this story to a friend
Prabhupada: I've heard you are teaching yoga
Dürckheim: No, not yoga. Rather, I am professor of
I spent the war in
Japan. My mentor is Master Eckhart, the great Germany mystic of the
In Japan I
encountered Zen, and rediscovered the same Truth; once again I saw
there is only one Truth. Returning from Japan, I rejected all offers to
a renewed professorship, and began in a small valley in the mountains
of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) to work and to write books, and
people came, and today
we have there what you would call a little ashrama, mostly
about fifty, sixty persons living there, coming, going, no patients,
just people who try to discover their real self, nothing else.
Dürckheim: That's our work we are trying to do.
So Absolute Truth is realized in three aspect. Brahmeti
paramatmeti bhagavan iti shabdyate [Srimad-Bhagavatam
1.2.11]. Some realize the Absolute Truth as impersonal Brahman, others
realize the Absolute Truth as localized Paramatma, situated in
everyone's heart, and the final realization is the Supreme Personality
of Godhead. So we are cultivating the Supreme Personality of Godhead
Krishna. Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam [Srimad-Bhagavatam
1.3.28]. So which aspect you are cultivating, the Paramatma or the
impersonal Brahman or the Personality of Godhead?
Dürckheim: You can't help cultivate all three in the long run.
No, all three are one. But it is the angle of vision only. Just like a
mountain—somebody from distant place looking, hazy clouds, something.
The mountain is the same, but from long distance one realizes as hazy
cloud. Little more nearer, they realize something green. And if
somebody goes in the mountain, he realizes the mountain and the animals
and the residential place, everything. The objective is the same, but
the angle of vision different. So in India or everywhere, some
realizing the Absolute Truth as impersonal, without any variegatedness.
Dürckheim: As Buddhists do.
Buddhists, they, I think, they... Yes, you are right, impersonal. But
their philosophy is to stop all kinds of realization, nirvana.
Realization they do not want. They want to stop realization, to become
zero. Is it not that?
Dürckheim: To become? I didn't understand.
Dürckheim: Zero, yes. Well, zero from the point of view of the
alter ego, but this zero is everything from the outside. From the point
of view of the natural ego it's zero, but once you touch it, it's the
plenitude, everything. But it's beyond something and everything, as far
as I understand it.
Yes, it is beyond. That beyond is realized, as I explained to you, in
different angle of vision. Some, impersonal, without any variety, and
some, localized Paramatma, and some, the Supreme Being. As you are
sitting, I am sitting, we are talking, so the Absolute Truth is a
person, Supreme Person, Supreme Being, and we approach Him, talk with
Him, sit with Him, play with Him. That is Krishna realization. First of
all, negation of the material varieties, then impersonal realization,
then localized realization, then personal realization. Just like a
diseased man. First of all cure, then healthy activities. A diseased
man has got activities. He also eats, he also sleeps, he also
evacuates, but all troublesome. Therefore, being disgusted, he wanted
to make everything zero. But if he hears that again sleeping, again
eating, again evacuating is healthy life, he thinks it is something
like his diseased condition. But healthy life is different from
diseased life. So some philosophers, they are trying to negate this
diseased condition only, without any realization of healthy life. So I
think Buddha philosophy is called nirvana, negation of this
diseased condition of life, pains and pleasure. Am I right or wrong?
Dürckheim: You are certainly right. We see the... It is a
big... In our work, as I see it, to realize that what from one point of
view seems too bad, bad, for instance, illness or dying, what the
natural ego does not like, if you goes through, it's also the threshold
to quite a different reality.
Yes, different it is. The same example, as I gave you: In diseased
condition the reality is something, and healthy condition, the reality
is something else. But if we compare the reality of healthy life with
the realities of diseased life, that will be a misconception.
Dürckheim: The dead, person who is dead.
We take this body—dead always. This body is actually dead. Just like
microphone is made of iron. It is iron. When it is working, responding,
at that time also it is iron. And when it is out of order, does not
work, it is also iron. Similarly, this body is working on account of
the living force within. When the living force is out, it is called
dead. But actually it is dead always. The living force is the important
thing. That is making him alive. Actually alive or dead, it is dead
matter. But the living force is the active principle. That is
distinguishing this body as dead or alive. But factually it is dead
always. That is the beginning of instruction, Bhagavad-gita:
"Arjuna, you are lamenting for this body, but the body is dead." Ashochyan
anvashochas tvam prajna-vadamsh cha bhashase [Bhagavad-gita
2.11]. So unless we know that... The dead body is not the subject
matter of study either it is in working order or it is in dead order.
The subject matter of study is the active principle which makes the
dead body moving. That is the beginning of Bhagavad-gita.
[to Satsvarupa:] Read that portion.
ashocyan anvashochas tvam
prajna-vadamsh cha bhashase
gatasun agatasumsh cha
nanushochanti panditah [Bhagavad-gita 2.11]
Blessed Lord said, While speaking learned words you are mourning for
what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the
living nor the dead."
What is your opinion about this?
Dürckheim: May I ask a question? How do you teach your
disciples to become aware of this force which is not matter, that makes
That active principle, life, or living soul.
Dürckheim: Yes, how do you teach them to become aware of it?
You see, now I listen, and that is, if you like, first a philosophy
which contains the truth. I don't doubt it. But how to make feel?
It is very simple thing. Just like a body is moving, and body is not
moving. So there is an active principle which makes the body moving,
and when it is absent, it is not moving. Now, the question will be:
"What is that active principle?" Athato brahma jijnasa.
First of all let him distinguish what is the difference between this
dead body and living body. If a student is unaware of it, he can see
that on account of the active principle, the body is changing, the body
is moving, and in the absence of the active principle, neither the body
changes, neither moves. Just like in our childhood we used to think
that the gramophone box, there is a man, and he is speaking from the
box. This is a childish suggestion only, but similarly, anyone can
think that within this body there is something which is making the body
moving. It is not very big philosophy.
Dürckheim: No, that's quite clear.
Anyone can understand. So our students are taught on the principle of Bhagavad-gita
that the body is always dead. The body is simply just like a machine, a
big machine. This machine, it is dead, but as soon as I push the button
it works. Similarly, the body is dead, but within the body, the life or
the active principle, so long it is there, it is responding. Just like
we are talking. I am asking my student, "Come here." He comes. But as
soon as the active principle is out, I will ask him for thousands of
years, "Come here"—he will not come. It is very simple to distinguish.
Now, what is that active principle, that is a separate subject matter
to understand. And that is the beginning of spiritual knowledge. This
is our learning.
Dürckheim: May I ask a question? It is quite clear for our
rational mind, I can understand there is a dead body, and there must be
something in him, enough to make it alive. Now, the conclusion, I say
there are two things, that my question was how he becomes aware in
himself as an experience, not as conclusion, because I realize that on
the inner way it becomes important more and more to feel deeper and
deeper and deeper and deeper realities. That's why in my little work I
make a distinction between the body you have and the body you are. The
English language says, talks about "somebody" and "something."
"Somebody" means a person. So the body you are. It's the whole of the
gestures wherein you express and you present and you miss or you
realize your real self. So the body you are. Usually if you go to a
doctor he sees only the body you have. He tackles it like a machine. If
somebody with shoulders like this, he says, "Well, you must make
exercises." If somebody comes to me with shoulders like this, I say,
"The body you are, you have no confidence in life. So get an attitude
of confidence." So he gets to know the body he is, not only the body he
has, which doesn't at all touch at your wisdom.
No, as I say, the active principle, I am also the active principle. As
I say, the dead body and the living body, difference is, when the
active principle is not there, it is dead body. Similarly, I am also
the active principle. So 'ham, so 'ham: "I
am the same active principle." Aham brahmasmi: "I am
Brahman. I am not this material body." That is self-realization. Brahma-bhutah
prasannatma na shochati na kankshati: [Bhagavad-gita
18.54] "When one is self-realized, then he is jolly." Prasannatma.
He is never morose. He is jolly. Na shochati na kankshati:
"He has no lamentation, no hankering." Samah sarveshu bhuteshu:
"He is equal to everyone, man, animal and everything." And mad-bhaktim
labhate param: [Bhagavad-gita 18.54] "Then
devotional life begins." So without self-realization, there is no
question of devotional life. Or those who are engaged in devotional
service, they are all... Just like these boys, my students, they are
trained up how to be always in devotional service. So one who is
engaged in devotional service, he is supposed to be already
self-realized. Because he has understood "what I am," yes. And then he
sticks to devotional service. Otherwise, he cannot. If one thinks, "I
am this body," then he cannot be engaged in devotional service, or he
cannot stick. He knows that "I am part and parcel of God. So my duty is
to serve God." This is self-realization. And then he engages himself in
Dürckheim: I say, master, that when you say he knows, you
don't speak about this knowledge.
Dürckheim: You came already... You say "believe and by this
know that I am participating in the great divine person." And yet I
didn't experience it.
Why not experience? He knows that "I am that active principle."
Everyone knows that "I am not this body." When I say, "This is my
finger," I don't say, "I finger." So "I," what "I"? That realization,
self-realization, that "I am part and parcel of God." So that he knows,
that "I am part and parcel of God. So therefore my duty is to serve
God." So they are engaged in serving God. So this serving God, or
devotional service, is stated in the Bhagavad-gita...
[to Satsvarupa:] Find out that verse, that:
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bhagavad-gita 14.26]
So unless one is
self-realized, he cannot be engaged in the service of the supreme self.
Ordinarily, a master and a servant, a servant knows that "I am engaged
by the master. He is giving me food. He is giving me shelter. He is
giving me everything for his service." So he is careful in his service.
This is a material example. Similarly, self-realization is ultimately,
as I taught you, that, first impersonal Brahman, then localized
Paramatma, and then the yogis, they realize the localized
Paramatma. Dhyanavasthita-tad-gatena manasa pashyanti yam yoginah
[Srimad-Bhagavatam 12.13.1]. The yogis, they
observe the Supersoul within himself, and they meditate upon Him. [to
is that verse?
cha yo 'vyabhicharena
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate [Bhagavad-gita 14.26]
who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any
circumstance, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus
comes to the level of Brahman."
This is our process.
Dürckheim: A long way to get there.
And the process is going on. The chanting the holy name of Krishna, by
this process they fully realize that, the master, the Supreme Being,
and engages himself always. These European, American boys, they are all
educated. Not... In your country, of course, the young men...
Dürckheim: They are educated too.
Yes. So they are always engaged in devotional service. So unless there
is some realization, how they can engage their time in this way? They
are not fools who waste their time. Already as young men, they do not
have any material attachments. They follow strictly four
fundamental principles: None of my students
maintains illicit sexual relations; none eats meat, fish or eggs, but
only Krishna prasadam; none take intoxicants like tea, coffee,
alcohol, cigarettes or drugs; and none gamble. They live this life,
although they are born in another country—not India,
and although they grew up under completely different circumstances. How
could they give up all these things if they had not found a higher
taste? How could they be otherwise satisfied? Bhakti means that
interest in unnecessary material things. Not that they do not eat, but
they do not eat the generally usual,
so-called delicious things for the satisfaction of the tongue. In order
to eat, they do not commit cruel actions to kill as for
instance animals; they are content with what God gives them. Tyena
tyaktena bhunjitah. It is said in the Vedas: "Eat
that which is your designated portion." God says, "You are human
being. You can eat. I have given you fruits. I have given you
vegetables. I have given you food grains. I have given you milk, very
nutritious, palatable, containing all vitamin ABCD. And why should you
kill animals? Why should you give trouble to the others?" This is
self-realization, that "Here is another self. The same active principle
is working there. The body is different. Why shall I kill him?" So they
have realized it. Samah sarveshu bhuteshu. Equal vision
to all living entities, that the self, that active principle, is
working in the fish, in the insect, within the tree, within the plant,
within the animals, within the birds and within me. This is
self-realization. That active principle is soul, and the soul is
migrating from one body to another as you are migrating from childhood
to babyhood, babyhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood. So the soul is
the same. The body is different. The body is material and the soul is
spiritual. When one comes to this understanding, that is
Dürckheim: May I put a question, master? On the way there
should be progress, inner progress. How to realize that there is a
progress? I would say one thing is very important. There are three
sufferings in the world of mankind: fear of annihilation, despair if
you are taken by something which is absurd, and loneliness, if you are
alone. These three sufferings in the world for the natural being. I
realize that you make a decisive step on your inner way when you feel
life in the very moment when you have to die, when you feel the great
meaning in the very moment when you are just having despair, and when
you feel the great love of the person God exactly while you are a
lonely in the world. And I have realized that we are now in a very
decisive moment in the western world because for the first time in the
history of mankind, the western people, in Europe and the States, start
to take seriously certain experiences, inner experiences, where this
truth is revealed. In all times, as far as I see, the great condition
of the east, they knew about those experiences where death loses its
terrifying character and becomes the threshold to some bigger life. And
I always see with also my disciples, as soon as they learn to go
through some kind of death, they awake on a new level. So I will say if
people are in my place and after a week, they still sleep very well,
then I have made a mistake. About that sleep, just to realize something
in overcoming their usual needs, their usual fears, their usual habits,
in order to touch inwardly another level, and then suddenly they
realize there is some quite different principle at work as they see
usually in their natural mind.
So that different principle, for a devotee is already realized. Because
a devotee never thinks of this body, that "I am this body." He thinks
"I am..." aham brahmasmi: "I am spirit soul." So without
that realization, there is no question of devotional life. So that is
first understood. That instruction is being given by Krishna to Arjuna,
that "You are considering very seriously on this body, but a learned
man does not take this body very seriously, either dead or alive." That
is the first realization. So everyone in this world, they are concerned
with this body, dead or alive. When alive, they take care of the body
in so many ways, and when dead they erect big statue upon it. So that
realization is this body. When it is alive, very nicely dressed, nicely
groomed, nicely everything on account of this body, and when dead, then
again the statue, the tomb, that's all, but missing the active
principle. He is taking care of this body even after death by erecting
very nice memorial, but he has no knowledge where the active principle
has lost. That is ignorance.
Dürckheim: When I was a young man, I was four years in the
World War. Forty-eight months almost in the foremost front. And I was
one of the two officers...
In First World War? First World War?
Dürckheim: World War I, 1914 to 1918.
Dürckheim: And I was one of the two officers who were not
wounded in my regiment. And there I met death again and again. And I
saw people just killed next to me. Suddenly it was out. It was just
only as you say, the body without soul. But I realized also in myself,
that when death was near and you had accepted death, accepted to die,
then you realized something which has nothing to do whatsoever with
Yes. That is self-realization.
Dürckheim: So this marked me very much. It's the very
beginning of my inner way, these four years of World War.
There is a verse. Narayana-parah sarve na kutashchana bibhyati
[Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.17.28]. If one is God realized soul,
he is not afraid of anything. Svargapavarga-narakeshv api
tulyartha-darshinah. So actually, if one is self-realized, he is
no more fearful or concerned with the bodily necessities of life. That
is liberation. Just like as you mentioned sleeping. Sleeping also, a
bodily necessity. When you are tired, you sleep. That is bodily
necessity. But it is not spiritually necessary. About the Gosvamis it
is said, nidrahara-viharakadi-vijitau: "Conquered over
sleeping, eating, mating." That is also one of the symptoms of
self-realization. These things are necessities of the body. So the more
one is advanced in self-realization, these things will be minimized:
eating, sleeping, mating and defending. And gradually it will come to
nil because this is bodily necessities. Self, the active principle,
that is different. The active principle necessity is different. That is
Krishna consciousness, God consciousness. But these are bodily
necessities: eating, sleeping, mating. So, so long this body is there,
of course, we must eat, we must sleep. That is required. But the more
we advance, these necessities diminished. Yes. Bhaktih
pareshanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [Srimad-Bhagavatam
11.2.42]. Then sleeping will be considered a waste of time. A
self-realized man goes to sleep. He thinks that "I am going to waste so
much time, because still I am subjected to the necessities of this
body." He regrets.
Dürckheim: The progress of self-realization is a sequence of
experiences, isn't it, of inner experiences?
Dürckheim: The progress of self-realization is a progress of
Dürckheim: And I do believe that at the actual moment still,
the treasure in the European peoples, the different peoples, who went
through the war, through concentration camps, through battlefields and
bombing nights, are hidden in their hearts certain moments when death
was near and they were wounded and nearly torn in pieces. Because they
had a certain experience they survived. And again and again, when I
give a lecture, I have two or three people, waiting, telling me, "Now
you just reminded me an experience long ago, ten days ago, two months
ago, when I thought I was a little bit crazy, and now I understand it
has been the experience, perhaps the most important of my life, on
which I should have built my future inner way." And these experiences
are still there. And once people understand, they don't need a war and
a battleship and a concentration camp and a bombing night to take
serious certain inner experiences when they are suddenly are touched by
this divine reality, and they suddenly feel that this bodily existence
is not lasting at all.
That's it. That we can experience every night.
Dürckheim: Yes, exactly.
When we dream, my body is left on the bed and I go somewhere. That we
experience, that I am separate from this body. At that time I forget
my, this body is lying down on the bed. I am acting in a different
atmosphere. So and again, in daytime, I forget that at night I was in a
different body, and I went to such and such place or on the sky I was
flying. I forget. At night I forget this body and at daytime I forget
that body. But I am existing. Therefore I am not this body. I am
existing in this body and that body, but that body I have forgotten,
and this body I forget. So this is a structure on my mind only.
Actually I am different from the mind. And that is self-realization.
That is described in the Bhagavad-gita. Indriyani
parany ahur indriyebhyah param manah [Bhagavad-gita
3.42]. [to Satsvarupa:] Find out this verse. Manasas tu para
buddhir buddhes tu
yah sah. That's it. It is in the Third Chapter, I think.
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
yo buddheh paratas tu sah [Bhagavad-gita 3.42]
working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the
senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he, the soul,
is even higher than the intelligence."
This is description.
Dürckheim: May I put a question to the question of time, the
meaning of time? I think there are two ways to look at time and to look
Time is eternal. Time is eternal, but we calculate time, past and
present and future, according to my temporary material existence. Just
like a small ant. The ant's past and present is different from my past
and present. I am a human being. I live for hundred years. So my past
and present is different from the ant who lives for, say, a few hours.
Dürckheim: Is different from?
From the ant, a small living entity. And similarly, Brahma, his past,
present, is different because he has done millions and millions of
years as one day. So the time is eternal, but according to our
condition, occupying the time and space, we calculate past and present
and future. Otherwise time itself is eternal.
Dürckheim: Well, now I question you. You see, talking about
eternity, there are two meanings or concepts at the same time. The one
is that the finite life is going on infinitely, infinity, millions of
years. That is one way to think about eternity.
Dürckheim: But there is another one.
Eternity means, we say, no beginning no end. That is eternity.
Dürckheim: Isn't there also this other one, when, for
instance, Christ says, "I am before Abraham was," this "I am." There is
one kind of eternity which has nothing to do with past and future at
all, which is beyond past and future.
Past and future is concerned with this body.
Dürckheim: Is concerned with this body. It is concerned,
exactly, with this body and with this ego, with regard to which there
is a before and an after, up and down. And if you take away this ego,
what's there, what's left?
That is pure ego. Now I am born Indian, say, seventy-five years ago, or
seventy-eight years ago, and I have got this Indian body, I have got
this false ego that "I am Indian; I am this body." This is
Dürckheim: That is one way to look at time.
Time is there, but because I have got this temporary body, I am
thinking past, present, future. The temporary body will vanish. I shall
get another temporary body. Then again my begins past and present. So
therefore this is called illusion. Time is eternal. It has no
beginning, no end, but we transmigrate from one body to another. We are
calculating, miscalculating, past, present, future.
Dürckheim: Yes, time has no beginning and no end. But time in
this second sense has nothing to do with beginning and end.
It has no end, beginning, no end. The beginning and end is of this
body. And in relationship with this body, we are calculating past,
Dürckheim: But without this body, you wouldn't become
conscious of what is beyond body.
I am conscious always. Just like in sleep, I am getting different body,
but still I am conscious. And daytime, that sleeping body is gone;
still, I am conscious. That consciousness is impure on account of our
contact with this temporary body. So when you come to the pure
consciousness, that is Krishna consciousness.
Dürckheim: But as an experience, the pure consciousness as an
experience, has to have a background which is not pure consciousness.
Otherwise it could become...
No. Pure consciousness is actually you are. Just like water. Water is
pure. When it is comes from the sky, it is clear crystal water. But as
soon as it touches the ground, it becomes muddy. Similarly, we soul,
spirit soul, we are pure. As soon as we come in contact with this
matter, material existence, we become impure. And there are three
stages of impurity: goodness, passion and ignorance. So all of them are
impure. Unless one comes to the spiritual consciousness—he may be a
very nice man—he is infected with the impurity of goodness. He is
thinking, "I am very big man, I am very..." That is also impurity. And
another man does not know what he is, just like animal, all the
animals. That is also impurity. When both of them will come to the
clear consciousness that "I am part and parcel of God; my duty is to
serve God," that is Krishna consciousness. So long he identifies with
this material consciousness, he is impure. Just like people are
fighting: "I am German," "I am Englishman," "I am this," "I am that,"
"I am black," "I am white," "I am brahmana," "I am shudra"—so
many, designations. These designations are impurity. Just like
sometimes the artists, they manufacture some statue naked. In France I
saw, naked. They take it this naked statue is pure art, not dressed.
Similarly, when you come to the nakedness of spirit soul without this
designation of this body, "I am American," "I am German," "I am this,"
"I am that," that is purity.
Dürckheim: But the meaning of the impure is to be the
background of the consciousness of the pure without any experiencing
the suffering in the impure.
The consciousness is covered by impurity, just like your health is
covered by disease, and the symptom is fever. But that is a covering.
That is not your healthy state. Similarly, my consciousness, when I
think that "I am American," "I am German," "I am this," "I am that," "I
am that," that is impurity. And when he thinks that "I am neither
German, neither American, nor this nor that. I am part and parcel of
God," that is pure consciousness.
Dürckheim: But in order to get there, to feel that one is
neither this nor that, one must have suffered by first having thought
that one is this or that.
That suffering is just like you suffer in the dream. You are attacked
by a tiger. There is no tiger. Actually there is no suffering. But on
account of ignorance, you are thinking, "The tiger is eating me."
Dürckheim: Yes, but this is a very good example because the
dream of the tiger comes very often. And it always means that you are
pursued by some of your inner instincts, yourself. So you discover in
the image of the tiger something which is not right in yourself.
Yes, that experience is also material. That is not spiritual
experience. That experience is going on continually so long we are
materially attached. Because in the material world we are constantly
changing our body. Your experience in childhood is different from the
experience at this time. So as we are changing our body, we are getting
different experiences, and all those experiences are photographed
within the mind. And they sometimes come out and make an intermixture,
and we see dreams and so many contradictory things. This is going on,
mental speculation. That is hovering on the mental plane. That is not
spiritual plane. That, it is stated:
indriyebhyah param manah
manasas tu para buddhir
buddhes tu yah paratah sah [Bhagavad-gita 3.42]
So we have to
transcend the platform of intelligence also. Then we come
to the platform of spiritual realization. That is instructed in the Bhagavad-gita.
... So our real business is how to become free from all these
designations. Yes. Then we come to the real consciousness. That real
consciousness is that "I am eternal. God is eternal. I am part and
parcel of God. My duty is to serve God. And now I am serving also. I am
not free from service, but I am serving under designation." Just like
you went to fight, because you designated yourself that "I am German."
This is an example, that "I must fight, give service to my country."
Somebody is thinking, "Give service to my community" or "to my family."
Or if there is nobody else, at least "to my dog." So this is going on.
So we have to close all these designations and become pure and serve
God. And that is self-realization.
sevanam bhaktir uchyate [Chaitanya-charitamrita
Just like the
Arjuna. Arjuna was put into the ba[ttlefield]... You have read Bhagavad-gita,
I think, this Bhagavad-gita?
So he was thinking in terms of designations, that "I am... I belong to
the same family. The other side, they are my cousin-brothers. They
belong to the same family. So why shall I fight? Let them enjoy." From
material point of view it is very good man. But Krishna condemned him. Ashochyan
anvashochas tvam prajna-vadan: [Bg. 2.11] "You are talking very
high words, but you are fool number one." That is the first, because he
was talking on the platform of this bodily concept of life. But after
hearing Bhagavad-gita, when he understood that "I am not
this body; I am eternal servant of Krishna; my duty is to obey the
orders of Krishna," then he fought. Superficially, he remained the same
soldier. But in the beginning he was a soldier for his designation of
this body, and later on, he became a soldier to carry out the order of
the Supreme. That is the difference. So when we act to carry out the
orders of the Supreme, that is self-realization, not for this body.
Dürckheim: There is only one way toward peace, through
self-realization of those who are responsible.
Yes. Self-realization, that is stated in the Bhagavad-gita,
that one should understand that "I am not enjoyer. Nobody is enjoyer."
That is false. They are trying, endeavor, for enjoying this world, and
that is false. Real enjoyer is the Supreme Lord. We are trying to
occupy this land, that land. "This is Germany. This is England. This is
France. This is India. This is my land, worshipable. Land is
worshipable. It is my land." But he should know that no land belongs to
us. Everything belongs to God. And this is a fact. The land is not
created by us. The ocean is not created by us. Then why should we
claim, "This is German ocean, and this is English ocean"? This is all
false imagination. So when it comes to this understanding, that
"Nothing belongs to us..." The United Nations, they are fighting for
the last twenty years, but they are fighting on the false ground
because everyone is thinking, "This land is mine. I must protect it."
So they have no self-realization, and there is no peace.
Dürckheim: As soon two, two men who are realized, there is no
war. There is a very wonderful story. When the Emperor of Japan took
over the leadership again after having been for six hundred years only
the High Priest. Now he wanted to be again the emperor. And he was
submitting one dainu [?] after the other one. Only one resisted in
Tokyo. General of Tokyo did not submit to the emperor and didn't allow
anybody to come in to negotiate. So the emperor was very troubled. He
said, "Should I burn down Tokyo? I wouldn't like to do it." And then
his young sword [?] master asked him—he was a realized man—"Do you
permit me to just ride in this town and see the great general?" And he
said, "Yes, you know the guards do not permit." "Let me do." He sat on
horseback and just rode through. The guards, like this, let him pass.
He announced himself to the great general. General said, "Yes, with him
I am going to talk." And the general himself, being a self-realized man
said, "Well, all right." In twenty minutes things were in order, and
they submitted gently, and without a single shot, peace was
established. Because two men of a high level of self-realization met.
Yes. So that is our point, that if we understand, every one of us
realize that we are all servant of God or sons of God, that everything
belongs to God, so we can use our Father's property for our maintenance
as much as we require, not more than that, so if we think like that,
that is Krishnaa consciousness, and there will be no more war,
Dürckheim: In my work I always feel
the great difficulty again and again. That is also there. It's a great
difference to believe that you are the son of God and to feel it and to
experience it. As long it's only a belief, it's well meaning doing. How
to prepare the conditions by which disciples might feel it? That's all
of my daily work.
Yes. Just like... It is very simple thing. Just like
if I say... Suppose you have not seen your father. You are posthumous
child. But you must believe that there is father. Without father there
is no possibility of my existence. That is belief. And in the
Dürckheim: Experience it.
This is experience. The Christian people, they go to
church: "O God, give us our daily... Father, give us our daily bread."
So there is the supreme Father. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita.
[to Satsvarupa:] Find out this:
tasam brahma mahad yonir
bija-pradah pita [Bhagavad-gita 14.4]
Krishna says... God
says, "I am the seed-giving father of
all living entities in different forms of life."
Dürckheim: There is one difficulty in the western part of the
world which might not be so great in the eastern part. I realize in
Japan, when they talk about father and mother, especially also mother,
it was all something to be loved, to be grateful, to submit. In our
countries now, the father is generally the one who does not understand
anymore his son, and the son has to get rid of his body father in order
to be able to realize himself. So very often the main obstacle in our
youth is the image of mother and father because they have never
understood their children. So the word father for many people in
western part of the world...
Dürckheim: Is something not very agreeable. It's all the
authority like this, the not understanding, the not loving, the
authority. You see? There are so many fathers who say in their family,
"I don't know what you are talking about freedom. In my house everybody
can do what I like." So they are very much under this spell today. So I
just say this because it's very funny also in this trend of development
of religion of today...
It is not religion. It is fact. It is not... Religion
is sometimes explained as sentiment, but this is fact, that father and
son... Without father there is no existence of son, and without son
there is no meaning of father.
Prabhupada: This is
science. This is not religion.
This is science. As soon as you speak of father means he must have a
son, or most. And as soon as a son, he must have a father. So this is a
question of "must," not sentiment.
Dürckheim: It is one of the great phrases of the Gospel of
St. John which the church forgot, that Christ always says, "I am the
son of God, and you are my brother. You are sons of God just as I am."
Yes, you see? But they do not agree now. Just see. Everyone is
son. Now we say that... The Christians, so-called Christians, are so
ignorant, as soon as you say, "Everyone is son," they rebel, "No.
Christ is the only son." And you say that Christ said that "I am the
son, and you are also sons." This is the fact. Krishna
says that "All living entities are My sons." That is the fact. He is
the supreme father. Aham bija-pradah. [to Satsvarupa:]
Read that shloka.
tasam brahma mahad yonir
bija-pradah pita [Bhagavad-gita 14.4]
"It should be
understood that all species of life, O son of
Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature and
that I am the seed giving father."
Just see. Material nature is the mother. Material
nature gives the body. But the soul is part and parcel of God. A soul
is given, impregnated in the material nature, and they come out in so
many species of life. How easily it is explained. So self-realization
we explain that samah sarveshu bhuteshu,
equality to all living entities. But because they have no spiritual
knowledge, they think that humanitarian work means to give all facility
to the human being and not to the animals. We are talking of
nationalism. National means anyone who has taken birth in that land.
That is the definition of nationalism. But they are taking care of the
human being who has taken birth in that land, but poor animals, they
are being slaughtered. This is their nationalism. So all, everything is
going wrong account of wrong conception of life. And that wrong
conception of life is that "I am this body." But when we understand
that "I am not this body; I am the active principle within this body,"
then this misconception will go out. That is the beginning of spiritual
realization, or self-realization.
Dürckheim: And this understanding has to be an experience.
Yes, it is experienced, but on account of his
foolishness he is thinking otherwise. He knows that "I am not this
body. I am now in this body of old man, but I was not in this body,
say, fifty years ago. Therefore I am not this body, that body or this
body. I am different from the body." This is very easy experience. I am
existing. I understand that I existed in a baby's body. I existed in a
child's body, boy's body. So I have now changed so many bodies.
Therefore I am not this body. Just like you dress. You are now in black
coat, and next moment you can be in other color. But you are not this
coat. You have changed the coat. Similarly, I have changed the body,
but I am not this body. This is self-realization. First of all let me
know that "I am not this body; I am living within this body." You are
not this coat. If I ask you, "Mr. Blackcoat," that is my foolishness.
You are neither black coat or white coat. And that is self-realization.
Dürckheim: And yet isn't there difficulty. You can already
have understood very well that you are not the body, but as long, for
instance, as you have still fear of death, you didn't understand that
experience. As soon as you understood by experience, you have no fear
of death because you know that you can't die.
So experience is received by higher knowledge.
Experience means higher knowledge. Just like a child...
Dürckheim: Experience means...
Higher knowledge. Higher knowledge.
Dürckheim: As soon as you have the experience, you get the
Yes. So the more you are highly elevated in knowledge,
your experience is perfect.
Dürckheim: I would like to say the other way around: As more
as you advance in experience, the more you have higher knowledge.
But experience, it may be slow. But higher knowledge
you can get immediately.
Dürckheim: Yes. Like flash.
Yes. Just like Krishna says...
Dürckheim: When it's awakening.
Yes. Krishna says that you are not
this body. So instead of my experiencing for years and years that "I am
not this body," we take the knowledge from Krishna, the
perfect, and my experience is now received.
Dürckheim: Yes, I understand.
Therefore Vedic instruction is tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva
1.2.12]. In order to get first-class experience of the perfection of
life, you must approach guru. That is the Vedic injunction. Samit-panih
brahma-nishtham. Now, who is guru? Whom shall I
the next line explains that approach such guru, shrotriyam,
has heard from his guru perfectly, that guru. Who had
no chance of
hearing from perfect guru, he is not guru. This is
called guru-parampara, disciplic succession. I hear from a
person, and I distribute the knowledge the same way, without any
change. So Krishna gives us knowledge in the Bhagavad-gita.
We are distributing the same
is not by our... So I am always inexperienced because my power of
understanding is very little. Therefore I must get experience from a
person who is perfect. Then my experience is perfect. Just like a child
does not know what is this. he asks his father, "What is this, father?"
Father says, "My dear child, it is microphone." The child knows it,
"microphone?" That knowledge is perfect, although his capacity is
imperfect. A child is imperfect, but because he gets the knowledge from
the perfect father who knows what it is, when he speaks "a microphone,"
he speaks rightly. This is perfect process of knowledge: You approach
the perfect person and get knowledge, and that is your perfect
experience. Personally, I may be, you may be, not perfect. But because
I get the knowledge from the perfect, my knowledge is perfect. This is
our process. We are getting knowledge from Krishna, the
most perfect. Or you get knowledge from Jesus Christ, that is also
perfect, because source is perfect. I am taking knowledge from God and
you are taking the knowledge from the son of God who has come directly
from him, the same. So, but we have to receive knowledge from the
perfect, not by ascending process, experiencing failure, experiencing
failure, experiencing failure, not like that. That will take long time.
But if you actually want to be perfect, just approach the perfect, take
knowledge from him and you become perfect. That is the injunction. Tad-vijnanartham
sa gurum eva abhigacchet shrotriyam
brahma-nishtham [Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12]. Tasmad
gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh shreya uttamam [Srimad-Bhagavatam
11.3.21]. This is... Evam
parampara-praptam imam rajarshayo
viduh. [to Satsvarupa:] Find out this verse, Fourth Chapter.
sa kaleneha mahata
nashtah parantapa [Bhagavad-gita 4.2]
science was thus received through the chain of disciplic
succession and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in
course of time the succession was broken and therefore the science, as
it is, appears to be lost."
Dürckheim: Absolutely, that's it. But I realize that since
about twenty, thirty years there is a big awakening in the western part
of the world. Science and the technique coming out of science, which
was invented to liberate the human being, right do exactly the
contrary. People become more and more slaves of that organization which
they created for their freedom.
Dürckheim: You see? And today we realize the only thing, the
only possibility not to be crushed, is to adapt themselves to the
technical world, and in adapting themselves to the technical world,
they become themselves little wheels of the big machine and stop to be
Dürckheim: Now this is going so far today that now suddenly
something is awakening. They have said no. And this kind of rebellion
in our western, as you know better than I do, in our western kind...
And they say, "Well, after all..." You see, science, they say,
"Whatever you are feeling here, it is only subjective. The only thing
which counts are the objects." Now, today, mankind has awakened and
said, "No, I am not subjected. I am a subject. I am a person. So you
are quite right to eliminate me if you want to make an atomic bomb or I
don't know what, a technical thing. But you want to guide me? You have
to do away with scientist's spectacles and look at me with the eyes of
the real self. Otherwise you won't see me." So this is the turning
point today where we are.
Yes. But this is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam five
thousand years ago. Na te
viduh svartha-gatim hi vishnum: [Srimad-Bhagavatam
7.5.31] "These rascals, they do not know what is the aim of life."
Dürckheim: No, nothing.
te viduh svartha-gatim. Their aim of
life is God realization, but they do not know that. And why they do not
know that? Bahir-artha-maninah: "They are thinking by
external features of the material nature they will be happy." That is
very quite visible in the western countries. They are thinking that by
constructing big, big, high skyscraper building their civilization is
advancing, or machine, or technology. But they do not know this is not
the aim of life. Real aim of life—to understand God. And na te
viduh svartha-gatim hi vishnum
durashaya [Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.31]. Durashaya
something, utopian hope, which will be never fulfilled. Durashaya
ye bahir-artha-maninah. Piling up
simply bricks and stone, they are thinking, "In this way we shall be
happy." That is durashaya. That is never to be
fulfilled. And then how this society is being led? Andha. The
a blind man. The so-called scientists, technologists, philosophers,
others, they do not know what is the aim of life. He is a blind man,
and he is trying to lead other blind men. This is the position. So if a
blind man tries to lead other blind men, what benefit they will get?
Because they do not know what is the...
Dürckheim: They won't move at all.
No. Therefore they are being frustrated.
Dürckheim: There is a change today. The other day, a little
while ago, I gave a conference. There were about a thousand doctors,
physical medical doctors and psychotherapists assembled, and I told
them, "Today be careful. There are two sufferings in the world. The one
suffering is suffering because of lack of being efficient in the world.
And they are going to look for the medical doctor or the
psychotherapist in order to repair them, to repair their machine in
order to be efficient. But there is another suffering, the suffering of
not being one with the divine self in ourselves. And this is something
quite different. Then you doctors have to be quiet and to discover in
yourself something like a guru who answers this question which
nothing to do with efficiency in the world." Oh, they were very, you
see, became nervous about this question.
Now, the efficiency, just like medical treatment. If
you know what is the end... Ayurvedic treatment it is called nidana,
nidana, or diagnosis. First of all, before
patient you first of all diagnose what is the disease. Then you can
give the proper medicine. But these people do not know how to diagnose.
The diagnosis is that they must realize the Supreme. That is the
disease. Because they have forgotten the Supreme, they are suffering.
The symptoms are different. But they are treating only for the
symptoms, not for the root cause. And this Krishna
consciousness movement is trying to treat the patient from the root
cause. They have forgotten God. Let them remember God. Then everything
will come into...
Dürckheim: There is no disease of the human being which the
animal has not, which has not this source. Any kind of human malady and
disease which is reserved to the human being has always this source of
being separated from the innermost reality.
Yes. Not only that. The other than, lower animals,
birds, beast, and other, they have no problem. And we have created so
many problems. They have no eating problem. Thousands and thousands of
sparrows are here. They have no problem of eating. They are very nicely
jumping, flying, eating.
Dürckheim: And eating each other without complex.
Yes. And they have problem. They are killing only. The
human society, they should be advanced so much that even the birds,
they have nothing to kill for their eating. They have got sufficient
food. And we are advanced human being. We are killing for eating
instead of God giving us so much food, enough food. And they are still
puffed up with advanced civilization. They have not even human feeling.
These poor cows, they are giving us milk, the most nutritious food, and
we can prepare so many nice nutritious foodstuff. So let them live. And
if I want to eat at all, let it die. Then we shall eat. Why kill it? So
they have no common sense. And they are leading the sinful life; still,
they are very much proud of their civilization. And they are suffering
periodical wars, war number one, war number two, war number three. This
number will increase. Not only... Without war, thousands of children
are being killed within the womb. This is going on. If you kill, then
you be killed. This is nature's reaction. You will be killed within the
womb. You will never see the sunlight. Again you die, again enter
another womb, and again be killed. This has increased in modern
society. Even the father, mother does not want to see the child living:
"Kill him." And a few days, few years after, we shall kill each other.
So they are not afraid of any sinful life. You see? The nature will not
tolerate. Krishna will not tolerate. God will not
tolerate, because God claims, "I am the father of everyone." So suppose
if a very intelligent son kills another son of the father, he is not
intelligent, will the father be very happy? A father is father for the
intelligent son and the fool son. But if the intelligent son thinks
that "The fool son is useless. Let me kill him," the father will not be
satisfied. So God is the supreme father, and He will never tolerate
that "Because you are intelligent, you are allowed to kill another
unintelligent living being." No. Tena tyaktena
bhunjitha: [Ishopanishad mantra 1] "Whatever
foodstuff I have given to you, you eat then, live and be God
conscious." The animals, they are not coming to eat your foodstuff,
your fruits. They are, rather, producing milk not for drinking
themselves. They are giving you, and you have no obligation? The milk
produced by the cows, it is taken by the human being. They do not drink
it. So they are giving milk. And after death, you are taking their
skin. So every way they are serving. The stool, cowdung, we have
stacked here. I have seen. There also fertilizer. In so many ways they
are giving you service, and you are killing the poor animal. What is
the human civilization? Therefore Lord Buddha wanted to stop animal
killing first. When there was too much animal killing, the incarnation
of Lord Buddha was there to stop animal killing. In Buddhism there is
no animal killing. Although they are now killing animals, but
originally Buddha religion means non-violence. Also Lord Christ also
said, "Thou shalt not kill." And Krishna says, ahimsa. So in no
religion unnecessary killing of animals
allowed. Even in Mohammedans, they are also... Kurvani. Kurvani
means they can kill animals once in a year in the
So everywhere animal killing is restricted.
Dürckheim: May I put one question to this? How do we know
that the plant, the flowers and so on do not suffer when we take them
No, they have also sensation. They have sensation when
you pluck it. That is proved by scientists, Dr. Jagadisha Candra Bose.
The trees have got sensation.
Dürckheim: So that's what I mean. So if we kill plant or
No, we don't kill. You take the fruits.
Dürckheim: We cut it.
Yes, cutting is not allowed unless it is absolutely
Dürckheim: For eating vegetables, for instance, you need it.
Yes. No, that is the law of nature, that every living
being is eating another living being. That is stated in the Vedic shastra:
jivo jivasya jivanam
That "those who
have no hands—that means animals—they are food for the
animal who has got hands. And those who have no legs, they are food for
the four-legged." Just like grass has no legs, but it is a food for the
cows and the goats. Apadani chatush-padam, phalguni
tatra mahatam: "Then one who is powerful, very powerful..." Just
like tiger, he jumps over another animal. So because the other animal
is weak and this animal is strong, so in this way, the feeding is going
on, one living being for the other. But when you come to the... That is
nature. The tiger will never eat grass. But we human being, we eat
grass, goat, cows and everything. Because advanced, so-called advanced.
But our foodstuff is to accept the remnants of foodstuff which is eaten
by Krishna. That is our philosophy. Krishna-prasada. Just like
in this temple, we
don't eat anything. Neither we eat grass, neither we eat animals. We
eat krishna-prasada. So Krishna
says that "You give Me these foodstuffs." Patram
pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya
prayacchati [Bhagavad-gita 9.26]. So we are not
eating on the material platform.
We are eating on the spiritual platform. Because we are eating, if
there is anything sinful, that is Krishna's. We are
taking His remnants of foodstuff. So this is our philosophy. We don't
advocate vegetarianism or nonvegetarianism. We advocate, "Eat
Krishna's prasadam, the remnants of foodstuff
which is offered to Krishna." This is our philosophy.
And apart from this philosophy, because one living entity is food for
another living entity, it does not mean that I shall eat my children
also. There is discretion, that human being, they should offer these
fruits, vegetables, milk as it is prescribed in the shastra
to God, Krishna, and take. That is human civilization,
not for the satisfaction of the tongue we have to maintain big, big
slaughterhouse and eat them. No, that is not human civilization. The
main business of the human society is to understand God, and as soon as
he understands God, he understands that every living entity is part and
parcel of Krishna. Then how we can eat? That because
Krishna eats, Krishna allows, then we
eat. So responsibility is Krishna's. This is our
philosophy. [to Hansadutta:] Yes?
There are many guests downstairs, some
professors. We were wondering if you would like to lecture this
No, let them come here. [break]
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 different.
[translating] He thinks there's a great
difference between the
talking of birds and bees and our talking.
Why difference? They are talking in their community,
you are talking in your community.
No, he [Professor Pater Porsch] has said a very good point. He said
is a difference because an animal has no self-consciousness. He does
not understand what he is in essence.
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
It's not here. First part is not here.
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
Chapter Two, verse 10. But the verse is not here. It
is in the first volume.
Some[one] is bringing.
So he has gone?
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,
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.
yash cheha karmabhih [Srimad-Bhagavgatam 1.2.10]
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
what is that? Jivasya
tattva-jijnasa, inquiring about the Absolute Truth, that
is the only business of human being.
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.
Dürckheim: That this goes together.
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
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.
[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.
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.
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.
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.
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
[translating] He says it's a waste of our energy if we try to do good
for others, if we smile and be kind...
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.
I cannot accept that the body is false.
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...
But I live my identity with the body.
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
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
Porsch: To be frank, this example seems erroneous—comparing
room, which I inhabit, to the body and its relationship with
...example of this comparison with a room and the body
is not very good because he says...
But because he does not know that he is not this body.
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.
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]
Pater Porsch: As long as we live, soul and bodies comprise
[translating]...saying that this body is, the soul is a
The soul is different from the body.
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.
Pater Porsch: As long as we are alive.
Yes. That is not oneness. Just like this room
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.
He doesn't want to separate.
But you must separate. [laughter] As soon as
death comes, your body will be kicked out by your relatives.
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
Yes, yes. That is his mistake, that he is body
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
Porsch: Can we not also say that self and not
separate, either in death involuntarily, or through destiny.
Must separate, must separate.
Porsch: Either through death or destiny.
Yes, that is called death. You separate from
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
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?"
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
He said that in the Bible it is
said that our
should be to know the Father.
Professor Pater Porsch:
Not only the aim, but the life
know the Father, God, by this... [indistinct]
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
many unnecessary, superfluous business. We have set aside the real
business, to know the father. And that is the mistake of this
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
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
Do you mean communion with God
by way of the holy name of Krishna?
Prabhupada: Holy name of
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
hallowed be Thy name."
Prabhupada: So He has
name. You find out what is His name
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.
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.
He says from the Old Testament that Jesus
"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
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
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
Pater Porsch: Name of God, this expression actually stands
for God in Judaic tradition,
because one wants to keep respectful distance from God.
He thinks that it's purposely done not to
of God, to...
there is name, you find out.
Vedavyasa: He said that
when it says, "Hallowed be Thy
meant in this way: that there's no mention of a particular name to be
Prabhupada: Yes. Yes. So
that we say that God has no
name. But according to His action His name is there. Just like
Krishna. Krishna is not the name.
Krishna means all-attractiveness.
Just as Buddha is not a name.
Prabhupada: Hm. Because
He's man of knowledge, therefore
Dr. P. J. Saher: The one
who has reached...
Prabhupada: Buddha. Buddha means
one who has perfect
Buddha is not a name of
Prabhupada: Just like
you say, "Hallowed be Thy name."
President. Now the president has a name but you do not know. But the
president must have a name. [German]
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
Prabhupada: No, not
hidden but open because Absolute is
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
harer nama harer nama harer
nama eva kevalam
nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha [Chaitanya-charitamrita
For your perfection you simply
chant the name of the Lord—harer
nama, harer. Harer means of the Lord and nama
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
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.
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
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
Prabhupada: Yes. This is
the bhakti-marga, means,
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
describing... kirtanam means describing. Just like our, this
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.
Christian method, the offering prayer.
That is bhakti, that is bhakti. [break]
What is the meaning of Kali-yuga?
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
No. This is the period when foolish men have
so many. Instead of making solution the fighting increasing. Because
they have no standard knowledge. Therefore this Brahma-sutra
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
Dürckheim: Hasn't it always been believed—as Plato
said—that the King should be wise, and the wise should be King?
Vedavyasa: [translating]...was the always the desire of mankind to
[indistinct] he says the kings should be wise and the wise men should
Dürckheim: The desire is not crucial, but the knowledge. The
desire is everywhere the same, but the knowledge is different.
[translating] So he said that this was always the desire
But thing is that this desire is there
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
...saying that knowledge is important also...
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.
[Lady speaks in
[translating] She says that we cannot have
heaven on earth.
We cannot have heaven on earth simply by our
No. Just like there are intelligent class of
sit together. They do not fight. Still you can men... because the
example is there. But that requires qualification. Therefore what is
damas tapah shaucham
kshantir arjavam eva cha
jnana, vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam [Bhagavad-gita 18.42]
Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, calmness,
honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness. These are the qualities
by which the brahmanas work."
That is the qualities of the highest
of men. So if you do not find such qualities, how his knowledge should
be perfect? These are the qualities.
Pater Porsch: Are we also all convinced of it?
[translating] He doubts that everyone is convinced about
He's doubting if we should convince them of
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
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...
No. It is not different level.
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
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...
The advice is
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.
Dürckheim: They do not...
They do not follow.
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
...qualifications on the material platform.
First of all acquire this material
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.
So you, first of all become graduate, then
books. Similarly, you first of all become a brahmana. Then
you understand about Brahman, Absolute Truth. Without becoming brahmana
how you can understand? [break]
[reading from Bhagavad-gita]
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]
Dürckheim: Your message, I think, will be
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.
That is the beginning of our talk, that you
Dürckheim: I beg your pardon.
You are spirit soul, not this body. That is
beginning of our talk.
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...
Vedavyasa: [translating] He [Professor Pater Porsch] said that your
answer that we are not this
that we are spirit soul, it is not our real answer to our actual
He said that if you said that we are fleeing,
from the actual problems which we have now...
Actual program, the actual program is
He's speaking of the gradual process of
self-realization. First of all...
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...
Chant Hare Krishna. That will do.
Pater Porsch: Without that?
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
separation of soul from this body is thus the larger misunderstanding.
Porsch: Therefore I ask also with reservation!
Dürckheim: The simplest way.
that you chant the name of Krishna.
You have got your name of God, you chant that. Begin that. [Break]
Pater Porsch: There I have still another question.
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,
mam yatantash cha
dridha-vratah [Bhagavad-gita 9.14]. Everything is
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
Pater Porsch: To know the name, because I...
To know. Why you are doubtful? There is name.
do not know take it from us. [chuckling] Why you deny that?
Pater Porsch: There are thousands and millions
That's all right. Here is one name. Why don't
Pater Porsch: No. I say millions of names. I'm
for the name
Yes. But if I've given you the name why don't
Pater Porsch: Because I'm not convinced that is
That is your misfortune. [everyone laughs]
your misfortune. Yes.
Pater Porsch: God does not have a name for me, but Jesus
gave me the nature.
can I help? You do not know
the name, if somebody is informing you, "Here is the name," he still
will not take. That is your misfortune. What can be done? A
misfortunate man cannot be helped. That's right. So here is the
authority. Satatam kirtayanto mam.
nitya-yukta upasate [Bhagavad-gita 9.14]
"Always chanting My
glories, endeavoring with great determination,
bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship me with
Pater Porsch: ...and when I was in Africa I saw
looking for the name and chanting like you chant. But they have a
complete different idea of thought. My question is how can I know what
is the right thing? From where do you know this?
But, as a human being you can study what you
in Africa and where you are seeing here. There's much difference.
Pater Porsch: I mean, my question only I saw the
No, just like these boys and girls, they are
from Jewish group or Christian group. They have not come from India.
Now how they're chanting and enjoying—you can see.
Pater Porsch: No, I mean the intention was the
[indistinct] ...you have to see the resultant
Dr. P. J. Saher:
I was quite surprised.
Yes. And ask them to induce to chant any other
They'll not do that. Phalena parichiyate, you have to
the result of the activity, not theoretical.
Dr. P. J. Saher:
Yes. That would be the criterion for me.
Dr. P. J. Saher:
Yes, that's the same what the Christian
St. Paul speaks. They had the same...
No. We say that you follow Christian
become perfect. But the difficulty is nobody follows anything. He
follows his own opinion. That's all. "In my opinion." What you are,
your opinion? That is the difficulty. Yes you can take.
Srila Prabhupada, in the Bible there
are a lot of statements regarding chanting, instructions that people
should chant the holy name of God. Like in the Old Testament it says
from the morning to evening you should chant the holy name of God.
Yes. That is the business in this age. Chant
name of God.
Dürckheim: Whatever you do, do in the name
of Jesus Christ,
That's all right. You take this in the name of
Prabhupada, would you like to take your prasadam
Not now. Later. The simplest method: chant the
name of the Lord. That's all.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Should this chanting be loud? Or can
it also be
half loud, whisper or silently, mentally? Does it play any difference?
Does it make any difference?
If you chant loudly then others can hear. They
Should we translate?
Vedavyasa: Should we translate?
Yes. Even the birds and beasts they
and be benefited. Therefore loud chanting is recommended. So
that even the birds, beasts, trees, plants, they can hear.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
I seldom saw so many happy faces as
Yes. That is the case. In America also the
gentlemen ask them, "Are you Americans?" Because they do not see
Americans with such nice face. One Christian priest—I was going from
Los Angeles to Hawaii—so he came to talk with me. He inquired "Swamiji,
how is that your disciples look so bright?" He inquired. Yes.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Yes. And one Christian priest he showed one
that these boys, they're our boys but before this they're not coming to
the church. They do not want to ask anything about God. Now they're mad
after God. How is it? He admitted, "They're our men." And I give you
another example. In our Los Angeles temple—this was a church, big
church—but it was not going on. It was being closed. And it was sold to
us. And now you go and see there is daily thousands of... the same men,
the same place. The crowd is so... Why? I have not brought all these
men from India. Judge. Unless it is something sublime, how they're
accepting it? And they're all young boys. Not that they have become
old, therefore they're seeking after God. [everyone laughs] And young
men have got so many aspirations, they go to the restaurant to smoke,
to enjoy girlfriend, boyfriend, these... They have given up everything.
Dürckheim: And they are working in the
society, they are
We are working, we are writing these books and
them. That's all. This is our work.
Dürckheim: I see.
We have no other... Even in the Indian
question was raised that "How is that this international society is
spending lavishly? What is their income?" There is a rumor that
Americans are sending these CIA, what is this? [everyone laughs] Rascal
people, they think the CIA has come to dance and chant Hare
Krishna. [everyone laughs] So, of course the reply was
given that we have no information that these people are CIA but we know
that they are maintaining themselves by selling their literature and
public contribution. That's all. And we have got 102 centers like this.
This is not very... If you go to our Los Angeles center, New York
center and other, Vrindavana center and Navadvipa
center, not less than 200 men are there always. And we are providing
with their food, shelter. We give education to their children. We are
getting them married. We don't allow these boys to live as friends. No.
"You get yourself married." Yes. [German] Here is a girl,
Kausalya. I picked her from Hawaii. Now you can ask what she was
and what she is now. Now she's married. She's happy. She has everything
here. Life is there. [pause] Hare Krishna. So I think
you are all learned gentlemen, you should give us support and cooperate
with this movement. It is very nice movement. That is my request to
May we take your leave, Srila
No. You sit down. I do not... I can talk all
night. [devotees laugh] Because it is Krishna's talk that is
your [indistinct] already. Satatam kirtayanto mam
[Bhagavad-gita 9.14]. Why do you stop? Satatam. Go
on. Continuous. What is that? Satatam means?
Satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantash cha dridha-vratah,
namasyantash cha mam... [Bhagavad-gita 9.14].
Dr. P.J. Saher:
In what way can we support, or
cooperate with your
movement? In what way can we offer optimal benefit to your movement?
That is a simple thing. You chant Hare
Krishna. That's all.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
No. I mean in a further, in an
extended way. For
Yes. We have got a life membership program
can be [indistinct] can participate in that way.
You can become a life member and read all
and chant Hare Krishna. There is no loss. Suppose you
chant Hare Krishna, there is no material loss on your
part, but if there is any gain, why don't you take it?
Dr. P.J. Saher:
No, my question was perhaps a little,
clear. Many of us here, myself felt, represent not only our personal
selves but are here on behalf of certain institutions and we are active
in some form or other of public service, these gentlemen probably also.
And in what way, for example, would we serve your movement by giving a
clear explanation about the aims of your activity, for example,
removing prejudices and supporting Sanskrit studies and the better
distribution of the Bhagavad-gita in this form, in such
Yes. We are writing these books for
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Yes. Yes. Yes, I've already suggested
Yes. And they are not manufactured knowledge.
standard knowledge, Vedic knowledge, I am explaining for understanding
of the people in general. Each word is being explained. Here is my
dictaphone. I am sitting here. So as soon as I stop talking, I shall
write immediately. At night also, I get up at two o'clock, one o'clock,
and write these books.
Prabhupada came to United States in 1965,
and this movement was started in 1966, '67, and since that time, he has
published about twenty books like this, including Bhagavad-gita,
And what is the number of books sold last
Four million copies.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
May I please put a question before I
heard from our, or I read in the invitation that this center is not
only a center as such but something more. It should also be an ashrama
and also a forest university in the tradition of the
Dr. P.J. Saher:
A kind of a university also.
Oh, yes. Yes.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Like Indian and allied sciences, Vedic
My idea is that all our centers should be
self-supported. We do not like that idea that for your support you have
to go 100 miles to get your bread. That is a very dangerous drawback.
You produce your food locally and then support yourself. The main
problem is what to eat, where to sleep. So we get some place and
support ourself by producing our own food. We have already begun in New
Vrindaban, New..., West Virginia, Virginia, and similarly in other
centers, we are producing our food, grains, vegetables, fruits and
milk. That is sufficient. But we don't kill any animals. That we don't
Dr. P.J. Saher:
But will this center also be a place
for Sanskrit studies and allied topics?
Oh, yes. We are educating our children in
have got very good institution, Sanskrit and English, and they are
reading these books. That is sufficient. If they read these books, all
different department of knowledge will be acquired. Kasmin tu
vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati.
Yes. You can play a little record. Last night...
This morning's recording?
Dr. P.J. Saher:
May I please ask, are there is also
physical yoga exercises while chanting of the God's names?
Yes, but we are exercising by dancing.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Yes, of course. [tape of Prabhupada
Make little louder. [tape plays for about five
of Prabhupada singing prayers to the six Gosvamis]
What are these pictures?
These are pictures of our society's activities
in the temples.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Very constructive and very... So much
success in a
relative very short time, if you began in 1966.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
And during the Bangladesh crisis you
Yes, anyone came; we feed. That much... There
many refugees, so we fed them.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
But that automatically answers the
question of this
gentlemen also, the body in the service of other people, you see...
No, we give food. Anyone come and take food.
also. There is no question of Bangladesh. Let anyone come and take
food. In our Mayapura center we especially give food
distribution on Saturday and Sunday. At least five thousand people
come. So all humanitarian work is included.
Thank you very much.
Hare Krishna. Thank you. [some guests
leave] So now we have come to Germany. You cooperate and make it a
great success for the general benefit of the whole humanity. We have
got arts, music, literature, culture, food, everything.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
I think it will also help to quite a
extent for the removing of prejudices and for a better understanding
No, this is the only platform where all
religion, all culture, can unite. This is the only place,
Krishna consciousness. We practically see how they are
becoming successful. In Africa also, within the villages they are
responding. [break] ...distinction.
[showing Srila Prabhupada's books] This is
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Japanese also. And Hindi.
Italian, French. Hindi also we have. Bengali,
Dr. P.J. Saher:
But I also noticed on the faces of the
downstairs that many or several faces were, we would say in the West,
sublimated, that the facial features showed that a certain form of
sublimation had taken place.
Even children are learning how to dance, how
obeisances, how to chant, how to clap. They are also learning, small
Dr. P.J. Saher:
And I think that it comes at the right
time so that
people may not be misled into juvenile delinquency, all of those "easy
riders" and motorcycles and adolescent criminality. They find creative
outlets for their energies also as a by-product.
No. We are teaching... Of course, we do not
modern advance of material civil... We don't say that. But this is our
main business, that is, jivasya tattva-jijnasa,
to inquire about the Absolute Truth.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
So can you not say that this knowledge
is an atma-vidya, that we are trying to come to the knowledge
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Oh, atma, yes. Tattva-jijnasa
Dr. P.J. Saher:
That is why it is also correct to
term krishna-arjuna-samvara [?] as a kind of
metaphysical knowledge, philosophical knowledge.
knowledge. Metaphysical, physical, everything is there.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
In the Gita it also, a
"Four kinds of persons seek Me..."
Ah, yes. Chatur-vidha bhajante mam.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
"The man who seeks knowledge."
Yes, yes, chatur-vidha. And similarly,
four kinds of rascals. Chatur-vidha. No. Na
dushkritino mudhah prapadyante
naradhamah [Bhagavad-gita 7.15]. Everything is
Dr. P.J. Saher:
But, perhaps, that could be also a
Graf Dürckheim has in mind, I think, perhaps, when he asked the
question about belief, etc. Perhaps he also thinks that we are living
in a period of, where, because of the technological construction of
society, rational knowledge is appreciated and, for example, ten years
ago non-rational knowledge in Germany, actually, or in Europe was
highly suspected. We had lived through a period of positivism, and
people in our universities even wanted to abolish the word consciousness.
They even wanted to abolish the word psychology
basis, on the presumption that there is no such thing as a...
Dürckheim: But this time is over.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
Dürckheim: The modern times are not modern
Dr. P.J. Saher:
I agree with you but just think how
the world was
only a few years ago.
Dürckheim: Yes. And especially if you talk
about the rational, the really German tradition is the
irrational. So now this is
coming back now, rediscovering their own past slowly.
So long they do not come to the standard
they will accept this sometimes and that sometimes. This will go on,
Dr. P.J. Saher:
No, but I meant it differently. Can it
not be that
average man in the street... I don't mean... Yes, it was, of course, in
Germany. Man in the street now is infected from the...
Dürckheim: Absolutely, yes.
Dr. P.J. Saher:
And he thinks that in order to give a
presentment ... [break]
Dürckheim: ...I realize that the closer
really, in this work of distributing books and chanting, wearing the
white robes and shaving the heads, they are the closer participants I
suppose. And then have you also members of your movement which are
simply in their work, in the community, in the world? Or is...
No, we invite everyone.
Dürckheim: You invite. But as far as
members are concerned,
to become a member of your movement...
Yes, we have people in all walks of life. For
example, we have the [German]. He is a life member. And all people...
Dürckheim: He's simply a member?
Yes. He is a member, he supports the movement,
he follows the principles himself, he appreciates the philosophy, but
he has his responsibility in the society. He acts as a member of the
society and he is a member. But his lifestyle is
Krishna consciousness. [end]