The Sixteenth Morning Walk
Recorded on December 10, 1973, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, near Los Angeles. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is accompanied by Dr. Thoudam Damodara Singh and other students.
The Meaning of “Supreme”
PRABHUPADA: What is the meaning of supremacy in this material world? Why do you accept President Nixon as the supreme person within your state?
DR. SINGH: Because he has some power.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. And why is he supreme? Because as the government’s number one servant, he gets the highest salary, has all the best facilities, and his order is final.
DR. SINGH: He has the power to convince others.
PRABHUPADA: No. You may not agree with him, but because he is supreme, you have to accept his order. That is his position. It does not depend on your acceptance or nonacceptance. That is the meaning of supremacy, is it not? The Vedic literature says that one who has the symptoms of supremacy is fortunate. The supremely fortunate person is God. Lakshmi-sahasra-shata-sambhrama-sevyamanam: “He is served by hundreds and thousands of Lakshmis, or goddesses of fortune.” (Brahma-samhita 5.29) Here on this planet we are begging a little favor from the goddess of fortune. But Krishna is always worshiped by many thousands of goddesses of fortune.
DR. SINGH: To conceive of anyone so fortunate is beyond our thinking capacity.
PRABHUPADA: Yes. Therefore Krishna is achintya, inconceivable. We cannot estimate how great or fortunate He is! Achintya means “that which we cannot estimate.” We can see only a part of God’s opulence—this material nature—which is only a partial exhibition of God’s potencies. The Supreme Personality has many potencies. He has inferior energies and superior energies. In Bhagavad-gita (7.4) Krishna says:
bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh
kham mano buddhir eva cha
ahankara itiyam me
bhinna prakritir ashtadha
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego—all together these eight comprise My separated material energies.”
In the next verse of Bhagavad-gita, Krishna describes His superior energy (para prakriti), which is manifested as the spiritual world. So, if in the inferior, material energy there are so many wonderful things, just imagine how much more important and how much more wonderful things are in the spiritual world. This is the meaning of superior.
The Mysteries of Yogic Power
HRDAYANANDA: And are all the varieties of life we see on earth contained in the spiritual world?
PRABHUPADA: Yes. And, moreover, if in this inferior energy there are so many wonderful varieties of life, just think how wonderful are the superior varieties of life in the spiritual world. Even in this material universe, the inhabitants of some planets are far superior to those on other planets. For example, people on earth practice mystic yoga for achieving wonderful powers, but people on the planet called Siddhaloka have these great yogic powers naturally. On earth it is natural that a bird can fly; but we cannot, except with costly machines. However, on such planets as Siddhaloka, the residents can fly even from one planet to another without machines. They can go to other planets simply at will. Even on earth there are some yogis who can take their bath early in the morning in four places at once—Jagannatha Puri, Rameshvara, Hardwar and Dvaraka. One yogi friend used to visit my father in Calcutta. The yogi told him that when he (the yogi) would simply sit down and touch his guru, he would travel from Calcutta to Dvaraka in two minutes. That is yogic power. So what are today’s airplanes? Durvasa Muni traveled all over the universe and up to Vaikuntha within one year. According to modern calculations, certain planets in this universe are more than forty thousand light years distant from the earth. This means it would take forty thousand years to reach these planets if you traveled at the speed of light. Even if they had the means, how could the astronauts live for forty thousand years? So, why are they so proud?
DR. SINGH: The scientists have a theory that they can produce a machine that will travel at the speed of light.
PRABHUPADA: That is rascaldom. They say that, but they will never be able to do it.
PRABHUPADA: There are many invisible planets and stars. For example, when the Rahu planet passes before the sun and moon, there is an eclipse. But the scientists describe an eclipse differently. Actually, the Rahu planet causes an eclipse. There are many questionable points regarding the modern scientists’ theory of the eclipse. Their explanation is incorrect according to Vedic information.
DR. SINGH: But the scientists say that they can prove their theories.
PRABHUPADA: They say that science proves everything. But that is nonsense. The scientist has proved everything except what he is. That he does not know. And why does he die? That also he does not know. That is the extent of his knowledge.
DR. SINGH: They can make a model of the universe. They can make a model of the planets and the moon.
PRABHUPADA: If they can make things, why don’t they make an imitation sun to save electricity? These rascals say everything, but they cannot do anything. That is their position. If they can make a model of the universe, let them make a big model of the sun. Then in the dark night we will not have to spend so much money on electricity. But they cannot do it. Yet they speak big, big words, simply to take money from the taxpayers. They say they know the composition of the moon and the composition of the sun, so why can’t they make them? Why can’t they create an artificial sun so that the people of Iceland and Greenland can be saved from so much cold?
God Is Never Zero
PRABHUPADA: Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu once gave the example of the jewel called chintamani, which produces many other jewels while remaining as it is.
om purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udachyate
purnasya purnam adaya
purnam evavashishyate [Ishopanishad Invocation]
The meaning of this verse is that although everything emanates from the Personality of Godhead, He never diminishes. Here on earth the petrol is running out, and this is becoming a terrible problem, but the sun is still shining and will continue to shine for an untold number of years. And Krishna can create millions of suns; in fact, He has already done so. But He is still fully potent. He has lost nothing. That is God, and that is the supreme energy of God, achintya-shakti. We have some money to spend, and the next day our account becomes zero. Rascals say that ultimate truth is zero, shunyavada. They do not know that God is never zero—that He is always positive. So we must have a clear idea of God. Theologians should take these ideas from Vedic descriptions and not be misled by fools and rascals. God and His full energies are explained in the Vedic literatures. Our energy is lost, but God’s is not. That is the difference between God and us. I cannot walk swiftly or do so many other things that a young man can do, because I have lost my youthful energy. But God is always youthful. Advaitam achyutam anadim ananta-rupam adyam purana-purusham nava-yauvanam cha: “Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is absolute, infallible and beginningless. Expanded into unlimited forms, He is the original person, the oldest, and always appearing as a fresh youth.” (Bs. 5.33) Krishna also says in Bhagavad-gita, ishvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-deshe ‘rjuna tishthati: [Bg. 18.61] “The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart.” He is also within every atom. But still He is one. That is God. And He is advaita, without duality. Not that He is living within your heart and a different personality is living within my heart. No, they are one. God is everywhere by His all-pervasive features, and He is also localized; yet He is still one.
The Absolute Nature of Krishna’s Love
DR. SINGH: In some Western theological literature, Srila Prabhupada, they say that God is love.
PRABHUPADA: God is everything. Why do they say He is this or that? Anything is God because He is absolute. His love and His enmity are the same. In the material world, we distinguish between love and animosity. But God’s animosity and God’s love are the same thing. Therefore, He is called achintya. or inconceivable. God’s love for the gopis and God’s enmity for Kamsa achieved the same result. Both Kamsa and the gopis went to the spiritual world. Also, Putana came to poison Krishna, and mother Yashoda was always anxious to save Krishna, the naughty child, lest He be harmed. So mother Yashoda and Putana are opposite, but they both achieved the same results. Krishna thought, “I have sucked Putana’s breast, so now she is My mother. She must reach the same destination as Yashoda.” This is the absolute nature of Krishna’s enmity and Krishna’s love.
vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
bhagavan iti shabdyate
“Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramätmä or Bhagavan.” ( Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.11)
God has His impersonal, all-pervasive feature (known as Brahman) and His localized Paramatma feature. At the same time He is Bhagavan, which is His original, personal, transcendental form. The three are different but the same. This is the nature of God, achintya-bhedabheda-tattva—simultaneously one and different. One who has reached the personal conception of Bhagavan has automatically reached
Brahman and Paramatma. They are all Krishna, but there is a difference between them. They are simultaneously one and different.
Accepting Knowledge From a Learned Person
DR. SINGH: Srila Prabhupada, many people have difficulty accepting God.
PRABHUPADA: They are diseased, but they do not want to be treated. If they do not agree to be treated, that is their fault. One who is not Krishna conscious—God conscious—is a madman. Under the power of the illusory energy—the inferior, material energy—he talks only nonsense, just like someone haunted by a ghost. You must approach a person who is learned. You must find such a person, a guru, and surrender to him. Then question him, and whatever answers you get from him you must accept. That is the process for understanding God. You must first find the guru; then you must satisfy him by service and by surrendering unto him. The guru will explain everything. Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita (4.34):
tad viddhi pranipatena
upadekshyanti te jnanam
“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”
18. Vai means “without,” and kuntha means “anxiety.” Thus in Vaikuntha (the kingdom of God) there is no anxiety. The Vaikuntha planets are in the spiritual realm, far beyond the material universes, and everyone there lives in eternal bliss and knowledge, rendering devotional service to Lord Vishnu (Krishna). [Back to text]
20. The gopis are the cowherd girls of Vrindavana, and their absorption in Krishna consciousness and love for Krishna are unexcelled. However, one should never compare the loving affairs of Krishna and the gopis, which are completely transcendental, to mundane sexual affairs. While leading lives of celibacy and extreme austerity, Lord Chaitanya and the six Goswamis were constantly absorbed in the mood of the gopis. Chief among the gopis is Srimati Radharani. [Back to text]
21. Kamsa was the greatest demon of his time, and Krishna’s most persistent enemy as well. In KRSNA: the Supreme Personality of Godhead (a summary study of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam), Srila Prabhupada tells how Kamsa tried many times to kill Krishna. Finally, Krishna killed Kamsa with His bare hands in the wrestling arena of Mathura. [Back to Text]
22. Putana was a fearsome demoness sent by Kamsa to Vrindavana to kill Krishna. She smeared deadly poison on her breast and offered it to baby Krishna to suck. Krishna, well aware of her intentions, sucked out her life air and killed her. [Back to text]