's all. Fighting, it is a society of fighting only. The Pakistan, the Hindustan, the American, the Vietnam. It was meant for unity but it is rendered into fighting association. That's all. Everything. Because everyone is imperfect, anyone should give his perfect knowledge.

Dr. P. J. Saher: Do you mean the Kali-yuga exists all the time?

Prabhupada: No. This is the period when foolish men have developed so many. Instead of making solution the fighting increasing. Because they have no standard knowledge. Therefore this Brahma-sutra says that you should be eager to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Athato brahma jijnasa. Now the answer, next quote, is that Brahman, or the Absolute Truth is that from which, or from Whom, everything has come. Athato brahma jijnasa, janmady asya yatah [Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.1.1]. Now you find out where is the... Everyone is trying to find out what is the ultimate cause. That should be the aim. That if you follow these philosophical quotes then your fighting will stop. You'll be sober. This verse also athato jijnasa. Athato jijnasa means to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Sit down, because there should be a class of men, very intelligent class of men in the society who are discussing about the Absolute Truth and they will inform others, "This is Absolute Truth, my dear friends, my dear..." Should do it like this. That is one thing. But here everyone is absolute truth. That is fighting.  [break]

<>Professor Dürckheim: Hasn't it always been believed—as Plato said—that the King should be wise, and the wise should be King?

: [translating]...was the always the desire of mankind to find [indistinct] he says the kings should be wise and the wise men should be kings.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Professor Dürckheim: The desire is not crucial, but the knowledge. The desire is everywhere the same, but the knowledge is different.

Vedavyasa: [translating] So he said that this was always the desire but...

Prabhupada: But thing is that this desire is there everywhere. But whose desire is standard? That should be understood. Everyone is desiring. But whose desire is to be followed? What is the actual, factual desire? That is to be understood. Unless you do not know what is the standard of desire, then this fighting will go on. You desire, I desire... [break]

Vedavyasa: ...saying that knowledge is important also...

Prabhupada: No, no. Knowledge, that is described. Knowledge is according to the quality of the person. If the man is a debauch, what is the value of his knowledge? We cannot take up the knowledge that's given by a debauch. The perfect human being is described. Shamo damas titiksha, arjava. [to Satsvarupa:] Find out.

Satsvarupa: Yes.

[Lady speaks in German.]

Vedavyasa: [translating] She says that we cannot have heaven on earth.

Prabhupada: Hm?

Vedavyasa: We cannot have heaven on earth simply by our desiring it.

Prabhupada: No. Just like there are intelligent class of men, they sit together. They do not fight. Still you can men... because the example is there. But that requires qualification. Therefore what is that qualification?


shamo damas tapah shaucham
kshantir arjavam eva cha
jnana, vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam
[Bhagavad-gita 18.42]

"Translation: Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, calmness, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness. These are the qualities by which the brahmanas work."

Prabhupada: That is the qualities of the highest intelligent class of men. So if you do not find such qualities, how his knowledge should be perfect? These are the qualities.

Professor Pater Porsch: Are we also all convinced of it?

Vedavyasa: [translating] He doubts that everyone is convinced about that.

Prabhupada: Eh? Eh?

Vedavyasa: He's doubting if we should convince them of that.

Prabhupada: Well, who is not self-controlled, he'll not be convinced because he'll think that he's rebellious, "I can do anything what I like. I can eat whatever I like." Now how he will like this idea of self-control?

Professor Dürckheim: But one question, you see. These virtues have been always stressed by Christian churches also, exactly the same. But then today we realize that the virtues are on one level with the vices. But there's something different. If you pass through the [indistinct] step you get somewhere, you see where we can understand, for instance, if Christ says "Let the dead bury their dead." A phrase like this appeals to a different level. So I think as long as you...

Prabhupada: No. It is not different level.

Professor Dürckheim: I said that these virtues were always demanded by Christ and the church. But virtues in the sense of the ethics are on one level with the vices. And we hear again and again sentences, which break through this level of the virtues and vices, if it says e.g. of Christ, "leave the dead to bury their dead...", "I have not come to bring peace but the sword...". There is thus one level...

Prabhupada: The advice is given according to the time, person. So if people follow Lord Christ and, I mean to say, instruction that is also perfect. But they do not follow.

Professor Dürckheim: They do not...

Prabhupada: They do not follow.

Professor Dürckheim: Sure...

Prabhupada: That's it. Otherwise either you follow Bhagavad-gita or Bible as they are, then you become gradually perfect. The difficulty is they do not follow. And still they're claiming "I am Christian." "I am Hindu." "I am this." "I am that." Rubber stamp. No qualification but rubber stamp. This is the defect. [break]

Vedavyasa: ...qualifications on the material platform.

Prabhupada: First of all acquire this material qualification. Then talk of spiritual. Just like I think in the university if one wants to learn about law he must be graduate first of all.

Dr. P. J. Saher: In India. Yes.

Prabhupada: So you, first of all become graduate, then talk of law books. Similarly, you first of all become a brahmana. Then you understand about Brahman, Absolute Truth. Without becoming brahmana how you can understand? [break]

Satsvarupa: [reading from Bhagavad-gita] "...three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me, and although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable." [break]

Professor Dürckheim: Your message, I think, will be very much appreciated by the youth of today in the western part of the world who says to the adults, "You have educated us to go to maintain our position in the world, to do something useful for the community and to behave nicely. But you never, but you never asked us who we are and who we should become [indistinct]." This is the problem.

Prabhupada: That is the beginning of our talk, that you are spirit soul.

Professor Dürckheim: I beg your pardon.

Prabhupada: You are spirit soul, not this body. That is the beginning of our talk. 

<>Professor Pater Porsch: It seems to me that a large difference nevertheless shows up here. You speak of the gradual process of the self implementation, of acquiring the brahmanical qualifications. I am missing out whether it is not possible, directly, by God's grace to be illuminated and to become pure, without itself...

: [translating] He [Professor Pater Porsch] said that your answer that we are not this body, that we are spirit soul, it is not our real answer to our actual problem.

Prabhupada: Hm?

Vedavyasa: He said that if you said that we are fleeing, fleeing from the actual problems which we have now...

Prabhupada: Actual program, the actual program is there.  [break]

Vedavyasa: He's speaking of the gradual process of self-realization. First of all...

Prabhupada: Hm?

Vedavyasa: We are speaking of the gradual process of self-realization, first adopting these brahminical qualities and going further and further. So he asks if he's missing, if it's not possible to become illuminated at once by God's grace, to become converted without undergoing these...

Prabhupada: Chant Hare Krishna. That will do.

<>Professor Pater Porsch: Without that?

: Yes, you haven't got to undergo this or that. Simply chant and it will..., you'll become perfect. So easiest. But still they will not accept. That is the difficulty. When you give the easiest way they won't accept. Easiest way is we are recommending the chant the holy name of God. Do it.

Professor Dürckheim: The separation of soul from this body is thus the larger misunderstanding.

Professor Pater Porsch: Therefore I ask also with reservation!

Professor Dürckheim: The simplest way.

Prabhupada: Not that you chant the name of Krishna. You have got your name of God, you chant that. Begin that. [Break]

Professor Pater Porsch: There I have still another question.

Prabhupada: Then how can I help you? There is [indistinct]. You do not know. So our recommendation is, not my recommendation, from the Vedic literature, authoritative recommendation and the Bhagavad-gita, satatam kirtayanto mam yatantash cha dridha-vratah [Bhagavad-gita 9.14]. Everything is there. You begin. Therefore I said in this age so many things is impossible to be done. But you begin chanting the holy name of God. Where is the difficulty?

Professor Pater Porsch: To know the name, because I...

Prabhupada: To know. Why you are doubtful? There is name. If you do not know take it from us. [chuckling] Why you deny that?    Previous Page   |   Next Page

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