STUDENT: What separates your community from all the other communities? Everyone claims that their system is the ultimate.
HANSADUTTA: The Krishna consciousness movement is based or rooted in the authorized books of the Vedic literature, the original books of knowledge in human society. And furthermore, it is guided by the guru-parampara, or disciplic succession. it’s not something fashionable, manufactured for satisfying popular demand. It’s a standard process which has been tried, tested and proven by all the acharyas [prominent teachers] going back to Krishna Himself, who is the author of the Vedas. That’s what makes it different. It’s authorized on the basis of standard books and recognized acharyas, whereas every other movement is something concocted or manufactured, unauthorized.
There’s a standard for everything. Just like pure gold has standard characteristics. There are standards for recognizing everything from gold, and diamonds to iron, aluminium and copper. And in the USA, there are standard laws based on standard law books, and the dispensers of the law—the court judges—are the authorities who enforce the law. When there is a dispute over a matter of law, it goes before the judge. One party argues in favor of his interpretation, and another party argues in favor of his interpretation. But the ultimate decision rests with the judge. He decides the standard. He will say what is the the real meaning of the law.
So there may be so many opinions about religion and religious systems, but the ultimate authority in the matter is shastra [Vedas], the acharya and guru. This movement is running on that basis.
STUDENT: How can you prove that the living entity is part and parcel of God?
HANSADUTTA: Nothing can be proven. Everything is a matter of accepting. How do you know who is your father? You accept your mother’s word. There is an element of faith in accepting a thing. Anything you want to understand has to be accepted from some source. Just like suppose I say, “Prove Napoleon was the leader of France in whatever year,” or “Prove George Washington was the first president.” How can you prove it? You can say, “Well, it says so in this book”, but that’s not proof that I can see directly with my eyes or other senses. I have to understand it on the basis of authority. I accept the authority of the book that says George Washington was the first president. There’s no question of proving anything. One can use logic, reason and argument and authoritative statements of shastra, but unless you accept them, how can I prove it?
STUDENT: People have been cheated so many times in the past accepting this authority or that authority. How do we…
HANSADUTTA: You haven’t been cheated. You have cheated. Therefore God has sent you a cheater. If you want to cheat, God will send you a cheater. But if you are prepared to accept the truth unconditionally, then Krishna, who is within the heart of everyone, guides such a sincere person to the right source. No one can be cheated unless he wants to be cheated. “Seek and ye shall find.” “Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Krishna says, “Proportionately, as one surrenders unto me, I reveal Myself to him.” To make a show of surrender or to make a show of spirituality will not be successful. Such a person gets a show-bottle teacher. But if someone is cent percent sincere in the matter of understanding God, God knows his sincere intentions and guides him to the sincere teacher.
STUDENT: In an earlier analogy you used a standard of how you tell things, how you judge what happens. You used the analogy of a mother not being able to prove that her husband was the father of her child. You said that you can’t prove that George Washington was the first president just because you read it in a book. Well, isn’t everything including what you’re speaking of now included in a book? How can anyone prove it?
HANSADUTTA: I said that nothing can be proven. It’s a matter of accepting one authority over another, and then, upon accepting a thing and applying it, the thing is realized either negatively or positively. For example, suppose there are two bowls. One contains sugar, the other salt. How will you know which is which? Suppose I say, “This is sugar.” How to prove it? You have to taste it on my word. When you taste it, you get the realization, “Oh, this is sugar” or “This is not sugar.” In every step we find ourselves accepting someone’s authority and then acting on that acceptance and realizing either negatively or positively what is fact. Similarly, if we want to understand God, we have to accept the statements of the shastras and acharyas, and follow those principles; then realization comes. Then it is proven. it is proven only after acceptance. it is never proven without it. Not possible in anything, whether material science or spiritual science. Sometimes a scientist makes a discovery and publishes a paper describing how he arrived at his conclusion. if any other scientist wants proof of what this scientist claims, then he has to accept the paper and follow the procedure outlined in it. If his work results in the same outcome, that is considered proof. But unless he agrees to go through the same procedure, there is no proof.
So the proof lies with you. The proof lies not with Krishna. Krishna is presenting this science. The proof is in surrendering and becoming Krishna’s servant. Then you will realize that actually you are Krishna’s servant. Of course, we use logic, reason and argument, but these are not proof; they are impetus to surrender. When one has surrendered, then everything becomes a realized fact.
We don’t expect anyone to just believe this. No. Prove it yourself by applying the principles of Krishna consciousness in your own life. Make an experiment on yourself and see the result. That’s all. We don’t ask you to accept anything blindly. No. You have to prove the statements of the shastras to yourself by accepting them and applying them in practical, everyday life.