Evidence about the identity of God is available, but are we willing to see it?
A lecture in Vrndavana, India, on August 16, 1974
yad atra kriyate karma
jnanam yat tad adhinam hi
"Whatever work is done here in this life for the satisfaction of the mission of the Lord is called bhakti-yoga, or transcendental loving service to the Lord, and what is called knowledge becomes a concomitant factor." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.35)
Earlier in Srimad-Bhagavatam we find a similar passage:
atah pumbhir dvija-srestha
"O best among the twice-born [brahmanas], it is therefore concluded that the highest perfection one can achieve by discharging the duties prescribed for one's own occupation according to caste divisions [varna] and orders of life [asrama] is to please the Personality of Godhead."
Bhagavat-paritosanam and hari-tosanam are the same thing. Bhagavat and Hari both refer to God; paritosanam and tosanam both mean "satisfy." First, we must know God; then we may try to satisfy Him.
Unfortunately, people do not know God. So what is the question of satisfying Him? Nowadays people have only a vague idea of God, practically no idea. What is God? People say, "God is good." Or sometimes people say, "God is great." But how great He is, how good He is, nobody knows. Then what is the question of satisfying Him?
If I do not know someone, and somebody says, "Go and satisfy so-and-so," what will I do? If I do not know him, or where he lives or what he does, then how can I satisfy him?
So hari-tosanam, or bhagavat-paritosanam, is possible when we actually know God. As far as we Krsna conscious devotees are concerned, we know God. Therefore the service of satisfying God is possible for us. We know God. Not that we have some vague idea. We know who God is, where He lives, what He does, His name, His father's name everything. We are competent to satisfy God because we know exactly who God is. He is Krsna. Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: "Krsna is the Supreme Lord."
How do we know that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead? By history, by authority, and by His actions. We know from the historical point of view. Krsna is discussed in the Mahabharata, "The History of Greater India." In the Yajur Vedaalso we find the name of Krsna and His father, Vasudeva. Besides that, five thousand years ago Krsna appeared as He is and acted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So what is the difficulty in understanding Krsna?
Krsna is the richest person, the most beautiful, the wisest. He spoke the Bhagavad-gita. Who else in the whole world, the whole universe has given such wise instruction? No one. God means the wisest, the richest, the strongest, the most beautiful. Krsna was so beautiful that 16,108 very, very beautiful women married Him. And many millions of unmarried girls were attracted by Krsna, the most beautiful.
One of Krsna's names is Syamasundara. Syama means "blackish," and sundara means "very beautiful." He's so attractive and beautiful that He surpasses in beauty millions and millions of Cupids. One of His names is Madana-mohana. Madana is Cupid. Cupid enchants everyone, but Cupid is enchanted by Krsna. Therefore God's name is Madana-mohana.
Accepting the Evidence
We know God. The scriptures say, the saintly authorities say, and the histories say that Krsna is God, bhagavan. What more proof do you want? Is there anyone to challenge Krsna?
But still you are searching after God. This is foolishness, or owls' philosophy. The owl will not open his eyes to see the sun.
"Just open your eyes, and you will see here is the sun."
"No, there is no sun."
This is owls' philosophy. Close the eyes and meditate.
We do not follow this owls' philosophy. We follow real philosophy. What is real philosophy? Sruti-pramanam: evidence from the Vedas. There are many types of evidence, but for followers of the Vedic principle, the best evidence is sruti-pramanam.If something is mentioned in the Vedas, Upanisads, or other Vedic books, then it is sruti-pramanam. There are four Vedas, 108 Upanisads, eighteen Puranas, the Mahabharata. All these are part of the Vedic literature. We find real philosophy in thePuranas, the histories, the Vedas, and in the words of the authorities.
Brahma is the best authority because he is the first living being created within the universe. Brahma is adi-kavi, the first learned scholar. And what does Brahma say? What is his knowledge? He says, govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami. Brahma says that Govinda, or Krsna, is the original person and the source of Brahma himself.
In the Brahma-samhita, Brahma describes Krsna and Krsna's abode. Brahma's words are our authority. They are sruti, Vedic evidence. Brahma describes how Krsna is very fond of tending cows surabhir abhipalayantam. He describes Krsna's abode: cintamani-prakara-sadmasu. In Krsna's abode, Goloka Vrndavana, the houses are made of cintamani, touchstone. Touchstone is a stone that turns iron to gold. Touchstone is used as bricks in Krsna's abode.
Things in Krsna's abode are unlike here. Here everything is material. But there everything is spiritual.
The material world also depends on spirit. In Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna, the supreme spirit, says, "I am the seed of all existence." There is no question of anything material being manifest without the spiritual touch. This body your body, my body is material. Everyone knows it is made of earth, water, fire, air, and so on. But how did it become manifested? There is a spiritual touch: The spirit soul is there.
Dehino 'smin yatha dehe kaumaram yauvanam jara tatha: the external body is changing, from childhood to youth to old age, on account of the spiritual touch. "Spiritual touch" means Krsna. He is the spiritual seed-giving father, the origin of everything. Just as the origin of a big tree is the root, so Krsna is the original person, the cause of all causes sarva-karana-karanam. A tree has a trunk, branches, twigs, leaves, flowers, and fruits, but their cause is the root or the seed.
In today's verse it is said, bhagavat-paritosanam. The root must be satisfied. If you want to maintain a tree, then the root, or the original cause of the tree, should be watered. Then everything is satisfied. Here in the material world people are trying to be happy, but they do not know how to become happy. They are put into the ocean of nescience and may be very expert swimmers, but swimming will not save them. They must know how to be saved.
Two Kinds of Activity
Here it is said, yad atra kriyate karma. Everyone is doing something. There are two kinds of activity: vaidiki and laukiki. Vaidiki means "according to the Vedic rituals": performance of big sacrifices, and so on. Laukiki refers to other activities: labor in factories and mills, scientific research, and so on. Here it does not say that you can be happy only by big ritualistic ceremonies. You can be happy even by activities for maintaining the body. Yad atra refers to the material world, and kriyate refers to anything you are doing. Yad atra kriyate karma bhagavat-paritosanam: it doesn't matter that you do not understand Vedic rituals and that you want to develop the economic position of your country by industrial enterprises. That is also good. How? Bhagavat-paritosanam: if it is conducted for the satisfaction of Krsna.
Our Krsna consciousness movement does not tell you to stop anything. No. Whatever you like, you can do, but try to satisfy Krsna by your work. That is our proposal.
The divisions of work must be there; otherwise, society cannot run very nicely. If everyone is uninterested in anything material, the world will not go on. There must be statesmen, politicians, generals, and there must be the productive class and the workers. Everything is required.
So we do not say, "Stop this" or "Stop that." No. These divisions are scientifically made in the Vedic conception of life: four asramas [spiritual divisions] for spiritual advancement and four varnas [occupational divisions] for material advancement. We want all of them because our life is a combination of spirit and matter.
We try to make the best use of a bad bargain. Suppose you have a car, not a very good car. It's not an American car, but an Ambassador from India [laughter]. Three times it breaks down, but you still have to use it bad bargain. Similarly, somehow or other we have the material body. We cannot neglect it. We don't say, "Neglect it. Don't care for the body."
Using the Body
That is the instruction of the six Gosvamis, the prominent disciples of Lord Caitanya: Don't be attached to bodily demands eating, sleeping, sex, and defending. We could say, "I am not this body, so I don't care for eating, sleeping, and so on." No. That kind of renunciation is not recommended by our Krsna consciousness movement. We say: Do not be attached to the demands of the body, but use the body for advancing in Krsna consciousness.
Eating is required; otherwise, the body cannot be maintained. But do not eat too much, and do not eat according to the taste of the tongue meat, fish, and eggs. You are a human being. For you Krsna has given so many varieties of food: fruits, vegetables, rice, dal, milk, ghee. Why should you eat meat? Don't eat like the cats and dogs but eat like a human being.
Similarly, you require some rest, but don't sleep twenty-six hours. Six to eight hours is sufficient for any healthy man. Even doctors say that if anyone sleeps more than eight hours he is diseased. He must be weak. A healthy man sleeps six hours at a stretch. That is sufficient.
"Gosvami" means you must be the master of the senses, or self-controlled. The six Gosvamis conquered over eating, sleeping, and sense enjoyment. Our process is to follow the six Gosvamis. We should keep in view what they did. They passed their time talking about Krsna.
The only aim of our Krsna consciousness movement is to satisfy Lord Krsna. We should use our intelligence and accept a process by which our spreading of Krsna consciousness goes on very nicely. The only process should be to satisfy Krsna, hari-tosanam. That is the recommended Vedic process: samsiddhir hari-tosanam. Samsiddhi means "perfection." If we want the perfection of our activities, then we should try to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead by our activities.
The Test for Satisfying Krsna
You may say, "I do not see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. How will I be able to know whether I am satisfying Him or dissatisfying Him?"
That you can know through your spiritual master. It is not very difficult. If your spiritual master is satisfied, then you should know that Krsna is satisfied. You cannot satisfy Krsna by dissatisfying your spiritual master. That is not possible. You must satisfy him. Do not use the excuse that you do not know God or do not see Him and thus you cannot know whether you have satisfied Him or dissatisfied Him.
We receive knowledge from Krsna, from Arjuna, from Brahma, from Narada. It comes down to your spiritual master, and you receive the knowledge in that way, step by step. That is called parampara, disciplic succession. Similarly, you satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead step by step. That is the process. Just as you go down stairs step by step, you also go up step by step.
Our aim is bhagavat-tosanam or hari-tosanam. And we receive knowledge from Bhagavan, God, in the parampara system. The parampara system must be maintained. If you act within the parampara system and satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then whatever you do is perfect. It doesn't matter what you do. The test is whether Krsna is satisfied, whether your spiritual master is satisfied. Then you are perfect.
Thank you very much.